From Psychedelic Machine to Vibra Fuzz

The idea of the Vibra Fuzz came from acquiring an original Psychedelic Machine. Made by Honey, the Psychedelic Machine was sold under names such as Electra and Companion. The Psychedelic Machine comprises of two circuits, a modulation circuit and a fuzz circuit. Both circuits in the Psychedelic Machine would appear in effects made by Shin-Ei, the RT-18 Resly Tone and the Super Fuzz. 

The Resly Tone predates the infamous Univibe (also by Shine-Ei), with the Resly and Univibe being very similar in circuit design. The major differences were the Univibe changing to a potentiometer/footcontrol for the speed instead of a six positions rotary switch. 

The original Psychedelic Machine was not a stompbox, but a hefty amp head style unit. It had jacks for the “Fuzz” and “Mood” options (“Mood” is what Shin-Ei named the Resly Tone section on the Psychedelic Machine). The footswitches had to be bought separately. The “Variation” rotary selected the different effects - either ”Direct” (this is the effect bypassed), “Fuzz” (the Super Fuzz section), “Mood” (the Resly Tone section), or “Mood & Fuzz” (which is both effects engaged). The "Mood & Fuzz" effect had three options, each with varying amounts of fuzz and volume. The “Fuzz” section lost the Expander (gain/fuzz) control that was on the stand alone Super Fuzz, and had resistors put in place to set a fixed amount of fuzz. 

A big disadvantage with the original Psychedelic Machine was that both circuits ran off the same volume control. The “Mood” section of the circuit had less than half the volume of the “Fuzz” section, which means when both effects are engaged, the “Mood” effect is overpowered and doesn’t cut through the mix that well. This was later revised in the Companion Amplifier Psychedelic Machine, which had volume controls for both circuits and gave the “Fuzz” section the “Expander” control back (like in the original stand alone Super Fuzz).

Improvements over Psychedelic Machine

The Vibra Fuzz, though based around the original Psychedelic Machine, took some modifications from later, more refined effects, including the Univibe and the Companion Amplifier Psychedelic Machine.

From the Univibe, the Vibra Fuzz took out the “Repeat Time” six position rotary switch Machine and replaced it with a potentiometer and a jack for a speed foot pedal. “Repeat Time” has been renamed “Speed” on the Vibra Fuzz.

From the Companion Amplifier Psychedelic Machine (A later modified version of the Psychedelic Machine), the Vibra Fuzz took the separate circuit volume controls and the Expander control in the “Fuzz” section, that was featured in the stand alone Super Fuzz.

Improvements over the old Vibra Fuzz

The original Vibra Fuzz had the same measurements as a concrete block, but somehow the circuitry still managed to be a tight squeeze. Wiring the old Vibra Fuzz was also very time consuming due to two separate circuit boards that were not designed to be conjoined into one package, and due to the amount of the off board components and the size of the enclosure, the wiring got messy and very long. A complete redesign of the circuit was made in 2012 using a double layer printed circuit board. This meant that the layout could be less than half the footprint of the original two circuit boards. The enclosure has also been halved in size, the potentiometers have been mounted to cut down on wiring, and the layout has been arranged to make wiring as short as possible.