Darth Vader's melted helmet...

The Rockman stomp boxes, including the Ultimatum Distortion Generator and Acoustic Guitar Pedal.
Sunburst
Posts: 117
Joined: Sun Mar 30, 2014 12:46 am

Darth Vader's melted helmet...

Postby Sunburst » Sun Jul 30, 2017 7:52 pm

In a galaxy far, far away... there was rumored to be an Ultimatum preamp...
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Sunburst
Posts: 117
Joined: Sun Mar 30, 2014 12:46 am

Re: Darth Vader's melted helmet...

Postby Sunburst » Sun Jul 30, 2017 7:54 pm

And I found it!!!
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Sunburst
Posts: 117
Joined: Sun Mar 30, 2014 12:46 am

Re: Darth Vader's melted helmet...

Postby Sunburst » Sun Jul 30, 2017 7:55 pm

I acquired this rare piece of Rockman history a couple months ago from a client. He sold me a box of XP212 parts and I didn't think too much of it until I looked at the face plate and something was off (in a good way!):
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Sunburst
Posts: 117
Joined: Sun Mar 30, 2014 12:46 am

Re: Darth Vader's melted helmet...

Postby Sunburst » Sun Jul 30, 2017 7:57 pm

The effects loop was replaced with the ULTIMATUM circuit (GROWL) and the echo/reverb section was replaced with the AUTO CLEAN and SMART GATE! Could this be the fabled Ultimatum preamp?!? I was 99.9% sure I had found the most prized missing link of the Rockman collector's universe...
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Last edited by Sunburst on Mon Jul 31, 2017 12:09 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Sunburst
Posts: 117
Joined: Sun Mar 30, 2014 12:46 am

Re: Darth Vader's melted helmet...

Postby Sunburst » Sun Jul 30, 2017 8:08 pm

I had it sent to Dave Accomando (formerly of PSRR) to get his opinion. He confirmed that it appeared to be an Ultimatum preamp - we were both very excited! - but there was a problem with the fuse assembly so he initially could 't get it to power up. Also, the mother board and daughter board appeared to be stock XPR boards so it was unclear whether or not the existing circuits were re-purposed for the ULTIMATUM, AUTO CLEAN, and SMART GATE functions. It took several weeks for the required parts to arrive so I waited...

In the meantime, I contacted Bob Martyn (formerly of Rockman-Central) and he sent me a photo of the SR&D Ultimatum preamp from the never released next-generation Rockman literature. The face plate was a match! Getting closer...

I also contacted both Gary Pihl (of Boston) and Bob Cedro (formerly of SR&D, now Senior Engineer at MXR) and they confirmed that there was such a prototype made. It was supposed to be in the XP212 format (the XP212 frame came in the box of parts so that supported this assertion!). However, they were unsure if it ever actually worked as intended. But Bob said it was possible that the existing circuits were re-purposed...

Finally, the parts arrived and Dave got it working. But after testing it, he determined it was a non-functional mock-up; i.e., a stock XP preamp with a paper face plate graphics overlay like all SR&D PRE-PRODUCTION PROTOTYPES and reconfigured LEDs. Gary recalled that he must have put it together for a magazine photo shoot to show off the proposed next generation of Rockman products. So there you go!

We (Bruce was also in the loop!) kept this one a secret until we were sure whether or not it truly was the Ark of the Covenant, Holy Grail, Ring of Power, etc. of the Rockman collecting world. Unfortunately, it wasn't... at least not a functional one. But maybe more like Tom Schol... er, I mean Darth Vader's melted helmet!
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Last edited by Sunburst on Tue Aug 01, 2017 3:27 am, edited 10 times in total.

GuitarBuilder
Posts: 164
Joined: Sat Aug 30, 2014 7:14 pm

Re: Darth Vader's melted helmet...

Postby GuitarBuilder » Sun Jul 30, 2017 8:33 pm

Lovely story!

Fireful0
Posts: 103
Joined: Sat Feb 18, 2017 6:00 pm

Re: Darth Vader's melted helmet...

Postby Fireful0 » Sun Jul 30, 2017 9:27 pm

That is amazing!!!!!!!!

Ash517
Posts: 12
Joined: Mon Jul 31, 2017 6:14 pm

Re: Darth Vader's melted helmet...

Postby Ash517 » Mon Jul 31, 2017 6:23 pm

There's also an Ultimatum Distortion rack that Tom (and I assume Gary also) uses live. I found it in a picture from the Boston Facebook page.
Image
All this Ultimatum gear is adding to the list of SR&D equipment I wish had gotten released!
GEAR:
Rockman Guitar Ace (Dunlop)
Epiphone Les Paul Custom Pro (Alpine White)
Boss Katana 50
Rockman Sustainor 200 Rev 20 (borrowed)
Rockman Instrument Equalizer (borrowed)
Rockman Stereo Chorus (borrowed)
All borrowed gear is from my Dad :D

Sunburst
Posts: 117
Joined: Sun Mar 30, 2014 12:46 am

Re: Darth Vader's melted helmet...

Postby Sunburst » Tue Aug 01, 2017 3:34 am

Yes, thanks Ash517! I assume that's basically the Ultimatum pedal in a half rack form. But how dare Boston use a knob on a half rack module... I mean who does that?!?

:D

I haven't decided whether or not to attempt to mod the Ultimatum preamp mock-up into a truly working copy. Would obviously require adding the required circuits. I'm probably one of the few people who has enough Ulimatums to spare to do it, but I'm not sure it's worth the effort when the sound can easily be achieved with an Ultimatum pedal and/or A12-50 combo amp and several modules. Hmm...
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RockmanCentralBob
Posts: 151
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Re: Darth Vader's melted helmet...

Postby RockmanCentralBob » Tue Aug 01, 2017 11:56 am

Tom's rack mounted Ultimatum is still a bit of a mystery. Tad Madala said it looked like a spiders nest inside, with all the wiring going on. I asked Bob Cedro about it and it was kinda hard to describe. The knob controls a "series r" resistor which adjusts the growl level... how much raunch it adds. There-s also a button for selecting 2 different buffers. So I don't think it's simply a rack mounted footpedal, or if it is, it's been heavily modified.

Regardless, based on the latest photo's I've seen, it doesn't appear to be hooked up anymore.