Instructions

The user is solely responsible for all results from the use, purchase, and ownership of primeVibe™.

Double Bass player/primeVibe user Andy Z. (before/after recordings and spectral analysis promised) recommended (and we agree) that users should always loosen (or remove) strings during seasoning for the following benefits:

  1. Lower volume
  2. Less tension on the top for quicker seasoning
  3. No excess seasoning at the notes equal to the open string tuning

General-All Instruments

All instruments must be horizontal on their back while primeVibe™ is in use. Read the pros and cons for using primeVibe in vs. out of a hard case, and then choose a preferred method.

In A Hard Case

Cons: must prevent the lid from closing on the primeVibe transducers placed atop the instrument. If the lid accidentally closed while the primeVibe transducers are in place atop the instrument, depending on clearance atop the instrument, the primeVibe transducers might damage the instrument top and/or the lid may damage the wires leading from the primeVibe transducers to the amp. Also, the lid must stay open if closing the lid physically damps the instrument top; seasoning occurs via vibration. The last con is that placing the instrument in the case damps the sides and back of the instrument, eliminating or severely minimizing the advantage of seasoning these component parts of the instrument body.

Pros: the case adds protection from side impact.

Outside A Hard Case

Cons: The instrument lacks protection otherwise available in its case. The back of the instrument must be protected by placing the instrument on a clean soft surface such as a clean soft carpet, clean soft towel, or clean soft micro-fiber or similar.

Pros: The primary component requiring seasoning is the top but the back and sides also benefit. Employing primeVibe outside a hard case increases back/side vibration and hence, musical performance. Protect the instrument finish with one of the items described in the paragraph above. Support the back of the instrument at two areas: the lowermost corner edge of the back and the uppermost corner of the back. Use thin books or magazine(s) to elevate the uppermost corner of the back about ½” (13 mm). This will minimize the back’s contact with the flat surface. See images below. The less the back contacts the support surface the more the back and side vibrate, increasing the seasoning benefit. Remember to protect the instrument back with a thick soft cloth or towel.

Instrument Placement Outside Its Case for Maximum Seasoning Benefit (refer to above text)

 

Side view all instruments except violin family

Bottom view all instruments except violin family

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Side view all violin family

Bottom view all violin family

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Transducer Locations-General Info

It is most important to lay the transducers as flat as possible. Select flatter sections of the top rather than wavy or uneven surfaces. A flatter surface is more important than any other placement criteria. Avoid sharp angles such as the raised edge of a metal dress plate over controls; such may cause the transducer to “hunt” resulting in audible distortion.

The two dots in the diagrams below represent the approximate location for the primeVibe transducers for the instruments listed. It is not mandatory but you may “fine tune” the transducer “sweet spot” for maximum output and preferred tonal quality. Sensitivity to this may vary among instruments and musicians. Have fun with this! Join the discussion at our website to voice your opinion.


Flattop Steel String Guitar

 

In the above image the transducers are located close to the cross-point of the “X-brace” only visible through the sound hole. The side of the top with the high-E string is more sensitive because there is less tension than the side with the low-E string.


Arch Top Guitar
1/8th Violin through 1/1 Violin
Larger Ukulele (no diagram) with space for transducers between the bridge and the butt

 


Arch Top Guitar and all instruments listed above

Arch Top Guitar (large ukulele is similar)

 

1/8th to 1/1 Violin

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It is most important to lay the transducers as flat as possible. After that, place the transducers as pictured, about 5mm from the bridge toward the butt. If the transducers do not fit under the strings locate one transducer about 5mm from each of the outermost strings. If the transducers fit under the strings vary the spacing for maximum perceived output and tonal quality (not critical)


Viola
Cello
Nylon String Guitar
Upright Double Bass
Mandolin (no diagram)
Acoustic Bass Guitar and Electric Bass Guitar (no diagram)
Electric Solid Body Guitar and Semi-Hollow Body Guitar (no diagram)
Smaller Ukulele (no diagram)
lacking space for transducers between the bridge and the butt

 

Nylon string guitar and all instruments listed above except violin family

Viola, Cello, Double Bass

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It is most important to lay the transducers as flat as possible. After that, place the transducers as pictured, about 5mm from the bridge toward the headstock. If the transducers do not fit under the strings locate one transducer about 5mm from each of the outermost strings. If the transducers fit under the strings vary the spacing for maximum perceived output and tonal quality (not critical). There was audible improvement seasoning a solid body Telecaster for 40 hours.  On a related note (no pun intended), a music industry independent product representative with twenty-five years experience said Eddie Van Halen stored his guitars in front of loudspeakers to maximize performance.


1/16th Size Violin, employ only one transducer

 


Music Source Hookup

 

The headphone output or line/auxiliary output from a user supplied source (iPod, CD player, computer, MP3 player, or similar) connects to the front panel 3.5mm phone jack of the primeVibe™ amplifier (an included cable with 3.5mm phone plugs may be used). One or two transducers connect to the amp’s push-on spring-loaded terminals (see above images). Observe correct polarity, red wire to red terminal and black wire to black terminal.

Power Handling

Gross audible distortion is abuse and is not be covered by the limited warranty. Always start with the volume control at zero then advance the volume slowly while listening to the loudest music passage. For quickest results set the volume just below the point of audible distortion. The amp has a 3 dB/octave high-pass filter @ 220 Hz to reduce bass program material and increase power handling. Music with content below the target instrument’s lowest fundamental tone will not contribute to the desired seasoning process. Any of your favorite music will season any instrument. But unnecessarily deep and loud bass minimizes the maximum playback level with no seasoning benefit. If play-in speed is critical try solo music program material of the same type as the subject instrument (not critical).

These notes are only to avoid gross abuse and minimize carelessness of individuals prone to such. primeVibe has a good margin of safety: With a 105Wrms amp (about fourteen-times that supplied with primeVibe™) we were occasionally careless, not returning the volume to minimum before the music program started. Gross distortion resulted. We quickly reduced the volume to a safe level. To date there are no failures. But please don’t view this as a challenge!

Duration

We ceased seasoning two new, never played flattop steel string guitars with Adirondack top and Wild Olive Wood from Zambia side/back set after about 100 hours each. Performance was dramatically improved. We seasoned an arch top for about 100 hours and its performance similarly improved. A seldom-played Telecaster solid body electric guitar benefited from seasoning.

Music reproduced atop the instrument became clearer as the instrument seasoned. This may help you choose an end to the seasoning process. Each instrument is individual and may benefit from more or less seasoning time. Our general recommendation for new instruments is about 100 hours. Please share your results at our blog.

Power Amp Optional Applications

The power amp is appropriate for any 8-watt application such as driving small high-sensitivity speakers for a bedroom or office stereo system.