The principle of the tremolo pedal’s (along with any other effect) is to provide you with a remarkably more versatile range of sounds that you can experiment with and ultimately express your creativity.
Did you know? The tremolo pedal first appeared in the early 40s and was one of the first effects for guitar. There are tons of tremolo pedals out in today’s market. Many vary in brand, type, style, quality… You name it! But, what is BEST for me? What tremolo pedal should I purchase?
What are the BEST Tremolo Pedals for guitar? We have narrowed down the BEST tremolo pedals to just five… These Include,
- BOSS AUDIO TR2 Tremolo Pedal
- Voodoo Lab Tremolo Pedal
- Diamond Pedals Tremolo
- Keeley KDYNA Keeley DynaTrem Tremolo
- Wampler Latitude Deluxe V2 Tremolo Guitar Effects Pedal
Each vary greatly, and function slightly differently. But, generally speaking these blend well with a wide variety of guitars and can be included in all modern styles of music, giving you a really professional output!
Below, we discuss the 5 best tremolo pedals in more detail… Let jump right in!
What Are The Tremolo Controls?
Before we go in detail about the BEST tremolo pedals for guitar it is important to understand the backbone of the tremolo pedal. Most tremolo pedals consists of three main functions, these include controls on: depth, speed & waveform.
We discuss each below…
l tremolo pedals have 3 main features/button in commoni, tese include rate and depth controls. which help manipulate the sound whioch includes the intensity of the effect, the speed, and some also offer a shape knob
- Depth – The most essential characteristic that most guitar players desire to get from a great tremolo pedal is depth. The depth will modulate the volume across a the frequency spectrum that your guitar generates. If you increase the depth then you increase the frequency range in which you’re the modulation will travel.
- Speed – The speed will determine how fast you pass through depth that has been set
- Waveform – offer the entire tremolo of your guitar. Especially, some tremolo pedal models can even give you more sophisticated waveform features including peak, square, and sine. As a result, this waveform attribute to how to effect responds. These waveforms vary from pedal to pedal. However, it is important to take note to waveform your pedal is using so that you can truly understand the aesthetics of the sound.
1. BOSS AUDIO TR2 Tremolo Pedal
In two words… Simplicity and Excellence!
I really love the Boss AUDIO TR2 Tremolo Pedal, I think it the best all-round guitar pedal. It is great for gigging, tonality, and ease-of-use. Most of all you can just plug it in and play, and you get a great sound!
Yes, it super simple to use with only having three dials it gives a good all-round tone. Making it ideal for those who just want a quick solution to add an extra dynamic to your guitar for a budget-friendly price.
This TR-2 was made from BOSS which are notorious for the sturdiness of every single product they are selling. Making it perfect for gigging, being very durable and built to last. With an easy-to-use compact design and excellent quality, it is even considered to be the industry standard in this arena.
This pedal has trio of rate, depth and wave controls providing a multitude of effect possibilities to adapt everything you require.
- Depth control – supporting you to manage the strength of the effect. By switching the wave control to square wave will also intensify the effect whilst using the triangle shape will soften the effect.
- Rate control – changes the speed which the effect is applied across all setting applied.
- Wave control – allows changing LFO waveform from triangle shape (gradual volume swells) to square wave (hard on-off) sounds.
This model only has 3 controls including rate, depth and wave providing you with the best of the basics what you would require keeping things simple as possible. Some people may see this a weak point, but i like it as it keeps things as simple as possible.
Moreover, the TR-2 is also equipped with a small footprint so that it can simply fit on your pedalboard. To conclude, the TR-2 is literally bombproof build being great for gigging and just throwing around. Boss’s rock-solid build quality means it will not be breaking down any time soon.
Overall, you have a strong sturdy pedal for gigging that has a good noticeable tone. As well as range of controls of speed and shape options including the gentle triangular tremolo to the machine gun-style square-wave chops.
2. Voodoo Lab Tremolo Pedal
The voodoo lab tremolo has all the classic sounds and beyond!
I would say it is a slight upgrade from the Boss TR2 tremolo (spoken above) as it has a few additional features. It uses the same lamp and photocell assembly that is in a lot of vintage amps giving a really nice warm vintage sound.
Be on the middle-price range of the tremolo pedal series, Voodoo Lab Tremolo is a product from Voodoo Lab gives you high-quality warm vintage tube amp trem. By utilizing the same photocell and lamp found in a lot of general vintage amps, the company re-created the buttery, seductive tone of a vintage tube amp tremolo.
As well as having a volume button, true bi-pass switch, ultra wide range of depth and speed adjustments. It has an intensity dial setting called the slope control for waveform tweaking giving you more control of the waveform.
