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Alydeus

Create POWER SOAK for the Helix

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Hi,

 

Please create the POWER SOAK for the Helix

This attenuator was created by Tom Schultz from the band Boston.

This iconic device was placed between the speakers and the cab,  stepping down the volume of a tube amp running at high volume.

The result is a tone that is very uniquely the Boston guitar tone.

 

Here is a review and links to audio samples of the product to get you started.

https://www.rockman.fr/Reviews/Power_Soak.htm

 

Regards,

 

Allan

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I don’t understand how you would want this work in the Helix...The levels of the amp models in the Helix can be set to whatever level you want them. There’s no need for any sort of virtual attenuator.

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See the "channel volume" setting of any amp model: that is your power soak. You can crank any amp parameter you want and the channel volume will allow you to lower the output to whatever you need.  Good luck!

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If anything, they should model the Rockman!

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44 minutes ago, phil_m said:

I don’t understand how you would want this work in the Helix...The levels of the amp models in the Helix can be set to whatever level you want them. There’s no need for any sort of virtual attenuator.

 

Agreed... we can already dime all the controls we want without blowing ourselves into next week with volume. The "virtual attenuator" he's asking for already exists...

 

 

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48 minutes ago, hideout said:

If anything, they should model the Rockman!

 

Keep in mind the Rockman came after the first two albums, those were just an attenuated Marshall Super Lead. 

 

The tone is easy to replicate with something like a Helix....

 

Choose the Marshall Super Lead (1959).... crank it in every manner possible then turn down the overall volume. For added reality, throw a 10 band EQ and a chorus in the mix. Be sure to supplement the lead tone with a half cocked wah. The recipe of the Marshall tone stack and 10 band EQ is the trick and sort of like the 11 herbs and spices.... there is a lot of internet folklore about it, but nothing definitive. Spend some time with that setup and you'll get really close. 

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3 hours ago, codamedia said:

 

Keep in mind the Rockman came after the first two albums, those were just an attenuated Marshall Super Lead. 

 

The tone is easy to replicate with something like a Helix....

 

Choose the Marshall Super Lead (1959).... crank it in every manner possible then turn down the overall volume. For added reality, throw a 10 band EQ and a chorus in the mix. Be sure to supplement the lead tone with a half cocked wah. The recipe of the Marshall tone stack and 10 band EQ is the trick and sort of like the 11 herbs and spices.... there is a lot of internet folklore about it, but nothing definitive. Spend some time with that setup and you'll get really close. 

 

I don't know, there's a creaminess in those old Rockmans that I just have not heard in the Helix.  It's the kind of creaminess that I just don't think is achievable with just EQ.

 

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10 hours ago, hideout said:

 

I don't know, there's a creaminess in those old Rockmans that I just have not heard in the Helix.  It's the kind of creaminess that I just don't think is achievable with just EQ.

 

 

The Rockman just emulates a recorded chain (ie: it's a modeler itself) and all the ingredients for that chain are already in the Helix. Yes, the Rockman has a warmth/creaminess to it but so do most of the amps that were modeled for the Helix. If you don't believe the Helix can do it already, I'm not convinced a modeled version would fair much better.  

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Yes and no.   It turns out a "Rockman" sound really isn't too hard to replicate, but I've really only heard one person do it and that's Scott of TheHelixChannel.  He recently released a set of Def Leppard presets from Hysteria and that album was almost entirely done with a Rockman for all guitars.  He pretty much nailed it.  That isn't the sound most people think of when they think Rockman.  They think "Boston" which is the "Boston" sound, but NOT the Rockman sound per se.  It's so layered that it created that "sound" but @codamedia is right, the first albums, Rockman didn't exist yet.  However, they were so produced that Tom had to create devices to help the live show sound like the album.

