Best Rotary Guitar Pedals of 2019 – Complete Buyer’s Guide

Are you looking to add that vintage '60s rock sound to your sound? This may be difficult, and unless you want to lug around a rotary speaker, you should go with a simulator instead.

There are a wide range of guitar pedals that emulate the rotary sound. 

Knowing which one to choose can be difficult, and so, in this guide, we will take a look at some of the best rotary guitar pedals and provide some important information to help you in your decision-making process.

Comparison Chart of the Best Rotary Pedals

Product

Rating

Price

Mooer EQ Effects Pedal (Soul Shiver)

Mooer EQ Effects Pedal (Soul Shiver)

Best Overall

DigiTech Ventura Vibe

DigiTech -ventura-vibe Rotary/Vibrato Pedal Guitar-Multi-Effects

Runner-up

Donner Guitar Modulation Effect Pedal 7-Mode

Donner Guitar Modulation Effect Pedal Digital Mod Square 7 Mode

Best for the Money

BBE Soul Vibe Rotary Speaker Simulator Effects Pedal

NUX MOD Core DELUXE Guitar Effect Pedal

NUX MOD Core DELUXE Chorus/Flanger/Phaser/Rotary Guitar Effect Pedal 8 Modulation Effects Preset Tone Lock

What is a Rotary Pedal and What Does it Do?

To understand what a rotary pedal is, you have to understand a little about the originator of this sound, the rotary speaker. In the early 20th-century, a speaker was created to help modulate the Hammond Organ. Inside this speaker, the parts would rotate. These parts included a mixture of horns and drums. 

This created a Doppler-like effect that allowed for multiple effects to be amplified and modulated. This sound eventually found popularity among guitarists in the '60s. That is when the effects pedal that could reproduce this sound using electricity came into being. 

What to Look For When Buying a Rotary Pedal

When you are looking to add a rotary pedal to your chain, you will want to pay attention to a few specific features and functions. By using the list below, you will be able to narrow down the choices you have, and decide on the perfect choice for you and your musical needs.

Sound Quality

You will have both stereo and mono options when looking at the rotary pedal. Though stereo inputs and outputs are not necessary to have a fuller sound, you may want to look for a pedal with this feature. You also want to look at whether you are dealing with a true bypass or a buffered option. Most will have a true bypass and this will lead to a clean sound.

Effects

Some pedals have more effects than others. Some have access to simple speed and intensity, while others give you the chance to play with the EQ, the tremolo, and many other effects. 

Budget

The last thing to really consider is how much you are willing to spend. You can get many great pedals for an affordable price, but you may have to be okay with limited capabilities. If you have more money available, you will be able to invest in a high-quality option.

Review of the Best Rotary Guitar Pedals

Now that we have looked at what to consider when making your decision, it is time to take a look at our comprehensive list of the best rotary guitar pedals.

Mooer EQ Effects Pedal (Soul Shiver)

PROS

  • Outstanding value versus price
  • Wide range of sounds provided by controls on unit
  • Produces a nice bridge with the right amount of phase
  • Constructed with high-quality materials for better durability
  • Compact design allows for better portability and space management

CONS

  • Not great for all styles of music
  • Lack of speed up and down simulation compared to other higher-end models

What Recent Buyers Report

The lack of variation capability on the speed simulation is a problem for some, but once you look past that, many have great things to say about this pedal. They love the compact design, as well as the wide range of sounds that the model is capable of producing.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The clear sound for the true bypass, combined with the ability to manipulate multiple effects easily, is why this rotary pedal finds its way onto our list. This fantastic performance capability is wrapped in a body made of high-quality materials, which lends enhanced durability and easily makes this the best overall choice for a rotary pedal.

Who Will Use This Most

This pedal is a great option for any guitarist because of its well-built and well-rounded design. Fitted with a wide variety of sound controls, this pedal will help bring a fullness to the sound. This full sound will be crisp and clean due to the true bypass, and that is why every type of guitarist from every experience level will benefit from the inclusion of this pedal in their kit.

Bottom Line

This rotary EQ pedal has a lot to offer. It is crafted with materials that will stand up to whatever you throw at it, as well as an internal working that will allow you to craft your sound to perfection. All these assets pull together to easily give us the best overall rotary pedal on the market today.

DigiTech -ventura-vibe Rotary/Vibrato Pedal Guitar-Multi-Effects

PROS

  • Affordable and on par with higher-end peers
  • Versatile vibrato that stands out above the competition
  • Clean layout due to the combination of the drive and tone knobs
  • Fitted with a stop lock and crafted with high-quality materials for better durability

CONS

  • Provides a sterile sound
  • Digital (complaint for some users)

What Recent Buyers Report

Most recent buyers of this pedal rave about the versatility of the effects, including the vibrato. They love the wide range of options this gives you, and, though some may feel that the sound seems a bit sterile, this doesn’t detract from the effectiveness of this pedal.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The easy-to-use, three-mode design of this model are what stand out to us the most. These allow for outstanding customization of sound. This also allows guitarists to build the sound they want with ease. This is the best aspect of this amazing pedal, and that is why we chose it as one of our best.

Who Will Use This Most

This is a great pedal for guitarists that work in a studio and are just starting out. This model gives them a wide range of sound capabilities at a budget-friendly price. Guitarists will also be able to switch up their sound according to the needs of the musical stylings they are playing.

