Index


Features:
Ease of Use:
Sound
Overall:
Summary:
7
9
8
8
Easy to use but offering plenty of versatility due to offering a choice of two distinct waveforms - triangle (for the traditionalists) and (a rather excellent) square.

Unlike some other 'stereo' tremolo pedals, you can actually choose between stereo tremolo OR panning modes. As an added bonus, the PN-2 has stereo inputs as well as outputs. A classic.
7
10
7
7
Good sounding, dependable, predictable and ‘safe’. Those words could apply to countless Boss pedals and are certainly applicable for the TR-2.

Whenever people ask me to recommend a tremolo pedal, the TR-2 is always one of the first I mention. Quite versatile despite its simplicity but doesn't get as choppy as the PN-2.

[Older models may have a slight perceived volume drop – which is easily fixed.]
8
7
5
6
Lots of waveform-shaping options, but I found that it adversely affected my tone by thinning it out and accentuating the treble content - nice for sparkling clean tones but not so good with distorted sounds.
4
10
8
7


1977 wide-case version - RARE.

Very limited features; just Speed and Depth controls and one waveform (inspired by old Vox amps). Despite these 'shortcomings', it is redeemed by the fact it has such a gorgeous tone (with a beautiful decay to the pulses ) and the effect perfectly accomplishes what it sets out to do.

Basically a one trick pony, but it’s a good trick.
Danelectro CT-1
Cool Cat Tremolo

(Discofreq’s Effects Database page.)
6
7
7
6
These are simple, workmanlike tremolo pedals; limited in features but still worth checking out - especially if you only need tremolo for a few songs or are on a tight budget.
Danelectro DJ-5
Tuna Melt Tremolo

(Discofreq’s Effects Database page.)
Demeter TRM-1 Tremulator
(Discofreq’s Effects Database page.)
6
8
8
7
Authentic Fender-style tremolo with a little extra control over the waveform (via a trimpot), but ultimately limited.

Whereas the perceived volume drop is the bane of some other tremolo effects, the Tremulator suffers from a slight (but potentially annoying) volume boost!

That aside, the Tremulator is a fine pedal and has deservedly been held in high esteem by players for many years now.
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-
-
-
...
4
(7)
8
(8)
5
(8)
5
(8)
OK, so it's not just a tremolo, but it could be pressed into service as one if there's nothing else available. Ignoring the phasing capabilities, the Vibrothang can do a nice, round, pulsing tremolo although the tone from this pedal is rather on the dark side. In some musical situations that may prove useful, but usually it won't.

On its own terms, the Vibrothang is a unique, under the radar pedal worthy of further investigation.

[The second rating is for the pedal as a whole; including the phasing features.] 
EA Tremolo
(e.g. BYOC Tremolo)
(Discofreq’s Effects Database page.)

6
9
8
7
Vintage amp-style tremolo with a great sound.

Little control over the effect, but there are plenty of possible modifications allowing you to make adjustments to the overall tremolo depth and range of speeds available.

There are lots of tremolo pedals which are based on (or clones of) the EA Tremolo – Earthquaker Devices Pulse Machine being one of them. Or, of course, you can build your own using a freely available schematic or a kit from the likes of Build Your Own Clone or General Guitar Gadgets.
Electro-Harmonix Pulsar
(‘Classic’ series/big-box version)
(Discofreq’s Effects Database page.)
8
6
7
7
The Pulsar has a multitude of options making it possible to dial in practically any tremolo style. It also allows for a very wide range of adjustment on the controls – from extremely slow pulses to pseudo-ring modulation - but, due to this excessive range it is sometimes difficult to fine tune settings (e.g. if you want to match the tremolo to the tempo of a song).

Also, I find it to suffer from an excessive perceived volume drop on many of the more pronounced settings. The negative phase thing it does (when you turn the ‘Depth’ control past "100%") is really cool!
Electro-Harmonix Stereo Pulsar (XO)
(Discofreq’s Effects Database page.)
-
-
-
-
Same as older version but with two outputs. It really is such a shame that if you use this in stereo, you can't get a tremolo effect from it, only an auto-pan.
9
6
7
7
Lots of options; 3 waveforms, tap tempo, tempo ramping, rhythm patterns, level control...

Apart from the square wave setting which I really like, I found that once the honeymoon period wore off - and I got over the gimmicky features - I just found the whole thing to sound very standard and a little sterile.

