Vibrato is kind of a well-kept secret of an effect. Vibrato pedals are very fun, useful pedals to own, and have the ability to make your tone stand out in really unique ways. Gibson originally started using vibrato effects on some of their old amplifiers in the 40s, which created a demand for the effect that still exists today. However, with the uprise of digital pedals, and analog pedals that are controlled with digital switching systems, the vibrato pedals of today are much more versatile then some in the past, which we will see when talking about the best vibrato pedals listed in this article.
|Image||Vibrato Pedal||Summary||Check Price|
|TC Electronic Shaker Vibrato||The most recommended vibrato pedal, the TC Electronic Shaker is a fan favorite because of its versatility, and the TonePrint functionality. It's not the most extreme vibrato, but with true bypass, great build quality, reliability, and a fair price, it's an all-around great choice. Best of the Best.||Amazon|
|BBE Mind Bender Vibrato/Chorus||A combo vibrato and chorus, the BBE Mind Bender shines with its incredible range, going from subtle to all-out levels of vibrato madness. It has a deep, lush, analog tone, and with just two knobs is dead simple to operate.||Amazon|
|Behringer Ultra Vibrato UV300||Don't have $300+ to shell out on a vintage Boss VB-2? Behringer has you covered with this faithful recreation with a price that's too low to be believed. The build quality is admittedly not great, but if you need a fantastic sounding vibrato for the price of a few coffees, you can't do much better than the UV300. Best Bang for Your Buck.||Amazon|
|Malekko Vibrato||Dead simple to use, and built like a tank, the Malekko Vibrato features analog true pitch vibrato and uses a very highly sought after circuit, resulting in one of the best - if not the best - vibrato we've ever heard. Not as versatile as the TC Electronic Shaker, but with a tone this sweet it doesn't need to be.||Amazon|
|Diamond Vibrato||The feature-rich Diamond Vibrato carries a hefty price tag and sounds fantastic. It's both an analog chorus and vibrato, and basically does everything any other vibrato pedal can do, and then some. This versatility and quality doesn't come cheap unfortunately. This is the vibrato pedal to get if you want it all.||Amazon|
- What is a Vibrato Pedal?
- Vibrato vs. Tremolo vs. Chorus
- How Did We Come Up With This List?
- The 5 Best Vibrato Pedals
- The Quintessential Vibrato Pedal: Boss VB-2
What is a Vibrato Pedal?
First, let’s cover all our bases so there's no confusion. We were surprised at how many misconceptions there are around vibrato, and what it is and is not. A vibrato pedal is a very simple concept and design. It’s a pedal that makes slow or fast changes in pitch to the original note that you played.
While the effect itself is simple by nature, vibrato has tons of uses. First off, the standard heavy vibrato effect, like the one that we hear in the lead of the Muse Song Knights of Cydonia, is easily achieved with almost any vibrato pedal. However, the extent to which you use the effect, as well as how aggressive you are on your speed and depth settings can have drastically varied results.
In the guitarist and bassist world, a lot of very interesting adjectives come into play when describing how a vibrato pedal sounds. Using the effect in more of a subtle manner you’ll hear it described as a shimmer, swell, chorusey, or wash. At more extreme settings, it’s described as being warped, and the word seasick is used quite a bit. Some guitarists utilize vibrato to create a spooky, eerie, dark guitar tone. Detuning notes can have that effect, which you’ve no doubt heard if you’ve ever watched a scary movie and a children’s toy box jingle plays slowly and slightly out of tune.
Vibrato vs. Tremolo vs. Chorus
Vibrato is often mentioned in the same context as tremolo and chorus. We find that a lot of guitarists have some confusion around how all those relate to each other. Heck, even some manufacturers get it wrong! As we mentioned, vibrato cyclically raises and lowers the PITCH of a note.
Tremolo is something totally different. Like vibrato it’s a modulation effect, except it cyclically raises and lowers the VOLUME of a note. At extreme settings, this can make the note stutter since you’re quickly and repeatedly turning the volume on and back off again. In fact, here’s an interesting fact you can use to show off around your guitarist buddies. You know the so-called tremolo arm on your guitar? It’s a complete misnomer, since the effect it achieves is actually vibrato. It should be called the vibrato arm!
Chorus is basically vibrato, with the original signal mixed back in. It is therefore a little richer and sounds like multiple voices of the same instrument. This is exactly why several vibrato pedals double as chorus pedals - when you have one effect, you’re not very far away from the other. Another way to think about the chorus-vibrato relationship is that if you take just the 100% wet signal from a chorus pedal, you basically get vibrato. A couple of the pedals we review here are vibrato/chorus combos.
