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Just found an ancient Leslie Cab for free Upgraded (Read 1163 times)
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Posts: 191
Just found an ancient Leslie Cab for free Upgraded
08/02/13 at 06:13:41
Yep, for free.
It was a major multi family garage sale, associated with a local church. I saw the beat up old Leslie and asked why it was free. I was told that it does not work right and it sounds terrible.

I asked again (how he knew it sounded terrible, if it does not work, AND) if he knew why it was for free and what exactly was wrong with it. He said it was just one of a fancy really old stereo speaker, but they only have one, they don't have the record player anymore, "and besides, it doesn't work anyway." "We are offering it to someone who wants to put an aquarium in the cabinet or something" (I kid you NOT!!)

OK, So I asked if there was a way I could talk to the owner and if I could look inside it, taking off the side panels. He said no and showed me that they had cut the power cable off to prevent anyone from being hurt. "It makes a terrible noise and is not safe." (WTF!! but OK) He finally agreed to allow me to take the side panels off.

I could not convince him to take any money for it, even after I opened it up and found that the worst of the "terrible noise" was caused from the bent Semicircular triangle deflection spinning thing formed by HDF was coming loose below the bass driver and rubbing against the cabinet a bit. I can see how such would scare someone who thought this was just a part of a stereo speaker pair, but seriously, I could not convince him that I really knew what I was talking about.

I found later it had the original driver replaced with a WORKING Altec 418 and a working 808-8A. OK not all THAT old, right, by my standards, anyway.

I tried to convince him that I would gladly pay twenty dollars for it (not yet knowing whether either of the drivers actually worked or not), just to support the event, but he just said that he would not be responsible for anyone trying to use this old stereo cabinet - THAT is why it was for free.

So, once I got home, I opened it up completely and used my almost brand new Parts Express variact power supply to power it up in steps, watching closely at all those antique paper caps and most especially all that ancient iron. All the tubes were intact, the iron was sound, NONE of the fragile looking paper caps even got hot, but after an hour of nail biting, I have a classic Leslie WORKING WITH ALTEC DRIVERS. It works!!!

Yes, I will have to soften and re-glue the bass deflector, but it is not actually a terrible noise!! I might just use it as is for rock-n-roll!!!

Kidding. I want to play my guitar through an old Leslie cab loaded with classic Altec drivers!! The Bass driver is one of the old white ones. The 808-8a is black (I have about twelve more of these on hand and at least seven or eight replacement diaphragms) so that seems to mean it is one of the GOOD ones, in my experience.

I guess I will have to go back next week and buy some armloads or random worthless stuff in order to reset Karma back to some semblance of balance, right?

I plan to do a total restore on this baby. Honestly, when I saw it, it looked beat up, because much of the original lacquer finish is gone, but once I had a closer look, Most of the veneer is intact. It will only take a bit of sanding and some proper fill in a few coroners to make this thing look like I bought it yesterday.

I am NOT a bandit, I swear I am not! I could not convince this guy that I KNEW what his old speaker was made for. He insisted that without the "record player and the other speaker it was no good anyway."

They wanted someone to make an aquarium or some such out of it FFS!!
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Seasoned Member

"Love without
guts is
Philip K. D*ck

Posts: 14218
Re: Just found an ancient Leslie Cab for free Upgraded
Reply #1 - 08/02/13 at 11:17:34
AMAZING DD! I know you'll have fun rebuilding it. Great find and enjoy it!
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Seasoned Member

Posts: 1471
Re: Just found an ancient Leslie Cab for free Upgraded
Reply #2 - 08/02/13 at 14:11:19
How do you sleep at nights DD ?   Wink
We`ve all seen the revolving cabs in tandem with
the blues organ but I didn`t know they were used
for home stereo. Must have sounded......different.
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