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#2848822 - 04/12/17 07:08 AM Insights of an effects builder, engineer and musician.
CEB Offline
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I'm enjoying this. It is a look into Tom Scholz.



Edited by CEB (04/12/17 07:18 AM)

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#2848950 - 04/12/17 01:45 PM Re: Insights of an effects builder, engineer and musician. [Re: CEB]
Danzilla Offline
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Thanks for posting that. I like his part about being an engineer AND a musician means he can remove the communication gap that would normally be there between those two people. You can't always tell someone else the sound you hear in your head. God bless him for having both sets of skills.
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#2849062 - 04/13/17 12:01 AM Re: Insights of an effects builder, engineer and musician. [Re: CEB]
Caevan O'Shite Offline
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Cool. Their first two albums were HUGE when I was a kid. I later had a Rockman X100 with the folding headphones; I spent a lot of time playing through that, even while going for very long walks.


__________________ ___________


Much later on, I also had a Scholz Power Soak attenuator; frankly, that really sucked, making tube-amps sound and feel like Solid-State, and making SS-amps sound and feel quite bad, indeed. freak eek facepalm



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#2849257 - 04/13/17 03:15 PM Re: Insights of an effects builder, engineer and musician. [Re: Caevan O'Shite]
Delta Offline
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Registered: 08/18/10
Posts: 189
Loc: Rescue, Ca.
My wife and I will be seeing Boston in their present form next week in St Augustine. Scholz is the only original member on this tour. I've never been a huge Boston fan, but I do like some of their songs. You have to admit, they rocked, due mainly to Scholz's engineered sound and to Brad Delp's great singing.

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#2849389 - 04/14/17 08:48 AM Re: Insights of an effects builder, engineer and musician. [Re: Delta]
CEB Offline
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There is a pretty good collection of Power Soaks at the shop. Mark is a pack rat. These things were responsible for a lot of Marshall failures. Other amps also but especially Marshalls.

That network of sand block resistors would sometimes catch on fire. It was a good concept but he used the parts. I hated the Power Soak but liked pretty much everything else. I used to play through a Rockman Sustainer. It was great for all the ZZ Top stuff of Eliminator and Afterburner. The Reverend Billy G played through a Rockman rig then. Compare the tones off Eliminator with Boston.



I couldn't play through one now though. In the 90s I got to where I really liked open tones. The Sparkle Drive was a God send.


Edited by CEB (04/14/17 08:51 AM)

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#2849580 - 04/15/17 12:50 AM Re: Insights of an effects builder, engineer and musician. [Re: CEB]
Caevan O'Shite Offline
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Originally Posted By: CEB
There is a pretty good collection of Power Soaks at the shop. Mark is a pack rat. These things were responsible for a lot of Marshall failures. Other amps also but especially Marshalls.

That network of sand block resistors would sometimes catch on fire. It was a good concept but he used the parts. I hated the Power Soak...


Yeah, I remember that mine'd get very hot and would smell bad! I did not trust it- and again, it REALLY, REALLY sounded and felt AWFUL. I'd paid a princely forty bucks flat for it, loaned it to someone who never tried to give it back- and I never tried to get it back.

Originally Posted By: CEB
...but liked pretty much everything else. I used to play through a Rockman Sustainer. It was great for all the ZZ Top stuff of Eliminator and Afterburner. The Reverend Billy G played through a Rockman rig then. Compare the tones off Eliminator with Boston.



I liked my Rockman X100, too. And I always wanted a few of the rack-mount (half-rack sized? idk 'S been a long while! grin ) Rockman devices.

I believe that Billy F. had said that he'd plugged in direct with a Rockman (X100) for more than one track on one or the other of those albums; I seem to think that they may have been used by the Cars, too.

Originally Posted By: CEB
I couldn't play through one now though. In the 90s I got to where I really liked open tones. The Sparkle Drive was a God send.


I know what ya mean! grin twothumbs
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#2849602 - 04/15/17 07:14 AM Re: Insights of an effects builder, engineer and musician. [Re: Caevan O'Shite]
Larryz Offline
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Originally Posted By: Caevan O'Shite

Yeah, I remember that mine'd get very hot and would smell bad! I did not trust it- and again, it REALLY, REALLY sounded and felt AWFUL. I'd paid a princely forty bucks flat for it, loaned it to someone who never tried to give it back- and I never tried to get it back.

I know what ya mean! grin twothumbs


LOL! Good one Caevan! cool
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#2850376 - 04/19/17 05:37 AM Re: Insights of an effects builder, engineer and musician. [Re: Caevan O'Shite]
harvey Offline
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Loc: Sydney, Australia
Originally Posted By: Caevan O'Shite
Cool. Their first two albums were HUGE when I was a kid. I later had a Rockman X100 with the folding headphones; I spent a lot of time playing through that, even while going for very long walks.


__________________ ___________


Much later on, I also had a Scholz Power Soak attenuator; frankly, that really sucked, making tube-amps sound and feel like Solid-State, and making SS-amps sound and feel quite bad, indeed. freak eek facepalm



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the headphone thing was very cool! You must have looked rad walking around the neighbourhood \m/

I must disagree about the Power Soak. I used to use one under the front of a combo, or even a 2x12 iirc. It was very effective as a stand to create a little upward amp angle.

