I was looking for a univibe recently and my research led me to Danelectro’s Cool Cat Vibe. While not a univibe, it is a lot cheaper and gets the job done for me. However,
*** see the note below before doing any mods about the different switch boards ***
I soon found out like others have reported that it has two inherent problems.
1. It has a two second delay after switching. This doesn’t work.
2. It has a significant volume boost when switched in. No way it can work for me.
There are mods on the web to fix both of these but after examining them I decided there is a better way. One of the mods out there has you cut wires in the Cool Cat and hard wire the modulator light bulb directly to the battery. This will definitely shorten the lifespan of the bulb and besides, cutting of wires is not needed. It then has you unsolder the LED anode and wire it to the rate pot to get a flashing LED. This can be handy but this new mod does the same thing without cutting any wires or adding new wires, all by adding just one little resistor!
Next, I could not find pictures of how to add a volume adjustment so I will show that here too. It is a little more complicated but is easy for the average stompbox hacker. So check out the pictures below and enjoy!
First the delay mod
Now the volume mod
There is a small down side to the volume mod. The output driver is an op-amp with a low impedance. This is so that it can drive long cables. Cables have capacitance and they soak up current so stomp boxes need low impedance current drivers. Now the op-amp is driving a 100k pot and looking at it from the cable side the cable sees about a 50k impedance. The end result is that long cables may cause a roll off in signal output. So keep your cables short from this box to the next one and you’ll be okay.
NOTE– It has been brought to my attention by Andrew in England and a few others that there are at least two layouts to the Cool Cat switch board. Working together we solved the layout problem. The pictures below show the mirror layout used by some Cool Cats and the correct wiring connections for it. Kevin has also run into the same problem and I think Kevin is located in the US. So the different layouts can show up anywhere.