“It can do so much more than the originals could”: Strymon gives the iconic Uni-Vibe a 21st century twist with the compact and affordable UltraViolet Vintage Vibe

Strymon UltraViolet Vintage Vibe
(Image credit: Strymon)

It’s been a noteworthy year for Strymon. First, the effects pedal specialist released its most affordable and compact stompbox yet with the Cloudburst Ambient reverb pedal. Then, it continued its push for pedalboard-friendly units by releasing the even cheaper Brig dBucket Delay.

Well, if it wasn’t clear from those two releases that Strymon had set its sights on entering a new area of the market, the brand’s intentions are now confirmed with the official unveiling of yet another conveniently sized pedal: the UltraViolet Vintage Vibe.

This time out, the UltraViolet is described as a vintage-voiced pedal that takes inspiration from the original ‘60s-era Shin-Ei Uni-Vibe, which, of course, was popularized by the likes of Jimi Hendrix, Robin Trower, David Gilmour, and countless others.

Since it’s a Strymon, the UltraViolet isn’t simply a one-and-done clone of the UniVibe, however, with the California-based brand adding “a number of different options that were never available on the original units for greater flexibility”.

With (almost) the same form factor as the previous two 2023 pedal releases, the UltraViolet has three control knobs, a sole footswitch and two toggle switches for changing between Chorus (50% wet), Blend (30% wet) and Vibrato (100% wet) modes, and for altering the Bias.

The knobs are self-explanatory Speed, Intensity and Volume parameters, but it's worth noting all these controls are responsible for sculpting an all-new vibe algorithm, which is said to be a meticulous recreation of “the classic optical vibe circuit”.

Practically, the pedal offers full MIDI implementation, USB-C connectivity, stereo I/Os, a rear-panel mono/stereo switch, and the opportunity to configure and play 300 presets. Oh, and there’s a JFET input preamp for improved touch-sensitivity.

According to Strymon Head of Marketing Sean Halley, the pedal itself “can do so much more than the originals could”, and is “the very first digital vibe I’ve ever heard that sounds this big”.

Likewise, Pete Celi – Strymon’s co founder and DSP guru – added, “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.”

The UltraViolet is available now for $259.

Head over to Strymon to find out more.

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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.