In this day and age, there’s a lot of spin going down, but perhaps not enough of the right type. Enter the new Billionaire line of affordable effects from Danelectro, including the Big Spender spinning-speaker simulator. It’s spin control in all the best ways.
Leslie speaker cabs are big and bulky, while Univox Uni-Vibes cost big bucks. The Big Spender counters all of that with its small size, simple controls, and alluring price point.
The effect is housed in a sweet and stylish die-cast casing that’s light and solid. Its two-tone color scheme harkens to ’50s cars – and early rock and roll.
At its simplest, you really only need to bother with the two footswitches. “Effect” turns the box on or offers full bypass; “Ramp” increases the “speed” of the spinning-speaker simulation. Click it once to light up the green LED and evoke luscious slow-speed revolutions; hit it again to accelerate to the red zone. The Speed dial offers further fine control over each range.
Volume dials in output, while Treble boosts the top end for increasingly sparkling and chimey sounds. It’s all that simple.
The slower, green-lit speeds gave enough spin simulation to make chords and double-stops sound lush and lustrous. Red tightened the sound nicely, offering Memphis R&B and Motown tones. But speed it up too much while also turning up the effect’s volume and you’ll get some background oscillation.
You can dial in SRV Texas blues tones, Allman Brothers-like warmth and mesmerizing rhythm, or sweeping David Gilmour wet sounds that can send you to outer space. The Big Spender responds especially well to slower, more articulated playing of chords and double-stops, adding depth and richness. If you’re looking to join the rotary club on a budget, this is great place to start.
This article originally appeared in VG March 2018 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.