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DIY Stompboxes => Building your own stompbox => Topic started by: johnabraham on January 20, 2007, 12:50:10 PM

Title: Octavia Evolution courtesy of Roger Mayer
Post by: johnabraham on January 20, 2007, 12:50:10 PM
In message
<015F67629E7F4B43B44B71B1C932877E022015F4@muexch01.Explc.net>, Jasen
Emmons <JasenE@emplive.org> writes
>Hi Roger,
>Thank you for your voice message and this email. We appreciate you
>taking the time to set the record straight. My friend and colleague,
>Jacob McMurray, said he had a good conversation with you, and we'll work
>to see that Dunlop doesn't misrepresent their new pedal. It's very
>important to us that we present an accurate historical perspective.
>
>Best,
>Jasen
>
>-----Original Message-----
>From: Roger Mayer [mailto:Roger@roger-mayer.demon.co.uk]
>Sent: Friday, January 19, 2007 4:09 AM
>To: Jasen Emmons
>Subject: Roger Mayer Octavio/Octavia Pedal Exhibit
>
>Dear Jasen,
>
>This letter is in regards to an exhibit that you have at the EMP museum:
>the Octavio / Octavia Guitar Pedal built and designed by me. By the way
>I never wrote on any boxes myself hence the confusion between Octavio
>and Octavia.
>It has come to my notice that Dunlop manufacturing is now releasing a
>clone of the Octavio pedal in your collection and making false claims as
>to provenance and use on the "Purple Haze" and "Fire" recordings. Please
>follow this link:
>http://namm.harmony-central.com/WNAMM07/Content/Dunlop/PR/Hendrix-Octavi
>o
>.html
>
>I would like to take this opportunity to set history straight.
>1.The Octavia / Octavio sound was first heard on record in the solo of
>"Purple Haze" and this solo was recorded on Feb 3rd 1967. I first met
>Jimi on Jan 11th 1967.
>2. The actual Octavia used did not have the same circuit, type of
>transformer or enclosure as your wedge shaped example, which was
>manufactured at least 20 months later. It did however use elements of an
>electronic configuration that could be considered pivotal. This first
>unit can be considered as Octavia Evo1.
>3. This Evo1 unit used germanium transistors and a ferrite transformer
>and also had limited drive capabilities. It was used in the recording of
>Purple Haze and Fire with another custom driver in a separate enclosure
>that also used germanium transistors. This driver was placed in front of
>Evo1 to give enough drive to satisfy Jimi.
>4. After the recordings Evo 1 was never used again in it's original form
>and consigned to the trash bin.
>5. It became obvious that both the driver section and the Octavia
>section should be combined into one box.
>6. The path of development and understanding through experimentation was
>continuous and fast like in motor racing and in the space of less than a
>year at least 15 variations and evolutions had been produced.
>7. These units were used by Jimi and not housed in a wedge shaped box.
>Some only had a life of a week or so as we both learned and experimented
>and moved on. It can be thought of as racecar development throughout a
>season. Maybe the same chassis configuration but lots of component
>changes.
>8. Later that year we began recording "Axis Bold as Love" which used
>the latest evo of Octavia on several tracks and if you listen carefully
>the clarity and detail of the Octavia effect was much more defined. Of
>course at the same time I was updating, building and customising the
>distortion units to compliment the latest evo of Octavia.
>9. At the end of 1967 I designed the wedge shaped enclosure that was
>manufactured by my father's electronic company and only 5 or so examples
>were made.
>10. The latest evo of the Octavia were housed in these new enclosures
>and still used germanium transistors and ferrite transformers. They
>however had a DPDT foot switch which the previous versions did not have
>which were primarily designed for studio work and not suited for
>touring.
>11. These first boxed used different knobs than the example you have and
>did not have a moulded in shoulder to cover the mounting nut. They were
>a tapered conical shape and made in silver plastic.
>12. I went on tour to the USA with Jimi from Jan 30th 1968 until April
>19th 1968 where the Octavia was used on a few special gigs. We did not
>use it everyday owing to fact they custom made and could not be replaced
>as I was on tour as well. Having gear stolen from the stage was a real
>problem every night. We never lost an Octavia though. Jimi and I kept
>the Octavias save with us at all times.
>13. After the winter 68 tour in the USA I returned to work at Olympic
>Studios having left the Admiralty Research Laboratories to start a new
>career designing and manufacturing recording studio consoles and
>associated outboard equipment. I of course still kept in close contact
>with Jimi and the Octavia development continued on. I was also meeting
>lots of other famous musicians and bands that came to the studio and
>also expressed a desire to have an Octavia example.
>14. It became obvious that a more rugged type of Octavia using silicon
>transistors and iron type audio transformer would be needed for rugged
>stage use. The use of low noise silicon transistors was an improvement
>in temperature stability over the germanium type. The iron laminations
>of the audio transformer did not have the detail of ferrite but overall
>was more rugged and not subject to breakage from dropping. Ferrite cores
>can be damaged more easily than iron laminations.
>15. At the end of 1968 I decided to build a limited run of 5 or so
>Octavias and 5 Distortion Pedals all housed in the wedge enclosure.
>16. The Octavia configuration used for the driver comprised of
>complimentary NPN PNP low noise silicon transistors driving a
>commercially obtained iron audio driver transformer. The biasing for
>these units were also varied to operate from 24V for studio work to an
>optimised version using an internal 9 Volt battery. This series of
>pedals used the type of knobs you have on your exhibit at EMP.
>17. These units were completed in early 1969 and went to guitar players
>like. Syd Barrett - Pink Floyd, Steve Marriot - Small Faces Peter
>Frampton - Small Faces. Jimi of course had some too.
>18. In May 1969 I went to live in New York City with my new married
>American wife and started Roger Mayer Electronics building and designing
>studio equipment. I also had taken a few of the remaining 10 pedals with
>me to New York. I of course was still in contact with Jimi and the
>development of the Octavia continued. The aim now was to get rid of the
>transformer altogether and Jimi and I got together at the Record Plant
>and Hit Factory to play with the latest evos.
>19. After Christmas 1969 I get a call from Jimi saying he needs an
>Octavia for his upcoming gig News Years eve at the Fillmore East as all
>his ones were gone missing. Luckily I had an Octavia and distortion left
>from the 10 I had made earlier that year and took these to rehearsal for
>the Band of Gypsys concert. The results can be heard on Machine Gun etc.
>20. 1970 saw Jimi real busy but I still caught up with him in the studio
>and showed him the latest version of the Octavia.
>21. In October whist working with Stevie Wonder at Media Studios I hear
>of Jimi's death. The session was called and everybody was very sad.
>22. The Rocket version of the Octavia is the latest version connected
>with Jimi and does not use a transformer but represents the last of the
>development directly inspired by Jimi.
>23. This is the reason I have never myself made a replica wedge box or
>indeed ever claimed that the Rocket Box was used was on "Purple Haze"
>or "Fire". The wedge box you have was never used on these records and
>was made at least 20 months after the fact. You indeed do have a piece
>of music history that may have been owned and used by Jimi but not on
>those tracks or "Axis Bold as Love".
>24. I could of course have lied years ago and made false claims about
>making the exact same box that was used on Purple Haze but I have not
>nor do I. I am totally against anybody else getting away with such lies.
>25. The spirit of the Octavia sound lives on and the latest version the
>Vision Octavia is an evolution Jimi would have loved.
>26. I would really appreciate your help in setting the facts straight as
>history should be correct and I don't feel that anyone at EMP can afford
>to be associated with helping pervert the truth. I contacted you as soon
>as I knew of this cynical attempt to commercialise your exhibit. Now you
>have the facts I feel confident you will take necessary, swift and
>appropriate action with the parties involved to set Jimi's history back
>on the correct path. My fortunate involvement with Jimi and being part
>of music history is payment enough and I know Paul Allen has a deep love
>of music too and an interest in keeping the spirit of music alive.
>27. Jacob McMurray your associate suggested that I take a look at your
>text surrounding this exhibit and offer my comments as to make it's
>place in history correct and I of course will be delighted to help EMP
>in any way I can.
>

