Ever listened to a song and wondered what effect they were using? Some say it is just a chorus pedal; others are certain it is a phaser. Still, others think it is simply vibrato and reverb.
If you have had this experience, you wouldn’t be the first. In fact, one of the most elegant, versatile, and fascinating effects is the Uni-Vibe. It is best described as a combination of chorus, phaser, and vibrato. The first Uni-Vibe drew inspiration from the sound and tone of the Leslie Rotating Speaker.
From the first Uni-Vibe pedal, a whole new sound developed that shaped numerous musical styles. Everything from Jimi to Pink Floyd and Pearl Jam to Bon Jovi, the Uni-Vibe pedal, is a mainstay in the music world.
But which Uni-Vibe pedal is the best one?
It’s all gravy, baby! We have got a list of the best Uni-Vibe pedals available today. So just breathe and come see which one suits your senses…
- Top 8 Best Uni-Vibe Pedal On The Market 2020 Reviews
- 1 TC Electronic Viscous Vibe Pedal
- 2 EarthQuaker Devices The Depths Optical Vibe Circuit Effects Pedal
- 3 Shaky Jimi Vibe
- 4 Dunlop M68 Uni-Vibe Chorus/Vibrato
- 5 JHS Unicorn V2 Analog Univibe with Tap Tempo Guitar Effects Pedal
- 6 JAM Pedals RetroVibe Univibe v2
- 7 Voodoo Lab Micro Vibe Guitar Effect Pedal
- 8 Fulltone Custom Shop MDV3 Mini DejaVibe 3 Vibe
- Best Uni-Vibe Pedal Buyer’s Guide
- So, What’s The Best Uni-Vibe Pedal?
Top 8 Best Uni-Vibe Pedal On The Market 2020 Reviews
1 TC Electronic Viscous Vibe Pedal
A beautiful remake of the original Shin-Ei Uni-Vibe. A truly vintage sound with modern enhancements.
This pedal has a very unique analog effect. It does an outstanding job of capturing the vintage Uni-Vibe sound and tone. There are dramatic swirls and sways. Along with thick phasing tones, this pedal does serious homage to the real deal. Additionally, there is a speed-ramp function that lets you control the vibe speed. As a result, you can trick out the waves while you are playing.
Another great feature is the Analog-Dry-Through. This ensures the dry analog signal is passed straight through, whether on or off. This results in a pure, unfiltered sound from your guitar.
The buffered bypass mode helps keep the signal clean. This mode works to stop high-frequency interference when using longer cables. Likewise, True Bypass means there will be no high-end loss when the pedal is off.
For those who want to get even more from their tone and sound, this pedal features TonePrint technology. This feature allows you to customize every aspect of the pedal. The TonePrint Editor works with your computer to tailor each of the settings within the pedal. Likewise, it lets you create your own custom presets.
It is very easy to use and opens a whole new world of Uni-Vibe potential.
- An accurate recreation of the original Shin-Ei Uni-Vibe.
- Gorgeous clarity and definition of tone.
- True Bypass.
- Optional Buffered Bypass.
- No tone loss.
- Tone Print technology included.
- Not the most durable.
- Switches tend to be very delicate.
2 EarthQuaker Devices The Depths Optical Vibe Circuit Effects Pedal
Mesmerizing phase pulses and three-dimensional swirls. This pedal delivers both ease of operation and stellar sound.
This Uni-Vibe pedal can get very warm and way deep. It is built to work with any type of instrument, pickup, or amplifier. It offers the kind of pulsations and warbles you would expect from a Uni-Vibe.
However, the “Throb “control allows you to go subterranean. Anything from a whispering wave to thick, cavernous pulses are at your fingertips. Turn it all the way for thunderous throbs, and crank it back for less. It controls the low-end pulsations. This is a distinct feature, and the result is deep, low, and warm phasing thumps. However, this works best when used with overdrive or distortion.
