A few weeks ago I had a chance to try out the Electro-Harmonix Lester K Stereo Rotary Speaker Simulator. Today, I took the Lester K’s big brother, the Electro-Harmonix Lester G Stereo Rotary Speaker Simulator. Electro-Harmonix is referencing this as the ‘Ultimate rotary speaker emulator’. And, so far, I would have to agree.
The unit has the following input and outputs – mono in to stereo out and expression pedal. Controls include VOL, SLOW, FAST, DRIVE, ATTACK, SUSTAIN, BALANCE, ACCELERATION and SQUASH (push button). Now at first look things seem straight forward. VOL or Volume is what you would expect. SLOW and FAST are setting up the thresholds of the speed. How slow will it go, and the top end speed. By default, it will fall to SLOW. There is a SPEED/BREAK foot switch. Basically, when you hit it, SPEED is engaged and will hit the top speed set in FAST. You hit the switch again, it applies the brakes and drops down to the SLOW speed. ACCELERATION controls the speed of how that change occurs. Crank it and speed/break is quick. Slow it down and the time for that change is stretched. BALANCE is cool. Basically there is high frequency horn and low frequency rotor that is rotating. You can emphasize what you want to hear more of. Turn it to the right, and you get a ton of high end/harsh, turn it to the left and get the rumbly spin. Set in the middle and you get a good blend of the two.
That takes care of the rotary aspect of the simulation/emulation. The next controls take things to the next level. DRIVE, ATTACK, SUSTAIN and SQUASH. Drive allows you to control the level of tube overdrive simulation. ATTACK and SUSTAIN are related to how the compressor works. SQUASH is interesting, and I had a lot of fun using this. Basically it switches from Normal to Squash compression modes. Squash changes the compression ratio to a higher value.
I ended up playing with this pedal for several hours. If you’re looking for that swirly moody guitar style (again, I’m going from a guitarist point of view vs. keyboards) this might be your jam. The drive sounds great, and liked it with some slight overdrive and compressed (and not compressed) The Speed/Brake is really fun too to build up intensity. Using an expression pedal would be awesome to adjust the speed within the parameters set in FAST and SLOW. I feel like if you want this pedal… you’ll probably want the expression pedal!
Overall, this pedal is top notch. The Electro-Harmonix Lester G Stereo Rotary Speaker Simulator is available for only $224 on Amazon, which in my opinion is a great value for this pedal.
If you own this pedal.. please comment below and let us what you think!!