The problem reproducing the "Boston/Rockman" sound in the Helix is more than just the Marshalls stacked up with an eq in between.  The Sustainer, which is the key to the sound, is a Sustainer, Exciter, Distortion, EQ, and Cab simulator all in one.   I'm pretty sure Line6 could (should) model that device, but until they do, there's really no way to get the dynamics created between the components.  Glenn also has a "Boston" patch, which sounds great for the specific sounds it's designed for, but when one starts making adjustments, it doesn't quite act like a sustainer, because the interaction of the components just isn't there.  It's a great Boston tone patch tho... highly recommend it. 

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19 hours ago, codamedia said:

 

Keep in mind the Rockman came after the first two albums, those were just an attenuated Marshall Super Lead. 

 

The tone is easy to replicate with something like a Helix....

 

Choose the Marshall Super Lead (1959).... crank it in every manner possible then turn down the overall volume. For added reality, throw a 10 band EQ and a chorus in the mix. Be sure to supplement the lead tone with a half cocked wah. The recipe of the Marshall tone stack and 10 band EQ is the trick and sort of like the 11 herbs and spices.... there is a lot of internet folklore about it, but nothing definitive. Spend some time with that setup and you'll get really close. 

 

5 hours ago, codamedia said:

 

The Rockman just emulates a recorded chain (ie: it's a modeler itself) and all the ingredients for that chain are already in the Helix. Yes, the Rockman has a warmth/creaminess to it but so do most of the amps that were modeled for the Helix. If you don't believe the Helix can do it already, I'm not convinced a modeled version would fair much better.  

 

I suggest you create a Boston patch and show us...  I sold most of my Rockman gear in hopes of nailing the sound in the Helix.  As I stated above, a few have come reasonably close.  The reason we (me and others, not the royal "we") that Line 6 could model it, is because of the interaction of the components in the sustainer.  As example, how the compressor interacts with the distortion and the EQ and the Cab Sim.   Then there's the issue that it's not just "any" compressor, or any eq or any cab sim.   All of the models in the Helix have their own characteristics at the component level, so at best, we can just get sorta close.

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52 minutes ago, mileskb said:

All of the models in the Helix have their own characteristics at the component level, so at best, we can just get sorta close.

 

Yes - there is a lot of truth to that statement.... Tom was copying the gear he had, Line 6 does not have THAT gear! So with that in mind I can understand why a modeled Rockman could have it's advantages. 

 

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Regarding the OP's original post phil_m is right, the Helix is already for all practical purposes a digital power soak. It allows you to emulate the sound of an amp with everything cranked at whatever volume you choose. However, I have a Scholz power soak and that alone is not enough to give you the iconic Boston tone. Not even close! It requires the rest of the electronics Scholz produced.

 

As others here have pointed out the Rockman sound was a product of the very specific compression, EQ, Marshall emulation, chorus, special sauce, etc. that Scholz, a brilliant MIT graduate , poured into that device. Love it or hate it, I can still remember how different the tones and production on the first Boston album sounded from anything that had come before. To reproduce it on the Helix would probably take a combination of some new custom Rockman effects and EQ combined with the right amp/cab blocks and then a well designed preset to leverage them. I don't think you could get that sound easily with just a for example "Rockman" block unless it encompassed all of these other blocks. I would agree that you can probably get in the ballpark of the Rockman sound with what is already on the Helix but you would be hard-pressed to get the exact mojo that the Rockman or a combination of the modules SR&D sold had.

 

It is still shocking to me how great the tones were and what Scholz was able to accomplish with 70's era solid state. I wish he had kept his electronics company going into the current decade. It would have been interesting to see what a modern CPU powered digital modeler from him would sound like.  It is such a potent combination when you get an electronics genius who also happens to be an accomplished musician with a real ear for tone. When you do, things like the Rockman technology pop out and that is a rare occurrence. And these days, to complicate matters further, you have to combine a great musical ear with an electronics genius AND a great set of programmers.

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22 minutes ago, HonestOpinion said:

Regarding the OP's original post phil_m is right, the Helix is already for all practical purposes a digital power soak. It allows you to emulate the sound of an amp with everything cranked at whatever volume you choose. However, I have a Scholz power soak and that alone is not enough to give you the iconic Boston tone. Not even close! It requires the rest of the electronics Scholz produced.

