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Leslie 860 Conversion to tube

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  • Leslie 860 Conversion to tube

    I’m taking on the formidable task of converting my little 860 to a tube amp. I’m using a 145 amp which will be external, changing the lower rotor to a wood rotor among other things. Does anyone have a good suggestion for a proper 12” woofer and horn driver to go with the 145 amp?

  • #2

    You can take the speakers you like but should be 16 Ohm and you will have to build the according crossover. Which is not an easy task.

    Otherwise the choice is limited to the same speakers and the same filter of genuine 145. Or close equivalent, which greatly narrows the choice.

    The hybrid solution of replacing only the treble amp with a small tube amp gives good results with less problems.



    • #3
      What is the overall goal here?

      The problem with the 860 is the small size of the woofer enclosure. It's not big enough to achieve good bass, and the size also limits the woofers you can use. The woofer cannot be too deep, or its magnet will hit the horn shelf. Some JBL speakers will fit. The original speaker was kind of a JBL copy.

      The original horn driver used in the 860 was not a Jensen V21, but an Atlas or University horn driver with higher power handling than the V21.

      I'm not sure what changing the rotor to a wooden rotor will achieve.
      I'm David. 'Dave' is someone else's name.


      • #4
        no bass to speak of, add a sub
        1956 M3, 51 Leslie Young Chang spinet, Korg Krome and Kronos


        • #5
          I do know a couple of people with 860s who use them with powered subs.

          The worst-sounding 860 I ran across was one into which someone had put a very floppy, long-throw woofer that was probably designed for a subwoofer. I guess he thought that that would magically produce deep bass. Nope. I installed a used JBL 12" speaker in it that worked well. I think it was a Pro-Audio model similar to the E120.
          I'm David. 'Dave' is someone else's name.