leslie conversion to rotary speaker cabinet

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by corkyj, Apr 14, 2008.

  1. corkyj

    corkyj Member

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    has anyone converted a leslie 251 to work as a stand-alone rotary speaker cabinet? i'd like to use it with different guitar amp heads. i'm looking for schematics to make a relay box for both the on/off and the fast/slow controls...
     
  2. anibas

    anibas Member

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    I'm not familiar with that model of Leslie,but there's a company that makes a pedal that will allow you to power up and control the speed of just about any Leslie that was ever made-Trek II,IIRC.The one I saw years ago had 6,9, and 11 pin cable connections,so it should do the trick for you.As far as DIY projects go,somebody's had to have done it.
     
  3. ibblue2

    ibblue2 Member

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    The 251 is a two channel amp with 6 X 9 speakers mounted towards the top. This is to facilitate organs with reverb. The best way to run this is to get one of the Trek pre amp pedals and take a line into it. These are very nice Leslies, I do not recommend modifying it to run it as a stand alone. This is a big Leslie, maybe a trade for a 145 and a Leslie pre amp pedal would be a better choice.
     
  4. quinnamps

    quinnamps Member

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  5. quinnamps

    quinnamps Member

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    As soon as I can afford it I am getting a kit. I HAVE to have one of those.
    A friend had a smaller hammond (I think) deal with a small speaker on the end of a swinging arm inside a narrow box. Coolest thing ever.
    I also played in a band where the other guitarist "rig" was all leslie.
    Too damn big for me to haul around but that little bugger would fit right in.
    Very cool piece of kit.
     
  6. quinnamps

    quinnamps Member

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    Nope but I am. The free dollars to get one...LOL!
     
  7. corkyj

    corkyj Member

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    thanks for the great ideas. i listened to the rotary wave and was only moderately impressed. it's not quite like the sound from a real leslie cabinet. i sent an e-mail to trekII and hopefully they'll have something that i can use with my 251.
     
  8. Ulysses

    Ulysses Member

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    This is the same thing I hear. It is a nice sound on its own but nothing remotely related to a eal Leslie sound IMO. I play through a pair of 145's on a regular basis and very familiar with what an original Leslie does.

    To the OP, I honestly tried every which way I possibly could to get that sound without buying a Leslie and was never happy. I had the Motion Sound, Vibrotone, H&K Rotosphere (not EVEN close) and many more but without that original configuration you just don't get the grind and all the lo-fi artifacts you hear on Beatles records or when Clapton usues a Leslie in Cream. Everything I tried fell short and was very frustrating. I finally bought two 145's during a one year period from Ebay and the search is over... I haven't looked back since. They are a bit bulky but a 145 makes a killer guitar rig and it is possible to move around without a whole lot of trouble. Not at all as bad as you would think. If you pull the internal amp out and wire it to use with a regular guitar head you kill a couple of birds with one stone. You end up with a lighter cab and you have a much easier interface with a perfectly matched input level. Without having the Leslie's own tube amp in the cab, it really doesn't weigh as much as a Twin Reverb. Bulky, yes but I can lift mine into a van or slide onto a truck bed by myself. If that's the sound you really want you might as well face it....
     
  9. corkyj

    corkyj Member

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    would a 145 be so much better than a 251? if so, why?
     
  10. ibblue2

    ibblue2 Member

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    The 145 is a shorter cabinet. Internal's are basicly the same. The amp is different. It is easier to get a line level into a 147 type amp, than it is to a 122 style amp. The 251 amp is similar to a 122 type amplifier.

    If you can manage lugging these things around, there is nothing else that quite sounds the same. The 145 is prefered because it is shorter, thus easier to transport.

    A competent tech can modify your amp to work as you suggested. The value and beauty of these things is to leave them un molested. The Trek product would be the way to go for the 251, A Leslie pre amp is a great way to get a signal into a 147 style amp.
     
  11. corkyj

    corkyj Member

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    trek II said that their combo pre-amp will not work with a 251 leslie. however, the speakeasy guitar pre-amp (blackface jr.) will work apparently. of course this means that i'd be trusting the sound of that particular pre-amp. i still think that using a really good guitar head, like my '59 tweed deluxe, into a passive leslie speaker cabinet would sound amazing...
     