There are 4 fundamental controls on this Voodoo Lab including intensity control, slope control, speed control and volume control.
- Intensity – Intensity setting controls the depth of the sound affecting how deep you desire the signal to get.
- Slope control – which allows you to change the shape of the tremolo waveform from a gentle peak to a hard stutter, and all points in between. This is like the equivalent to wave form. And the real magic spirit of the Voodoo Lab Tremolo stays in its Slope control for waveform tweaking. This parameter lets you adjust the feel from an original smooth mellow sound to a hard machine-gun stutter, making this model amazingly flexible.
- Speed – Next, the speed control offers an ultra-wide range of speed from very slow to super fast rate. Finally, a volume control allows you to down or boost the output level.
- Volume – Generally, when you plug your guitar into a pedal you will experience a volume drop. Additionally, messing with the slope parameters you may also find natural volume adjustments being made, so having a volume knob really does give you good customization.
- True bi-pass – when the pedal in switched off at the true bi-pass will send the original output to the amplifier.
With these 4 control buttons, you can add warm and mind-bending trem vibes to any amp.
For installing and using this tremolo, this tremolo only requires simple setup and usage. Because all 4 basic controls are easily visible on the surface of the tremolo and it is very compact and pedalboard-friendly size.
Overall, this is a remarkable quality but basic pedal. If you are wanting more control over how the tremolo functions then look at some of the other mentioned below…
3. Keeley KDYNA DynaTrem Tremolo
The DynaTrem takes the tremolo pedal to a whole new world!
This pedal was developed by Robert Keeley who brought some creative ideas to innovation table. In a word, The DynaTrem is dynamic. This pedal is a dynamic tremolo that responds to the intensity of your playing!
This pedal is an all-new type of tremolo with the possibility of responding to your playing style and the way you play will decide the depth and the rate of the output effect. The harder you play, the more aggressive it responds and the softer you play, the more relaxing you feel. to your playing style and the way you play will decide the depth and the rate of the output effect. If you pick harder the tremolo effect automatically intensifies in depth and speeds up making the effect more stronger, more abruits and more obvious to the ears. Whilst if you play softly the effect will almost fadeout having tless of the effect applied.
Understanding how this pedal operates you can easily utilize it to create some surprising lifts in your songs transitioning / performance.
- Dynamic setting – This model provides you with three operational modes. The first 2 dynamic modes are responsive by changing the variable selected for picking attack
- Dynamic Rate
- Dynamic Depth
- Harmonic Tremolo
- Shape – the shape controls the waveform. There are 4 wave-forms including Ramp Up, Sine Wave, Ramp Down, and Square Wave allow you to make customization for your trem. Especially, this tremolo also includes a noise reduction facility and volume control to decrease the noise swells common issues so that you can get the desired quietest effect. Be different with the dynamic feature, but with some players who do not like dynamic tremolo feature, it is a big con of this pedal.
- Rate – rate controls the speed of the tremolo
- Reverb – The harmonic tremolo mode transforms the shape control into a reverb.
- Level – the level controls the volume
The dynamic settings can be hard to use at first but once you get familiar with it then it can be utilized to add a unique factors to your playing.
4. Diamond Pedals Tremolo
Diamond brings you warmth, clarity and stunning customization effects that take your playing to a whole new level!
DimaIf you are serious about looking for a great tremolo pedal, you can consider Diamond Pedals Tremolo. This tremolo pedal is a special product with remarkable technology from a boutique manufacturer.
There is a 100% analog signal path at the heart of this model to take advantage of an optoisolator like vintage tube amplifiers of the 60’s.
Moreover, this analog signal path is also combined with a microprocessor controller to bring a host of cool features to your song. The Diamond also possesses”Chaotic” mode supporting random chaotic change in speed. which enables you to use it intuitively and create quality in top notch.
- Speed – The Diamond is equipped with a rate control to support you to freely adjust the speed of modulation with wide range of levels.
- Depth – Next, its depth control allows you to change the sound in various statuses from an extremely soft sound to a super threatening pulsation.
- Volume – you have fully customization to the volume
- Waveform – the toggle switch between depth and volume has with four different waveform features each correspond the the color of the led:
- Shark fin (green LED) – has very rhythmic wobble because of its A symmetrical shape
- Sine – (Orange LED) the orange light indicates the sine wave and has a smooth but deep sound that like the classic fender vibrato
- Square (red LED)- the red light indicates the square wave form, that has a more intense effect. However, it is not true square as the circuit naturally rounds off the frequency has the corners of the frequency have been rounded off proving a more smooth output to what would be a more stuttering sound.
