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Vintage Uni-Vibe Repairs


Note: all repair pictures before 2011 were lost when a hard-drive crashed

 

 

 


This Old Vibe
(still works!)

 


John E. - MI, USA  2011

John's Uni-Vibe had that dreaded funky circuit board disease so common to old Uni-Vibe's, I installed one of my Auxillary LFO Modules, replaced his power supply cap's, and he's good-2-go.


MrNoName - NoTown, USA  2011

MrNoName sent his Uni-vibe in to me for the four most common repairs, LFO rebuild, Bulb Driver rebuild, Power Supply Caps, and Bulb replacement.

He's too funny, said I could put his reference on my website "as long as you don't use my real name", well ok then ...MrNoName! ;)

(BTW, it was MrNoName that dubbed me with the Dr Vibe moniker)


TJ - HI, USA  2011

TJ sent his Uni-vibe in to me because his LFO stopped working, it works now!.


Mike S. - FL, USA  2011

Mike's Uni-Vibe had the dreaded funky circuit board disease common to these old effects, his was un-repairable so I installed one of my Auxillary LFO Modules.


Tim K. - IL, USA  2012

Tim sent me his early-production Uni-Vibe for repair, his vibe had the dreaded funky circuit board disease that plagues many of these vintage units. This was one of those tough-dog-job's because this particular Uni-Vibe had issues well beyond typical parts-replacement style service. Took a lot of work but I brought Tim's unit back to life and it sounds very good if I say so myself.

(excerpts from Tim's email)... "...thank you for everything...I was given the uni-vibe in 1988, several times over the years i tried to have it fixed. In the early 90`s a repairman had it for a while but told me he could`nt get it working. In fact it never worked the whole time i`ve owned it, today was the first time i have ever heard it function. I can`t put in words how thankful i am of your skill Brad thank you !! -Tim."

Phil V. - NY, USA  2012

Phil sent his late-production Uni-Vibe in to me for repair, his vibe needed the LFO, lamp-driver, and power supply work.


Brad P. - TN, USA  2012

Brad sent me his Uni-Vibe which needed some care and attention.


Mark S. - MN, USA  2012

Marc sent me his 'ol Uni-Vibe for some service/tune-up work, the LFO was dead from funky circuit board disease, his vibe got a "graft" and is doing fine now.


Jay M. - NY, USA  2012

Jay sent me his Uni-Vibe for some service/tune-up work, the LFO was getting really weak and turning the Intensity knob up full barely made it vibe.


Will C. - CA, USA  2012

Will sent his Uni-Vibe in to me for some minor service/tune-up work, Will's Uni-Vibe is one of the few in near mint condition Uni-Vibe's I've had come across my workbench.


Eric T. - PA, USA  2013

Eric sent his Uni-Vibe for some LFO work, his was another one of the few vibes in near mint condition.


NOTE:
Something very interesting here, be it a coincidence or whatever, Eric's vibe (pictured above) and Ricki's vibe (pictured below) were not only in my shop at the same time (June 2013) they were nearly identical and appeared they could have been built at the same time (day/production-run). Most Uni-Vibe's I've come across although they are all built "similarly" don't have the "exact" same parts and/or wiring (wire colors per connection) on their main boards, but these two did have exactly that. In fact the only difference between these two Uni-Vibes was the Vibrato/Chorus switch wiring was inverted, otherwise these two were identical in all aspects.


Ricki C. - CA, USA  2013

Rick sent me his Uni-Vibe for some LFO service work, and a tune-up.


Jörgen R. - Stockholm, Sweden  2013

Jörgen sent me his later model Uni-Vibe for some power supply and DIN jack work. A couple things of note were the power transformer did not have the unsual "02-1-05" marking printed on the top, it had a .005uF cap instead of the usual .0047uF, and had some 1uF caps in the LFO section of a brand (AL) I've not seen before in stock Uni-Vibe's.


