Are rockmodules still worth buying?

A family of high-end analog DI and effects gear.
carl170
Posts: 31
Joined: Tue Mar 31, 2015 8:47 pm

Are rockmodules still worth buying?

Post by carl170 »

Hello all!

I previously owned an XP100, which I sold (to fund a plane ticket in 1996). I regret this immensely , probably more than any other piece of equipment or guitar I have ever owned. So I have been thinking about maybe putting a few rockmodules together. I have a Distortion Generator on the way, and have owned an X100 for about 25 years, so am wondering what to get next.

However, I keep thinking I must be mad to be buying 30 year old equipment in the age of profiling amps and modellers. Especially when I will probably end up spending a large chunk of money (more than a kemper, for instance).

I am assuming that any rockmodules I do buy will all need work, eg recapping etc. Is it possible that quite a few are on their last legs too?

Does it still make sense in this day and age, or am I letting nostaglia rule my head? Has anyone tried a modeller which sounded close to rockmodules?

I am very Interested in any feedback you can offer!

Regards

Carl
carl170
Posts: 31
Joined: Tue Mar 31, 2015 8:47 pm

Re: Are rockmodules still worth buying?

Post by carl170 »

Update - I also have an XPR coming. I just thought "what the hell - these never come along!" and bit the bullet.

Annoyingly there was an XP-100
on ebay a couple of months ago from the same seller, but I hope this will run a close second. I am going to try it through my amps and some ipod docks I have and see what it sounds like.

Regards

Carl
User avatar
rbc
Site Admin
Posts: 591
Joined: Sat Nov 23, 2013 10:01 pm
Location: Vicksburg MS, USA

Re: Are rockmodules still worth buying?

Post by rbc »

I think the Rockman gear is worthwhile. The Rockmodules are excellent. The small work of integrating them into the system that you need is easily worth the trouble. I'm surprised at how good un-refurbished Rockmodules sound. Re-furbishing is not that hard to come by. The XPR family is a slightly different story. They come to you as a completely programmable system, including clean and distortion modes, along with programmable EQ and chorus/echo. The tradeoff is that the XPR individual effects are simpler. It does have an effects loop though. That's my spin.
Keep rockman-gearup.com advertising free. Make a contribution: https://paypal.me/rockmangearup/5/
RockmanCentralBob
Posts: 414
Joined: Fri Feb 06, 2015 2:10 am

Re: Are rockmodules still worth buying?

Post by RockmanCentralBob »

It's really a tough call sometimes.

The Stereo Chorus and Stereo Echo modules really do sound very good, but damn they are expensive! And if you get them, then you usually end up needing a MIDI Octopus to control them. Then there's the Sustainor which really can sound very good, but it does have a unique tonal footprint. But just between these 4 modules, you are looking at $1,000 pretty easily. Add in a few of rack trays and a couple of EQ's, and you are coming up on $1,500 pretty quick. You can get a pretty nice Marshall JVM for that.

If you are strictly recording, then I would probably just get a Sustainor, and MAYBE a 12 band EQ for pre-distortion EQ'ing. I think any effects you need (including post EQ) can be added later with software and sound OK.
User avatar
Guitarvamp
Posts: 174
Joined: Fri Feb 28, 2014 1:02 am

Re: Are rockmodules still worth buying?

Post by Guitarvamp »

carl170 wrote: I am assuming that any rockmodules I do buy will all need work, eg recapping etc. Is it possible that quite a few are on their last legs too?
You'll find all stages of Rockmodules - sound/look almost brand new, has some wear, sounds ok, pretty beat up, sounds pretty nasty, to something that does not even work. Most I've experienced sound fine and look ok or better.
carl170 wrote: Does it still make sense in this day and age, or am I letting nostaglia rule my head? Has anyone tried a modeller which sounded close to rockmodules?
It depends on what you are after. Rockmans are pretty much a one-trick pony. They have a very unique sound, and are not very tonally flexible. If that's the sound you're after, then great. To my knowledge there are no modelling amps that can really duplicate the Rockman sound. That doesn't mean you can't.... Just nobody has yet. Again, one-trick pony, and do kids these days really desire that Boston tone? Maybe that's why it hasn't been modelled.


I do agree with Bob, too - starting off and just doing recording, I would get a Sustainor and an EQ (doesn't need to be a Rockman - just something with a 500Hz frequency). The XP series is a different beast than the modules. Some things are better, some things are worse. Different, that's all.
RockmanCentralBob
Posts: 414
Joined: Fri Feb 06, 2015 2:10 am

Re: Are rockmodules still worth buying?

Post by RockmanCentralBob »

One of the best mods for the XPR is the Compressor Bypass mod.
It ends up bypassing the pre-EQ bass and mid controls as well, but it makes the XPR DEAD quiet!
It also removes much of the mid range "honk" giving it a more "traditional" amp tone.

The XPRa I got from Fred Sampson (Marketing Manager for SR&D) had been modified by Cedro himself.
Cedro had been working on trying to add the Smart Gate to it as well, but unfortunately never got it done before I bought it.
It does have an additional mode PAST the mix setting which also bypasses the compressor AND gain stages.
This mod required not only circuit mods, but a modification to the software.
When in this mode, the top compressor LED and the top gain LED blink in unison indicating that those circuits are bypassed.
This is the unit I later added the Ultimatum "growl" circuit to, which sounds pretty incredible with the Compressor Bypass engaged.
Tons of gain, but no noise at all.