What makes some tremolo pedals so expensive?

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by '59Bursty, Feb 7, 2012.

  1. '59Bursty

    '59Bursty Member

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    Well I guess I should probably mention first that I have zero experience with tremolo pedals. Never owned one but have always liked the sound of them in the music I have heard them in. Thinking about picking one up but first.....

    So I shopped around today and found that there is such a wide price range for these. Some of the boutique ones appear to be really simple with limited features so I guess your not really paying for extra features. Other than the fact that they are obviously built a little bit better and they offer actual customer service, what makes these so much more expensive than the rest? Can a random handful of different tremolo pedals really sound that different? Is it the sound then or what?

    Again I have no personal experience with these but it seems like such a simple function it needs to perform.
     
  2. NB_Terry

    NB_Terry Member

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    I've had a couple $200 tremolo pedals, and I've sold them and now use a $30 Dano Trem.

    I think if one's trem needs are simple and only a tune here and there, money is better spent elsewhere.
     
  3. yerbluesrob

    yerbluesrob Supporting Member

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    Some tremolos have different characteristics, but I don't necessarily think that the the more they cost the better they are. I've owned quite a few, and I think some of the more expensive ones sound great, but the cheaper ones can sound really good too. Currently I have a Marshall Vibra-Trem and a Boss TR-2 on my board if that tells you anything.
     
  4. Paulstarr

    Paulstarr Member

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    Man look for an used Electro Harmonix Pulsar...one of the best...I paid 60 bucks for it last month
     
  5. dirk_benedict

    dirk_benedict Supporting Member

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    Mostly marketing. But some of it is features too. Many basic trems sound ok, but have a perceived volume change that you can't dial out on the pedal itself. The pricier ones have a control to "correct" for that.

    Then others have different wave shapes...tap tempo, stereo ins/outs, and/or panning..ramping sometimes.

    That BBE Tremor looks like a really neat low-$ trem.

    The Marshall Vibratrem is also very good. The knobs are hard to read on stage however, but otherwise exceedingly great for the cost.
     
  6. henryjurstin13

    henryjurstin13 Member

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    I saw a 4 knob Voodoo lab trem just a couple days ago for $65... I've got a Flint now, but that Voodoo was one of my favorites!!!
     
  7. tremolo3

    tremolo3 Member

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    +1 on the Marshall Vibratrem, way underrated. It even has an amazing vibrato mode.

    I paid like $220 for my Empress because tap tempo, expression output and presets are features that I really needed.
    But it doesn't "sound" better than any cheap $30 tremolo.
     
  8. wyldesigns

    wyldesigns Member

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    If they dont have a ton of extra bells and wistles, i'd say the only thing making them more exspensive is hype, as with some $200-300 overdrives..

    I love my Boss TR-2.

    I also have a Carl Martin Trem'Ovibe which is alot more expensive, but does not justify the cost imo. I got it in a good trade. The only reason I use it more regularly than the Boss, is because it's got a vibrato section aswell, so basically two pedals in one.
     
  9. mediabuyout

    mediabuyout Supporting Member

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    you can pry my zvex sonar from my cold, dead hands
     
  10. Ulug

    Ulug Member

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    I suspect the price difference might be due to their circuits being analog vs. digital. Do y'all think this is a reasonable assumption?
     
  11. bt2513

    bt2513 Member

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    Yea - they do sound different. Case in point, the Flint pedal to emulate 3 different types of tremolo to go slightly beyond things like wave forms, depth, and intensity. I think a lot of the cost and associated value with these comes with how closely the pedal can emulate "_____" amplifier. Then you get into extra features like tap tempo, stereo, and other X-factors. Trem is not a ground breaking effect per se, but can certainly be treated like other basic effect categories (i.e., vibrato, chorus, delay). Lots of variety in those veins too.
     
  12. aaronmcoleman

    aaronmcoleman Member

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    tremolo is just the increase and decrease of volume. there are dozens if not more ways to accomplish that. some guys use some fairly expensive parts. because it's a more "advanced" circuit than an OD, some guys put a lot of R&D time into it.

    but in a lot of cases that's just BS...they just copied the EA tremolo (which requires neither R&D nor expensive parts). so, unfortunately, it comes down to the same thing as most when it comes to pedals...hype and marketing.
     
  13. aaronmcoleman

    aaronmcoleman Member

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    tremolos though do have a huge range of sweeps, wave shapes, depth, as well as control options and presets. so you have to look at the total package and what it does. if it costs $250 but does everything you need it to, then it's probably worth the cost.
     
  14. JinX78

    JinX78 Member

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    I replaced my boss tr2 with a fulltone supatrem, the older black one. The boss was a great, simple trem and got the job done. But when i first heard the fulltone' clean boost (which is a kinda secondary function) I was blown away. So there's that. I think it was totally worth the extra money, especially because I bought used.
     
  15. dirk_benedict

    dirk_benedict Supporting Member

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    Hmmm, are there digital tremolos?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  16. 9520575

    9520575 Member

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    I don't think thats a reasonable assumption. Most tremolos are analog. Its the type of effect that is really easy to make analog. The cheap ones are all analog for the most part. The strymon flint is the one tremolo that I can think of that is digital.
     
  17. DonaldDemon

    DonaldDemon Member

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    I got my Tremolessencse in a trade and was a little shocked when I saw the prices on these. I had the Tuna Melt before that and it was great for the price. Before that I had the SupraTrem and Demeter, which are also nice but I don't know if the cost can be justified. I would be as happy with a Boss or Dano but I like the volume + treble control on the Dr Scientist. Funny part is I barely use trem so looking back, I have no idea why I had these expensive boutique versions lol.
     
  18. jaschinski

    jaschinski Supporting Member

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    I had a tremelo pedal that sounded fine to me. Lots of adjustments and fairly expensive. Never used it that much and couldn't see the fuss. Then I picked up a cheap used Silvertone amp that had a tremelo channel on it. Holy snap. Absolutely lush throbbing tone. Now I only use tremolo when it's built into the amp. Very different than a pedal varying the volume.
     
  19. Cgkindler

    Cgkindler Member

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    I've got a tremolo pedal, only because it was an effect I didn't have and I wanted to see what it was all about. Went to GC and tried to figure it out. So many options on the pedals, and I wasn't sure which one would work the best.

    I ended up going with a Diamond trem. It was the best/most simply laid out, and I had read about the quality of them on here. I figured I couldn't go wrong with a quality made pedal.

    Well, turns out this things has a lot of different uses!! It does an excellent basic throb, and then there's the "other" stuff. Super choppy effect that I aliken to the sound of Cotten Eyed Joe. It also has a random and chaos mode, so it's real cool to make solos interesting. Then there's a manual mode where it goes off when you hit the tap tempo switch.

    Plus there's a host of other uses. It was $249, so not cheap by any means, but it sucks no tone whatsoever, it even might add a little sweetness, and it's built like a tank.

    I do have a Dano Tuna Melt I got for dree from a friend and it sounds excellent too!
     
  20. fieldsroyal

    fieldsroyal Member

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    I use a Goatkeeper trem and it is worth every penny of what I paid (300 used) - it inspires me to create new music.
     

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