Boss RT-20 Faux Leslie

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by telecopter, Oct 5, 2006.

  1. telecopter

    telecopter Member

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    Anyone try/have one? Comments?

    I've had a couple of Rotospheres, they sound great, but they are so big and take up too much space.
     
  2. MrMunky

    MrMunky Silver Supporting Member

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  3. TieDyedDevil

    TieDyedDevil Member

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    There's probably another thread where I've already answered this, but what the heck...

    The RT-20 can produce an acceptable Leslie sound if you know what to listen for. The problem is that there's a very narrow range of settings that sound anything like a real Leslie. (FWIW, I have a Leslie 147, so I have a pretty darned good idea of what a Leslie should sound like.) Deviate from those settings and you get some weird mutation of a Leslie.

    I know it's pretty common for Boss pedals to have a huge range of settings, much of which is over the top. That's part of their charm if that's the kind of thing you like. But if you're trying to simulate a Leslie because you don't feel like lugging a 100+ pound piece of furniture, doesn't it make sense that you'd want it to be easy to dial in an authentic Leslie sound? I dunno, maybe that's just me... :)

    There are a couple other minor annoyances with the RT-20. One is the low-end rolloff (again, common to most Boss pedals as far as I can tell). The other is the so-called Leslie "overdrive" which on the RT-20 sounds a lot like a DS-1 and nothing like the grind of a real overdriven Leslie power amp.


    For about 50% more, the DLS RotoSIM practically nails the Leslie sound. I won't go into details here except to say that they got everything right that's physically possible to get right. (In other words, you're not going to get the spatial effect of a Leslie from a pedal, even if you run it through stereo amps.)


    At the same price point as the RT-20, the Leslie mode of the Digitech EF-7 comes very close to being an accurate emulation. My only complaints with that pedal relate to having to use the treadle instead of a fast/slow stomp switch, and some barely-noticeable tone loss in bypass.
     
  4. Charles#5

    Charles#5 Member

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    Those are great clips. And the RT-10 does sound spot-on. What other gear did you use on the clips?

    Cheers,

    Johan.
     
  5. TheGrooveking

    TheGrooveking Member

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    I have the RT-20, Korg G-4, Digitech RPM-1, Line 6 Roto-Machine and a few others and the key is the difference between vibe and leslie emulator, there is a distinct difference (I know I throw this line in on everyone of these type of threads) the emulators are trying to clearly give you the horn/rotor tone of a leslie, the vibes are elaborate phasers.

    OF the leslie emulators I have the king is the rack based RPM-1, of the pedals, my pick is the RT-20. The Korg G-4 is a great sounding unit, but being in a plastic case and after playing with the RT-20 and it's display, the RT-20 does it for me. First off to truely evaluate one of these you MUST run it in stereo. The RPM-1 is triphonic so it has a leg up on it's competition. The BOSS has the most solid case. Running any lesle emulator in mono is just too one dimensional. To be fair I haven't tried the DLS yet, but I'll score on and let you guys know what I think.

    TheGrooveking
     
  6. StompBoxBlues

    StompBoxBlues Member

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    I've posted before, but...my experience was, I bought an RT-20, got it home, and other than the cool ramping feature I didn't think it sounded good at all. The Distortion on it is unbelievably bad....I mean so bad you wonder why they didn't just either make it work half-assed, or take it out of the circuit.

    The Leslie sim itself, some guys with lots more experience than me with a REAL Leslie have said how it really captured the sound. I tend to believe them, but my experience was....I got the "same" sound using my Mojovibe, and H2O Chorus together, and it sounded more organic (also stereo out) and more "live"...more present.

    If I were still looking for that sound, I would try the DLS pedal...I think it is in the same ballpark...cost-wise, and at least the clips on their site just blow me away, (AND I've read reviews that claimed it sounded great even in mono).
     
  7. TheGrooveking

    TheGrooveking Member

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    StompBoxBlues, did you run the RT-20 in mon or stereo?

    TheGrooveking
     
  8. The DLS Rotosim was very disappointing in my opinion.
    Very sterile, not rich sounding at all.
    It sounded more like a chorus than anything else.
    The fast speed was ok, the slow speed was bad.
    I'm a big fan of the chorale sound (slow speed).
    I know there are internal trim pots, i didnt mess with them in all fairness. But in my opinion, i shouldnt have to.
    The Rotosphere is very cool and warm and rich sounding. The downside for me was the cost (!), the size, and, once again, the slow speed didnt do it for me.
    I have the Boss RT20 currently.
    It nails the slow speed better than any simulator i've heard.
    It does roll off some bass, and i do wish it were a little thicker and richer..........but for the price, it's the best bet.

    Luke
     
  9. StompBoxBlues

    StompBoxBlues Member

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    Both...(if by stereo you mean out to two different amps, seperated).
    Just to mention, this is just my opinion, I REALLY could get, to my ears, a better and VERY similar sound with my H2O and vibe...which had way more presence, and just sounded more....natural when I A/B'ed them.

    That said, I have NEVER owned a Leslie (have heard them live though), and I know some, especially keyboard folks, who have reviewed the pedal rave about it, folks that say they have tried many pedals.

    SO I guess...I don't want to discourage someone who may just love the pedal from trying it, I would just really suggest making sure if you buy it without trying that you make sure the return policy is in place.

    Personally, again only my opinion, the distortion was terrible, there were very few sounds I thought sounded even all right, and honestly...when I got it I really WANTED it to be the best leslie-vibe kinda unit I had ever heard. I was convinced it was before I ever played it....but when I did, I was really dissapointed.
     
  10. The_Whale

    The_Whale Member

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    Between the RT-20 and the EX-7 which sounds better, which do you like better, and why?
     
  11. TieDyedDevil

    TieDyedDevil Member

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    I prefer the EX-7. It's a far more accurate emulation than the RT-20. There's really not much to adjust on the EX-7, so it's almost impossible to screw up. As a bonus, there's a bunch of other effects in case you get bored with the Leslie sound. (As a side note, I thought the EX-7s flanger emulation was horrible. The rest of the emulations are pretty good, though.)

    The EX-7 doesn't have the RT-20s spinning lights which are, quite frankly, an unnecessary distraction. I mean, WTF...? If you can hear a good Leslie sound, you don't need to see a light show. Especially not a private show at your feet...

    My main gripes with the EX-7 are that there's a barely noticeable effect on the tone in bypass and that you contol the Leslie speed with a treadle. I'm used to a traditional Leslie where you have a fast/slow stomp switch.

    Regardless of those complaints, I'd recommend the EX-7 over the RT-20 every time.
     
  12. The_Whale

    The_Whale Member

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    thanks for the thoughtful post, I really appreciate it.

    I'm going to get the EX-7.
     
  13. tedStrange

    tedStrange Member

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    Sounds great, put it in a true bypass loop, sucks quite a bit of tone when in line... I was able to get the tone I was going for with a H2O
     
  14. JoeB63

    JoeB63 Supporting Member

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    I think the Line6 sounds much better than the Boss. IMO.
     
  15. gillibi

    gillibi Member

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    The Line6 sounded much more compressed to my ears. The Boss(which I bought to replace my Rotosphere) was much more transparent and sounded more realistic.
     

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