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Fact?  or  Funk!

 

Many customers and others have brought to our attention several "less than accurate" statements being made by other vibe makers which causes confusion about real Uni-Vibe's, and modern counterparts.

Note the following information is not intended as a bash-fest, names are only mentioned because those individuals are spreading various self-serving BS statements all around about uni-vibes.

Fuller and Inugami (aka; Jun Dog God) are the main sources of most the BS flow which brings the need to reference their remarks directly, but many of these things are also quoted by other vibe makers in their advertising, on the internet, and in forums.

We present this webpage to focus on the mis-information and hyperbole in the interest of clearing-the-air. While there is certainly nothing wrong with hypeing one's own product the spreading of mojo'ism and fantasy-bs to make yourself sound unique isn't cool, and the trash-talk'in isn't cool (or necessary) either. We get weary having to address and answer this "stuff" for our own customers benefit so we're posting it here for the benefit and reference of all.

Before we focus on the details lets look at some screen-captures of a couple of webpages which host the majority of mis-information. We did "screen captures" here for the sake of reference and copyright laws (we own the images of our own monitor screen, and their rights) and it also saves us posting links to pages that may changed without notice. You can click on a pic below for a close-up so you can read/verify statements made for yourself.

 


From here forward we will simply refer to Fuller as "MF" and Inugami/JunDogGod as "JD"
so we can keep focused on the stuff we're discussing here.


 

 

Now let's get after it, and de-bunk the funk...

 

BUNK #1 - Reproduction/NOS LDRs

(MF) "So when the new booteek company of the month says "uh, I make a more exact copy of the original... SMACK!... sorry Boy... you can't get more accurate than EXACT"

MF talks about having LDRs made "knock-off's of four of my best" in his words, he even has a couple pictures of his MDV and a real Uni-Vibe so we might as well start with having a closer look at this.

(JD) "...dead stock parts...although they are vintage parts, they remain in excellent condition hence it is possible to successfully reproduce the original Uni-Vibe sound."

 

The following pictures (taken by me) show the photocells in question and it's (very) easy for anyone to see that neither MF or JDG photocells are exactly like vintage Uni-Vibe photocells:

 

 

 


Figure-1a

 

The LDRs in MF's vibes, and everyone else's for that matter, are what is known in the business as "new production" photocells made from the same stuff, by the same Mfr's as all the new production photocells used today, nothing new/different/special here.

All the new production cells use a modern process/recipie and are easily spotted by their much skinnier patterns (notice they have more and thinner squiggles) as seen in these close-up's:


Real vintage Uni-Vibe
   
MF's knock-offs
   
JD's knock-offs

Figure-1b

 

The simple fact is there are actually only a very few LDR makers left in the world today, probabaly less than 1/2-dozen combined spanning the globe from eastern europe to India and pacific rim countries that make all the photocells in production today, none are manufatured in America or Japan, so know that there is no special source to be had.

Original Uni-Vibe LDRs were made from a very different process (call it a different 'recipie' if that makes more sense to you) of Cadmium-Sulfide and they used a different layer width/thickness/dimension (notice the snake-like squiggles). They were faster response and less sensitive than new production cells.

 

 

 

BUNK #2

(MF) "The original 1960's Vibe's (and our) photocells have tall sides and a glass top which react differently according to how much light actually gets let in."

MF may not have seen many real Uni-Vibes up-close and personal or he would surely know that statement is only true in some of late production Uni-Vibe's. The pictures below show the difference between early and late production LDRs and how the sides of the cells look, you can clearly see the "tall sides theory" is (at best) only true in some later production units which had tall LDRs and short bulbs:

 

Figure-2a
(original vintage Uni-Vibe LDRs, aka Photocells)

 

Figure-2b
(MF's "custom made" LDRs)

 

JD claims dead stock, original parts etc, but clearly it can be seen he doesn't actualy use NOS/Vintage LDRs as can be seen below:

Figure-2c
(JD's "NOS" LDRs)

 

 

BUNK #3 - Hermetically Sealed LDRs

 

(MF) "We're the only small company (who can quite frankly afford) to have the correct Glass covered, hermetically sealed photocells Custom-made..."

 

This funk about hermetically sealed LDRs sounding more like vintage vibes is seen/heard/re-gurgitated all over the internet, music stores, and from "effects gurus" and "engineers", but is simply bs.

Having done my own extensive testing over the years (tone, light response, speed, etc) with several dozen new production LDRs from different sources and mfr's, comparing the results to original LDRs from vintage Uni-Vibe's I can say without a doubt that the (ceramic-wafer) LDR which is inside a hermetic sealed package acts no differently w/o the hermetic case, period, end of (that) story.

