I was really excited to try out the Electro-Harmonix Lester K Stereo Rotary Speaker Simulator. I’ve been a fan of rotary speakers from the first day I saw one personally in action. My mind was blown seeing the speakers rotate to physically cause the effect. Very, very cool. So I wanted to start this post with a little history lesson on the rotary speakers. Check this video out:
So the idea of rotating speakers are great. It has the unique effect of sounding like a combination of vibrato and tremolo. The problem, is that they’re huge and is impossible to transport in an efficient way, so guitarists for years have been going with rotary speaker simulators to achieve this effect.
Electro-Harmonix has been dominating the market on the ‘organ’ simulators and rightly so. With the Electro-Harmonix Lester K Stereo Rotary Simulator they did put some great thought into it. First off, the unit has stereo in/out which makes this sound awesome if you’re running a stereo rig. The other item that caught my eye was the drive. When I see drive, I was assuming it would be an overdrive, but I love the fact that it’s a subtle tube drive that would be accurate to natural tube overdrive.
Things get interesting with the Slow, Fast and Balance knobs. Fast and Slow knobs have a ‘center’ position is the accurate reproduction of that particular modes speed. The Balance controls the mix of the slow rotor and high speed horn. Again, center is the accurate reproduction of the balance of the rotor and horn.
Additionally, there is a Volume knob that controls the output volume and a Speed / Brake momentary footswitch. Tap this pedal and you’re going between Fast and Slow modes. Long press it and you enter Brake mode.
Let’s talk about the ‘modes’. Fast Mode spins the unit quickly giving the tremolo effect. Slow Mode will give you a chorus type effect. Both of these modes have different frequencies at different speeds with the combination of horn and rotor to achieve the effect. Brake mode will make the unit gradually decelerate to a stop. From there you can tap to fast/slow mode to fire it up again.
Playing the Electro-Harmonix Lester K Stereo Rotary Speaker Simulator I was really digging the Slow Mode stuff. The chorus type effect was ‘greasy’ and I say that as a compliment. I could really see using this with a few other effects to create some interesting rhythm or lead stuff on guitar. Again, I come at this from a point of a guitarist, most likely NOT using this to simulate a leslie, but to create something a little bit unique. I love approaching guitar from this angle, and also why I really appreciate EHX to come up with these simulators to make me think outside of the box.
Check out this demo video:
You can pick up the Electro-Harmonix Lester K Stereo Rotary Speaker Simulator for only $178.00 on Amazon. In my opinion, a great deal for this pedal!