Posted Thursday, February 6th, 2014 at 4:20 am
Many moons ago, I went to the estate sale of a deceased country music singer in the Chicago neighborhood of Lincoln Square.
There was a lot of music equipment for sale, so I bought the homemade effects pedals (which I then gifted to Wes Kerstens), an oscilloscope, amplifier tubes, a 1/8-inch tape machine and tape reels (which I traded to Zach Medearis to record the first White Mystery 7-inch on HoZac), and this really unusual object called a Maestro Rover.
At the time, I didn’t know what the Rover was, but I recognized it’s importance because it was made by Gibson in Lincolnwood, Illinois, seemed to have all of it’s original parts in the case, and looked like a UFO from outerspace.
So I bought the Maestro Rover, not knowing if it worked, or what it even did, but just cuz it looked really cool.
What I later found was that the Maestro Rover was the first and only rotating speaker made for exclusively for guitar-players, unlike the Leslie, which is an oscillating speaker made for organs.
The beauty of the Rover is that it contains a rotating tweeter that amplifies sound, and also has an output so you can plug into a guitar amp as well. So you mic both the Rover and your amp when recording, for the full effect.
Also unlike a Leslie, the Rover is fairly light-weight and much more portable. You can hear the cool tremolo or chorus effect that the rotating tweeter produces in the video clip above, which is a very cool “warbly” Pop Staples sound. My friend Matt C. writes,
“I’m a big Pink Floyd fan & I understand Dave Gilmour used one of these [Maestro Rovers] to the point where he had replicas called “Doppolas” built. I think the Beastie Boys had one of these as well. Plus…..The Beatles were pretty much the pioneers for processing vocals through Lesiles & I’m pretty sure this would be a boon to own.”
Anyway, since there’s so little information about the Maestro Rover on the internet, I figured it would be worthwhile to share this story. Anybody have more information about the Maestro Rover?
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