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kicking the tires on a Leslie #3001977 08/06/19 10:59 AM
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Lou_NC Offline OP
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Planning to take a drive this week to look at a Leslie 142. I'd be connecting it to my XK-3 using a 1122 kit (which I don't own yet but would buy after buying the speaker). I've been playing clones for decades, but have never owned a Leslie (vintage or otherwise), nor have I ever been inside one. I'm an engineer (electrical) and pretty mechanically inclined, so I'm not intimidated by maintaining a Leslie, either mechanically or electrically. T hat said, I'd prefer to uncover any major issues BEFORE I purchase. The seller tells me that he'll be able to connect it to a Hammond console, so I'm planning to open the back, look, and listen for anything odd. I plan to check for sound (of course), belt tension, rubber o-ring condition on the motors. I was planning on spinning the rotor and horn by hand with the power off, to feel for bearing issues with the motors or rotor, but can't think of much else to check out. Should I check for any specifics with the amp? I see that the 122 amp has a volume control......any recommendations on where it should be set when I test it? What am I missing?

Thanks,
Lou

KC Island
Re: kicking the tires on a Leslie [Re: Lou_NC] #3001982 08/06/19 11:41 AM
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It's a loaded question with a Leslie. I'd get it unless it's totally rat infested. Depending on the condition the amp most probably will have to be recapped. It depends on where it was used and to what extent. Tires most likely would have to be replaced depending on the number of hours on the Leslie. The good thing is a 142 is probably the rarest Leslie around besides maybe a 30A that you will see. Most things can be replaced. Lou most of here can point you to the right resources. Can you post pictures or share them here. Guys like Todd, Wes, Mate Stubb, Delaware Dave. Moody Blues Keys know their stuff around here.


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Re: kicking the tires on a Leslie [Re: Lou_NC] #3002008 08/06/19 03:39 PM
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Depends where it was stored too. I rescued a 760 from storage in a barn. Bass driver was not original and was toast anyway, rodents made a meal out of the belts. Thankfully the top driver and motors/bearings were OK, and the amp fired right up. EVM15B bass driver sounds good in those things (must have 4 ohm coil though). I was surprised at the lack of corrosion. The tolex came right off of it, so I had the cabinet painted black and slapped a MARSHALL logo on it to mess with guitar players laugh

Re: kicking the tires on a Leslie [Re: Lou_NC] #3002009 08/06/19 03:42 PM
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If you can connect it to a Hammond console to test before you buy, you can test pretty thoroughly. Check for clear sound from woofer and horn when you back off the volume, and creamy overdrive when pushed.

Check the motor stack operation - listen for squeaky bearings on both speeds, and watch for the horn and drum reaching proper speeds. Horn should spin up within a turn or two, and rotor should spin up in about 8 - 10 seconds. This is all easily fixable BTW. Drum should turn opposite directions with the horn.

Speed should switch reliably after a short 1-2 second delay when you change the switch. Taking longer, inconsistent switching, or failing to switch could indicate that the relay has carbon on its contacts and needs to be serviced or replaced.

You can tap the tubes in the power amp gently to see if any are microphonic, or if the tube socket contacts are iffy.

If it fires up and makes pleasing noises, buy with confidence that any remaining issues are pretty minor. If the amp has problems, a new replacement runs $700-$800. They can typically be repaired for much less, but finding techs to do the work is getting harder.

BTW, the 142 is identical to the 145 except for the amplifier. 145 has a 110V switched relay and the 142 has a DC switched relay. If the cabinet has a 145 sticker on it but has a 122 amp in it, that's completely fine. It just means it started life as a 145 and somebody switched the amp at some point.


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Re: kicking the tires on a Leslie [Re: Lou_NC] #3002010 08/06/19 03:51 PM
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Just sold my 142 gigging Frankenleslie last week. I literally started with the wooden case, and that was cut in half! Outkaster is so correct in that things can be replaced.

Listen for obvious clicking when changing speeds. You can update with Trek solid state relay. (originally designed by Bob Schleicher).
Look at the bottom bass board that rests on the ground for warping or water damage. Even though I babied mine, I had to replace it. If bad enough, warping interferes with the bottom drum rotor. Replacing was easy.

Here are some websites that were valuable to me from memory... search Hammond and Leslie parts

www.bborgan.com Bill Brown
www.tonewheelgeneral.com
www.b3guys.com
www.trek.com
www.valhallawoodworking.com fun site for looking at all things wooden for Leslies and clones. He is the supplier for the other websites offering replacement wooden parts.
Oh yes, EBay and Reverb can be good sources for used. I found refurbished upper and lower motors that performed like new.

