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Thread: One Tom Scholz/Boston pedal/effect?

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    Ultimate Tone Member Diminished Triad's Avatar
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    Default One Tom Scholz/Boston pedal/effect?

    Is there one that gets the sound closer/closest to the famous Boston sound from '76ish? More Than A Feeling and songs from Boston of that time? Their first two albums were the best, IMO. I know Scholz designed and sold various rockman effects but looking for one addition available today that will help cultivate that Boston sound/tone. Thanks!

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    Default Re: One Tom Scholz/Boston pedal/effect?

    .
    Last edited by dazzlindino; 07-13-2013 at 10:38 AM.

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    Ultimate Tone Member Diminished Triad's Avatar
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    Default Re: One Tom Scholz/Boston pedal/effect?

    Quote Originally Posted by Funkfingers View Post
    The other essential ingredient was analogue tape. You have to deliberately saturate the signal on the multi-track recorder.
    I remember reading about this fact in the late 70's and when digital recorders became popular in recording studios. Scholz explained that while his CD's were AAD, most others were either ADD (mixed and duplicated in digital) or even DDD(digital recording, digital mixing and duplication). In the meantime, looking for the one step to take to get a little of that tone!

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    Mojo's Minions JeffB's Avatar
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    Default Re: One Tom Scholz/Boston pedal/effect?

    If you already have a decent analog chorus, and tape echo/emulator, find an old half rack scholz Distortion Generator (I think that was the name). I used one for a while BITD. Sounds much better than the standard rockmans did.
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    Slam Dunk da Funk Funkfingers's Avatar
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    Default Re: One Tom Scholz/Boston pedal/effect?

    +1

    The SR&D rackmount products were a cut above the regular battery-powered lines. Still sounded artificial to my ears, though.

    The British-made Rockman rack clone - the Nomad Axxeman - was pretty interesting, if you can find one where you are.

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    Ultimate Tone Member Diminished Triad's Avatar
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    Default Re: One Tom Scholz/Boston pedal/effect?

    Didn't know there was a British clone but will look, thanks!
    I'll also see if can find some of Jeff B's recommendations.

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    Default Re: One Tom Scholz/Boston pedal/effect?

    Part of Scholtz' sound was using one of the old blue MXR 10-band EQs. He would run one slider all the way up, the next all the way down, alternating each slider. Crazy...but it worked! And as I recall, he used a Goldtop Les Paul with a neck P-90 and a Super Distortion in the bridge.

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    Default Re: One Tom Scholz/Boston pedal/effect?

    As I recall, the sound of the first Boston album was cranked Marshalls. Scholz developed that half-rack Distortion Generator (if that was what it was called, I also don't remember) to replicate those sounds at a lower level, and he used it on the subsequent Boston albums. They were very popular for a while, I remember Pete Townsend using one during his solo-album days, I saw a concert from that period on TV (he was playing a Tele), and it sounded great. Might be hard to find, though, and I would guess expensive since they are no longer made.

    In regard to the MXR 6-band EQ, I thought I remembered him saying he set the sliders in an upwards "V" shape (basically boosting the mids) with the Marshalls. I have one of the old ones, and setting it that way can give you a great boost to any amp. IMO the old MXR 6-band EQ's are better than the Dunlop reissues, I found one on Ebay for a decent price after searching for a while. I think he stopped using the EQ after he brought out the preamp unit, as it was capable of getting the same boosted sound.

    Al
    Last edited by Zombiwoof; 07-14-2013 at 09:25 AM.

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    Default Re: One Tom Scholz/Boston pedal/effect?

    Power Soak
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    A Colled One & A Rold One!!!

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    Default Re: One Tom Scholz/Boston pedal/effect?

    Are you guys serious?

    The ORIGINAL Boston sounds - a combination of flaming MArshalls, compression, judicious EQ, and of course, awesome chorus. Yes - they were all analogue.

    Scholz did not want to go through the hassle and as such created the Rockman, and the RAck units. The racks had more adjustable parameters than the Rockman, but were still not what you would call "supremely tweakable"

    MANY bands, particularly metal, ran into a Rockman and then straight to the board. MAny studios used Rockman Rack mounts. Again - while cliche now, that sound was AMAZING at the time.
    Quote Originally Posted by jon the art guy View Post
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    Default Re: One Tom Scholz/Boston pedal/effect?

    Quote Originally Posted by Aceman View Post
    Are you guys serious?

    The ORIGINAL Boston sounds - a combination of flaming MArshalls, compression, judicious EQ, and of course, awesome chorus. Yes - they were all analogue.

    Scholz did not want to go through the hassle and as such created the Rockman, and the RAck units. The racks had more adjustable parameters than the Rockman, but were still not what you would call "supremely tweakable"

    MANY bands, particularly metal, ran into a Rockman and then straight to the board. MAny studios used Rockman Rack mounts. Again - while cliche now, that sound was AMAZING at the time.
    I'm old enough to remember how, after the Rockman came out, every commercial, movie soundrack and TV show with a prominent lead guitar sounded the same. A pal of mine had one, and I used to record on an old Fostex 4 track (the one that used standard cassettes). The Rockman was amazing, plug straight in and you sounded "professional".

    Ah, memories (or at least sort-of memories, if you know what I mean).

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    Default Re: One Tom Scholz/Boston pedal/effect?

    ^^ In fact, I can hear that sound right now, my old Charvel Model 1 with an active pickup and a cheesy Jackson floyd: "Rowwrrrr, waaah, diddle diddle, squeal, BWAHHH wahhh wahhh...."

