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  • Neo-Ventilator or Leslie Digital "Cream"

    Leslie speaker fans:

    Anybody compared the current full-size Neo-Ventilator unit to the full-size Leslie Digital "Cream" unit?

    I just got through selling an organ that we equipped with the Neo-Vent, and the customer was fully satisfied, even delighted. And it really does sound like a Leslie, at least to my ears. You can get all the grunge you want, and customize the tone in numerous ways to suit anybody's preferences in a Leslie, I do believe.

    So, I turned right around and ordered another one, so as to be ready for the next customer through the door who may be wanting that distinctive Leslie sound. (Good used examples of the "real thing" are pretty hard to come by around here, I don't care for the new ones with their electronic speed control, and I prefer to avoid the mechanical issues that often come with an older one anyway.)

    After I'd ordered the second Neo-Vent, I happened upon an ad for the Leslie Digital "Cream" unit. Maybe I just don't get out much, but this was my first exposure to this product. It costs about $100 less than the Neo-Vent, which is a good thing. It also seems a little more straightforward -- no awkward combination button presses to get into the secondary control mode for adjusting certain parameters, just six ordinary knobs on the front for adjusting anything one might need to adjust.

    Also has a dedicated input on the rear for a CU-1 "half-moon" switch. The Neo-Vent of course takes a CU-1 as well, but you have to go through some steps to put it into the correct switching mode to recognize the CU-1.

    So I'm liking the simplicity of the "Cream" along with the $100 lower price. To my ears, the sound of the Neo-Vent is really amazing. This was the second recent customer who came in "thinking" they wanted a real Leslie, but wound up getting a Vent and absolutely loving it. I am wondering if the "Cream" is going to please my customers just as much.

    What do you think?
    John
    ----------
    *** Please post your questions about technical service or repair matters ON THE FORUM. Do not send your questions to me or another member by private message. Information shared is for the benefit of the entire organ community, but other folks will not be helped by information we exchange in private messages!

    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Birds...97551893588434

  • #2
    You might also consider the Lester G(guitar) or lester K(keyboard) pedal as it is cheaper yet and very highly rated. The K version is designed for the higher level output of a keyboard and requires a higher level signal to overdrive it. I don't know which version would work best in your situation.

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    • #3
      I have both pedals...Neo Ventilator and the Leslie Cream. Either one is routed out of my '67 B3 through a Trek ll Line Out box to a mixer. Our band is on IEMs and we like having the stage as quiet as possible. Currently I've given the edge to the Neo Ventilator and use it most of the time. Both have a great sound though. The trick is having a good quality monitor/wedge if a person is listening to it live on stage. Those pedals replicate a real Leslie being mic'd. They do a great job of picking up the resonance of the wood cabinet and of course overdriving a tube amp when dialing in the overdrive. Best way is to have both pedals and do plenty of A - B comparisons with the keyboard clones or the real deal Hammonds.

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      • #4
        Thanks for the input. Probably very few folks that I deal with are extremely picky about their Leslie sound, they just know they want it, and they must have a dedicated switch for changing speeds, and the speed up/slow down effects that make a Leslie so distinctive. So all the less sophisticated electronic "rotary effects" that I have offered them (Nano-Verb, for example) don't cut the mustard.

        But the very first time I let a Pentecostal organist try a Neo-Vent she was 100% sold. Just the fact that it operates like a genuine Leslie speaker, and gives the complex dual-rotor effect, ramp-up, ramp-down, and so on is enough to convince most people I run across. I'm assuming that the "Cream" can do these things just as well, and the $100 price difference is nice.
        John
        ----------
        *** Please post your questions about technical service or repair matters ON THE FORUM. Do not send your questions to me or another member by private message. Information shared is for the benefit of the entire organ community, but other folks will not be helped by information we exchange in private messages!

        https://www.facebook.com/pages/Birds...97551893588434

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        • #5
          You might also consider the Lester G(guitar) or lester K(keyboard) pedal as it is cheaper yet and very highly rated.
          I tried a Lester G - you get what you pay for. Doesn't come close to a Vent.

          Jim

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          • #6
            I’ve mentioned this before but I’ve had reliability issues with two MKii Ventilators where they would fail and become locked in bypass mode. This happened on two models three years apart. One belonged to me and another I installed in a pro musician friends studio. After returning them several times for warranty repair we went and found original vents instead.
            Hammond C3, M102, H112, XB3, XB5, X5, TTR-100
            Lowrey Heritage DSO-1, Yamaha E70
            Farfisa Compact Duo Mk2, Vox Continental 300, Gibson G201, Korg BX3 Mk1
            Leslie 122 x2, 145 x2, 910
            www.drawbardave.co.uk

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            • #7
              I have an old yamaha c55n organ cant afford a Leslie or for that matter can't find one .I have been reading about the neo ventilator 2 . Have no idea how this would hook up to my Yamaha any suggestions or advice appreciated.

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              • andyg
                andyg commented
                Editing a comment
                Not an immediately practical idea, I'm afraid. The organ is two channel, rotary and straight. You would be into modifying the organ so that the rotary signal went to the Vent and then back into the organ's amps. Of course, there's only one straight amp and you'd lose the all-important stereo effect that the Vent produces. A Vent running in mono just doesn't really cut it - I've tried it.

                It might be possible to take the rotary signal from the Vent and run its output into a separate stereo amp and speakers. Do-able, but would cost a bit - Vent, stereo amp and speakers, engineer's time in doing the work.

                And you have to bear in mind that a Vent will sound nothing like a Leslie would in your lounge. The Vent produces the sound of a miked up Leslie, which is what's needed for stage use, and it does so brilliantly. It does not spin the sound or move the air as a real leslie does and, when placed side by side in my lounge - compared on a Hammond with a Leslie 770 for a trade review - there was a big difference in the 'live' sound they made.

