8 Best Vibrato Pedals In 2021 (Mini, High-End & Budget)

Best Vibrato Pedal

Does your guitar have a fixed bridge, but you still  want to have the ability to produce the pitch modulation and texture or a whammy bar?

Maybe you always set your chorus pedals to the maximum mix setting and figure it’s time to get a dedicated pedal.

Or maybe you enjoy the sounds of warped vinyl record players, and you want to transpose that effect over to your guitar playing.

If any of these desired effects are what you’re after, then you need the best vibrato pedal just for your playing style, and we at The Sound Junky are here to help!

Snapshot: Top 8 Vibrato Pedals in 2021

  1. Boss Waza Craft Vibrato VB-2wBest High End Option
  2. Behringer Ultra Vibrato UV300Best Budget Option
  3. Earthquaker Devices Aqueduct
  4. TC Electronics Shaker MiniBest Mini
  5. ZVEX Effects Instant Lo-Fi Junky
  6. Walrus Audio Julianna DeluxeBest Chorus Vibrato
  7. TC Electronic TailspinBest Under $100
  8. Caroline Somersault Lo-Fi ModulatorBest Overall

Researching a Great Vibrato Pedal

Vibrato pedals are particularly cool because they emulate a musical technique of modulating pitch. For guitar players, we can achieve this effect by moving a fretted note side to side, causing the pitch of our played note up and down.

We can also achieve this effect using a whammy bar, which is often misleadingly called a tremolo bar. Don’t get these effects confused –  vibrato modulates pitch while tremolo modulates volume or amplitude.

Because vibrato is such an integral musical technique and effect, I wanted to make sure that there were pedals on this list for every budget so that anyone could achieve it.

I also kept in mind that vibrato often goes hand in hand with chorus pedals, as vibrato is a chorus effect with all the dry signal removed, so I made sure to include pedals that do both chorus and vibrato. Then again, some of you may enjoy vibrato so much that you want to push the boundaries for what the effect can achieve, so I made sure to include some modern, experimental units as well.

Whatever your use or budget, there is a great vibrato pedal on this list that is waiting for you.

The Best Vibrato Pedal Reviews

1. Boss Waza Craft Vibrato VB-2w – Best High End Option

BOSS WAZA CRAFT Vibrato Guitar Pedal, Blue (VB-2W)
  • Premium Edition WAZA craft pedal delivers the ultimate BOSS tone experience

There is no better place to begin your quest for the perfect vibrato pedal than with the VB-2 circuit from Boss. Though the vintage units are rare and expensive, Boss has re-issued this timeless circuit for the modern player.

Build

While you could go onto eBay and spend thousands of dollars on an original VB-2, this pedal offers you all of that and then some. The Waza Craft edition of the VB-2 faithfully recreates a classic Boss vibrato circuit, as well as includes a new voice to the pedal.

The pedal is made with Boss’ impeccable build quality and includes all analog circuitry, as well as a top notch buffered bypass switch. Another awesome feature is the expression jack, which lets you use an expression pedal to control the depth of the effect.

Controls

YouTube video

The VB-2w shares almost the exact same control configuration as the original VB-2, with knobs for Rate (controls the speed of modulation), Depth (controls intensity of modulation), and Rise Time (controls onset of modulation).

It also shares the three modes: Latch, Bypass, and Unlatch. Set in the Latch mode, the VB-2w functions like a normal pedal: press the bypass to turn on, and again to turn it off. Bypass mode ensures that the pedal remains off even if you accidentally hit the bypass switch. Unlatch works as a momentary switch, where the effect works as long as you hold down the switch.

Where the VB-2w differs from the original is the inclusion of a voice switch, which allows you to toggle between the Standard (S) voice and the Custom ( C) voice.

Sounds

If you’re looking to retire your vintage VB-2 for the sake of preservation or improved functionality, then you will be incredibly pleased with the Waza re-release, as it sounds identical to the original in the Standard voice. The Custom voice sound slightly more intense, with a greater amount of pitch modulation perfect for modern applications but remains musical.

