The Uni-Vibe is a classic effect, but unless
you perform in a Robin Trower tribute band,
you’re not likely to use this watery sound
more than a couple of times a night. So why
sacrifice a lot of pedalboard real estate to get
it? Slotting neatly between two existing pedals
on my board, the Pickle Vibe produced
huge, inspiring vibe tones.
As with the Babyface Tremolo, the pedal’s
single knob controls the rate. A blue LED
flashes the tempo of the vibe, while a
red one indicates the effect on/off status.
There’s a sensitivity trim pot inside, but
don’t bother unscrewing the back. I tried
other settings and none sounded as good
as the factory one.
The Final Mojo
As with most Uni-Vibe emulations, the
Pickle Vibe responded best between the
guitar and some sort of grit, whether
an overdrive pedal, the slightly broken
up Orange, or the lead channel on the
Egnater. According to Lovepedal, rather
than using an exact copy of the Uni-Vibe
circuit, the Pickle Vibe generates those
classic tones with a unique circuit. Clone
or not, from slow psychedelia to fast Leslie
blues, this pedal sounded so good it could
increase the number of times I go for the
vibe on any given night.
you want great-sounding vibrato effects
in a tiny box—and at a great price.
you perform in a Robin Trower
Sean Michael made his bones largely on his
“Church of Tone” pedal, the COT 50 Boost/
Overdrive. Lots of players agreed that it
nailed certain classic-rock sounds associated
with guitar icons like Jimi Hendrix and
Billy Gibbons. For the mini version, Michael
has modified his original design to afford
cleaner tones at the bottom of the gain/bias
sweep and dirtier tones at the top.
The Amp 50’s single knob adjusts the bias
of the circuit, which causes some noise
as you turn it. I found that, by putting a
volume pedal or a muting tuner after this
pedal, I could mute the noise—a good
thing, as I could see using a number of different
settings throughout a set.
With the gain/bias down all the way, the
Amp 50 added a buffer-like sparkle to the
clean sound of both the Tiny Terror and
Rebel 30. Between there and 12 o’clock,
a small amount of grit entered the equation—
more so when using the hot-humbucker
equipped Reverend than with my
Strat. From noon to 3 o’clock, the Amp 50
became more overdrive-like, adding sustain
to solos and crunch to rhythm chords. From
3 o’clock to full on, a fuzz effect started
creeping in. Turned fully clockwise, the control
produced a sound like an amp on the
verge of destruction (in the best sense).
The Amp 50 is all about response. In its
cleaner modes, it added a dynamic “give”
to what would otherwise be an unforgiving
clean amp tone. Backing off the guitar volume
at almost any setting cleaned up the
sound quickly. The pedal added a whole
array of British sounds to the Egnater’s
American-toned clean channel, while
interacting much like a classic treble booster
with the British-voiced Orange.
The Amp 50 also played nicely with other
overdrive pedals. It was no surprise that
it worked well in front of a Lovepedal
Kalamazoo, but it also matched up delightfully
with a Maxon OD-9, not only adding
sustain but injecting a new British character
to the tone. In either combination, the Amp
50 effectively turned my single-channel Tiny
Terror into a three-channel amp.
The Final Mojo
Given all the ways the Amp 50 can enhance
your sound without adding significantly to
your gear load—or subtracting much from
your pocketbook—it’s hard to imagine not
picking up one of these mini-monsters.
you want to give your sound a character-
laden kick in the butt.
you have all the tones you need.