- Published: 10 July 2020 10 July 2020
Hello, Effects Fans!
Today we announce our new Angus boost module.
There aren't many effects that are prized for messing with your tone when they aren't supposed to. Often that is known as "tone suck", and for good reason. But there are a couple effects that apparently "tone suck" all the bad stuff out of your tone, leaving it better than it was. The preamp of the EchoPlex 3 is famous for being one of those effects that make your tone better even when it is off. But there is at least one more...
The Angus boost compares to a portion of one of the earliest wireless systems to be adopted by some of the big stars, such as Van Halen, Pink Floyd, Kiss, Styx, The Rolling Stones, ZZ Top, and AC/DC among many others. That wireless system was the Schaffer-Vega Diversity System. Artists used it primarily because it was the first reliable wireless system that let them roam free on big stages.
One artist in particular, Angus Young, found that his studio sound was missing something that he liked in his live sound. Turns out it was his wireless system. It gave him a tone tweak that provided him that little extra "umph" in his live tone. Adding his wireless system to his studio sessions gave him what he wanted, that sound we all love when he grabs his SG. It was used on AC/DC albums from '77 to '84, including, of course, Back In Black. If you have been using an SG and Marshall to get his famous AC/DC tone but haven't quite nailed it, this may be that missing ingredient.
The Schaffer-Vega Diversity System was introduced in 1976, but went out of production in 1981 due to changing FCC rules. Only a bit over 1000 units were ever produced. Many artists discovered the "magic" of the system and used them for a number of years, even after they were no longer available. SoloDallas began making those vintage systems again in 2014, as well as some pedals that dropped all the wireless functionality, leaving only the tone-shaping portion that is left when the wireless is removed - that same circuit that Angus found necessary to get his live tone in the studio. Our Angus boost compares to the SoloDallas Storm pedal, and also compares directly to that portion of the original Schaffer-Vega Diversity System.
The controls are straightforward. There are simple input and output level controls to manage the signal boost and resulting volume. The Threshold knob controls an optical limiter. One direction gets you quick response, the other direction loosens things up a bit. Depending on your settings, you may get a little dirt from the module itself, but more likely you'll be driving something else pretty hard, like your amp, to get most of the drive and distortion.
It's a bit of a one-trick pony, but it's a pretty good trick. It is similar in idea to effects that emulate the EchoPlex 3 pre-amp, such as our FBomb. Both are candidates for "always on" effects in your chain to sweeten up your tone regardless of what else you may have going on.
You can see the details about our Angus module at: Angus. Or look for it in the Boost Modules section under Products -> Modules -> Modules By Type.