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The fascination with the Leslie 122


Outkaster

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I dont what it is but for as long as I have been interested in Leslie Speakers and Hammond Organs there is this aura with the Leslie 122. I know it was developed for the B-3 itself but it seems other than maybe a model 147 no other Leslie is as popular. I have talked with some techs about this and some of them have said they would rather have a 22H or a 145/147. I had a church turn down a 147 because they wanted a 122 and would not except it no matter what we said. Why is it so many people give so much attention to this Leslie?

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Yup.

 

Kanker's pretty much right, although personally do favor the look of the B style case, over the C and A. That said, I'd rather play a nice A100 than a crappy B3 any day.

 

On the leslie, I don't get it either. I own a 122,147, 142, 31H, 44W, and owned 21H,145, 770, 760 and still don't why people are so married to the 122.

 

I suspect its simply the popular name association, same as with the B3.

 

Aside from the 122/142 vs 145/147 cabinet size thing, that don't see the differences (and value) in the other leslies. The 31H (tall boy) is one of my personal favorites, and even like the single speed-ness of it. It has a great old school quality to it, and really has amazing bass response.

 

 

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The leslies do have more differences between them than simply the A/B/C "same organ in a different cabinet" scenario.

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I've always preferred the look of the C-style cabinets, especially with the quatrefoil woodwork.

 

Next is the A-100 (especially the A-122).

 

But as far as the love with the 122 - I don't know. I have one, but I'm sure I'd be just as happy with a 147, 145, or a 142.

Stuff and things.
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Kanker's pretty much right, although personally do favor the look of the B style case, over the C and A. That said, I'd rather play a nice A100 than a crappy B3 any day.

 

C'mon, admit it, you love that beautiful A-102 that you're playing in your pic... :laugh:

Stuff and things.
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Yup.

 

Kanker's pretty much right, although personally do favor the look of the B style case, over the C and A. That said, I'd rather play a nice A100 than a crappy B3 any day.

 

On the leslie, I don't get it either. I own a 122,147, 142, 31H, 44W, and owned 21H,145, 770, 760 and still don't why people are so married to the 122.

 

I suspect its simply the popular name association, same as with the B3.

 

Aside from the 122/142 vs 145/147 cabinet size thing, that don't see the differences (and value) in the other leslies. The 31H (tall boy) is one of my personal favorites, and even like the single speed-ness of it. It has a great old school quality to it, and really has amazing bass response.

 

 

Yeah, my 31H (which was converted to 2 speed) was the best sounding leslie I ever had (yep, TONS of bass).and it only came out to one gig ever for obvious reasons.

 

I converted a pair of Model 25 Orpheus leslies to 122 types, and gigged those forever.

 

Hitting "Play" does NOT constitute live performance. -Me.
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but a 147 and a 122 are nearly identical - same cabinet, slightly different electronics.

The difference in electronics is audible, however. I prefer the 122's sound to the 147's. That said, I don't prefer the 122's speed change delay.

 

Larry.

 

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Just to be a contrarian, I have always preferred the 145. The 122 sounds thin to me by comparison. Idiot or not, I think there is a noticeable difference in the sound. A/B/C organs?not so much. Unit to unit however there are definite differences.

Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.

-Mark Twain

 

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I don't think it's necessarily about preference or people believing that the 122 is better than others. It is simply the most common and iconic name associated with the Leslie speaker. Kind of like Kleenex and Xerox. The name itself became associated with the legendary sound and history associated with the Leslie in general.

 

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The differences between 122 and 147 basically is balanced versus unbalanced, and speed switching embedded in the signal line versus discreet A/C switching with seperate wires. Because of the balanced inputs and speed switching there is differences in how the 12AU7 works, which can color the sound beyond the unbalanced input. Remember, the 22W, 145, 147 were 'Wurlitzer organ' Leslies and could be wired into speaker outputs, while the Hammonds were all balanced outputs at the preamp level. If you want more info, compare the schematics of the 122 to the 147. It tells all!
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I had a church turn down a 147 because they wanted a 122 and would not except it no matter what we said.

 

I'd be perfectly happy with a 147 if you gave it to me.

also willing to accept an A-102 if anyone really can't live with the styling.

 

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I prefer moving organs in B-style cases than organs in church style cases.

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So can a auto Mechanic." - Stokes Hunt

 

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I prefer the sound of the 45 or 145 over the 122. Mind you, I've only owned one 122, and it was on of the chipboard ones made here in Australia, so perhaps it doesn't count.

 

Of course, I'd like to get my hands on a 31H - they sound fabbo.

Not a big fan of the 760.