 

As has been pointed out in an earlier post. It doesn't require the rest of the electronics he produced since they weren't around when he made the first and second album. I think it was just a lot of clever EQ'ing once he had the amp cranked and his MXR 8 band(?) EQ in there. The power soak (the first product he produced) was first sold in 1980 two years after the second Boston album. He could have had made one for himself during the time of those two albums I suppose, but I don't think he used it in the studio since he could crank the amp up as loud as he wanted. I believe he first created it in order to get the "sound" without being overly loud when he was live. Needed to crank those power tubes, which the Helix does.

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17 minutes ago, brue58ski said:

 

As has been pointed out in an earlier post. It doesn't require the rest of the electronics he produced since they weren't around when he made the first and second album. I think it was just a lot of clever EQ'ing once he had the amp cranked and his MXR 8 band(?) EQ in there. The power soak (the first product he produced) was first sold in 1980 two years after the second Boston album. He could have had made one for himself during the time of those two albums I suppose, but I don't think he used it in the studio since he could crank the amp up as loud as he wanted. I believe he first created it in order to get the "sound" without being overly loud when he was live. Needed to crank those power tubes, which the Helix does.

 

Not sure that is entirely accurate although the Rockman and the modules was to some extent an attempt to reproduce with solid state what he was doing with analog equipment in the studio . I don't believe it was just clever EQ. If I correctly remember some of the interviews with him I have seen/read stated that he already had prototypes of some of the electronics that were to make their way as you point out into the products like the Rockman and the modules that came later. I think to some extent it was his prior tinkering in electronics that were already being used on the first Boston album that were later transformed into products available to the consumer. If you look at his Wikipedia entry it states he was already designing his own guitar pedals when he was a student at MIT. Hard to believe some of that hardware did not make it into his first album.

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Hope no one minds but here's a link to Scott's Hysteria patches demo which is pretty spot on to what you can do with a Rockman when you're NOT playing a Boston song and Glenn's demo artist patch for that Boston tone.  These are the closest I have found as someone who has been playing Rockman gear since it came out.
 

 

And here's a link to Glenn's demo of his Boston tone.

 

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2 hours ago, HonestOpinion said:

Regarding the OP's original post phil_m is right, the Helix is already for all practical purposes a digital power soak. It allows you to emulate the sound of an amp with everything cranked at whatever volume you choose. However, I have a Scholz power soak and that alone is not enough to give you the iconic Boston tone. Not even close! It requires the rest of the electronics Scholz produced**.

 

 

**That's an understatement.

 

I think a lot of the power of the Helix is overlooked.  In the traditional sense, it's not practical to tweak the bias settings and such on an amp for every song, but on the other hand, want to put your distortion between the power amp and cab...  I wouldn't recommend it IRL but on the Helix.... why not?    Heck, put a cab after your Wah into an amp, into a compressor... woo whoo !!!  Seemingly limitless possibilities.  
 

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1 hour ago, brue58ski said:

The power soak (the first product he produced) was first sold in 1980 two years after the second Boston album. He could have had made one for himself during the time of those two albums I suppose, but I don't think he used it in the studio since he could crank the amp up as loud as he wanted. I believe he first created it in order to get the "sound" without being overly loud when he was live. Needed to crank those power tubes, which the Helix does.

 

Just an FYI.....https://www.guitarworld.com/features/interview-tom-scholz-recalls-making-boston-and-don-t-look-back

 

In that interview Tom says those early albums were tracked with a prototype of the power soak at low volume, close-miked. His studio was a tiny basement room in an apartment house.... volume would have been an issue. 

 

2 hours ago, HonestOpinion said:

I wish he had kept his electronics company going into the current decade. It would have been interesting to see what a modern CPU powered digital modeler from him would sound like. 

 

If you glance at the same article I link to above you will see that Tom has a serious hatred for anything & everything digital.... abnormally so :) 

 

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1 hour ago, codamedia said:

 

...

 

 

If you glance at the same article I link to above you will see that Tom has a serious hatred for anything & everything digital.... abnormally so :) 

 

 

Man you're not kidding, he was a hardcore fan of tubes and analog.  I definitely took note of the same comments you did by Scholz regarding "anything with an MPU".  I had read the same article previously myself and it definitely helps explain why Scholz never released a digital "anything". Too bad though, had he contributed his not inconsiderable talents to a team of musician programmers I think the results might have been outstanding.

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8 hours ago, brue58ski said:

 

As has been pointed out in an earlier post. It doesn't require the rest of the electronics he produced since they weren't around when he made the first and second album. I think it was just a lot of clever EQ'ing once he had the amp cranked and his MXR 8 band(?) EQ in there. The power soak (the first product he produced) was first sold in 1980 two years after the second Boston album. He could have had made one for himself during the time of those two albums I suppose, but I don't think he used it in the studio since he could crank the amp up as loud as he wanted. I believe he first created it in order to get the "sound" without being overly loud when he was live. Needed to crank those power tubes, which the Helix does.

 

Have to admit there is no mention of any homemade technology in the article codamedia posted below about the making of "Boston" among other things. Not sure if that was just an oversight or omission by Scholz but I will have to take him at his word and assume your post above may be correct. If he did not use any homemade technology on his first album he is a genius at production(which he clearly is anyway). I will say from personal experience that simply pairing my Scholz power soak with a cranked Marshall regardless of the effects employed never produced anything close to what I hear on the Boston albums. Anecdotal I know and maybe with a collection of conventional pedals set the way he did I could have gotten closer to that sound. In all my years of fiddling around with pedals, modelers, and amps though nothing seems to quite grab his particular tone although I have heard some pretty close approximations. 'Course some of that is in his fingers too. His own products still do the best job of capturing his sound that I have heard.

 

6 hours ago, codamedia said:

 

Just an FYI.....https://www.guitarworld.com/features/interview-tom-scholz-recalls-making-boston-and-don-t-look-back

 

In that interview Tom says those early albums were tracked with a prototype of the power soak at low volume, close-miked. His studio was a tiny basement room in an apartment house.... volume would have been an issue. 

 

 

If you glance at the same article I link to above you will see that Tom has a serious hatred for anything & everything digital.... abnormally so :) 

 

 

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6 hours ago, HonestOpinion said:

 In all my years of fiddling around with pedals, modelers, and amps though nothing seems to quite grab his particular tone although I have heard some pretty close approximations. 'Course some of that is in his fingers too. His own products still do the best job of capturing his sound that I have heard.

 

Agreed. Which is why I think it would be worthwhile modeling all of the Half-Rack style Rockman modules.

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12 hours ago, HonestOpinion said:

 

Have to admit there is no mention of any homemade technology in the article codamedia posted below about the making of "Boston" among other things. Not sure if that was just an oversight or omission by Scholz but I will have to take him at his word and assume your post above may be correct. If he did not use any homemade technology on his first album he is a genius at production(which he clearly is anyway). I will say from personal experience that simply pairing my Scholz power soak with a cranked Marshall regardless of the effects employed never produced anything close to what I hear on the Boston albums. Anecdotal I know and maybe with a collection of conventional pedals set the way he did I could have gotten closer to that sound. In all my years of fiddling around with pedals, modelers, and amps though nothing seems to quite grab his particular tone although I have heard some pretty close approximations. 'Course some of that is in his fingers too. His own products still do the best job of capturing his sound that I have heard.

 

 Here it is, right from Tom's mouth. He did use a power soak prototype but, as I said, I just guessed at that. I found the mic choice (was it a choice?) interesting.

 

GW You would later go on to develop the Rockman headphone amplifier, a device that also revolutionized the process of recording guitars directly into a mixing board. Were any of the guitars on Boston recorded direct?

