Dunlop M68 Uni-Vibe Chorus/Vibrato
- Iconic chorus/Vibrato true to the classic late '60s tone
- Simple three-knob interface
- True bypass
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|Sold By||Amazon.com||Briskdrop||BrandCentric||Briskdrop||waltz japan||Amazon.com|
|Item Dimensions||5.50 x 2.50 x 4.50 inches||3.00 x 8.00 x 10.00 inches||2.00 x 3.70 x 2.08 inches||5.00 x 3.00 x 3.31 inches||4.00 x 3.00 x 6.00 inches||5.50 x 2.50 x 4.50 inches|
Dunlop M68 Uni-Vibe chorus/vibrato.
Top reviews from the United States
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The pedal itself is alright, nothing crazy about it.
I've been using a Dunlop rotovibe pedal for years and absolutely love that thing.
I bought this univibe hoping to get the same sound in a smaller encloser. Needless to say the univibe just doesn't measure up.
Rotovibe has a much wider sweep effect and its a lot cleaner sounding, more clear.
The univibe is very bass heavy and muffled, Especially when used along side a OD or fuzz pedal. I was tweaking the knobs for a while but just couldn't dial in the sound I wanted.
I even hooked it up next to my rotovibe for comparison.
I had high hopes for the univibe. It's not a bad pedal, just didn't have the sounds I was looking for.
I ultimately recommend this as the best of the univibes. Read the review below. The Shaky Jimi was my original first choice before this was on the market, and I originally kept it for quite a while. I later went ahead and moved to this M68 for board space. It's a great univibe pedal very authentic to the sound of the original univibes. My criticisms still stand, but they are basically minor design annoyances. The other reason I'd probably move this to #1 overall is I did see several folks had some quality issues with the Shakey Jimi. I didn't have any at all. But in that sense...you get what you pay for. The jimi is a very inexpensive vibe. If you get a good one, it's a real bargain with a good sound. but the footprint is a bit large and in the end I moved to the M68 for smaller footprint.
The new M68 Uni-Vibe is a very good vibe pedal. I like it a lot. It's the perfect form factor (shape/size) with no coloration of the tone...by which I mean it does not boost the bass or mids or anything like that when you click it on, and that sets it apart from a lot of other vibes I tested. I did an extensive vibe pedal shoot-out about 6 months or a year ago and at the time, the MXR M68 was not available.
At that time my favorite was the Shaky Jimi, and I have to say that it still is -- But the M68 gives it a good run...and if you are extremely tight on board space, it might be a better choice for you. They sound very similar, I might even very slightly prefer the M68 sound which retains slightly more treble, and has a wider range of adjustment. However, I can't think of anything that would use the wider range of adjustment - I don't think I'd set it that slow or that fast...so the Jimi seems to include the right range. I asked my wife which pedal sounded better, the Jimi or the MXR, and she picked the MXR. She's not a music person at all...but there you go. It sounds pretty good.
This is certainly among my two favorite uni-vibe pedals, but it still costs 2x the Shaky Jimi, which is still my overall favorite. If they were the same price, I would be torn because the Shaky Jimi is a little larger form factor (although not bad!) I don't really think you can go wrong with the MXR, and I will say that while one of the two pedals I've ever had fail was an MXR, Jim Dunlop/MXR had GREAT factory customer service and fixed it even though it was out of its warranty period. I wish MXR would move their power supply jack to the rear vertical surface though. It is always in the way on all my other MXR's. On this pedal, for me, the main issue was the fact that I'd have to leave it with the mini switch engaged, and the red LED burning all the time, looking like it is on when you're not actually engaging the circuit with the main switch, and I didn't care for the white LED much, and of course the power supply location. So for me, it's not a keeper, but it could be YOUR best choice, especially if board space is your biggest tradeoff.
- Does not do EQ on the basic tone (i.e. doesn't boost the bass or mids)
- Good sound - no noise.
- Small form factor is a real plus. Bonus points for that. I like MXR Pedals form factor except the placement of the power supply jack. They sit flat on a pedal board if you rip off the rubber feet and apply Velcro, and they don't take up much space. Not too big, not too small. Inputs/Output jacks are in the right place.
- "Standard" 9V power supply with center positive and the regular size barrel connector.
- Primary controls have a white line that is high visibility
- Nice range of speed
- Nice range of depth
- Power supply placement on the right side of the box on this and all MXR pedals is all too often in the way of input patch cords if you use right angle cords and put your pedals close together. I wish they would move the power jack to the rear vertical surface like Boss, EXH, Ibanez or most other common pedals.
