Vox / Orange / Apollo - Treble and Bass Booster  [schematic]

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Vox / Orange / Apollo - Treble and Bass Booster

Postby analogguru » 19 Dec 2007, 20:20

Today I want to start an interesting research on this matter:

since many years you can find on geofex a schematic for an "Orange Treble and bass Booster" and an "Apollo Treble and Bass Booster".

http://www.geofex.com/FX_images/orngbst.gif
http://www.geofex.com/FX_images/apolobst.gif

Let´s forget the "Bootweak-cloners" which I am sure about that noone from them ever has seen an original unit.

In principle both are a "filter"-stage followed by an amplifier stage.

If we look at the design of the claimed "Orange T&B Booster" it makes sense when we assume for the base-resistor in doubt a value of 68k or 82k.

The claimed "Apollo T&B Booster" doesn´t make sense....:
Let´s assume that the transistor stage was intended to work in the linaer range then we have to assume 5,5V at the collector resulting in a Voltage of about 0,9V at the emitter... which was normally to stabilize temperature drift. This would mean that at the base has to be approx 1,1 V. In the claimed schematic the base is biased to 3V what can´t be right.

The schematic of the "Orange T&B Booster" was traced and provided by Angelo Marruzzi, a musician doing some technical jobs on the westcoast too.

The only problem is that it seems, that nobody ever has seen an Orange Booster in reality and there is no evidence that it ever existed. Maybe there was a booster in an orange box... Or maybe it was the Vox Booster which was mixed up as Orange - both made british amplifiers...

The same applies to the "Apollo Booster": Nobody ever seems to have seen one in real life except Ron Neeley II who provided the schematic.
Beside the possible mistakes there is no evidence that Apollo ever made such a booster.

Apollo seems to be related to Shin-ei/Companion. They made Fuzzes, Wah´s but not any Booster.... The only japanese made Booster I am aware of is the Maxon Treble Booster (without Bass).

And the only really existing (vintage) "Treble - Bass Booster" seems to be the VOX V840:
http://files.muziq.be/pics/vox_v840_003.jpg
http://files.muziq.be/pics/vox_v840_002.jpg

and the Vox/Jen/Elka V8401:
http://files.muziq.be/pics/vox_v8401_001.jpg

I don´t have a schematic or good guts, the onlything I gathered is this inside-photo:
http://analogguru.an.ohost.de/temp/Vox_ ... acks_c.jpg

From the Routing I can say that it doesnt fit to the schematic of the treble-booster circling around. And i can say it could fit to the Orange/Apollo schematics.

So my questions now:

1.) Does somebody have any evidence (photo, advert, real unit) that there ever existed an mysterious "Orange Treble and Bass Bosster" ?

2.) Does somebody have any evidence (photo, advert, real unit) that there ever existed an mysterious "Apollo Treble and Bass Bosster" ?

3.) Does anybody have a "Vox Treble - Bass Booster" or guts from it or a schematic to compare ?

thanks in advance,
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Postby frank.clarke » 19 Dec 2007, 23:37

Vox Apollo Bass guitar.
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Postby soulsonic » 20 Dec 2007, 02:53

This is a funny circuit. The Weber "Texas Cattle Drive" kit is based on the schematic that is commonly seen floating around. It's an odd story actually; while I was working for Weber, I built myself a Rangemaster clone with the resistor values reworked a bit for the circuit to sound good with an AC128. I loved the way it sounded so I brought it into work to show it off to the boss. I suggested that it would make a nice easy cheap kit, and it would probably sell well considering how popular Rangemaster clones are. So I gave him the schematic for my tweaked circuit and all the necessary specs for the AC128 transistors. They had talked about finding a source in China to get the transistors manufactured, so they could easily and cheaply get them in bulk. I thought this would be a great boon to the DIY market - cheap, new production germanium transistors.

After about a month, some boxes of random transistors started showing up. Instead of doing anything to see about getting new transistors manufactured, or at least get a reliable source secured, Ted just started ordering a bunch of random germanium transistors off of eBay... with no good way to test them, they were in for some nasty surprises. Then, Ted gives me a prototype circuit board for the kit and asks me to build one up to see how it works. I look at the board and immediately realize that this is not the circuit design I submitted to him. I ask what it is, and he hands me an unaltered copy of the Apollo Treble/Bass booster schematic that can commonly be found on DIY sites! (JD Sleep's version, I believe) I was a little offended when I saw how he ignored my proven design to just latch onto a generic clone of a relatively obscure circuit. So I built it up as according to the schematic, and of course it didn't work correctly - the biasing wasn't even close for the random transistor I had used. After a little tweaking, I got it to bias up, but I was very disappointed by how weak the circuit sounded. The "tone" control is totally useless and adjusts from a bad treble boosted sound to a bad muddy sound with no boost at all. I've done subsequent builds for customers where it's been made to sound quite good with substantial modifications to the circuit to make it closer to a Rangemaster, but the stock Orange/Apollo Treble/Bass Booster sounds pretty bad.

