Here is a vintage 1972 Leslie Model 18 rotating speaker cabinet. This particular example, serial number H27255, is in very nice all original condition.
Identical to the example famously used by Stevie Ray Vaughan on his song “Cold Shot,” the Leslie 18 and Fender Vibratone consist of a single driver unit, specifically a 12-inch guitar speaker, with a 15-inch Styrofoam cylindrical rotor in front of it. The Styrofoam cylinder is electrically rotated to create various effects, like chorus and vibrato, based on the Doppler effect. The effect can be be changed, via a two-button footswitch (like those appropriate for Fender amplifiers with both Reverb and Vibrato), between slow and fast speeds, or switched off altogether.
Much of the Leslie’s unique tone comes from the fact that the cabinet uses a guitar speaker, instead of a horn and woofer. The effect is dispersed horizontally, with grilles on the sides and top of the cabinet. With no built-in preamp, the Leslie 16 has to be powered by a separate guitar amplifier; in recording situations, microphones were placed next to the grilles in order for the effect to be heard, and depending upon positioning, this small speaker cabinet can create some of the biggest stereo Leslie simulations. A crossover was also built-in, with the Leslie handling the mid-range frequencies, and sending the high/low frequencies to the driving amplifier.
Perhaps the best feature of the Leslie 18 is that it is compatible with any and all amplifiers. The stock 12″ speaker is wired at 4Ω, however, it is commonplace for owners to replace with a sufficient 8Ω speaker depending on the setup. Though the Leslie 18 comes with a 12″ speaker, and the Leslie 16 features a 10″, both conveniently utilize the same size speaker cabinets (28.25″ height x 21.25″ width x 14.25 depth, 63 lbs./28.5 kg). Both even incorporate identical baffles, which enables complete flexibility if one were to swap their 4Ω 12″ speaker for say an 8Ω 10″ alternate.
As is illustrated in the numerous photos included in this description, this particular example is in excellent cosmetic shape, with expected evidence of wear. It has been tested, and is in perfect functional condition: the original speaker is crisp and perfectly intact.