Bottom Line

This rotary pedal is easy to use and offers a lot of variation in sound creation. In and of itself, that is a great benefit. When you also add in the high-quality build of the piece, you get a pedal that will be useful for years to come.

Donner Guitar Modulation Effect Pedal Digital Mod Square 7 Mode

PROS

  • Exceptional value for the price
  • Plenty of headroom in the effects for adjustment
  • Clean tone for better sound provided by true bypass
  • Crafted with an easy-to-see, working-state LED indicator
  • Constructed with high-quality materials that make this a sturdy pedal

CONS

  • Rotary aspect of the unit
  • Hard to read graphics and labels due to the compact size

What Recent Buyers Report

Guitarists who have recently added this pedal to their chain have a lot to say about the pedal. They love the clean tone and headroom available for effect adjustment. Some have found fault with the compact size when it comes to the visibility of the graphics, but even they can’t deny that the sound this rotary pedal creates is outstanding.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Often, when you go with a budget option, you have to give up a lot of features you would like to have. Thankfully, this pedal does not make you compromise performance for an affordable price tag. The amount of versatility and ability to craft sound are why this pedal is such a great investment.

Who Will Use This Most

The 7-mode pedal from Donner is a great option to add to any pedal chain. However, because of its compact design and wide range of control over the sound, the gigging guitarist will probably get the most out of this unit. The investment will be smaller monetarily than other pedals, and they will still get a pedal that will allow them to add some spice to their sound.

Bottom Line

This pedal brings a well-designed, classic look to your kit, as well as a sound that adds a little something extra. The multi-functional modes bring with them a world of options that simply make this one of the best models available.

PROS

  • Easy-to-use layout
  • Excellent value for a budget-friendly price tag
  • Lightweight and compact design enhances portability
  • Fitted with superior responsiveness for better sound quality
  • Wide range of effects to choose from for improved sound crafting

CONS

  • Internal trim pot
  • May not come in the color shown in photos

What Recent Buyers Report

According to many of the recent buyers, this pedal seems to have been a good investment. Even with the few complaints about the internal trim pot, for the most part, guitarists absolutely appreciate the wide range of effects and the quality of those effects. This is, of course, just one of the many things they love about this pedal.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Trying to figure out any new equipment can be a bit daunting, but, with this pedal's simple layout, you won’t have to pull out your hair to get started. The unit is fitted with two knobs that control the most important aspects, and that is all that is needed.

Who Will Use This Most

The novice guitarist has so much on their plate already, so adding in the extra task of figuring out pedals and pedal chain may be a bit too much. That is why this pedal is perfect for them. This unit is simple to use and adds a lot of quality to their sound.

Bottom Line

This model is a well-constructed and simple-to-use rotary pedal that is a great addition to any pedal chain. The inclusion of a hardwired switching system gives it reliable performance. The build itself is constructed to be durable, and that, combined with the rest of the amazing design features, is why we chose this as one of the best rotary pedals.

NUX MOD Core DELUXE Chorus/Flanger/Phaser/Rotary Guitar Effect Pedal 8 Modulation Effects Preset Tone Lock

PROS

  • Affordable rotary speaker simulator
  • Superior quality offered by stereo sound
  • Constructed with durable materials used to last
  • Limited noise, no matter where it is placed in the chain
  • Great amount of sound crafting ability, considering the price

CONS

  • Durability of the buttons
  • Sub-par tremolo performance quality in comparison to other modalities

What Recent Buyers Report

One of the biggest things you will see being raved about by recent buyers is that the stereo sound is absolutely fantastic. Even with the scattered complaints about the buttons being loose, this rotary pedal seems to be a big hit.

Why it Stands Out to Us

There are a lot of great features and functions included in the build of this pedal, but there are just a few that stand out the most. The biggest of these is the built-in eight modulation modes. This will offer superior versatility and a chance to customize your sound.

Who Will Use This Most

This is the perfect rotary pedal for the studio guitarist. The inclusion of a USB port gives this pedal access to a lot of options with tone bank. Then, when you look at the multiple modes available, you can see that the guitarist will have access to a plethora of sounds with this pedal.

Bottom Line

This pedal is fitted with plenty of systems to help enhance any guitarist's performance and sound. The ability to access new tones via your computer, as well as the multiple modes, are only elevated by the inclusion of the Tone Lock System for proper operation at all times. All this makes this model a superb choice for any guitarist.

Types of Rotary Guitar Pedals

One big thing to really consider when looking at which rotary pedal you want to go with is what type will work for your sound. Below are a few options to choose from.

Modulation

Some rotary pedals will include controls for several modulation effects, like tremolo, vibrato, and even phase

Frequency

There are rotary pedals specifically designed to help customize the EQ of your sound. Along with the core rotary effect, you will be able to use this pedal to give that sound the boom you need.

Gain

If you are looking for a little chunkier sound, you may find yourself looking for a rotary pedal that offers a bit of distortion, as well.

Time

A rotary pedal that includes a reverb, or even a delay, can add a lot to your sound. This will give you a more vintage effect that will elevate your sound.

Conclusion

Choosing the right rotary pedal can add a lot of flavor to your sound. We have taken an in-depth look at several of the best rotary guitar pedals in this guide. The options and the information above will help you sift through the options to determine the perfect choice for you.