- Vibrato modulates the pitch
- Tremolo modulates the volume
- Chorus is vibrato with the original signal mixed back in
How Did We Come Up With the Best Vibrato Pedals?
So, how exactly did we come up with this list of pedals? There are dozens (perhaps hundreds) of vibrato pedals to choose from, and narrowing them down to the 5 “best” is quite presumptuous of us! Well, it’s important to us that you know where we get our information from, and how we make these selections.
There certainly is no such thing as the “best” pedal of any type of effect, since that’s very subjective by nature. Things like playing style and budget dictate what is best for your own situation. So, rather than just pick pedals out of the blue, we do some heavy duty research.
Our process takes days - sometimes weeks - and involves scouring the internet for any and every discussion relating to vibrato pedal recommendations. We look in every nook and cranny where guitarists and bassists hang out, and unearth these discussion threads. Taking people’s recommendations and reviews gives us a tally of which pedals people are talking about and recommending the most. We also read through user reviews from online musical instrument stores, to make sure we’re reading about all the pros and cons from musicians of varied backgrounds and skill levels.
Once we have a master list, we take the top 5, and head to our local music shops to try them out for ourselves. After all that research and effort, we feel we’re pretty decently qualified to give you the rundown of what we found.
Regardless of your skill level and budget, we sincerely hope we deliver some great recommendations to you for a vibrato pedal, and we also hope you learn a thing or two in the process. If you have something to teach or tell us, please chime in the comments below this guide!
The 5 Best Vibrato Pedals
TC Electronic Shaker Vibrato
It never ceases to amaze us just how well loved the TC Electronic TonePrint series of pedals is amongst the guitarist community. Another fantastic entry in their lineup is the TC Electronic Shaker Vibrato pedal. Vote for vote, this is the most recommended vibrato pedal out there. We’ve said this before, but TC Electronic TonePrint pedals are quite simply very good in the areas that count: ease of use, customization via the TonePrint feature, quality/durability, and reasonable price tags that won’t break the bank. Let’s talk about why the TC Shaker tops our list of best vibrato pedals.
Right out of the box, this is a very attractive pedal. The white knobs look great over the metallic red/orange finish. It’s smaller than a typical Boss pedal, and like other pedals from TC, the Shaker feels solid and well-built. Nothing to write home about, but based on all of the reviews we read, it can withstand some abuse. The stomp switch also has a nice “action” to it, the click is solid and satisfying but not too loud and “clicky.” Sometimes, little things like that count for a lot! Power requirement is a 9 V DC power supply (it does not come with one).
The controls are laid out intuitively, and labeled accordingly. You have four knobs at your disposal - SPEED, DEPTH, RISE TIME, and TONE. A small 3-way toggle switch takes you between Vibrato, TonePrint, and Latch modes which we’ll explain shortly. SPEED and DEPTH are the obligatory vibrato controls, allowing you to modify the fundamental aspects of the effect; speed is the rate at which the pitch oscillates, and depth is the extent to which each oscillation bends the pitch. The RISE TIME knob is an interesting and cool inclusion, and you can basically think of it like an “attack” setting. That is, it controls how slowly or quickly the vibrato fades in. This has many applications, one of which is emulating a Leslie speaker. The TONE is your basic brightness/frequency adjustment, which is nice to have to balance out how bright and shimmery, or how dark and muffled you like your tone. Note that your guitar and amp combo will determine a lot of how the TONE knob is used. We used the TC Electronic Shaker with a Tele and Fender amp, and then compared that with a Les Paul and Vox AC15, and the results were pretty different when adjusting the vibrato pedal’s Tone knob, as you probably could have guessed!
The TC Electronic Shaker has three modes of operations which you select using a little toggle switch near the top:
- When set to Vibrato mode, you can simply use the pedal as is, and adjust the knobs to your liking, just as you would any other guitar pedal. This is your basic mode of operation for this pedal.
- TonePrint mode lets you use a vibrato “preset” which you can download off of the TC Electronic website, or create yourself using the TonePrint editor software (you transfer them to the pedal via the USB connection, or wirelessly from your smartphone). It’s fun to try out the TonePrints created by artists such as Doug Aldrich, Joe Perry, John Petrucci, Juan Alderete, and many more. Sure, not all of them will be for you, but that’s exactly the point - no two guitarists have the exact same taste, so surely you’ll be able to find one of the TonePrints that suits your style. And remember, you can always create and store your own.
