Tremelo Pedal with good vintage fender tones and versatile throbbing/choppy sounds

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by echo unit, Dec 10, 2005.

  1. echo unit

    echo unit Member

    Dec 10, 2005
    I have looked all over the internet and compiled this list of Tremelo Pedals that have been praised and put down by many people.

    I am looking to buy one of these and would like some advice from others who have used these or gone through some of these and have eventually setteld on a favorite.

    I want something that does the vintage Fender Thing very well but can also be versatile enough to do the more trobbing and choppy square wave stuff too. Good tone is extremely important to me.

    Of the sound clips I listened to, the Monster effects Swamp Thang was most clearly the winner in the vintage fender only category. I loved it's sound but it is not versatile enough and won't do the throb or chop.

    Also many people raved about the Demeter tremulator which was designed in part by Ry Cooder of all people but the sound clips are awful and the waveform of the Demeter sounds like it is way to quick to rise in volume even on the slower settings it kind of starts ramping and then whoomp, it shoots up in volume really quick...reminds of a helicopter propellor when it's just getting going. That kind of threw me off because it isn't natural and smooth like a vintage trememlo should be. Not in the sound clips anyway.

    Many people had great things to say about the Frantone Vibutron but I couldn't find any sound clips of it.

    The Fulltone Supa-Trem was loved and hated equally. Many people claimed it sounded sterile, like an effect and not part of the amp but an add on.

    People complain about the noise with the Diaz, the volume boost with the Guyatone Flip, the ticking sound with the Menatone and the darkness of the Demeter.

    Here they are in no order

    Austone vibro-stomp
    BJF Saffron Yellow Tremelo
    Diaz Texas Tremodillo
    Demeter Tremulator
    Toneczar Powerglide
    Kaden Fluttetone
    Guyatone Flip VTX Vintage Tube Tremolo
    Roger mayer voodoo vibe
    Red Witch Tremelo
    Dunlop TS-1 tremelo stereo pan
    Menatone Pleasure Trem 5000
    Frantone Vibutron
    Fulltone Supa-Trem
    Monster Effects Swamp Thang
    Auralux King Trem
    V-Trem by JTPedals
    Blues Pearl Tejas Trem

    If you have an opinion that would help me choose one of these please shoot!
  2. Leftee

    Leftee Guest

    Marshall VT-1.

    There's no cork to sniff on those, but they are an amazing value in Trem pedals.;)
  3. JKoeth

    JKoeth Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2005
    Cleveland, OH
    I have tried the Demeter & Fulltone.

    The Demeter sucked tone even when not engaged (off). It had a cool sound and more vibe than the Fulltone when on though. I don't believe it is True Bypass. It also has an uncommon AC tap which was a little unpractical to me.

    The Fulltone was much more versatile but added a sterility to the tone in some ways. It also added high end to my signal even when not engaged. This pedal is True Bypass but even TB pedals can affect tone in somewhat negative ways.

    What I am looking for is a combination of these two pedal's strengths while not having their weaknesses.

    I'm on the list for a Powerglide from Toneczar. If the Echoczar and Angel Baby are any indication, it should be exactly what I've been searching for.
  4. BmoreTele

    BmoreTele Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2003
    Bmore, Murlin
    I have used a bunch.

    Dano Tuna Melt - damn good for the $. Hard and soft waves. Sounds pretty good. No True Bypass. Tiny buttons, plastic, cheap (that's good).

    3ms/4ms tremulus lune - these are all over the map. Since a lot of different folks can order the parts or PCB's and do the work themselves, quality varies. The good ones are very good. There are a lot of variations of options on these: single or dual LFO, ramp switch, double/half toggle, gain/volume control. One I had was the absolutely ugliest pedal I have ever seen. :)

    Roger Mayer Voodoo Vibe - The tremolo on the VV is only one third of the available modes: vibrato, chorus-univibe, and trem. It is VERY tweakable, sounds great, can do a lopsided wobble, can have the speed controlled by any volume pedal, and will NOT do a hard chop stutter. You can control the output to make it louder or softer than your primary signal. Big, pricey, three fx in one.

    EHX Pulsar - TB, covers a huge speed range, does square and triangle wave forms plus you can shift the center of the cycle to get the lopsided forms like the VV, will do forms the VV won't do - small and large pulses. Does a sort of doubled beat with the Depth maxed. High speed gets ring moddish. No volume control, but mine has no volume drop. Not a warm tone, but not cold either. Modern tones. Rather big, great price, extra tricks.

