I’m selling my much loved Leslie 2101 mkI Rotary Speaker on ebay if any of you are interested? – Serial number 03050570 – (the stand is to be sold separately please see my other items) and be part of an elite set of musicians that own authentic equipment giving an authentic sound. I have had this for a few years now and not met a single person on the road who has one, and for people who know the name Leslie, its a show stopper! This is a must for serious users of Hammond Organs and Hammond Clones. It has an original rotary treble driver (as seen in the original Leslie 145’s etc..) and built in speaker for emulating the bass rotor and it is because of this that you can fit this mighty powerful amp (much more suited to today’s volumes and much louder than the 70’s 145’s etc..) on your passenger seat on the way to gigs (something you simply cannot do with a 9st Leslie 145).
Its in full working order and in good condition although there are a few transportation scrapes that it has acquired in the first year of its life. I bought it new from Music World in Northampton and have treasured it. Since buying a 145 and a much bigger vehicle to transport it in I find this tool doesn’t get out as much (although its still the best for recording) and so its only fair that I let someone else have the use of it.
You can have a look and listen to it working here: http://youtu.be/reKubBTr5Bo
And see the ebay item here
Here is a review of the speaker from the web:
The vinyl-covered wooden cabinet measures 506 x763 x 506mm whd and weighs 39kg, so the wheels and chunky side handles make moving it around a little easier. Although the review model was black, there are also silver and walnut cabinet versions available, identified as the 2122 and 2123 respectively.
The rear panel caters for three input channels the first with a insert point, two-band equalisation, master volume, and a line output to feed a second self-powered cabinet or front-of-house desk. The first input channel is equipped with a rotary level control, an XLR combi-jack socket, and a switch to select the unbalanced line jack or balanced mic XLR inputs.
The mic mode has a nominal sensitivity of -40dBu, while line is -20dBu, and there is a slide switch to activate a 24V phantom power supply for the XLR input. It has to be said that the mic input circuitry seems to be an odd design. Not only does it provide an unusual phantom voltage which limits the range of condenser mics that can be used, but it also presents an unusually low input impedance of 600omega.
When switched to line input, the impedance is relatively high at 50Komega, and I presume this is intended to serve as a guitar input. Only the first channel benefits from an insert point, and is the usual unbalanced arrangement using tip and ring contacts on a three-pole quarter-inch socket, operating at a nominal -6dBu signal level.
The second and third input channels are unbalanced line inputs on quarter-inch jacks, with a nominal level of -15dBu and 10Komega input impedances. Each input has a rotary level control and all three inputs are mixed together and made available as an unbalanced line output at a nominal 0dBu — useful for providing a DI feed to the front-of-house desk or for driving a second powered speaker.
This mixed input signal is also routed through a simple bass and treble tone control arrangement, and then to a master volume control feeding the internal amplifiers. A small trim control allows the treble amp gain to be adjusted over a ±5dB range to fine tune the spectral balance of the system independently of the tone controls.
Beside the usual IEC mains inlet connector and rocker-style on-off switch is a co-axial DC socket labelled ‘Remote’. This accepts a control signal from the 2101 unit see overleaf to switch the speaker’s mains power on automatically when the 2101 is powered on and off, which is a nice idea.
The amplifier chassis is cooled by a small, high-speed fan mounted on the rear panel. On the review model — which, to be fair, had already suffered from a hard gigging life — this fan was incredibly noisy. I am told that the fan was in need of replacement and the noise it made is not representative of the model in general, but this may be something to watch out for, nonetheless.
The 2101 treble unit, although rather more compact than the 2121, is by far the more complex product of the two, and acts as the control and signal processing hub for the complete system. Like the stationary speaker, the 2101 is a self-contained, self-powered design, incorporating three separate channels.
A 50W solid-state amp drives a compression driver coupled to the rotating horn, while a further pair of 50W amps drive two fixed speaker channels — effectively a stereo replay system built into the one cabinet — and each channel comprises a five-inch ‘woofer’ and a two-inch tweeter. The black vinyl-covered cabinet measures 510 x 520 x 330mm whd and weighs 23kg, with strap handles on both sides.
The signal flow within the unit is quite complex but fundamental to the way the unit operates, both alone and with the 2121 stationary unit. The system accepts four inputs: two for the rotary horn, and two for the stationary stereo speakers. The first of these is a line input via a quarter-inch jack to feed the rotary channel. The other three are all provided via the standard 11-pin Leslie connector.
There are also four outputs, all on unbalanced quarter-inch sockets. The two stationary channels are made available directly at the ‘Stationary and Bass’ line outputs, and incorporate the very low-frequency element of the rotary input channel as well. The remaining two outputs carry a stereo digital Leslie simulation for the low and mid-range frequencies of the rotary inputs.
The two rotary feeds from the direct line input and Leslie connector are combined together and fed to a three-band crossover. High-frequency signals above about 800Hz are routed directly to the rotary horn amplifier and on to the horn itself, while very low-frequency signals below 125Hz are separated and passed directly to the left and right stationary amplifier channels, unprocessed in any further way. Although it seems a little odd, this is actually a standard feature of most modern Leslie speakers ie. those with 11-pin interfaces — although the notable exceptions include the 705, 720 and 122XB models. This very low-frequency component is also made available at the ‘stationary and bass’ line outputs as mentioned above.