Ronald D. - CA, USA  2013

Ronald's Uni-Vibe needed some LFO work, power supply capacitors, and a tune-up.


Marc D. - Munich, Germany  2013

Marc's Uni-Vibe came all the way from Munich for some work. His vibe was interesting in that the Shin-Ei stamp/logo was on the inside of the chassis rather than the bottom.

Marc also had an "Brand-F" pedal that needed repairs, apparently Mr.F wouldn't help him with it so I agreed to fix it for him since he was sending his Uni-Vibe.

BTW, I don't normally work on brand-"F" products.


Trey Anastasio (PHISH) - VT, USA  2014

Brian Brown (Trey's guitar tech) sent me one of Trey's Uni-Vibe's which needed the usual work. This one appeared to be a "late" mfr unit.

A couple weeks later Brian sent me a white-logo and an ali-logo of Trey's Uni-Vibe's to have internal speed pots installed.

Here's my completely reversible mod where I add the speed pot using a custom made mounting plate that fits where the original DIN socket goes. It can be removed and the unit restored very easily.


(no drilling!)


Ed D. - NJ, USA  2014

Ed sent his Uni-Vibe which needed some luv.


"Celt" - PA, USA  2014

"The Celt" sent his Uni-Vibe which needed some LFO work, power supply capacitors, and a tune-up.


B.G. - CT, USA  2014

BG has a Heavens Vibe that needed service, while I don't normally service other makers vibe's I agreed to take a look at it.

Turned out it needed more than a little work so BG sent it back to it's maker in Japan.


Paul W. - CA, USA  2014

Paul had a box of gear he sent me for service but his Uni-Vibe specifically was in really bad shape (didn't work at all) which was a bummer for him because said he might want to sell it. Someone had been inside it and amoung othe things replaced the original light cover with a home-made one.

Paul's vibe needed quite a bit of work to bring it back to life, new LFO bulb, complete Cap-job, power switch, DIN jack & plug, 1/4" input and output jacks, and replacement of the broken speed pot in foot controller.
(I also made him a new "vintage correct" light shield)

Well (unfortunately) a couple months later...

I get an email from Paul with the complaint "you did not fix my vibe 100% as I asked" and explaining "it does not do "slow speed" as it should. Paul also communicated to me that he felt I embarassed him in front of his buddies and professional players saying "it's a bummer the unit was not fixed and tested before sending it back to me". I asked him to send it back to me and I went over all the previous work I had done, everything tested to spec but it indeed did not do the normally slowest speeds. My owm speed controller did. I replaced the pot inside Pail's foot pedal but still no joy and after considerable time working with it when I sat back in my chair to think about it all that's when I noticed his rack-n-pinion set on his speed pedal didn't look right (looked like Dunlop wah gears):

Sure enough, the rack-n-pinion gears in his foot controller were indeed not the same as in "normal" uni-vibes, had a different tooth count than normal vintage speed pedals (I suspect someone had replaced them with modern wah gears at some time) and since the gear ratio was not the same it did not allow full rotation of the speed pot and so the lowest speeds were not available. Paul's slow speed problem had absolutely nothing to do with my work, it was strictly a mechanical issue. Bummer for Paul is there are no NOS rack-n-pinion sets to be had (these days) so it's just not something I could fix for him, but more imortantly it's not something I did when I serviced his vibe the 1st time. I communicated all this to Paul but he was convinced the problem was my fault, he also declined any compensation for my additional time and requested I return his vibe.

Paul has his vibe back now and (unfortunately) is no longer one of our customers, but we wish Paul all the best.

 

I can do wonders with these old vibes, but unfortunately, I can't come up with certain parts that are not available in these modern times. The gist of all this is the fact that I may not be able to get some customers 100% fixed, it all depends on what is wrong with your vibe.

 

 


Red Slim - NSW, AU  2014

Red sent his vibe to me for service, it needed a refresh and some bit-n-bobs straightened up. Red's vibe is one of the few in particularly good shape, it's always nice to work on these when they're nearly spotless and well kept.

