15 Dec The Schaffer-Vega Diversity Replica (Updated)
And now Ladies (any ladies here at all? 🙂 ) & Gentlemen.
A moment of Respect & Admiration for the man himself, Mr. Ken Schaffer.
I presume all of you are able to feel the respect and admiration that I have for Mr. Schaffer. I have read his biography (though partial and summarized, see his site ) several times, and it would appear that he has lived 5 or 6 different lives all packed into one. By itself this is cause for admiration, but reading what he has achieved, and how he has achieved it really ‘does it for me’. Also, last but not least, the making of the SVDS with its history and accompanying stories is overwhelming.
So please enjoy these two images of Mr. Schaffer.
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Do you recognize the individuals next to him in both pictures?
You know folks, a fact that maybe not all of us here are aware of is that Mr. Schaffer not only created and marketed, promoted, sold, serviced, repaired when needed, also configured, etc. a wireless system for musicians (AC/DC having been our/my main focus since I found out); the point being, Mr. Schaffer has revolutionized the way musicians (singers, guitar players, generic micro-phoned instruments players) could play, entertain, walk onto stages in front of thousands of people. Even – as is the case with Angus Young – change for good the way a guitar player can feel about his freedom of movement and expression on stage or off, i.e. in the studio.
Despite there being one or two forever failing wireless systems already in existence prior to the introduction of the SVDS, Ken Schaffer was the one to create the first exceptional sounding and reliable wireless system for musicians.
For You, Sir, with devotion.
Just a small, aesthetic update: a “Schaffer-Vega Diversity System Family Picture”, with all original (of the era) items.
From left to right, an original, near mint SVDS User Manual, a couple of stickers, an original circa 1977 63EX SVDS Dual Diversity Receiver, a “mounted on strap” (even the strap is a 1970’s original suede strap) X10 SVDS Transmitter for guitar (all courtesy of Mr. Ken Schaffer), a couple of original antennas in the back (same: thank you Mr. Schaffer ) and an original, advertisement page for a later device consisting of a non-Diversity Schaffer-Vega (the only thing I could find on eBay for a looOOooong time lol).
I love family pictures 🙂
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P.S. Also re-posting here an original to the era Comic/Advertisement page (courtesy of Mr. Ken Schaffer).
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PS Speaking of family pictures, we took some the other day with Franz. Get this! Partial Family Gear Picture 😀
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Audio Update (overdriven sound, Marshall 1959)
Together with Franz, we decided to go as follows for now: whole track (backing track) where I played: two rhythm guitars and two solos (one part per unit: one rhythm part with Replica, one with SVDS; one solo with Replica, one with SVDS; Replica will be LEFT; SVDS will be RIGHT).
I am posting this for you, plus the individual “rhythms” and “solos” tracks, L/R, so you can compare them without any disturbance whatsoever (in the force).
Warning: I left in all of the hiss of both units (SVDS and Replica). They are both hissy, though in different ways. The SVDS has the compressor hiss and the RF hiss in it; you will hear it on the right channel (rhythm and solo) as a constant hiss.
The Replica has “only” the compressor hiss, which exists only when one is not playing, as the compressor – exact same one as in the original SVDS, same version, model etc. – will try to raise the signal when no signal is present.
We haven’t made a decision about this yet; we may try to find another compressor with the same exact 2:1 curve, same “sound” but modern conception which definitely kills the hiss. Most likely attempts will be made shortly.
Usually when you’ve heard me play my SVDS (and the R42 before it) I always used a noise gate, the same that was being done back then with these units.
Please note: severe hiss such as this only happens with overdriven sounds, not with clean sounds because of the gain obviously.
Here for you is the whole track:
Here’s the rhythm guitars (L/R: Replica left, SVDS right)
Here’s the solos
And here we have an Audacity frequency Analysis.
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Guitar used was a 1967 Gibson SG Standard.
No equalization WHATSOEVER was used. Everything is FLAT. I used my 1976 Marshall 1959, recorded with Neumann U47 on axis, slightly above center cone, Celestion G12-65 original speakers.
Settings. Replica and SVDS had the SAME settings, i.e., knobs rotated exactly in the same position (TX knob full right, RX Output at 10 o’ clock).
Marshall settings: Presence 0, bass 5, mids 3, treble 5, volume 7.
Guitar was at 8 on volume knob for rhythm; 10 for solos.
Now, please comment away.
P.S. Just as a final note, it came into my mind to remind you that the sound you hear “live” on the amp (well, on these type of amps at least) is basically raw, just like – the same sound in fact – here:
We have one prototype, seemingly? One working prototype?
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(Stay tuned, want to tease you all for a while).
Note: from left to right, Mr. Banane (Franz), Mr. Guido Borghesani and myself
So, want a close up and maybe some more tidbits?
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So, it does have two knobs. They are exactly the input knob of the original X10 Transmitter (left knob on the replica) and the Output knob of the front output of the original SVDS Receiver (right knob on the replica).
They work almost exactly – if not really exactly – as on the original SVDS.
There is one power transformer.
Please note: the box/case you see now is NOT the final case! It’ just a temporary fix in lieu of the real replica case, which will be similar to the original, black SVDS receiver box (please see pic below to refresh your memory).
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And going back in time (one day), Mr. Borghesani is doing final assembly and testing. We arrived right then and continued to A/B (compare) the two: the original beauty and the ugly newborn, still in its “board infancy”….
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Testing between the SVDS and the Replica at Borghesani’s Lab:
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