Fender Vibratone / Leslie 16 question

Discussion in 'Amps/Cabs Tech Corner: Amplifier, Cab & Speakers' started by stekks, Jan 31, 2006.


  1. stekks

    stekks Member

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    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.
     
  2. John Phillips

    John Phillips Member

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    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...
     
  3. stekks

    stekks Member

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    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!
     
  4. John Phillips

    John Phillips Member

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    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.
     
  5. doctorx

    doctorx Member

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    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, 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!!
     
  6. 1-Take-Wonder

    1-Take-Wonder Member

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    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...
     
  7. stekks

    stekks Member

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    Thanks DoctorX! I can't seem to reach your homepage, is that link ok?
     
  8. doctorx

    doctorx Member

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

    doctorx Member

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    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.
     
  10. doctorx

    doctorx Member

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    Try that link again, it just worked for me.
     
  11. wsaraceni

    wsaraceni Member

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    do these things sound good live or do you need to mic it to get the full effect?
     
  12. doctorx

    doctorx Member

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    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.
     
  13. wsaraceni

    wsaraceni Member

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    assuming you are playing at home.
     
  14. doctorx

    doctorx Member

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

    stekks Member

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    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.
     
  16. wsaraceni

    wsaraceni Member

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    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.
     
  17. doctorx

    doctorx Member

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    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 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.
     
  18. doctorx

    doctorx Member

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    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.
     
  19. wsaraceni

    wsaraceni Member

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    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!!
     
  20. stekks

    stekks Member

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    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 ;)
     

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