The Boston Marshall Rig, recreated

The equipment produced by SR&D has a very close relationship with the band Boston and its music. This is the place for discussing Boston.
eicca
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The Boston Marshall Rig, recreated

Post by eicca » Mon Jan 15, 2018 8:00 am

I don't know if anyone will ever 100% break the code, but I feel like I've definitely cracked it.

I think the secret is the Power Soak. Tom would attenuate the Marshall and then feed the signal through more EQs before going into another amp head and then to a speaker cab. This explains why there are amp heads all over the stage on their 70s tours. Everything Tom did was about control over the tone, and the Power Soak allowed him to EQ places that were previously un-EQ-able. If volume was his only concern I'm sure he would have done something easier like lock the Marshall in a room filled with foam.

Video here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e7uSJW66Y1A

Logic/Mainstage patch here (no extra processing needed! Plug your guitar into your Mac and go!):
https://drive.google.com/open?id=1KOVg4 ... qTlUlSUqCx
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Fireful0
Posts: 183
Joined: Sat Feb 18, 2017 6:00 pm

Re: The Boston Marshall Rig, recreated

Post by Fireful0 » Mon Jan 15, 2018 6:51 pm

I gotta admit, it is REALLY REALLY SUPER close.
I might be wrong, and there is a big potential I am, but after listening to "Rock and Roll Band", Boston's MIGHT have a bit more bass in it and just SLIGHTLY less mids?
Like I said, I could be wrong, though.
Every wah is different, whether it be irl, or software, so that might be what I am hearing that could add a VERY SLIGHT difference.
I am in by means an early Boston pro. :lol:
Either way, CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!!
It sounds incredible!

eicca
Posts: 49
Joined: Sun Oct 08, 2017 1:26 am

Re: The Boston Marshall Rig, recreated

Post by eicca » Mon Jan 15, 2018 7:06 pm

Fireful0 wrote:I gotta admit, it is REALLY REALLY SUPER close.
I might be wrong, and there is a big potential I am, but after listening to "Rock and Roll Band", Boston's MIGHT have a bit more bass in it and just SLIGHTLY less mids?
Like I said, I could be wrong, though.
Every wah is different, whether it be irl, or software, so that might be what I am hearing that could add a VERY SLIGHT difference.
I am in by means an early Boston pro. :lol:
Either way, CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!!
It sounds incredible!
Thanks! And you are correct. I decided after the video to swap the wah for a parametric EQ. It's much less spiky and has more natural warmth so it sounds even more like the album.

Either Tom's wah was less potent, or the wah pedal was what he said he did when he actually used the EQ for more control.
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Fireful0
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Re: The Boston Marshall Rig, recreated

Post by Fireful0 » Mon Jan 15, 2018 7:19 pm

eicca wrote: Thanks! And you are correct. I decided after the video to swap the wah for a parametric EQ. It's much less spiky and has more natural warmth so it sounds even more like the album.

Either Tom's wah was less potent, or the wah pedal was what he said he did when he actually used the EQ for more control.
Gotcha! In my experience with wahs, I have always found that they really kill the signal and frequencies very quickly.
Tom always seemed to be an EQ sort of guy, too. :lol:
Looking at Tom's old pedalboard, thanks to RockmanCentralBob, I don't see a wah. All I see is the hyperspace pedal on the far right.
(Unless of course, that is the wah, and I am losing it) :lol:

eicca
Posts: 49
Joined: Sun Oct 08, 2017 1:26 am

Re: The Boston Marshall Rig, recreated

Post by eicca » Mon Jan 15, 2018 7:22 pm

Fireful0 wrote:
eicca wrote: Thanks! And you are correct. I decided after the video to swap the wah for a parametric EQ. It's much less spiky and has more natural warmth so it sounds even more like the album.

Either Tom's wah was less potent, or the wah pedal was what he said he did when he actually used the EQ for more control.
Gotcha! In my experience with wahs, I have always found that they really kill the signal and frequencies very quickly.
Tom always seemed to be an EQ sort of guy, too. :lol:
Looking at Tom's old pedalboard, thanks to RockmanCentralBob, I don't see a wah. All I see is the hyperspace pedal on the far right.
(Unless of course, that is the wah, and I am losing it) :lol:
You're correct again. By the time Boston was touring, Tom was using a Moog 3-band rack-mounted equalizer.
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rbc
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Location: Vicksburg MS, USA

Re: The Boston Marshall Rig, recreated

Post by rbc » Wed Jan 17, 2018 1:13 am

Taylor, that's an amazing bit of sleuthing you did. It makes sense that the cabinet was saved for last. The -32db position on the Power Soak volume knob would tame the output of the Marshall down to where it could be EQ'd and sent to another amp. The second amp powered the cabinet, so the shaping provided by the cabinet was the last thing in the chain. Thanks for the video!
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RockmanCentralBob
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Re: The Boston Marshall Rig, recreated

Post by RockmanCentralBob » Wed Jan 17, 2018 2:04 am

Or not.....

Remember, Tom's Power Soak was not the one's he sold.... those came later (around 1981).

Based on my research, he likely used it to record using a mic for his speaker cabinet and also to record direct (with significant post procssing before the board, probably using EQ's as an early cab sim).

Tom has always been WAY ahead of his time.... he did things in 60's and 70's that some manufactures are only now catching up to. Personally, I think he's really from the future and those Rock and Roll powered spaceships are the real deal, and can do time travel as well!

eicca
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Joined: Sun Oct 08, 2017 1:26 am

Re: The Boston Marshall Rig, recreated

Post by eicca » Wed Jan 17, 2018 2:11 am

RockmanCentralBob wrote:Or not.....

Hehehehe yeeeeaaaah..... ;)
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Fireful0
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Joined: Sat Feb 18, 2017 6:00 pm

Re: The Boston Marshall Rig, recreated

Post by Fireful0 » Wed Jan 17, 2018 6:25 am

From what I have seen, a ton of guitarists used power attenuators to modify their tone.
Even EVH was doing it back in the days when he was using a Marshall himself.
I honestly think that a power attenuator could have been part of the recording process, but I don't think Boston would have used it on the road, as they would need as much volume as possible. :)

As previously stated, I don't know much about the Marshall era of Boston, as I was never quite fond of the tone, as I prefer the Rockman lineup, but a power attenuator, whether Tom's "Power Soak" or some other form, could definitely be a viable theory.

RockmanCentralBob
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Re: The Boston Marshall Rig, recreated

Post by RockmanCentralBob » Wed Jan 17, 2018 10:42 pm

EVH used a variac to lower the voltage powering his amp, thus creating the "brown sound".

Tom.used the Power Soak to soak up volume before it got the the speakers. And yes, he did use it on tour.