But plug it in, yeah not so good!

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#2850382 - 04/19/17 06:37 AM Re: Insights of an effects builder, engineer and musician. [Re: harvey]
Caevan O'Shite Offline
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Originally Posted By: harvey
Originally Posted By: Caevan O'Shite
Cool. Their first two albums were HUGE when I was a kid. I later had a Rockman X100 with the folding headphones; I spent a lot of time playing through that, even while going for very long walks.


__________________ ___________


Much later on, I also had a Scholz Power Soak attenuator; frankly, that really sucked, making tube-amps sound and feel like Solid-State, and making SS-amps sound and feel quite bad, indeed. freak eek facepalm



__________________ _______
__________________ ___


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the headphone thing was very cool! You must have looked rad walking around the neighbourhood \m/


Indeed, I did. wink I also discovered that bats were incited to dive down at me as if attacking if the Rockman was on- if I turned it off, they ignored me; when I turned it on again, they'd start diving at my head- and the headphones, whether I was playing or not...

Originally Posted By: harvey
I must disagree about the Power Soak. I used to use one under the front of a combo, or even a 2x12 iirc. It was very effective as a stand to create a little upward amp angle.

But plug it in, yeah not so good!


MUCH agreed.
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#2850466 - 04/19/17 01:49 PM Re: Insights of an effects builder, engineer and musician. [Re: Caevan O'Shite]
Winston Psmith Offline
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I think I had the Guitar Ace, which was a slightly less expensive version of the Rockman. It was a very cool toy, for its time, and I remember doing some early cassette recordings using the Guitar Ace direct into the cassette recorder.

A quick look online shows that Dunlop is still making something they call the Guitar Ace, but the reviews . . . Can't be the same product.


Edited by Winston Psmith (04/19/17 01:52 PM)
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#2850470 - 04/19/17 02:09 PM Re: Insights of an effects builder, engineer and musician. [Re: Caevan O'Shite]
desertbluesman Offline
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Registered: 05/22/07
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Originally Posted By: Caevan O'Shite
Cool. Their first two albums were HUGE when I was a kid. I later had a Rockman X100 with the folding headphones; I spent a lot of time playing through that, even while going for very long walks.


__________________ ___________


Much later on, I also had a Scholz Power Soak attenuator; frankly, that really sucked, making tube-amps sound and feel like Solid-State, and making SS-amps sound and feel quite bad, indeed. freak eek facepalm



__________________ _______
__________________ ___


__________________ _______


I had both also, I used the Rockman when on surf trips to Cali which I liked a bunch, The power soak was a waste of money for my purposes.
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#2850476 - 04/19/17 02:18 PM Re: Insights of an effects builder, engineer and musician. [Re: desertbluesman]
CEB Offline
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The Power Soak was a great idea but Tom cheaped out and used the wrong parts. Look at a Rivera Rock Crusher, Kendrick, or even the Marshall Power Brake to see how to do it right. I use a Kendrick because I want something that mounts seemless inside a combo cabinet but the Rivera is best of breed. I've heard the Marshall kills your highs but they don't catch on fire .... which is a good thing.


Edited by CEB (04/19/17 02:24 PM)

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#2850485 - 04/19/17 03:35 PM Re: Insights of an effects builder, engineer and musician. [Re: CEB]
Caevan O'Shite Offline
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Originally Posted By: CEB
The Power Soak was a great idea but Tom cheaped out and used the wrong parts. Look at a Rivera Rock Crusher, Kendrick, or even the Marshall Power Brake to see how to do it right. I use a Kendrick because I want something that mounts seemless inside a combo cabinet but the Rivera is best of breed. I've heard the Marshall kills your highs but they don't catch on fire .... which is a good thing.


While it's not an attenuator for speaker output volume, I have an ancient GT Electronics (as in Groove Tubes) Speaker Emulator, the original version with a three-band "pole-filter/resonance" EQ, that does a splendid job at touchy-feely reactive-loading for taking the amp's speaker-output and converting it to a line-level output for going direct to recording or PA and monitors or anything else that you might want to connect it to. It does a great job at emulating a lot of the response and feel and tone of an old vintage Celestion AlNiCo "blue"/"gray"/"silver" type speaker being close-miked. Connecting it in parallel or series with the Rivera RockCrusher attenuator yields superior performance in feel and tone.

That Power Soak wasn't just a hot smelling fire hazard, it felt and sounded awful.
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#2850610 - 04/20/17 08:59 AM Re: Insights of an effects builder, engineer and musician. [Re: Caevan O'Shite]
The Real MC Offline
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Originally Posted By: Caevan O'Shite
While it's not an attenuator for speaker output volume, I have an ancient GT Electronics (as in Groove Tubes) Speaker Emulator, the original version with a three-band "pole-filter/resonance" EQ, that does a splendid job at touchy-feely reactive-loading for taking the amp's speaker-output and converting it to a line-level output for going direct to recording or PA and monitors or anything else that you might want to connect it to. It does a great job at emulating a lot of the response and feel and tone of an old vintage Celestion AlNiCo "blue"/"gray"/"silver" type speaker being close-miked. Connecting it in parallel or series with the Rivera RockCrusher attenuator yields superior performance in feel and tone.


