Leslie CAbinets for bass

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by VictorLeMonteWooten, Jan 1, 2001.

  1. VictorLeMonteWooten


    Dec 6, 2000
    I wondered if the Leslie CAbinets would work for a bass. Would the bass blow out the cabinet?

    if you don't know or don't understand me: the leslie cabinets are the cabinets with the moving speakers in side the box.
  2. The Keeper

    The Keeper

    Sep 2, 2000
    I guess I've never encountered these speakers that you're talking about. But if your power and impedence levels are compatible (i.e. the amp can handle the impedence rating of the cab and the cab can handle the wattage output of the amp) then you should be fine.
    What exactly do you mean by "the leslie cabinets are the cabinets with the moving speakers in side the box." Do the speakers move from side to side during a performance or something? And if so, why? Also, if you could give me a URL of someplace I can check out the info on these things that would be great! I'm very curious about this.
    Thanks and Good luck!
  3. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    VLMW, these speakers are designed to handle low frequencies, but the extreme lows(like the bass pedals and the first 1/2 octave or so of the keyboard) of an organ do not go through the rotating speaker, they go through the low frequency driver in the bottom of the cabinet.
  4. I don't see a problem with using a Leslie for bass. Most leslies have their own amplifiers built in (all the ones I've seen anyway). They can reproduce the lowest notes on an organ, which would be lower than the lowest note on a bass... I think that bass through a leslie 147 (the really popular tube model) would sound really cool! For anyone who doesn't know, the Leslies use drivers that spin around inside the cabinet. the speed of the motors that spin them can be controlled by a footswitch. This uses the doppler effect to give a really neat warbling or phasing sound. All the old rock bands (Deep Purple is probably the best example) used Leslie speakers with their organs. The Leslie was a BIG part of the 70's organ sound. Just saw your post Embellisher, the LF driver does spin in the 147 model. Or at least I'm pretty sure it does.... I know I know, that's not exactly a definitive answer.:D

    [Edited by Spacegoat on 01-02-2001 at 12:11 AM]
  5. Just checked some Hammond/Leslie sites and my (often bad) memory serves me correct this time! The 122/147 models (the most common with Hammond organs and stuff) had a regular paper cone speaker for the lows, but it was coupled to a rotary drum to produce the same effect at lower frequencies.
  6. VictorLeMonteWooten


    Dec 6, 2000
    I just figured out today that it is a fan thing above the speaker that spins. I saw one yesterday. There was an organ player with a Hammond organ with a leslie speaker (the real deal)
  7. VictorLeMonteWooten


    Dec 6, 2000
    (damm, i keep on hitting the submit post button before finishing my message) I don't know too much about Leslies. I've seen them live about 4 times (mainly blues bands)live. They were all used as keyboard amps (what they were designed for). I also thought leslies were also big in the early and mid 60s. I love the phasy sound. Does anyone know any sites that are good for info on leslies.

    Hey Keeper, can you dumm down what you said about inpatense (does the leslie need viagra?).

    I always thought there was a fan that moved the sound waves or something (Hey i'm a bass player not an electrician or a physicist). Anyone know where i can get a leslie?

    Keeper, are you saying if the leslie can handle y ohlms and my amp also handles y ohlms and that the amp outputs x Watts and the leslie can handle x watts or more i should be fine?
  8. From what I can remember, the Leslie had it's own amp. I think it was a 50, or maybe a 100 watt.
    It had a high freq. horn that fired up into a 90 degree angled dual horn body that would spin with a belt attached to a regulated motor, (Like a vacuum cleaner's belt). The low freq. was a 12 or 15 down firing driver. It too had a round drum (like a hat box) that had a single 90 degree scoop. It too rotated via a belt system. A few 70's guitarists used these, but never heard them used for bass. You can also get the Leslie effect from some elctronic units. I think Oberheim, and Hammond make them. Maybe they are in the Eventide's or something simalar.
  9. Good description ROCKBOBMEL! That's what I was going for last night, but I was still a bit groggy from New Years celebrations! Leslies have their own amps so all you need is a preamp out and the right adapters for the cables. You also need a footswitch if you're using it with anything other than a Hammond organ. The footswitch controls the speed of the rotation plus a couple of other things. The most common models 147,122 had 15's for low end. I can't remember any URLs but any search for "Leslie speakers" or "Hammond organs" will come up with a pile of sites.
  10. The Keeper