The name "Texas Cattle Drive" was coined by myself as an inside joke. Ted was trying to come up with a name, and he kept saying "Texas... Texas... Texas something" because he wanted to make some kind of reference to the Dallas Rangemaster. I thought that was stupid because not only does the circuit he's selling have nothing to do with the Dallas Rangemaster, but the Dallas-Arbiter company has absolutely nothing to do with Texas! So, I thought of the most inappropriate, non-applicable name possible, "Texas Cattle Drive" - it has nothing to do with Texas or Cattle, and the stock circuit has absolutely no Drive at all - it was just a bad joke to me, and of course Ted loved it. :roll:
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Postby Ivana » 20 Dec 2007, 13:19

Sorry my bad english...
This subject is very interesting for me too. I cant beleive in that schemes on geofex. And in guts photo I can see 2 red color dots covers the (как сказать винт с гайкой? :)) and something very much like an inductor under the board.
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Postby analogguru » 20 Dec 2007, 13:36

And in guts photo I can see 2 red color dots covers the (как сказать винт с гайкой? ) and something very much like an inductor under the board.


Thats a pcb-mounted potentiometer as used in millions of japanese transistor radios for volume control - the red color-dots are for fixing the mounting screws.

The poti looks like this:
http://analogguru.an.ohost.de/temp/Vox_poti.jpg

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Last edited by analogguru on 20 Dec 2007, 16:52, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby R.G. » 20 Dec 2007, 16:05

Sorry guys. What can I say - they were contributions, and I obviously just drew up what I was sent. Obviously I never built one.

The Apollo as drawn will not work. The transistor is badly misbiased, to the point of saturation. in biasing bipolar transistors like this, the analysis always starts with "Where's the Base?".

In the Apollo, the base is *theoretically* pulled to 9V * 80K/(80K+150K) = 3.13V. That means the emitter MUST sit at 3.13-0.6V = 2.53V (+/-0.1V), so there would be 2.53V/2000 = 1.265ma through the emitter resistor. This means that almost the same 1.265ma would have to come through the 10K resistor at the collector, which would drop 12.65v, more than the 9V power supply. So the transistor is saturated somewhere in the middle. If the transistor is saturated to maybe 0.5V, then the voltage at the emitter is ((9V-0.5V)/12K)*2k = 1.417V, the base voltage must be about 1.92V. No signal goes through.

But what If there was a transcription error? Obviously Ron never built one like that either. What if he only read an old schematic, possibly hand drawn, and misread "750K" for "150K"?

Now the results are Vbase = 9*(80/(80+570)) = 0.367V, and Ie = 184uA. The voltage across the 10K is 1.84V, and the collector sits at 7.16V, which is right in Rangemaster territory.

I'm not saying that is what DID happen, but it's certainly something that could easily have happened. And we must remember Napoleon Bonaparte's saying - never ascribe to malice what can be explained by incompetence. :lol:
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Postby analogguru » 20 Dec 2007, 16:51

Hmmm.... it could also be 30k instead of 80k, what would be not uncommon for japanese designs of the 60´s/70´s....

But this does not explain, why there are not photos or guts of the unit available.... from a japanese mass-product ?

The circuit may have existed.... but what was it really? especially the "orange T&B Booster " is doubtful to be an "Orange Amps" product....

From where Angelo Marruzzi takes the rumour that "....David Gilmour, Rory Gallagher and Wishbone Ash...." used an "Orange T & B Booster" ?

I mean three different names ... would be at least three units... where is the evidence of the existence of an "Orange T & B Booster" ?

Or did he simply mix up Orange and Vox.. both british amp manufacturers...

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Postby analogguru » 20 Dec 2007, 17:55

What I forgot to mention is the link for a frequency analysis for the Vox T&B Booster:

http://babelfish.altavista.com/babelfis ... t_freq.htm

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Postby frank.clarke » 20 Dec 2007, 18:49

For Gilmour and friends, this could be the circuit, not Ge:
Image
The Vox Apollo Bass with onboard boost makes sense.
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Postby soulsonic » 21 Dec 2007, 01:42

R.G. wrote:The Apollo as drawn will not work. The transistor is badly misbiased, to the point of saturation. in biasing bipolar transistors like this, the analysis always starts with "Where's the Base?".