- Top left Chorus/vibe pushbutton - I don't like these buttons on MXR Pedals in general - they are too small and on this pedal in particular, because it has 3 knobs, it's easy to try to push that button and bump something else you didn't mean to. (either the level or the speed)
- Default mode is chorus but on this pedal, you'll probably want the vibe mode as the primary function.
- Vibe mode lights a red LED, even when the effect is disengaged, so the pedal is always burning power and can look like it is on when it isn't.
- White main LED is just ugly and because it pulses, it's kind of obnoxious. They should have made this main indicator red.
- Value - much improved vs. earlier models from Dunlop, and it's a fair value compared to most other offerings in the marketplace. But still 2X the price of the Shaky Jimi so in that sense -- overpriced.
- The cosmetics are pretty dull. On the other hand, so were the cosmetics of the original uni-vibe. I didn't care much...I'm more interested in sound and function.
- Level control knob - I usually really like that and expect it on most pedals but with the vibe, I'm not sure I would really want to boost or cut for a modulation effect, so eliminating this knob and making it unity gain (i.e. same volume as when its off) would have been a better design choice in my opinion...but I also can't argue its nice to have level controls on pedals. I'd have much preferred they dropped this control and put a mini-toggle switch in the center for the chorus/reverb instead of using the cheapo push button they used.
- Main LED pulses with the effect speed. I don't know why I like that but I do. On the other hand, when this feature is combined with the white LED it becomes a bit obnoxious. I wish they had used red.
OTHER UNI-VIBE PEDALS I TESTED, WITH MY RANKINGS
#1 Shaky Jimi - My overall favorite, especially since its only $60-70, but mainly based on sound. The Jimi has the power on the back where it belongs, good controls with decent range and high visibility. Mini toggle for chorus/vibrato, simple red LED for o/off. It does not pulse the rate. Metal case, decent construction, doesn't mess up the tone and isn't noisy. Kinda cool looking on the board but the form factor is slightly larger than a boss pedal. Great value, great sound, good looks.
#2 M68 MXR/Dunlop (this pedal!) - great size/shape and board mountability, great range and sound. Dunlop also has really good factory customer support. Power supply is on the side, which is often in the way, but at least is 9V standard. Annoying white LED is more annoying when flashing the tempo. Price is "in range" with most vibe pedals but 2X my top choice. This is the best choice if your board is getting really space constrained and you don't mind paying 2x the price of the Jimi.
#3 - Fulltone Mini Deja vibe -- highest quality construction (as expected at $200). The large knob in the lower right corner for speed is great and allows toe tweaking -- very useful on a vibe pedal. My complaint is that this vibe colors my tone - it boosts the mid range tones while maintaining the crisp highs and slightly losing the bass. This probably helps the sound stand out in a mix, however, I'd rather that my vibe not provide EQ because when I switch it on or off, I don't want to have to compensate at my guitar tone knobs to try to get back "my sound". I was able to match exactly an authentic original Uni-vibe sound with some adjusting. It seems to kind of muffle the pick attack or compress it also. I have a love-hate relationship with this pedal after about a week of testing it. Some days I hate it...but I like the build quality and the speed control. I originally liked that it was one of only two pedals that didn't strip the treble off my tone -- until I realized the mids were boosted, the bass was cut and the pick attack was somehow tweaked. Mixed bag, and at $200 shouldn't be. The best feature is the large speed control knob and it's location.
#4 Dunlop Uni-vibe UV1 - (now discontinued) Cool stainless steel construction. Knobs were hard to see settings. placement of vintage switch on the back of the pedal was easily forgotten at worst and awkward at best. Non standard 18V power supply takes double slots from my power supply brick. Sound was very good but did also color my EQ sound by boosting the bass, and muffling the mids and highs slightly. On the one hand, this sound matched a lot of recorded uni-vibe sounds I've heard. On the other hand, once you strip the treble it's hard to put it back in the mix. The seller had a 3 day return policy (3 days??!!) so I returned it and they lost the sale. Othewise, I would still be thinking about this one. I was on the fence about whether it was my winner. I was able to match a true uni-vibe sample, but the treble was slightly lacking and bugged me. At $220 I'd have to love it to keep it.
#5 Voodoo Labs Micro Vibe - Liked the form factor, the simple controls, high visibility knobs, ability to toe tweak controls, standard 9V power supply, and placement of all jacks. Can get a very lush, even excessive univibe sound BUT the bass is VERY boosted, and mids/highs are cut. That EQ effect just kills the pedal for me, and I think it would sound terrible in the mix of an actual band (although I did not try it with my band). I returned it - it was among my lowest picks at $150, based on sound, price, and value.
