Price paid: $ 140
Purchased from: Pro Guitar Shop
Sound — 9
To write this review I used 2 setups. First I tried it a Gibson Les Paul Studio (p94 in the bridge) fed into a Fender Blues Jr. In the Second test I tried a Squier Strat with after market Fender Vintage Noiseless pickups going into the same Blues Jr. In both cases, I tried it with the following pedal board setup: guitar > Lovepedal Kanji 9 > Malekko Vibrato > Analogman Beano Boost > MXR Carbon Copy > amp. There was a mild drop in signal volume when the pedal was engaged. However, this drop was so minimal it was almost unnoticeable (I spent a couple minutes switching it on and off trying to determine this). But all in all I'd call this a standard vibrato pedal -- though I don't have much experience with pedals of this nature. It played well with the pedals I coupled it with. Dirt before the vibrato revealed an expected result. The Beano after the effect was an interesting result -- but not necessarily a negative one. And of course, the delay after the vibrato was a post-rock staple.
Overall Impression — 10
I play alternative rock that's heavily inspired by Brand New, Modest Mouse, and Minus the Bear (with post-rock flavoring). The Melekko Vibrato definitely has earned its spot onto my pedal board. I've been playing for roughly 13 years and have owned various pedals, amps and guitars. Outside of my old Zoom multi-effects pedal, I've never played with a vibrato effect. But I can safely say, I'd replace this pedal if it ever broke or was stolen. It is just too transparent (while maintaining that classic vibrato tone) not to be replaced. I can't imagine wanting more in a vibrato pedal. Malekko definitely produced a pedal well worth its cost.
Reliability & Durability — 9
With a true bypass Switch wired directly into the circuit board, there are very little moving parts not secured. That coupled with (what appears to be) an aluminum chassis, this pedal definitely seems like it's ready to be stomped on in all settings. Also, in my experience, Malekko has made some fairly reliable products. So I'd be comfortable only bringing the one pedal on an extended tour. And should the pedal fail, it is inexpensive enough to replace.
Ease of Use — 8
The Malekko Vibrato (Omicron Series) is an incredibly simple, yet amazing, pedal cloaked in a tiny package. Good thing it didn't come with a manual -- because there's no need for one. There's only 2 knobs (speed and depth) which makes it pretty easy to dial in your desired vibrato tone.