Yup, I certainly discovered that when I tried to build the first Texas Cattle Drive using the values given in that schematic. Looking back, it seems obvious to me now, but I didn't have as much knowledge of such things at the time. :oops:
Ted, on the other hand, is supposed to know all about that stuff, and I don't see how a competent engineer can ignore a working design (the one I submitted) and instead grab the Apollo schematic and think, "oh yes, that looks much better!". :cry:
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Postby axiss » 21 Dec 2007, 18:19

frank.clarke wrote:For Gilmour and friends, this could be the circuit, not Ge:
Image
The Vox Apollo Bass with onboard boost makes sense.

Well, I'm not sure if that looks like Vox or Apollo, but surely looks like Orange! :D
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Postby vanessa » 21 Dec 2007, 19:00

frank.clarke wrote:For Gilmour and friends, this could be the circuit, not Ge:
Image


That makes really good sense. Someone asks "what kind of pedal is David Gilmour using?", "Oh it's an orange (as in the color) (with) treble, bass booster". That over time turns into "an Orange Treble, Bass Booster.

That would also account for people saying that he uses the Colorsound live, because there's photos of his live board. But where's the Orange Treble, Bass Booster? "Oh he uses that only in the studio"...

What I don't get is, what about the other supposed users of this Nessy ge booster? Is there some photo evidence that they used the colorsound? Or maybe the Vox?

Something else, I've searched all over for some photographic evidence of the Orange TBB and I've yet to come across even one photo of it.
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Postby axiss » 21 Dec 2007, 19:42

I wonder if "that orange treble and bass booster" surfaced on some kind of interview. Maybe some guy from a magazine didn't understand correctly what someone said, or just didn't know much about pedals being sold and thought it was an Orange made pedal?

Seems pretty possible to me, I see that kind of error a lot on magazines.
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Postby soulsonic » 21 Dec 2007, 23:24

So... does anyone have a schematic for the Colorsound?
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Postby bajaman » 21 Dec 2007, 23:39

I checked my Colorsound folder - I do not have it :cry:
It is a Colorsound POWER BOOST schematic that we are looking for here :wink:
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Postby frank.clarke » 21 Dec 2007, 23:41

http://www.gilmourish.com/?page_id=18 "Colorsound Power Boost"
So that would explain Gilmour adequately. Angelo says the Orange Treble Bass Booster is Sola-Sound and used by Gilmour. So maybe we are still talking about the Coloursound Power Boost, but with the wrong schematic.
Or maybe there was a Vox Apollo booster in an orange-painted box which Angelo found. Paging Angelo...
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Postby analogguru » 22 Dec 2007, 00:00

So... does anyone have a schematic for the Colorsound?


bajaman wrote:I checked my Colorsound folder - I do not have it :cry:
It is a Colorsound POWER BOOST schematic that we are looking for here :wink:
bajaman


The Colorsound Power Boost is (nearly) identical to the Colorsound Overdriver.... But that´s not the question here....

Interesting that the first user of an Orange Booster made by colorsound maybe not used a booster according to the schematic... But what was it ?

The Apollo Bass is also a hot tip, since there have been Vox guitars with built in Effects similar to the plug-in boxes.... Maybe in an Vox Apollo was a V840 Bass-Treble Booster inside, and the schematic is from there ?

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Postby frank.clarke » 22 Dec 2007, 00:03

There was a guy on Aron's forum with a Vox Apollo 6-string with treble/bass boost, but the photos were blurry. Even a couple of resistor values would be good.
http://www.circuit-bent.net/~off/images/vox2.JPG
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Postby vanessa » 22 Dec 2007, 01:00

analogguru wrote:Interesting that the first user of an Orange Booster made by colorsound maybe not used a booster according to the schematic... But what was it ?


It may be possible that there actually was a product called an Orange TBB, but the Colorsound Power Boost was confused with it?
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Postby Ivana » 28 Dec 2007, 10:49

I have a next idea. Sorry if it is well known or not right. The treble and bass booster have a big muff type tone control at its input. This is cause it is named "treble and bass" - not power, all frecs or bandpass. Resistor from base to ground (if wood be accurate, the parallel resistors from base to ground and supply) acts as a shunt resistor on the treble side and dont gives the bad thing on the bass side. I mean the following wiring: base throw a big (10mF or so) capasitor connects to central lug of pot, one side lug connects to the input throw 2200pF and other side lug connects to the input throw resistor 22-47kom (that big cap even better to insert in this plase, not on the base - only to eliminate the constant current) and this lug connects to the ground throw 22-47nF. Pot may be shown on geofex scheme 500kom. I tried this - for me it works much better than that geofex scheme. The more closly to corner position to right or left - the more treble OR bass boost. If it that thing that Gilmour use i think how he can use it - before or i think better after his silicon fuzzfase?... There is an info, that after some time he modded his FF to tonestack after it ant then he played throw big maff where this tonestack plased after dist section - that why i think he use fuzzface first and my guessed treble and bass booster second.
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