 

SCHOLZ No. They were always done with a prototype of my Power Soak power attenuator, at low volume, through a standard cabinet close-miked with an Electro-Voice RE16. I was using mostly a Marshall head that sounded like doo-doo on its own, but with a Crybaby wah pedal, an EQ and these old Maestro Echoplex tape delays in front of it, it sounded really good. It was noisy as hell, so I’m sure that I was getting some preclipping before it got to the head. For guitars, I had two Gold Top Les Pauls that both sounded very similar, and that was it.

 

Here's the whole article. It's a good read.

 

https://www.guitarworld.com/features/interview-tom-scholz-recalls-making-boston-and-don-t-look-back

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5 hours ago, brue58ski said:

 Here it is, right from Tom's mouth. He did use a power soak prototype but, as I said, I just guessed at that. I found the mic choice (was it a choice?) interesting.

 

GW You would later go on to develop the Rockman headphone amplifier, a device that also revolutionized the process of recording guitars directly into a mixing board. Were any of the guitars on Boston recorded direct?

 

SCHOLZ No. They were always done with a prototype of my Power Soak power attenuator, at low volume, through a standard cabinet close-miked with an Electro-Voice RE16. I was using mostly a Marshall head that sounded like doo-doo on its own, but with a Crybaby wah pedal, an EQ and these old Maestro Echoplex tape delays in front of it, it sounded really good. It was noisy as hell, so I’m sure that I was getting some preclipping before it got to the head. For guitars, I had two Gold Top Les Pauls that both sounded very similar, and that was it.

 

Here's the whole article. It's a good read.

 

https://www.guitarworld.com/features/interview-tom-scholz-recalls-making-boston-and-don-t-look-back

 

 

I don't have the links handy, but he has said things that pretty much contradict this.  I believe the Hyperspace pedal existed on the first album, which is a crybaby pedal, eq, and Maestro Echoplex all modded together with a reverb I believe.   Also, I'd be real surprised if his amps weren't modded too.

 

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I found the guitar player interview which was one of the ones I was thinking of.  He kinda glosses over the parts that are always in front of his amp.  " ’70s Marshall head I’ve used from the beginning—which, as always, I run with equalization, gain, and compression ahead of the amp, and an [SR&D] Power Soak after the amp and before the speaker cabinet.  I run miked signal from the speaker into an EQ with narrow bands that let me select the frequencies I want to emphasize. That’s the sort of sound I designed into the Rockman stuff"

And that EQ that the miked signal is run into....  
[âIMG]

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On 8/7/2018 at 2:20 PM, mileskb said:

 

I don't have the links handy, but he has said things that pretty much contradict this.  I believe the Hyperspace pedal existed on the first album, which is a crybaby pedal, eq, and Maestro Echoplex all modded together with a reverb I believe.   Also, I'd be real surprised if his amps weren't modded too.

 

 

Yep, totally agree here, as I stated earlier I also remember seeing other interviews that indicate some custom equipment on the first Boston album and contradict the article where he seems to indicate a signal chain made up of strictly commercially available products with the exception of his power soak. If you listen to the quote that comes at about 5:40 on the YouTube interview with Scholz you will hear him say directly that he was using his own customized devices on the first Boston album. There is no way that was limited just to the power soak. He doesn't go into detail so it is difficult to know whether he was talking about modding other equipment or his own homemade devices. My guess would be a combination of both. 

 

Most people know the famous story of him refusing to re-record his first album in a record company studio. Part of that had to be due to the unique equipment and setup he had. Ultimately I have to believe my ears. I hear technology and tones that were not around yet on that first album anywhere other than Scholz's studio. Additionally it simply does not make sense that a musician/inventor who had already been creating his own custom pedals and electronics for years would not have incorporated them on his first album.

 

He is demoing the Hyperspace pedal here as he discusses the creation of the first Boston album so maybe it made its way in, not sure, can't find a direct quote regarding that but it is a fair assumption.