- The third mode is Latch, which lets you activate the vibrato effect only when your foot is pressing down on the switch, letting you accentuate chords or passages with vibrato whenever you want. We had a lot of fun with this mode when testing out this pedal. Latch mode is a momentary effect which you can almost think of as a much more extreme way of using the tremolo arm on your guitar (which is a misnomer by the way, since the “tremolo arm” is actually vibrato).
The versatility these modes provide is one of the best reasons to get your hands on the Shaker.
In terms of how it sounds, while the vibrato produced by the TC Shaker is undoubtedly excellent, the vibrato style you can achieve with this pedal is more on the basic side of things. What we mean by that is it’s not one of those pedals lauded for being extreme, crazy, and experimental. Rather, it’s more of a “play it safe” vibrato. Even with the depth set to maximum, you might be left wanting if you’re looking for an extremely creepy, disorienting, mind-bending kind of tone. On the plus side, with the knobs dialed back, the vibrato is wonderfully subtle, and makes this a perfect candidate for an always-on vibrato pedal.
Bottom Line: Price-wise, it’s not exactly a budget pedal, but it’s also nowhere near “I will never be able to afford this” level. If we’re being picky, a price tag of $20 less would bump the TC Electronic Shaker to irresistible territory, but considering what you’re getting, we can see how the price is fair and justified. The versatility and TonePrint feature really seal the deal for us with the Shaker. If you’re a control freak and want to really go deep in designing a bespoke vibrato tone, check out this user’s comments on using the TonePrint editor:
I think the Shaker would be a good choice, especially when you get into the Toneprint editor. It tells you exactly what the rate is in Hz value, something that I find really useful when making presets on my Lexicon. I like to use REALLY slow LFO rates like 0.07 Hz, sweeping delay times between 0 ms and 20 ms (give or take a few). I do this for chorus, and I will usually add another "voice" too, like something that sweeps between 2 and 16ms at the same rate--something you can also do with the Shaker (up to 3 voices with Tri-Chorus mode!). All you have to do is engage kill-dry and you can get "Tri-Vibrato" going ;) Lot of cool stuff you can do with it
The TC Electronic shaker looks great, the build quality is top notch, it’s versatile, very customizable, true bypass, and the price puts it within reach of many guitarists. All in all, it’s easy to see why this is the Best of the Best.
BBE Mind Bender Vibrato/Chorus
Coming in second place in our list of vibrato pedals with the most recommendations and favorable reviews is the BBE Mind Bender. The interesting thing with the Mind Bender is that it’s two pedals in one - it’s both a Chorus pedal, and Vibrato. In most cases, if you want the best of breed, you would look at effects pedals that specialize in only one thing. The BBE Mind Bender surprised us with both a fantastic sounding chorus and vibrato. Of course, remember that this pairing actually makes quite a bit of sense - chorus and vibrato are essentially the same effect, the difference being that vibrato does not have the original signal mixed back in. For the purposes of this guide we’ll focus more on the vibrato tone of the Mind Bender.
The BBE Mind Bender was designed in conjunction with Will Ray of the notable American guitar group Hellecasters. If you look on the bottom-left of the pedal you’ll see his “WR” logo. An influential and talented player, it’s cool to know Will Ray’s expertise went into the making of this pedal. The BBE Mind Bender is an all-analog effect that uses a Bucket Brigade Delay circuit. It’s meant to model a couple of legendary and hard to come by vibrato pedals - the Boss VB-2, and the Way Huge Electronics Blue Hippo.
Compared to the TC Electronic Shaker, this pedal is much more simple. Right out of the box you’re greeted with a solid little box with some very cool artwork on it, two knobs, two footswitches, and that’s it! You might see two versions of this pedal in the wild, one with more psychedelic art, and the other with a much more subdued aesthetic. The latter is a newer version, but as far as we were able to research, no notable differences exist between the two. The knobs are you standard controls for controlling chorus and vibrato. On the left you have SPEED adjustment, and on the right you have DEPTH. The footswitch on the bottom-right of the pedal turns it on and off (true hardwire bypass). The switch on the left switches between chorus and vibrato. The LED light atop the pedal pulsates faster as you increase the Speed of the effect, which is a nice visual cue, and is particularly helpful in a live situation. You power the Mind Bender using a 9V battery (which is included), or a 9V DC power supply (also included, but be aware that the manual specifies it's included for "North America Only"). The battery compartment is easily accessible on the bottom of the unit.
