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Are Leslie Speakers Coming Back?

Leslie SpeakerLeslie speaker systems were originally designed by Donald Leslie in the 1940’s. As a Navy reservist, he apparently had more creativity than the Navy needed. I’ll probably be giving away the fact that I’m not a musician when I tell you that I though that it was named after Leslie West of Mountain fame. I saw Mountain in concert and was taken by this strange box and sound. Although originally designed for the Hammond organ,  it was used by many guitarists as well.  Led Zeppilin, Steppenwolf and many other bands back in the early days of rock and roll took advantage of the sound effect that it offered.

The idea behind it was to swirl the sound coming out of the speaker itself and produce a wirling type sound effect. These days, a similar effect is done electronically but apparently there is a sizable market for these things even though they use tube amplifiers.

The guy bringing the Leslie into the pawn store buys contents of storage lockers and resells their contents so he has no idea if this thing works or not, but needs the space that this thing takes up. It looks pretty beat-up but the old man is interested. He said that if it works, it’ll probably be worth about a grand. The seller, who stated that he would love to get 500 bucks for it, settles for exactly what he would minimally accept; $200. Chumlee can’t hold back his opinion that he thinks the old man blew it as this doen’t look good and God knows what it will take to get it in decent enough shape to resell it.

Chumlee get the job of bringing it to Repairorama, a restoration shop run by Roy. Roy points out all the work that it needs and tells Chumlee that the bill will fall somewhere between $500 and $750. Chumlee’s opinion now seems justified but he leaves it at Repairorama for the overhaul.

Roy completes all the work which included electronics, mechanical stuff and lots of wood refunishing. Total bill: $600 and Roy comments that it’s probably worth about 2000 as it works and looks great. The old man made a good deal for the pawn stars afterall.

2 Responses to Are Leslie Speakers Coming Back?

  1. Vicki Smith says:

    I saw this episode of Pawn Stars. Love the show! I was wondering if you could email me Roy’s address. I have an old Emerson tube radio that belonged to my dad and I like to get it working again. Thanks! Vicki

  2. larry says:

    You may be better off attempting the repair locally. It may cost you more than it’s worth to get Roy to fix it.

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