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So Where Can You Buy A New Leslie?


Keyrick

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I'm in Orange County, California. I can't find a Leslie dealer anywhere that has any stock. I want to get a 2101, but the only place that I can find one is at MF on line, with a 17 day wait. The GC in Hollywood doesn't have one, nor does West LA Music, Sam Ash or anyone that I can find in the LA-Orange county area. They can all order one. I was also thinking of getting a 771 to replace my 910, but I can't even find a dealer for that. Do they really exist or do they just show up at NAMM and have a web site????

 

Please help!!!

 

Rick

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Here are three good sources to try:

 

BT Productions

Tony LaBrasca is the man there. I have been a customer and friend of his for a couple of years and he is a great guy. If he cannot get it, he will know where to go.

 

Bill Brown Organ

Bill Brown is also a very reputable Hammond tech and gear source.

 

Goff Professional

 

Yes, new Leslies do exist. I've mainly seen the 122 and 147 Leslies, but there are a number of other models still being produced. You may still consider a vintage Leslie, as the build quality on the new ones is not quite as fine and they are more expensive new. I would suggest contacting the above sources and getting some more information from them. Good luck!

 

Regards,

Eric

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Just a thought,

 

In our church here in ATL, I have a new 122a and a vintage 21H that was converted to a 122 for the Hammond C3 that I play. BTW, they were both miked (top and bottom rotors)when we first moved into our new sanctuary. First, we miked our brand new, dusty(if you get the picture) Leslie 122a that we bought 3 years ago. It sounded okay. Then we miked our vintage Leslie. NO COMPARISON!!!!! Just as we did over the years, if our vintage Leslie goes out, the new one is just a backup until our vintage gets fixed. Our sound guy was like, "Whoaaaa!! You can really hear the difference between that old and new one". The new Leslie is brighter and has a nice bass sound but with no punch or warmth. Maybe it's the styrofoam bottom rotor, I don't know, but save yourself $2000 and get a rebuilt Leslie.

Yamaha MODX8, Korg Kronos 2 61, Hammond B3, Novation 61SL MKII, Impulse 61, Roland D-550, Proteus 2000, etc......to name a few.
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Thanks for the replies everyone. The 2101 is the small upper rotor only portable unit that I would use for gigging. I'd love to do a 122, but it's just too big. I have an old 910 that works OK. And yeah, there are several places out of state or on-line that I could order one. I was hoping for some help in SoCal. One would think you could see and try a new Leslie Speaker someplace when there's a population of 30 million! I guess I'll just order it from my local guy. :wave:

 

Thanks again.

 

Rick

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  • 1 month later...

Well, I ordered the Leslie 2101 on the 3rd of March and I got it yesterday. They had to build it!

 

It sounds really good (it ought to)in my living room. I will gig with it tonight and see how it goes.

 

Rick

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  • 5 months later...

Hello all,

 

Kicking this topic again, because I'm very curious about rotary speakers: I have lot's of questions.

 

I'd like to buy one in the near future for my Nord Electro. A real Leslie box (the wooden ones) would be the best I guess, but not so convenient. What good products are there, which are more transportable?

 

I saw something about the Leslie 2101. It seems to have only the horn speaker and not the bass speaker. Is that correct? And can the 2101 be used alone? How does it simulate the rotating bass speaker then? Or is the 2121 bottom unit a must have when using the 2101 top? And what's the difference between the 2101 and the 2102?

 

Also saw something about the Motion Sound products. Are they better? Which model would be the most convenient one (considering transportability)?

 

And does anyone (fellow Dutch posters) know where the Leslie-21 line products (the 2101, 2102 and 2121) can be auditioned/bought in The Netherlands?

 

I googled a lot, but there is very little information about these speakers, which surprised me actually...

 

Looking forward to replies...

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Well, I ordered the 2101 from my local music store and It took about a month to get from Hammond-Susuki. I had tried the unit out as best as I could at NAMM, but you are limited in what you can do in those surroundings.

 

This unit works fine in your living room full range. It has a "Low Rotor" stereo out which sends a simulated rotory signal to be connected to an amp or PA, which is required at gig volumes. For the band I am in, I have to mic the upper rotor as well as it does not have the volume required for gigs. We are a loud band! The Leslie is connected to a Roland VK-8 via an eleven pin Leslie connector.

