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SurfGuitar101 Forums » Gear »

Permalink Magnatone vibrato - technical details

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Here is a very interesting document explaining all the technical details of the Magnatone Vibrato and even a way to replace the varistors with zeners.
(Hopefully, there are others here that find this interesting Smile )

I do, been studying this circuit and want to replicate it. Dinko from The Bambi Molesters did with incredible results ... A Night In Zagreb is the proof!

When you have to shoot ... shoot! Don't talk.
"Los Grainders"
"Planeta Reverb"

Nice to not be the only nerd here Smile
I have been struggling with a FET version some time now.
I learned two things; its important with a very clean sinewave LFO and that zeners are no good for a low voltage circuit.
Eventually I will get time finish the build.

Oh yes, hopefully! That the device is already on my shopping list!

After 2 years work and lots of prototypes we have finally found a way to build a pedal version of the Magnatone pitch shifting vibrato! By replacing the tubes with jFETs and the varistors with a special diode array this fine circuit can be powered with a 9V battery.
More info will come soon.
Keep an eye on our website and our Facebook/Instagram pages!

I'm looking forward to hearing it. I've tried the "Maggie" (real good but had some low-frequency clipping that I couldn't dial out, but great vibrato) and the "Magnavibe" (no low-frequency clipping but the effect was a bit disconnected)

I'm looking forward to hearing yours @bjoish

I’ve been rocking a Maggie pedal for a few years and dig the vibe heartily. It’s a very powerful effect whether set for subtle stereo washes between two amps or more obvious faster heavy pitch warble. Also does a Rotovibe thing when in stereo setting L&R outputs plug into a single channel of an overdriven tube amp. Like some kind of pre-psychedelic studio effect.

Squink Out!

Looking forward to hearing more Bjorn!

The Kahuna Kings

Me too.....I'm pretty done with buying pedals (talk about going down the rabbit hole) but a really great pitch shifting Magnatone Vibrato pedal would be something I'd want to add to my pedalboard especially one with the Surfy Bear pedigree. Just an aside. If anyone is looking for a really nice (albeit low wattage) hand wired tube amp at a really decent price that features real on board tube driven pitch shifting Magnatone type vibrato, check out the DeLisle "Victorvibe" amp ( I have a DeLisle Nickle Box amp which is amazing and the Victorvibe is basically a Nicklebox with pitch shifting Vibrato.

Congrats! Can't wait to try it!

When you have to shoot ... shoot! Don't talk.
"Los Grainders"
"Planeta Reverb"

Fantastic Bjorn! Would be up for one of these, hopefully will be available in kit form like the Surfy Trem

Will you take a prototype to Livorno, Björn? I'm curious.


Absolutely! Smile
The plan is to havc this pedal for sale there!

I would definitely need a Bjorn made turn-key pedal. I'm fairly handy with a basic guitar set-up but electronics and soldering I am basically clueless.
I did rewire a lamp once....but a chimp could do that. Laughing

Here are some technical details about the SurfyVibe pedal.
Here is a gut shot of the pedal. As you can see all parts are soldered to the board, no wires except for the battery connector. This makes the pedal very reliable.
There are no integrated circuits, the surface mount jFETs replace the tubes in the original schematic. You can also see the 4 special diode arrays that replace the 'legendary' varistors. The board is populated with >80 components.



Squink Out!

As you can see, there was no space for a stereo circuit.
80 components just for mono!

Tom is a regular over at the Music Electronics Forum. In that article, he briefly mentions the Hammond AO41 saturable inductor. A few years ago I obtained a couple of those and used one to build a stand-alone tube pitch-shifting vibrato unit. It can get into some very funky space warble territory. I'm going to build the other one into a guitar amp when I get a round tuit.

He who dies with the most tubes... wins

Surf Daddies

Interesting! Smile
I have never seen this type of vibrato circuit.

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