 

 


Jim B. - VA, USA  2014

Jims vibe needed a bit of work, mostly the usual work and a good clean-up, but check out the power switch someone had replaced:

Got his innards all fixed up and a decent NOS type power switch in there now.

 

 


Steve H. - GA, USA  2014

Steve's vibe needed quite a bit of work, it needed restoration because sometime in it's life it was converted to use another speed pedal and put a new jack on the front panel and a stomp switch where the output jack was, and someone (with good intentions) tried to do some work on circuit board inside:

  

We got Steve all fixed up, and built him one of our speed control pedals to work with the original DIN jack on the front panel as it should be on a vintage unit.

 

 


Jeremy R. - IL, USA  2015

Jeremy's vibe needed the usual work and a hole pludded in the front panel.

Jeremy's vibe sounds really good as vibe's go.

 

 


DeeDee J. - MO, USA  2015

Dee Dee James is the guitar tech for Bootsy Collins, he sent me one of Bootsy's uni-vibes for some work.

 

 


Ed A. - PA, USA  2015

Ed's vibe needed some fairly extensive service, several bad transistors were replaced, a full cap-job, as well as a new DIN jack.

 

 


Raymond B. - PA, USA  2015

Raymond sent me his Uni-Vibe for some luv, his needed to be restored from someone's earlier "repair" work.

Then later, Raymond sent me this very cool cousin of the Uni-Vibe, it's called a Nomad Verberola which needed some work and a (hard-to-find) mode switch replacement.

 

 


Jason H. - FL, USA  2015

Jason sent me his newly aquired vibe for some service work.

 

 


Leif C. - OK, USA  2015

Leif sent me his vibe for some normal service work.


Miguel S. - Spain  2015

Miguel sent me his vibe for some work all the way from Spain, though it was working, it didn't sound like a vintage uni-vibe.

After inspecting the unit, it turns out someone had converted it to be LED driven instead of light bulb driven as seen below:

No worries, I quickly restored the unit to it's former glory and it sounds great now.

 

 

 

 

 


Rick G. - CA, USA  2015

Rick sent me his vibe for a tune-up.

 

 

 

 

 


Alan H. - CH, USA  2016

Alan sent me his Resley Tone for a re-build.

 

 

 

 

 


Albert R. - NY, USA  2016

Albert sent me his uni-vibe for some TLC.

 

 

 

 

 


Brian M. - MN, USA  2016

Brian sent me his uni-vibe for some TLC, and adding the internal speed control replacing the DIN jack.
(a completely removable/reversible mod)

 

 

 

 

 


Jack H. - CO, USA  2016

Jack sent me his uni-vibe because the LFO was failing (wouldn't vibe), got him going again ...no worries!.

 

 

 

 

 


Reid B. - IL, USA  2016

Reid sent me his uni-vibe for some TLC.

 

 

 

 

 



Harley Fine - NYC, USA  2012

2012

While not a "vintage" univibe, this one needs an honorable mention...

Harley Fine runs a recording studio in New York, he sent me an unusual piece for some work which was a univibe built into an old Leslie foot controler. Even though I don't normally work on vibes other than originals, or my own, but I liked this cool piece built from an old Leslie pedal and agreed to take on the job.
(cool because the univibe was originally intended to be an electronic Leslie simulator)

(from Harley's email)... "Got the vibe this morning, what a nice difference in the sound, really engulfs the guitar in a nice way that the other one only hinted at... sounds more liquid and sexy!!"

Harley whipped up a nice little youtube video when he got his unit back from my shop, IMHO it sounds very cool. Thank you Harley.

Anyone needing recording studio work in the NYC area give Harley a shout, he can be reached at:

Harley Fine
Super 70 Studio
www.facebook.com/super70studio



 

 


SERVICE & REPAIR:



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Classic Flag Counter
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