Leslie In a Box: mission complete

Peegoo

Doctor of Teleocity
Joined
Oct 11, 2019
Posts
13,353
Location
Beast of Bourbon
This isn't really an amp, so I stuck this thread here in DIY Effects. But it's not a pedal either...

I rescued an ancient Lowrey organ from the trash and removed the rotating speaker baffle unit; the rest was in very sad shape as it had been stored outside for some time. As you can see from the pics, the thing is basically a speaker baffle board with a Styrofoam drum in front of the 8" speaker that is rotated by a small AC motor and a belt on pulleys.

Fender used to sell something like this; it was called a Vibratone cabinet. Fender was owned by CBS--who also owned the Leslie name, so it was a match made in heaven. This rotor I have is identical to the Fender unit, but theirs was mounted vertically and they used a 10" speaker. More info on the Vibratone here
www.nmia.com/~vrbass/vibratone/

I used 1/2" ply for the top and sides. I had originally intended to make a simple box with square corners, but decided to exercise some artistic license instead. I grooved four poplar sticks to serve as exposed corner posts and routed everything smooth for an art deco look. The mismatched wood grain is not an issue because this will be getting paint.

I put an infinitely variable speed control on it instead of the original 'fast' and 'slow' switch; it goes from barely moving to about 400 RPM.

This cab is 20" long, 17" wide and 14" tall. Perfect for the corner of the living room as an end table, or maybe even an ottoman with a cushion on top.

Pics of the cab in progress:

Leslie-Construction-Montage-Markups-Small.jpg


Primed and sanded:

Leslie-Cabinet-Primed.jpg


I "covered" it with Rustoleum spray-on pickup truck bedliner. It's got a pebbly texture to it, and when it's completely dry it has a satin surface finish. From a foot away it looks like perfectly seamless Tolex. And it's not only tougher than Tolex--it's a lot easier to apply and even easier to repair. It's pretty shiny in this pic because I just shot the 2nd coat on and it's still a bit wet.

Leslie-Cab-Painted.jpg


I used repro early-70's Fender silver stripe speaker cloth, mounted vertically.

Leslie-Completed-2.jpg


Here's a shot of the completed Leslie. It runs great and sounds fantastic.

It gets that slow Trower swirl and it gets the fast Jimmie Vaughan warble, and everything in between. I'm running it with a Traynor Quarterhorse (25-watt amp built into a little pedal with reverb, delay, tremolo, and clean/dirty channels).

Leslie-Completed-1.jpg
 
Last edited:

dogmeat

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Oct 12, 2017
Posts
3,615
Age
71
Location
Alaska
very nice looking build. I've built a couple. the parts are all over evilbay... they come and go, so keep an eye out. also also watch local ads... people literally give away the old organs sometimes. a clever guy can make most of the parts

I made a foot switch to take the amp's output either to the amp's speaker or to the cabinet speaker. then a on/off for the motor (its a one speed). the 2nd one has on and high/low for the 2 speed. the one speed has a horn and a crossover. #2 is just a 12" speaker.
 

Peegoo

Doctor of Teleocity
Joined
Oct 11, 2019
Posts
13,353
Location
Beast of Bourbon
I thought about making a footswitch control for it, but this isn't something I'll be gigging with so a simple speed control works fine for me.

I learned something interesting while working on a speed control for this: these little single phase shaded-pole AC motors can be controlled by chopping up the AC sine wave using a MOSFET and a couple transistors and resistors...but only when there's a load (resistance) on the motor.

Since this motor is not loaded at all, the MOSFET controller was a no-go, even dialed back to 25% of the sine wave showing on the scope. It still ran full speed.

I needed a way to dial back the voltage, so I tried a series of 10-watt wire wound ceramic resistors and that did the trick. But rather than making a multi-position switch with multiple fixed speeds, I went the path of least resistance [electronics joke!] and found a little rheostat designed for fireplace fan speed control and dimming incandescent lights. It also has a zero-position on/off switch, which really simplified the wiring for this project.