I bought one of those a few years ago and I concur that it is splendid for emulating not just the tone but the feel and response of the complex coupling between an amp and a speaker.

I have cabinets in my studio loaded with several varieties of desirable speakers. One of them is a 1970 Marshall 1960A loaded with Celestion "pre-Rola" greenbacks. In addition to vintage alnico speakers (which I do have), the GT Speaker Emulator can pull off an uncanny simulation of those pre-Rola greenback speakers.

Incidently, there was a later GT Speaker Emulator II that added a speaker thru output with a switch to attenuate power by 50% or 25% (and an effect loop). The rest of the circuitry is identical to the original (I'm an EE, have sketched out the schematic and compared it to one found on the net).

The Scholz power soak is a purely resistive attenuator. It completely omits the reactive components of the amp/speaker coupling, that's the major reason why it doesn't sound right.

The GT Speaker Emulator includes a reactive network designed to emulate the reactive load of a speaker, which duplicates how the tube power amp responds - much more realistic. The three band EQ does a good job emulating different cabinets (even open/closed back), the center frequencies are just right. I built a webpage on my unit.

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#2850710 - 04/20/17 06:08 PM Re: Insights of an effects builder, engineer and musician. [Re: The Real MC]
Caevan O'Shite Offline
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Originally Posted By: The Real MC
Originally Posted By: Caevan O'Shite
While it's not an attenuator for speaker output volume, I have an ancient GT Electronics (as in Groove Tubes) Speaker Emulator, the original version with a three-band "pole-filter/resonance" EQ, that does a splendid job at touchy-feely reactive-loading for taking the amp's speaker-output and converting it to a line-level output for going direct to recording or PA and monitors or anything else that you might want to connect it to. It does a great job at emulating a lot of the response and feel and tone of an old vintage Celestion AlNiCo "blue"/"gray"/"silver" type speaker being close-miked. Connecting it in parallel or series with the Rivera RockCrusher attenuator yields superior performance in feel and tone.


I bought one of those a few years ago and I concur that it is splendid for emulating not just the tone but the feel and response of the complex coupling between an amp and a speaker.

I have cabinets in my studio loaded with several varieties of desirable speakers. One of them is a 1970 Marshall 1960A loaded with Celestion "pre-Rola" greenbacks. In addition to vintage alnico speakers (which I do have), the GT Speaker Emulator can pull off an uncanny simulation of those pre-Rola greenback speakers.

Incidently, there was a later GT Speaker Emulator II that added a speaker thru output with a switch to attenuate power by 50% or 25% (and an effect loop). The rest of the circuitry is identical to the original (I'm an EE, have sketched out the schematic and compared it to one found on the net).

The Scholz power soak is a purely resistive attenuator. It completely omits the reactive components of the amp/speaker coupling, that's the major reason why it doesn't sound right.

The GT Speaker Emulator includes a reactive network designed to emulate the reactive load of a speaker, which duplicates how the tube power amp responds - much more realistic. The three band EQ does a good job emulating different cabinets (even open/closed back), the center frequencies are just right. I built a webpage on my unit.


Originally Posted By: The Real MC on retrosynth.com
The TOP BOOST control restores high frequencies that were attenuated in the reactive load circuit as a necessary evil to avoid parasitic oscillations. Usually this is effective for clean tone, but can get too brassy with flat out overdrive. The EQ section has boost/cut controls at frequencies of 220hz, 1700hz, and 3500hz to simulate resonances of different cabinets - open back versus closed back cabinets have different tone and the EQ is a tool to emulate the cabinet as opposed to the speaker - a nice option when playing back a reamped signal. When played back through a full bandwidth system such as a stage monitor or studio speakers, the EQ also rolls off some high frequencies to more accurately reproduce the constricted bandwidth of a guitar speaker cabinet (the upper limit of a guitar amp tops out around 5Khz).


Very interesting! My GT E Sp Emu does NOT have this "Top Boost control", but it DOES have an impedance selector that provides 4, 8, and 16 ohm operation. It also has the three-band pole-filter EQ for simulating cabinet-resonance and character, which can be bypassed via a switch.

Here and there over the years, I have connected it in parallel and/or series with real-live speakers and also other speaker-load devices such as attenuators, and this has worked just fine.

Dialing-in the Input, Output, and EQ levels can be a little tricky, but time well spent with them tuning by ear will reward with good tone and playing-feel response.


The Marshall SE 100 (not to be confused with the Marshall Power Brake) was quite excellent, as well; I believe that it used design technology licensed from Aspen Pitman/GT Electronics and the GT E Speaker Emulator reactive-load units.


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#2851246 - 04/23/17 02:16 PM Re: Insights of an effects builder, engineer and musician. [Re: Caevan O'Shite]
Lokair Offline
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https://pittsburgh.craigslist.org/msg/6100836411.html

This just went up for sale in the Pittsburgh area, thought maybe some may be interested.

Lok
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