PDA

View Full Version : Fender Vibratone / Leslie 16 question


stekks
01-31-2006, 02:41 AM
Hey, I just scored a cheap Leslie 16 cab (which is basicly the same as a Fender Vibratone). Like most Leslies you see for sale it doesn't have the footswitch.

No problem, I got the schematic from the web: https://schematicheavencom.secure.powweb.com/fenderamps/vibratone_16adapt.pdf

I want to switch between the fast/slow setting. According to the schematic you have to short pins 2 and 4 of 'P1', like 'SW2' would without the cap acros the pins.

When I do this I hear a humming sound (I think from the relay) and the motor stops.

My question is: Am I doing something wrong? Or is the relay broken?

Thanks.

John Phillips
01-31-2006, 04:50 AM
Could it be a mechanical problem rather than electrical? If there's enough friction in the rotor system the motor won't be able to turn it, especially at the lower speed. I was recently working on a Model 16, and although it didn't stop entirely, it made horrible noises and didn't work at all well until I stripped it down, greased the bearings and adjusted the belt tension. I also found that the rotor had worn itself loose on the driveshaft and was rattling around, but a self-tapping screw cured that.

I also fitted it with a 1/4" jack on a reversed cabinet jack plate (sticking out) instead of the 8-pin connector, so it can be used with any ordinary footswitch, and a simple captive cable for the speaker connection.

An interesting thing for Leslie buffs is that the Model 16 has a 10" speaker... but this one had a 12", definitely original, there were no other mounting holes in the baffle.

I had a look at that guy's website - the one he has looks like a Fender Vibratone with a Leslie badge on it, with Fender covering, grilles and corners - quite different from the one I was working on which had blue covering, gold/black grilles and no corner protectors. He also mentions that the Model 18 as a 12" speaker, so maybe it was an 18 with the wrong model plate... or a 16 with the wrong baffle...

stekks
01-31-2006, 12:45 PM
Thanks John! I did a closer inspection. I unhooked the internal connector and the relay switched so it must be a mechanical problem.

Still have a few questions:
- What's the best way to get to the front of the cab? I saw a pic with an open front, or do i have to dismount the inside baffle?
- The 'belt' looks like an elastic rope, is this orginal?
- how tight does the belt need to be?

Thanks!

John Phillips
01-31-2006, 01:07 PM
Yes, they're a pain to get into - you have to take the baffle out if you need to get at anything behind it. The rubber cord is probably original. Mine was OK, and if it runs on the fast speed it's probably good. I just tightened the belt a bit until it worked OK, so I'd guess it isn't that critical.

It could actually be the slow-speed motor that's the problem too though - the relay just selects which one is used.

doctorx
02-01-2006, 10:03 AM
I have a Leslie 16. You have to remove the back, then the internal baffle which is screwed in as well. The front is not removable. That schematic is correct, maybe you should recheck your connections. Mine has a Fender style dual switch with two SPST switches in it, and an Amphenol connector on the other end. The "Rope" style belt is normal.

Here is a link to a page I did on my Leslie (http://bellsouthpwp.net/d/o/doctorx/leslie%2016/), check it out. I have a link posted there to a page with all kinds of info on the Vibratone; it has a link to an owners manual with service info. The Leslie 16 is a great piece of gear, enjoy it!!

1-Take-Wonder
02-01-2006, 10:13 AM
The Leslie and the Vibratone settings on my POD are very easy to maintain! :NUTS ...just kiddin, Me and my keyboard player both would love to have the real deal. Our church has a 145 thats collecting dust that we're eyeing...

stekks
02-01-2006, 11:36 AM
Thanks DoctorX! I can't seem to reach your homepage, is that link ok?

doctorx
02-01-2006, 01:06 PM
Thanks DoctorX! I can't seem to reach your homepage, is that link ok?

Yes, the link is correct. I just tried it and it won't come up. Sometimes it's hard to connect to it, goddam bellsouth. Try it again later, it will work eventually.

doctorx
02-01-2006, 01:16 PM
The Leslie and the Vibratone settings on my POD are very easy to maintain! :NUTS ...just kiddin, Me and my keyboard player both would love to have the real deal. Our church has a 145 thats collecting dust that we're eyeing...

