“It can totally do the hyper-authentic ‘60s thing, but it can do a bunch of other stuff that makes it much more versatile”: Strymon puts “gooey wobble” on the menu with the UltraViolet Vintage Vibe

Strymon Ultraviolet Vintage Vibe
(Image credit: Strymon)

Digital guitar effects specialist Strymon has expanded its compact series of pedals with the UltraViolet Vintage Vibe, a pedal combining chorus and vibrato to replicate the heady psychedelic sounds of a vintage Shin-ei Uni-Vibe.

Arriving in a similarly pedalboard-friendly form factor as the Brig and Cloudburst, the UltraViolet applies the might of Strymon’s future-forward digital DSP to replicate vintage analogue tones, and to offer modern functionality, with MIDI compatibility and the capacity to create, save and store up to 300 presets. 

There is USB-C connectivity, full stereo inputs and outputs, with a mono/stereo switch on the top of the pedal, and the circuit incorporates a discrete JFET input preamp for “unmatched touch-sensitivity and tone”.

Strymon co-founder, Pete Celi, says the UltraViolet was developed after extensive study of vintage units. Players can choose from a trio of bias settings to fine-tune the effect’s response, and the design plays fast and loose with the original Uni-Vibe to give players more options.

“In addition to the traditional Chorus (50/50) and Vibrato (100 per cent wet) modes, the new Blend mode gives you a 70/30 mix of dry and wet, for more subtle versions of the effect,” said Celi. “It can totally do the hyper-authentic ‘60s thing, but it can do a bunch of other stuff that makes it much more versatile than the original units.” 

More versatile, maybe, but the control setup of the Ultraviolet is reassuringly straightforward – another benefit, accidental or otherwise, of a smaller enclosure.

There are three dials controlling Speed, Intensity and Volume, with a pair of three-way toggle switches for selecting operating mode and the bias. Choose from the aforementioned 50/50 split of Chorus, the 100 per cent wet Vibrato, and Blend. Bias settings are Low, Mid and High. 

As you can see from the pic above, all the jacks are mounted on the top of the unit. Sean Halley, head of marketing at Strymon, promises a big performance from a small package.

Just don’t underestimate it because it might smaller than what we are used to seeing from the brand. 

“It has all of the low frequency girth that the best pricey boutique big-box pedal versions have, but it can do so much more than the originals could and it’s small enough to fit on any ‘board,” he said. “It’s the very first digital vibe I’ve ever heard that sounds this big”

The Ultraviolet is available now and is priced £/$259. For more details, head over to Strymon.

Jonathan Horsley

Jonathan Horsley has been writing about guitars and guitar culture since 2005, playing them since 1990, and regularly contributes to MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitar World. He uses Jazz III nylon picks, 10s during the week, 9s at the weekend, and shamefully still struggles with rhythm figure one of Van Halen’s Panama.