With the arrival of the Ernie Ball Expression Tremolo, the company’s Expression series feels more complete. If you’ve had the chance to try the Expression Ambient Delay or the Expression Overdrive, you may already be aware of the unique qualities that they possess. These pedals aren’t just utilitarian—they are a work of art.
I had no idea that I even needed a tremolo pedal until I took the Expression Tremolo for a spin.
At a Glance:
- Five different tremolo waveform settings
- Expression foot pedal
- Spring Reverb
- Mono input/output
- Depth and rate controls
- 9V input (power supply not included)
- $199.99 price point
Easy on the Eyes
Just like its predecessors, the Expression Tremolo is housed in a sleek, metal enclosure. This means it weighs a little on the heavy side, but it is the same heft that makes it withstand so many miles, which has been proven by the famous Ernie Ball volume pedals. The knobs are on the back of the enclosure which are clearly marked and accompanied by LEDs. While the design of this pedal is rather large to accommodate the rocking foot pedal, having the power to move in and out of effects seamlessly makes the bigger foot print on your pedal board completely inconsequential.
Your classic tremolo waveform found in most pedals is usually the sine wave. The Expression Tremolo, however, offers five different waveforms by way of a selector knob: slow rise, slow fall, sine wave, square wave, and harmonic wave. All of these can also be paired with spring reverb which has its own knob for level adjustment. The pairing of the Tremolo and spring reverb are really quite harmonious and, at times, even psychedelic.
One of the coolest features of this pedal is that you can create sweeping tremolo effects just by rocking the foot pedal back and forth. The depth and rate knobs on the back are easily pushed in and then set to the desired levels. Moving in and out of effects could not get any easier; not only do you have an effect without a click, but the abrupt on and off isn’t an issue since the effect swells in and out.
The Expression Tremolo—along with its Expression series companions—is a step ahead in terms of pedal performance and function, and it’s definitely the first tremolo to ever catch the attention of my eye (and ears). Its limitless potential in sonic variation and revolutionary design for ease of use, has ushered in a new (and much needed) standard, not just for the tremolo pedal, but for effects pedals in general.