    FabsMuff TremoloLux - two types of trem (tube throb and more modern pulse) in one box with independent speed and depth controls. You could use one at a time or both at the same time for some cool syncopated fx. Two soft waves and one hard one. True Bypass. Extra Gain control for some grit. Made by a DIY guy in Brazil. I had two, traded one, the other one died. It was nice while it lasted. Oh, did I mention it cost me $50?

    Alesis ModFx Ampliton - digital. Does tremolo and auto pan. Tap tempo, random patterns, square and triangle wave forms. Stereo ins and outs. You can use one at a time or both together. If you run in mono, the auto pan acts as a second independent tremolo for syncopated fx. Designed for DJ's - you need an external momentary switch if you want to turn it on and off with your foot, wants a line level signal, hard to work into a straight guitar rig without using a looper with EQ or volume control. Does some interesting stuff - nice for recording. Discontinued. Going for under $50 on Ebay.

    Adrenalinn - digital. Stereo outs. Will do tremolo and auto pan as ell as amp sims, drum beats, and a bunch of other fx. Another one that's hard to fit into a live rig. Better with a mixer or in recording. It's does some very cool beat synced fx, including tremolo. Price is dropping on the original version.

    Z Vex Seek Trem - TB. A totally different take (as Zach tends to do) huge range of tones and fx. From blip stutters to smoooooooth. An awful lot of knobs, but who's counting. Small, pricey.

    Z Vex Trem Probe - basically a SHO circuit with a proximity plate to turn the volume up or down. Sounds limited only by your imagination and agility. I see this one going for relatively low prices used.

    Auralux King Trem - a tremolo with character. Two indpendent speeds with a foot switch to toggle between them. Stereo outs. Has more than a little univibe flavor. Very swirly and rich. No hard chop. Big as the Pulsar, pricey new. I got a great deal on one used.

    Red Witch Pentavocal Trem - Very deep EQ. TB. Five voicings - shimmer to throb. Square and triangle waves. Pretty good chop. The Bottom control eluded me, it's subtle. Very good tones. Going for under $200 used.

    Frantone Vibutron - square, triangle, and sine waves. TB. I really like the way this one sounds. Stutter hard chop to slow and smooooooooth. I got this in a trade. Good deal. :AOK

    I have had a Fender Twin Reverb and several Gibson amps with tremolo. The pedals I have tried that come closest to amp tremolo are the Vibutron, Voodoo Vibe, and Red Witch. The others do their own things - some quite nicely.

    I'm gonna get me a Tap-a-Whirl too. :dude
  5. drolling

    drolling Member

    Feb 1, 2005
    Up here in the gear desert, I've never had a chance to try any of the pedals on your list, but tremolo has got to be one of my all-time favorite effects.

    For Fender style, I use a rackmount Peavey Valveverb. Real tube trem & full size spring reverb, sounds close to the Fender stand-alone box.

    In the versatile, throbby, choppy, but not really amp-like category, I use;
    Boss PN-2- trem/pan w/hard & soft switch
    M-Audio Black Box- several flavours of tweakable beat synched trem
    Big Briar moogerfooger ring mod- the LFO side of this pedal produces some really kooky trem effects
  6. jj4guitar

    jj4guitar Guest

    Demeter Tremulator is the one for me for sure. It is true bypass, does not suck my tone at all. I did have some problems with reliability, and had to go through 2 of them before I got one that worked well. was not impressed with James customer service anymore. I used to Play Demeter amps back in the day, and quit for this very reason. Sounds great, but reliability can be an issue. Hopefully this has been resolved This was 2 years ago I went through this. It is the best tone of all the boutiques I have tried however.
  7. TAVD

    TAVD Guitar Player Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 20, 2004
    You should add the CAE tremolo to your list. It does square & triangle waves and sounds really good. I'm not sure I'd consider it versatile but it does have 2 channels so you can set one for chop and one for more subtle trem.
  8. Dave Orban

    Dave Orban Member

    Jan 6, 2002
    Trenton, NJ
    I've owned the Dunlop and the Diaz Tremodillo.

    I still own the Fulltone Supratrem.
  9. classic

    classic Member

    Oct 3, 2005
    Saco, ME
    Here's one not mentioned...Tim Jauernig's Twin rate Trem. Let's you program 2 trem settings. Sounds great IMHO! Sells for approx. $140. Check him out at:
  10. cvansickle

    cvansickle Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2004
    Atlanta, GA USA
    Nobody's mentioned the Voodoo Lab Tremolo yet. I have one that I use with my Mesa Blue Angel exclusively. I don't think I've ever played any vintage Fender tremolo myself, so I don't know whether or not the Voodoo Lab is in the ballpark. It sounds pretty good to me, and it can dial in several different usable trem tones.
  11. erksin

    erksin Member

    Nov 17, 2004
    What about the Sherlock Tremit..?
  12. billyC

    billyC Member

    Mar 11, 2005
    Takoma Park, MD
    I dig the Keeley-modded Boss TR-2 Tremolo.
    He cleans up the tone circuit and adds a volume control.
    Does both smooth vintage and choppy square waves.
    To my ears it sounds a lot like tube amp trem when used in the FX loop.
  13. Ben C.

