Korg’s latest pedal – the Nuvibe
August 18, 1969. Jimi Hendrix wakes up a sleepy crowd at Woodstock, playing an unforgettable rendition of the Star Spangled Banner. The phrasing was all his, but the phasing came from an Uni-Vibe vibrato/chorus pedal. Invented that same year by Japanese engineer Fumio Mieda, the Uni-Vibe was designed to emulate a Leslie rotating speaker and amplifier, but without the weight— the Leslie topped the scaled at 140 pounds. It was developed for organists, but Hendrix showed the world that the Uni-Vibe worked just as well for guitars, too.
According to Mitch Gallagher, author of Guitar Tone: Pursuing the Ultimate Guitar Sound, a Uni-Vibe is “essentially a four stage phase shifter” which uses a pulsating light and four photo resistors to trigger each filter. Since the filters are staggered “semi-randomly,” the resulting sound is “wobbly.”
Unfortunately, Uni-Vibes were only manufactured for a few years. Today a vintage model can command as much as $2000, and good luck if it continues to work—there are 19 capacitors inside don’t age well. Fortunately, Korg as come up with a solution with the Nuvibe Vibrato Chorus Effector.
According to Korg, the Nuvibe uses “original circuits that simulate hard-to-obtain parts” of the Uni-Vibe. In lieu of photo resistors (which used a component that is now hazardous), the Nuvibe creates its mojo with 79 transistors, a design that was supervised by Fumio Mieda.
Unlike the original, Korg’s Nuvibe features a true bypass, along with sliders to create new waveforms. You’ll get four hours of battery life from 6 AAs; or power it up with an optional AC adapter.
List price is $640. Street price: $499
Check out the Nuvibe here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9KqQxxKP1qg