Additionally, the “Rate” and “Intensity “controls let you dial in a whole range of classic vibe sounds, plus a whole lot more. You can set it to super smooth, slow warbles, or tease it up to a rapid repeating vibrato. Whatever your preferred sound style, this pedal has you covered.
One other nice feature is the “Voice” control. This control lets you adjust the overall sound. For a full sound with plenty of lows, turn it clockwise. For more midrange and tighter focused tones, turn it counter-clockwise.
The Depths Uni-Vibe pedal features both 9V and 18V power adapter options. As a result, you can shape the pedal’s sound even more than usual. Using 9 volts delivers a warmer, deeper low-end tone and sound. While using 18 volts gets you a tighter sound that has more snap and shine, as well as more headroom.
- Incredible depth and low-end pulse.
- Creates a 3-dimensional sound.
- Wide variety of sound and tone settings.
- 9V or 18V power options.
- True Bypass.
- It can be used with bass guitars and other instruments.
- Not an actual Uni-Vibe clone.
- It does not have a very slow sweep rate.
3 Shaky Jimi Vibe
A compact pedal that is born out of a handmade design. This company and their products are quietly carving out a place in the world of effects.
A truly remarkable homage to the vintage sounds used by Jimi Hendrix. This pedal captures a rotary speaker effect with astonishing accuracy. The vibrato effects are swirly, wobbly, and colorful. You would be forgiven for thinking you are hearing a true Leslie-type vibrato.
Furthermore, the rate and depth controls offer a ton of room to work with. You can tweak almost any kind of tone and feel from this pedal. From tight and bright to warm, wide, and wobbly this pedal delivers.
There is a chorus/vibrato switch. This allows you more ways to craft your sound. Likewise, it lets you use the pedal for more than one kind of effect. This is due to the separate controls for both chorus and vibe settings.
Another nice feature of this pedal is its compact size. It offers all the lush vintage sounds of the original Uni-Vibe while taking up a lot less space. Not only is it small, but it is also pretty darn rugged. The housing is a tough metal enclosure with a metal stomp switch. As a result, it can handle heavy and repeatedly rough use.
Also, it features True Bypass. This means your tone is clear and full when the pedal is disengaged.
- Vintage sound and tone.
- Recreates a rotary speaker effect.
- Plenty of room for depth and speed settings.
- Independent chorus and vibrato settings.
- Compact and strong.
- True Bypass.
- Very Affordable.
- The chorus effect is underwhelming.
- Not ideal with humbucking pickups.
- It tends to be a little noisy.
4 Dunlop M68 Uni-Vibe Chorus/Vibrato
A Uni-Vibe pedal that honors the classic tones of the late 1960s. Quiet and sturdy this pedal offers simple operations and an iconic sound.
This pedal features a basic interface with just three control knobs. The result is an easy pedal to use, plus lots of room to dial in the perfect sound. There are controls for Speed, Depth, and Level. These are pretty straightforward. Each knob controls exactly what it says.
You can get some super subtle sweeps that drip with a sweet warmth. Likewise, you can top the knobs all the way for some wild, weird warbles and phasing pulsations.
Furthermore, there is a chorus/vibrato switch, as well. This allows you to choose between a pure chorus or vibrato effect. This means greater versatility and control of the sound and effect you want. However, it’s either one or the other. There is no chorus/vibrato combination setting.
A well-built Uni-Vibe pedal that features True Bypass. It uses a 9V battery or power adapter. Overall it is a fairly decent pedal that anyone can use to become familiar with the distinct sound of the uni-vibe effect.
- Excellent simulation of late 1960s Uni-Vibe sound.
- Easy to use and solid construction.
- True Bypass.
- Chorus/Vibrato selector switch.
- Limited sweep range.
- Tends to thin out when paired with distortion.
- No chorus/vibrato combination setting.
- Slightly pricey.
5 JHS Unicorn V2 Analog Univibe with Tap Tempo Guitar Effects Pedal
A truly unique Uni-Vibe pedal. Like the mythical creature itself, this pedal stands out as something special.
