The Original Option 5 Destination Rotation (Leslie/Rotary Simulator) for Guitar

by Dan Kern on November 20, 2010

The Original Option 5 Destination Rotation Leslie Simulator for Guitar

The original Destination Rotation is sought after for it’s more realistic imaging

When Option 5 released the original Destination Rotation in 2002, it immediately competed with the H&K Rotosphere® (the most widely recommended Leslie® simulator for guitar at the time).

This first release of Option 5′s rotary simulator effect boasted an array of attractive attributes.

Original Destination Rotation Features

  • smaller footprint than the Rotosphere®
  • split signals for high/low rotor to run in stereo (or run in mono)
  • optional overdrive to emulate classic Leslie® tube amp growl
  • speed foot switch for the authentic ramp up/down effect
  • ability to optimize for guitar or keyboard

The Successor: Destination Rotation Single

Since the original DR’s release, Option 5 has also released the Destination Rotation Single (a mono rotary simulator that is designed to more closely emulate the Vibratone® or Leslie® 16 sounds. The original DR was apparently a compromise between the two. Either way, there’s a growing number of guitarists who prefer the tone of the original as it seems to sound a bit more gutty, and sound less wet like a typical chorus effect.

While these tonal differences can be somewhat subjective, the fact remains that the original Destination Rotation has retained it’s allure if only to a small, growing number of guitarists.

How’s the Destination Rotation’s Overdrive, Really?

There is one common (and minor) complaint with the original DR, and that’s the tone of the effect’s built-in overdrive. It has been described via a number of unpleasant adjectives on guitar forums. One might find that it sounds a little aggressive, perhaps too much like a distortion. But, it’s certainly usable. This is something that Option 5 gave more attention to in the design of the DR’s successor, the Single.

One thing that the original DR’s overdrive effect does well is make the rotary simulation more pronounced. The rotation is much more apparent when the overdrive is engaged and turned up to around 11:00. You can hear the rotation move closer and further away. Although we haven’t tried the original DR in stereo, the rotary effect is likely to be even more pronounced when run in stereo.

Destination Rotation Sound Samples

So, enough talk. We’ve prepared some sound samples that will allow you to actually hear the effect in action. There’s not many sound samples floating around the web for the original Destination Rotation, so these should freshen up the scene!

Equipment Used for Sound Samples

  • Guitar: Gibson ES-446 (Harmonic Design Z90 pickups)
  • Amp: Fargen Blackbird (40 watt w/ 6L6′s; Dr. Z Brake Lite on setting 2)
  • Mic: Sennheiser e609
  • Studio Effects: None

Sound Sample 1 (Option 5 Destination Rotation)
Sound Sample 2 (Option 5 Destination Rotation)

These samples display how the pedal sounds with the various features engaged, and with different types of playing. Strummed chords will allow the effect to be heard more easily, while staccato playing allow the guitarist to control how much the effect is heard.

If you’re interested in this pedal, you have to buy one used. Option 5 no longer makes the original version. The following resources will help you read more opinions and information on the original Destination Rotation.

Recommended Resources

The Original Option 5 Destination Rotation (Leslie/Rotary Simulator) for Guitar by

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

treck September 15, 2011 at 9:16 pm

The Dr. Z Brake Lite fits the bill for any tube amp (45 watts or less) with a speaker output rating of 4, 8, or 16 ohms.

Leave a Comment

Loading Facebook Comments ...

Previous post:

Next post: