- 1. Biyang TR-8 Tremolo Guitar Effect Pedal True Bypass
- 2. Joyo JF-09 Tremolo Guitar Pedal with True Bypass Wiring
- 3. VOX STOMPLAB2G Modeling Guitar Multi Effects Pedal
- 4. AROMA AMS-3 Mod Station Modulation Ensemble Pedal
- 5. Wampler Latitude Deluxe V2 Tremolo Pedal
- 6. Donner Guitar Modulation Effect Pedal
- 7. BOSS Audio TR2 Tremolo Pedal
- 8. Kmise Belcat Effect Pedal (Belcat TRM-507)
- 9. Donner Golden Tremolo Pedal Classic Tremolo
- 10. MXR M101 Phase 90 Guitar Effects Pedal
- Tremolo Pedal Selection Tips
- Types of Tremolo Pedals
- Top Tremolo Pedal Brands
- Average Tremolo Pedal Pricing
- Questions and answers
A tremolo pedal is a guitar effect that helps alter a guitar’s tone in different ways. Technically speaking, a tremolo pedal is a circuit that changes signal volume at a specific frequency. The key features that constitute top tremolo pedals are not easy to put down because things truly boil down to what a guitarist wants. A pedal that’s chock-a-block with features may not necessarily earn the highest praise if the user wants the pedal to do only a handful of things and do them well. In this article, we have listed down the top 10 best tremolo pedals for 2020. These may not be drastically different from others not featured in this list but differ in ways that manipulate signals and make a clear impact on the sound selections available.
1. Biyang TR-8 Tremolo Guitar Effect Pedal True Bypass
The Biyang TR-8 is a classic sounding tremolo pedal that offers you an array of tremolo sounds. You may adjust the specific tremolo with the pedal's three controls. The wave knob lets you either have a jagged or smooth wave. 'Rate' allows you to alter the speed which the effect happens, and 'depth' basically controls the effect's proportions. In other words, you can have both subtle sounds, including psychedelic and experimental.
The good thing is that there is not much of a distinct loss of volume when you activate the effect. Other similar inexpensively priced pedals available on the market are usually riddled with that issue. Due to the TR-8's true bypass design, it does not experience any loss of tone when the pedal isn't active. Your guitar's tone would remain intact, as a result. Also, the pedal has a battery compartment in its rear. However, it works best with an adapter as the battery may not last too long.
• Tremolo effect with multiple options
• Strong metal construction
• Professional looking design
• True bypass
• Sound customization options
• Below-average battery life
• Full-blown position leads to too much echo
2. Joyo JF-09 Tremolo Guitar Pedal with True Bypass Wiring
The Joyo JF-09 is a solid 'stomp box style' bypass tremolo pedal that incorporates the optical circuitry identical to a fender amp. The pedal is as bare-bones as it could get. There are two basic parameters for dialing in to, which is essentially what a tremolo pedal should have. The speed can be controlled using the rate control. You can also alter how obvious the changes are in a mix using the intensity controller. This means you can deliver powerful pulsations and vintage warbles with relative ease.
Made using a full-metal casing and a heavy-duty footswitch, this tremolo pedal boasts 'true bypass' construction. The dimensions of the JF-09 are decent enough to fit the majority of pedal boards. But those aren't so small that you step on distortion pedals or a looper pedal. The speed could be adjusted to a choppy stutter's high-speed thrum from changes that are hardly noticeable. To save battery automatically, you can use it with an adapter.
• No-frills pedal
• Offers authentic tremolo tones
• Sturdy and strong
• LED power status indicator
• Tremolo sound variations aren't the most exhaustive
• Some wirings are on the flimsy side
3. VOX STOMPLAB2G Modeling Guitar Multi Effects Pedal
The Vox StompLab 2G is a compact multi-effect pedal that comfortably sits among a range of other traditional single sound pedals. Despite the small size, the StompLab 2G packs in a variety of features, effects and presets packed that would satisfy any musician, irrespective of their music style or preference. This model has four pedals. Like the pedals within its range, it comes with an on-board tuner that's fitted with 120 on-board memory slots - 100 of them being presets, which leave the remaining 20 for custom sounds.
The device works on AA batteries or could be plugged in using an AC adapter. A rotary switch helps access factory presets and user memories. The factory preset banks are categorized by genre. In this guitar pedal, you would therefore get metal, hardcore, rock 'n' roll, rock, blues, jazz, fusion, pop, etc. Each preset has been made using a seven-chain module: modulation, reverb, cabinet, noise reduction, pedal, and drive/amp. While there is just one common noise reduction effect, each module comes with multiple effects that could be loaded into it.
