We had two goals in mind when building The Scanner: to create the best sounding product available and to manufacture it with repurposed, sustainable materials. The Scanner features an amazing vibrato and reverb sound. We made it out of repurposed vintage vibrato scanners and reverb tanks from unwanted Hammond organs. In short, our endeavor was a success.
The vibrato scanner is an absolute marvel of engineering with historical roots. Laurens Hammond invented and started selling the technology in 1935. From 1935 to 1975, the vibrato scanner remained virtually unchanged until Hammond stopped producing tone-wheel organs.
The science behind The Scanner is really where the magic happens. Applying the audio signal to a delay circuit produces 9 phase-shifted copies of the signal, thus creating a vibrato effect. These signals are applied to capacitive plates mounted inside the scanner assembly. A rotating armature then “picks up” the phase shifted signals off of the plates, producing an incredibly rich vibrato sound.
At Analog Outfitters, we improved the original design by adding a DC brushless motor. This specialized motor helps vary the speed of the vibrato, giving users more control over the sound.
The Scanner's reverb circuit is very simple; hi-fi grade components drive the reverb tank and then mix that signal with the vibrato signal. We also added a foot switch so users can select only reverb, only vibrato, both effects, or the “dry” signal only.
The top of The Scanner is made from a high-quality, clear, ¼” acrylic material. Additional features include a pad switch on the ¼” input, XLR line input and output jacks, a line output attenuator, a 4 pin XLR switching jack, and a ¼” TRS input for an expression pedal to control the speed of the unit.The XLR output is constantly present for connection to a recording console and can be used as a D.I. for front of house.
“The sound was addictive, with a warm, delectably analog feel, and a dimensionality that simply has to be experienced to be fathomed.”