The range of speed goes from almost unnoticeably slow to dizzyingly fast. My favorite use of this pedal is in the Unlatch mode, with a small amount of Ramp Time dialed in, for a really convincing whammy bar effect on sustained notes.

Spec Summary

  • Effect Type: Vibrato
  • Signal: Analog
  • Power Requirement: 9V DC
  • Dimensions: 5 x 2.87”
  • Features: Expression In, Buffered Bypass, Custom Voiced and Standard Voiced

Modern recreation of a classic vibrato pedal

Final Thoughts on the Boss Waza Craft Vibrato VB-2w

While the Waza Craft version of the VB-2 is far from cheap, the VB-2w faithfully recreates a classic pedal that would otherwise cost twice as much on the used market. This makes it a pedal with serious value… and it sounds spectacular.

2. Behringer Ultra Vibrato UV300 – Best Budget Option

Sale
Behringer Ultra Vibrato UV300 Classic Vibrato Instrument Effects Pedal,Green
  • Experience classic and mind-bending, dimensional vibrato effects of the '60s and '70s

If you absolute have to have the VB-2 sound but can’t afford the Waza Edition (let alone a vintage unit), there is still hope: enter the Behringer UV300.

Build

The Behringer Ultra Vibrato UV300 is an exact clone of the Boss VB-2, for under $30. You read that right! If you’re wondering how Behringer can achieve this, check out this video from JHS Pedals. While being a cheap pedal, the UV300 has a rugged construction that makes it perfect for the road.

It also has a great buffer built into it to help you combat long cable runs. If you’re after lush vibrato sounds from the 70s, this is a great, cheap pedal worth considering.

Controls

YouTube video

If you’re familiar with how the VB-2 works, then the controls on the Ultra Vibrato are going to look very familiar. It shares the exact same set of controls, except it doesn’t include an expression pedal connection like the Waza Craft VB-2. It features three modes (Latch, Bypass, and Unlatch) for ultimate flexibility, no matter how you plan to use the effect.

There are knobs for Rate (speed of modulation), Depth (Intensity), and Rise (shortened from Rise Time). Just like the pedal it is modeled after, the UV300 manages to be incredibly versatile without getting too difficult to control.

Sounds

The best thing about this pedal is that it sounds identical to the vintage VB-2 pedals. There are multiple videos out there that control these two models up against one another and if I were blindfolded I wouldn’t be able to tell the difference.

It can go from subtle wobble noises to full on chaotic mess at the most extreme settings. Though it doesn’t sound exactly like a whammy bar, I think the UV300 offers a unique sounding effect that gets the job done.

Spec Summary

  • Effect Type: Vibrato
  • Signal: Analog
  • Power Requirement: 9V Battery
  • Dimensions: 2.76 x 2.13 x 4.84”
  • Features: Unlatch Mode, Buffered Bypass

Classic vibrato sounds for an unbeatable price

Final Thoughts on the Behringer Ultra Vibrato UV300

If you’re dead set on a VB-2 style vibrato effect to where you don’t think you will use the modern custom voicing on the new Waza reissue, then I would go straight for the UV300. Don’t let the price scare you. Not only is this the best budget friendly vibrato, it’s also one of the best budget pedals period.

3. EarthQuaker Devices Aqueduct

EarthQuaker Devices Aqueduct Pitch Vibrato Guitar Effects Pedal
  • A vintage-inspired pitch vibrato with eight modulation modes

Now that the classics are out of the way, it’s time to consider some groundbreaking pedal options. EQD always delivers amazing, reimagined versions of effects that we love, and their vibrato pedal “The Aqueduct” is no exception.

Build

The Aqueduct is a standard sized effects pedal that houses a whopping eight different vibrato modes. These include Sine, Triangle, Ramp, Square, Random, EnvD (Depth), EnvR (Rate), and EnvP (Pitch) This makes it one of the most expansive vibratos of its class.