• Easy to use
• Highly versatile
• Presets play well
• Switching between different presets is easy
• Screen supports only two characters
• Tweaking abilities are limited
4. AROMA AMS-3 Mod Station Modulation Ensemble Pedal
The AROMA AMS-3 is the guitar pedal fraternity's Swiss Army knife. It comes in a complete metal shell that's durable and attractive. There are three controlling knobs: level, speed and depth. The level knob helps with adjusting the volume or effects level. The knob for speed helps adjust modulation speed. Depth knob adjusts effects' depth. The control varies for every effect, and the inclusion of certain effects is quite impressive for the price.
The mode switch lets you switch between 11 different modulation effects of triangle wave chorus, sine wave chorus, negative flanger, positive flanger, uni-vibe, jet flanger, vintage phaser, vibatio, auto filter, bias tremolo, and opto tremolo. Not to mention, the true bypass lever and footswitch have been designed to mitigate any stamping on the knobs.
• Compact and effective
• Nice and rich auto filter and phaser
• Good flange and chorus effects
• Comes bundled in with a power cord
• U-vibe isn't the strongest
• Confusing effect selection switch
5. Wampler Latitude Deluxe V2 Tremolo Pedal
The Wampler Latitude Deluxe V2 offers additional controls than your standard tremolo. Besides depth controls and common speed (rate), it features attack, level, and space so that you could play around with its core tone. The Deluxe V2 makes for a solid modulation pedal that can produce classic tremolo tones consistently along with modern chops and stutters. Select between three sound wave settings: peak waves, sine waves, and square waves so that you could tweak things in small increments for several desirable effects.
It offers four rhythm subdivisions: eighth note, quarter notes, triplets and dotted eighth. There is a smart tap tempo control that not just lets you tap beats but could adjust things as it heads for ideal synchronization. The volume knob control ensures subtleties do not get lost. Also, there is speed control for setting peaks per minute. In short, the Deluxe V2 offers a variety of diverse tremolo styles, from the tense helicopter chopping to the less invasive ones.
• Easy to use
• Relays true bypass
• Volume knob controls
• Handy extra controls
• A bit expensive
• Finding the right effects chain position can be difficult
6. Donner Guitar Modulation Effect Pedal
The Donner EC964 is a tremolo pedal that comes with seven mode modulation effects, which includes chorus A and B, tremolo, phaser, vibrato, rotary, and flanger. The various modulation effects help add a musical hue to your tone. The digital circuit design, along with true bypass, offers a transparent tone. The true bypass switch allows the signal of your instrument to pass via a non-electronic bypass stroke when the effect isn't engaged. This feeds your amp with unaltered, direct signal from your musical instrument.
The EC964's build is quite strong despite it being an inexpensive offering. The body is made entirely of aluminium-alloy that gives the EC964 some noticeable strength and stability. There is also an LED indicator that denotes the pedal's working state.
• Excellent value for the money
• Effects offer plenty of tweaking headroom
• True bypass
• Solidly built and compact
• Rotary point could be better
• Smaller size makes it difficult to read text on it
• Knob for the effects is a bit loose
7. BOSS Audio TR2 Tremolo Pedal
The BOSS Audio TR2 is a reliable and cost-efficient tremolo pedal. It's compact, easy to use and offers you classic tremolo tone and sound without much fuss. With only three unique controls, it lets you create a range of vintage tremolo effects. You may set the pedal to a pulsing, smooth waveform in an intense tremolo effect. When engaged, the TR2 doesn't generate any hum or noise. Thanks to the wide sound settings range, this tremolo pedal is ideal for experimenting with or practicing tremolo sounds.
The tremolo lets you play with your depth and rate control to fine-tune a specific characteristic's strength. The rate knobs could be altered higher than what the BOSS PN-2 model permitted. The wave dial modifies the LFA to a square wave from a triangular one in a hassle-free, incremental manner. Not to mention, the BOSS TR-2 comes with an array of accessories, which includes picks, polishing cloth, patch lead, and jack lead. There is also a manufacturer warranty of five years backing up the product.
• Easy to use
• Dependable sound at a budget-friendly price
• Quality construction
• Compact footprint (works with most boards)
• Five-year warranty
• No custom extras
• No real bypass
• Drains the battery easily with no external power supply
8. Kmise Belcat Effect Pedal (Belcat TRM-507)
The Belcat TRM-507 from Kmise is a low-cost tremolo pedal built to an extremely high standard. Despite the robust build, it's fairly lightweight. The TRM-507 offers smooth and subtle vibes of indie new-wave and jazz tremolo, thereby offering a solid parameter play range. With an all-function and zero flash approach, this tremolo delivers what you would typically expect from a solid and highly reliable tremolo effect pedal.
