Def Leppard Hysteria

The definitive headphone guitar amp.
sammy777
Posts: 11
Joined: Tue Jun 02, 2020 10:03 am

Def Leppard Hysteria

Post by sammy777 »

Def Leppard's Hysteria is one of my favorite albums of all time, and I think I'm not alone for having discovered Rockman gear through it. In a forum post linked to below, Mike Shipley who was engineer on the album talks a bit about its use. Some key quotes:

"We tried the "Rockman"..which only really had one sound..as it was a very cheap box so we got in contact with Tom Scholz and asked him to modify the sound for us. So he sent us a version of the box that ZZTOP had been using on all their records and it was spot on for us also."

"we could open it up and turn the chorus and reverb off.....and Tom made the distortion different for ours"

So it seems this was definitely a headphone amp, which sounds right for the year of the recording sessions which would have started before the more advanced models came out. Anyone have any ideas or guesses on what modifications Tom may have done for them?

Original forum thread:

https://www.gearslutz.com/board/high-en ... teria.html
eicca
Posts: 85
Joined: Sun Oct 08, 2017 1:26 am

Re: Def Leppard Hysteria

Post by eicca »

Tom most likely installed switches to disable the chorus and echo independently, as well as minor tweaks to the clipping and EQ.

Mike didn’t mention this in that thread, but it’s also widely believed that DL used another device called the Rock Box by JHS, which was one of many Rockman clones to pop up around that time.

The JHS Rock Box was also sold as the Phonic Rock Box and Nobels Sound Studio. I had the Nobels one for a bit. Similar sound to the Rockman, and it has independent chorus/echo controls as standard, plus and effects loop and adjustable compressor, but takes some extra processing to get a decent tone out of it. Every so often I think I can detect the Rock Box in the album but I’m not totally sure...
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RockmanCentralBob
Posts: 394
Joined: Fri Feb 06, 2015 2:10 am

Re: Def Leppard Hysteria

Post by RockmanCentralBob »

My understanding is that they used the Metal Ace circuit.
I'll see if I can find out for sure....
eicca
Posts: 85
Joined: Sun Oct 08, 2017 1:26 am

Re: Def Leppard Hysteria

Post by eicca »

RockmanCentralBob wrote:
Mon Nov 23, 2020 7:42 pm
My understanding is that they used the Metal Ace circuit.
I'll see if I can find out for sure....
That sounds right, and IIRC there were rumors that the Metal Ace was used on Adrenalize. I could easily be wrong though.
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