#6 Dunlop ROTO-Vibe : A good choice (perhaps the only choice) if you MUST have expression pedal controlled speed adjustment. Didn't color the tone much - and that was a problem on most other uni-vibes tested. BUT had Limited speed range and awkward controls placement - most annoying to me. Intensity range seemed less than other pedals too. Large footprint if mounted on board, but also offers the ability to take NO space on the board by not mounting it. I didn't like that when you switch the effect on, you are automatically at high speed due to the mechanical nature of the design. Some awkwardness in the placement of controls and power plug vs guitar cables when plugged in. Std power supply a plus. LED indicators good and flash the speed. Durable construction although the mechanical nature means in time something will need lubricating and you may need to replace internal gears or pots. Overpriced 1.5 to 2X in my opinion. For me, I found it awkward and didn't care for it but if you want to control the speed with your foot, it's the one.
#7 - BBE Soul Bender - My least favorite Vibe. It had extreme muffling of mids and highs, heavy boost of bass. In a band mix, I'm pretty sure it would get totally lost. At home, might sound ok. form factor was good, controls were simple, I think it pulsed the speed. My recollection is it had an overly bright blue LED. It was the first vibe I bought, and I only compared to Fulltone and Dunlop before returning it. Had some useable sounds, but with the intensity above 50% had an annoying "womp womp womp" of a bass note that was not coming from my guitar -- a weird defect in the effect sound in my opinion. With intensity below 50% it was usable...kind of. But a tone muffler. I returned this one early.
(not ranked) BOSS GT-100 Multi-effect unit - has a univibe effect that is not bad. It works. I bought a GT-100 but my experience with it on stage made me go back to discrete pedals - I had too much trouble getting good sounds, controlling volume of different patches, and spent so much time messing with it...Still...if you have a multi effects unit, you probably have a uni-vibe sound in there somewhere. The one on the GT-100 was ok....the GT-100 overall is a bit of a tone muffler though.
(not ranked) Other similar modulation effects. Univibes are effectively a phase effect - without the swooshy space-age edge on the sound. You can probably modify a modern phaser pedal to get the univibe sound which is like a vibrato plus analog chorus combined. Or in a pinch if you have a phase 90, you can get in the ballpark of a univibe sound. A modern flanger is much too space-age sounding. Vibrato pedals can capture the vibrato aspect of a uni-vibe and I'd recommend the behringer vibrato at $25 if you like vibrato sounds. I also tried a Behringer time machine and just really didin't like it for reasons I won't go into here.
A NOTE ON VENDOR SELECTION
I had a very bad experience with the vendor I bought the M68 from, and while it does not weigh at all on this product review's 4 star rating, I provided a separate 1-star rating on the vendor feedback page. I recommend if you choose to purchase this pedal (or anything else) you be careful to avoid the Amazon Marketplace vendor called MixDSP.net in San Jose, CA. In addition to charging a 15% restocking fee if you want to return the pedal (in original condition with all materials and packaging), getting them to even acknowledge the return request at all was a problem and took more than a week. They first tried to cancel the request twice, then ignored an email, and it ultimately required opening a claim with Amazon to get any meaningful response on the return. Once they did communicate, they were downright unprofessional. When the product was returned to them, it took an additional 2 weeks for them to accept delivery of the package. All in all it took over a month, a bunch of e-mails, and a claim with Amazon just to get a partial refund on this relatively inexpensive item. A google earth view of their address explained it all. MixDSP.net appears to be running out of an apartment complex. They have a few hundred positive transactions, so maybe can be OK but I can only comment on my experience and this was easily the worst online transaction I've had shopping on amazon.
Most Amazon marketplace sellers are just fine but this one is really not, at least when it comes to returns. My recommendation is that you find a vendor who is in the musical instrument business and who will provide the typical no cost refunds for 30 to 45 days as most large musical instrument retailers do, should you need it. The reason is simple - especially for pedals -- until you plug into the rest of YOUR rig, you don't know how it is going to interact and sound. Returns are common with pedals for this reason. Find a vendor who understands that. This vendors return process, communications, response time, and professionalism are below industry standards. As a buyer, you deserve better than what I got from MixDSPnet. Their selling price is the same as everyone else so there is really no reason to accept these shortcomings on service. Use a real vendor who supports the products they sell and the customers they sell to.
Top reviews from other countries
Vibrato : très bien aussi. Pas aussi planant et enveloppant que le chorus mais bien en son clair pour mettre un peu de relief au son.
Peut être un tout petit peu moins expressive et pratique que mon ancienne rotovibe qui m'a lâchée après 20 ans de bonheur mais beaucoup plus adaptée à un pedalboard ( en début de chaîne après l'accordeur et avant la wah wah. )