Looking for wisdom on Univibes

Discussion in 'Burnt Fingers DIY Effects' started by JuneauMike, May 27, 2020.

  1. JuneauMike

    JuneauMike Poster Extraordinaire

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    Yeah, I think I read that the MXR Univibe is just an analog chorus with vibrato. Which is fine if that's what you want. Plenty of people seem to love it.

    I looked at the Animals pedal too, it looked really cool and their whole line is cheap enough and they look interesting enough to eventually take a flyer on something. It's great that there's all these smaller pedal companies out there making something besides fuzz and overdrive pedals. I think the world has plenty of those, ha.

    I was bummed about the Lovepedal thing. Apparently there's two versions of their Vibronaut with the same name and they seem to perform quite a bit differently, if reviews are to be believed. The five-knob is a photo-cell Univibe unit and the four-knob I guess is digital, or at least it's not photo-cel. Unfortunately, because of the confusion, its hard to sort out what people think of these since one guy complaining about their unit not having enough thump (or pick your adjective) and he may not go to the trouble of explaining what version he's got. If you are lucky they will describe their pedal with enough specificity that you can deduce that they're talking about the digital version or the analog. Reverb reviews are a mess in this regard because they don't seem to differentiate the two versions.

    But as near as I can tell, the green five knob pedals seem to be more coveted, and are, not surprisingly, hard to find stateside. I think he's a pretty small company and this pedal has been discontinued, unfortunately. Ah well, the search continues.
     
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  2. JuneauMike

    JuneauMike Poster Extraordinaire

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    Oh yeah. More than you'd ever want to know and more than most would have time to process. But yeah, when it comes to circuits Geofex.com is pretty awesome provided you've got the background knowledge to follow along.
     
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  3. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    I know this is the "that, not this" game, but have you listened to some rotary speaker (Leslie) simulation pedals?

    Yes, a Univibe doesn't sound quite like a Leslie, but a Leslie is swooshy and can have a cool gain to it.

     
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  4. JuneauMike

    JuneauMike Poster Extraordinaire

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    So are they hard to find? Or generally cost prohibitive? Old tech? I get that guitar pedal and amp circuitry rely on the buying power of other industries (defense, health care, etc) for what's available. Hard to find parts, difficult to build would be a couple of good barriers to keeping a lot of pedal manufacturers out of the Univibe line.

    I think that explains the huge price tag better than the whole "demand" argument. I don't see the Univibe as something with widespread popularity, certainly not as ubiquitous as overdrive, delay, reverb. And it's not found that much in popular music, as far as I can see. Even when you think you hear it, its just as likely you are hearing something else or a combination of multiple effects.
     
  5. JuneauMike

    JuneauMike Poster Extraordinaire

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    Not a ton, but yeah they are interesting too. It's funny because the Digitech Ventura Vibe gets thrown into reviews for Rotary Speaker pedals and Vibrato pedals. In fact, I think it's got a switch option specifically for Leslie effect. I'm sure other pedals fall into that category as well.

    In fact, it would be fun to do a thread somewhere on Swiss Army pedal boards, where your entire board has to be populated with pedals that do more than one thing great (but no multi-effects units allowed, cause that's cheating).
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2020
  6. KW1977

    KW1977 Tele-Meister

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    This is where the learning curve got tricky for me. The nomenclature describing the effect vs the actual circuit vs what you actually hear get pretty whackadoo in Univibe territory. Sorta like how Leo called Tremolo "Vibrato", and brownface vs blackface, et al.

    On most Univibe units you have a switch that says "Chorus/Vibrato". Except the chorus isn't actually chorus like say, Andy Summers, it's actually a tweaked 4-stage phase shifter. Vibrato is just the mono/effected side of that equation sans dry signal.

    But then what is Chorus? Like Boss CE-2/Way Huge Blue Hippo/Walrus Julia/BBE Mind Bender, which also has a vibrato mode? It's essentially aimed at accomplishing the same thing(leslie simulator) just via a different type of circuit. In this case, bucket brigade/delay-based.

    So while the two are related and can sound similar, at the same time they're not. Univibe being phase based, it sounds more chewy/swooshy. Chorus being BB based, it sounds more watery.

    From someone far more informed on thegearpage when I went way too far down this wormhole:

    "A chorus uses a slightly delayed signal. A low fequency oscillator varies the delay time. This changes the pitch of the signal. Vibe/phaser/univibe sounds simliar but doesn't change the pitch. It cancels out some harmonic fequencies in your signal which sounds like pitch shifting. It's an audio hallucination."