--


Kindest regards,
Roger Mayer
www.roger-mayer.co.uk
"experience the difference"
Title: Re: Octavia Evolution courtesy of Roger Mayer
Post by: snap on January 20, 2007, 01:42:53 PM
 :icon_question:
Title: Re: Octavia Evolution courtesy of Roger Mayer
Post by: Bernardduur on January 20, 2007, 05:00:39 PM
This was a very nice read!
Title: Re: Octavia Evolution courtesy of Roger Mayer
Post by: $uperpuma on January 20, 2007, 06:42:45 PM
that new octavio is VERY cool...I've always wanted to emulate that "piece of cheese" look
Title: Re: Octavia Evolution courtesy of Roger Mayer
Post by: tcobretti on January 20, 2007, 07:02:13 PM
Very, very cool.
Title: Re: Octavia Evolution courtesy of Roger Mayer
Post by: analogguru on January 20, 2007, 07:03:03 PM
I canīt believe my eyes when i read this:

Quote
13. After the winter 68 tour in the USA I returned to work at Olympic
>Studios
having left the Admiralty Research Laboratories to start a new
>career designing and manufacturing recording studio consoles and
>associated outboard equipment.

Business competition seems to be the best truth-finder....

in this thread:
http://www.diystompboxes.com/smfforum/index.php?topic=52731.0 (http://www.diystompboxes.com/smfforum/index.php?topic=52731.0)

I presented the theory, that the driver of the octavia was nothing else than the amplifier used in the Helios-console....

yes, and the Helios-console, what i was talking about was located in:  ....the olympic studio....
and the first amplifier-cards even used Germanium-transistors.

astonishing....and sadly that I am not able to recognize "at least 15 changes".....