This: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B078Y41C3F/?tag=tdpri-20
 

hopdybob

Friend of Leo's
Joined
May 28, 2008
Posts
2,396
Location
netherlands
some older Yamaha's have leslie to and constructed well.
but you made some art to, very stylish, respect!
 

Thin white duke

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Oct 1, 2017
Posts
2,593
Age
47
Location
italy
This isn't really an amp, so I stuck this thread here in DIY Effects. But it's not a pedal either...

I rescued an ancient Lowrey organ from the trash and removed the rotating speaker baffle unit; the rest was in very sad shape as it had been stored outside for some time. As you can see from the pics, the thing is basically a speaker baffle board with a Styrofoam drum in front of the 8" speaker that is rotated by a small AC motor and a belt on pulleys.

Fender used to sell something like this; it was called a Vibratone cabinet. Fender was owned by CBS--who also owned the Leslie name, so it was a match made in heaven. This rotor I have is identical to the Fender unit, but theirs was mounted vertically and they used a 10" speaker. More info on the Vibratone here
www.nmia.com/~vrbass/vibratone/

I used 1/2" ply for the top and sides. I had originally intended to make a simple box with square corners, but decided to exercise some artistic license instead. I grooved four poplar sticks to serve as exposed corner posts and routed everything smooth for an art deco look. The mismatched wood grain is not an issue because this will be getting paint.

I put an infinitely variable speed control on it instead of the original 'fast' and 'slow' switch; it goes from barely moving to about 400 RPM.

This cab is 20" long, 17" wide and 14" tall. Perfect for the corner of the living room as an end table, or maybe even an ottoman with a cushion on top.

Pics of the cab in progress:

Leslie-Construction-Montage-Markups-Small.jpg


Primed and sanded:

Leslie-Cabinet-Primed.jpg


I "covered" it with Rustoleum spray-on pickup truck bedliner. It's got a pebbly texture to it, and when it's completely dry it has a satin surface finish. From a foot away it looks like perfectly seamless Tolex. And it's not only tougher than Tolex--it's a lot easier to apply and even easier to repair. It's pretty shiny in this pic because I just shot the 2nd coat on and it's still a bit wet.

Leslie-Cab-Painted.jpg


I used repro early-70's Fender silver stripe speaker cloth, mounted vertically.

Leslie-Completed-2.jpg


Here's a shot of the completed Leslie. It runs great and sounds fantastic.

It gets that slow Trower swirl and it gets the fast Jimmie Vaughan warble, and everything in between. I'm running it with a Traynor Quarterhorse (25-watt amp built into a little pedal with reverb, delay, tremolo, and clean/dirty channels).

Leslie-Completed-1.jpg
Oh man that's so beautiful, i wish i was your neighbor so i could come to your house and play it. :);):)
 

39martind18

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Jul 31, 2012
Posts
3,716
Age
71
Location
Spring TX
I thought about making a footswitch control for it, but this isn't something I'll be gigging with so a simple speed control works fine for me.

I learned something interesting while working on a speed control for this: these little single phase shaded-pole AC motors can be controlled by chopping up the AC sine wave using a MOSFET and a couple transistors and resistors...but only when there's a load (resistance) on the motor.

Since this motor is not loaded at all, the MOSFET controller was a no-go, even dialed back to 25% of the sine wave showing on the scope. It still ran full speed.

I needed a way to dial back the voltage, so I tried a series of 10-watt wire wound ceramic resistors and that did the trick. But rather than making a multi-position switch with multiple fixed speeds, I went the path of least resistance [electronics joke!] and found a little rheostat designed for fireplace fan speed control and dimming incandescent lights. It also has a zero-position on/off switch, which really simplified the wiring for this project.

This: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B078Y41C3F/?tag=tdpri-20
I had a "home organ" leslie style cabinet I used for live performance back in the mid 70s. I dropped a Altec 12 in the thing, and ran it as an extension speaker from my amp. For speed control, I simply wired a sewing machine foot controller in the power cord- worked like a charm, with infinitely variable speed. My saxophonist brother said it looked like a coffee table that had "been terminally attacked with grill cloth."
 




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