Leslie Rotating Speaker Cabinet

Discussion in 'Pedal/Effects Owners Clubs' started by Milspec, Feb 4, 2021.

  1. Milspec

    Milspec Poster Extraordinaire

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    I stopped at my guitar shop today and was immediately teased with a custom cabinet containing a Leslie rotating speaker assembly. The cabinet work was really sharp and the sound was equally impressive. It took a lot of restraint to walk out of the shop with my wallet still in my pocket.

    It is still tempting me. I only had a 30 second demo though and wonder if the effect that it delivers is really worth the money. Would it be more of a gimmick that gets boring or would it be more versatile than it appears?

    It is a low watt speaker with dual speeds so it has limited versatility right there, but I have a couple of low watt amps that would likely sound great through this speaker cab.

    I do have a birthday in another week, but really don't want to spend that kind of money on something that ends up being a conversation piece except for some rare usage for that doppler effect.

    Thoughts? Give me some ownership perspective here.
     
  2. David Barnett

    David Barnett Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Two speeds are all you get with a traditional Leslie.
     
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  3. DrBGood

    DrBGood Tele-Holic

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    I remember them sounding humongous with a Hammond B3.
     
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  4. Tim G

    Tim G Tele-Meister

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  5. Tele295

    Tele295 Poster Extraordinaire

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    I love playing through a Leslie at a gig. I won’t use it on every song, but maybe 1/2 the time with various speed changes.

    The king of Leslie guitar for me is Danny Gatton during his Redneck Jazz Explosion days (late 70’s)

     
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  6. Cadillac_Mike

    Cadillac_Mike Tele-Holic

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    Swirly and EXTRA Swirly :).
     
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  7. swervinbob

    swervinbob Friend of Leo's

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    Yeah, it would be cool, but, to me, just a novelty. If you had a studio or a Hammond it would be cool. But there are plenty of pedals and plugins to use after the novelty wore off.
     
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  8. Alcohen

    Alcohen Tele-Meister

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    Whether to buy an amp at all is a real question in 2021 (I'm still pro-amp). But it seems to me wholly unnecessary to buy a mechanical spinning speaker when there are so many fantastic modulation effects out there. If you're already packing a B-3, then yeah, and if you have endless space and cash, I guess, but otherwise, buy yourself a nice Strymon something and save the back and the cash.
     
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  9. lathoto

    lathoto Tele-Meister

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    A nice effect, but sparse at best. Save the scratch for a Tube Tape Echo.
     
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  10. dogmeat

    dogmeat Friend of Leo's

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    I've built a couple from scrap organ parts. you can buy the drums and motors on evilbay too. watch your local CL, etc and there are people that literally give away old organs. you can go speaker only and get pretty small. you can go speaker & horn with a crossover, but it gets bigger. I've done both. I made mine so that "Leslie" is just a cabinet, and the amp can be footpedaled to either the rotating speaker or the amp speaker. they have different sounds when the rotating part is still. the horn btw, has one side thats a dummy, so a broken one will still work as long as you balance it. and yeah, theres nothing like the real deal... the extra sounds from the mechanism grinding along and the depth of the tone. but really... you can get awfully close with the right pedal. I have the EH "Lester"... it's pretty dang good
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2021
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  11. Middleman

    Middleman Friend of Leo's

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    I used to have one of the clones that were much smaller and easier to move around. Don't know whatever happened to those companies as there were several.

    Eventually the pedal makers were able to do a good job of recreating the effect. You can even get a secondary control pedal to speed up and down several of the pedals our there. I use a Vicious Vibe pedal which does this using a single switch. First clik is on, then you can go back and forth on the same switch for slow and fast. To turn it off you press and hold. Too simple.
     
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  12. Milspec

    Milspec Poster Extraordinaire

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    That is the vibe I am getting from the group...cool, but can get pretty close with a pedal for less coin. It is a very cool looking cabinet, the guy is a home cabinet builder and did a fine job, but it might be a bit silly to spend the money on it.

    I don't even know what would be a good price for such a thing, so it might be over-priced as well...I really don't have a reference. We are talking about a $400 - $500 range here which could be crazy or reasonable. I have no idea as I have never seen one before.
     
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  13. jaxjaxon

    jaxjaxon Tele-Meister

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    They are good to have then not have, If it is the real deal with the horn and rotor section and it comes with the foot switches and treadle pedal.I am useing a rack unit that does the leslie thing right center left outs with three amps so it gives a more stereo leslie sound or I can set it up as a wet dry wet rig.
     
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  14. galaxiex

    galaxiex Tele-Afflicted

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    I like the effect.

    I'm building my own.

    I bought a Leslie rotor assembly with motor and speaker (probably will change the speaker) from ebay.

    If you are handy with wood, a cabinet is relatively easy to make. ;)
     
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  15. DougM

    DougM Poster Extraordinaire

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    One of the things that made the Hammond Leslie cabinets so magic was their internal tube amp.
     
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  16. Milspec

    Milspec Poster Extraordinaire

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    it does have the foot pedal, but not the treadle pedal (at least I didn't see it when I tried it out). The rotor section is legit, but I don't know if the horn is there, never opened the panel up. I am going back next week for a closer look if it still there. Maybe the temptation will fade by then.
     
  17. Matt G

    Matt G Tele-Afflicted

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    As a big fan of the Leslie sound, I hunted an original one for a long time. But there aren't many here, and shipping from the States was too stupid, so in the end I broke down and bought an emulator pedal. Trust me, the pedal's perfectly acceptable unless you're doing some very specific period-oriented studio recording. Plus: you can carry the pedal around by yourself, and jam it in a shoebox when you aren't using it.
     
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  18. Bob Womack

    Bob Womack Tele-Afflicted

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    I am an inveterate swirly head. I started with a Hughes & Kettner Rotosphere and went on to a Motion Sound Sidewinder single rotor and eventually added a two rotor Leslie G37. There is nothing like the real thing on "chorale" (low speed) with a tube amp pushed to gentle distortion. Nothing.

    However, it is like chorus: you'll use it a couple of times per night if you use it live or a couple of tunes per album. For instance, Joe Walsh used it twice on The Smoker You Drink The Player You Get and most of the albums he played on. But there is absolutely nothing else that will do if you want swirly.

    Bob
     
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  19. bluesintheblood

    bluesintheblood Tele-Meister

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    Something like this? Was about 200 bucks to put together, maybe a little less, including the cost of tremolo unit/motor

     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2021
  20. ArcticWhite

    ArcticWhite Tele-Afflicted

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    I built one out of an old organ like some of the others above.
    It was awesome. But only in a live situation. It creates a fully three dimensional sound that no pedal can produce.
    If you are going to use it live, it will be a lot of fun.
    But for recording, you aren't going to get that full 3d swirl. It will sound like a chorusy tremolo.
    So it depends on how you'd use it.
     
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