Filter content by area of interest
Boost and Overdrive

4 Dedicated Compact Vibrato Pedals for Your Consideration

BossChorus and VibratoDigiTechEarthQuaker DevicesModulationTC Electronic+-

So this article was obviously triggered by the recent EarthQuaker Devices Aqueduct Vibrato pedal launch. At the time only two other dedicated Vibrato pedals sprung to mind - the old classic Boss VB-2 and TC Electronic’s Shaker pedal. I had quite forgotten about the DigiTech Stereo Ventura Vibe - which I had actually acquired as a backup - for its stereo rotary mode.


The vast majority of ’Vibrato’ pedals out there tend to be the more classic pairing of Chorus/Vibrato. Which I have featured on a number of posts on this site. Dedicated Vibrato pedals are rather fewer and farther between - and I have ended up with this somewhat obvious quartet despite trawling all the usual pedal resources to try to find further alternatives.


I find each of these offers something unique and different, but the new Aqueduct certainly raises the game quite a bit for those who want textural versatility.


I’m not convinced I need a dedicated Vibrato in my pedal-chain - I have a number of multi-modulation pedals besides the Chase Bliss Audio Warped Vinyl Chorus/Vibrato. I certainly think the Aqueduct looks interesting, but I’m not sure I totally need it in my life - even though it sounds as fantastic as Pedal Zone Stefan Fast’s demo below.


Pedals are listed in alphabetic order by brand:

Boss VB-2W Waza Craft Vibrato - £165

This is still probably the best known dedicated Vibrato on the market - relatively recently re-launched as a Waza Craft version - with the addition of Standard | Custom slider voicing switch. This is the one really that is the benchmark - with its Rate, Depth and Rise Time dials and Latched or Momentary function rotary Mode switch. It's a very decent classic vibrato pedal here with that benchmark sound - but it's also the least versatile one on offer here.

DigiTech Ventura Vibe - £122

This one had somewhat slightly slipped my mind - I had acquired it as a backup / alternative to my Tech 21 NYC Roto Choir pedal - as the 3rd mode here is a Stereo Rotary one. It is roughly half the size of the Tech 21 and I thought it might come in handy if/when pedalboard space got tight. Otherwise you have Vintage and Modern modes and actually five parameters to adjust here - Speed, Depth, Mic, Tone and Drive. I would have liked it a little fatter and a bit more lush as it can feel a touch thin at times - it does have a pretty decent range of functions though.

EarthQuaker Devices Aqueduct - £205

This one really is a game-changer here - although as Stefan Fast states, I do think it's a little bit of an oversight to not include a tone dial. Beyond that - this is easily the most fun pedal here to use - with really quick and easy switching in of 8 properly useful modes. Sure the TC Electronic could probably do all those modes - but only one at a time via its TonePrint function. If I was seriously looking to get any of these, then this is the the most likely contender for straight-up vibrato. For a proper rotary effect though you really do need stereo out at least.

TC Electronic Shaker - £77

This one's been around quite a while also with its Vibrato, Latch and TonePrint modes. Its advantages are all in the TonePrint area - where you can setup your Vibrato in the most specific way - or choose an artist-created on that best suits your needs and playing style. I do think the TonePrint functionality is killer, but instead of a 3-way toggle with only one TonePrint selections, there should be a rotary dial with several. TC Electronic could easily make a pedal to match the Aqueduct - with a rotary Mode selector featuring several TonePrints - but they haven't thought to do that yet.

Final Thoughts

For me personally I have the Chase Bliss Audio Warped Vinyl II, Tech 21 Roto Choir, Boss MD-500 and Eventide H9 Max - which can all give me different flavours of Vibrato. I don't feel I really need another wholly dedicated pedal just for this modulation.


As I've said variously above - I do find that the Aqueduct is the best 'Vibrato' choice of the above - it is suitably thick and lush sounding. Way too many vibrato's sound too thin and weak. It's a criticism I could level at the Ventura Vibe, although that has the 'Drive' element to help beef up the sound - but I think the core algorithm could do with an slight update too. I think generally players are looking for more versatility out of their pedals - and the Aqueduct is the one that best fits this modern need.


Each of these pedals has their strengths and weaknesses - and the Ventura Vibe's is obviously its full stereo soundstage and proper Rotary mode. The Boss also has legions of fans - in fact I've seen a smattering of all these on various pedalboards. The next two pedals to impact my pedal-chain will be the Jackson Audio Bloom (Compressor + EQ + Blooming Boost) and the still forthcoming Empress Effects Zoia - which is a Multi-Modulation / Component Sequencer pedal - which will likely have options for Vibrato too.


So I really don't think I will be adding a dedicated Vibrato any time soon - but if I were - my current choice would undoubtedly be the Aqueduct.

Share to TwitterShare to Facebook
Add New Comment
You must be registered and logged in to comment
Stefan Karlsson
Stefan Karlsson
Guitar Pedal X
News Navigation

2019 50

6 Potent Pairings - High Calibre Germanium and Silicon Compact Fuzz Face Type Pedal Pairs
"Jerome - Alas no I have not had the opportunity "...
20 days ago
6 Potent Pairings - High Calibre Germanium and Silicon Compact Fuzz Face Type Pedal Pairs
"Hi Stefan, Thank you for another insightful "...
20 days ago
2 Polyrhythmic Pattern Tremolos - Malekko Goatkeeper vs Subdecay TremCoder
"Well I can't really get one now anyway, I'd just "...
23 days ago
12 of the Best Harmonic Tremolo Pedals
"Mark - I'm sure there are several more that could "...
25 days ago
12 of the Best Harmonic Tremolo Pedals
"Catalinbread Harmonic Mesmerizer definately needs "...
25 days ago
REVV Amplification Completes its G120 Pedaliteration Trifecta with the G2 Crunchy Drive!
"Indeed - REVV make great amps and pedals - "...
25 days ago
REVV Amplification Completes its G120 Pedaliteration Trifecta with the G2 Crunchy Drive!
"Boy their stuff is so good... Really hope to see "...
25 days ago