The rotary signal between 125 and about 800Hz is processed with a digital rotary speaker simulation, emulating the relatively straightforward characteristics of the bass rotor in a conventional Leslie. The stereo output of this DSP simulator is passed to the internal left and right stationary channels, as well as to the stereo ‘low-rotary’ channel line outputs, as already mentioned above.
So, to summarise, the high-frequency part of the rotary channel signal is handled by the horn rotor, the mid-frequency part is processed digitally with a Leslie simulator and reproduced in stereo from the fixed speaker channels, and the low-frequency part is left unmolested and reproduced by the fixed channels in mono.
With this level of signal-flow complexity, it will come as no surprise that the rear control panel is equally complicated. On the left-hand side is a rocker switch to power the unit, an 11-pin Leslie connector, and IEC mains inlet, and a co-axial remote control socket. The last is provided for linking with the 2121 stationary speaker to switch that unit on automatically when the 2101 is powered. It is also worth noting that the 2101 is itself switched on remotely when a control signal is received via the 11-pin Leslie connector something which is provided automatically when a suitably equipped organ is switched on. Besides the ability to transfer the mono rotary channel and stereo stationary channel, the 11-pin Leslie connector also conveys the speed-switching control signals.
A separate eight-pin DIN socket is provided to accept the signal outputs from older digital Hammond products like the XB1 keyboard and XM1 sound module, and is, in effect, a miniaturised and simplified version of the 11-pin Leslie connector. The separate mono line input quarter-inch socket allows other instruments to access the rotary channel, but there is no provision for external inputs to the stereo stationary channels. Two more quarter-inch sockets accept footswitch connections to control the rotor speed and to switch between two DSP configuration presets. MIDI In and Out are catered for, the former to enable remote control and adjustment of various DSP parameters in the 2101, and the latter to allow a second 2101 to be controlled remotely and for data dumps.
The operational controls consist of three level controls left and right stationary channels plus the rotary channel, and there are recessed trimmers to adjust the bass under 125Hz and horn above 800Hz levels relative to the mid range. A fourth rotary control sets the amount of amplifier overdrive affecting the rotary channel, and a recessed slide switch reconfigures the stereo stationary channels to operate in mono, or mutes them completely. This last mode is employed when the 2101 is used in conjunction with the 2121 stationary bass unit, which can handle far higher replay levels than the 2101 alone. There’s also a small group of controls to adjust various aspects of the system, comprising a rotary selector, a data wheel, two touch buttons and a numeric LED display.
When the 2121 and 2101 are used together, the organ signal is connected to the 2101 via the 11-pin socket and three connections are made from it to the 2121 bass unit. The left channel of the Stationary/Bass output is hooked up to input two of the 2121, the left channel of the low rotary channel is linked across to input three, and the power-switching remote lead is plugged in so that everything comes on together. If a second 2121 is available, then the right stationary/bass and low rotary channels can be patched in to give a wider stereo effect as well as more volume. It’s all very quick and simple to rig up.
The complete system is capable of serious volume — enough to keep up with the most efficient guitar amps or the loudest drum kit — and provides great Leslie sound. The horn is clearly the key to this, but the DSP system makes a very convincing job of simulating the lower rotor of conventional Leslie cabinets too. Of course, everyone has a slightly different idea of what makes the ideal Leslie, and history documents dozens of different tweaks that the professionals have made over the years to their classic 122 and 147 Leslies. To that end, the 2101 can also be customised in a variety of ways to tailor the sound precisely as required. For example, the fast and slow running speeds of the mechanical rotor and the DSP bass-rotor simulation can be adjusted independently and with considerable precision to simulate different pulley sizes and motor speeds. Similarly, the time taken for each element to speed up, slow down, or come to a complete stop can be changed to simulate belt condition, type of rotors, and so on. The rotor speed can also be controlled directly using a modulation wheel on a suitably equipped keyboard, or by an expression volume pedal, if desired. If controlled via a simple footswitch, the system can be configured for latching or momentary actions.
The direction of the horn rotor can be reversed useful when more than one 2101 is used and its resonant character can be altered to simulate horns without baffles or different drivers. The crossover frequency between bass rotor and horn, and the low-frequency cabinet resonance can also be adjusted to simulate different traditional Leslie systems, and the virtual microphone angle and stereo spacing can be adjusted to change the character of the DSP low-rotor simulation.
Facilities are also provided to assign the MIDI control channel for remote parameter changes and program change channel for recalling one of the two preset settings. Once set up, any combination of settings can be programmed as one of two Presets, allowing two different sound and operating characters to be stored for instant recall.
I’ll take any questions you like on this amp as I have really enjoyed owning it and being part of a small amount of people who own an authentic piece of kit like this.
Please look out for the official Leslie Stand and L21A adapter kit which I am selling separately on eBay ( http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=261283879584 )