            • #8
              Here's a video shoot-out.


              For some reason Ham-Suz has not nailed Leslie sims and it may be because they sell the real thing.

              So we can note Hammond-Suzuki's marketing decision to offer something but it won't compete with their line of real Leslies, let alone the rest of the sims out there.

              You might also consider the Lester G(guitar) or lester K(keyboard) pedal as it is cheaper yet and very highly rated.


              I tried a Lester G - you get what you pay for. Doesn't come close to a Vent.
              I realize the Neo Vent is the more popular to date but I find the Lester offerings more real sounding.

              I have long considered the Lester to be a more realistic simulator.

              And BTW I want it to go on record that Scott Hawthorn coined the term "Lester" a long time ago on the Ham-Zeni forum.

              In fact the Lester G would be my choice over the Lester K simply because the G has the extra "acceleration" knob feature that would work well for keyboards.

              ACCELERATION KNOB -
              Controls the rate at which the LESTER G transitions between FAST mode and SLOW mode.
              Perhaps the easier description of the acceleration knob is how a 147 goes into ramp quicker than a 122.
              To have control over this gives more real Leslie animation sound options.



              Click image for larger version  Name:	?u=http%3A%2F%2Fdavesguitar.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2016%2F12%2FLester-G.jpg&f=1&nofb=1.jpg Views:	1 Size:	130.5 KB ID:	670106

              I also tend to appreciate the Lester's interplay of the two rotors, more importantly, the animation of the lower rotor as it goes in and out of ramp and how the sound intermingles with the top rotor.

              If we consider the original Leslie has a lot of centrifugal forces controlling the animation of the rotors. The sum total of all those parameters, belt slippage, rotor mass, motor reaction times, has much to do with the way a Leslie sounds and how the player has historically used those parameters of mechanical factors in music as regards the organ in particular,

              This means that there is more of a randomness to a real Leslie's animation and it's never exactly the same animation reaction.

              One that has successfully utilized a real Leslie knows when a real Leslie's rotors are in transit, when to pull the switch, listening to both rotors positions, to create additional animation based on the spins of each rotor in transit.

              To lose sight of this, in the evolution from mechanical Leslie to digital, is a loss IMO of important characteristics of a traditional Leslie sound. The more animation subtleties, the better. After all, the rotors are a main part of the sound we look for in a Leslie.



              To its credit, the Vent would more than likely show up on a rider request doing back line but that doesn't mean the Vent has the better sound.

              If one just listens to the Vent go through its paces, it is easy to get side tracked by the bright and sturdy sound, the larger real estate of knobs and options.

              But keep in mind these parameters are not available on the real thing. That these sims can do more than a real Leslie is one thing, but whether the sim "emulates faithfully" a real Leslie in normal use is another matter altogether.

              For one thing, take note of the Vent's ramp character. It is 'aggressive' to the point that it sounds like a top rotor with the deflectors removed. The "wooh-wooh" sound although "attractive" is not characteristic of a normal Leslie ramp.

              Too "choppy" IMO.

              How the simulator sits up against a track or within a live band situation is a factor that one must consider. Not just listen to the simulator by itself getting mesmerized by the sound.

              Will the simulator "blend" well with the rest of the music or will it stick out...all the time??

              This is key IMO and what we might want to listen for when choosing a simulator.


              Refer to the above video by Ben Allen and even he has stumbled upon the nuances the Lester possesses even if the Vent is more popular and fuller featured.


              In the end, from an installer/seller's POV, it would depend on the customer's ears and their knowledge of Leslie sims.
              Some want something with less knobs and easy to operate. Some are more or less picky. I would venture to say that those who chose to go Leslie sim, are less picky.

              And the portability factor being the top consideration for those who would otherwise be more particular about their Leslie sound.

              And then there's the new approach to FOH concert use, that the simulator is easier to control in a mix than a real Leslie.

              Vent ll and Mini
              Click image for larger version  Name:	?u=https%3A%2F%2Ftse1.mm.bing.net%2Fth%3Fid%3DOIP.iZ7l0ZQyu66SEz40ZB9tYAHaEN%26pid%3DApi&f=1.jpg Views:	1 Size:	45.4 KB ID:	670102

              The original Vent
              Click image for larger version  Name:	?u=https%3A%2F%2Ftse1.mm.bing.net%2Fth%3Fid%3DOIP.DIdEfQiO2PbZgp-3xigpHwHaE9%26pid%3DApi&f=1.jpg Views:	1 Size:	37.9 KB ID:	670103

              Leslie Cream
              Click image for larger version  Name:	?u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.fullcompass.com%2Fcommon%2Fproducts%2Foriginal%2F278371.jpg&f=1&nofb=1.jpg Views:	1 Size:	60.2 KB ID:	670104

              Lester K
              Click image for larger version  Name:	?u=https%3A%2F%2Ftse3.mm.bing.net%2Fth%3Fid%3DOIP.92Ir2E5Mw6q5JB3b-GGQ6wHaIb%26pid%3DApi&f=1.jpg Views:	1 Size:	96.3 KB ID:	670105

              I don't own a sim and would not consider one for myself preferring to always use a real Leslie whether a Hammond console or a clone.

              So far I had one attempted use of a sim for a pro back line and they brought their own Vent but their interface didn't work to a B3.

              I give my views, always been a Leslie fanatic.

              And let's put it out there, the virtually fool-proof better mouse trap for a Vent simulator interface with a Hammond console is the Trek ll VIB-3.
              https://trekii.com/vib-3.html
              Last edited by Goff; 11-08-2019, 04:36 PM.

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