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  • Decorator Leslie Information

    I pulled the back from my newly acquired decorator Leslie. The back has a black and silver foil Electro Music label Model 222 serial 90952. The amp is labeled 147 with the usual red label.
    I suspect the Woofer was changed as well as the amp. The woofer appears to be a CTS Ampeg. I've included photos of the square magnet and the cone code.
    Also, the back has a rounded corners metal plate secured by a single screw. This is very close in appearance to the plate used to cover the hole through which the reverb packing is removed on a 147RV. There are four small holes on the inside back that could have been used to mount the reverb tank but no sign a tank was ever installed. There is no evidence of a reverb amp, nor are there any louvers for a stationary speaker.

    1- Tell me about the Woofer. Did Leslie use CTS Ampeg woofers? Is it from the same era as the cabinet? Is this a reasonable replacement?
    2- Is there any way of telling if this started life as a 247 or a 222?
    3- Do all 222/247 backs have the reverb plate and tank pilot holes?
    You may only view thumbnails in this gallery. This gallery has 5 photos.
    Rheem Mark VII, CEI Madrigal, 1969 Leslie 147 RV, Leslie Combo Preamp. Soon to add Hammond A100 and Leslie 247.

  • #2
    It's not that uncommon to find that someone has swapped a 147 amp for a 122 or vice versa, especially in a cabinet that may have been assembled from someone's spare parts.

    Leslie never used CTS Ampeg woofers. The key question is whether it's an 8Ω or 16Ω woofer because the crossover is designed for 16Ω loads. An 8Ω woofer will not sound right, especially between 400 and 800Hz. That said, I've reconed this type of CTS speaker, and it's fairly similar to a Jensen C15L which one would have found in a Leslie. I have worked on one Leslie 145 that had a CTS woofer reconed for 16Ω, and it sounded fine. I found another Ampeg/CTS 8Ω woofer in another Leslie earlier this year, and it was not satisfactory due to the load mismatch. People will put any woofer they have on hand that fits in a Leslie and send it out the door just to make it "working." Or they may not know any better.

    If you find it's an 8Ω speaker, collectors are more interested in vintage Ampeg amps now than they were, and they will buy Ampeg-labeled speakers to make their amp "vintage correct," so you could sell it and then buy an appropriate woofer. CTS 5815026 was one of the stock speakers available in Ampeg B-15N Portaflex cabinets, but back then, people would sometimes swap them out for superior Altec or JBL speakers. CTS was the base/stock speaker, but there's nothing special about it -- other than, at this point in history, the Ampeg sticker.

    From your photos, it looks like it may have originally been a 222 cabinet, but the only difference between a 222 and 247 cabinet was the amp. I haven't seen enough decorator cabinets to know for sure about whether or not they all had the reverb plates. I did work on a 222 recently, and, if my memory is correct, it did not have the reverb plate.
    I'm David. 'Dave' is someone else's name.

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    • #3
      Looks like someone cobbled together a 222 cab with the back panel of a reverb model.

      The Decorators are notorious for being pillaged for the parts and the cabinets abandoned.

      Comment


      • andyg
        andyg commented
        Editing a comment
        And that's a shame. I'd take a 247 over a 147 any day for its appearance in my lounge.

    • #4
      Next time my electronics minded son comes over I'll have him bring his Ohm meter and we'll see what is what with the CTS.
      Rheem Mark VII, CEI Madrigal, 1969 Leslie 147 RV, Leslie Combo Preamp. Soon to add Hammond A100 and Leslie 247.

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      • #5
        Wes has a 351 at his house. The thing was clean as hell. Funny I don't run into many decorator cabinets around.

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        • #6
          We don't have that many over here either. I always found that a little odd as it was often (to be slighty un-PC, but that's the way it was back then) the 'lady of the house' who put up with the organ in the lounge but baulked at the sight of this large, plain wooden Tardis-shaped object that her husband wanted to hang on the end. The 'decorator' cabinets, with their low looks (perfect for placing a fruit or flower bowl on!) and cloth finished front panels would have been much more to their liking, I'm sure! :D
          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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          • #7
            Yes a homemaker's approach to an organ rig is to imagine vases, and knickknacks, Lladros, they can place all over.

            Mind you these are expensive works of art, that sort of intend to clobber the art work gone into an organ console and speaker system.

            But you put up with it since the home maker has to put up with your addition to the homescape.:->

            I'm sure Leslie had these to compete with in the home setting:

            Click image for larger version

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            Click image for larger version

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            Click image for larger version  Name:	?u=https%3A%2F%2Flladrofromspain.files.wordpress.com%2F2015%2F06%2Flladro-born-free.jpg&f=1.jpg Views:	0 Size:	167.5 KB ID:	661254Lladro 01420 BORN FREE

            Price: $4,500.
            Last edited by Goff; 07-23-2019, 12:26 PM.

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            • #8
              The 222 I obtained is squeaky clean low hours.With 6 pin 30' cable,1/4" speaker level output box,and half moon for 250 bucks.
              The 122 amp chassis is in the 142 I've been recording and gigging with.....all original tubes.Just ran it four hours,sounds marv!
              Something about showing up with a 'dec' cab at a gig? It's already a gong show with a 142, and more beer can be placed on a lowboy....
              A100/251 A100/147 A102/222 B2/142 BV/147 BCV/145 M3/145 M102/145 M111/770 L101/760 T222/HL722 M111/770 no B3/C3!