    The Keeper

    Sep 2, 2000
    Yeah, that's pretty much it, without getting technical. Ohms are an electrical resistance measurement (impedence rating... not impotence :)... the only reason you really need to worry about them is that lower resistance causes more heat(i.e. 2 ohms makes the amp run hotter than at 4 ohms) and if your speaker cab is rated for less ohms than your amp, you could blow your amp, which isn't very good :p
  11. MikeyD


    Sep 9, 2000
    ROCKBOBMEL, thanks for covering this one! I agree with your description. I used to help a guy set up his B-3 and Leslie in a band I was in long ago. The connector between them was a funny multi-pin thing. I'm not sure how easily an electric bass could feed the Leslie's built-in amp (whether a pre-amp would be needed, etc.). I suppose one could just disconnect the built-in and plug in his/her bass amp to the speakers. However, there's the matter of controlling the tremolo motor speed... that's all I know, other than the info you already gave. I am skeptical that it would be worth the effort to have a Leslie for a main bass set-up, unless it were to achieve a special effect for a particular tune on a recording. Besides, a Leslie is a considerable piece to lug around!
    - Mike
  12. Most of the old Leslie speakers were about 35 watts which is more than enough for oldtimers like me. I think if you need more volume you could start with the cabinet and change out the speaker and the horn driver, and drive them with a bass amp. They also make modern rotating speakers for keyboard players with digital modeling for the woofer and a rotating horn. I am able to get a close replication using my bassfex processor. I have played Hammond organ on some gigs in the past. Moving a full sized Leslie speaker is no fun.
  13. The Leslie on our organ, a Hammond C-3, is 35 watts. It puts out a amazing amount of bass. For more volume, just put a mike in front of the Leslie.

    It has a wierdo connector. Check with a Hammond technician about any adaptation.

    Warning: In my experience, messing with Organ stuff if EXPENSIVE.

  14. I used to have a B-3 a hammond speaker and leslie speaker. and a backache with no end.
  15. VicDamone


    Jun 25, 2000
    For many years the loudest band, (measured by a decible meter) was Lee Micheals driving six Leslies a drummer and an indoor PA. Yes, louder than Blue Cheer. Only recently dethroned, majesticly, by The Red Hot Chile Peppers bass PA outside!
  16. I can't say much about the weight of Leslies and Hammonds, I lug an SVT around.:D Backache without end indeed!! heheh. Leslies are exceptionally loud! I can't imagine how loud SIX of them would be ( Agh, my freakin' ears!):D
  17. To Mike D- I happend to poke around in a store today and picked up "The Hammond Book" it covered the Leslie thing. There were two main models at the time the 122, and 147 I think. One had a 12" woofer like my description above. The other had two stationary 6x9 speakers, and one 6x9 speaker that actually rotated itself. It wasmon a powered using a round rail and brush for the connection. They later invented a mercury connector to allow quieter operation. This was patented, and the application was marketed to other uses. I forget what they called it- a Mer-something? Anyway the multipin connector was another oddity. It had phantom power that fed back into the organ- weird! The last weird thing I learned was that speakers were electromagnetic. The permanent magnet (AlNiCo) was too expensive when they later came out, but all the extra power components were just as expensive. They could omit a lot when they went to permanent magnets.
  18. To VicDemone- Wow! there is someone here as old as me. I love when we were crazy long hairs looking throgh the mono LPs- trying to find a good album we thought would be cool, maybe even the music inside. I remember Blue Cheer and Lee Michaels. wasn't that before the first Black Sabbath album?
  19. MikeyD


    Sep 9, 2000
    If the speakers don't have permanent magnets, then my previous suggestion about hooking up an external power
    amp will be much more problematic.

    - Mike

    P.S.: I remember Blue Cheer, too. I have a CD with "Summertime Blues" on it, and it cracks me up everytime I listen to it, with the crazy guitar whammy bar!