This is how it was, as gently summarised by the gentleman Mr. Manning is (Hi, Mr. Manning
This is Fil - we know each other with some of you here, I presume. So happy to be able to be writing these few lines here, again!
It was Mr. Manning that pointed me in the right direction, several years ago now - it all started here at PRW. Terry knows, as I had told him several times over the years (gently
updating him with my progress on this project, when I thought I'd bump a milestone with it).
Essentially and in an as much summarised matter as I can:
A) I read here on PRW about 'Angus using radios' on Back in Black (the album) in the aforementioned (and quoted) PRW thread.
B) I started my research immediately thereafter might have been 2011 or 2012?). This research, brought me to the (now) documented knowledge that:
1. AC/DC started using these 'radios' from 1977 onwards. The specific model and brand - the now famed 'Schaffer-Vega Diversity System' was used until 1985 and it was featured on every live show and AC/DC studio album from 1977 till - in fact - 1985 including, Powerage, Highway To Hell, Back in Black, For Those About To Rock and Flick of The Switch.
2. Hence, every single studio album in that particular segment of golden age of AC/DC
has Angus playing his solos (and some studio rhythm) on the Schaffer-Vega (from now on, SVDS). That was in fact precisely what allowed Angus to have his unique tone, in the studio and live.
3. Back in Black is massively influenced by this device (as are as well the previous albums back to Powerage). Angus would play what sonically we call 'the center channel' (the sound of the guitar we hear on the centre position of the audio spectrum) exclusively with the SVDS - that would be both for rhythm and solos. The difference with or without the SVDS can be clearly heard on a couple of songs on Back in Black - some songs needed the solos to be slightly changed in a couple of spots and the difference with and without SVDS that can be heard (the new solo bits would be played in NYC without the SVDS, that was back in storage somewhere else during Back in Black mixdown) is so evident (to me at least) to be overwhelming.
C) I would purchase two working units from Mr. Schaffer himself years ago (after having searched for a workign SVDS for almost a year since my discovery). Mr. Ken Schaffer still had a couplf of units left that he was willing to donate to a museum in NYC
D) The Schaffer-Vega Diversity System (how it was called) was a great wireless system, designed and marketed in 1976 in the USA. It had a transmitter tan colored and a tower-shaped, black receiver with two 'diversity' antenna. It was the first, amazing sounding and reliable wireless system to be used in the industry of music - a historic achievement. It was also sound shaping because of his analog, 1970s technology. It had an internal limiter, companding, harmonic EQ and a powerful internal amplifier used to monitor the signal initially - after a while, used to 'clean boost' the guitars (the clean boost feature started to be plainly mentioned even in the official manual - of which I still have one of the original print copies - fascinating and amazing stuff). We are talking about the first (and likely, still the most powerufl) clean boost in the history of pop music.
E) Kiss, Electric Light Orchestra, Rolling Stones and a few others were the early adopters. AC/DC and a few others (mentioned here) shortly followed (AEROSMITH, AMERICA, BAY CITY ROLLERS, BEACH BOYS, BILLY JOEL, BLACK SABBATH, BLONDIE, BOB SEGER, BOB WEIR, BOB WELCH, BOOTSY COLLINS, BOSTON, BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN (CLARENCE CLEMONS, STEVE VAN ZANDT), CHIC (NILE RODGERS), DERRINGER, EARTH WIND & FIRE, ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA, ELVIN BISHOP, FLEETWOOD MAC, FOGHAT, FOREIGNER, FRANK ZAPPA, HEART, HEATWAVE, JANIS IAN, JOHNNY GUITAR WATSON, KANSAS, KISS, L.T.D., MAHOGANY RUSH, MANDRE, NEKTAR, PAT TRAVERS, PETER FRAMPTON, PETER GABRIEL, PINK FLOYD, RANDY BACHMAN, ROLLING STONES, RUFUS, STEPHEN STILLS, STEVE MILLER, STYX, A TASTE OF HONEY, THE 5TH DIMENSION, THE GRATEFUL DEAD, THIN LIZZY, TOM PETTY, TODD RUNDGREN, VAN HALEN, YES, ZZ TOP.)
F) After my initial discovery, I made it known on my own blog solodallas.com. The folks on it at the time expressed desire of me reverse-engineering the original wireless device into a guitar-pedal sort of clone - without the 1970s wireless technology. Just something to shape the soudn of the guitar with. So I did.
G) Angus Young heard of us doing this and me willing to gift him serial number 001 unit (he was and still is my hero) so he called Ken Schaffer and myself to Vancouver during the early stages of preparing to record Rock Or Bust. I donated him a few units in that occasion and he recored Rock Or Bust with it, then proceeding onto using our Schaffer Replica
for the entire tour that would last about two years.
E) A photograph of Angus Young and myself in Vancouver with Schaffer Replica unit 001 and then, me myself and I next to Angus'rack sporting two of our Schaffer Replica units at nearly the end of the Rock Or Bust tour at the end of 2016.
This entirely changed my life and we now live and breed thanks to the Schaffer Replica.
You can find all about it and buy one on solodallas.com