A 145 would sound awesome with a guitar, but it would be a royal bitch to lug around. :) Plus you would need an adapter to use it with guitar.

Leslie 16's go for around $400-$500 on Fleabay, they pop up fairly regularly. I found mine at a place in Tampa Bay one day when I was googling for info on them. This place rebuilds and refurbishes Hammonds and Leslies, and the guy told me that Tom Petty called him and said he needed several of them for a tour he was doing. So they rounded up several of them, refurbished them and Petty bought them all but this one, which I scored for $400. I drove to Tampa and picked it up, and he showed me around his shop and played some bitchin B3/147 organ while I was there.

doctorx
02-01-2006, 01:17 PM
Try that link again, it just worked for me.

wsaraceni
02-01-2006, 02:40 PM
do these things sound good live or do you need to mic it to get the full effect?

doctorx
02-01-2006, 03:19 PM
do these things sound good live or do you need to mic it to get the full effect?

Depends on how loud you play. If you have a Marshall and a 4x12, the Leslie will get drowned out by the Marshall. The Vibratone sprays the sound out two ports on the side and one on the top, coming from a single 10 inch speaker. My main rig is pretty damn loud. I used to A/B between the two rigs, and still do from time to time, but now I mostly Y them together for an added burble effect. The trouble with miking it is that you will have the leslie going through the PA but not your main rig. It's all about balance.

Here is a diagram of my rig. (http://bellsouthpwp.net/d/o/doctorx/rig%20layout/)

wsaraceni
02-01-2006, 03:32 PM
assuming you are playing at home.

doctorx
02-01-2006, 03:50 PM
assuming you are playing at home.

No, I don't mike it when playing with the band at home.

stekks
02-04-2006, 10:36 AM
Well, I opened the cab and removed the baffle.

I connected the slow motor directy to the mains and it worked! :confused: I cleaned the connectors and the relay in the control box. I'm thinking of drilling 2 holes in the box to accomodate 2 jacks: one for the fast/slow switch, and one for the speaker.

(I'm searching for a 12" EVM now, if anybody has one for sale contact me ;) )

I'm thinking of making my own footswich with 2 LEDs for indicating fast/slow, and somehow getting power for the LEDs from the cab.

wsaraceni
02-04-2006, 10:40 AM
i love the leslie sound. i'm thinking the way to go would be to get one of these and a lehle a/b. I can have the a side go to my bad cat hot cat into my 2x12 and the b side go into my bad cat mini cat into the leslie. Would there be any reason why this wouldnt work. im not quite sure how the workings are of these.

doctorx
02-04-2006, 11:02 AM
Mine has a 1/4 inch jack for the speaker. I've never seen another Leslie 16 like it, but it sure looks like it came from the factory that way, unless somebody added it back in the sixties!!!.

The guy I bought it from rewired the footswitch to an amphenol connector without any crossover, which I prefer. Something you should look at is a capacitor inside the connector box inline with the speaker line: A 200mf cap in series on the hot side. Dunno why they put it there but I suspect it had something to do with the crossover, maybe filtering out some high end. I removed the it, so now I have a straight full range path to the speaker.

Not trying to tell you what to do, but just asking to you think over about drillling into your Leslie. After all, it is a vintage piece of gear, and drilled holes are irreversable. You could get an Amphenol connector and wire up a switch box and speaker input with that to achieve your desired result without drilling any holes. Triode (http://www.triodeelectronics.com/otsoc456pin.html) has Amphenol connectors for not too much money.

About the speaker, I put a Weber California 10 in mine and it made a big difference. It's reasonable priced at $65, and it's an 80 watt speaker. A 12 inch evm would be good too but again you would be drilling holes and it would probably cost more.