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    Default Re: One Tom Scholz/Boston pedal/effect?

    Meh..rockmans sounded great playing through headphones for practice OR when Tom used them..i.e. Third Stage.....everybody else sounded like processed cheese whiz with them.....overused cliche 80s crap tone..., which got replaced in the late 80s by another processed sounding cheese whiz box (ADA MP1)

    The OP asked for ONE piece that would get him there..the Distortion generator kicks the crap out of the standard rockmans in getting the base tone. A good echo and analog chorus is the easy part...
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    Mojo's Minions Kosh Naranek's Avatar
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    Default Re: One Tom Scholz/Boston pedal/effect?

    If I had to recommend just one effect to get in the ballpark of Tom Scholz's tone on the first Boston album, it would be a parametric EQ.
    I remember having an Ibanez parametric EQ (it was one effect in the UE-405 unit which also had their chorus, analog delay and compressor built into it) back in the 80's. I was able to get that Boston low mid boost tone by boosting around 400-600Hz.
    The rest of the recipe is nothing mysterious. A Les Paul with a high output humbucker and a British voiced tube amp. On some leads on the first album, it sounds like he kicked in an overdrive or fuzz in front of an overdriven Marshall to get some extra sustain and crunch.

    I have a couple of the half rack Rockman Sustainor preamps. They are still out there, and probably pretty cheap these days. I mostly use them for clean tones, because they can get that 80's glassy clean tone. The distortion on those and other Rockman units has the signature lower mid bump, but it is also very solid state sounding.
    I don't know what Scholz used on the second Boston album. It kinda sounds like he was still using Marshalls. But I know on the third album, the tone sounded quite different and he was obviously using his solid state preamp modules.
    Last edited by Kosh Naranek; 07-15-2013 at 04:59 AM.
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    Ultimate Tone Member post toastie's Avatar
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    Default Re: One Tom Scholz/Boston pedal/effect?

    in 1979 i had a Foxx brand combination wah/volume pedal that sounded exactly like Tom Scholz. i called it my Boston Box.

    problem was that the volume portion was wired backwards...pulling the pedal up gave more volume and down gave less volume. as you can imagine, for that reason i didn't use it much and eventually destroyed it while trying to fix that little glitch.

    but i will say, that if you can find one, you will sound exactly like Boston. just cock the wah til you achieve Boston. the float of the pedal was very stiff, too. it would stay in the position that you leave it in.

    it was most similar to this one (red badge), http://www.studio1525.com/store/inde...u5p5asj182grg1 but it did not have an external knob, nor did it have fuzz as some other models do.
    Last edited by post toastie; 07-15-2013 at 06:01 AM.

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    Senior Member LTF's Avatar
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    Default Re: One Tom Scholz/Boston pedal/effect?

    Quote Originally Posted by Diminished Triad View Post
    Is there one that gets the sound closer/closest to the famous Boston sound from '76ish? More Than A Feeling and songs from Boston of that time? Their first two albums were the best, IMO. I know Scholz designed and sold various rockman effects but looking for one addition available today that will help cultivate that Boston sound/tone. Thanks!
    An MXR 6-Band EQ (new or vintage) set like this:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Mxr_Settings.jpeg 
Views:	68 
Size:	13.0 KB 
ID:	44611

    Into a Marshall Plexi-type circuit.

    It's the 800Hz fader jacked up high that emulates the "cocked-wah" thing others have mentioned.

    For more info on Rockman and Tom Scholz, go here:

    http://www.rockman.fr/Menu/Menu.htm


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    Ultimate Tone Member Diminished Triad's Avatar
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    Default Re: One Tom Scholz/Boston pedal/effect?

    Quote Originally Posted by LTF View Post
    An MXR 6-Band EQ (new or vintage) set like this:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Mxr_Settings.jpeg 
Views:	68 
Size:	13.0 KB 
ID:	44611

    Into a Marshall Plexi-type circuit.

    It's the 800Hz fader jacked up high that emulates the "cocked-wah" thing others have mentioned.

    For more info on Rockman and Tom Scholz, go here:

    http://www.rockman.fr/Menu/Menu.htm
    Tom Scholz sold off the entire line or company too? I know the headphone Rockmans are made today (have one myself as do other members of my band). Do they/anyone make the rest of the products today? Thanks!

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    Ultimate Tone Member Diminished Triad's Avatar
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    Default Re: One Tom Scholz/Boston pedal/effect?

    Which power soak/attentuator works best? Electro-Harmonix Nano Signal Pad Attenuator Guitar Effects Pedal is under $50......the rest run in the hundreds of dollars.
    Thanks.....

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    Default Re: One Tom Scholz/Boston pedal/effect?

    "Scalloped & Stickered"
    A Colled One & A Rold One!!!

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    Senior Member LTF's Avatar
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    Default Re: One Tom Scholz/Boston pedal/effect?

    The Scholz Power Soak is simply a power attenuator (one of the earliest available on the market)... no different in usage than a THD HotPlate, etc...

    Here is a rough clip I did a while back utilizing the MXR 6-Band (set as above), a Plexi-circuit amp and some shorter delay (200-300ms)... some of the solo from "Hitch A Ride":

    http://soundclick.com/share.cfm?id=12242485

    And "Foreplay / Long Time" rough clip:

    http://soundclick.com/share.cfm?id=12242483

    The mids in Boston are typically "honky" - hence the 800Hz boost... it's all about the EQ.

    IIRC the first two albums were done with cranked Marshalls and the EQing, etc...; "Third Stage" was done with Rockman gear.
    Last edited by LTF; 07-16-2013 at 10:15 AM.


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