It also draws an insanely low current (just 68mA) so anyone can make room for this pedal in their pedal power supply. There are four traditional sounding vibrato settings, as well as a Random setting and three different envelop filter driven vibratos that work with your touch sensitivity.

Controls

YouTube video

The center rotary knob on the pedal is where you choose the vibrato mode you want to play through. Once your mode is selected the Rate and Depth controls are universal, applying to every mode. The

Aqueduct comes with EQD’s patented FlexiSwitch system, allowing you to have both momentary and latching control from a single bypass switch. With the Envelope modes, the control is all in your fingers. The harder you play the more the modulation that occurs for the designated parameter.

Sounds

While the Aqueduct is more than capable of pulling off awesome sounding traditional vibrato effects, I don’t think anyone is going to go for this pedal for that reason alone. This pedal was made to push the limits of what Vibrato can do.

The pedal is voiced uniquely, managing to pull off classic tones while sounding fresh and experimental. The Envelope Pitch mode is particularly wild, as it allows you to Dial in a Wet/Dry mix to achieve chorus and even flanger type effects. The Envelope modes make this a really expressive pedal as they interact with your dynamics.

Momentary switching is super usable too, giving you the ability to execute short bursts of wobbling, goofy modulation.

Spec Summary

  • Effect Type: Vibrato
  • Signal: Analog
  • Power Requirement: 9V DC (68mA)
  • Dimensions: 4.75″ x 2.50″ x 2.25″ with knobs
  • Features: 8 modulation modes, FlexiSwitch

The most unique and experimental vibrato pedal

Final Thoughts on the EarthQuaker Devices Aqueduct

If you’re bored with traditional vibrato sounds, then this is the pedal you should go after. It’ll do the classic sounds if you need them, but it’s made for the experimental and the expressive guitarists out there.

4. TC Electronic Shaker Mini – Best Mini

TC Electronic Shaker Mini
  • Tone print technology

Small, but powerful pedals can be difficult to find, even in the realm of vibrato. Whereas most mini vibrato pedals only give you one type of effect, the TC Electronic Shaker Mini gives you limitless settings with its TonePrint accompanied mini design.

Build

The Shaker Mini takes everything that players loved about TC Electronic’s successful Shaker vibrato pedal and distilled it down into a miniature enclosure. The Shaker series is specifically modeled after the original 1976 Stereo Chorus + Pitch Modulation and Flanger pedal that became an instant classic for the company.

Like all mini pedals from TC, the Shaker Mini works with the TonePrint app, which allows you to beam preset and custom made vibrato sounds of your own making, as well as professional, world class guitarists. It has True Tone/True Bypass, so the pedal never interferes with your guitar tone when bypassed.

Controls

YouTube video

These mini pedals don’t have much room for controls, but TC Electronic managed to squeeze in the three most important parameters: Speed, Ramp, and Depth. The brilliance of TC’s mini pedals is that these are all the controls you will need on a stage, but if there is more you want to do to the pedal at home, you can do it with the TonePrint app. If you aren’t familiar with how to beam presets from your phone to your pedal, check out this tutorial video.

Sounds

The pedal comes with a default setting that is directly voiced after the 1976 Pitch Modulation pedal. This was even voiced by TC Electronic founder (and designer of the original pedal) Kim Rishoj, so you know you are getting a great sounding vibrato out of the box.

The pitch modulation is more intense than some other pedals and reminds me of what I would hear on a Primus record. However, if this isn’t your style, the TonePrint app allows you to select from any number of artist presets, or you can create your own!

I quite like the John Petrucci TonePrint for its ocean wave like sound, which was present, but also more subtle and lends itself well to clean guitar tones.