    Ben C. Member

    Jul 21, 2005
    New England
    The Demeter Tremulator is NOT true bypass. Not trying to hassle ya, just making sure misinformation doesn't start spreading around.

    And my vote for trem goes to the Kaden Fluttertone (had a Tremulator and Tremodillo). I like the smooth sine wave and warm tone of the pedal, plus having a volume knob is nice to see in addition to speed and depth. The only thing I don't care for is that it's pretty easy to overdrive with humbuckers or even hot single coils... so you really have to modulate your picking intensity or volume knob if you're trying to do a clean thang. However, it's overall sound is the closest I've found to what I want... and how many trems are: small boxed, have inputs and outputs at the TOP of the pedal, have an overall volume knob, and are true bypass. If only it wouldn't distort as easilly, it would be perfect.

    Pic of my Fluttertone

  14. davidkiddmusic

    davidkiddmusic Member

    Jul 28, 2005
    La la land
    You seriously just need to try or buy a Cusack Tap-a-whirl tremolo pedal. It is an amazing TAP TEMPO all analog circuit tremolo pedal. There is NO coloration of tone, NO noise, and NO volume jump or volume loss when engaged. It has 8 different tremolo forms and I use it because it sounds like it is part of my amp. The sine wave setting sounds better than my '66 BF Deluxe Reverb, and I have had numerous guitar player friends of mine comment on how natural sounding it is to my setup and how great the trem sound specifically was. You should definately check out this one!
  15. El Jimbo

    El Jimbo Member

    Jun 7, 2004
    Brissie, Oz.
    That would fit the requirements of this thread.

    BTW Dale Sherlock is about to come out with the Tremit IV which will have a lot more features and sound even more swampy if needed. Should be a nice option for a lot of people since all the new mods are based on user feedback.
  16. echo unit

    echo unit Member

    Dec 10, 2005
    Well, so far for versatility and overall good tone it looks like these are the ones at the top:

    Fantone Vibutron

    Fulltone Supa-Trem

    Kaden Fluttertone

    Cusack Tap-a-whirl tremolo

    Keeley-modded Boss TR-2 Tremolo

    Has anyone anything to say about the Monster Effects Swamp Thang?

    Anymore opinions that would help me pick one of the above would be great! I am kind of leaning towards the Vibutron at the moment as all the things I have read about it were very positive and it looks to be very versatile with haing a 3 position knob to switch between sine, triangle and square waveforms. The Kaden sound samples were great, much like the Swamp Thang clips but not having the versatility of the Vibutron.
  17. echo unit

    echo unit Member

    Dec 10, 2005
    Does anyone have any thoughts on deciding on one of these that I have picked? Am I missings something else which is superior to these, especially the Vibutron which I am leaning towards. Anyone have a bad experience witht the Vibutron?
  18. billyC

    billyC Member

    Mar 11, 2005
    Takoma Park, MD
    In case you haven't seen the results of this trem shoot-out, it was useful in my decision making and it features the Swamp Thang...

    While I , too, was impressed with the sound of the Kaden Fluttertone I'm not sure it satisfies your requirement of choppy sqaure waves. Which is why I didn't buy it. My only disappointment with my Keeley-modded Boss is that it is a little sterile sounding in front of the amp... but it sounds sweeter in the FX loop.

    IMHO, the Cusack Tap-a-Whirl is the most feature-packed and inventive (brake/fade) pedal of the bunch. It was just out of my price range. Come to think of it, you can buy the Kaden AND the Boss for the price of any of the others on your short list.
  19. teddy boy

    teddy boy Member

    Oct 23, 2005
    Just to add to the question....

    Does anybody make a dynamics controlled tremolo? I.e. the tremolo rate gets faster the harder you pick and slows down as the notes decay?

  20. mprvise

    mprvise Member

    Apr 26, 2005
    In the back room
    Of the sound clips I listened to, the Monster effects Swamp Thang was most clearly the winner in the vintage fender only category. I loved it's sound but it is not versatile enough and won't do the throb or chop.

    Echo, this statement you made pretty much sums it up. I own one and it does what I want - vintage Fender trem (among the slowest trems I've ever played when the speed switch is activated). I love it, but it does not do the hard/fast chop thing.

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