 

In fact even an average-guy non-electronics person can just look (closely) and see that a hermeticaly-sealed LDR is acually made from a normal ceramic-wafer LDR which is placed inside a metal/glass package and hermetically sealed, it's the same photosensor peep's!, with or without the hermetic package, no tone difference, but plenty of mileage to be had in advertising hype.

Figure-3a

 

Notice Dunlop and JunDog don't buy into Bunk #3...


Figure-3b

 

 

I've "been there, done that" and moved on.

 

 

BUNK #4 - The Lamp

(MF) "...but don't look at the size of the Glass, look at the size of the Filament (wire inside the glass)! We got it right.. And this is crucial to achieve the correct amount of brightness..."

(JD) "...Hard-to-find lamp...product of the same standard as use to original Uni-vibe...vintage parts made in Japan. "

The filament type is indeed a factor but equally so is Mscp (light output) of he bulb and even more crucial is the filament voltage and how the lamp is biased.

In original vintage Uni-Vibes, the early models used the C2V filament, which has a single arm supporting the filament in an inverted "V" shape. The T1 lamp in MF's vibes has a C2F filament which can be seen in the pictures below held up by two little arms. Hmmm, so is it true MF "got it right"?, you decide:

 

Figure-4a
original vintage lamp with C2V filament  -vs-  MF's lamp with C2F filament

 

An original Uni-Vibe lamp/bulb is much taller and has a longer filament which this gives the original a different "throb/lope" than using a low voltage T1/C2F lamps.

 


Figure-4b
JD's lamp with C2F filament

JD's bulb is clearly a modern T1-3/4 lamp, the industry standard bulb designations "TX-xx" was not developed in the same era as the uni-vibe's manufacture so his claim about "same standard as use to original Uni-vibe", well, not so much.

 

Here is what a real Uni-Vibe Lamp (Bulb) works like:
Uni-vibe Lamp.mp4

 

 

BUNK #5 - Shiny Cover

(MF) "...the aluminum cover protecting the photocells... is the inside of your clone mirrored? Too bad, the original Univibe's was and so is ours, and that's the only way to get the proper light reflection inside the photo-array. It's all in the details."

We hear this funk all the time, but anyone who thinks this hasn't seen many original vintage Uni-Vibe's up-close and personal. The light shield was made from aluminum with a brushed finish on one side and polished on the other. Most early manufactured Uni-Vibe's light shields were made with the brushed finish on the inside, and the shiny finish on the outside. Only in later manufactured units was the shiny finish sometimes on the inside.


Figure-5a

 


Figure-5b

 

Interestingly, Dunlop was also on the shiny finish inside group with their discontinued UV-1:


Figure-5c

 

 

BUNK #6 - Transistors

 

I get asked quite often "what transistors do you use? because so-n-so says only 2SC828's will get authentic vintage Uni-Vibe tone"

 

Well let's take a look at the pictures below (taken by me) of a couple late production stock un-modified Uni-Vibes, Hmmm, what do we have here?:

 


Figure-6a
Factory installed 2SC945 transistors

 


Figure-6b
Factory installed 2SC536 transistors

 

Clearly it can be seen that 2SC945 and 2SC536 are factory (Shin-Ei) subsitutes for the 2SC828 used in early Uni-Vibes. It's interesting to note that the 2SC945 transistor is a very common run-of-the-mill Japanese transistor used all the time in electronic equipment from Japan (Sony, Panasonic, Mistubishi, etc), nothing special here folks, they're not even low-noise audio transistors.

 

 


MF's Robin Trower Endorsement

(MF) "...Robin Trower says of his DejáVibe: "...It's the best of its kind!"

Clearly Robin has not tried one of mine. While it's entirely possible that Robin has moved-on in his tone preferences and doesn't want that GREAT tone he had on his first 3 albums, I am of the opinion he actually can't get it with his MF gear.

Hey Robin, any time you're in the Seattle area I'd like you to be my guest. Bring your Deja-Vibe over (or I'll bring my vibe to you) and let's do a shoot-out and see if your's is indeed "the best of its kind".

(and of course beer/wine/drinks are on me if you're having any)


 

 

Speaking of great guitarists, there is in fact a guy who IMHO does the very best job on the Hendrix groove, has superb playing and great tone, his name is Randy Hansen.

Check out these YouTube links where Randy is absoulutely ripping a really great rendition of Machine Gun:
Randy Hansen - Machine Gun (part 1)
Randy Hansen - Machine Gun (part 2)

Wish I could have been at this gig:
Randy Hansen - Buddy Miles

 

Randy Hansen's website is here:  www.randyhansen.com

 

 


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