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Convincing rotary simulators aren’t easy to do. And when they’re done right, they’re usually expensive. Given these truths, we’re pretty impressed with the price-to-performance ratio Electro-Harmonix has achieved with the Lester G Deluxe.
That doesn’t mean Lester is cheap. At around 225 bucks, it’s still a significant investment for most players. But you get a rotary speaker sound with a deep, resonant voice that conveys a very authentic sense of motion and a well-designed feature set that lends real versatility.
The balance control enables effective shifts in emphasis between high-frequency “horn” and lower-frequency “rotor” sounds. And independent controls for slow and fast rotation speeds, an independent foot switch to switch between them, and an acceleration rate control are tickets to expressive dynamic and texture shifts. Killer drive and compression controls add very sweet and organic grit, and extra swirl. But the best tones and textures come via taking advantage of the stereo outputs and expression pedal functionality. With two amps the Lester G Deluxe sounds positively huge. And the ability to manipulate and navigate extreme differences in speed with a pedal takes Lester to places no real rotary speaker can go.
Test gear: Fender Jaguar, Fender Telecaster Deluxe, Fender Bassman, Fender Tremolux, Vox Pathfinder 15