The TRM-507 can be controlled using wave, rate and depth that ensure a range of tremolo sounds. The wave dial moves between slow fades and fast swells to quick fading and slow swelling. There is 'true bypass' feature that ensures the signal moves when the effect has been disabled. You could achieve a regular even fall and rise, triangle tremolo right in the middle.
• Clean sounding and versatile
• Great for shallow settings
• Solid steel unit
• True bypass feature
• Wave control dial
• Not feature-packed
• The switch requires a bit more effort
9. Donner Golden Tremolo Pedal Classic Tremolo
Donner's Golden Tremolo is an affordable, compact choice primarily aimed at beginners and enthusiasts seeking a new effect. Priced well below $50, this tremolo packs solid sound within a compact design. It can easily go atop your pedal board or in your gig bag. With controls for depth, bias and speed, the Golden Tremolo isn't too complicated, but still manages to offer a lot of options.
This tremolo functions well on the sound front too. It, in fact, comes with a broader speed range than comparable tremolos. Adjusting the intensity and depth with some experimenting using the knobs is quite easy. Though the Golden Tremolo isn't meant to be used within a professional studio setting, the vintage tremolo sound is good enough to be used during rehearsals or in a small practice space.
• Simple to use
• Offers quite a few options for the price
• Modestly priced
• High-quality tremolo effect
• Definitely not for the studios
• Won't inspire experienced players
10. MXR M101 Phase 90 Guitar Effects Pedal
The MXR M101 is a popular phase pedal that's known for keeping things simple. It's also renowned for its ability to offer watery, smooth effects to muted strumming and chords. Instead of boasting a complex arrangement of functions and knobs, the pedal comes with a solitary knob that handles all things by itself. It basically controls the phasing oscillation rate from a slow phasing effect to wobbling insanity. The pedal comes fine-tuned to offer the right level of depth effect to encompass the sound in that attribute.
The MXR M101 isn't restricted to guitars alone. It does equally well on keyboards, bass and vocals. Pushing the speed above 9 helps augment the pulsing effect, which comes in handy with creative interludes. Take the speed higher and be witness to your guitar churning out some sonic insanity.
• Does what it can in the best possible way
• Single knob operation
• Broad range of sounds
• Works well with a variety of musical instruments
• A bit pricey compared to other pedals on this list
• Doesn't get an awful lot of things done
Tremolo Pedal Selection Tips
Sound effects pedals are electronic and portable devices that alter the sound of your guitar or any other audio source on the output signal. They are generally made up of an input and output jack connector, an on/off switch next to an LED indicator and controllers to manipulate the different parameters, such as gain, tone or volume.
A stompbox is activated by pressing the unit’s pedal. When you play the guitar, the signal it produces passes through the circuit of the device and the desired effect is produced just before reaching the output of the signal to the output. With the same button, the device is deactivated and the signal can continue its path without being affected.
When pressed, the pedal will produce one effect or another depending on its type. The whole underlying idea is based on the volume control. The circuits reduce and feed the strength of the guitar’s signal, which can be achieved by turning the volume control quickly.
Most older tremolo pedals will allow you to choose the frequency of the effects and the depth of the jumps. If you play with these two controls, you will have a wide range of effects. If you play with these two controls, you will have a great variety, modern tremolos have much more control and you can adjust things like the signal waveform, and much more.
When selecting a tremolo pedal, you need to consider a wide variety of factors. The modern variant is an impressive latitude pedal, full of features and controls that are unique. This model is perfect for those who need to adjust every aspect of the sound.
The unit typically comes in a large box, which is reasonable considering all the wheels placed on it. Some models have a clean white color with vintage labels. Although appearances are not crucial when it comes to guitar effects pedals, an attractive design is always welcome.
In terms of performance, the situation is even better. You can mark almost any type of tremolo effect. Being versatile in its main function is not the only advantage associated with this pedal. It also has a beat tempo function, a real bypass, the ability to choose waveforms as well as fixed tempos.
If for some reason, you find regular tremolos uninspiring, the diamond tremolo is a pedal that will give you a different experience. For the most part, it seems that diamond pedals bring a new dimension to the world of tremolos, which becomes obvious with one of the available modes called chaotic.
In some cases, this attribute applies not only to the appearance of your pedals but also to their performance. The Boss TR-2 Tremolo Pedal is one of those units that offer quality at a reasonable price. It is simple, convenient and it works. The controls are also easy to understand. It is a vintage reconditioned tremolo in a modern configuration with an extra handle to select the wave.
If you are looking for an affordable tremolo pedal that works when you need it, consider the Boss TR-2 Tremolo Pedal. It is undoubtedly one of the best tremolo pedals you can find on the market.
Types of Tremolo Pedals
When selecting a tremolo pedal, you will find four variants from which to choose. These include sine wave tremolos, triangle wave units, special tremolos and square wave pedals.