              Comment


              • #9
                Originally posted by Sweet Pete View Post
                The 222 I obtained is squeaky clean low hours.With 6 pin 30' cable,1/4" speaker level output box,and half moon for 250 bucks.
                The 122 amp chassis is in the 142 I've been recording and gigging with.....all original tubes.Just ran it four hours,sounds marv!
                Something about showing up with a 'dec' cab at a gig? It's already a gong show with a 142, and more beer can be placed on a lowboy....
                Dang the 250 was well worth the price of admission!

                My first Lester was the 222. Took it to many a gig, in fact The Ventures used my rig for a gig so you can imagine what was going through the keyboardist's mind. Yes there was a period without Nokie and they had a keys player.

                Anyway the 222 if raised up to ear level ( we used drum cases as a riser) would tear your head off because both rotors are on the same plane and it's something to be experienced. The mids out of the woofer couple with the horn's and this mid range bloom is heard.

                Who says everything needs to be a standard Lester cab?

                Imagine this thing up behind your head.
                Click image for larger version

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                Last edited by Goff; 07-23-2019, 09:24 PM.

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                • #10
                  Rippin loud and only one mic needed! Great studio Leslie like you say Goff,they record well.Nice cosmetic match for this A102,also cherrywood....
                  Found an empty 1970 145 box in really clean condition.Made a really sweet gig/record box with the 122 chassis,and like a lot of us there is a 147
                  amp available for it at all times!
                  This 222 won't 'venture' out for gigs though.
                  Never met The Ventures.Met The Champs and Fireballs.Most music biz people have at least heard of Jimmy Gilmer....
                  George Tomsco and Dash Crofts. Lotta surf type twang outa Clovis back then! Norman Petty's reverbs were legendary!
                  A100/251 A100/147 A102/222 B2/142 BV/147 BCV/145 M3/145 M102/145 M111/770 L101/760 T222/HL722 M111/770 no B3/C3!

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                  • #11
                    Originally posted by Sweet Pete View Post
                    Rippin loud and only one mic needed! Great studio Leslie like you say Goff,they record well.Nice cosmetic match for this A102,also cherrywood....
                    Found an empty 1970 145 box in really clean condition.Made a really sweet gig/record box with the 122 chassis,and like a lot of us there is a 147
                    amp available for it at all times!
                    This 222 won't 'venture' out for gigs though.
                    Never met The Ventures.Met The Champs and Fireballs.Most music biz people have at least heard of Jimmy Gilmer....
                    George Tomsco and Dash Crofts. Lotta surf type twang outa Clovis back then! Norman Petty's reverbs were legendary!
                    Yes one mic especially if you sing at the organ, your vocal mic becomes the Leslie mic.:-B

                    Really good find on your 222 in cherry no less, Pete!

                    Mine has seen better days. It sat at our backline warehouse for some years after we played a rock-radio rock awards event featuring yours truly and the guys made a coffee maker stand out of it. :o

                    So the veneer was compromised. They ended up painting it all black before bringing it to the studio.

                    I worked with The Ventures twice. The last time was with Nokie and Mel was there as well the second time and of course Don and Bob.
                    That I had all their albums while in grade school, was beside myself as they were the original Fab Four!
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                    Mosrites, Bob on bass instead of Nokie, pushed to lead, and Don behind Mel.

                    The Champs played at my high-school.
                    Saw that incarnation of course.
                    Yeah before Seals and Crofts became a summer breeze..:P
                    But S&C had already left by that time to join Glen Campbell as a solo.

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                    I love Buddy "ah-heh-ah-hay-hay" Holly!
                    His recordings are legend out of Norm's hands!
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                    Don McLean was right!


                    And more right today than he might've known!

                    I like the 147 of course. Snagged a Click image for larger version

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                    Paid about 4 Benjamins for this. The RV version with the reverb outlet.
                    The paint is immaculate, no rust, all original parts, stickers, and with Tungsols.
                    Click image for larger version

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                    Thanks Dave, eat some rolled tacos for me from Robertos, bro!!! :->

                    Cool history talk Sweet Pete as always!

                    The short-boy boxes work well these days in a band situation with modern PA gear.







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                    • #12
                      Yep,gotta have at least one cherry 147 chassis!Looks like the one in my gigger!
                      Have a 251 here,can't imagine another channel in a lowboy? 351 must be 'busy' down there?

                      The music store I frequented in 1965-66 as a 'prospect' customer has a lot of Mosrite,Fender,Danelectro etc.
                      Pics on the wall of both bands.....similar shots.
                      Minimal overdubs,spectacular playing!
                      In the four track universe, recordings have a quality of 'print' on 45 RPM that really was the radio DJ's best choice.
                      Similar 33RPM versions didn't 'print' as big.Not as much sidewall for the bass frequencies.

                      Monitors came along around 1974 or so....and have improved since.
                      A100/251 A100/147 A102/222 B2/142 BV/147 BCV/145 M3/145 M102/145 M111/770 L101/760 T222/HL722 M111/770 no B3/C3!

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