Re: the rhythm options - it's a shame there isn't a way to reset the rhythm to beat 1; they'd be far more useful if you could.
7
9
6
7
Good, basic tremolo, but it steals a little bit of treble from your signal - meaning it may not be a good choice for certain set-ups or sonic tastes. Excellent build quality.
George Dennis
GD-220 Tremolo

(Discofreq’s Effects Database page.)
7
8
8
7
Nice clean sounding tremolo. The GD-220 has a useful volume control to counter any volume drop and also a 'Symmetry' control to modify the basic sine wave tremolo shape.

These are fairly uncommon, but worth checking out if you can find one as they're usually priced well below similarly equipped 'boutique' pedals.

[Also available in a volume pedal version.]
Guyatone VTm5
Veri-Trem

(Mighty Micro Series)
(Discofreq’s Effects Database page.)
8
8
8
8
The VTm5 has lots of features for such a minuscule pedal; three waveforms (sine, triangle and square), a master volume control and even a high roll-off tone control. The Veri-Trem has a wide range of speeds and all of this makes it very versatile, capable of everything from soft flutters to abrupt pulses.

If I'm being fussy, I'd say the rate control is a little bit sensitive with most of the more usable speeds bunched together in the lower half of its range. This is a fantastic little pedal.
Lightfoot Labs Goatkeeper (V3)
(Discofreq’s Effects Database page.)
9
7
7
7
Lots of wave options (including the facility to add your own!), a superbly implemented step sequencer, plus a volume control (on the back) and expression and VCA control options, yet no dedicated rate control - not everyone is a fan of tap tempo - and, in my opinion a strangely bland overall tone.

The sequencing feature is a lot of fun if it suits your musical style but, overall, the GK is wide of the mark for me.
7
7
6
7
The Wobulator is great for panning and subtle tremolo but subtle is all it's really capable of. The split frequency effects are very good - you can have separate effect depth for the highs and lows.
Menatone
Pleasure Trem 5000

(Discofreq’s Effects Database page.)
7
10
8
7
If you like hard tremolo and/or play with a lot of distortion, the Pleasure Trem 5000 could be the one you want...

It has a very well defined wave - even the 'triangle' wave form is choppier than many pedals square wave - but that too is its downfall... The effect is just so pronounced that subtlety or amp-like trem is almost completely out of the question.

Monster-era R.E.M. fans will love it.
Moog Moogerfooger
MF-102 Ring Modulator

(Discofreq’s Effects Database page.)
9
6
8
8
To follow...
Monster Effects
Swamp Thang

(Discofreq’s Effects Database page.)
5
10
9
8
Lacks versatility and while the range of speeds available is sensible from a musical point of view, some people may like an extended range (particularly at the faster end of the spectrum).

But, if all you want is a traditional ‘Blackface’ Fender-style tremolo effect in a pedal format, the Swamp Thang won’t disappoint.
7
8
7
7
Plenty of options; the somewhat mis-named ‘Tone’ control adds to its versatility – it’s almost worth buying just for this feature!
7
9
7
6
Like the Boss TR-2, it is a pretty standard, ‘generic’ (not in a bad way) tremolo but has an extended speed range – it can go really fast.
Red Witch
Pentavocal Trem

(Discofreq’s Effects Database page.)
8
8
9
9
Close to perfection: if you're a fan of swampy tremolo sounds, you owe it to yourself to at least try one. The nifty Bottom control and five EQ 'voices' hide a wealth of great sounds, from gentle shimmers to warm pulses.

6
(8)
8
(8)
6
(7)
6
(7)
Great for very tight, choppy square wave tremolo and has a decent triangle option too.

The Surf also features Rocktron’s trademark ‘Hush’ noise gate, and a separate compressor/enhancer to increase its functionality.

[The first rating is for the pedal just as a tremolo, the second is for the pedal as a whole.]
TC Electronic
Vintage Tremolo 

(Discofreq’s Effects Database page.)
(See T-Rex Tremster.)
6
9
7
6
Nice authentically vintage sounding tremolo with a good range and useful volume control. Like some of the other trems listed here, it perhaps falls down in terms of versatility.
7
9
8
8
The Voodoo Lab offering is yet another excellent, traditional amp-style tremolo. This one benefits from an additional Volume control (so there will be no perceived volume drop unless you want one!) and a Slope control which fine-tunes the waveform of the modulation.

This is an excellent pedal and one that I rate very highly. It is another one like the Demeter Tremulator and Monster Effects Swamp Thang that are slightly limited in features, but do exactly what they are supposed to do - which is to nail a specific vintage amp tremolo style.

Very hard to beat if all you want is a traditional 'vintage-style' tremolo effect.