Strymon Ultraviolet

After the Cloudburst and the Brig, the Strymon Ultraviolet is the third “almost compact” release by the Californian builder, and its first take on the Uni-Vibe effect.

Like the two previous pedals in this unnamed, smaller line of devices, the Ultraviolet is a rather streamlined device, but sports an entirely new algorithm that carefully recreates all the nuances of the original optical vibe circuits featured in the vintage Uni-Vibes, with the added bonus of a stereo output.

While Speed, Intensity  and Volume are the classic controls found in all vibe pedals, the two toggles open up some new tonal option, with a blended Chorus/Vibrato mode (in addition to the regular Chorus AND Vibrato modes found in the original) and a 3-way BIAS toggle that affects the shape and timing of the warble as well as frequency emphasis. These Bias modes were inspired by tones obtained by tweaking an internal Bias trimpot found in some of the vintage units.

  • The Low Bias setting offers a rhythmic pulsation, making it particularly effective for tremolo effects (particularly so in Blend Mode).
  • The Mid setting achieves a balanced character, ideal for producing classic vibe effects.
  • The High setting features a smoother shape with a broader frequency sweep, enabling the creation of sounds reminiscent of Pink Floyd’s “Breathe.”

These bias settings also affect the shape of the LFO, with a slightly asymmetrical sinewave-like waveform in the Mid position, a smoother and more symmetrical LFO shape in hte High setting, and a more square wave (but still with smooth “corners”) in the Low position.

While Vibrato mode is 100% wet and the Chorus mode is comprised by a balanced mix of wet dry signal, the Blend mode is mostly dry, with a 70/30 mix, producing a more subtle modulation.

As expected, the pedal is fully Midi compatible. We added the Ultraviolet to our article about the best Uni-Vibe clones and variations.

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Strymon Ultraviolet, Builder’s Notes

Quintessential Vibe

A warm grittiness to the warble, a rippling, wooshing, bubbling irregularity to the modulation and a dynamic response to your picking are all hallmarks of the true vibe experience.

Thicker and chewier than any chorus, earthier than any phaser and uniquely magical in front of a driven amp, the perfect vibe pedal moves you to dig in and play without inhibition.

This feeling has been difficult to find outside of large and expensive fully-analog boutique units, but the search for that elusive experience is now over.

Delivering vintage vibe tone that’s second to none with simple and powerful controls for instantly obtaining a rich variety of captivating sounds, UltraViolet is the vibe pedal you’ve been looking for.

Vintage Plus

UltraViolet’s simple and responsive controls provide a wider range of sounds than traditional vibe pedals.

In addition to the familiar Chorus (50% wet) and Vibrato (100% wet) settings, there is a new Blend setting (30% wet) for an inspiring variety of more subtle effects.

A Bias switch gives you three distinct flavors of sweep shape and tone emphasis, allowing for tons of sonic variation.

At slow speeds, the intensity range has been expanded beyond that of traditional vibe circuits to push even further into warmly undulating sonic territory.

UltraViolet gives you all the classic vibe tones—and more.

All New Algorithm?

For UltraViolet’s new vibe algorithm, all the elements of the classic optical vibe circuit (and their interdependencies) have been meticulously recreated for a dynamic playing response.

From the effects of bias, speed and LFO waveshape on the pulsing of the lamp, to the response of the light-dependent resistors that set the center frequencies of the staggered phasing filters, the entire system has been duplicated and carefully tuned to produce the very best sounds a vibe pedal can offer.

Stereo MIDI Rig Ready

TRS stereo input and output in a dual mono configuration means you can place UltraViolet at any point in your pedal chain with no impact on your stereo image.

Full MIDI implementation with 300 available preset locations ensures that UltraViolet is ready for your MIDI rig.

In addition to TRS MIDI, there is a USB-C jack for controlling the pedal via MIDI from a computer or for performing firmware updates.

For hands-free control without MIDI you can connect an expression pedal for control over any combination of knobs in any direction (Expression pedal controls Speed by default.) Or attach an optional external switch for tap tempo or favorite recall.

Finally, a high-impedance, ultra-low noise discrete Class A JFET stereo input preamp provides exceptional touch sensitivity, dynamics and feel—all in a rugged and elegantly compact form factor.

Vibration Variation.

One aspect of vintage vibe pedals is variation in the way each unit sounds. Even two identical pedals manufactured the same year are likely to sound different from one another, and a single pedal may not sound quite the same year after year.

Some of this variation in vintage circuits can be traced to drift in the setting of an internal bias trimpot, which has a marked impact on the sonic character of the pedal, affecting the shape and timing of the warble as well as frequency emphasis. The thing is, some of these variations can sound pretty great!

So with UltraViolet, we included a Bias switch in order to reliably cover the full range of the best vibe tones. Under the hood, the switch not only changes the bias level, but also optimizes the LFO waveshape for the selected bias to create the most inspiring vibe experiences possible.

The Low setting produces a pulsing character well-suited for tremolo effects (especially in Blend Mode). The Mid setting has a balanced character capable of producing many of the most sought-after classic vibe effects, while the High setting has a smoother shape with a wider frequency sweep, able to create sounds evocative of Pink Floyd’s “Breathe.”

Choose Your Bypass Mode.

UltraViolet lets you choose between electromechanical relay-switched true bypass for a 100% untouched and unprocessed signal when the pedal is not engaged (which is the default), or our premium buffered bypass, which preserves your signal’s integrity by preventing the high frequency roll-off that can happen due to longer cable runs.

Analog Touch.

Uncompromised dynamics and feel. Exceptional touch sensitivity and responsiveness. UltraViolet feels just as good as it sounds, thanks to a high-impedance, ultra-low noise and discrete Class A JFET preamp input.