"The Empress Tremolo proved a royal ball to use. The tube setting sounded big and warm, the Two Speed Mode ramped up and down in a very cool manner, and the various rythms were inspirational... The Empress is pure tremolo aristocracy."
- Guitar One Review
The Empress Tap Tremolo Pedal is an original design built from the ground up to include innovative features without sacrificing tone. The audio signal path is analog, but the tremolo effect is controlled digitally via opto technology.
Features & Specifications
The Empress Tap Tremolo is an original design built from the ground up to include innovative features without sacrificing tone. The audio signal path is analog, but the tremolo effect is controlled digitally via opto technology.
Pristine Sound - The Empress Tap Tremolo Pedal has to be heard to be believed. It's whisper quiet and free from the "LFO throb" usually associated with tremolos. We dare anyone to find a better sounding tremolo.
Waveform Selection - You can modulate your sound with three different waveforms. An asymmetrical tremolo was modelled after a '65 Fender Vibrolux (brown face) to give you the fullest tremolo sound possible. A square wave can be utilized if you're after a harder sound. And if you're looking for a more normal tremolo, you can use the triangle wave setting.
Tap Tempo - The Empress Tap Tremolo Pedal averages your last four taps so it plays in sync with your music. You can also choose different tap to tremolo rate ratios. 1:1, 1:2, and 1:4 are available.
Two Speed Mode - An exclusive feature to the Empress Trem. You're able to set two different rates, and switch between them using the tap tempo stompswitch. This is similar to playing through a Leslie cabinet and changing the speed.
Rhythms - Another exclusive feature. The Empress Trem will definiately do your run-of-the-mill tremolo sound to a tee. But you can also set it to play different rhythms. Check out the soundclips for examples.
Gain - A problem with most tremolos on the market is that when they're engaged, you hear a noticeable drop in volume. The Empress Trem solves this by having a gain stage on the output. It's able to deliver up to 6dB of gain without adding any distortion to the signal.
True Bypass - The Empress Trem employs true bypass, so you can be sure that it's not affecting the signal when disengaged.
Perfect Size - The enclosure measures approximately 4.5" by 3.5" by 1.5", which is delightfully small when considering all the features packed into this unit.
45 Day Money Back Guarantee - If for any reason the Tremolo isn't for you, send it back within 45 days for a refund. Read our Guarantee for more details. This guarantee does not cover Empress products not bought from www.empresseffects.com.
Two Year Warranty - The Empress Tremolo comes with a two-year warranty. Read our Warranty for details. You can extend the warranty to 4 years by simply registering online.
Great Value - The Empress Tremolo, a perfect blend of quality and innovation, will retail on empresseffects.com and in select music stores for $249 USD. Order one now!
The Empress Tremolo does not run off of batteries. It is powered by a standard 9VDC negative tip wall wart (like the BOSS PSA-120). Power supply sold seperately.
Power Input Voltage
9 - 12 V DC (Negative tip)
Power Input Connector
2.1mm barrel connector (Negative tip)
Die Cast Aluminum
Height (Enclosure only)
Height (including controls)
John Caban plays guitar for planetJABR. Here's acouple clips from their new album that feature the Empress Trem.
Snake Oil. (00:36 sec | 720 KB)
Nordic. (00:49 sec | 976 KB)Avi Bortnick plays rhythm guitar in John Scofield's band. He was kind enough to record some clips of the Empress Tremolo. The recordings are done with Avi's Frankenstrat into Fender Deluxe Reverb II mic'd with SM57. No processing.
Rhythm 4, two speed mode, depth full, square wave setting(with scrabler fuzz). (00:43 sec | 1 MB)
Rhythm 2, two speed mode, depth full, tube wave setting (with overdrive). (00:30 sec | 723 KB)
Rhythm 3, two speed mode, depth full, tube wave setting. (00:37 sec | 870 KB)
Rhythm 4, two speed mode, depth full, tube wave setting. (00:42 sec | 992 KB)
Legendary producer Jon St James was kind enough to record a soundclip of the Empress Tremolo in action. Andy Carpenter (Faulter) is on guitars and Josh Freese (A Perfect Circle, Nine Inch Nails, Sting) is on drums.
(00:43 sec | 980 KB)
Here's acouple soundclips to give you an idea of how the Empress Tremolo sounds. They were recorded like so: Italia guitar > Empress Tremolo > Fender Champ 25 > 414 > M-audio MobilePre. No noise reduction or other manipulation was done to the sound files.