Where the BBE Mind Bender shines is its vibrato range. It doesn’t take much playing with the two knobs to discover it’s capable of going from a subtle, slow, eerie effect, to all-out levels of vibrato madness. Either of the knobs turned past 12 o’clock will produce some interesting results, to say the least. The Mind Bender really pushes the envelope of what a vibrato pedal can do, and that’s something owners of this pedal love. Despite the ability to get crazy with it, there’s absolutely no harshness to the Mind Bender’s tone, no matter where your knobs are set. It’s particularly loved for its ability to pull off very slow yet very deep swells. As one reviewer puts it:
...incredibly expansive and deep with a lush analog sound... I can't recommend it enough.
One minor complaint we read from a handful of users is that the Mind Bender can be the slightest bit noisy, and suck a small amount of high end from your tone. This is probably a side effect of the analog Bucket Brigade circuit, but truthfully in our play testing, we were not able to replicate any severe noise issues.
Bottom Line: The BBC Mind Bender is truly unique and special pedal, and considering how good it sounds and the fact that you get a chorus and vibrato in one package, the price is remarkably low. It’s also built like a tank, and if that wasn’t enough to put your mind at ease it comes with a nice 5 year warranty. The vibrato goes from subtle to regular to madness, and we’d be surprised if it didn't fulfill even your wildest vibrato needs. Sure, you don’t get the versatility of the TonePrint like you do with the TC Shaker, but despite that the Mind Bender should earn a solid place on any best vibrato pedals list.
Behringer Ultra Vibrato UV300
Occasionally, a guitar pedal comes along that blows everyone’s mind in the value for the money camp, and the Behringer Ultra Vibrato UV300 does exactly that. It’s hard to get through a “what vibrato pedal should I get” or “what’s the best vibrato under $100” forum thread without someone mentioning the UV300. The Behringer UV300’s claim to fame is being a very good copy of the coveted Boss VB-2 Vibrato pedal, a now-discontinued pedal from the early 1980s that has solidified its status as quintessential vibrato pedal. Unfortunately, this means forking over $300+ for a used VB-2… an amount most of us cannot easily spend on a single pedal. The folks at Behringer take matters into their own hands and have created a copy of the Boss VB-2, which they offer at a price-point you need to see to believe.
First, let’s go through the layout and features of the UV300. If you’re at all familiar with the layout of the Boss VB-2, you’ll see how similar the two pedals are. You have four knobs across the top: DEPTH, RATE, RISE, and a three-way mode switch to switch between UNLATCH, BYPASS, and LATCH. No vibrato pedal is complete without DEPTH and RATE, so we won’t spend time going into those. RISE controls the time it takes for the vibrato effect to reach its maximum detuning. It basically eases the effect in, so if you want the effect to kick in instantly you should set this knob all the way to the left. Setting the 3-way toggle to UNLATCH allows you to use vibrato “on demand” only when you press down on the pedal. Basically it’s a short temporary burst of vibrato, which we’ll add is very fun and inspirational to play with. LATCH mode on the other hand is your ordinary usage of the pedal. Inclusion of a BYPASS mode is kind of strange, and we don’t really see much use in it, especially when you can simply stomp on the pedal to switch the effect off. One minor complaint raised by several reviewers is the layout of the knobs makes them hard to turn with your feet when performing live, and the tiny mode switch is particularly hard to get to. In that regard, we prefer the layout of the TC Electronic Shaker and the BBE Mind Bender, both having more “room to breathe.”
The UV300’s build quality is questionable. The enclosure is plastic as opposed to metal, and this is a sore spot for many owners of this pedal. As we’ve said before in our other guitar pedal buying guides, when a pedal actually sounds great and is priced ridiculously low, something usually has to give, and that something is often build quality and durability. On the plus side, the form factor is nice and compact. In terms of power, you can use a 9V battery, or a 9V DC power supply.
