• Dawner Prince Electronics Pulse review

    Rotating speaker cabinets has been an essential part of David Gilmour’s tone since the early 70s. There’s been many pedals over the years, trying to capture that elusive tone and some has indeed succeeded. The newest on the market is the Pulse from Dawner Prince Electronics. Here’s my review. 

    I’ve had the pleasure of playing through Leslie cabinets in the studio while recording and it’s quite the experience. Still, dragging a Leslie on tour is a real hassle, so enter the pedals. 

    I have no idea what it takes to create a pedal as far as the electronics go but what I do know is that a rotating speaker isn’t really an effect like a distortion or a delay. It’s more a physical phenomenon that occur when sound moves. Some rotary pedals sound like a chorus and are not very convincing. Others have manage to capture that physical 3 dimensional character. 

    The Pulse is, as the name implies, based on David Gilmour’s custom Doppola open speaker rotating cabinets that he used during the 1994 Division Bell tour. These had two 6 inch 100w speakers each and were based on the Gibson Maestro Rover that David used for recording Division Bell. Read more about the Doppolas here

    This strange looking satellite Maestro Rover sounded very different from a classic Leslie. While a Leslie has a rotating horn and a distinct tremolo-like modulation, the Doppolas and Rover had a much more airy, almost flange-like tone. David would blend in just a hint of that modulated character to his dry amps and pedals. Read more about the Maestro Rover here

    If you’re mostly used to hearing a Leslie or pedals like the Strymon Lex, you might need some time getting used to the Pulse. It sound very different but, spot on what it’s supposed to do. 

    The pedal is about the size of a MXR Flanger, with controls for controlling the fast and slow speeds individually, mic distance to the speakers, ramp up/down between slow and fast and a mix or effect volume. It can run in both stereo and mono and is powered on 9V adapter.

    It can be hard to notice the rotary modulation on David’s guitars on Division Bell and Pulse but’s definitely there. It’s not supposed to be an overly noticeable effect but rather something that adds character to his tones. The Endless River album is perhaps a better reference, where the original guitar tracks from 1993 are much more honest sounding compared to the fairly heavily produced Divison Bell. 

    The Pulse manages to capture that airy, almost 3D like tone. Even in mono, the pedal adds a huge complex texture to your tones, something between a Leslie and an Electric Mistress flanger. 

    The mix control allow you to blend in the right amount of the effect, whether you want just a hint of that slow rotary or a deep fast speed tremolo. It can handle high gain distortions and Big Muffs very well too. 

    I’m super impressed over the Pulse. It’s a bold pedal to make as it is so clearly modelled after a specific and rather obscure rotating speaker model. This is obviously not just another attempt at making a Leslie sounding pedal but a super accurate replication of a sound unique to David Gilmour. 

    Read more about the Pulse at Dawner Prince Electronics

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30 Responsesso far.

  1. Kyle says:

    Hey Bjorn, thank you very much for this review. I loved it so much that I had to go buy one for myself right after. It just came in the mail and man it sounds so good through my Fender Hot Rod. I had one question though. On the pedal, the output volume came set at about 12:00 which is supposed to be unity. However, it is only unity when I have the mix knob set to 100% dry or 100% effect, anything else in between I get a volume drop especially when the mix knob is set to noon. I was wondering if you had the same issue and if you had to change your output volume on the pedal? I found that the output volume does not drop when set at about 2:30 position, but then the pedal is louder fully clockwise or counter-clockwise. Thank you very much again!

    • Bjorn says:

      The volume should be set depending on the effect volume or mix. It’s not a volume drop but the frequences are altered when you increase or decrease the mix, which is perceived as volume drop.

  2. JMurad says:

    Hi Bjorn – once again, great review. I am more interested in David’s earlier tones and will probably be getting a Lex. My hope is to run a stereo rig with just the Lex going into the second amp. Would this be the correct set up to best emulate David’s Leslie tones? My plan is to split the signal with an A/B after the guitar with the main effects board going through the main amp and just the Lex to second amp, does that correct? How would you set up the second amp – just clean? Thx again!

    • Bjorn says:

      Yes, that would fit David’s 1971-75 setup, when he used Leslies on stage. I’d split the mono signal coming from the pedal board, with one dry into amp 1 and one into the Lex and then amp 2 mixed slightly lower than amp 1. Both amps should be clean or edge of break up as David would set his Hiwatts.

      • Mike says:

        Hi Bjorn, I would like to add a question related to this one. If the rotary pedal is standing alone in one amp, how would you set up the volume/mix ? I use the Boss RT-20 in mono with one amp and I like to have the mix knob on 9:00. Do I need to raise the mix knob in a stereo setup where the RT-20 is going to amp 2 ?

