Leslie Rotating Speakers

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Leslie Rotating Speakers

Postby savage » Wed Feb 14, 2007 10:33 pm

I saw one of the model 16s (like the one below) in a store a long time ago. Never got to use it though. Anyone ever played through ona these before? I know they are a heap of money if in working condition, but I saw the rotating speaker itself for sale ($80) and was wondering if it would be that hard to build the cabinet and hook up the amp...

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I'm also tryin to compare different pedals that give off a similar sound. Was lookin at the dunlop rotovibe and univibe pedal. I got a chance to try out the rotovibe at scam ash the other day. Is there any particular reason why the univibe is more expensive than the rotovibe? Id think that the rotovibe would be more expensive since its in a foot-pedal form (you can buy a foot pedal for the univibe, but thats extra). I most likely will not come across a working rotating speaker that I can afford (unless I meet someone that could help me build one). So a pedal would probably have to do for now...
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Postby jeffl » Wed Feb 14, 2007 10:56 pm

I had one that I used with a Farfisa duo back in the mid-seventies when I was playin' in a hotel house band. I loved it,but I was a hack so I'm no expert.
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Postby allanlummox » Wed Feb 14, 2007 10:58 pm

They sound really cool, but they are more heavy gear to carry to clubs.

If you have a popular dance-blues band with a "can you top this" attitude, it might be worthwhile. Otherwise...
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Postby bignick » Wed Feb 14, 2007 11:12 pm

A lot of the really good clone pedals are all sold out right now Sav. I tried to get one for Christmas. The Phase 90 works fairly well for those sounds, and so does the EHX Small Stone.

I thought the Rotovibe pedal had a good sound too, or you could shell out the money for a Dunlop Univibe with foot controller. I hear the Univibe chorus isn't very good.
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Postby ricochet » Wed Feb 14, 2007 11:21 pm

Heard a posted sample lately of a pedal that made a pretty good Leslie sound. I think it might've been on here...
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Postby savage » Thu Feb 15, 2007 12:12 am

allanlummox wrote:They sound really cool, but they are more heavy gear to carry to clubs.

If you have a popular dance-blues band with a "can you top this" attitude, it might be worthwhile. Otherwise...


Yeah, i heard they weigh a ton. I think I just like the idea of an actual spinning speaker swirling the sound around the room as I play. If you plug yer amp into the speaker and put the Leslie on the other side of the stage, it would probably almost make it sound like it is shifting from ear to ear. Opposed to the pedal which can only imitate the sound but not the actual motion of the sound waves, right?

When it comes to amps and effects (which have very direct influences on sound), I dont like to buy anything that I havent played. I liked the sound of the rotovibe. When I played it, it didnt sound as overbearing as the soundclips of the univibe... plus its already a foot pedal. Had a nice sound that was subtle, yet still distinctive. I dont want anything that will completely cover up the tone of my amp (like most pedals do). I've heard that the univibe sucks a lot of tone away, even in bypass mode.
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Postby jeffl » Thu Feb 15, 2007 12:24 am

If I'm not mistaken,some of the virtual Leslie rack boxes simulate the rotor by using stereo effects. There was a review on these devices in Keyboard Magazine several years ago, and it probably can be found in their on-line archives. Having played thru a Leslie for several years, I can tell you that they're not the greatest on small stages,'cuz nobody else wants one near 'em,they take up space, and I never liked it too close to me on stage either. There's clubs around here with stages so small you couldn't get a Hammond and a Leslie on stage.
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Postby savage » Thu Feb 15, 2007 1:42 am

your right, on stage they probably are annoying. I'm sure it would be a hassle to haul ona those on and off stage every time you play. I still seem to be slightly seduced by its low-tech charm though. Somethin about it... I just like the idea of sound swirling out of a speaker.

I've always been attracted to certain vibes. They remind me of things in my life. And when I have somethin with me on stage that reminds me of my life, it makes me feel more comfortable. Often my "attractions" turn out to be inconveniant, but all-the-same they are a part of me. Kinda reminds me of how little kids keep stuffed animals all over their beds.... I need to grow up, haha.
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Postby jeffl » Thu Feb 15, 2007 1:53 am

I like Leslies too, 'cuz they remind me of what I call the "big band era", and it ain't jazz or swing. It's when rock bands had a Hammond guy, a piano player, horn sections, two drummers.....big bands with big sounds. Power music.
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Postby songdog » Thu Feb 15, 2007 2:22 am

I played guitar through one back in the 70's and it was a lot of fun. I think it would be cool to play the harp through the leslie too.

I heard some the leslie effects recently, but I think it'll be hard to beat the real thing..... analog rules! Just put some wheels on it :D
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Postby JLynn » Thu Feb 15, 2007 6:35 am

This is my current fave for copping the leslie tone:

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/product/ ... sku=150501

MF..is saying it's discontinued though...hmmm. Should be able to find one fairly cheap though.

Here is a sound bite from a guy that knows how to make the arion sing pretty good.

http://gregv.us/Bend%20The%20Dusty%20Road.mp3
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Postby grady » Thu Feb 15, 2007 8:22 am

Stay away from the Voodoo Labs Micro-Vibe.
I had one and it was pure junk.
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Postby stratman_27 » Thu Feb 15, 2007 11:04 am

I have a Voodoo Labs MicroVibe and its great. Did you have a defective one ? I use mine all the time for Hendrix stuff I actually prefer it to a regular chorus pedal. As for the leslie speakers I've heard older guys complain about the weight of the originals. I have a Boss Rotary Ensemble that does a pretty good impersonation of the full size cab has stereo outputs and costs about half of what the big name leslie sims run. If price is not a big concern check out a HK Rotosphere its tube driven and sounds good to my ear.

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/product/ ... sku=151040
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Postby dcblues » Thu Feb 15, 2007 1:44 pm

Carey Bell has been known to play harp through a Leslie. When he plays a chromatic through one it sounds like an organ.
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Postby bignick » Thu Feb 15, 2007 5:44 pm

The BOSS ensemble is really good from what I hear, but the Line 6 Rotovibe pedal is nearly the same and $100 cheaper. I owned that Arion Stereo Chorus. Its a good chorus but it did not give me a Leslie tone. My Small Stone is much more versatile and thicker than the Arion and it doesn't give you that tone either. A part of it, but not the phase-modulation or trem that is a part of the leslie sound.
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