It’s The Vega, Baby! (FIRST VEGA TEST)

13 Apr It’s The Vega, Baby! (FIRST VEGA TEST)

Still learning here.

With this one, I took away some more TX level. I realized it was too much on the arpeggio piece-thing in the middle of the song: my picking hand was too noisy because of the excess compression.

You see, this thing works as follow: there is a compressor on the TX; and an expander on the RX.

The expander is set to a given level of expansion. If you compress a lot on the TX via the “sensitivity” knob, only some compression will be expanded in the RX, this resulting in evident compression. At times, maybe too much.

So I am thinking that probably all of the earlier ones had too much compression. Tomorrow going to re-play them all and see what happens.

When you roll off some sensitivity on the TX, some boost is taken away though. So you have to “compensate” adding more boost on the RX. In this way, they are “interactive”.

For this piece boost on the front RX was at 1 o’ clock.

One thing that I haven’t tried yet, and will try tomorrow, is to keep TX low and add a lot of boost (maybe even max) on the RX.

Shoot To Thrill Vega


While messing around, I said, “why not try everything at full?”. TX same as before though; front boost full.

Marshall volume 10.

Guitar 10. By the way, for “You Shook Me All Night Long” and this Back in Black Solo, I have used the ’69 custom with the AY signature pickup.

Ain’t it lovely? It is. And it demonstrates that t-tops ARE replaceable.

Also, “so much for tone is in the hands”. Without the Vega, NO ONE, not even Angus, could replay this stuff this way.

Listen to the sustain of the notes. I have been thinking for YEARS that it was because the amp was fully blasted. I was wrong. It’s the Vega.

Back in Black Solo VEGA




I’m learning how to use this thing.

I took out some TX sensitivity, and increased the monitor boost. After talking to Guido – now the ONLY tech in the world who is reverse engineering schematics of my Vegas an teaching me how it is made, he told me that – not surprisingly – the Monitor Boost on the RX and the sensitivity on the TX interact.

How wonderful is this?

I also raised slightly the amp’s volume, now at 5.

Guitar: rhythm 7, solo 10. As simple as this.

You Shook Me All Night Long.

Enjoy. We deserve it.

You Shook Me Vega


Well well well well…. it is IT!

End of it all. It WAS the Vega. It WAS!!!


After two weeks of dreaming, while sweating myself to bits in the Indian hot climate, and ten hou trip yesterday, I woke up this morning at 4 dot something AM not resisting to try it. But I had to really hold on to a couple of hours ago to really test it.

ONLY partial testing so far: I could not test the back panel boost (+20db) because I do not have an XLR to 1/4 Jack cable. Damn.

But you now what, my main interest was for the front panel anyways.

This thing works like a charm. I say again: it’s wonderful.

It has A LOT of different possible settings, and it took me a while to record this first test, with:


– Vega transmitter

– Vega Receiver

– one 1976 Marshall 1959

– one 4x12B cab with G12H30s (not sure if these are the right speakers yet)

– one “run of the mill” 1969 Gibson SG Standard.

That’s all.


NOW, the fun part comes from the settings you have on the TX (transmitter, from now on) and RX (Receiver, from now on).

Actually, one only knob on TX and one only knob on RX.

On the TX (see picture) you have a sort of “sensitivity” knob. In this demo, it’s put to the max (and I am not sure this is the perfect setting for BiB).

On the RX, you have a “Monitor Ouput Volume” knob, which can boost the HELL of the input of an Amp (“You can give a guitar hell”, someone said, and he was right!).

Both are extremely sensitive and whatever you set them to (the Volume boost on the TX was set to 11 o’ clock) your guitar and amp will react differently!

Now hear this, the 1959 is at 4. Treble 5, mids 3, bass 8, presence 0.

My equalization curve had to be reduced in effect (i.e., I had to REMOVE boost of frequencies) because the Vega really boosts and adds its own tone (which is what you hear here).

LOTS more mids!

Now hear this: when you put the guitar to 10, FULL, the high freqs crash onto themselves and the bass ones come out fully. THAT IS HOW ANGUS has been having his solo tone in the years 1979 (at least)- 1987 (circa).

As you roll off the guitar volume knob, some bass is lost and mods/treble are added. So weird. There IS compression (especially with the TX set to full). Guitars cleans up nicely.

I am SO excited I can’t even write.

This demo audio test was recorded with a single condenser microphone thrown in almost by chance. Back in Black “tone” seems so much easier to get. Which is exactly what I was hoping/expecting.

Not even two mikes, just one.


Final note: please do not expect this to sound 100% like the record YET. I am not sure of the TX and RX settings.

This super quick test was “just” to demnostrate that the general “texture” of this tone was done this way, and I think it’s now 100% sure.

Also, the whole thing was done in one single take, same eq settings, same everything. I just raised the guitar knob to 10 for the solos and back to 7-8ish for rhythm. Pretty dramatic result I’d say.


Don’t you think?




