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I have a 594 Deagan Commander and would like to get some slower vibrato than what is currently available.

It seems a smaller pulley (i think that's the right term for the round brass deal attached to the motor's shaft) would do the trick.

Am i right in thinking that's a viable way to go about it? If so can anyone make recommendations on what size pulley to go with and where i might acquire one?

Thanks so much.


BarryK Wed, 09/17/2014 - 17:10

I use a smaller pulley wheel on my Deagan. I am actually able to fit the original and the smaller one side-by side on the motor shaft and it is very simple to move the belt between them if I want the faster speed (obviously with the motor off first). Having them side-by side may cause the belt to wear quicker though because it is angled a little more than 90 degrees from the shaft and may rub on the edge of the pulley wheel. If that is a concern, just use the smaller wheel.

I'll get back to you on the size...


deagan expressway Wed, 09/17/2014 - 19:18

In reply to by BarryK

hi barry. thanks for the reply and info. good to know i was on the right path!

but i am confused...why go to the larger wheel for quicker speed when you can adjust the speed w the "speed control". maybe your's is different but w my stock pulley i NEVER use the speed at it's fastest. seems like the smaller pulley at it's fastest would probably be as fast as i might need. no?

looking fwd to that additional info. pls include any info about where i might find the smaller pulley.

thanks again!

BarryK Wed, 09/17/2014 - 21:24

In reply to by deagan expressway

Here is where I got mine.
This is the one I use:
Part Number: A 6T10-1240408
0.5" Outside Diameter for A 1/8" Cross Sectional Belt Diameter

Since the diameter is smaller, you may need a smaller belt too. I don't have the source for that; maybe someone can help here?

SPI also sells belts that you can resize yourself; I bought it but didn't try yet. They are not rubber, so I don't know if it will slip.
Part Number: A 6R 1-A06

and the connectors:
Part Number: A 6A 1-C06
Rounthane Belt Connector.

Regarding speed, I can adjust with the potentiometer but the pulley takes the speed slower than the slowest speed on the big pulley. I don't usually use the fast speed (old big pulley), but it's always available as an option.

Attached are examples with the big pulley vs. the small pulley. Opening the recording an a wave editor, you can see the tremolo speed.
Big Pulley = 6 cycles per second (i.e., 360 bpm) down to 3.75 cycles per second (225 bpm).
Small Pulley = 2.25 cycles per second (135 bpm) down to 1.625 cycles per second (97 bpm)

So the small pulley reduces the tremolo rate by about 2.5 times.


IndianaGlen Thu, 09/18/2014 - 09:52

I know this isn't a direct answer to the question you are asking however, I thought I throw it in anyhow. And it is neither as simple, nor as elegant as Barry's fix below.

Years ago I wrote an article for vibenet about the conversion of my deagan 35 from the constant speed motor to an Oriental Speed control motor. I didn't want to mess up my original set up in case I wanted to go back to vintage.

Bottom Line I made an L shaped mounting bracket and screwed that into the deagan frame. These days the speed control and Motor runs about $200. You end up with a safe variable speed motor that can go from zero to 60MPH with the twist of a knob.…

IndianaGlen Thu, 12/22/2022 - 09:03

In reply to by Randy_Sutin

holy crud, This is an old thread, but kind of fun to see what I wrote way back then in the olden days...
Not a pic of the motor per se, maybe there's a pic floating around on VW. Those old Century's are really cool looking. Does it have the open sides vs. the the new ones that are enclosed?
Does it have the original Lacquered bars? I have a set of the lacquered bars on a Century I built and I love them. There's a little brighter vs. the anodized bars. Curious if your experience is similar. Also the Century seems to be more sensitive to motor noise vs an M-55. I assume it's because on the Century the motor mounts to a board that also carries the resonators.


Michael DuBick Fri, 09/19/2014 - 11:31

I was confronted with a similar issue with my Deagan vibes, which had its original single speed motor. I noticed that the variable speed motor on my Yamaha 2710 had dimensions compatible with the frame on my Deagan vibes. I bought a motor and speed control from Yamaha, removed the single speed motor and mounted the new one with an L bracket and found that the speed control slips onto the frame without any further modification. I've been very satisfied with the result since I can now lower the rotation to 3.5 RPM, but more often have it set at 6 RPM. The old single speed motor, which I never measured, seemed like 25 RPM.


Michael DuBick Sun, 09/21/2014 - 16:51

In reply to by Randy_Sutin

Here are some photos of the motor mount and speed control. Sorry I didn't post these pictures initially. As you can see it is a rather clean set up and it took me about ten minutes to complete once I determined the best way to mount the motor.

Michael DuBick

Paul Kreibich Tue, 12/20/2022 - 13:40

I've got a Musser M-55 with an after market motor. The vibrato is too fast even on the slowest setting, Has anyone used an in-line light dimmer switch to reduce the current and slow the vibrato?
Paul Kreibich

IndianaGlen Tue, 12/20/2022 - 14:46

In reply to by Paul Kreibich

Paul, what is the brand of motor on your M-55?
Chances are good if one uses a light dimmer on a motor you'll create a fire hazard. On a dimmer and/or the packaging there's probably a warning saying something similar. Varying the current to a light filament is way different vs controlling a motor. Until about 1980 Musser used a Bodine motor and controlled the speed with a Rheostat. They then changed to a customized Oriental Speed control system (controller and motor) that is designed to be variable and run at the proper speeds. From what I understand Oriental Motor is discontinuing the US206 series. I'm wondering what system Musser is going to use in the future. It is possible to buy a motor controller from Musser. A while back it listed for about $700, ouch!

Paul Kreibich Mon, 12/26/2022 - 00:00

In reply to by IndianaGlen

I've also bought a variable speed device designed or slowing down the speed of a router (power tool). This works pretty well, but doesn't slow the speed down quite as much as the light dimmer. Its made for slowing down a motor, so it's probably safer.