Rockman - Scholz Research & Development

Rockman on Ebay
Tom Scholz Rockman The Rockman line of guitar effects was produced at first by Scholz Research and Development. In 1995 the brand was taken over by [Jim] Dunlop Manufacturing. SRD was started by guitarist and electronics engineer Tom Scholz of the rock group Boston. Scholz used much of his own royalties from the band's bestselling albums to perform his research and create the company. The Boston guitar sound was the result of Scholz's endless experimentation with guitar amplifiers, microphones, equalizers, and other gear. Modified equipment, which was the result of much of this experimentation, inspired some one-of-kind products that Scholz felt other guitarists would find useful.

The Rockman line's main selling point was that, in the era of Walkman headphones, they provided the sound of an amplifer in headphones - in other words, a guitarist could plug into a battery-powered Rockman unit, and jam out with an amplified guitar sound in his bedroom without waking Mom and Dad.

SRD's first product was actually the Power Soak, which placed a load on a power amplifier allowing only a portion of the signal to reach the speaker cabinet. The result was a lower volume, but the unique tonal characteristics generated by an amp at full power were not lost. (Lower volume is useful in recording studios or any place where loud amps can be a problem.) The power soak is mainly only used for tube amplifiers.

The portable Rockman personal amp debuted in 1982. The Rockman was the first compact stereo multi-effects device, and its most important feature was what we call now amp simulation. This term came to use in the 1990's with the digital equipment that came after the Rockman, but the revolution initiated by Tom Scholz had a name: analog amp simulation (i.e., the Rockman used analog circuits rather than digital processing - this was, after all, the early 1980's, and the technology for digital effects was still largely in its infancy). The headphone feature and the portability were at that time only secondary aspects of the Rockman.

In addition to the Power Soak and the portable Rockman, the company produced several other devices for use by both amateur and professional musicians. These included not only personal effects pedals, but also rack effects ('Rockmodules'), amp heads, and speaker cabinets.

Personal/Headphone Devices
Acoustic Guitar Pedal
Bass Ace
Bass Rockman
Guitar Ace
Metal Ace
Rockman X100

Distortion Generator
Dual Remote Loop
Guitar Compressor
Instrument Equalizer
MIDI Octopus
Smart Gate
Stereo Chorus
Stereo Chorus Delay
Stereo Echo
Sustainor 100
Sustainor 100A
Sustainor 200
Sustainor 200 Double IC
Ultimatum Distortion Generator

XP Series
A1250 - Ultimatum 50W Combo
Super Head XP with 2x50W PA
XP100 Stereo Combo
XP100a Stereo Combo
XPR Rack Unit
XPRa Rack Unit

Studio Series
Pro Bass Amp

Stage Amps and Heads
DC 500
Full Range Speakers
PA 200 - 2x110W Power Amp
PA 500 - 2x250W
S12 CE 500
SC 500
SD12 CEM 500
Stage Headcase

Control Devices
Power Soak
Power Soak II
Power Soak PS3
Power Soak PS3 Reissue
Remote Loop
Single Footswitch
Triple Footswitch

Vintage Ads
Another One Just Hatched
Bass Rockman
Don't Live in the Age of Mono
I Want That Sound
Keep America Beautiful
The Most Powerful Guitar Sound
Pure Rockman Inside and Out
The Smart Gate
There Is No Sound Barrier
Think of It as 100 Amps in One
We Exist for Great Guitar Sound