We are all familiar with the gutsy sounds on Jimi Hendrix’s Band of Gypsies record. This is the signature Uni-Vibe sound, the pedal that was originally designed to give guitarists a touch of the watery and throbbing doppler effect of a Leslie sound. Well it might not have achieved a sound that is recognized as such, but in its own right it is an established and timeless guitar effect that is unlike any other.
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I rarely hear live performances with great, authentic-sounding Uni-Vibes that are not coming from the original version of the pedal created in the late 1960′s. The “chorus” effect was the industry standard for chordal effects in the 80′s and 90′s. The Uni-vibe retained its timeless and and “retro” status and as a much larger pedal, appeared on the pedalboard of a die-hard few. Lately, with the release of some very authentic sounding smaller (mini) uni-vibes, the pedal and its tradition have recently has seen an upsurge in popularity.
One of the best of these newer smaller versions comes in a pedal called The DryBell Vibe Machine V-1. This pedal brings all of the authentic signature sounds of the UniVibe and a great deal of unprecedented adjustability to the smallest package. Ringing up at around $298.00 the DryBell Vibe Machine is around the size of a Phase 90 and is a rugged quality-built product. Features include true bypass signal path with an option to switch on an output buffer, an input to connect an external expression pedal to control oscillation speed (with a Leslie acceleration option which ramps up/down to the new oscillation setting gradually), range and symmetry control (in addition to depth and rate) and the usual vibrato/chorus option. In addition, there is a Bright/Original option. In short, the level of flexibility in this pedal for its size is spectacular!
So the question is how does it sound. Well without mentioning other products, I put this pedal up against some tough and much larger competition and the result was. . . I want another one! So with no further ado, here are a couple of nice video demos. The DryBell Vibe Machine is now one of my all-time favorite vibe pedals for chordal work. (It might even be one of my all-time favorite pedals, period!) Kudos to DryBell for making such great authentic tones accessible in such a small package. Highly recommended AAAAAA++