Keep at it, once you get this thing working you're gonna love it.

doctorx
02-04-2006, 11:04 AM
i love the leslie sound. i'm thinking the way to go would be to get one of these and a lehle a/b. I can have the a side go to my bad cat hot cat into my 2x12 and the b side go into my bad cat mini cat into the leslie. Would there be any reason why this wouldnt work. im not quite sure how the workings are of these.
Yeah, that would work fine. I use two separate amps with a Morley A/B/Y switch. I posted a link to a diagram of my rig in an earlier post, check it out.

wsaraceni
02-04-2006, 11:14 AM
i just looked. that seems pretty much how i would hope to use it. the mini cat cranked would probably sound pretty good through it although a cleaner amp would sound good too. my rig would be similar to yours. although i have a humbucker guitar and a fulltone tte instead of the echoplex. same stuff though. nice rig!!

stekks
02-04-2006, 11:56 AM
Hey, thanks DoctorX! I thought these kind of conectors were no longer available! I just placed an order! :D

About the speaker: I forgot to mention the orginal speaker was already replaced with a 12" one.

The link to your webpage works now too! Nice rig! Sweet Strat! Almost as sweet as mine ;)

bobogypsy
02-26-2011, 02:45 PM
I have the Leslie 16 with a crossover but want to drive it with a separate amp and remove the crossover. I saw on this post that you can wire the speed switch to a new plug and not have to put in another 1/4" jack for the speaker.

Does anyone have a diagram and instructions how to do this?

Thanks in advance!

traviswalk
06-08-2011, 04:17 PM
I have the Leslie 16 with a crossover but want to drive it with a separate amp and remove the crossover. I saw on this post that you can wire the speed switch to a new plug and not have to put in another 1/4" jack for the speaker.

Does anyone have a diagram and instructions how to do this?

Thanks in advance!

I would bump this to see if anyone has any color.

traviswalk
06-18-2011, 10:47 PM
Anyone have experience with the alignment of a Vibratone/Leslie 16? My rotor is off-axis, wobbly and makes too much noise when on the fast setting, anyone that can help troubleshoot?

traviswalk
09-17-2013, 10:12 AM
Old bump, trying to get the Vibratone up and running on the fast speed and it still wobbles a bit making the fast speed unusable to record with. Sounds amazing on the slow speed, but the rotor makes too much noise on the fast speed.

Speedy East
09-19-2013, 10:18 PM
I used to have a Vibratone. It is an amazing cabinet. The 10" Jensen is great sounding. Mine didn't have a wobbly rotor. The rotor IIRC was made out of styrofoam suspended by a black metal bracket. It rotates on a bearing, using a cloth belt from the motor assembly. The wobble could be due to (1) a bend in the metal bracket from the cabinet being dropped, or (2) the bearing developing significant wear, causing the rotation to bind and wobble. A bent bracket would be easy to straighten out. A worn bearing is easily replaceable. Replacement bearings can be obtained from Goff Professional, or from BBOrgan. You will find both places on the Internet. I have dealt with both companies; they are great. Bill Brown, who used to play B3 at Paisley Park for Prince, is a superb B3/Leslie repair guy. I get my stuff from him at BBOrgan.

katmol
10-20-2013, 02:53 AM
Hey Speedy East,
Question, Can you run a Vibratone laying on it back? I want to try this but don't want to damage my Vibratone.

Thanks.


I used to have a Vibratone. It is an amazing cabinet. The 10" Jensen is great sounding. Mine didn't have a wobbly rotor. The rotor IIRC was made out of styrofoam suspended by a black metal bracket. It rotates on a bearing, using a cloth belt from the motor assembly. The wobble could be due to (1) a bend in the metal bracket from the cabinet being dropped, or (2) the bearing developing significant wear, causing the rotation to bind and wobble. A bent bracket would be easy to straighten out. A worn bearing is easily replaceable. Replacement bearings can be obtained from Goff Professional, or from BBOrgan. You will find both places on the Internet. I have dealt with both companies; they are great. Bill Brown, who used to play B3 at Paisley Park for Prince, is a superb B3/Leslie repair guy. I get my stuff from him at BBOrgan.