At the risk of being self-serving, I will soon list my Speakeasy Vintage Music tube preamp rack mount. 122/142 Leslie 6pin output. Another option for you.

Playing my Mojo61 through this was heavenly. Even my old Electro 2 sounded good. I think I will miss the Leslie more than my A100 chop. But i’m playing less organ, and these were just sitting in my garage.


Barry

Home: Steinway L, Montage 8

Gigs: Yamaha CP4, Crumar Mojo 61, A&H SQ5 mixer, ME1 IEM, MiPro 909 IEMs
Re: kicking the tires on a Leslie [Re: Lou_NC] #3002023 08/06/19 04:52 PM
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Nothing much to add except. Don't freak out when the belt is slipping and remove the slack. That is hard on the motors. There is supposed to be belt slip.


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So can a auto Mechanic." - Stokes Hunt
Re: kicking the tires on a Leslie [Re: Lou_NC] #3002024 08/06/19 04:56 PM
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The Captain is your friend. Download the appropriate Owner and Service manuals here:

http://www.captain-foldback.com/Leslie_sub/leslie_manuals.htm


"It doesn't have to be difficult to be cool" - Mitch Towne

"A great musician can bring tears to your eyes!!!
So can a auto Mechanic." - Stokes Hunt
Re: kicking the tires on a Leslie [Re: CEB] #3002051 08/06/19 07:49 PM
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Originally Posted by CEB
Nothing much to add except. Don't freak out when the belt is slipping and remove the slack. That is hard on the motors. There is supposed to be belt slip.


For the bottom rotor, yes. Not the top rotor.

I can add that a real Leslie adds a 3D dimension that no simulator has captured. Nothing like it.

Re: kicking the tires on a Leslie [Re: Lou_NC] #3002056 08/06/19 08:21 PM
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I have a 142 and highly recommend it unless it's been severely neglected. There's a bit to getting an old one 100 percent, but it's not rocket science, and once you get them straight, they tend to stay straight. Mine was originally a Ken Rich restoration. I eventually installed a Keyboard Specialties "super stock" amp chassis and via my Speakeasy preamp / speed control pedal, it makes any clonewheel sound amazing. Hell, it makes the organ sounds on my old DX7 sound amazing. The alignment of the slow motors piggybacked on the fast motors is a thing to pay attention to, as you want the slow motor's shaft to touch the fast motor's flywheel at just the right angle. That's true of any Leslie with a two-motor setup, though. What's the asking price, if I may ask?


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Re: kicking the tires on a Leslie [Re: Stephen Fortner] #3002065 08/06/19 09:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Stephen Fortner
I have a 142 and highly recommend it unless it's been severely neglected.


As do I. For the most part I leave the slow rotors unplugged. Chorale is cool, but stop/fast is super cool. cool


A reason why I collect old keyboards is that I feel partly responsible for doing it, responsible for preserving history and being a custodian for these things
Plus, old gear has a story. I like that.
Re: kicking the tires on a Leslie [Re: Stephen Fortner] #3002915 08/12/19 03:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Stephen Fortner
.............What's the asking price, if I may ask?


First of all, MANY thanks to all who responded and provided such excellent advice & tips in terms of this potential checkout and purchase. As life sometimes "happens", I have not been able to re-arrange my schedule and priorities to make the 300 mile, 5hr trip from Raleigh to Baltimore to proceed with this transaction. I held back responding until I knew I would not be able to make this happen, and it won't happen for me until 8/26 at the earliest, and I'm sure this Leslie will be long gone by then.

I don't know the Forum policy about posting a direct link to a sale item, so I'll just say if you go to Craigslist in Baltimore and search on Leslie, you'll find this item, a 142 with an asking price of $700. I hope it finds a good home (if it hasn't already), and that it doesn't immediately get tossed into the back of a van for gigging.......it looks to be in beautiful condition, and there aren't many left out there like this one.

Lou

Re: kicking the tires on a Leslie [Re: Lou_NC] #3002937 08/12/19 05:33 PM
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I saw that but no pictures on the inside. I just bought an old 122 from 1969 from a guy. It needs extensive work. People don't take care of these and they almost always need a ton of work. I have a ton of stories about buying Leslie speakers.


"Danny, ci manchi a tutti. La E-Street Band non e' la stessa senza di te. Riposa in pace, fratello"


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