The rest you can read in the thread mentioned above...

analogguru
Title: Re: Octavia Evolution courtesy of Roger Mayer
Post by: Pedal love on January 20, 2007, 09:09:09 PM
Come on everybody. I was saying years ago the transistors in the original were germanium. It was obvious. I have already built a circuit with this in mind for maybe 5 years going for myself. That was obvious to me. The thing here is-nobody is afraid of copy this copy that. The point is Dunlop, don't copy the EMP pedal and say it was the exact one used in certain recordings, unless it was. Roger states its the effect, Dunlop states its the same pedal copied. Why don't you go down here and look, everything is explained simply. 

http://www.roger-mayer.co.uk/octavia.htm

Well all of you can make up your own minds. I have sold pedals under Tom Lanik in the early 1990's when he had Roger Mayer's distribution and I always felt great respect for Roger.  As of today I am totally disgusted with Dunlop and will do no more business with that company of totally blatant copiers.pl
Title: Re: Octavia Evolution courtesy of Roger Mayer
Post by: analogguru on January 20, 2007, 10:36:06 PM
Interesting link, interesting statement:

Quote
"THOSE WHO CAN INVENT DO"
"THOSE WHO CAN'T INVENT COPY"

(Greek) "Olympic" games ... Helios, Helios, Helios...

Here:

http://www.roger-mayer.co.uk/history.htm (http://www.roger-mayer.co.uk/history.htm)

(http://www.roger-mayer.co.uk/pictures/experience2.jpg)

you can see, that in 1968 RM was a young student, ready to

Quote
start a new career designing and manufacturing .....equipment

analogguru

P.S.: I also donīt like cloning-companies...for this reason I stopped working for B***inger in 1988 or so.  The black-faced Studio-Compressor was a 100% 1:1 copy of the Audio Innovations RCL-50 in a different case - Audio Innovations doesnīt exist anymore....



Title: Re: Octavia Evolution courtesy of Roger Mayer
Post by: vanessa on January 20, 2007, 10:56:56 PM
Is it possible that RM designed that part of the Helios console?
Title: Re: Octavia Evolution courtesy of Roger Mayer
Post by: analogguru on January 20, 2007, 11:19:46 PM
Hmmm.... I dont know....two people claim this:
RM and Dirk Swettenham....

The "Olympic"-modules shown in the thread mentioned above, were pre-"Helios" design, about 1966/67.
The Helios was produced beginning 1969....

By the way:

RM claims:

Quote
...Electronically the Octavia is an analog circuit with the properties of a .....envelope generator and amplitude modulator.....

here are two inside pictures of the Octavia:

(http://analogguru.an.funpic.de/pictures/RM_Octavia_7inside_c.jpg)

(http://analogguru.an.funpic.de/pictures/RM_Octavia_3comp_c.jpg)

and here is the schematic of the octavia:

(http://analogguru.an.funpic.de/pictures/rogermayeroctavia.gif)

I am not such a good technician, maybe somebody could be so kind and help me, where I can find the "properties" of an envelope generator and an amplitude modulator ?

analogguru
Title: Re: Octavia Evolution courtesy of Roger Mayer
Post by: Pedal love on January 21, 2007, 01:48:14 AM
Your schematic has errors :icon_lol:
Title: Re: Octavia Evolution courtesy of Roger Mayer
Post by: analogguru on January 21, 2007, 05:09:33 AM
Quote
Your schematic has errors

1.) Itīs not MY schematic, Justin Philpot drew it.....

2.) Yes, I know...:
the 470p at the input is only 47p.
the 2k2 resistor at the collector of the first transistor is only 220E.
and the 2 resistors at the phase splitter are not 20k, they are only 10k.

But this doesnīt explain, where I can find the "Mojo" envelope-generator and amplitude-modulator which are responsible for Jimiīs ultimative sound - what he liked so much, shortly before he died.... sorry, that tears are coming now in my eyes....

And it doesnīt explain:
1.) If this what RM is selling, is the ultimative Jimi Hendrix Octavia, and I (a kid, or a cloning factory) buy this unit, make an exact copy of it (not so complicated) why this copy shouldnīt be able to produce also the ultimative Jimi-sound ?

2.) Maybe there is another secret  packed in this unit ... maybe this heavy-case ist an urn, and some ash of Jimi packed inside ?

3.) What role Jimi played in this matter....If I buy a RM-Octavia instead of any clone, is this in reality a sample-player and I donīt need anymore a guitarist to get Jimiīs sound ?

4.) If I would have been a "groupie" in 1969, and I would have been allowed to kiss Jimiīs shoes (or Frank Zappaīs Bobby-Brown-"Heini") what influence could this have had on Jimi`s sound ?

analogguru
Title: Re: Octavia Evolution courtesy of Roger Mayer
Post by: yeeshkul on January 21, 2007, 06:00:14 AM
There is one simple thing to be realised - most of your final sound depends on your "fingers" and that's sadly something we cannot clone yet. Playing Jimmy's guitar through his stompbox connected to his Marshall set doesn't have to bring the same sound at all. We call it "the touch" - there goes the magic  ;).
Title: Re: Octavia Evolution courtesy of Roger Mayer
Post by: Ghandi on January 21, 2007, 06:24:04 AM
hi analog,
I can't seem to find it also!

but one thing I always wondered about:
is the first pnp transistor really in that direction on the rocket octavia?
shouldn't the emitter and collector be sweept like on the axis fuzz?

this seems to be the old mistake from the helios schematic dosen't it?

cheers
ghandi
Title: Re: Octavia Evolution courtesy of Roger Mayer
Post by: Ghandi on January 22, 2007, 12:12:31 PM
bump!
Title: Re: Octavia Evolution courtesy of Roger Mayer
Post by: analogguru on January 22, 2007, 01:43:44 PM
Hey, Hey, Hey, donīt be so nervous....an expertise takes time, and I have to do also other things...
And first I had to improve the quality of some pictures...

