Best Guitar Tremolo Pedals of 2019 – Ultimate Review

If you’ve ever wondered what one of the oldest guitar effects still being used is, you’re in the right place.

The tremolo effects used to be built in the amp, and they gained popularity quickly since effects were extremely rare back in the day. 

Take a look at the next few sections of this article to discover why you also need a (new) tremolo pedal, as well as which ones are the best tremolo pedals!

Comparison Chart of the Best Guitar Tremolo Pedals

Product

Rating

Price

TC Electronic Pipeline

TC Electronic Guitar Tools (960826001)

Best Overall

Wampler Latitude Deluxe V2

Wampler Latitude Deluxe V2 Tremolo Guitar Effects Pedal

Runner-up

Boss TR-2

Boss TR-2 Tremolo Bundle with Instrument Cable, Patch Cable, Picks, and Austin Bazaar Polishing Cloth

Best for the Money

Rowin Trelicopter Effects Guitar Tremolo Pedal

Rowin Trelicopter Effects Guitar Tremolo Pedal

Best Guitar Tremolo Pedal Under $100

Diamond Pedals Trem

Diamond Tremolo Opto Trem w/ Power Supply

Best Analog Tremolo Pedal

What is a Tremolo Pedal?

Starting with the basics, tremolo is an effect that can change the volume of the signal. The many different options on the market today have some variations in how they change this volume, which is discussed in the next section below. The highest level of your volume is what goes into the pedal, while the ‘depth’ knob on the pedal can change the lowest level of volume. 

In simple terms, when you use the pedal, the volume has a ‘standard’ or default level, gets reduced to a certain level, and then comes back up – this fluctuation of the volume is called a ‘wave’. 

What Does a Tremolo Pedal Do?

Here are the main uses of a tremolo pedal:

Create Lopsided or Sloppier ​Effects

As we briefly mentioned above, a tremolo effect is basically a volume change. Some musicians love a smooth and drippy sound, which is what you can do with a sine wave. Most pedals have this wave – it helps you create a sound that is not perfectly polished. It can be a quite incredible sound simply because it is not highly accurate since the volume change is not linear. 

Create Obvious Drops in Volume

If you are on the other side of the spectrum, you can use a tremolo pedal to create an obvious, deep volume change – such as a helicopter sound. You can use the square waveform present in the tremolo pedals in order to create such defined sounds, which are often associated with contemporary music styles. 

Create Clear and Linear Waves

Lastly, one of the most popular uses of tremolos is to create clear and linear sounds using the triangle wave. The sounds evenly rise and slope, creating a ‘triangle’, smooth and clear. This effect was initially built into amps, although you can now find it on most tremolo pedals, as well. 

How Do I Choose a Tremolo Pedal?

From a simplistic perspective, a tremolo pedal helps you fluctuate the volume of the guitar. Although it sounds simple, there are some important characteristics you need to keep in mind when choosing a tremolo pedal:

Volume Adjustment

When you use a tremolo pedal, you will most likely register a volume drop – although it is a false impression. In order to counteract this impact on your guitar, most tremolo pedals (or good quality ones, at least) come with knobs for volume adjustment. This is important to level out the volume again. 

Versatility

The tremolo effects are soundwaves, which can be of different types. One important characteristic of the pedal is its versatility, which means that it combines different types of waveforms to allow you to select your favorite one or create your own – which is why you should choose a pedal with different features. 

Stereo Versus Mono

Tremolo pedals come as stereo or mono. The stereo pedal has two output jacks, which means you can connect it to two different amps. That being said, you might notice that there is no point to pay the higher price for a stereo pedal unless you have the necessary setup.

Quick Take: 
Top 3 Picks

Here are the best guitar tremolo pedals:

  1. TC Electronic Pipeline
  2. Wampler Latitude Deluxe V2
  3. Boss TR-2

Review of the Best Guitar Tremolo Pedals

Now that you know how to choose a guitar tremolo pedal, read on to find out some of the best models so you can make your final decision.

TC Electronic Guitar Tools (960826001)

PROS

  • Sturdy design with a retro vibe
  • Complete control over all parameters
  • Access to TonePrints, great for beginners
  • Can create anything from the '60s to the present day
  • Seven subdivisions of waves which can be used individually or combined
  • True bypass maintains clarity and zero losses when the pedal is disengaged

CONS

  • Medium price range
  • Takes skill to learn to create own tremolo effect

What Recent Buyers Report

Highly recommended tremolo pedal, this product can fit in with your style, whether it is surf-rock or hard rock or anything in between. You have useful controls that allow you to switch between TonePrint, Vintage mode, or Square mode, and the subdivision knob allows you to change the frequency of the tremolo.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This tremolo pedal is our top recommendation due to the large variety of features it possesses. Apart from access to TonePrints, where you can choose your presets, you can create anything from the '60s to the present day because of the seven subdivisions that can be either combined or used individually.