Spec Summary

  • Effect Type: Vibrato
  • Signal: Digital
  • Power Requirement: 9V DC
  • Dimensions: 2.48 x 2.2 x 0.6”
  • Features: True Bypass, TonePrint

Miniature and fully customizable vibrato pedal

Final Thoughts on the TC Electronic Shaker Mini

I would argue that nobody does mini modulation and time based effects pedals better than TC Electronic, and the Shaker Mini is a great example of their innovation. This is an incredibly versatile and customizable unit that takes up minimal real-estate and doesn’t cost too much.

5. ZVEX Effects Instant Lo-Fi Junky

ZVEX Effects Instant Lo-Fi Junky Vexter Series Chorus Vibrato Guitar Pedal
  • Volume, Tone, Comp Lo-Fi, Depth, and Speed knobsPowered by 9V battery or 9VDC power supply (sold separately)1 year warranty

ZVEX was one of the first “boutique” pedal builders and you may have heard of the pedal that brought them infamy: the Fuzz Factory. ZVEX has taken the same, forward thinking approach to the world of vibrato with the Instant Lo-Fi Junky.

Build

ZVEX originally created a pedal call the Lo-Fi Junky Looper, which recorded your guitar part and looped with an added vibrato effect, making the backing track sound like it was getting played on a warped vinyl record (hence the paint job). Due to popular demand, ZVEX created the Instant Lo-Fi Junky so that you can have this effect at any time in your playing.

If you’re really into this effect, the company offers a select number of hand painted pedals for nearly twice the money. At only 20mA, the Lo-Fi Junky is the lowest current drawing vibrato pedal on this list, as well as one of the craziest sounding.

Controls

YouTube video

The Instant Lo-Fi Junky has some unique controls that many other vibrato pedals don’t have. It has the usual suspects Depth and Speed, but it also has a Volume control, Tone control (hallelujah!), a Compression/Lo-Fi control, and a three-way waveform selector.

In my experience, chorus and vibrato effects can have some unwanted high-end frequencies, especially when paired with a distortion pedal.

Being able to roll of the tone is majorly helpful. The compression knob makes this pedal particularly unique, in that setting it to the left creates a dry, compressed tone. The middle is a chorus effect. The far right is a 100% wet vibrato tone.

Sounds

If you are a fan of warped vinyl sounds, this is the pedal for you. The vibrato is dark and capable of subtle, nuanced modulation, as well as completely zonked out craziness at the most extreme settings. The compression effect on this pedal adds some real character, reminding me of an MXR Dyna Comp voiced compression.

The chorus effects are lush and totally unique to ZVEX.  For the experimental types, I recommend the Square wave settings, which offers turbulent and abrupt vibrato style pitch modulation.

The only complaint I’ve found in my research is that the pedal can be noisy with high gain tones (likely due to the compressor), but with clean tones this shouldn’t pose much of an issue.

Spec Summary

  • Effect Type: Lo-Fi Chorus/Vibrato
  • Signal: Analog
  • Power Requirement: 9V DC (<20mA)
  • Dimensions:4.70″ x 2.38″ x 1.82″
  • Features: Compression, Low Current Draw, Wet/Dry Mix

Warped record effects never sounded so good.

Final Thoughts on the ZVEX Instant Lo-Fi Junky

The ZVEX Instant Lo-Fi Junky is an exciting pedal for those who were a fan of the Lo-Fi looper. Getting a lo-fi, warped vinyl sound is best achieved using vibrato, but not all of them can do it to perfection quite like this pedal does.

6. Walrus Audio Julianna Deluxe – Best Chorus Vibrato

Walrus Audio Julianna Deluxe Chorus Vibrato Pedal (900-1053)
  • Tap Tempo Control: Set the rate of the LFO with the Rate knob or the tap tempo switch

Chorus and Vibrato often go hand in hand, but just because a pedal does a good chorus tone doesn’t mean it’s going to offer a good vibrato sound as well. The Julianna not only topped our list for the best high end chorus pedal, but it also provides incredible vibrato tones.