 

Btw, just wanted to mention and apologies to any hardcore Boston fans, their music was always a little light and pop oriented for my tastes although some of their tunes were fantastic and they put on a great concert. My primary source of admiration for Boston is the innovative album production and the brilliance of the technology that Scholz produced although I would not want to use it on every song, far from it. Tom Scholz is just one of those fascinating examples, like Les Paul, of art and technology intersecting.

 

 

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One must remember when talking about Mr. Scholz, (and most folks who are into the electronics like I assume some of the folks at Line 6 are) modding gear for him is like changing strings for most of us.   He has a workbench in his studio.  So when most of us want a new set of strings... we grab a new set of strings.   When his Distortion pedal isn't quite giving him what he needs, or the compressor isn't breathing enough, as easily as we would change strings when we need to, he'll swap a cap and resistor or transistor without even referring to it as a "mod".    

Kinda like "the Rockman 500 amps are just Carver PM175 amps with different covers"      I've owned both the Rockman 500 and the PM175, and while the guts are "essentially" the same, there's a difference.  Most notably a mod that allows one to switch the output from "full range" speakers to "guitar" speakers.   I only mention this because remember this was the early 90's.

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3 hours ago, HonestOpinion said:

Btw, just wanted to mention and apologies to any hardcore Boston fans, their music was always a little light and pop oriented for my tastes although some of their tunes were fantastic and they put on a great concert. My primary admiration for Boston is the innovative album production and the brilliance of the technology that Scholz produced although I would not want to use it on every song, far from it. Tom Scholz is just one of those fascinating examples, like Les Paul, of art and technology intersecting.

2

 

I'm with ya... although I am a Boston fan, it's specifically because of the "light and pop oriented" aspect, but at the same time, I don't think I've ever played a Boston tune in a band.  My rig was all Rockman, and I'd get asked.. but I wasn't a good enough guitarist to pull it off, especially with a 3 piece... and if a singer could tackle the vocals...  they weren't going to be caught slumm'n it with me.    It seems like Brad Delp almost constructed the tunes specifically to mess with singers...   I mean, I think most singers can sing "most" of their songs, except for one or two signature notes..   It would be like playing a riff-based rock tune on guitar, without the riff...  it just doesn't work.

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Well I've looked long enough and can't find anything to confirm he used anything other than the power soak. I know he said devices (plural) in the video but everywhere else that I can find, he doesn't. I personally think he didn't use any kind of Rockman distortion. Why would he use the power soak if he already had devices to get that sound? All of the distortion devices he has created are to be used without a Marshall which there is no doubt he used. Again, otherwise he wouldn't need the power soak. This is a bit frustrating since the main question most guitar players would want to ask would be EXACTLY what equipment did you use to get that sound? And nobody asks that specific question. Maybe he added some kind of tone shaping magic into the Power Soak. He has mentioned compression without a brand name so maybe it was a compressor circuit he had designed the he used along with the amp. Could it be the kind o compression he uses in the Rockman? The bottom line is......I have no idea really exactly what he had in his basement studio. Until I talk to him (yeah right) or someone finally pins him down we're stuck with our assumptions.

 

But hey check this out. Supposedly it's one of the original power soaks.

 

https://reverb.com/item/7772478-scholz-prototype-power-soak-2-owned-by-barry-goudreau-formerly-of-boston

 

Very interesting. One of the pics shows the insides of the power soak. Check out that silver box in there. Could that be the secret? It says on top in the left hand corner

 

OL CONTROL SIGNAL PRESENT-INDICATOR.

 

I couldn't really make out the first letter but if it is O could it mean overload? Oh well. This was fun to explore. I always had a feeling (More Than A Feeling? (hah hah)) Tom was less than forth coming with his tone "secrets". But no matter how much I know (or don't know), I still haven't figured out how to get his sound without a special IR in the Helix (I have Glen Delaune's Boston patch that uses one). I revisit exploring his sound about once a year. Perhaps with these few new breadcrumbs it's time to try it again. I have an idea or two I'd like to try.