Fil! 😀


Back in Black VEGA TEST

Fil "SoloDallas" Olivieri

We Are Rock 'N Roll People.

  • avatar
    Posted at 12:45h, 19 April

    Sorry about the stupid question, but I’m back from vacation, and couldn’t read the comments there… Do u use our boost-pedal and compression-pedal in combination with the Vega? Or only the Vega?

  • avatar
    Posted at 10:26h, 17 April


    an der offenen Gitarre. Sorry für nix schreiben hier, ich bin freizeitmässig momentan einfach total mit dem Gitarrenkram und der Mitarbeit an solodallas.net ausgelastet. Aber jetzt, am Sonntag Morgen, nehm ich mir jetzt endlich mal Zeit, hier auch mal …

  • avatar
    Posted at 00:51h, 16 April

    I need one of these things, BAD!!.. I work right around the corner from Ken Schaffer’s appartment. I’m going to go knock on his door and ask, “Mr Schaffer, you wouldn’t happen to have any of those old Schaffer-Vega Diversity Units laying around in a closet somewhere.” I read that you had to buy the units directly from the Schaffer Group. Maybe he has the schematic to the unit laying around somewhere with the parts list.. You never know.. KIRK

  • avatar
    Posted at 08:10h, 15 April

    Man, the more I listen to your tracks the more I want one myself…getting GAS’ed again, argh! 😀

    • avatar
      Posted at 08:26h, 15 April

      I know bro’. I think I am going to nail this with the replica. 😀

      • avatar
        Posted at 08:37h, 15 April

        Now I really cant wait…have this intro in my ears all the time…and when I got it, I’ll take some free days and rock my ass off 😀

        • avatar
          Posted at 09:40h, 15 April

          I’m waiting on a young folk from Cloe’s guitars to bring back to me two SGs that have been fixed/fine tuned, then I should be going off to their lab and hopefully understand better about the whole Vega thing 🙂

          • avatar
            Posted at 09:43h, 15 April

            Ah, I see. Damn, no complete Vega set available on ebay for now 🙂 Ah, Fil, that reminds me of one thing: It would be nice to see you with one of the new shirts on the first Vega video, could you mail me your postal address and your size, I will send you some this afternoon then 🙂

            • avatar
              Posted at 09:49h, 15 April

              I am SURE that more Vegas will come up and at least until word is out (IF anyone ever thinks it is that important…) the prices will be CHEAP. Cheaper than any possible replica.
              Sir: okay. I will be holding until I get the shirts out to me before I shoot the whole document video about the Vega, its tone, tech specs, etc. Because I will be doing one! What I will be concentrating before I get the shirts then will be Back in Black solo tutorial (possibly on sunday, tomorrow band rehearsals again) and a live “Whole lotta rosie”, both with the Vega but as a performance video. THEN, will revert to the schedule that has been decided by the community. What do you think? 🙂 Also Franz, the link you sent me didn’t work (friendship request on test site). Another thing: I’d love to “loop” a few different header logos (now I put a new one) randomly chosen from say a total of 5 file images.
              Would you be able to code a loop to do that? I know where it the code should go, but my programming is frozen to 1992 lol

              • avatar
                Posted at 10:00h, 15 April

                Ha! Found two of them outside of ebay, but the smaller, newer ones. However, $150 for two of them is worth a try.

                Good idea with the video schedule. Will send your shirts with high priority, so I hope they will arrive on Tuesday or so.

                Alright, I will now pack the shirts for the other guys, could you mail me your postal address and which sizes you need? Will send you 2 of both designs then, ok?

                I will look into that header changing loop. I’m also not a good programmer, but I my little php/perl knowledge should be enough for this. But need some time, got a backlog at the other jobs from yesterday 🙂

  • avatar
    Chris Garbutt
    Posted at 04:50h, 15 April

    I seem to be finding a couple Vegas for sale here and there but no transmitters to go with them???!!!
    Wonder if it’s worth it to buy a receiver by itself and hope to come across a transmitter eventually?

    • avatar
      Posted at 08:13h, 15 April

      I dont’t think so. If I remember correctly, the radio frequencies are hardwired in the electronics, so I would never buy a receiver alone. And without the transmitter, you’re missing half the tone.

      • avatar
        Posted at 08:24h, 15 April

        Franz is right, unfortunately. I made sure to ask again yesterday, and today I am going to their lab to understand more about the real units and…the replica.
        There is a “quartz” inside (been told) that is set to a specific frequency. Can only be changed by changing the quartz, and then, the whole components must be “re-tuned” (literally told by Guido, have no idea what it means but sounds extremely complicated).
        It’s also true what Franz says, at least half the tone is made by the transmitter. Receiver on its own is useless.
        However, newer Vega units – the smaller ones, less rare – might get close. But not identical though: reason is, that there is a significant power supply, very powerful, in the recevier bulky unit (the one I am using). That power supply contributes a lot to the sound, don’t ask why, I know it’s a matter of “volts” put out that then “clog” the input of the amplifier causing the boost.

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