SoloDallas and The Schaffer Replica
SoloDallas created the Schaffer Replica because of his great love for the tone and sound of AC/DC. Thanks to an Italian acolyte of AC/DC we now have access to one of the secret ingredients used in mid-70s/80s classic rock. Turns out an early wireless system (using frequencies subsequently commandeered for cell phones) was doing a lot of the work. It may be illegal to tap into those waves today, but the EQ, compression, boost, optical limiting, and crucially expansion, are still accessible assets for modern rockers.
Fil “SoloDallas” Olivieri had spent over 30 years trying to recreate Angus Young’s guitar tone. He’d amassed an impressive arsenal of gear and ran a blog dedicated to his pursuit. One day, he happened upon a 1984 interview in guitar player magazine which mentioned a vintage wireless system that Angus said he would run hot to, “really give a guitar hell. . .” Olivieri’s new quest was clear; track down a Schaffer-Vega Diversity System and put it to the rest in his home studio.
SoloDallas eventually got a hold of Ken Schaffer, himself, and convinced him to send one of his “souvenir” units to Italy. One big chord was all it took to transport Solo Dallas back to the moment when he first heard his favorite band. After years of searching, that sound was finally his.
After posting a clip of himself playing through an SVD on his blog, his followers went into a frenzy. Unfortunately, only about 1,000 units had ever been made, and that frequencies used by its wireless transmitter were now the property of cell phone companies. After some thought and further consultation with Ken Schaffer, SoloDallas developed a plan to reverse engineer the tonal half of the original SVD and release it back into the wild. The first recipient of the new Schaffer Replica was a delighted Angus Young, who used it on the AC/DC record “Rock or Bust”.