Sine wave tremolos are designed to work as overdrives in that they modulate via transistors and power tubes. However, they are not the most accurate pedals on the market but provide smooth and soft functionality.
Triangle wave tremolos are more popular; they come with an even rise and slope. As such, they work linearly to provide an in-tempo effect. On the other hand, the square wave tremolos allow users to produce a choppy and helicopter-like sound.
Special tremolos offer specialized functionality and feature ring modulators, tap tempo, phase-shift and stereo effects.
Top Tremolo Pedal Brands
Several tremolo pedal brands have positioned themselves over the years thanks to the technological innovations that their models have brought.
Among the leading brands, you will find Boss, Line 6, Digitech, Zoom, Tech 21 and Pulsar. The Japanese company Boss, a division of Roland Corporation (world leader in music electronics) offers high-quality tremolos. Among its extensive catalog is the powerful GT-100 and its COSM modeling technology.
Recently, it released its latest generation of processors with the GT-1000 model that includes its new AIRD digital modeling. Meanwhile, Line 6 s an American company that became famous thanks to its line of POD amplifier modelers. It is currently promoting its new line of Line 6 Helix guitar processors.
The American company Digitech is best known for its Digitech Whammy pitch shifter although it has also achieved fame among beginners and fans thanks to its affordable pedals. An efficient and versatile model is the RP 1000.
Zoom is a Japanese company that has specialized in devices for intermediate-level guitarists as well as units for acoustic guitarists with the 500 series. The G5N model is a modeler with intuitive controls.
The discreet Tech 21 company has been active since 1989 bringing several products based on analog pedal modeling to the market. The Fly Rig 5 is a perfect option for tours and concerts. Multi-effect pedals are an excellent option when looking to have a large number of effects for a low price.
The Cluster Pulstar-43 is a tremolo effect that, unlike other pedals, allows you to select the modulation wave between triangular or square, achieving classic tremolo sounds, such as the Twin Reverb amplifier, the Boss TR-2, among others or radical effects.
Average Tremolo Pedal Pricing
Good quality tremolo pedals are available to buyers on the market. When selecting a tremolo pedal, you can pick items for prices ranging from $20 to $150.
Tremolo is also a modulation effect. It produces a modulation effect created by varying the amplitude of a signal, ie volume. This results in a tremendous effect. It is the type of tremolo pedal that you can connect to a first-class guitar and it is the type you would like to use. Best of all, the price that comes with this tremolo is more than reasonable as it is a part of the store.
Questions and answers
What does the tremolo pedal do?
Tremolo is a vintage effect, it can be found a lot in blues recordings. It decreases your signal strength at regular intervals. It works as if there is a machine decreasing and increasing its amplifier volume. It sounds simple enough but tremolo can add an interesting dimension to your sound.
Putting it subtly, the device brings extra spice to the sound. Putting it so intensely, almost like a helicopter can bring the drama you want into those heavier bases.
The depth control regulates the depth of the swing and the speed. The switch in the normal position makes the sound resemble a wave and in the chop position, it mutes the sound between the pulses generating the helicopter effect with high speed and depth.
You can also find the vintage tremolo with the smoothest oscillation resembling a Fender amp tremolo. Depth and speed control is the same as Pulsar’s but it has a gain control, which serves to highlight the tremolo as it has a clean and bright tone. The Hi/Lo switch serves a wider range of speed.
They can be used both together and separately. When used together, they give an overmodulation effect that is unlike any tremolo. A common element in rock music and its strands, the guitar pedal can create its own sounds from chords. Playing an instrument is totally different when you can change the sound with the touch of a pedal.
Used for decades by virtually every electric band in the world, the guitar pedal is as famous as the instruments.
What is the best reverb pedal?
Boss RV6 is one of the best reverb pedals available on the market.
What is Harmonic Tremolo?
It produces a rich, pulsating modulation that enhances the sound’s peaks and valleys, thus making them either smooth or jagged, as desired.
Have the power to change the sound while playing the instrument without having to stop and adjust something on the guitar itself. The world is filled with a new sound at the push of a button made by the foot.
A guitar pedal positions itself between the guitar and the sound amplifier, like a pass filter. But in this case, the filter adds different sounds and tones when the vibrations produced by the strings pass through it.
What’s the difference between tremolo and vibrato?
Tremolo is designed to produce rapid reiteration while vibrato enables you to shift the pitch higher to achieve a full semitone.
What is the difference between a trill and tremolo?
A trill covers the written note all the way to the one above it. On the other hand, a tremolo typically encompasses a minor third or more. It increases signal strength by amplifying the overall sound.
George A. Smith received a Masters Degree in Music Education from the University of Berkeley. George has been teaching music professionally for the past 8 years. George regularly contributes content to several music websites including LoadRecords.com.