So, on to the important question: How does the Behringer Ultra Vibrato UV300 sound? Furthermore, how does it compare to its vintage and expensive role model, the Boss VB-2? We unfortunately don’t have a Boss VB-2 ourselves to do a comparison, so we scoured the web for discussions of guitarists and bassists comparing the two, and YouTube video side-by-side comparisons. After our research, we’re confident in saying that most people find the tone to be nearly identical. A few even make the bold claim that the Behringer sounds superior! It’s honestly extremely hard to tell the nuances of the two pedals, and what makes one or the other superior. The Mars Volta and Racer X bassist Juan Alderete did a very good YouTube video comparing the two. After demoing some bass and guitar playing through both vibratos, he concludes that while the Behringer is a tad less musical and the Boss VB-2 is more radical and has a little more harmonic content, the price difference makes it such that he recommends the Behringer UV300. Alderete also mentions going with the UV300 for live and touring use, as to not lose a ton of money in case your coveted and hard-to-find Boss VB-2 breaks. Watch the video and hear the pedals side-by-side here:
Bottom Line: While the enclosure feels like flimsy plastic as opposed to confidence-inspiring metal, the common sentiment seems to be, “it’s so inexpensive that if it breaks, I’ll just buy another, and still be paying less than I would for other vibrato pedals.” We really cannot argue with that. In terms of the way it sounds, there are certainly richer, more complex vibrato pedals out there... but they are also 4X the price (or more). To us the Behringer UV300 sounds great. So great in fact, that while we were at our local music shop testing it, one of our staff members decided to buy one on the spot as a backup to his Diamond Tremolo. To quote him, “I’ll just skip 5 lattes, and this pedal will be paid for.”
If you’re just getting started with a pedalboard, or have simply never dived into the world of vibrato, we - as well as most online guitarist communities - recommend buying the Behringer UV300. Its extremely low price-point makes it so that you can buy it and try it out, and only be set back about $30. If you find vibrato is an important part of your sound, there is plenty of room to move up in price, and you can save up for one of the other vibratos on our list. Perhaps you’ll even score a Boss VB-2! We deem the Behringer Ultra Vibrato UV300 the Best Bang for your Buck.
Coming in a strong fourth place on our rundown of the best vibrato pedals is the Malekko Vibrato, from their Omicron series of pedals. This vibrato pedal absolutely rocks and its simplicity, small enclosure, and reasonable price tag sweeten the deal.
There’s not much to write about in the layout and looks department. The enclosure is tiny, which means you can have an excellent vibrato without taking up much precious space on your pedalboard. Malekko is one of those pedal manufacturers you can count on for rock-solid build quality. We would take this pedal on tour no problem, it definitely feels like it can take the abuse. As far as vibrato pedals go, they don’t get much easier to use than this one. It only has two knobs - yeah you guessed it, SPEED and DEPTH. No user manual necessary here. The primary switch is a standard footswitch that “clicks” as you turn the vibrato on and off.
While there’s not much to say about the usage and features, we can write at length about how the Malekko Vibrato sounds. Simply put, it’s an awesome vibrato pedal. It features analog true pitch vibrato, and uses a MN3007 Bucket Brigade Delay integrated circuit, which is discontinued and highly sought after in the guitar pedal community (to give you an idea of how sought after it is, it’s frequently counterfeited). The tone is definitely something special, and this pedal has a really nice, broad range between the Speed and Depth. It can be subtle if that’s more your style, producing a slow, eerie shimmer. Crank up the knobs and you’ll be in a world of warped madness. When using the Depth knob, we find that most settings before the 12 o’clock position offer more than enough to work with (this is similar to what we found with the BBE Mind Bender vibrato pedal). Turn the speed all the way down and the depth around 10 o’clock for a very subtle, warm, chorus-like shimmer. If you switch your playing from major to minor chords, that warm shimmer turns into a eerie, creepy, slightly seasick atmosphere. The Malekko Vibrato just oozes beautiful tone and warmth. Watch this 5 minute video demo, and see if you can help falling in love with how this pedal sounds.
One thing to be aware of is how to power this pedal. It will operate with a 9V DC power supply (which is not included), but using an 18V DC supply might yield better results. From a user that owns it:
The Malekko vibrato I have gets OBSCENELY deep and fast. Best run at 18V or it has a slight volume drop and tonesuck. But not too bad.
Bottom Line: To quote Shakespeare, “...though she be but little, she is fierce.” We feel that describes the Malekko Vibrato perfectly. It’s actually our personal favorite of the 5 best vibrato pedals we’re reviewing in this list. Its simplicity is not for everyone; for something a little more customizable and versatile, the TC Electronic Shaker might be more your speed. Still, for a reasonable price point the Malekko Vibrato offers ease of use, true bypass, and an absolutely awesome analog true pitch vibrato... all in a space-saving form factor. Used by U2's The Edge, Wayne Sermon of Imagine Dragons, and Chris Allen of Neon Trees, among others. You’ll also find this one on our pedalboards, no question.
