Questions to ask Tom Scholz

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Guitarvamp
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Questions to ask Tom Scholz

Post by Guitarvamp »

Spawning from a different thread, what questions would you ask Tom Scholz if you had the chance. This is where we could get some detailed answers or inside information. What would you ask? Maybe we could compile an article/interview-worth of material.


- Tell us about the progression of the "Rockman distortion sound". I assume the original Rockman headphone was meaant to replicate an overdriven Marshall stack, and the 100 Sustainors were a natural expansion on that. I'd like to hear about the progression of the Sustainors, the Revision 19s and 20s, the Ultimatum, the Sustainor 2.0, and the general direction things were headed.

-Is there anything that SR&D missed out on or did not cover? (Effects, products, sounds/tones, etc)

-Is there any chance of marketing a Hyperspace Pedal yet?

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rbc
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Re: Questions to ask Tom Scholz

Post by rbc »

Thanks for starting this. It's a terrific idea!
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RockmanCentralBob
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Re: Questions to ask Tom Scholz

Post by RockmanCentralBob »

Guitarvamp wrote:-Is there any chance of marketing a Hyperspace Pedal yet?
I can answer this one for you... ZERO CHANCE!!!!

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rbc
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Re: Questions to ask Tom Scholz

Post by rbc »

The things I'd like to hear about are the clean 2, auto clean and the lead-leveler features first hand. Those particular features seemed to survive over multiple products. What problems did they solve? How were they different than the functionality provided by other guitar gear?
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RockmanCentralBob
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Re: Questions to ask Tom Scholz

Post by RockmanCentralBob »

rbc wrote:The things I'd like to hear about are the clean 2, auto clean and the lead-leveler features first hand. Those particular features seemed to survive over multiple products. What problems did they solve? How were they different than the functionality provided by other guitar gear?
Clean 2 was designed for use with different pickups, if I'm not mistaken.
Auto Clean was designed to boost the high frequencies as you pull back on volume since they normally would be lost first.
The Lead Leveler was designed to improve the response and attack when doing hammer-on's and pull-offs, trills and such.

Dale
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Re: Questions to ask Tom Scholz

Post by Dale »

I was under the impression that the auto clean was designed to replicate a cranked tube amps response /sound, when you roll back the volume on your guitar it cleans up when you add volume the gain kicks in.

RockmanCentralBob
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Re: Questions to ask Tom Scholz

Post by RockmanCentralBob »

Yes, of course. But the auto clean also boosts the highs as the signal level drops since they don't carry as well as the low frequencies. It's a delicate balance to achieve.

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Guitarvamp
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Re: Questions to ask Tom Scholz

Post by Guitarvamp »

Something that's been rolling around in my head the last few days.... the Sustainors were always under constant revision. Why? What didn't you like about the first version that needed fixing? All those revisions were leading towards something. What was it?

RockmanCentralBob
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Re: Questions to ask Tom Scholz

Post by RockmanCentralBob »

Guitarvamp wrote:Something that's been rolling around in my head the last few days.... the Sustainors were always under constant revision. Why? What didn't you like about the first version that needed fixing? All those revisions were leading towards something. What was it?
You have to remember that SR&D stands for "Scholz Research & Development". They were constantly researching and developing how to produce "great guitar sound". That was their mission statement. So I would say it's pretty obvious what they were shooting for... it was heading towards the Rev 20 and ultimately the Ultimatum, and probably beyond if they wouldn't have closed their doors.

Tom and the engineers were always trying to make them respond as good as, or better than, a real tube amp. So they tweaked the compressor to improve how it responds to hammer-on's and pull-offs, and we got the Lead Leveler. They wanted the amp to clean up from a nice crunch tone to sound just like the clean tone... hence improvements to the Auto Clean. They wanted the filtering to provide lots of definition and clarity, ie presence, with lots of gain on tap, so we got lot's of little tweaks in the Rev 20's filtering throughout. And for live performances (or digital recording), he wanted to have the natural compression and clipping effects of a super-saturated tape deck, so they came up with the Ultimatum "growl" circuit, which also adds some of the rawness you get from a tube amp.

All that aside, they were also a company in business to make money. So marketing needs something new every now and then to spur new sales and upgrades.

Dale
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Re: Questions to ask Tom Scholz

Post by Dale »

Over the last few months you built a 3rd hyperspace pedal. Did you make any improvements or major changes from the original.