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I have a 122 because that is what came with my organ. But the 3300 kicks it's patootie.

 

The little 860 is no slouch either if you want a lot of sound pressure level in a small package. The little proline lowboy will scream but it lack bigtime lowend. It is good enough for rock n roll and government work.

 

I have a 722HL that .... well it is big it is heavy ... that is about it. It is a multichannel rotosonic monsterocity that came with my B3000 but I modified the B3000 (my first clone) to be a single channel organ. It is one of those peces that sound probably find a new home one of these days.

"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

 

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I've got a 122 right next to a 251. I believe the 251 is essentially a 147 with reverb (someone please correct me if I'm wrong). Edit: I meant to say an extra channel for reverb.

 

I expected to prefer the 122, because everyone recommended the 122 when I described the sound I was after and pointed to musical examples.

 

But man do I love the sound of that 251! It has the perfect, warm, woody, subtly distorted sound for me.

 

I also love the time the 251 takes to change speeds. Is this something you can adjust?

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I prefer moving organs in B-style cases than organs in church style cases.

 

Same here. These instruments are really top-heavy so the wider stance of the B makes it more stable than the C. On the other hand, the C is easier to get through narrow passages. Not that I move mine much anymore...

 

As for Leslies, I've only owned 145s. The few times I played through a 122 I didn't care for the switching delay.

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I have a 251 as well hooked up to a C3. The 251 does not have onboard reverb but does have a separate channel for the reverberated signal of an organ, like a Lowry or Wurlitzer let's say, and the signal is sent to the oval speakers in the sides. There are leslies like the 122 RV or 147RV which also have speakers at the sides and do carry onboard reverb. On my particular leslie, I had a tech tie the amps together so the organ signal comes out of all speakers. It gives the leslie a bit more presence in my book and if I want it to sound like a 147 I just turn the "reverb side" down. As to the speed change, this is the same as a 147 but, of course, you can always move the belt to another step on the pulley, and of course make sure that the belt tension is right,
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I have owned two B3s, a '58 and and '63. A 21H came with my first B3, later added a 122. The 21H had much better bass response than the 122 and I liked the fact that it was a one speed. The 122 our course was a two speed. I also had a 145 and it was quite a bit louder than the 21H or the 122. As far as I knew it had not been modified. All in all my fav of the three was the 21H.
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I have a 122' right next to a 147 right next to a 22h, right next to a 47' right next to a 45.... They all sound remarkably different. But a lot has to do with the driver, horn, and of course what shape the amp is in... Finally, he wood makes a huge difference. The 147 Has particle board shelves and the others have hardwood. The older Leslie's sound much better to me.
'55 and '59 B3's, Leslies 147, 122, 21H, Motif XS7, Mellotrons M300 and M400, Wurlitzer 200, Gibson G101, Vox Continental, Mojo
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The 251 was the 2-speed version of the 51C which was preceded by the first 2-channel Leslie, the 50C. The stationary channel was originally for the "string" channel of Conn organs (and later other organs with a separate string/reed division and flutes.) The flutes and pedals went to the rotary channel with the 15 and horn, and the string and reed voices (aka complex-wave voices) went to the stationary channel as they don't sound good through conventional rotors. After Hammond started using separate reverb amps in the M-100 and A-100 they realized the stationary channel of the 51C and later 251 would be a good match for those organs.

 

Leslie later came up with rotary speakers for "complex-wave" voices, they used drums with two openings or Rotosonics with twin speakers, and revolved them at half the normal speed using a smaller pulley.

 

The old 50C has other bits of trivia attached to it. It was the first Leslie to use 6550 output tubes, and it was the only Leslie to pair 6550 output tubes with the field-coil woofer. If you ever find one, grab it...it will trip your trigger, guaranteed.

 

TP

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I have a 122' right next to a 147 right next to a 22h, right next to a 47' right next to a 45.... They all sound remarkably different. But a lot has to do with the driver, horn, and of course what shape the amp is in... Finally, he wood makes a huge difference. The 147 Has particle board shelves and the others have hardwood. The older Leslie's sound much better to me.

 

I would argue that the tubes have much more effect on tone than the wood.

 

My favorite tube Leslie is the 21H with the Series III amp. Four 5881 tubes working in tandem (or four 6V6 power tubes but I like NOS Tung Sol 5881's), the field coil woofer, the big ol' 6SN7 preamp dual triode preamp tube... yeah baby.

 

My favorite Leslie period is the 3300. Damn thing sounds fucking awesome especially with a 12AT7 in the preamp. One of these days I'll put an 11pin output on my Hammond C2 and record with that combo.

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