Build

The Julianna Deluxe is an improved version of the already incredible Julia Chorus from Walrus Audio. Walrus managed to cram in more functionality and greater tone into the same, standard sized enclosure as the original Julia pedal.

It features a blendable Dry/Chorus/Vibrato modulation circuit with three wave forms, stereo In/Out, Expression pedal connection, and Tap Tempo (along with subdivisions) that is reflected by the LED light.

Controls

YouTube video

Like most Vibrato pedals, the Julianna has knobs for the modulation Rate and Depth, but that is just about as typical as this pedal gets. There is a D-C-V knob that lets you blend the dry vs wet sound to give you a Dry, Chorus, or Vibrato tone.

It also has a Lag control that sets the center delay time, with lower settings giving tight and smooth sounds and higher settings producing a significant detune effect. There is a three-way switch for the wave form (including a new Random wave pattern) as well as a three-way switch for subdivisions.

The tap tempo switch works in conjunction with these subdivisions and can be held down as a momentary switch. You can even set a secondary temp and access this by holding down the bypass switch.

Sounds

All this functionality doesn’t mean much if the pedal doesn’t sound good, but just like all Walrus Audio pedals, the Julianna excels in audio quality. This is by far the most tunable and adjustable chorus/vibrato pedal, giving you the best of 80’s chorus to underwater exploration vibrato tones.

I personally really like a more subdued vibrato sound, and this can be achieved by setting the DCV knob at about 4:00. Blending in just a little bit of dry signal helps create a mellow vibrato, without tipping into chorus territory.

The voice of the Julianna  is like that of a vintage JC-120, with added control and functionality. The Random wave control is another fun feature that gives this pedal its own character.

Spec Summary

  • Effect Type: Chorus/Vibrato
  • Signal: Analog
  • Power Source: 9V
  • Dimensions: 4.77 x 2.9 x 2.3”
  • Features: Momentary switching, Pulsing LED, Lag, Tap Temp, Stereo

While many do chorus/vibrato, Julianna does it best

Final Thoughts on the Walrus Audio Julianna Deluxe

This is an intoxicating and inspiring pedal; one of the best to come from Walrus Audio. If you want great chorus sounds reminiscent of the best eighties recordings, dark and lush vibrato, and modern functionality, you can’t do much better than the Julianna.

7. TC Electronic Tailspin – Best Under $100

All analog, simple to use, built like a tank, and cost effective. This is the name of the game for the Tailspin Vibrato from TC Electronic and it is sure to give you the spins (the good kind)!

Build

The TC Electronic Tailspin occupies a strange space in the pedal world in that it’s under $100, but by no means the cheapest pedal. It also sounds amazing but is incredibly streamlined.

What makes this pedal special, though, is its build quality. This thing is truly built to last, and this is where I think where the Tailspin will find its calling. Professional musicians that want a solid, reliable pedal with all analog, 80’s inspired bucket brigade style vibrato.

There are no hidden features (except the True Bypass), just good vibrato sounds in a sturdy enclosure that won’t break the bank.

Controls

YouTube video

Whether you’re new to vibrato or looking for a no-nonsense effect, the Tailspin is sure to please with its simple control interface. It has the two essential parameters to vibrato: Depth (you can think of this as the intensity of the effect) and Speed (the rate at with modulation occurs).

These controls are fully interactive and can create a wide array of sounds with every small turn of the dials. Otherwise, there’s not much more to this pedal. It’s simple and lovely.

Sounds

Besides the solid build quality, the Tailspin truly shines with its sound quality. Whereas the Shaker Mini is based off an old ’76 Stereo Chorus unit (an amazing pedal, might I add), the Tailspin simply aims to achieve a perfected bucket brigade style vibrato and it does this very well.

There is just one voice and you get to decide how it’s going to work for you. From subtle warped vinyl sounds, to slushy, psychedelic pitch modulation, the Tailspin covers a lot of ground for being so simple.