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14 minutes ago, brue58ski said:

Well I've looked long enough and can't find anything to confirm he used anything other than the power soak. I know he said devices (plural) in the video but everywhere else that I can find, he doesn't. I personally think he didn't use any kind of Rockman distortion. Why would he use the power soak if he already had devices to get that sound? All of the distortion devices he has created are to be used without a Marshall which there is no doubt he used. Again, otherwise he wouldn't need the power soak. This is a bit frustrating since the main question most guitar players would want to ask would be EXACTLY what equipment did you use to get that sound? And nobody asks that specific question. Maybe he added some kind of tone shaping magic into the Power Soak. He has mentioned compression without a brand name so maybe it was a compressor circuit he had designed the he used along with the amp. Could it be the kind o compression he uses in the Rockman? The bottom line is......I have no idea really exactly what he had in his basement studio. Until I talk to him (yeah right) or someone finally pins him down we're stuck with our assumptions.

 

But hey check this out. Supposedly it's one of the original power soaks.

 

https://reverb.com/item/7772478-scholz-prototype-power-soak-2-owned-by-barry-goudreau-formerly-of-boston

 

Very interesting. One of the pics shows the insides of the power soak. Check out that silver box in there. Could that be the secret? It says on top in the left hand corner

 

OL CONTROL SIGNAL PRESENT-INDICATOR.

 

I couldn't really make out the first letter but if it is O could it mean overload? Oh well. This was fun to explore. I always had a feeling (More Than A Feeling? (hah hah)) Tom was less than forth coming with his tone "secrets". But no matter how much I know (ro don't know), I still haven't figured out how to get his sound without a special IR in the Helix (I have Glen Delaune's Boston patch that uses one). I revisit exploring his sound about once a year. Perhaps with these few new breadcrumbs it's time to try it again. I have an idea or to I'd like to try.

 

Interesting stuff, and I agree, some of the interviews seem to be contradictory and I have not yet seen anything totally definitive on the subject yet. You're right, some interviewer needs to ask some very pointed questions. Not sure if this is a case of the chef not disclosing the family recipe or just inadequate reporting. I do think the compression he uses and his distinctive EQ curve as well as maybe the character of his power soak are part of the puzzle. I have an SR&D compressor module(half rack) and it makes a marked and noticeable contribution to getting a more Boston-like sound. As a matter of fact, each one of his modules you add  gets you predictably and discernibly closer to that sound.

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I can confirm that in 1977 at the Hartford Civic Center he was using much more than a couple of Marshall's and a power soak.   He had Rockman branded Cabinets (they were actually Marshall cabs originally with Rockman Stenciled on them).  There were Carver (before they were branded Rockman) amps in the rack.  

Not to belabor this topic, but... hey... it's fun stuff..  Here's a concert from 1979 where he's already using the Hyperspace pedal, maybe there are some shots of what else is on the floor in front him.   
 

 

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A few 'flies in the ointment':

 

A lot has been mentioned here about the soak, but I remember a GP mag interview around 1978 with Mr. Scholz where he talked a lot about the Echoplexes & how they were "cheesey- the heads, the electronics, everything". He implied in that interview that his sound had a lot to do with them as well. I know the Helix has a transistor tape delay model, admittedly I haven't delved into it very much but if I were going to start building a Boston preset I'd include that since the preamp circuit is a big part of its sound. 

 

The band I was in before this one had a guitarist who owned a Scholz soak (one of the first- he had inside contacts; I'll leave names out to respect privacy) that he used with a 50W Marshall stack & a Les Paul- he could sound like Jimmy Page, Dickey Betts, even Trower (with a Strat) but never sounded like Boston to my ears. 

 

It's interesting that years ago I was broke & had to modify my Rockman to use with a pedal & found one of the biggest tone shaping components- an LED! Makes sense, since a rectifier would only allow half of the signal to pass! Since then I've seen other stomp box fx that used LEDs- maybe his was the first. With all this talk about Hyper space pedals, EQs, etc. something as simple as an LED makes that much difference. 

 

 

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