 

Hammond-Susuki is not highly respected in the retailer world here in the US in terms of sales and distribution, from what I have been told by many local shops. The lack of information on their various websites backs up that claim. They make a good product, but it is expensive, and they seem to be focused on sales to institutions and churches via their representatives rather than to retailers. Try to get an XK-3 in a short amount of time!

 

The 2121 is simply a powered speaker that is tuned for use with a 2101, certainly not worth the $1000.00 price tag, compared to other units out there.

 

The 2101 is a 3 channel unit that has left and right "Stationary" channels and a single rotory channel. This feature is a throwback to home organ usage where the organ has brass and string sounds that you do not want to route through the rotory channel. IMO, this is a waste because the majority of the people who would purchase this unit want it for the rotory effect and have other means to amplify the sounds of their other instruments. H-S would do well to provide a rotory only unit for a lower cost, as Motion Sound does.

 

The Leslie advantage is the 11 pin connector which allows you to switch the speed from the keyboard, rather than depend on a foot switch. M-S should provide this option as well, however, there may by patents or licences that prevent them from doing so. Roland provides an eleven pin connector on their units, perhaps they have paid a license fee to H-S.

 

If you decide on purchasing a 2101 and plan on using it in a live performance setting, be prepared to mic it. It sounds very good above 800 hz, which is what it is designed to do. It does not sound like a 122 or a 771 because it doesn't have that big resonant box. Whether it is better than a M-S product or not in terms of sound, that is subjective and you have to let your ears decide. The problem with both of these products is that it is difficult to find a dealer that carries, let alone stocks, these expensive units. The consumer has to work hard to try their products. Not a good thing!

 

Rick

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Originally posted by Keyrick:

The Leslie advantage is the 11 pin connector which allows you to switch the speed from the keyboard, rather than depend on a foot switch. M-S should provide this option as well, however, there may by patents or licences that prevent them from doing so. Roland provides an eleven pin connector on their units, perhaps they have paid a license fee to H-S.

 

Rick

I also was looking for a way to control my M-S Pro3 from the keyboard, so I designed my own little interface. Info is available here . I am working on a Pro145 version with Dave the Rave from this forum. PM me for more info. M-S has been very helpful in providing info (even put my name on their website as a contact) - so I'm also not sure why they don't sell it themselves. Actually their new "Leslie" lookalike (MS-1771) has an 11-pin on it, so it isn't like they can't do it.

 

There isn't anything very special about the 11-pin connector - not sure it would be licensable. It is a fairly standard (albeit not very common) plug, and it has line level audio plus a couple of control signals on it - not especially exotic.

 

If my next post involves bail money, you'll know I wrong about this. :eek:

 

- Bob

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Thanks for the info! I will look for more info on the Leslie 21-product line. More info from other users would also be great.

 

I also googled some more on the Motion Sound products and found the newer M-S Pro3Tm. It's also a leslie top (real rotor for high freqs + modelling for rotary low freq drum), but seems to have an already built in microfone (with 1/4" output) for the horn, which the older M-S Pro3 doesn't seem to have. The built in mic looks like a nice extra feature and the whole things seems to be a nice product to me.

 

What I didn't understand: are there separate outputs for the bass and the horn signals? At pictures, I see four 1/4" plugs: input, rotor speed (for pedal) and L and R/mono outputs. How is the signal routing for this unit? I didn't see the microfone output (for the horn) come in. Are the outputs combined horn+bass outputs???

 

And does the Leslie 2101 have a built in mic for the spinning horn?

 

Any ideas?

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Originally posted by Darcity:

Just a thought,

 

In our church here in ATL, I have a new 122a and a vintage 21H that was converted to a 122 for the Hammond C3 that I play. BTW, they were both miked (top and bottom rotors)when we first moved into our new sanctuary. First, we miked our brand new, dusty(if you get the picture) Leslie 122a that we bought 3 years ago. It sounded okay. Then we miked our vintage Leslie. NO COMPARISON!!!!! Just as we did over the years, if our vintage Leslie goes out, the new one is just a backup until our vintage gets fixed. Our sound guy was like, "Whoaaaa!! You can really hear the difference between that old and new one". The new Leslie is brighter and has a nice bass sound but with no punch or warmth. Maybe it's the styrofoam bottom rotor, I don't know, but save yourself $2000 and get a rebuilt Leslie.

