Review: MXR M68 Uni-Vibe Chorus/Vibrato Pedal

Heard on numerous classic recordings by players like Jimi Hendrix, David Gilmour and Robin Trower, the Uni-Vibe is essentially a four-stage phase shifter.

However, without going into a full-blown technical explanation, the components and circuit have certain quirks that distinguish it from a run-of-the-mill phase shifter.

For decades, the only viable choices for guitarists seeking authentic classic Uni-Vibe effects were to hunt for an original vintage unit or buy a boutique version, but both options were expensive.

The new MXR M68 Uni-Vibe Chorus/Vibrato solves this dilemma once and for all by providing genuine Uni-Vibe effects with thick, rich swirling textures in a pedal that costs less than half of the price of most acclaimed boutique versions.

FEATURES Housed in a compact, Phase 90–size box, the MXR Uni-Vibe provides speed, level and depth controls, along with a mini push switch that lets users select chorus or vibe effects, just like the original unit. A bright white LED pulses when the effect is engaged, and a smaller red LED illuminates when the vibe effect is on. The control knobs even have glow-in-the-dark markings to help you tweak settings on a dark stage. With true hardwire bypass and the ability to operate with either a nine-volt battery or nine-volt DC power supply (drawing only 5mA current), the MXR Uni-Vibe is a rugged, professional-quality pedal.

PERFORMANCE The MXR Uni-Vibe’s expressive and aggressive effects are spot on, with Vibe mode delivering subtle, psychedelic swirls and Chorus mode producing deep throbbing bass and thick, chewy, snarling treble. The level control can be set to boost the effect louder than the bypassed signal, avoiding the “tone suck” of the original units. It may lack the ability to adjust the speed setting with a foot controller, but most players will probably prefer the cost savings over this rarely used feature.

LIST PRICE $185.70
MANUFACTURER Dunlop Manufacturing,

THE BOTTOM LINE The MXR M68 Uni-Vibe may be small in size and price, but its authentic and satisfyingly expressive Uni-Vibe chorus and vibrat

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Chris Gill, Video by Paul Riario

Chris is the co-author of Eruption - Conversations with Eddie Van Halen. He is a 40-year music industry veteran who started at Boardwalk Entertainment (Joan Jett, Night Ranger) and Roland US before becoming a guitar journalist in 1991. He has interviewed more than 600 artists, written more than 1,400 product reviews and contributed to Jeff Beck’s Beck 01: Hot Rods and Rock & Roll and Eric Clapton’s Six String Stories.