11 Apr Breaking News: The Vega works! (Updated)
Another little update, just remind us of all of the importance of the Schaffer Vega:
In 1977 Angus was first introduced to the brand new technology of the wireless guitar system. The New York Palladium 1977 concert would be the very first time Angus would use the brand new wireless guitar transmitter. Before this, Angus was limited to the length of the guitar wire, so stage crew used to guide the guitar cable behind him during his audience walk about routine.
The very first system was a Schaffer-Vega diversity system, which was a bulky system, the transmitter was usually duct taped to Angus’ guitar to avoid any movement or disconnection from the guitar jack, at one point it possibly even being implanted into the cavity of his Gibson SG to help with stability of the unit during Angus’ wild stage antics. Angus would continue to use these systems for at least a decade or more. More recently, Angus (and Malcolm) have been using the Lectrosonics wireless guitar systems on stage.
Bon Scott told in an interview about his first encounter at the New York Palladium dressing room “I walked into the dressing room and there was Angus at one end playing his guitar and the amps at the other. No cords were connecting ’em! It was amazing to see. And Angus had this ‘Cheshire Cat’ grin all over his face and evil thoughts seemed to be going through his brain as to what havoc he could wreak with this evil little invention”….
Angus eagerly stated in an interview in 1977, “When we get back to Europe the first stop is gonna be London… No one will know what’s hit ’em!”
This is from – again – the official site. Every time I re-read these, some new info pops up into my mind.
Such as, for example: “at one point it possibly even being implanted into the cavity of his Gibson SG to help with stability of the unit during Angus’ wild stage antics.” As we were discussing on the comments.
And also, the fact that Angus used it for 10 or more years, thus making it 1977-1987 maybe longer? It would include the albums “Fly on The Wall” and “Blow Up Your Video”. Interesting. I was only able to recognize its influence until Flick of the Switch.
Tuesday the 12th of April, late afternoon, I will finally be able to start my own testing of all these theories. I think these are far more than theories already… 😉
SUPERB update: Reading the article, this is what Ken Schaffer personally stated regarding the compander/boost part. I think this says it all.
To your eyes now:
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Update: trying to kill time when I am off here, I decided I would do another search (google) for “Schaffer Vega” (with quotes).
Well, surprise surprise: found!
This is probably the BEST set of images and info I could ever find. LOTS of precious info for us. Please read and discuss if you would.
Images follow of the PDF found here:
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Update: Brother Jake (Jacob, “Headwhop26”) has made, published and sent me this; now, I woke up and seen it, after laughing and grinning for circa 15 minutes, I had to post it immediately. This will be the image to the new category “Laboratory” where we – the community – will post tricks, discoveries, attempts etc including this Vega thing. Jacob, you are inspiring brother! Thank you!!!!
Yes, you read that right. I’m in India right now, but just a lengthy phone call with Guido – the tech guy “father” of the Secret-1 – and he was thrilled and excited to let me know that… The Cetec-Vegas that I gave him to fix and make work… Work, and as intended!
I just heard some on the phone and was blown away. Naturally it’ll be my pleasure to test them upon my return on the 12th of April and I’m already counting the days.
More good news though: it works as I had hypothesized. There is a boost right away on the transmitter followed by a compander (compressor) and the signal gets sent (boost first, compressor second). On the receiver, there is an expander – WITH THE OPTION OF BEING SWITCHED OFF, LEAVING THE COMPRESSED SIGNAL ON and YES, COMPRESSION AMOUNT CAN BE REGULATED, TOO! – THEN comes another boost but this last boost uses a power transformer to be activated! This last stage only can add a boost up to +20db (can be set to -20, 0, +20db). This last stage also “cleans” the white noise.
All these additional regulations are performed from Inside. It was NOT so on the original Schaffer Vega for guitar, UNTIL a cheaper version came out more affordable one or two years later! Circuitry is the same.
As you can already see, there is a rather complex signal path in the transmitter-receiver.
The additional surprise is that… I may have a prototype for us to try made by Guido when I’m back, to test along with my original units.
I don’t want to be here; I want o be in my lab right now, where I belong.
You may think “Fil, don’t you think it is a bit bold to go just out and say that “the circuitry is the same”?
It is, sorry. However, I have this to show you:
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Read the description that comes with it, the almost unreadable (but after all, readable) underneath:
It says that “the only difference between the B&T – maybe, same unit as this Cetec Vega DIversity – and the more expensive Schaffer Vega is that it requires a few minutes of your time to do a soundcheck”.
Well, I think that these few minutes of our time are due to the controls – not accesible on the outside, but on the inside – that regulate boost and compression (the two boosts and the compander-expander). While the boost on the transmitter is accessible from the outside as well, the compander-expander controls may have been present on the original Schaffer Vega. The ONLY existing picture I have ever seen of the original Schaffer Vega is this one:
All of the above turned out untrue: the only difference between the B&T and the original SVDVS (Schaffer Vega Diversity System) was that the B&T was not a “Diversity” system, i.e., it did NOT have dual antennas on the receiver, just one. So there was “just” one receiver inside the receiving unit, bringing the cost a lot down. This is the only difference!
Additionally, I was able to find a way better picture of an original SVDVS and posted it up at the top of the article 🙂
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See if you can make out any detail. I need eye glasses lol
This is instead the front panel of “our” Cetec Vega current Diversity system, reposted for you to make out possible differences (number of knobs, etc.):
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Please note that all of the three units I bought, are “microphone” wireless units. This meaning, that they can not be used with guitar until they are modified. What I know of the modification for now – talking about it quickly over the phone with Guido – is that he “added” a converter on the transmitter, that is, a “Plug” that plugs into the microphone input that has little pins that allows for 1/4 input guitar jack.
Additionally, he may have brought the signal from “mic type” to “guitar input” type. Not sure of differences in resistance and things like that. He however did the modification, and they are playing successfully the guitar in their laboratory with it.
The addition of the converter/plug for guitar on the outside of the unit (i.e., the converter “protruding” out of the transmitter, to let you slide in the 1/4 jack) was necessary, as I had also opened the transmitter for curiosity and had verified that there is NO room to fit internally a 1/4 input jack; it would hit the internal components of the transmitter.