Author Topic: Variable Vibrato  (Read 728 times)

Offline Tonewheel

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Variable Vibrato
« on: March 28, 2018, 10:31:01 AM »
I was hoping to get advice on a variable vibrato modification sold by Ken Rich.

I have just purchased a 200A as part of an estate sale, and it was well cared for. There are some items that will need addressing, such as several reeds that are a little dull, but that is what is so nice about these vintage items. You can find advice and parts.

I like the sound of the slower vibrato as heard on Youtube posts, and the ability to tweak on the fly. But this version requires an extra hole to be drilled into the upper cover. However, they also supply a new face plate for that, so that the Wurlitzer can be restored to the original appearance by replacing this with the old plate.

I would be grateful for opinions on this model, perhaps compared to the other, by those who have had it installed.

Thanks.
1955 B3, Leslie 21H and 147. Hammond 100 with weird Leslie 205. 1976 Rhodes. Wurlitzer 200A. Yamaha DX7/TX7. Korg M1. Yamaha C3 grand, 67 Tele blond neck, Les Paul Standard, PRS 24, Gibson classical electric, Breedlove acoustic electric, Strat, P Bass, Rogers drum kit, Roland TD 12 digital drums, Apollo quad, older blackfaced Fender Twin, other amps, mics and bits and pieces cluttering up the "studio."

Offline retro-mike

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Re: Variable Vibrato
« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2018, 05:06:08 PM »
We (RetroLinear) Manufacture the Warneck Research Variable speed vibratos and amps, same as Ken offers :)  Our Amplifier and Varvibs have proven their reliability on the road and in the studio! If you have any questions or concerns adding the 3rd hole w/ faceplate, we have you covered!  Everything we produce here at Retro is supported 100%!   

Also the entire electronics package is very simple to upgrade, can be done in about 1.5-2 hours total.

Nice find! Estate stuff is becoming few and far between.
« Last Edit: March 29, 2018, 05:07:41 PM by retro-mike »

Offline jam88

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Re: Variable Vibrato
« Reply #2 on: March 29, 2018, 09:41:53 PM »
Okay, scoff if you will, but I love my redneck 'variable vibrato': I just play thru a Danelectro Tuna Melt tremolo and DI box. Thirty five bucks new, and totally variable.

Use it to record and to play live. I couldn't ask for more. Actually, I started using this with my 120, which doesn't have factory tremolo. It worked so well, I started using it with my 206 chop. On the 206, I'd activated the 'vibrato' circuit using the VV kit, but prefer the Tuna Melt.

For a REAL wobbly vibrato, I use an old Line 6 Roto Machine.
« Last Edit: March 29, 2018, 09:48:04 PM by jam88 »
120, 206 Chop, Baldwin, Gulbransen, Nord & Yamaha digitals, Antigua Strat, Selmer Mk VI, 10M Naked Lady, etc...

Offline Tonewheel

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Re: Variable Vibrato
« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2018, 01:02:14 AM »
Thanks for your comments, Mike and Jam. Widely varied opinions, both valid and food for thought. For now, I have been playing through a small Fender Champ with a vibrato, the rate being controlled on the fly by a Tap button. The Champ can be piggy-backed to a blackfaced Twin Reverb. It's actually quite nice. But I'd like to bring the control in closer.

Dave
1955 B3, Leslie 21H and 147. Hammond 100 with weird Leslie 205. 1976 Rhodes. Wurlitzer 200A. Yamaha DX7/TX7. Korg M1. Yamaha C3 grand, 67 Tele blond neck, Les Paul Standard, PRS 24, Gibson classical electric, Breedlove acoustic electric, Strat, P Bass, Rogers drum kit, Roland TD 12 digital drums, Apollo quad, older blackfaced Fender Twin, other amps, mics and bits and pieces cluttering up the "studio."

Offline DocWurly

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Re: Variable Vibrato
« Reply #4 on: March 31, 2018, 12:31:10 PM »
I love the Warneck Research Varivibe. 

Keep in mind, if you decide you want to restore your Wurli to its original "two knob" state, you can glue the old faceplate back on, and nobody will be the wiser. Yes, there will be a hole in the plastic under the faceplate, but nobody will ever see it unless they crack the lid.  I can't imagine such a hole would reduce the resale value of your Wurli.  In fact, the Retrolinear amp and Varivibe can't help but enhance the value.  If you include the old amp and old faceplate as an uninstalled add-on, any buyer will have their cake and eat it too.  (Though I can't imagine wanting to reinstall an old amp.  The new ones are truly better.)

Offline Tonewheel

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Re: Variable Vibrato
« Reply #5 on: March 31, 2018, 01:56:42 PM »
Thanks very much for the observation. I'm not obsessive about maintaining original "purity" of the instrument.

Not long ago, I found a 1955 living room B3 and 21H for a really good price. I had the TWG recapped (but kept the originals). I put a pot inside the back which controls the depth of the vibrato. another pot just by my knee to control the percussion to get a less pingy and more woody sound when I want that. I have replaced a cheek block with a passive distortion unit (Profkon) to make the unit sound like the driver is starting to break up nicely. Or more aggressive like Give Me Some Lovin.' I kept the cheek block. And the 21H has a digitally modified unit to make it two-speed.

For me. it's all about subtle tone and feel. Coming from you, it sounds like I would-be very happy to go ahead and install the VariVibe.
1955 B3, Leslie 21H and 147. Hammond 100 with weird Leslie 205. 1976 Rhodes. Wurlitzer 200A. Yamaha DX7/TX7. Korg M1. Yamaha C3 grand, 67 Tele blond neck, Les Paul Standard, PRS 24, Gibson classical electric, Breedlove acoustic electric, Strat, P Bass, Rogers drum kit, Roland TD 12 digital drums, Apollo quad, older blackfaced Fender Twin, other amps, mics and bits and pieces cluttering up the "studio."

Offline Tonewheel

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Re: Variable Vibrato
« Reply #6 on: April 09, 2018, 06:08:42 AM »
Mike,

I've ordered the Variable Vibe, but I've noticed, on several Youtube Vdeos, that the VV knob seems higher, out of alignment, with the other tow knobs. Is the pot height-adjustable when the kit is installed?

Thanks.
1955 B3, Leslie 21H and 147. Hammond 100 with weird Leslie 205. 1976 Rhodes. Wurlitzer 200A. Yamaha DX7/TX7. Korg M1. Yamaha C3 grand, 67 Tele blond neck, Les Paul Standard, PRS 24, Gibson classical electric, Breedlove acoustic electric, Strat, P Bass, Rogers drum kit, Roland TD 12 digital drums, Apollo quad, older blackfaced Fender Twin, other amps, mics and bits and pieces cluttering up the "studio."