So lets start:

What do we have ?

We have here a picture of the track-side from what is claimed to be an original Tyco-unit:

(http://analogguru.an.funpic.de/pictures/Tycobrahe_Octavia_3tracks.jpg)

This makes sense to me, when I look at the corrosion of the tracks, the pertinax-material used for the pcb, fairly common that this is from the beginnings of the 70īs.  When i look at the component side:

(http://analogguru.an.funpic.de/pictures/Tycobrahe_Octavia_3comp.jpg)

The size and color of the electrolytic capacitors used are typically for this time also the gold-plated legs of the transistors.  For comparision we have this picture:

(http://analogguru.an.funpic.de/pictures/Tycobrahe_Octavia_5comp.jpg)

and it looks very similar instead of this one:

(http://analogguru.an.funpic.de/pictures/Tycobrahe_Octavia_6tracks.jpg)

As you can see, this one uses an epoxy-photo-print, the 500k and the 16mm poti are not from this time, so I assume this picture is from a "chicaco iron" reissue, so we can ignore it.  But this underlines, that the first two pictures seem to be authentic.

Nobody seems to have fiddled around with the transistors, when I look at the solder joints.

So when you trace this unit you will come to schematic which you can find here:

http://analogguru.an.funpic.de/ (http://analogguru.an.funpic.de/)
(Itīs to big to fit in here)

Way Huge came independently to the same results as I mentioned in the threads above.

Conclusion: The Tyco-copy of RMīs Octavia has the first transistor the wrong way....
In the Helios schematic there are three trannys of the same type.  Mostly every technician would immediatly recognize this and nearly automatically change emitter and collector. So this can be the reason why the Tyco-copy has a wrong configuration.

The transistor orientation of the Roger Mayer Octavia as shown in the schematic is authentical (and correct).

Recently there was an article about flipped trannys and their effect - by amz-fx (use the search button).

analogguru

Title: Re: Octavia Evolution courtesy of Roger Mayer
Post by: Ghandi on January 22, 2007, 03:14:33 PM
hey hey my my,
hey analog,
thanks for the answer.
I wasn't really nervous, just thought you would've looked over my post cos this forum is so fast now a days that the post was on the second page just after a day.

so roger mayer made it electronically correct and had a pnp Q1 with it's collector connected to the base of Q2
(negativ ground version).

but than the axis fuzz seems too have Q1 connected in the wrong way?

oh, and what I find interesting is that there are silicon insead of germanium diodes in the tyco!?!

ps: war das verständlich? sonst schreib ich's dir nochmal auf deutsch! ;D

gruß
ghandi

Title: Re: Octavia Evolution courtesy of Roger Mayer
Post by: analogguru on January 22, 2007, 05:02:10 PM

Hi Gandhi,

Donīt panic on the titanic....
(Nur ka PaniK auf der Titanic)

So I donīt understand your question, and the reason is not the german language...
(Ich versteh Deine Frage nicht, das liegt aber nicht an der deutschen Sprache)

To avoid further confusion, I corrected the Octavia schematic above.
(Damit das ganze nicht zum totalen Chaos ausartet, habe ich einmal den obigen Octavia-Schaltplan korrigiert.)

Maybe I missed something, but as far as I know, the RM Axis-Fuzz schematic should look approximately like this:
(Vielleicht ist da was an mir vorbeigegangen, aber soweit ich weiß, sollte der RM Axis-Fuzz Schaltplan ungefähr so auschauen:

(http://analogguru.an.funpic.de/pictures/rogermayeraxis.gif)

For this reason, I canīt really understand your question. Maybe you could be so kind, and make it more concrete...
(Deshalb kann ich Deiner Frage nicht so ganz folgen.  Vielleicht hättest Du die Güte, sie etwas konreter zu formulieren).

German language is a nice language, but a little bit complicated language.
(Deitsche Schbrache scheene Schbrache, aba schwäre Schbrache).

So, that we donīt annoy our american friends, I would suggest, if you like to write in german, we should continue our talk at www.musikding.de.
(Damit uns die aus dem Ami-forum nicht den Arsch aufreißen, wärīs vielleicht besser, wenn wir uns für deutsches Gelabbere auf www.musikding.de verdrücken würden.)

analogguru

Title: Re: Octavia Evolution courtesy of Roger Mayer
Post by: analogguru on January 22, 2007, 06:15:28 PM
This matter really gets funny - not to say "obsessive":

http://www.diystompboxes.com/smfforum/index.php?topic=53574.0 (http://www.diystompboxes.com/smfforum/index.php?topic=53574.0)

Letīs summarize:

If you want to have Jimiīs sound, the holy secret only knows Roger Mayer.

