Posted by
Oct 1, 2021

The Croatian team at DryBell have spent most of their 10-year (plus) existence laser-focused on creating the best possible Uni-Vibe clone. The fruit of these efforts was the Vibe Machine, which quickly established itself as one of the best contenders in that category, as highlighted in our Buyer’s Guide to the Best Uni-Vibe pedals.

To celebrate the 10th year anniversary of the release of their flagship stompbox, the company will unveil at our upcoming LA Stompbox Exhibit a V3 that retains the layout and functions of V2, but features a new fix in the opto-setting system that – to mention the builder – “sounded out of this world:”

V-3 has its own colorful magic going on. Is it better than its predecessors? With such a unique sound presence, it’s really a matter of personal taste. V-3 is simply different and it sounds beautiful.

The main difference between V2 and V3 is in the way the modulated sound is Equalized: while V2 modulates a small mid-frequency range of your signal, V3 applies the modulation without changing the EQ, with wider modulation and more depth, with a slight difference in the intensity’s character.

Just like in V2, 6 side trimmers allow you to tweak the circuit to your liking (see here for details).

If you are curious to hear how the DryBell Vibe Machine V3 sounds, the videos below do a great job in showcasing it.

V-3 features the same options as the V-2, so it’s basically the same product in the context of secondary options. However, we played around with the complex opto-system a lot. The main difference between V-3 and V-2 is in the modulation EQ. V-2 modulates just a slight part of the main tone (mid-range focused modulation), while V-3 blends in nicely with the main tone and modulates it without changing the EQ. V-3 has a wider modulation and brings more depth.

It’s hard to believe that 10 years has passed since we started our journey into the wonders of the beautiful Uni-Vibe. Looking back to the time when we started our experiments with that three-dimensional sound, everything was very different from today.

It was a simpler time in the pedal world. There were several big, well-known companies that produced most of the classic pedals and a handful of smaller boutique builders. At that time, most new pedals could easily get into the spotlight, to be explored and talked about. It was the beginning of a golden era for the world of guitar pedals. Back then, only a few Uni-Vibe clones existed, most following the same circuit recipe as that used by the wonderful Shin-Ei, they were mostly big, bulky and rather expensive.

When we decided to take a shot with our Uni-Vibe, we wanted something different and more practical. We wanted The Sound, but we also wanted to make ours much smaller than any other Uni-Vibe on the market. In 2011, when the Vibe Machine V-1 was born, it was the smallest ever photocell-based Vibe pedal in the World retaining all the features of the classic Uni-Vibe. People loved it, and they still do.

A few years later, after extensive development, with tons of new experience, and with feedback gathered from our amazing customers, forum members, reviewers, demo guys and fellow musicians, the Vibe Machine V-2 arrived. It looked very similar to its predecessor, but it was much more complex under the hood. Besides all those added features, The Sound was greater than ever and it rocked the vibe community around the world! As one of the best Uni-Vibe effects available today, the Vibe Machine has received many awards from the Music Industry and we’re extremely proud of it!

The V-3 version

Several months ago, we wanted to find a special way to celebrate our upcoming 10 Year Anniversary and we decided to pull out our Vibe Machine breadboard. We played extensively with the complex opto-system and one specific setting sounded out of this world. We tried tons of different settings, but we kept on coming back to this particular one.

It was like re-mixing your greatest album. You know it’s great, but you wanted to add some magic touches to make it even more special. We didn’t expect that our breadboard experiment would result in a completely new version of our Vibe Machine, but this one is really something else and we couldn’t just keep it to ourselves. We wanted to share it with the World.

V-3 has its own colorful magic going on. Is it better than its predecessors? With such a unique sound presence, it’s really a matter of personal taste. V-3 is simply different and it sounds beautiful.

The main difference between V-3 and V-2 is in the modulation EQ. V-2 modulates just a slight part of your main tone (mid-range focused modulation), while V-3 blends in nicely with your main tone and modulates it without changing the EQ. V-3 has a wider modulation and brings you more depth. The Intensity’s character has also changed.

Additional options

V-3 features the same versatile custom sound options as V-2. There are 6 ‘set and forget’ side trimmers: CHORUS, GRIT, CUSTOM, SYM, RANGE and VOLUME. All these controls come with initial factory settings. Check the manual in the support tab for more detailed descriptions, but to begin playing you don’t need the manual or to adjust anything, just plug in and enjoy!

The CHORUS trimmer adjusts the depth of vibe modulation so the user can adjust the swirl/watery/chewy character of the Chorus sound. The CHORUS trimmer also affects the low end frequencies of the Chorus throb.

With GRIT you can set the overall brightness, it acts as a low pass passive tone control and also defines the output impedance. Try a fuzz/dirt pedal or just an amp after the V-3 and with GRIT you can find your tonal sweet spot with whatever is next in chain.

The CUSTOM trimmer adjusts the input impedance when the three way ORIGINAL/BRIGHT/CUSTOM switch is set to the CUSTOM position. If you switch guitars on stage, sometimes you may want to flip this switch to balance your guitar’s brightness.

The SYM and RANGE define the light bulb bias and character/response of the Vibe movement.

With the VOLUME trimmer at its maximum setting, it boosts your volume above and beyond unity gain.

The V-3 can be used with any passive expression pedal with a linear pot. Also, the V-3 has several functions that are controllable with the DryBell F-1L footswitch or any other simple footswitch. With the footswitch you can engage the CANCEL function, TAP TEMPO feature, Fast/Slow with adjustable Leslie® ramp delay or a Two speed function.

CANCEL function – Just like on an original Uni-Vibe®, a warm & darker sounding preamp (Cancel on original Uni-Vibe®) is available using an expression pedal. Please refer to the Options manual for more information.

Just like on V-2, there are a couple of ‘set and forget’ options like different footswitch type compatibility, expression pedal pot taper adjustment and more. Check the V-3 options manual to see all of its features.