The first 4 rhythms of the tremolo are your basic 1, 2, 3, and 4 beat bars with an accent on one. (00:45 sec | 715 KB)
One of the 8 rhythms on the Empress is in 5. Things get interesting when you use it on a part that's in 4... (00:31 sec | 486 KB)
The Empress Trem can double as a ring modulator if you tap it really fast while using the 1:4 ratio in tap tempo mode. (00:28 sec | 449 KB)
While in Two Speed Mode, the tremolo rate is switched back and forth between a fast and slow setting. Notice how it ramps up/down to the speed like a Leslie. (00:29 sec | 457 KB)
For your spy movie film scores... (it's quiet) (00:30 sec | 472 KB)
Just your basic asymmetrical tremolo. (00:24 sec | 379 KB)
Triangle waveform. Depth set to half. First the tremolo is played to the fastest rate, then it's played to the slowest. (00:34 sec | 543 KB)
Asymmetrical waveform. Full depth. Trem is in two-speed mode and is switched back and forth between two different rates. (00:31 sec | 488 KB)
Asymmetrical waveform. Full depth. An example of the rhythm feature. (00:55 sec | 860 KB)
Square waveform. Full depth. Another example of the rhythm feature. (00:39 sec | 611 KB)
Here's some videos of the Empress Tap Tremolo Pedal. If you have trouble playing the files below, I've also put them up at YouTube. Check them out at youtube.com.
Manual & FAQ
Empress Tremolo User ManualQ: Does the tremolo do stereo panning? Can you modify it to do stereo panning?
A: Nope. Mono, just like your guitar.
Q: Is there an external tap tempo jack? Can it be modified to include one?
A: There isn't one, but you could add one. You have to replace the tap stompswitch with an isolated 1/4inch jack. The stompswitch is latching, so the signal you send the SD has to be latching as well.
Q: Can you change the ramp speed in two speed mode?
A: Nope. The ramp speed is automatically calculated by the pedal based on the two speeds you have set.
Q: Where should the trem go in the signal chain?
A: I'd put it right after the distortion, but experiment with it in different locations. It can create some interesting effects.
Q: How much does the grey trem cost?
A: Same as the Red one.
Q: Where can I find the owner's manual for the Tremolo
A: All of our owner's manuals are here.
Q: Does the tap function work in bypass mode?
A: Yes is does.
Q: can you explain a bit more about the two speed setting?
A: Sure. As you stomp the "tempo" button, thats what engages the "second" speed? It will ramp up or down to that speed depending on whether it is faster or slower to the current tempo.
Q: In Two Speed mode, how do I set the 2 speeds?
A: Dial in your first speed with the rate knob, then press the tap button to switch to the other speed. You c,an now adjust the second speed with the rate knob. Now you can switch back and forth between the two speeds.
Q: If I leave two speed mode, will it save my two speed settings for when I switch back?
A: Yes. It will save them as long as the pedal is plugged in.
Q: Do you do any custom art/colors?
A: That depends if you call grey a custom color. We occasionally have some grey pedals laying around... if you want one, just ask for it when you're ordering.
Q: What is the current consumption of the Empress Tremolo?
A: about 30mA
Q: What voltages can the Empress Tremolo tolerate?
A: the Tremolo can take 9v to 15v.
Q: Can you add an expression pedal jack to the trem?
A: No, sorry. But it's not a hard mod to do. Here's a good resource on how to do it:
Add an Expression Pedal to Any EffectQ: What can I use to power the trem?
A: Any 9v DC, negative tip power adaptor will work. We recomend the Boss PSA-120.
Q: What are the rhythms?
A: Here is a diagram of the eight settings with "O" being accented:
1) 0000 (normal tremolo)
6) 0-0-00-0-0 (this one is in 5/4)
8) 0--0--0---0-0--- Q: Is the audio path all-analog?
A: Yes. A magical part called the vactrol allows the analog circuitry to be controlled digitally by a microprocessor. Best of both worlds!
Warranty & Money Back Guarantee
Products ordered through the Empress Effects website come with a two year warranty against failures resulting from defective parts and/or faulty workmanship.
This warranty can be extended to 4 years by filling out an online registration.
Products ordered through the Empress Effects website come with a 45-day money back guarantee.
This means that if you are not completely satisfied with your Empress Effects product, you can return it for a refund.