The lush and washy pulsations from the 1960s are on full display with this pedal. As a completely analog pedal, it delivers the original sound and styles of the first Uni-Vibe. The result is a warm and highly touch-sensitive tone.
It uses an analog photocell-based vibe. This is the same as the original Shin-Ei Uni-Vibe. This means awesome modulation, phasing, and rotary effects can get pretty intense. Furthermore, the Dry/Wet toggle allows you to switch between Uni-Vibe and a vintage Vibrato effect settings.
Likewise, it includes tap tempo, ratio, external tap control, and external rate control. The tap tempo uses a second stomp switch on the pedal. It features an LED indicator to help set your speed. Additionally, there is an input on the side for an expression pedal. Simply enable the external expression pedal circuit on the Unicorn, and you can control your rate in real-time.
The ratio control knob is another handy feature. This control has four presets that allow you to choose your speed. There are half notes, quarter notes, eighth notes, and sixteenth notes ratio settings. This means you have even greater control and refinement of your sound.
Basically, this Uni-Vibe pedal is in a class all its own.
- Full-analog recreation of the original Uni-Vibe circuit.
- Photocell-based vibe.
- Warm, rich, and detailed sound.
- Built-in tap tempo function.
- External rate and tempo control.
- Awesome modulation.
- Expression pedal not included.
- Slightly expensive.
6 JAM Pedals RetroVibe Univibe v2
Another incredible take on the original Uni-Vibe pedal. However, this one goes a few steps further.
This pedal is made using the original NOS 2SC828 transistors and carbon resistors of the first Uni-Vibe pedal. The result is an authentic and vibrant vintage sound. Likewise, it is a pure analog pedal. So, you can rest assured your tone sparkles and shines through.
Additionally, this pedal keeps it simple. There are control knobs for Depth and Speed. This means it is very easy to find your sweet spot with just a few twists. Plus, there is a chorus/vibrato toggle switch. Therefore, you can develop some pretty diverse and versatile sounds and effects.
Along with the vintage sweeping warbles of a true Uni-vibe, there are some extras added in. The most important being an extra internal timer. The internal timer allows for increased intensity of the effect. Plus, it enhances how much the sound of the pedal can be manipulated.
Therefore, this pedal delivers an amazing vintage that can extend above and beyond what other uni-vibe pedals can do — all without compromising that legendary sound.
One more nice feature is the expression pedal input. This lets you control the speed manually and in real-time while playing. Quite the feature for coaxing out some wild vibe style when on stage.
- The same transistors and resistors as the original Uni-Vibe.
- Clear, detailed analog tone.
- Easy to use.
- An extra internal timer adds greater effect intensity.
- Expression pedal input.
- Vintage sound and style.
- No expression pedal included.
- A little bulky.
7 Voodoo Lab Micro Vibe Guitar Effect Pedal
An American-made Uni-Vibe pedal that delivers the same swirling, sweet jelly tone as the original.
This pedal utilizes the same components of the 1968 original SHin-Ei Uni-Vibe. The main components include a sine-wave oscillator, photocells, and an incandescent lamp. These combine to deliver a luscious swagger and trippy trails that capture the original tone and sound.
It is a pure analog pedal, complete with True Bypass. As a result, your tone will never be diminished or discolored whether the pedal is engaged or not. It is handmade in the USA. However, unlike the original Uni-Vibe, this is a compact pedal. Therefore, you get the same gorgeous groovy vibe effect but with a much smaller footprint.
This pedal is not only smaller in size, but it also uses just two control knobs. There are Speed and Intensity controls. They are pretty big for such a small-sized pedal. This helps make it easier to dial-in the sound you want.
It runs on a 9V battery or adapter. The stomp switch is sturdy and includes an LED indicator light. However, there is no chorus/vibrato toggle switch. While this can add versatility to a Uni-Vibe pedal, the Micro Vibe doesn’t disappoint without one.
