Over the last couple of months I’ve gone all old school and rediscovered the beauty of David’s early tones, especially from around 1970-73. I love the simplicity and raw power of just a basic fuzz and echo and of course later on David added a Colorsound Powerboost and a Univibe to his setup. The Univibe has always been one of my favourite effects and although David’s really hasn’t used it that much you can always put on some Hendrix or Trower and get blown away by the beauty of this effect.
I’ve used a lot of different Univibes but one that I keep getting back to is the Sixties Vibe from MJM Guitar FX. It’s a 1:1 clone of the old Univox model that David still has in his rig. MJM makes incredibly cool clones of old classics and they recently rewamped all their pedals with awesome graphics. Check out the website here. I wrote a review of the Sixties Vibe a year ago that I’ve updated and thought I’d post again. Do also check out my You Tube clip of a little snippet of the 1972 version of Breathe and On the Run (Travel Sequence).
The Uni-Vibe hasnâ€™t been used on too many of Davidâ€™s recordings but the effect is nevertheless one that he is closely associated with. Iâ€™ve been searching for a good sounding, affordable unit for some time and a friend suggested the MJM Sixties Vibe. It instantly found its place on my board.
Undoubtly inspired by Jimi Hendrix, Gilmour started using the Uni-Vibe in 1972 when Pink Floyd premiered and toured with what later would be released as Dark Side of the Moon. The effect was also used on the recording of the album, mainly on Breathe and Brain Damage. Later the effect was used on a couple of songs on his â€™78 solo album and on Breathe and Time released on PULSE and Remember That Night.
The Uni-Vibe, introduced by UniVox in the late 60â€™s, was designed to capture the unique sound of a rotating speaker. Compared to a phaser thatâ€™s using phase shifting, the Uni-Vibe uses 4 photocells surrounding a pulsating light source. A good tip is to leave the effect on (power) for 10-15mins to reach its full potential.
MJM Guitar Effects is a small web based company that makes hand built guitar effects or so called boutique effects. The pedals are clones of old classics like treble boosters, germanium and silicon transistor fuzzes and some Hendrix stuff like the Roctavious.
The Sixties Vibe promises to be an exact replica of the old UniVox (now made by Dunlop) and the pedal definitely lives up to that promise. The tone is thick, smokey and anything you could wish for. It nails all the Gilmour stuff and I also use it a lot with my other band, Airbag.
The controls are:
2 â€œchickhenhead knobsâ€ for volume and intensity, 1 knob for speed that operates counter clock-wise, 1 toggle switch for chorus and vibrato (use chorus for the Gilmour tone), 1 bypass effect footswitch, 1 on/off power switch.
The pedal is shown in screaming yellow on the MJM site but you can ask for a silver hammerite like mine, which definitely looks better on the pedal board.
If I were to put my finger on one thing, then the volume switch could have been more useful. It needs to stay on 100% for a flat signal. Any lower will give you a volume drop. This has also been talked about on various forums. Itâ€™s really not a problem but I would prefer a volume control that would give you a mild boost as well.
– This is a clip based on the version from Wembley 16.11.74 when David played a straight solo rather than the slide intro. I think he also used a phaser at that time but this gives you an idea. Iâ€™ve recorded using Fender CS 69 pickups (bridge/middle 4. position), Colorsound Powerbooster (set to clean volume boost), MJM Sixties Vibe and an Ibanez DE-7 echo into a Marshall 5210 50w transistor combo, clean channel. A hint of reverb is added in GarageBand. Settings on the Sixties Vibe: chorus mode, volume 100%, intensity 3:00 (oâ€™clock) and the rate at 40%.
You can also get a very nice Any Colour You Like tone by turning the intesity all the way up and the rate at about 75%.
Iâ€™ve compared the Sixties Vibe with the Dunlop Uni-Vibe, Fulltone Deja Vibe, Voodoo Lab Micro Vibe and the Sweetsound Mojo Vibe and to my ears the Sixties Vibe definitely sound best and the price at $275.00 is quite affordable. MJM also offers one of the best customer services Iâ€™ve experienced. Extremely helpful and fast shipping. Visit their site and check out their fantastic effects!