DLS Effects RotoSIM
I spent some time this past summer looking around for a good Leslie-type effect for my stage rig—not a Uni-Vibe or something like that (although there are plenty of good ones out there), but something that would get me close to real rotary speaker sound, without me having to lug around another heavy cabinet. I wanted a unit that offered fine control over all the different aspects of an authentic Leslie speaker unit, and could give me stereo output, but didn’t sound canned. I found some good-sounding gear, but nothing really enticed me.

Then the DLS RotoSIM came across my desk, and I have to say that while it didn’t light me on fire, it does have everything I was looking for—and a real shot at finding a spot on my pedalboard. For starters, it’s got individual horn intensity controls for Bass and Tweeter, independent rotation speed knobs, ramp time control and a footswitch to toggle between fast and slow settings—all necessary features in my book. In addition, there is a built-in overdrive with an On/Off switch and gain control. At high gain, the overdrive clipping is a little harsh for my taste, but it’s quite good if you just want to throw a bit of dirt in there.

Stereo output is also a must-have option for truly convincing Leslie swirl. The DLS’s stereo output feature goes even further, as it provides two separate inputs. Use the stereo input and get a lush, even spread from the dual outputs; or, use the other input and the two outputs then offer slightly different tonalities for you to choose from. In this setup, Output A is more transparent, as advertised. Output B is thicker sounding, and seems to have greater presence. If these or any of the other tonal elements don’t suit your liking, there are seven internal trim pots for extra-tweakable volume, gain, blend, response—everything. I played this unit through several different guitar/amp combinations, mono and stereo, and I was very pleased with the way it handled everything I did. – CB

Buy If...
you’re looking for a versatile, authentic-sounding rotary effect with stereo output
Skip If...

you’ve got the roadies to haul your vintage Leslie cabs.
MSRP $299 - DLS Effects - dlseffects.com