Lesilie Model 18 (1970-71) Rotating Speaker Cabinet (Pre-Owned) (Jorge Santana Collection)
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For sale is this vintage 1970-71 Leslie Model 18 rotating speaker cabinet used during the Malo days. This particular example, serial number H16973, is in nice all original condition, so take advantage of this opportunity to buy a particularly fine specimen.
Identical to the example famously used by Stevie Ray Vaughan on his song “Cold Shot,” the Leslie 18 consists of a single driver unit, specifically a 12-inch guitar speaker, with a 15-inch Styrofoam cylindrical rotor in front of it. The Styrofoam cylinder is electrically rotated to create various effects, like chorus and vibrato, based on the Doppler effect. The effect can be be changed, via a two-button footswitch (like those appropriate for Fender amplifiers with both Reverb and Vibrato), between slow and fast speeds, or switched off altogether.
Much of the Leslie's unique tone comes from the fact that the cabinet uses a guitar speaker, instead of a horn and woofer. The effect is dispersed horizontally, with grilles on the sides and top of the cabinet. With no built-in preamp, the Leslie 16 has to be powered by a separate guitar amplifier; in recording situations, microphones were placed next to the grilles in order for the effect to be heard, and depending upon positioning, this small speaker cabinet can create some of the biggest stereo Leslie simulations. A crossover was also built-in, with the Leslie handling the mid-range frequencies, and sending the high/low frequencies to the driving amplifier.
Perhaps the best feature of the Leslie 18 is that it is compatible with any and all amplifiers. The stock 12" speaker is wired at 4Ω, however, it is commonplace for owners to replace with a sufficient 8Ω speaker depending on the setup.