The holy sound Jimi loved so much is without transformers, and it is not a tychobrahe.

Quote
EMP has confirmed to me over the telephone that nobody has been ever been allowed to remove the breadboard circuit card from their Octavio unit to examine the underside of the card. This would be necessary to confirm the circuit layout.

Hmmmmm ???? ever heard of a DMM with beep ?

letīs go on:

Only Roger Mayer knows the secret, component values etc. and he is so gracious to sell this secret to the community in his own octavia... or is HIS Octavia only a big betrayal and has nothing to do with jimiīs sound ? - I never would assume and say this...

So for what I need to measure transformers and old electrolytics ?

I only need to buy a fresh "Jimiīs-secret"-Roger-Mayer-Octavia and dissect THIS one, with fresh electrolytics and without transformers.  The result you can see in the pictures and the schematic above...

If the components would not be accurate the same, RM Octavia never could produce "Jimiīs loved" sound - In this case, why I should then buy a RM Octavia ? 

Quote
... and infringed on my intellectual property and copyright.

Hmmmm ?  I thought the Tyco has nothing to do with "Jimiīs sound" ? So it must be something completely different to RMīs "intellectual property and copyright" ? How can something different be infringing ?

Letīs stay on the floor:
even a patent expires restless after 20 or 25 years and is for the rest of the life something like "freeware".

(Greek) Olympic ...Helios, Helios, Helios....I hope Dick Swettenham can rest in peace in his grave.

analogguru
Title: Re: Octavia Evolution courtesy of Roger Mayer
Post by: johnabraham on January 22, 2007, 07:21:53 PM
The pivotal circuit was developed a couple of years before it's implementaion into olympic studios gear.
Title: Re: Octavia Evolution courtesy of Roger Mayer
Post by: Ghandi on January 22, 2007, 08:27:41 PM
ok analog,
seems that my axis fuzz schematic was wrong!

so to get the sound (or better sound making device) that syd barrett, marriot, framton and jimi had/used
look at point 16 and 17 in rogers history:

>16. The Octavia configuration used for the driver comprised of
>complimentary NPN PNP low noise silicon transistors driving a
>commercially obtained iron audio driver transformer. The biasing for
>these units were also varied to operate from 24V for studio work to an
>optimised version using an internal 9 Volt battery. This series of
>pedals used the type of knobs you have on your exhibit at EMP.
>17. These units were completed in early 1969 and went to guitar players
>like. Syd Barrett - Pink Floyd, Steve Marriot - Small Faces Peter
>Frampton - Small Faces. Jimi of course had some too.


take the front from the octavio where you can see the 9V changes and the right transistor in the right direction
and the back of the tyco octavia with just the transformer and the diodes, right!?

but has roger used silicon or germanium diodes?
in the octavio there are definitely silicon and even on the pics of the old tyco the diodes look like silicon.

cheers
ghandi
Title: Re: Octavia Evolution courtesy of Roger Mayer
Post by: analogguru on January 23, 2007, 01:11:23 AM
johnabraham wrote:
Quote
The pivotal circuit was developed a couple of years before it's implementaion into olympic studios gear.

I do believe this, but I also believe: not from Roger Mayer...

Roger Mayer claims here:

http://www.roger-mayer.co.uk/axis.htm (http://www.roger-mayer.co.uk/axis.htm)

Quote
The Axis Fuzz was developed in early 1967 to give an additional series of tone colours for Jimi.

and in the posting he states:

Quote
I first met Jimi on Jan 11th 1967.

and in this time Roger Mayer not even started in studio electronic developments:

Quote
After the winter 68 tour in the USA I returned to work at Olympic Studios having left the Admiralty Research Laboratories to start a new career designing and manufacturing recording studio consoles and associated outboard equipment.

This makes sense, because the chief technician Dick Swettenham had left this time olympic studios and founded the Helios company.

But this time the shown amplifiers with the pivotal circuit were still in use in the olympic console.

And I really donīt believe, that Dick Swettenham copied a fuzz-schematic to make a Mic-Amplifier out of it.

Frequency doubling with transformers and diodes for radio-frequencys was fairly common this time - if you donīt believe it, you can look through the books presented here for free:

http://www.pmillett.com/technical_books_online.htm (http://www.pmillett.com/technical_books_online.htm)

Do you want to know what I would like to believe ?

WARNING:
THE FOLLOWING IS A FICTIONARY FAIRY TALE AND HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH REALITY OR LIVING PEOPLE - ANYHOW, PEOPLE WITH NOT SO STRONG NERVES SHOULD NEVER READ THE FOLLOWING - THEY COULD BE IN DANGER OF A HEART ATTACK:


We are writing the year 1967, Beatles, Stones, Sex, Drugs Rockīn Roll. Love, Peace, Freedom is all around everywhere.