Spec Summary

  • Effect Type: Vibrato
  • Signal: Analog (BBD)
  • Power Requirement: 9V DC (100mA)
  • Dimensions: 5.2 x 2.91 x 2.28”
  • Features: True Bypass, Simple Controls, Low Current Draw

A no-nonsense, cost effective, tank of a vibrato pedal

Final Thoughts on the TC Electronic Tailspin

During a time where many pedal builders are making pedals packed with features, the Tailspin initially struck me as too simple of a pedal for the modern player. However, I think this will find dedicated users. TC Electronic delivers something of a classic, usable pedal: its well-built, simple to use, sounds fantastic, and it doesn’t cost much at all.

8. Caroline Somersault Lo-Fi Modulator – Best Overall

Picking out the best Vibrato pedal was a difficult task, as there are so many great options out there, but I have to give the top prize to the Somersault Lo-Fi Modulator from Caroline Effects.

This pedal not only delivers classic vibrato and chorus tones but also pushes the envelope for lo-fi style modulation as a whole with its interactive controls and hybrid analog/digital mechanics.

Build

The Somersault is a Chorus/Vibrato pedal that shares a similar design concept to Caroline’s other pedals: the Kilobite and Meteor Reverb, which made an appearance on our list of the top reverb pedals. It is a slightly larger pedal, measuring in at  4.7 x 3.7 x 1.7 inches, but that added real-estate gives you a wide array of sounds and functionality.

The pedal utilizes digital technology to give highly interactive controls, where changing one knob may affect another parameter, making this a tone tweaker’s dream.

Controls

YouTube video

The controls take some “getting to know you” time, as they are all represented by pictures, as opposed to words. The top left knob controls the Mix, going from 100% Dry to 100% wet (this is where you will find your vibrato sounds) and therefore making this a great pedal for an amplifier’s effects loop.

The Offset knob, located on the top right, changes the delay time of the modulated signal and is incredibly interactive with the Depth control, located on the bottom left. The Bottom right is your Speed control, which can be spun out of control by utilizing the momentary Havoc button.

There are two switches: one that controls the wave form and one that controls the tone of the modulated signal.

Sounds

This pedal just oozes character. No matter how you set the pedal it is going to sound musical. I would recommend starting with the wave selector, as the triangle wave will give you more classic chorus and vibrato tones, whereas the square wave takes things to a whole new planet.

The square wave tones sound like digital, robotic like modulation, giving you almost casino machine style modulation. The tone switch is also crucial, as it tames the high end frequencies that can often be pesky on chorus sounds.

Finally, the Havoc switch makes this pedal a complete homerun, where at the touch of a button you can send your somersault crashing in the most glorious way possible.

Spec Summary

  • Effect Type: Chorus/Vibrato
  • Signal: Digital 
  • Power Requirement: 9V DC
  • Dimensions: 4.7 x 3.7 x 1.7”
  • Features: Havoc, Dry to Wet Mix, Wave Selector

A vibrato to satisfy purists and experimentalists alike

Final Thoughts on the Caroline Somersault Lo-Fi Modulator

To my ears, the Somersault does everything that a good vibrato pedal should do, and then some. It will satisfy the purist and the experimentalist alike, and is sure to give you an intimate sense of understanding with the pedal once you dive into its unique and interactive control layout.

What’s even better is that while the pedal is far from a budget option, it is also not the most expensive effect on this list.

Vibrato Pedals For Every Sound & Budget

I hope that this list has not only given you a wide array of vibrato options, regardless of your budget, but I also hope that it has shown just how expansive vibrato can be. While this effect has its roots in an everyday musical technique, it can be taken to extremes that remind me of being underwater.

No matter if you intend to use vibrato to emulate a whammy bar, or if you want to dizzy your listener, there is sure to be a pedal on this list that is the best vibrato pedal for you.

Further Reading: