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Leslie 130 Low Volume and Distortion

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  • Leslie 130 Low Volume and Distortion

    How would you fellow Leslie 130 users rate the model in terms of volume? It was my understanding that the solid state Leslies are typically louder than their tube counterparts, but boy is mine quiet. Not only that, it starts to distort at seemingly low input levels, no matter where the internal volume pot is set or no matter what is being used as a preamp. For example, my M-100 by itself is louder than the 130, and pretty much all of my guitar amps are louder (and still clean) when they're around 2 or 3. I figured with a 40 watt amp, this thing would have some good power. FWIW the e-caps were all changed just a couple months ago The Leslie does sound very good, it just seems to me that it should be somewhat louder.
    Farfisa Mini Compact V1, Fender Rhodes 73 Mk. 1, Hammond B2, Hammond L-102 "El Choppo", Hammond M-101, Hohner Cembalet CF, Hohner Cembalet N, Hohner Favor Combo, Hohner Pianet L, Hohner Pianet T, Hohner Symphonic 30N, Leslie 145, Leslie "430" (former 130 cab with horns and light show added), Nord Electro 3, and an entire village of guitars and harmonicas.

  • #2
    Originally posted by theseacowexists View Post
    How would you fellow Leslie 130 users rate the model in terms of volume? It was my understanding that the solid state Leslies are typically louder than their tube counterparts, but boy is mine quiet. Not only that, it starts to distort at seemingly low input levels, no matter where the internal volume pot is set or no matter what is being used as a preamp. For example, my M-100 by itself is louder than the 130, and pretty much all of my guitar amps are louder (and still clean) when they're around 2 or 3. I figured with a 40 watt amp, this thing would have some good power. FWIW the e-caps were all changed just a couple months ago The Leslie does sound very good, it just seems to me that it should be somewhat louder.
    It should! Rebuild the amp.
    Current organs: AV, M-3, A-100
    Current Leslies: 22H, 122, 770

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    • #3
      When you replaced the aluminum electrolytic capacitors, did you also replace the striped tantalum capacitors?
      I'm David. 'Dave' is someone else's name.

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      • #4
        Only the aluminum e-caps were replaced, in both the amp and the power supply. I think there might be one in the power supply that the tech missed. It's hard to read it where it is, but I think it might say 1000mf on it - but I don't see that value anywhere on the schematic. I'll have to pull it the amp out and take a closer look when I get home.
        Farfisa Mini Compact V1, Fender Rhodes 73 Mk. 1, Hammond B2, Hammond L-102 "El Choppo", Hammond M-101, Hohner Cembalet CF, Hohner Cembalet N, Hohner Favor Combo, Hohner Pianet L, Hohner Pianet T, Hohner Symphonic 30N, Leslie 145, Leslie "430" (former 130 cab with horns and light show added), Nord Electro 3, and an entire village of guitars and harmonicas.

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        • #5
          And while you're doing the rebuild, disconnect that awful 'whizzer' tweeter. It was put in so that drum sounds from single channel organs would sound more clearly, but it also put a non-tremolo 'window' at a high-ish frequency that most players found very irritating.
          It's not what you play. It's not how you play. It's the fact that you're playing that counts.

          New website now live - www.andrew-gilbert.com

          Current instruments: Roland Atelier AT900 Platinum Edition, Yamaha Genos, Yamaha PSR-S970, Kawai K1m
          Retired Organs: Lots! Kawai SR6 x 2, Hammond L122, T402, T500 x 2, X5. Conn Martinique and 652. Gulbransen 2102 Pacemaker. Kimball Temptation.
          Retired Leslies, 147, 145 x 2, 760 x 2, 710, 415 x 2.
          Retired synths: Korg 700, Roland SH1000, Jen Superstringer, Kawai S100F, Kawai S100P, Kawai K1

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          • #6
            I got a closer look at the power supply and the large schematic inside the cabinet, and sure enough there was a 1000uf cap that my tech somehow missed. I'll be replacing that too.

            David - There's only one tantalum cap - should I replace it?

            Andy - Whoever had that Leslie before me already had that figured out about the tweeter. I never bothered to hook it up to see what it sounded like until the other day. I figured I should see if the distortion comes through the tweeter too (it does), and just to see how stupid it sounded (it did).
            Farfisa Mini Compact V1, Fender Rhodes 73 Mk. 1, Hammond B2, Hammond L-102 "El Choppo", Hammond M-101, Hohner Cembalet CF, Hohner Cembalet N, Hohner Favor Combo, Hohner Pianet L, Hohner Pianet T, Hohner Symphonic 30N, Leslie 145, Leslie "430" (former 130 cab with horns and light show added), Nord Electro 3, and an entire village of guitars and harmonicas.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by theseacowexists View Post
              David - There's only one tantalum cap - should I replace it?
              In my opinion, yes, especially with the symptoms you're describing. I've found a couple of them on the verge of being open circuits. It's just a guess, but I'd try it.
              I'm David. 'Dave' is someone else's name.

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              • #8
                Thanks for the suggestions everyone! Replacement caps and resistors are on their way. I'll let you know how it turns out once they're all replaced.
                Farfisa Mini Compact V1, Fender Rhodes 73 Mk. 1, Hammond B2, Hammond L-102 "El Choppo", Hammond M-101, Hohner Cembalet CF, Hohner Cembalet N, Hohner Favor Combo, Hohner Pianet L, Hohner Pianet T, Hohner Symphonic 30N, Leslie 145, Leslie "430" (former 130 cab with horns and light show added), Nord Electro 3, and an entire village of guitars and harmonicas.

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                • #9
                  Well so far I've switched all of the 1 watt and greater resistors on the amplifier, the 22uf tantalum cap, and the 1000uf cap in the power supply that was missed. I hooked everything back up to see if that helped. Now the volume pot has to be turned up to 75% to get any signal at all, which is now extremely faint but fully distorted. Wires 5 and 4 from the power supply are reading 42 volts, which is close to the 40 volts indicated on the schematic, but wire 3 is also reading 42 volts, which is pretty far off from the 32.5 indicated on the schematic. Not sure if that could be causing the trouble (I don't know what voltage it was getting previously), but I also wonder if maybe that pot is bad. Any ideas?
                  Farfisa Mini Compact V1, Fender Rhodes 73 Mk. 1, Hammond B2, Hammond L-102 "El Choppo", Hammond M-101, Hohner Cembalet CF, Hohner Cembalet N, Hohner Favor Combo, Hohner Pianet L, Hohner Pianet T, Hohner Symphonic 30N, Leslie 145, Leslie "430" (former 130 cab with horns and light show added), Nord Electro 3, and an entire village of guitars and harmonicas.

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                  • #10
                    I should also add that these are the results that I get when driving the Leslie from the line out of my solid-state Ampeg bass amp, which is how I typically have been driving it. When I try driving the Leslie from the Ampeg's speaker out, there's actually some decent volume, but with full-on distortion, and it almost sounds like the volume is "struggling" to stay at the level its at.

                    Also - the e-caps on the amplifier board were all replaced when the power supply was done by my tech a couple months ago, so I have not changed those.
                    Farfisa Mini Compact V1, Fender Rhodes 73 Mk. 1, Hammond B2, Hammond L-102 "El Choppo", Hammond M-101, Hohner Cembalet CF, Hohner Cembalet N, Hohner Favor Combo, Hohner Pianet L, Hohner Pianet T, Hohner Symphonic 30N, Leslie 145, Leslie "430" (former 130 cab with horns and light show added), Nord Electro 3, and an entire village of guitars and harmonicas.

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                    • #11
                      If driven from the line out of a modern day amp, small wonder you have poor volume. The single-ended input Leslies (among which yours is one of the models) are built to take a HOT input signal directly from the speaker leads. So, that leaves only the distortion to be sorted out.
                      Current organs: AV, M-3, A-100
                      Current Leslies: 22H, 122, 770

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                      • #12
                        I think I've solved the problem...sort of. Hooking the speaker directly up to the speaker output of the Ampeg, I got a perfectly clear and LOUD signal. It's the best that I've ever heard this Leslie sound, and it's a great sound. Sure I haven't actually solved the distortion, but I figure since I'm using the Ampeg to drive the Leslie anyway, why not just leave the Leslie's amp bypassed? I suppose that I should sort out the distortion on the amp anyway, but this setup seems like it will work for my purposes.
                        Farfisa Mini Compact V1, Fender Rhodes 73 Mk. 1, Hammond B2, Hammond L-102 "El Choppo", Hammond M-101, Hohner Cembalet CF, Hohner Cembalet N, Hohner Favor Combo, Hohner Pianet L, Hohner Pianet T, Hohner Symphonic 30N, Leslie 145, Leslie "430" (former 130 cab with horns and light show added), Nord Electro 3, and an entire village of guitars and harmonicas.

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