A young boy named Roger Rabbit is running around and wants to participate in that exciting scene.  So he is carrying equipment and visiting locations of this scene.  One day in January 67 a roryīíng friend takes Roger Rabbit to a studio named Olympic that little Roger could see, whats going on there.

At this time there was a guitarist named Jimiboy recording an album in this studio.  Sadly Roger Rabbit was male and not a "usefull" groupie - for "free love".  Jimiboy saw Roger Rabbit and was astonished, what the guy with this "uncommon" hairdress is doing here.  So he asks Roger Rabbit: "Hey, young fellow, do you have any d*pe ?".  Little Roger didnīt know, what Jimi was talking about (thinking: "d*pe, what the heck is this ?") so he answered "Sorry no, but I have a soldering iron...".  Jimiboy answered: "Fellow, I need sex, drugs and Rockīn Roll and I have my own "soldering iron" for the groupies..., so for what are you useable, hanging around here ?"

Roger Rabbit stumbled: "....ah...ah.. I....Iīam a technician..."

Jimiboy said: "A technician..? F*ck off, who needs a technician now?"  But then Jimiboy had an idea:  "Ok young fellow, i will tell you something: you want to be a technician ? This guitar playing here makes me sick cause it makes my fingers wound. So if you are really a technician, then make me a unit, that I must not squeel my guitar all the time on the high E-string and destroy my finger cups with this....Go home, and if you have finished this, you have been at least good for something..."

So Roger Rabbit got a little bit nervous.  He remebered, when he build a diode-detector radio published in a thick book called "Radio Amateurīs Handbook" published by the ARRL he read that radio amateurs use frequency-doubling-stages to achieve higher frequencies.   He ran into the library and looked in this thick book, "yes here it is, and it uses ferrite cores for the transformer...very easy, one transformer, two diodes...this also should work for audio frequencies, if the core is big enough...Hey I won, with this, I can be around Jimiboy without beeing a groupie or a dr*g-d*aler".

So there was only one problem: the driver circuit.... But little Roger remembered, that the chief technician had explained him, that the big mixing console he saw in the studio uses a lot of transformers and the impedance ist about 600 Ohms. The chief technician showed him also one of the driver cards they used in the console.

Little Roger was in a hurry to finish this unit, but he remembered this cards from the mixing console.  So he went to the chief technician and asked him: "you know.... all this is very fascinating...and...you heard was Jimiboy was talking to me....".   The chief technician had a big heart and lend Roger Rabbit one of his spare modules that Roger could finish his experiments.

Yes, it worked...it really produced double frequency....Jimiboy was impressed, and Roger Rabbit was allowed to hang around further.

There was only one problem:
The recording session was finished with time, and Jimi found this little box usefull.  Roger Rabbit only had a little problem: He used the amplifier card from the mixing console, which he couldnīt take with him.

But Roger found the schematic of this amplifier card in the service department, so he drew it up, and
everything was fine...Only one little problem: the chief engineer drew in a hurry the first transistor in the wrong way...not a problem for the chief technician, cause from his mind he did it always the right way.

So little Roger was happy, that he got hold of the schematic of the driver card. He went home and tried to made copies of it... it worked somehow, but not the same way as the driver card used in the studio.

While listening to Vox Wah-Wah commercials little Roger thought: "When big Jimiboy likes such a unit, this could be a chance for me to get big into business with another guitarists".

So he produced 5 units which he sold to different musicians.  At this time there was a big PA-rental TYCON organizing the sound system for big live concerts.  One roadie saw this unit and asked the guitar player: "What the heck is this for a box?".  The guitarist said: "Little Roger assembled this usefull unit for me".  The roadie had a look inside: "Hey, f*cking sh*t, Little Roger placed the transistor in the wrong direction...".  "Ok, the rest is not so complicated, nothing really special inside...." "Letīs correct the orientation of the transistor and go into production..."

Yes, and with this words the Big TYCON stole the "intellectual property and copyright" of little Roger Rabbit.


WARNING:
THIS STORY WAS ONLY A FICTIONARY FAIRY TALE AND HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH REALITY OR LIVING PEOPLE.


@johnabraham
It seems that you have a very good contact to Roger Mayer.  Maybe you could be so kind and ask him, in which issue of the "Journal auf Audio Engineering Society" I can find the original schematic of the amplifier stage ?

analogguru
Title: Re: Octavia Evolution courtesy of Roger Mayer
Post by: petemoore on January 23, 2007, 01:35:04 AM
Little Roger placed the transistor in the wrong direction...".  "Ok, the rest is not so complicated, nothing really special inside...." "Letīs correct the orientation of the transistor and go into production..."
  How does this 'compare with the schematic I built my Tycho from?
  http://www.generalguitargadgets.com/diagrams/toctsc.gif
Title: Re: Octavia Evolution courtesy of Roger Mayer
Post by: Pedal love on January 23, 2007, 01:54:37 AM
Quote

WARNING:
THE FOLLOWING IS A FICTIONARY FAIRY TALE AND HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH REALITY OR LIVING PEOPLE - ANYHOW, PEOPLE WITH NOT SO STRONG NERVES SHOULD NEVER READ THE FOLLOWING - THEY COULD BE IN DANGER OF A HEART ATTACK:


We are writing the year 1967, Beatles, Stones, Sex, Drugs Rockīn Roll. Love, Peace, Freedom is all around everywhere.