Rounding out our top 5 list of the best vibrato pedals is the Diamond Vibrato. This is a fantastic pedal, and given its price tag it’s definitely the premium choice out of all our recommendations. You’ll need to save up for this one, but at least on paper, it is one of the most versatile and useful vibrato pedals money can buy. It doubles as a chorus pedal, offers unprecedented control with two expression pedal inputs for the speed and depth, and 100% analog true pitch modulation.
At nearly 5 inches wide and 5 inches tall, this is a pretty large pedal as far as vibratos go, which might be a deterrent if you’re short on space on your pedalboard. In true Diamond fashion, it’s built like a tank. We’re also fans of the way it looks; simple, but definitely recognizable on pedalboards. Pay attention to the power requirements of this pedal. It comes standard with an 18 or 24V switching power supply. If you have a pedal power supply, just make sure you’re providing the Diamond Vibrato a minimum of 18V.
In terms of features, it’s as if Diamond took the best of all the other pedals on this list, and combined them to make the ultimate vibrato pedal. The inclusion of a VOL knob is handy for matching the level of the bypassed sound to the sound of the pedal engaged, or of course an extra boost if you need it. The CHORUS knob lets you mix in the dry signal which turns your vibrato into a warm, shimmering analog chorus (you’ll recall that the chorus effect is essentially vibrato with the dry signal mixed back in). Just like the BBE Mind Bender, this pedal gives you two great effects in one package. DEPTH and SPEED knobs are also present. The knobs are nice and large and laid out nicely, making adjustments easy even when using your foot. In between the knobs you’ll find two mini toggles. The one labeled Jazz kicks in a jazz mode for a warmer, darker, more vintage vibe. While it by no means makes or breaks the pedal, we like the added versatility. The toggle labeled High significantly increases the depth of the vibrato, expanding the range of crazy pitch modulation you can achieve. On the right side of the Diamond Vibrato you’ll find two expression pedal inputs. One lets you control the Depth with an expression pedal, so you can gradually bring in the vibrato effect. This is a much more granular way to control the Rise Time like on the TC Electronic Shaker. The other expression pedal input is for the vibrato Speed, which can be very useful if you want to match the vibrato rate to the tempo of the song you’re playing.
It probably won’t surprise you that the Diamond Vibrato sounds really, really nice, both with and without the chorus dialed up. Like the Malekko, it’s designed around the MN3007 bucket brigade device. No matter if you’re dialing in a slow, spooky shimmer or crazy seasick wobbles, the Diamond Vibrato sounds warm and clean. The 15V internal operating voltage ensures high headroom and low noise.
Bottom Line: Diamond are at the top of the game for pedal manufacturers; this vibrato is no exception. Think of it this way; with this pedal, you get:
- The versatility of the TC Electronic Shaker (minus the TonePrint feature).
- The two-in-one vibrato/chorus combo of the BBE Mind Bender.
- The 100% analog true pitch modulation of the Malekko.
- You’ll come close to the prestige of the Boss VB-2.
The one obvious downside of the Diamond is its steep price tag. Doing everything, and doing everything very well does not come cheap. Notable users include The Edge, Steven Wilson of Porcupine Tree, and Tame Impala’s Kevin Parker.
Well, that rounds out our top 5 vibrato pedals, as determined by tallying up the most talked about and most recommended pedals across various guitarist communities. However, we can't quite call it a day before mentioning one more pedal...
The Quintessential Vibrato Pedal: Boss VB-2
No best vibrato buying guide is complete without mentioning the coveted king of vibrato pedals, the Boss VB-2. This is one of the more legendary Vibrato pedals out there, and is actually what many guitarists and bassists think of when they think of Vibrato pedals. Although it is very expensive, if you're the type that has to have the one, it's definitely worth the money. Sound-wise, it certainly has one of the better sounding vibrato tones. Some even go as far as to say that it is one of the best sounding modulation pedals that money can buy. We don't know if we would go that far, but we would definitely say that it is an amazing sounding pedal, and worth the price of admission. It first debuted in 1982; but has since been reissued as the Boss VB-2W. Either the vintage VB-2 or the modern VB-2W Reissue would be an awesome pedal to have in any pedalboard setup. Also, a big plus for this pedal is that it follows the typical Boss layout/design, so it is really easy to use for anyone who grew up using Boss pedals which, let’s face it, is most of us.
If you're interested in the original vintage Boss VB-2, check eBay for prices and availability. We wouldn't bet on it, but who knows, you might score a great deal on one!