OLD SCHOOL

VINTAGE TREMOLO

This pedal is discontinued, but it available until November 29 as part of our Klein Bottle launch.

Our OLD SCHOOL tremolo pedal recalls the luxurious tremolo sounds of vintage tube amps. Derived from a rich sounding, but feature-limited tremolo circuit from the 1960s, we added extra range to both speed & depth controls. But we did not stop there! We added two unique circuits - one to starve the circuit to add grit & chop, and another that can adjust the speed or depth based on your playing dynamics. And we packed it all in our pedalboard friendly stompbox!

Click the different parts of the pedal to learn more.

Demos

How It Works

Features

Tech Specs

Story

Older

Versions

OLD SCHOOL BLOCK DIAGRAM

Click on any section to learn more

FEATURES & CONSTRUCTION

TrueSoft  Bypass

Extended Headroom

We combine durable true bypass relay switching with an effect-side FET switch for pure and smooth switching.

We use a charge pump for a bigger, clean tone. v2 can change 9V in 22V, and the OSJ goes from 9V to 16V.

USA Made PCBs

All-Analog Circuitry

Our circuit boards are made in the USA by Advanced Circuits (large PCB runs) or OSH Park (small PCB runs).

The amplifier, LFO, and trigger section are 100% analog for that great vintage tone and smooth tremolo vibe.

Discrete Circuitry

DualMode Switching

The Old School is built on a simple, 2-transistor circuit. This transistor design is the key to its smooth, rich character.

DualMode Switching can convert the footswitch into momentary operation.

To use, wait 5 seconds, then press the sequence tap+tap+hold until LED flashes.

All VFE Pedals are built by hand in Puyallup, WA and include:

 

- Rugged diecast aluminum enclosures

- DualMode standard or momentary switching operation

- Industrial-grade Carling switches & Neutrik audio jacks

- Alpha pots soldered directly to PCB

- 5% WIMA film capacitors & 1% metal film resistors

- Ultra-pure, eutectic silver solder

- 1 year warranty on parts & labor

DIMENSIONS:

Enclosure dimensions: 2.37"W x 4.37"L x 1.16"H  (60 x 111 x 29mm)

With knobs & jacks: 2.6"W x 4.4"L x 2.1"H  (66 x 111 x 53mm)

 

POWER:

Standard 2.1mm, negative-tip 9V to 15V power supply or 9V battery.

 

INPUT IMPEDANCE:

1M-ohm

 

CURRENT DRAW:

~25ma continous

+30ma surge for 4ms during on/off switching

BY THE NUMBERS:

32 RESISTORS

26 CAPACITORS
1 INDUCTOR

8 TRANSISTORS

10 DIODES

1 OP AMP

4 INTEGRATED CIRCUITS
7 POTENTIOMETERS
3 SWITCHES

3 JACKS
2 CIRCUIT BOARDS

HOW THE OLD SCHOOL CAME TO BE

THE STORY

The Old School has gone through many revisions, and even a couple of name changes. I first called it the "Yellow Submarine", but once I started making larger production runs, I figured it would be best to avoid any potential copyright issues with the Beatles! So I changed the name to "Tremulator: Rise and Fall", only to find out that there's been another tremolo on the market for years by the same name.

 

Despite the name changes, the Old School has always been a transistor-based, vintage tremolo circuit. I find transistor-based tremolos have a richer sonic character than their optical counterparts, due to the hint of phasing that is a result of the change in gain of the transistor itself.

-- Peter Rutter, founder of VFE Pedals --

Here is the list of versions of the Old School circuit:

 

#1 - The original was called the "Yellow Submarine". It was basically an EA Tremolo clone with extended depth & speed range, plus a control to adjust the pedal from smooth sine to gritty & choppy tremolo. It also included an LED that flashed in time with the LFO.

 

#2 - The second revision was called the "Tremulator". It replaced the flashing LED with a switchable charge pump to add headroom. This is very close to the design of the production unit.

 

#3 - In the production unit, the name was changed again to "Old School", in order to avoid potential confusion & trademark issues with another product. The charge pump was given even more capacity, upping internal voltage about 2.5 times the input voltage for maximum headroom.

 

Here is what is new in the current version:

- Improved headroom and less distortion

- Option to have the speed or depth response to playing dynamics

- WAVE knob is renamed to STARVE to better communicate what that control does

- Dual-Mode switching