Being hailed as the first real Guitar Wireless System, creator Ken Schaffer used his secret formula to re-design the pre-dated wireless systems that although were convenient, were in no way reliable. Having fade-outs and police and taxi dispatches interrupt a guitar signal, many professionals strayed away from its use. Schaffer’s designs used an ingenious pre-processing circuit to assist maintaining integrity of the wireless signal. Regarded as beyond its time, Schaffer’s SVDS quickly became the system of choice for nearly every major artist through the mid 70s and mid 80s (despite only 1,000 ever made).
Schafffers SVDS is fitted with a mirror-image paired compressor and has an expander that increased the radio circuit’s dynamic range to over 100db, which is 35Db higher than the expected maximum that could previously be achieved. Apart from its highly convenient freedom, many artist were quick to realise the hidden gem to Schaffer’s SVDS – the unbelievable tone which resulted in pure sonic magic. The tone was so good that Angus Young used the Schaffer System to record one of AC/DC’s highest selling albums Back In Black. Used for over-dubbing rhythm tracks and as a direct plug into to Young’s Marshall, the SVDS earned a contributive role in AC/DC’s signature sound.
Nearing the end of the mid 80s, Schaffer’s SVDS seized production due to perusing other interests, and soon FCC regulations on wireless systems prohibited fully-analogue wireless systems with many artists forced to move on.
Fast-forward to 2014, an Angus Young die-hard fan Fil ‘SoloDallas’ Oliveiri – who was obsessed with Young’s sound – found an interview of Angus in Guitar World Magazine where he briefly mentioned the Schaffer’s Wireless System being used in the studio. On a rapid hunt, Fil tracked down Schaffer and asked for permission in making a replica of his iconic SVDS. The results are the SoloDallas Schaffer Replica Pedal (released earlier this year) and the Schaffer Replica EX Tower.
The SoloDallas EX Tower is the latest evolution in a four decade quest for tone & signal enhancement. The EX Tower is designed for professional & boutique musicians, producers, and engineers seeking to take their mixes and tracks to the next level.
Created as a 1:1 replica of the original Schaffer-Vega Diversity System audio circuitry, The EX Tower version is built with through-hole components and housed in an enclosure identical to the original ’63EX’ receiver, which was 3D scanned and faithfully recreated. The EX Tower circuit is 100% analogue and features an analogue limiter derived from a previously unseen and very musical Opto-Isolator (a vintage optical limiter) recently discovered in SoloDallas’ latest reverse-engineering of the original Schaffer-Vega Diversity System TX10 Transmitter, as well as a compander (compressor-expander), giving your tone extra sustain, fatness and a rich harmonic content.
Watch below to see Fil play AC/DC’s Back in Black through the Schaffer Replica.