REVIEW: Dynacord CLS 222 Leslie simulator
From: "Mark Longo" <> 
Date: Fri, 02 Dec 94 12:15:44 -0500 
        Many thanks to Denny for his review of the Korg G4 and others.  
While I'll NEVER EVER be without a real Leslie, it'd sure be nice to have 
a reasonable substitute for those gigs where space is too tight or I'm just 
not in the mood for another back-wrenching workout.
        I currently own a Dynacord CLS-222 Leslie simulator.  The is an 
old-style fully analog (no MIDI) single rack space device.  The CLS-222 
went out of production a few years back and I got one of the last ones 
made.  The CLS-222 has the following features:
* slow/fast/off Leslie speed control via front panel and/or foot switch.
* rotor balance (hi/lo relative volume, not crossover)
* pre-amp volume control (can be used to overdrive the unit but the
  resulting distortion isn't very natural (or Leslie-like) IMO)
* output volume control
* select either mono or one of three stereo separation options
* front panel LEDs showing treble and bass rotation speeds
* rear panel adjustments for fast and slow run rates, rotor accelerate
  and decelerate are not programmable
* 1/4" mono in, 1/4" stereo or mono output with and XLR stereo outputs 
        An experienced Hammond player would be able to tell that this is 
not a real Leslie when on fast speed, even in a band mix, though I think 
most would agree it's a respectable simulation.  The box offers enough 
control to do a little tailoring.
        As with other units I've heard, the slow simulation is better
than the fast, though the fast simulation sounds better.  The simulation 
is considerably better what I've heard in general purpose effects boxes.  
I can't compare it against the other dedicated Leslie simulators as I 
haven't had a chance to hear them.  Picking up on one of Denny's remarks, 
the fast speed tends to sound a little more wiggly than the real thing.  
Some downstream reverb would likely help out here, but I don't have an 
effects box yet.
        There are separate accelerate/decelerate rates for the lows and 
highs so that the highs accel/decel considerable faster than the lows, 
though this feature is not programmable.  The treble accel/decel is a bit 
slower (about 2 sec) than my Leslie 302 but I have heard people say they 
think the 302 treble accel/decel is too fast, so maybe the CLS-222 is more 
like the vintage Leslies.
        The most interesting aspect of this unit is that it attempts to 
color the tone as a real Leslie does.  Judging the success of this attempt 
here is a *highly* subjective process.  I can say that I like the tonal 
coloration, but I think it takes out more highs than a real Leslie.  The  
XB2 has *tons* of highs (many would say too many!) so this can actually be 
a good thing.  Using the treble knob on the organ you can compensate if 
you think the CLS-222 has removed too many highs.  In close comparison 
with, say, a 147 the CLS-222 tone would not be as fat or open sounding as 
the real thing.  In fast mode an experienced Hammond player would be able 
to tell that this is not a real Leslie, even in a band mix, though I think 
most would agree it's a respectable simulation.
        In all this a a good quality unit that does a nice job of 
simulating a Leslie, though it is not a Leslie.  It's older analog 
technology which is both good and bad.  It's not very "programmable" and 
doesn't allow MIDI control.  On the other hand is sounds pretty good and 
has a personality of it's own.  New they cost about $600. when they were 
available, but could probably be had *way* cheaper used.























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