        Thanks and take care ! :)

        • Bjorn says:

          It depends on how much effect you want. You probably want to raise the mix a bit to get a wider stereo spread or more effect in mono but my best tip is to experiment. Keep in mind that David had a dry amp (Hiwatt or Fender) and mixed the rotary cabs slightly lower to get a hint of modulation going.

  3. Troy says:

    Would love to hear a comparison with the Neo Vent II dialled in for different amounts of dry/wet mix level both clean & with a high gain Muff > Tube Driver tone before it.

    If anyone posts one please let us all know here!

  4. Crimson says:

    To me this sounds like a pedal that should have been designed 20 years ago. For today it sound … dated. Nobody will use it these days.

  5. roberto mastro says:

    Hi Bijorn,
    do you think that with the Pulse it’s possible to replace both the CE-2 and the Mistress?
    Rob

    • Bjorn says:

      Not really as these are different effects and should be used to covver different tones. Obviously, if you want to scale down you can use the Pulse to do much of the same but David did use them for different tones and applications.

  6. Thomas Robinson says:

    Sounds great and its really good to see more pedals coming out with blend features at long last. Up until now RT20 was one of the few that offered it.

    The recent buffalo fx flanger sounds great with the way you can choose how much you want it to dominate and with the pulse it sounds like they could really nail the live wall tones for that flanger + rotary speakers sound.

  7. Matthias says:

    Hi Bjorn,
    Thanks a lot for this review. Which pedal would you say is best suited to replicate the Yamaha RA200 (Animals, The Wall tones): Boss RT20, Dawner Pulse, Ventilator?
    Thank you in advance for you advice.
    Matthias

    • Bjorn says:

      The Vent is closer to the Lex and that deep woody tremolo of the Leslie. The RT20 and Pulse are much closer to the Yamaha and Doppolas. As much as I love the RT20 and will still be using it for certain applications, I think the Pulse is a much more authentic recreation of the Doppolas and Maestro Rover in particular.

  8. Erwan says:

    Wonderful demo as always, I just ordered it!
    Do you think it’s possible to get a more vintage Gilmour tone like Dark Side with the Pulse? Thank you again Bjorn for your work

    • Bjorn says:

      Yes, although David used a Leslie back in the early days, he always used those in combination with his guitar amps so the result is much the same as how he did it with the Yamaha and Doppolas. It’s that slightly modulated character that’s added to the dry signal.

  9. Richard C Lynch says:

    It’s all about the details. Dawned Prince does get it and once again delivers. Great addition to the feel!

  10. Phil B says:

    Sounds awesome! Talked to a friend and he told me after seeing/hearing the Pulse he immediately put his Boss RT-20 on Ebay so there you go :D
    Wonder If David would use or at least try this, since he is already using the Boonar :P

  11. Michael Nagher says:

    Yet another great review. Thanks for all the work you do to keep us Gilmour fans up to date. Question is, is this pedal worth replacing my Boss RT20 ?

    • Bjorn says:

      Thanks!
      They’re very similar in that they’re both much more chorusy and airy compared to a Lex or Vent, which has more of that dry, woody tremolo of a Leslie. As much as I like the RT20 and probably will continue to use it for certain applications, I must say that the Pulse blew my mind! Dead on David’s 90s tones.

  12. Ant Miller says:

    Excellent review again mate, thanks so much for this! I’m obsessed with the pulse tour tone. The rotary is a problem though and I have an RT20 which is hard to get the tone. I was about to push the button on the ventilator II until this review came along in the nick of time. I only want a rotary pedal for the subtle modulation for pulse tones. Would you say this is the best pedal to get please Bjorn?

  13. Bryan says:

    How would you say it compares to the Boss RT-20? Was about to buy the Boss and now I’m curious about this pedal.

    • Bjorn says:

      I like them both and have been using the Boss for years but this is no doubt a more authentic recreation of David’s 90s sounds, with the Doppoals and Maestro.

  14. Toftaky says:

    Like often I came to watch this review knowing I will probably not buy this pedal but just wanted to see and hear some Bjorn guitar impro, and like always I am never disappointed ! Thanks man ! ;)

    P.S. : even if I will not buy it, seems to be a really nice pedal though.

  15. Giovanni Grossetti says:

    Hi Bijorn,
    Thanks for the review and congratulation for the excellent work and service you do with your website.

    I have got the pedal last Friday. It’s amazing. The interesting thing is that I have used it on bass and works flawlessly. It also blends favorably with a Boss CE-2W and Effectrode fuzz.

    I am putting hope on their Boonar TUBE deluxe.
    Best regards
    Giovanni

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