A young boy named Roger Rabbit is running around and wants to participate in that exciting scene.  So he is carrying equipment and visiting locations of this scene.  One day in January 67 a roryīíng friend takes Roger Rabbit to a studio named Olympic that little Roger could see, whats going on there.

At this time there was a guitarist named Jimiboy recording an album in this studio.  Sadly Roger Rabbit was male and not a "usefull" groupie - for "free love".  Jimiboy saw Roger Rabbit and was astonished, what the guy with this "uncommon" hairdress is doing here.  So he asks Roger Rabbit: "Hey, young fellow, do you have any d*pe ?".  Little Roger didnīt know, what Jimi was talking about (thinking: "d*pe, what the heck is this ?") so he answered "Sorry no, but I have a soldering iron...".  Jimiboy answered: "Fellow, I need sex, drugs and Rockīn Roll and I have my own "soldering iron" for the groupies..., so for what are you useable, hanging around here ?"

Roger Rabbit stumbled: "....ah...ah.. I....Iīam a technician..."

Jimiboy said: "A technician..? F*ck off, who needs a technician now?"  But then Jimiboy had an idea:  "Ok young fellow, i will tell you something: you want to be a technician ? This guitar playing here makes me sick cause it makes my fingers wound. So if you are really a technician, then make me a unit, that I must not squeel my guitar all the time on the high E-string and destroy my finger cups with this....Go home, and if you have finished this, you have been at least good for something..."

So Roger Rabbit got a little bit nervous.  He remebered, when he build a diode-detector radio published in a thick book called "Radio Amateurīs Handbook" published by the ARRL he read that radio amateurs use frequency-doubling-stages to achieve higher frequencies.   He ran into the library and looked in this thick book, "yes here it is, and it uses ferrite cores for the transformer...very easy, one transformer, two diodes...this also should work for audio frequencies, if the core is big enough...Hey I won, with this, I can be around Jimiboy without beeing a groupie or a dr*g-d*aler".

So there was only one problem: the driver circuit.... But little Roger remembered, that the chief technician had explained him, that the big mixing console he saw in the studio uses a lot of transformers and the impedance ist about 600 Ohms. The chief technician showed him also one of the driver cards they used in the console.

Little Roger was in a hurry to finish this unit, but he remembered this cards from the mixing console.  So he went to the chief technician and asked him: "you know.... all this is very fascinating...and...you heard was Jimiboy was talking to me....".   The chief technician had a big heart and lend Roger Rabbit one of his spare modules that Roger could finish his experiments.

Yes, it worked...it really produced double frequency....Jimiboy was impressed, and Roger Rabbit was allowed to hang around further.

There was only one problem:
The recording session was finished with time, and Jimi found this little box usefull.  Roger Rabbit only had a little problem: He used the amplifier card from the mixing console, which he couldnīt take with him.

But Roger found the schematic of this amplifier card in the service department, so he drew it up, and
everything was fine...Only one little problem: the chief engineer drew in a hurry the first transistor in the wrong way...not a problem for the chief technician, cause from his mind he did it always the right way.

So little Roger was happy, that he got hold of the schematic of the driver card. He went home and tried to made copies of it... it worked somehow, but not the same way as the driver card used in the studio.

While listening to Vox Wah-Wah commercials little Roger thought: "When big Jimiboy likes such a unit, this could be a chance for me to get big into business with another guitarists".

So he produced 5 units which he sold to different musicians.  At this time there was a big PA-rental TYCON organizing the sound system for big live concerts.  One roadie saw this unit and asked the guitar player: "What the heck is this for a box?".  The guitarist said: "Little Roger assembled this usefull unit for me".  The roadie had a look inside: "Hey, f*cking sh*t, Little Roger placed the transistor in the wrong direction...".  "Ok, the rest is not so complicated, nothing really special inside...." "Letīs correct the orientation of the transistor and go into production..."

Yes, and with this words the Big TYCON stole the "intellectual property and copyright" of little Roger Rabbit.


WARNING:
THIS STORY WAS ONLY A FICTIONARY FAIRY TALE AND HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH REALITY OR LIVING PEOPLE.


 


You sir have a vivid if not disturbed imagination >:(
Title: Re: Octavia Evolution courtesy of Roger Mayer
Post by: Arno van der Heijden on January 23, 2007, 05:16:07 AM
I like your story....  :icon_mrgreen:
Title: Re: Octavia Evolution courtesy of Roger Mayer
Post by: johnabraham on January 23, 2007, 05:44:18 AM
On 11 Jan 1967 a experimental distortion in a seperate box, along with the Octavia in another box was introduced to Jimi. Work had started on this in 1966 and does not exist in any electronic manuals.
Title: Re: Octavia Evolution courtesy of Roger Mayer
Post by: Pedal love on January 23, 2007, 05:49:53 AM
Quote

So he asks Roger Rabbit: "Hey, young fellow, do you have any d*pe ?". 