Who Will Use This Most

This pedal is so versatile, yet simple to use, that it is a perfect match for any type of guitarist at any level. Whether you want to dive in and create your own waves or you want to choose a preset pattern from TonePrint, you can create a tremolo effect that will perfectly match your music style.

Bottom Line

Overall, the best feature of this pedal is its versatility which, when matched with high-quality materials and a retro design, will definitely be worth every cent. You can explore and experiment with its many features, and it also offers a volume control of up to 6 decibels to eliminate volume drops.

Wampler Latitude Deluxe V2 Tremolo Guitar Effects Pedal

PROS

  • Both vintage and modern waves
  • Waveform variety – peal, sine, and square
  • 4 subdivisions of tap tempo for higher flexibility
  • True bypass for tonal integrity when the pedal is disengaged
  • High-quality materials with quick response and superior sounds

CONS

  • High price range

What Recent Buyers Report

This pedal offers everything you need from a tremolo pedal. It does not only sound great but also gives you control over the effect and its volume – which is important, since all you need is the effect without the volume drop. It is the perfect combination a tremolo pedal could offer.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Our runner-up option is definitely a strong competitor. It comes with a tap tempo with 4 divisions, as well as three choices for waveform – square, peak, and sine, which allows you to achieve the perfect result. With completely true bypass, this pedal offers you full control over the tone.

Who Will Use This Most

This pedal is worth checking out, though it might be better to go for a more affordable option if you’re a hobbyist or a beginner – experimenting more before you settle down with this pedal would help you build up your skills, then you could fully benefit from the large palette of options this pedal offers you.

Bottom Line

This pedal is great for professional use and definitely worth the investment. Whether you are a live performer or a studio player, this pedal will prove itself as one of the best choices you’ve ever made. It will make your performance shine and soon it will be one of your favorites.

Best for the Money:
Boss TR-2

Boss TR-2 Tremolo Bundle with Instrument Cable, Patch Cable, Picks, and Austin Bazaar Polishing Cloth

PROS

  • Great value for money
  • Comes in a bundle with extra accessories
  • Value for money and outstanding quality of materials
  • High-quality design and durability specific to BOSS products
  • Great control over effects through wave, depth, and rate knobs
  • High-quality vintage tremolo effects, easy to customize and use

CONS

  • Not as tweakable as more complex tremolo pedals
  • Recommended to purchase an additional power adapter
  • Power-hungry – although it runs on battery, it consumes power quickly

What Recent Buyers Report

This Boss tremolo pedal does not fail to impress, despite its lower price range. It offers you a decent amount of control over the effects, and the sound is clean and vintage. What's even better, the quality of the build is so high that you can literally stomp on the pedal!

Why it Stands Out to Us

This is a great combination of value and money. It is affordable, easy to use, and offers you all the characteristics and features you need in order to start rocking right out of the box. It also comes with a polishing cloth and a patch cable to connect all your pedals together!

Who Will Use This Most

This tremolo pedal is a great option for amateurs. It provides you with all the controls you need – wave, rate, and depth - which can create a plethora of effects, all in an affordable, ‘all-in-one’ packaging. BOSS's typical high quality is also a great feature of this pedal, ensuring reliability and durability.

Bottom Line

Overall, our "best value for the money" recommendation is a rich and full-bodied Boss pedal. It is high-quality, has great controls over the effect, and also comes in a bundle with much-needed accessories to get you started right out of the box. It is definitely a must-have on your pedal chain!

Best Guitar Tremolo Pedal Under $100:
Rowin Trelicopter Effects Guitar Tremolo Pedal

Rowin Trelicopter Effects Guitar Tremolo Pedal

PROS

  • Great looks and solid feel
  • Great controls over the tremolo effect
  • Sturdy stomp switch, standard functionality
  • Mini-sized pedal, ideal for a crowded pedalboard
  • Extremely affordable, yet high-quality and tweakable

CONS

  • Does not have a battery compartment
  • Zinc construction not as sturdy as aluminum
  • Tonal control is limited compared to more expensive options

What Recent Buyers Report

This pedal is extremely small – but we already know that strong essences are kept in small bottles. Surprisingly, for such a low price, the effects are clear, the bypass switch functions perfectly, and it is a great addition to any pedal family. The main drawback is that there is no battery compartment, thus it needs a 9V power adapter.

Why it Stands Out to Us

If you’re looking for a true bargain, our Rowin Trelicopter Effects is just what you need. The smart and compact design made of high-quality zinc alloy has adjusting knobs for bias, speed, and depth – with a wide range of possible effects. To top it off, it also comes with true bypass technology!

