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Thread: Fender Vibratone

  1. #1
    Senior Member JBLRaiser's Avatar
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    Fender Vibratone

    I bought one on Ebay for the historical value. Anyone here ever used one or listened to one live? I'm going to totally refurbish this one. Any thoughts?

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    I've messed with lots of Leslies, but never had a Vibratone/Leslie 16. Knew a guy that used one, and if he spent the time to experiment and find the best location for it before a gig, it was a great effect, otherwise a flip of the coin was more predictable. Usually, turned sideways on the front line worked best, where it had some distance to reflect from the back wall.

    The Leslie cone-driven drums can't do the FM Doppler effects that Leslie's rotary compression horns made them famous for, but can give strong AM when setup right, and sounds different than most typical tremolo circuits. Like any effect, it's great for some songs/styles (i.e. slow sustained chords), and annoying on others.

    I can't remember, does the Vibratone use the external pedal preamp, or do you plug straight to the cabinet?

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    Senior Member JBLRaiser's Avatar
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    Here's what I have found from a website

    Quote Originally Posted by moldyoldy View Post
    I've messed with lots of Leslies, but never had a Vibratone/Leslie 16. Knew a guy that used one, and if he spent the time to experiment and find the best location for it before a gig, it was a great effect, otherwise a flip of the coin was more predictable. Usually, turned sideways on the front line worked best, where it had some distance to reflect from the back wall.

    The Leslie cone-driven drums can't do the FM Doppler effects that Leslie's rotary compression horns made them famous for, but can give strong AM when setup right, and sounds different than most typical tremolo circuits. Like any effect, it's great for some songs/styles (i.e. slow sustained chords), and annoying on others.

    I can't remember, does the Vibratone use the external pedal preamp, or do you plug straight to the cabinet?
    http://userweb.suscom.net/~mos/vibratone/id7.htm

    The idea was for the Leslie to supplement the original speaker in a typical guitar amp. Since CBS owned but Leslie and Fender, it was the Fender "style" that acted as a model for making the connections.


    Fender amps, such as the Twin and many others, have a speaker cable that connects to the speaker(s) inside the guitar amp and ends in a 1/4" plug. That plug is then inserted in the "Speaker" jack on the rear of the amplifier chassis.


    The procedure was for you to take the plug out of the jack on the amplifier and plug it into the 1/4" jack on the Leslie harness, then you were to take the 1/4" plug on the Leslie harness and plug it into the speaker jack on the guitar amp (NOT the Ext. Speaker jack!)


    The other end of the harness, a "Leslie" plug, was then plugged into the crossover (a short length of PVC pipe with Leslie connectors in the ends).


    And finally, the footswitch, which had two wires coming from it, had one wire plugged into the other end of the crossover, and the last wire was plugged into the rear of the cabinet.

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    Senior Member JBLRaiser's Avatar
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    List of artists and music using the Fender Vibratone

    http://www.nmia.com/~vrbass/vibraton...atoneSongs.htm

    The idea was for the Leslie to supplement the original speaker in a typical guitar amp. Since CBS owned but Leslie and Fender, it was the Fender "style" that acted as a model for making the connections.


    Fender amps, such as the Twin and many others, have a speaker cable that connects to the speaker(s) inside the guitar amp and ends in a 1/4" plug. That plug is then inserted in the "Speaker" jack on the rear of the amplifier chassis.


    The procedure was for you to take the plug out of the jack on the amplifier and plug it into the 1/4" jack on the Leslie harness, then you were to take the 1/4" plug on the Leslie harness and plug it into the speaker jack on the guitar amp (NOT the Ext. Speaker jack!)


    The other end of the harness, a "Leslie" plug, was then plugged into the crossover (a short length of PVC pipe with Leslie connectors in the ends).


    And finally, the footswitch, which ha

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    Senior Member JBLRaiser's Avatar
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    Here's a picture

    Looks like it's been on the road a few times:
    Attached Images Attached Images  

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    Yeah, I remember now, another custom harness and control, a Leslie signature. Old Don made kits and hookup boxes for connecting about anything to about anything. He's still the king of DIY in my book.

    The imprints in the grill cloth look like either it was kept face-down at some point, or maybe the shipping bolts were never removed.

    Wooden or foam rotor? Wood is louder, both in amplified outout, and mechanical noise.

    The mechanical portion of a Leslie is amazingly durable as it is simple. The caveat is that ALL parts are necessary, down to the screws and washers. Fortuneately, there's a lot of models sharing the same parts, and much can be had from a good hdwr store (and way cheaper than eBay!).

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    Senior Member JBLRaiser's Avatar
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    Interesting on the inside

    Quote Originally Posted by moldyoldy View Post
    Yeah, I remember now, another custom harness and control, a Leslie signature. Old Don made kits and hookup boxes for connecting about anything to about anything. He's still the king of DIY in my book.

    The imprints in the grill cloth look like either it was kept face-down at some point, or maybe the shipping bolts were never removed.

    Wooden or foam rotor? Wood is louder, both in amplified outout, and mechanical noise.

    The mechanical portion of a Leslie is amazingly durable as it is simple. The caveat is that ALL parts are necessary, down to the screws and washers. Fortuneately, there's a lot of models sharing the same parts, and much can be had from a good hdwr store (and way cheaper than eBay!).
    It's a styrofoam rotor. It's been worked on. It has a JBL D130, instead of the 10" Utah. Checked the D130 and it works, but ain't that pretty at all. Lots of foam dust on it. I'll take some pictures next time I'm at the shop.

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    Nice find...listen to any Stevie Ray Vaughn records...you'll hear it..

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    Senior Member JBLRaiser's Avatar
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    As a matter of fact...

    Quote Originally Posted by Tim Rinkerman View Post
    Nice find...listen to any Stevie Ray Vaughn records...you'll hear it..
    his music is some of my favorite. Check the list above for musicians that used it. Pretty impressive.

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    Try this link..more than you probably care to know about Leslies, but for us Hammond/Leslie addicts, its pretty cool....Unearthing the Mysteries of the Leslie Cabinet

  11. #11
    Senior Member JBLRaiser's Avatar
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    Good stuff

    Quote Originally Posted by Tim Rinkerman View Post
    Try this link..more than you probably care to know about Leslies, but for us Hammond/Leslie addicts, its pretty cool....Unearthing the Mysteries of the Leslie Cabinet
    Thanks Tim

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