    Sorry that wasn't meant as a "Hang on I must correct you", just had to share what I learned cause it was dang near draining out of my ear.
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2020
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  7. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Nothing wrong with the Univibe setting on this pedal, or the chorus, or the others. It's the only Tremelo I use although my amps have tube tremelo. The Alchemy was only $39 I have two! But now the Nux is more. Same thing. Probably the most satisfying pedal purchas I've made in years....
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
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  8. whoanelly15

    whoanelly15 Tele-Holic

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    Subscribed. Very interested in this and thanks to those already sharing. I don't mean to derail the thread, but are there any fans here of the Dunlop Rotovibe? Also a fan of this sound. @JuneauMike Have you looked into this one at all? Any insight into how it works? I would assume that it is the same tech as these rotary-sim pedals, just with a pot swept by the pedal instead of a dial. To my knowledge, there's a chorus mode and a vibrato mode, intensity knob on the side, then the rate is controlled by the pedal? So, less control without the EQ that some of these pedals offer.
     
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  9. Fretting out

    Fretting out Friend of Leo's

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    This doesn’t really answer the O.Ps question but I really dig my MXR Hendrix uni-vibe

    I think I’m a minority though
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2020
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  10. KW1977

    KW1977 Tele-Meister

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    I saw one of these in a local shop used last year for fricken $68. Noticed it looked pretty similar to the MXR Univibe so I emailed Dunlop about the differences between the two if any. A rep got back to me and as it turns out they're identical circuits under the hood, only difference is aesthetics/paint job. By the time I read that it had already sold.
     
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  11. KW1977

    KW1977 Tele-Meister

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    I apologize for overlooking this AND - a great unit I almost forgot about: The Foxrox Aquavibe. I've heard nothing but great things. Seen them used for as little as $220
     
  12. JuneauMike

    JuneauMike Poster Extraordinaire

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    This post was awesome. It should be a sticky note somewhere.

    The "chewy" vs "watery" is a perfect summation and was just now a light bulb for me. That's it, that's the difference. I've got plenty of watery right now, got no chewy though. Ha ha. So I suppose someday I'll throw too much money down a rabbit hole chasing chewy. ;)
     
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  13. KW1977

    KW1977 Tele-Meister

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    Oh man if I could only extrapolate all the money spent and forums read to have arrived here:lol:

    If I'm not mistaken almost all modern modulation effects came about as happy accidents born of trying to achieve leslie simulation. Maybe not Tremolo or Flanger but ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
     
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  14. KW1977

    KW1977 Tele-Meister

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    Believe it or not the Rotovibe is actually the pedal that started me on this entire kick of figuring out how these things work and what circuits produce what sounds. QOTSA's "Spiders and Vinegaroons" was a Dunlop Rotovibe, except I didn't know that and spent like ten years and too much cash chasing that sound! Went down pitch vibrato wormholes, choruses, Magnatone style pedals, harmonic trem, round and round! Only to come back around to it just being a Univibe Vibrato setting. Eg; the MXR does the same exact thing ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.

    (What's fun is I owned a Rotovibe like twenty years ago, some time before I ever heard QOTSA.)
     
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  15. Strato50

    Strato50 Tele-Afflicted

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    You’re hip to it to. Cool. I use mine on my board to cop the vibratone sounds and it’s an excellent boost.
     
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  16. Fretting out

    Fretting out Friend of Leo's

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    I kind of thought that’s how it was, usually I Don’t even mention the Hendrix part, it does do a wonderful phase/trem sound that I usually use with distortion

    For the price I think they are decent (although I’ve never really tried others)

    There’s a live video of dinosaur jr at KEXP where they perform “just like heaven” , in the intro J. Hits a pedal (or two) and wahs The heck out of it and gets a fast trem/phase/ washy sound
    That’s what I was looking for and the MXR does a pretty good job of sounding similar to my ears
     
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  17. Strato50

    Strato50 Tele-Afflicted

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    If you can find one of these it’s the best Leslie for the money out there. Mine was modded years ago. I bought this new on the road in Little Rock Ark. back in 99. It’s still going strong. It was 39.00 dollar back then. The mod takes 5 mins. It also will do the slow vibey chorus as well. Good luck finding one though. And people want ridiculous money for them.
     

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  18. superjam144

    superjam144 Tele-Holic

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    I just went through this and bought the Good Vibes from EHX. I would get the Ventura Vibe, it is more versatile and usable in my opinion. The Good Vibes is cool, but really seems to be a one trick pony copycat of the DEJA.

    The MXR Univibe is great too, but not as close to the original Deja. But it's sound is great and highly usable for a musician.

    Either way you win, these companies all make great products, it is up to what sounds you like to use.

    I'd try the Ventura, it's a great pedal, and if not that, then check out the MXR UNIVIBE, EHX GOOD VIBES, or even the VISCOUS from TC.

    I imagine the mini Deja is the best sounding of all of them, and probably worth the money!
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2020
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  19. Fretting out

    Fretting out Friend of Leo's

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    I can imagine, have you seen what people want for the danelectro reverse delay? People usually ask over 300 when they surface
     
  20. JuneauMike

    JuneauMike Poster Extraordinaire

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    I agree. We've got an embarrassment of riches when it comes to guitar effects nowadays. I've got no reason to ever complain, and yet I do anyway .... Hmm.
     
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