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House of Rock

13 Nov The “Mystery” of AC/DC “Let There Be Rock” tone solved?

How’s everyone doing? Been away for some time, but back we are.

I *think* I “solved” this one as well. How arrogant of me!
Though I am not an arrogant individual (I hope you folks know me a bit by now 🙂 ).

But chatter apart, I remember some debate about the nature of the guitar(s) sound of AC/DC 1977 album “Let There Be Rock”.
I remember several hypothesis, of amps, boosts etc.
Roe had suggested – for example – that it may be an older Marshall and a treble boost.
I tried that route extensively, but it never satisfied me.

So I figured out eventually why it does sound so special and “raw”. It is – and now that I say, some of you – the interested ones – might “Gee, should’ve though myself about this” because it really is that simple: go back to it some, and listen to it some again.
Do you hear… solid state distortion as well as tube distortion? Yes you do. And do you know why? Because the mic preamp has gone into considerate, conscious (wanted) distortion while tracking. It was meant as an effect and seemingly, it worked out.
It was Marshall 2203s with no boost of any kind, just brand new 2203s (for the time, 1977) with Neumann U47 FETs fed into distortion into the mic preamp of the (I think Neve) console.
That’s it. I have video(s) ready to post, will do so shortly.
I have a very close match and if you think about it some, you’ll agree that it isn’t a strange combination at all.
Both the brothers had always stated that with the exception of Angus on a Schaffer Vega Diversity (that wasn’t there until August of that same year, 1977, so not there at the time of the recording of this studio album) on most of the following album and stage shows, no effect of any kind has ever been used.

They did say the truth after all. Not that I’d ever doubt, but it’s nice to have a sort of “sonic, sound” proof of this once more.


(PS posting videos soon)

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11 Nov Spot the SVDS! Update: SVDS found in LTBR movie!

Begin Update
Our member Dries found the Schaffer-Vega Diversity System in the “Let there be Rock” movie, filmed in Paris 9th December 1979.
It has been always told that Angus was cabled during this legendary show, but thanks to Dries now we actually see a Schaffer-Vega Diversity System there:


And a modified version of this image, brighten up, gamma correction and another gamma correction run on the SVDS area:

This opens a whole new field of questions for us. The unit is definitely switched on. Why leave a device running when its not in use?
Did it break right before the show and went left running but unused?
Or did the transmitter had a problem and they placed it right next to the receiver and plugged a guitar cable into the transmitter?

What do you think?

Fil and I decided to reward member Dries for this spectacular finding with two solodallas.com T-Shirts. Many thanks, mate!

End Update

As promised, here we go: You found an original Schaffer-Vega Diversity System in a video or picture?
Like this one below?


Just post the link here in the comments, so we have them all together in one place.

I’ll start with a finding from member Emplexador, Jeff Lynne and ELO. Gibson LP through Marshalls

ELO, June 1978 Wembley – SVDS @ 0:41 and 2:13:

ELO, 1978 Osaka, Japan – SVDS @ 1:48:

And some more great findings from member Emplexador:

Bob Seger, San Diego, CA 1978 – SVDS RECEIVER @ 2:18

Bob Seger, Largo, Maryland 1980 – SVDS @ 1:00 and 2:03
(Very close caption of the transmitter! Uploader disabled embedding, please click on link to play)


Good one where you can appreciate the newfound freedom of movement from SVDS. Heart at Ontario Motor Speedway, California, March 1978.

SVDS transmitters throughout and receivers 0:42, 0:47, 1:10+

And finally, Angus was found too, again by Member Emplexador:

Angus Young, Apollo Theatre, Glasgow, Scotland. April 30, 1978. SVDS x10 transmitter located at bottom of strap. 720p HD

Angus Young, ”Veronika – Countdown”, Rijnhal, Arnhem, Holland. July 13, 1979. SVDS x10 transmitter located top of strap (above shoulder). 720p HD

Angus Young, Apollo Theatre, Glasgow, Scotland. April 30, 1978. 720p HD, clear views of encased x10 transmitter starting @ 1:35

And more findings by Member Emplexador:
Nile Rodgers playing his lucite strat. Pouch mounted SVDS x10 TX @ 2:05

Rolling Stones, Movie “Let’s spend the night together”, SVDS x10 transmitters used by Keith, Ronnie and Mick (18:41)
(Screenshot/Movie not included due to copyright, but I saw it)

Found by Member rugster:
Piece of Angus’ cream colored X10 transmitter visible taped to Guitar strap near guitar from “Let there be Rock” movie, the scene where each band member comes out of the caravan:
(Though Angus did NOT use the SVDS in the gig they filmed due it needed repair)

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