A few years back I had the idea that it would be really cool to be able to get an authentic rotating speaker sound out of any amp/speaker combination. That way you wouldn’t be tied to the tone of a Leslie or Fender Vibratone – each model of which having a pretty strong sonic signature that may not suit every situation. I had seen someone use a ceiling fan motor to make a rotating baffle once, which was cool (all fan motors have 3 speeds + off) but heavy and bulky. The solution I came up with was a cheap little 9v motor off eBay, a 9v DC power supply, an Ikea light dimmer, and a big blue* plastic salad bowl.
The fine folks from the now-defunct Converse Rubber Tracks studio in Brooklyn produced a step-by-step instructional video on how to build this contraption, source the parts, and included some hi-resolution stereo recordings of it in action.
So, please enjoy, the Salad Bowl Leslie. Even if you just skip to the end where you can hear it (wear headphones!), I think you’ll be surprised.
* the blue ones sound best