Shin-ei, the company behind the Uni-Vibe and Vibe-Bro stompboxes, shuts down pedal production

Shin-ei Vibe-Bro Joe Bonamassa pedal
(Image credit: Shin-ei/Instagram)

Iconic effects pedal specialist and mastermind behind the legendary Uni-Vibe pedal Shin-ei has announced it is shutting down its pedal production process effective immediately, with brand boss Bob Feldman reasoning that "we want to spend more time playing guitar".

In the same announcement, it was also revealed that the company has made one of its very last pedals for none other than Joe Bonamassa, who will be the recipient of a JoBo-styled Vibe-Bro stompbox embossed with an image of blues titan in action.

Taking to social media, the pedal powerhouse wrote, “We have gotten to that age where we want to spend more time playing guitar than building pedals for our friends to play guitar. Sadly, we are no longer producing any of our products.

“Whatever exists for sale via our wonderful dealer network and directly on our website is it,” it continued. “On a happier note, we are excited and honored to produce one of our very last pedals for one of our favorite guitarists on planet earth. It’s been fun, gang! Thanks for the love!”

The Vibe-Bro – a revival of the iconic Uni-Vibe – was developed upon the company‘s revival back in 2016 by Bob Feldman, and aimed to emulate the pedal that appeared on ‘boards round the world when it debuted in the ‘60s and ‘70s.

While the original was favored by a catalog of guitar gods such as Jimi Hendrix, David Gilmour and Robin Trower, the updated Vibe-Bro appeared on the rigs of Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Michael Landau and Carson Brock, among many others.

Though not a like-for-like recreation of the iconic circuit, the Vibe-Bro boasts NOS parts, a vintage-style preamp signal-path switching and a true bypass, combining elements from both of Shin-ei’s Honey and Uni-Vibe units.

Bonamassa’s one-of-a-kind commemorative farewell fixture looks to be a conventional Vibe-Bro in all its glory, sporting a classic Chorus/Vibrato switch, as well as control knobs for Volume, Speed and Intensity.

Responding to the post, JoBo commented, “Man, I am so honored you made this pedal for me. It will be in the rig this summer. I am sorry you are no longer building stuff. You are a great pillar in the guitar community. Continued success on your new adventures Bob.”

To peruse the brand’s final batch of pedals, head over to Shin-ei.

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Matt Owen

Matt is a Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.