Magnatone amps included vibrato in their amps as far back as 1957, but went out of business circa 1969. The effect was lost until Boss issued their VB-2 Vibrato pedal in 1982 to resounding crickets. But in the last couple of years the effect’s surge of popularity has caused Boss to reissued the VB-2 in Waza form, while Earthquaker Devices, T.C. Electronic, and others have also launched vibrato pedals. Even Magnatone is back in business. Nels Cline recently told me that he is afraid he uses his VB-2 too much. So, it is not surprising to see Electro-Harmonix enter the field. But first let’s clear up exactly what vibrato is, and is not.
Vibrato as a pedal effect is having a moment. Boss has released the Waza Version of the Boss VB-2 and EarthQuaker debuted the Aqueduct. I recently did a column on the effect for Electronic Musician, and now here is the Joe Gore Purr Vibrato.
Today, EarthQuaker Devices drops their Aqueduct Vibrato ($199 USD), a true pitch-shifting vibrato. You will soon see lots of demos. I am throwing my hat in the ring with a few sounds that might interest the modern guitarist, as well as a review (spoiler alert, it’s a rave).