The old Leslies have vacuum tubes. The new ones are solid state. Kcbass

 "Let It Be!"

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Bob,

 

I looked at the M-S website before I purchased the 2101 and I saw the circuit that they had. What bothered me was the lack of the stop function. I have seen that their 1771 does have the 11 pin connection. I don't know if there is a patent on the Leslie 11 pin circuit or not.

 

It seems that the M-S strategy is to make a product that can be used with any type of instrument that has ever used the rotory effect, Guitars, Steel Guitars, etc as well as organs, but doesn't necessarily cater to the "Hammond-Leslie" user. That is not a bad thing per sey, just an observation.

 

When I tried the 2101 at NAMM last January, it was connected to an XK-3 via the 11 pin connector. This was in the back of my mind when I purchased the 2101 thinking that it is likely that will be an XK-3 in my future. I know that H-S supports a direct connection from the XK-3 to the 2101. M-S, IMO, needs to provide an 11 pin interface with full functionality on the PRO-3, that isn't an external hang on box, which is just one more thing to set up at a gig. No disrespect intended. I hope your work with them will produce that, as the M-S products are less expensive than the H-S are, and sound just fine. As I learned on the real thing, I have trained myself to use my left hand, rather than a footswitch to control these functions. You know, Old Dog, New Trick kind of thing, and I am more comfortable using that approach. As the VK-8 and the XK-3 has this feature built in, this had a lot to do with my decision on purchasing the 2101. I just wonder though, if M-S see's their market base as guitar/synth consumers, which I think is likely, rather than organ guys.

 

Nordude, no, the 2101 does not have an internal mic like the PRO-3 has. I mic mine externally with a Senn E-609.

 

Good luck.

 

Rick

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Originally posted by Nordude:

What I didn't understand: are there separate outputs for the bass and the horn signals? At pictures, I see four 1/4" plugs: input, rotor speed (for pedal) and L and R/mono outputs. How is the signal routing for this unit? I didn't see the microfone output (for the horn) come in. Are the outputs combined horn+bass outputs???

 

The newer Pro3's (not mine) have a mic output on the back - XLR. The L/R outputs on the front have the low frequencies (below 800HZ - same cutoff freq as a "real" Leslie) and include the simulated low rotor effect. Lows without the sim rotor are available from another jack (a MIDI-type jack, although NOT MIDI) on the back, used to connect to the M-S Low-Pro.

 

I forgot to mention sound quality - I think the Pro-3 gets pretty close to a traditional Leslie sound. It has a tube pre and a contour (brightness) control, and coupled with the fact that you can control the low-to-high ratio by varying the volume of the external bass amp and the speed-up and slow-down times, there is a significant amount of tweaking that can be done. I don't currently own a real Leslie, and maybe I'd think differently if I did, but it sounds good to me.

 

- Bob

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Originally posted by Keyrick:

Bob,

 

When I tried the 2101 at NAMM last January, it was connected to an XK-3 via the 11 pin connector. This was in the back of my mind when I purchased the 2101 thinking that it is likely that will be an XK-3 in my future. I know that H-S supports a direct connection from the XK-3 to the 2101. M-S, IMO, needs to provide an 11 pin interface with full functionality on the PRO-3, that isn't an external hang on box, which is just one more thing to set up at a gig. No disrespect intended. I hope your work with them will produce that, as the M-S products are less expensive than the H-S are, and sound just fine. As I learnd on the real thing, I have trained myself to use my left hand, rather than a footswitch to control these functions. You know, Old Dog, New Trick kind of thing, and I am more comfotable using that approach. As the VK-8 and the XK-3 has this feature built in, this had a lot to do with my decision on purchasing the 2101. I just wonder though, if M-S see's their market base as guitar/synth consumers, which I think is likely, rather than organ guys.

