The 15 Best Vibrato Pedals: A Comprehensive Guide

Introduction

Vibrato pedals are essential tools for guitarists seeking to add a unique, shimmering modulation to their sound. Unlike tremolo, which varies the volume of the signal, vibrato modulates the pitch, creating a rich, wavering effect that can be subtle or intense. This article explores the 15 best vibrato pedals available on the market, detailing their features, pros, and cons to help you choose the perfect one for your needs.

The 15 Best Vibrato Pedals

1. Boss VB-2W Waza Craft Vibrato

The Boss VB-2W is a reissue of the classic VB-2 with modern enhancements. This pedal offers true vibrato with a rich, analog tone.

Pros:

  • Analog Warmth: Authentic vintage sound.
  • Modern Upgrades: Includes standard and custom modes.
  • Built-in Latch/Unlatch Modes: Provides more control over the effect.

Cons:

  • Price: Relatively expensive.
  • Complexity: May require some time to master all features.

2. TC Electronic Shaker Vibrato

The TC Electronic Shaker Vibrato is known for its versatility and user-friendly interface, making it a popular choice for many guitarists.

Pros:

  • TonePrint Technology: Allows for customizable presets.
  • Mini and Full-Sized Versions: Options for different pedalboard spaces.
  • Ease of Use: Simple and intuitive controls.

Cons:

  • Digital Nature: Some purists may prefer analog.
  • Limited Stock Presets: Default settings might not suit everyone.

3. Electro-Harmonix Good Vibes

The Electro-Harmonix Good Vibes recreates the classic optical vibrato and chorus effects of the 1960s.

Pros:

  • Vintage Sound: Authentic 60s vibrato.
  • Expression Pedal Input: Allows real-time control of modulation speed or intensity.
  • True Bypass: Maintains signal integrity when off.

Cons:

  • Size: Larger than many modern pedals.
  • Power Consumption: Requires a dedicated power supply.

4. Walrus Audio Julianna Deluxe Chorus/Vibrato

The Julianna from Walrus Audio is a feature-rich pedal offering both chorus and vibrato with extensive control options.

Pros:

  • Dual Effect: Combines chorus and vibrato.
  • LFO Shape Selection: Allows for varied modulation shapes.
  • Tap Tempo: Syncs modulation rate with ease.

Cons:

  • Price: High-end cost.
  • Complexity: Steeper learning curve.

5. MXR M68 Uni-Vibe

The MXR M68 Uni-Vibe delivers classic chorus/vibrato effects inspired by the original Uni-Vibe.

Pros:

  • Compact Design: Fits well on any pedalboard.
  • Authentic Sound: Classic 60s/70s vibe.
  • Simple Controls: Easy to dial in great sounds.

Cons:

  • Versatility: Less flexible compared to more feature-rich pedals.
  • True Bypass Only: No buffered option for signal chain management.

6. Strymon Lex Rotary

While primarily a rotary speaker emulator, the Strymon Lex offers excellent vibrato sounds, making it a versatile choice.

Pros:

  • High-Quality Sound: Studio-grade audio.
  • Extensive Controls: Deep editing capabilities.
  • Versatility: Beyond vibrato, it offers rotary speaker effects.

Cons:

  • Price: Premium pricing.
  • Complex Interface: Not as straightforward as simpler pedals.

7. Chase Bliss Audio Warped Vinyl HiFi

The Warped Vinyl HiFi is a high-end modulation pedal that offers unique vibrato and chorus effects with extensive control.

Pros:

  • Analog/Digital Hybrid: Best of both worlds.
  • Preset Capabilities: Save and recall settings easily.
  • MIDI Compatibility: Integrates well with modern setups.

Cons:

  • Complexity: Might be overwhelming for beginners.
  • Cost: Very expensive.

8. Fulltone MDV-3 Mini DejaVibe

The MDV-3 by Fulltone is a compact version of the DejaVibe, known for its vintage vibrato and chorus sounds.

Pros:

  • Compact Size: Pedalboard-friendly.
  • Vintage Tone: Faithful to the original Uni-Vibe.
  • Speed Control: Real-time adjustment with a foot pedal.

Cons:

  • Price: Mid-to-high range.
  • Limited Versatility: Focused primarily on vintage sounds.

9. EarthQuaker Devices Aqueduct

The Aqueduct from EarthQuaker Devices is a modern vibrato pedal with a wide range of modulation types.

Pros:

  • Eight Modes: Varied vibrato styles.
  • Compact Design: Fits easily on crowded boards.
  • Expression Control: Adds versatility.

Cons:

  • Digital Sound: Not for analog purists.
  • Learning Curve: Some modes may be complex.

10. Mooer Liquid

The Mooer Liquid is a micro pedal that offers excellent vibrato effects in a tiny footprint, ideal for tight pedalboards.

Pros:

  • Affordable: Budget-friendly.
  • Compact: Extremely small size.
  • Quality Sound: Good vibrato effect for the price.

Cons:

  • Limited Controls: Less flexibility.
  • Digital Nature: Not as warm as analog pedals.

11. JHS Emperor V2

The JHS Emperor V2 is a versatile chorus/vibrato pedal that offers rich analog tones with modern features.

Pros:

  • Analog Sound: Warm and lush tones.
  • Tap Tempo: Easy to sync modulation rate.
  • Expression Control: Adds more versatility.

Cons:

  • Price: On the higher side.
  • Complexity: Several features to learn.

12. Catalinbread Callisto

The Catalinbread Callisto combines lush chorus and vibrato sounds with a simple yet powerful interface.

Pros:

  • Rich Sound: High-quality analog tones.
  • Ease of Use: Simple controls.
  • True Bypass: Maintains signal integrity.

Cons:

  • Limited Features: Not as feature-rich as some competitors.
  • Price: Mid-range pricing.

13. Zvex Vibrophase

The Zvex Vibrophase is a unique pedal combining vibrato and phaser effects, offering a distinct modulation experience.

Pros:

  • Unique Sound: Combines vibrato and phaser.
  • Hand-Painted: Artistic design.
  • Versatile: Wide range of tones.

Cons:

  • Complexity: Can be challenging to dial in.
  • Cost: Premium pricing.

14. Electro-Harmonix Wiggler

The Wiggler by Electro-Harmonix is a tube-driven vibrato and tremolo pedal that delivers rich, warm modulation.

Pros:

  • Tube-Driven: Warm, analog sound.
  • Versatile: Multiple modulation modes.
  • Expression Pedal Input: Adds control flexibility.

Cons:

  • Size: Larger footprint.
  • Power Requirements: Needs specific power supply.

15. Keeley Dyno My Roto

The Keeley Dyno My Roto offers chorus, rotary, and vibrato effects, inspired by classic rack units.

Pros:

  • Three-in-One: Chorus, rotary, and vibrato.
  • Compact Design: Pedalboard-friendly.
  • Quality Sound: High-fidelity effects.

Cons:

  • Complexity: Multiple modes to learn.
  • Price: Mid-to-high range.

Conclusion

Choosing the best vibrato pedal depends on your specific needs, style, and budget. Whether you prefer the vintage warmth of the Boss VB-2W or the modern versatility of the EarthQuaker Devices Aqueduct, there’s a pedal on this list for every guitarist. Consider the features, pros, and cons of each pedal to find the perfect vibrato effect to enhance your sound. Happy playing!