  12. Ulysses

    Ulysses Member

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    I traveled several years on the road in the mid 70's using a Leslie pre on the floor as my input into a Leslie 900. It was a solid state amp and covered with tolex much like a Fender. A very large two piece rig and the top cab held the rotating horn which sat on top of the low end cab. Believe it or not, these actually sound very good for guitar and not quite as bulky as 145/147/122, etc. . They were made for road use.

    I much prefer pulling out the leslie amp and using with something like a metal front small box 50 Marshall head. There's no real mod involved that is not completely reversable to use with an external guitar head. In my case, the two 145's I bought had heavy road wear and I wasn't too worried about keeping them original. I pulled the amps and sold them on Ebay, each for nearly 2/3's of the price I paid for the whole cab which made the Leslies nearly free. I much prefer the 50w Marshall guitar heads tone to the Leslie pre and amp's tone. Here's a pic of my current Leslies being powered with a coupe of Bassmans in rehearsal room. I found the Bassman's to be very harsh and switched back to the Marshalls. It is an explosive and dizzying rig that gives you the feeling of flying when it's cranked. The punch from the two subs kicks like a mule, twice the punch of a Marshall stack. One of the finest guitar rigs I've ever had the pleasure of playing.


    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
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  13. zzmoore

    zzmoore Member

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    We have a Leslie that was converted to 1/4". There is not much to it really. You ditch the power amp in the Leslie and just go direct from your head or combo into the cab. Were you really that disappointed with the Motion Sound? We have a Spin Doctor, which is one of their older models I guess, and I thought the sound was pretty good. It is way easier to haul around than a full Leslie cab. Our 147 is just a single speed though. Would you object to changing speeds manually, like with a rheostat or a dimmer switch perhaps.
    Good Luck
     
  14. Colt

    Colt Member

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    My Gosh, you're sick.
     
  15. 908SSP

    908SSP Supporting Member

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    There is a block logo pinstripe in that picture.:eek:
     
  16. corkyj

    corkyj Member

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  17. arvee72

    arvee72 Member

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    I just bought a pre-built rotary wave (RW) from ebay. I'm running it off one channel of my VHT power amp. The other VHT channel feeds the same signal to a 1960a with V30's.

    Naturally, I have to crank to crap out of the RW to hear it with/over the 1960. Funny, but I realize that I enjoy the combined sound of the 2 cabs over either cab alone! Could this be a result of the Jensen speaker smoothing out the searing ice-pick of the V30's?

    The RW doesn't quite fill the room (small basement) with the ethereal doppler effect that I imagined, but it does add thickness to my overall sound.


    So, now that I'm a rotary speaker believer, I was considering the Motion Sound SRV 212

    http://www.motion-sound.com/product?name=srv-212

    as my only cab...??

    Any advice on this idea? I mean, I could always add a 2x12 if I had to..
    Does anyone have experience with this unit? Could it really replace a standard 2x12?
     
  18. Zhurh

    Zhurh Member

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    I got a SRV-212 from sweetwater (809) about a month back, luv the heck outta it too; wish I would have bought it couple years back.

    Here's the crazy thing: I have a 35 Bruno Cowtipper, sounds pretty good too. The 212 sounds best thru my old TRRI custom 15, which is 85 watts. I haven't played the cowtipper in a month and fender amp hadn't been on in over a year untill I got the Motion Sound. Never would have believed it????

    I run motion sound outta main 4 ohm internal jack. I'm drunk with sound nowadays and even the wifey sez money well spent. If I would have known about SRV-212, probably never bought the $4400 Cowtipper;;; that's how nice this rotary sounds.
     
  19. Dexter.Sinister

    Dexter.Sinister Still breathing Gold Supporting Member

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    Ulysses, you are my hero. I showed this to my organist and he bust a gut. Man, we sure wish we were playing on your team!

    DS
     
  20. arvee72

    arvee72 Member

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    Here's a quick and dirty clip of the Rotary Wave in action. Please forgive the rotten playing!!
    Captured on a Pentax digital camera with built-in mic no less...


    [​IMG]
     

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