Who Will Use This Most

This analog circuit pedal is a great bargain for any amateur or hobbyist. It might be the first pedal you could use to get you to love the tremolo effects. It offers versatility and high quality. The affordable price makes it the perfect choice for any budget, and it is definitely reliable and durable.

Bottom Line

This pedal comes at an unbeatable price and has a fair range of controls for the desired tremolo effect. Additionally, it is built like a rock – long-lasting zinc alloy, easy-to-use knobs, and crystal-clear sounds. Coupled with true bypass technology and an analog circuit, this pedal is a must-try!

Best Analog Tremolo Pedal:
Diamond Pedals Trem

Diamond Tremolo Opto Trem w/ Power Supply

PROS

  • Tap tempo and double speed mode
  • User-friendly, simple, yet highly effective
  • Chaotic mode inputs random speeds with any waveform
  • Perfect for anything between classical and experimental music
  • Four selectable waveforms – square, sinewave, sharkfin, and chop

CONS

  • High price range

What Recent Buyers Report

This pedal is suitable for anything between the classic tremolo effect and the experimental chop mode. The tap tempo sounds great, and the design is simple and easy to use. It is effective and definitely one of the best tremolo pedals on the market. More simply, this pedal has it all!

Why it Stands Out to Us

This tremolo pedal is the perfect blend between quality and versatility. It offers four waveforms you can select from - sharkfin, sinewave, chop, and square wave - in order to create the perfect tremolo effect. For experimentalists, you can go for the "chaotic mode", which will activate random speeds with the selected waveform.

Who Will Use This Most

This pedal combines a high budget with one of the most versatile knobs for tremolo effects, thus it would be a good match for more experienced musicians. It requires skill to master its features, although it is user-friendly and convenient. It is extremely durable, so it definitely makes it through numerous hours of use.

Bottom Line

The Diamond Pedal is our best analog tremolo for a good reason. However, you should not take our word for it; see for yourself. You will be impressed with sound quality and clarity, but what is truly best is the wide range of effects it can generate – anything from classic to experimental music and everything in between.

Types of Tremolo Pedals

It is necessary to know the types of tremolo pedals available in order to pick the one that’s best for you. Here’s a short breakdown of the most popular types:

Triangle Wave Tremolo ​Pedals

This type allows you to create smooth and velvety effects, slicing the signal. The pulse of the triangle wave is beautifully captured by these pedals, and, when you play it slowly, you can clearly notice sound peaks and drops coming through the signal. 

Sine Wave Tremolo Pedals

For a more overdrive-like sound, a sine wave pedal is the best choice. This is less precise compared to triangle wave and gives a less controlled sound – it is smooth, although you will perceive it as less symmetrical. This is a more subtle and syrupy tremolo effect.  

Square Wave Tremolo Pedals

If you experiment with a sine wave at the highest settings, it will start to resemble a square wave tremolo effect. It is a highly accentuated waveform, and, if you go for the highest settings, you can perceive a slightly chaotic pattern.

Specialized Mixed ​Pedals

The last category is one which is already obvious – the specialized pedals nowadays, which can combine all the waveforms mentioned above, have added controls for volume, tap tempo, bias adjusters, and many others. 

Conclusion

Overall, this article walked you through the complex world of tremolo pedals. Although it is one of the simplest effects, you should not underestimate its power of creating absolutely astonishing results. There is definitely a good reason why some of them are quite expensive! In the end, it all depends on you whether you want a basic tremolo effect or a versatile one. 

People Also Ask

Here is a short section to clarify some of the most frequent questions about tremolo effects and pedals, including the difference between tremolo and vibrato, if tremolo is a mod effect or not, and why you need a tremolo pedal. 

What is the Difference Between Tremolo and Vibrato?

In simple terms, the vibrato is a change in the pitch, while tremolo is a change in volume. The ‘tremolo arm’ (Fender’s whammy bar on his guitar) is providing vibrato when you play with it (due to the change in pitch). When you press on the tremolo bar, the pitch goes up, and it comes back to the initial level when you let them go. The volume remains unchanged, and that would be a tremolo effect. 

Is Tremolo a Modulation Effect?

Yes, tremolo is a modulation that can rhythmically change the volume of your guitar’s signal. Essentially, a low-frequency oscillator creates a waveform which then turns your signal up and down. 

Do You Need a Tremolo Pedal?

It might depend on what your needs are and the style you play, although almost all guitarists use them at some point. Some even use tremolo pedals more than any other pedal – or that’s the only pedal they use at all. These pedals can be great for live performance. They add some depth and texture that you cannot achieve with any other effect.