In fact, the idea behind this pedal was to recreate Jimi’s sound on The Band of Gypsies album. Along with paying homage to likes of David Gilmour, SRV, and several other artists who helped define the Univ-Vibe tone.
- Same components as the original.
- Pure analog signal.
- True Bypass.
- Easy to use.
- Compact size and design.
- Hand-made in the US.
- No chorus/vibrato toggle switch.
- Tends to cut the midrange and high-end frequencies.
- Somewhat expensive.
8 Fulltone Custom Shop MDV3 Mini DejaVibe 3 Vibe
A solid Uni-Vibe clone that comes in a compact package.
This pedal is a very nice clone that stays true to the original sound. It delivers a rich organic sound that captures the vintage Uni-Vibe tone. The photocells are direct recreations of the original ones. Plus, it uses the original preamp transistors found in the original pedal.
A great feature is the built-in expression pedal. It looks like a wah-wah pedal but controls the speed of the effect. Therefore, you have real-time control while playing. Furthermore, there is a True Bypass on/off stomp switch separate from the expression pedal. This is a unique feature not found with other Uni-Vibe pedals.
This means you can free up space on your board. In fact, it is smaller than the average wah-wah pedal. There is a chorus/vibrato toggle switch, as well as a Vintage/Modern toggle switch. The vintage setting is what you would expect. The Modern setting provides for more output and brightness. It also has an Intensity control knob and a Volume control knob.
While it is a clone of the original Uni-Vine, there are some differences. For one, the resistance was increased. As a result, this pedal can produce some very slow speeds. Additionally, the carbon composition track is double screened. So, it can last much longer than the original ones.
Overall this pedal offers superb control operations and a truly genuine Uni-Vibe sound.
- Analog clone.
- The photocells are recreations of the originals.
- Built-in expression pedal for speed control.
- Higher resistance for slower speeds.
- Vintage and Modern settings.
- Compact and sturdy.
- True Bypass.
- Tends to drop off the volume.
Best Uni-Vibe Pedal Buyer’s Guide
Now that we have a good rundown of the best Uni-Vibe pedals, there are a few more points to make.
While Uni-Vibe is a great effect, it does not translate with every musical style. It is primarily used for rock, alternative, funk, reggae, and pop songs. However, it doesn’t really work well with country, jazz, or metal styles.
It is true that those styles will employ both chorus and vibrato effects. Yet, the Uni-Vibe pedal can be a bit of overkill. If you are playing country, jazz, or metal music, then the Uni-Vibe may not be the best fit.
Furthermore, because the Uni-Vibe can be so dynamic, the use of an expression pedal is very helpful for live performances. The expression pedal allows for greater and immediate control over the speed without having to reach down and adjust the control knobs.
Musicians who want to include a Uni-Vibe to their board will benefit greatly from a pedal with an expression pedal input jack.
Some More Pedal For Your Board?
Getting a quality Uni-Vibe is definitely going to broaden your sonic signature, but there may also be some other pedals you are after. If so, please check out our reviews of the Best Phaser Pedals, the Best Delay Pedal, the Best Flanger Pedals, the Best Tremolo Pedals, and the Best Fuzz Pedals currently available.
Plus, as mentioned, to get the very best out of your Uni-Vibe, you’re going to need one of the Best Expression Pedals on the market.
So, What’s The Best Uni-Vibe Pedal?
Each of the pedals we looked at here is a fine choice. Yet, there will be one that separates itself from the crowd. The Best Uni-Vibe pedal is, therefore, the…
Just an all-around great pedal. It delivers genuine Uni-Vibe tones and sounds. It has excellent modulation swirl and sway. Plus, it keeps your signal pure and defined. The controls are easy to use and dial in the perfect sound. The option to use TonePrint means versatility and flexibility.
This pedal is great for beginners but will satisfy the needs of experienced players. Overall, the fact that this pedal is a 1:1 recreation makes it sound just like an Uni-Vibe should.
We hope you found this information useful. We are sure you’ll find your groove in no time with your new Uni-Vibe pedal.