- Chop wave – this has a more stuttering effect like the a kill switch. you can get very creative and lend some inspiration from Buckethead
- Mode – the mode have 6 different setting that control how the tremolo behaves changing the accent of the notes within the timing you are playing. You can get some really cool effect and unique
- quarter notes – this accents in a linear fashion by accenting 1 in every 4 notes
- eight notes – this accents 1 in every 8 notes
- triplet notes – this accents 1 in every 3 notes
- Rhythmic Mode w/Mode – this accents in rhythmically not linear as seen in the above modes
- Chaotic Mode w/Demo – this is just random accents
- Manual Mode w/Demo – you can create accents by using the tap/DBL button to dial them in.
- Tap/DBL – the tap/DBL is a tap tempo button allowing you to quickly change to the desired tempo but then when held down it will double the tempo you have selected.
- True bi-pass – when pedal is no longer active it will pass the clean signal
These 2 effects with four waveforms of the Diamond Tremolo give you the ability to make a lot of customization to the tone, creating fantastic sound diversity.
It is very well made with long-lasting time. This Diamond is amazingly versatile. How about its downsides? There are some complaints that this tremolo is not easy to use and it takes large room when being put in the pedalboard. And one more thing is about the price. Diamond Pedals Tremolo is quite expensive requiring you high budge on it. Therefore, if you are not willing to pay so much money for a tremolo pedal, maybe this model is not suitable for you.
5. Wampler Latitude Deluxe V2 Tremolo Guitar Effects Pedal
Hand-built in the USA, Wampler Latitude Deluxe Tremolo Guitar Effects Pedal is a great combination between modern helicopter chops and sweet vintage tones, making its appearance stand out from the crowd.
Wampler Latitude Deluxe Tremolo uses an all-analog signal path and digital effect processing for great tone and super-tweak ability. Space, Depth, Speed, Attack, and Waveform controls offer the ability to dial-in you own personal, perfect trem.
It has a simple design to keep your core tone greatly balance between a pretty and full tremolo.
Besides the standard volume, depth and rate controls, it also has additional parameters with space, attack, and level to play around with the core tone of the tremolo.
- Speed – this controls the speed of the tremolo effect
- Space – the is a reverb that can dial into the tremolo effect
- Depth – control the frequency range modulation of the tremolo effect
- Waveform – Equipped with a waveform feature for 3 settings with sine waves, peak waves, and square waves and tweak fraction by fraction for a multitude of expected effects, it is a wonderful modulation pedal to create both classic tremolo tones and modern stutters and chops.
- Rhythm sub division – Also, it provides you with 4 rhythm subdivisions including quarter notes, eighth note, dotted eighth and triplets, which allows for clear manipulation throughout the sound. And with intelligent tap tempo control, it let you tap the beat as well as adjust as it goes for ideal synchronization.
- Level – this controls the volume of the pedals effect
- Attack – By altering the attack dial you soften the initial impact of the sound as it passes through the pedal
- True bi-pass – meaning when your pedal is disengaged it is a true clean signal
Many improvements and extra features stay in this model, hence you will have more choice for creating the expected sound effects that you long for.
When searching for the right pedal you need to consider what the sound is your looking for, and better yet what pedals just blend with your guitar!
Generally, I will always advise the above pedals, as these generally sound the best. 99% of situations I will say the below pedals you can never go wrong. They will vary in tone. Mainly because of their sound wave they produce and just their electronics and how they are built. But, you might even be surprised with lower budget ones, or some unnamed brand. Finding the match between guitar and pedal can be a surprising event and you only discover this through experimentation.
Moreover, with more advanced tremolo pedals offering additional waveforms. Some pedals such as the Boss’s TR-2, will toggle between a triangle wave shape (gradual volume swells) and square wave (hard on-off) which makes this a good choice, giving you more variation to experiment with.
Many tremolo pedals also aim to replicate the tremolos you’d find in ’60s tube amps. Some tremolo pedals such as the Harmonic aims to capture Fender’s vintage classic ‘vibrato’ effect, which have a phaser-vibe. That also include a spring reverb to get the full vintage vibe. Whilst Blackface Fender amps-tremolo effect is very popular in the surf and country scene where they use lopsided sine wave. However, if you want a harsher effect then bias tremolo pedals are modulated tubes in the amp to give a dirtier, more aggressive tone. Overall, we go through this article and know more about the details of the 5 best tremolo pedals nowadays. Each type both has its own strengths and weaknesses, so you should clearly understand the object as well as the function you desire from that one. The ideal tremolo pedal is the one that can complement your musical work in a unique and creative way.