 

Rick

Rick -

 

Yes, my thing gives you all the functionality - slow, stop, brake, multiple channels, etc, from the keyboard switches or anything connected to the keyboard (I like using a footswitch in "gas pedal" mode - down for fast, up for slow). I put the circuit in a little box that accepts the 11-pin cable from an XK-2/3 (and probably others), and provides jacks for patch cables to connect to the Pro3. But for the slightly more brave, it could pretty easily be mounted inside the Pro-3, with the 11-pin plug coming out the back - would require a little soldering and drilling. It isn't rocket science, so it's not clear why M-S doesn't do it.

 

- Bob

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Darcity said: I have a new 122a and a vintage 21H that was converted to a 122 for the Hammond C3 that I play.

_________________________________________________

I also owned a B-3 with a 21-H back in the '60s. I wanted two Leslies so I bought a new 122. The difference in the sound of the two units was incredible. The 21-H had a much mellower tone but still had power. The 122 sounded good but just not as good as the 21-H. The 21-H was heavier and I think a lot of the tone came from a better quality of wood being used in the cabinet. I loved that 21-H.....

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Keyrick, check out the MS KBR-M or KBR-3D. These speakers sound very good as a Leslie. When I first got My KBR-3D (one of the first ones) I took it to the church where my old B-3 sits and did a A/B with it and the Leslie 147 that was hooked up to the Hammond. (My old B-3 also had a 1/4" output along with the Leslie pin output so that made it easiy to do this). While it did not have the over-all warmth and lower bottom that the 147 had, it surprised me at how close I was able to get it to sound like the Leslie (in that enviroment) and it played much louder. Also, the weight savings was a big plus. The KBR has built in mics on the top with lower simulation that is mixed together and sent to stereo low impedience outputs. This make it a snap to interface with a PA system. No mics needed. There is a foot switch that has stop, slow and fast. I also wired up my own Leslie type togle switch so I can adjust the speed from the side of the keyboard. These units will also play your other keyboards through a dedicated keyboard pathway in either stereo or mono depending on which model you use. Of course, there still ain't nothing like the real thing, so if you want the most authentic sound then go with a real Leslie (just watch your back!) ;)

Kurzweil PC3, Hammond SK-1 + Ventilator, Korg Triton. 2 JBL Eon 510's.

 

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Check out http://www.speakeasyvintagemusic.com for a wide selection of reconditioned vintage Leslies. These folks will sell you a new or rebuilt unit. They also offer "road ready" Leslies, which are reconditioned vintage Leslies in road-worthy, durable cases. Styled like the original wooden cabinet but stronger. This approach is similar to what Goff does with B3's and C3's.
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I have a 122A also. It sounds great to my ears. It is not solid state as stated above. The foam Bass roter is one of the few differences from a vintage 122. I probable would have prefered a vintage one but they are old and less reliable. I understood that leslie speakers are madepretty much the same way as the always were.
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I have a box made by Hammond/Suzuki that goes from 11-pin to 6 pin 122 style, so I can plug it into my vintage 122's. It has a cheesy solid state preamp, too bad, so we use the 11 to 6 pin box for switching only and run the audio through vintage Ampegs into the Leslie speaker network, bypassing the 122 amp. I have an eye on the Speakeasy preamp, which would eliminate the need for an external amp, but it would have to be custom to do what I want to do.

 

Speakeasy makes a 11-pin to 6-pin tube preamp that could be a great solution, but I submix sounds into the Leslie so my life is a bit more complicated.

A WOP BOP A LU BOP, A LOP BAM BOOM!

 

"There is nothing I regret so much as my good behavior. What demon possessed me that I behaved so well?" -Henry David Thoreau

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Rick,

I wonder of a speakeasy preamp might give you the boost you need for that new Leslie? I run my Vk through a Trek II preamp into my 122 and it boosts it significantly. I could easily over drive it. We always run our signals to a PA, but the 122 with the preamp works well for me on stage.

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Anomaly,

 

I have looked at those, and I might try one sometime in the future. The $99.00 Senn E609 is doing the trick at this point in time! As I don't know the level coming out of the VK-8 on the 11 pin connector, it would be hard to make an educated guess. Roland is so lousy on their specs, as is H-S! Thanks for the recommendation.

 

Rick

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