 Jimiboy answered: "Fellow, I need sex, drugs and Rockīn Roll and I have my own "soldering iron" for the groupies..., so for what are you useable, hanging around here ?"

 
Hey I won, with this, I can be around Jimiboy without beeing a groupie or a dr*g-d*aler".

 


Analogguru, did you know Jimi? If you didn't, I would refrain from characterizing him in such a negative fashion. Its really irritating and Jimi is not here to defend himself.pl
Title: Re: Octavia Evolution courtesy of Roger Mayer
Post by: Ghandi on January 23, 2007, 05:58:46 AM
Conclusion: The Tyco-copy of RMīs Octavia has the first transistor the wrong way....
In the Helios schematic there are three trannys of the same type.  Mostly every technician would immediatly recognize this and nearly automatically change emitter and collector. So this can be the reason why the Tyco-copy has a wrong configuration.

The transistor orientation of the Roger Mayer Octavia as shown in the schematic is authentical (and correct).

so the tyco boys immediately saw the fault on rogers units but nevertheless copied it
and after some time roger recognized his mistake and corrected it on his units?

Is this the right conclusion of yer funny story analog?

ghandi
Title: Re: Octavia Evolution courtesy of Roger Mayer
Post by: Arno van der Heijden on January 23, 2007, 06:00:33 AM
@Pedal love: Calm down man... take it easy.....

@analogguru: Roger Mayer claims that the first Octavia unit used germanium transistors. It is quite possible that the first versions of the Helios modules where also based on germanium transistors. What do you think? Are there schematics available to prove this theory?

P.S. The Helios modules need negative supply, right?
Title: Re: Octavia Evolution courtesy of Roger Mayer
Post by: analogguru on January 23, 2007, 07:37:10 AM
Sometimes i question myself, iIs reading really such a big problem ?

@Pedal Love
No I didnīt know Jimi...Did he say to you, that he knows me ?

I believe that I wrote this:

Quote
THE FOLLOWING IS A FICTIONARY FAIRY TALE AND HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH REALITY

this means my characters are in no connection with Roger Mayer, Tycobrahe or Jimi Hendrix - they are fiktiv and source only from a "vivid imagination" , maybe....This is normally the basis for every good artist.

I donīt your age, cause you keep it secret, maybe you even havenīt been born in the 60īs or 70īs.
Have you been in the 70īs in Londonīs Edgeware Road ? A paradise for electronicians: Miles of electronic (component) shops, one after the other....not any of the young DIY here can even imagine this, but I have seen it.
I was in the electronic and music business in the 70īs so it is also possible that this is not a "vivid or disturbed imagination", maybe it is experience - who knows ?

I would recommend, that you listen this commercial:
http://www.archerproductions.com/MP3/archive/Vox%20Wah%20Wah%20Pedal.mp3 (http://www.archerproductions.com/MP3/archive/Vox%20Wah%20Wah%20Pedal.mp3)
to get an imagination of the flavour that time of "we change the world" - Bill Gates and big concerns didnīt exist so much as today.

I believe that I also wrote this for guys without nerves and/or humor:

Quote
PEOPLE WITH NOT SO STRONG NERVES SHOULD NEVER READ THE FOLLOWING - THEY COULD BE IN DANGER OF A HEART ATTACK:

Do you know the definition of a "true believer" ?
This is somebody, whos decisions have been made, and who doesnīt want to get confused by facts.


@Arno van der Heiden
Reading is really hard, eh ?
As far as I know, the first olympic modules used germanium transistors.
they were also posititive ground. Later they switched to negative ground.
A little bit more up in THIS thread you will find a link to another one:
http://www.diystompboxes.com/smfforum/index.php?topic=52731.0 (http://www.diystompboxes.com/smfforum/index.php?topic=52731.0)
in the mentioned thread you can find all the resources, schematics, pictures, everything you need.

In this thread:
http://www.diystompboxes.com/smfforum/index.php?topic=39466.0 (http://www.diystompboxes.com/smfforum/index.php?topic=39466.0)
you can find the observations Mr. Huge et al made independently concerning the tycobrahe.


@Ghandi
Quote
so the tyco boys immediately saw the fault on rogers units but nevertheless copied it
and after some time roger recognized his mistake and corrected it on his units?

I donīt know, cause I donīt have access to the transistor markings of the tycobrahe.
In the pictures I posted, they look all the same.  Maybe RM removed the marking on the unit they got hold of and changed the orientation.  Fact is, that in the Tycho the emitter is croslinked with the collector, you can have a look for yourself. I assume, that this happened when a tyco-technician wanted to be clever.

I donīt know if he used Si or Ge-diodes, in the picture they look like Si, Mr. Huge writes 1N34A which would be germanium. Both make sense, with Ge you will get more Signal, and Si will "soften" a little bit the signal at the bottom of the wave.


@johnabraham
interesting, but this was not my question

@petermoore
I donīt know, but I donīt believe that GGG ever traced a Tycobrahe.  It seems to me more a redraw of a schematic which was circling around in the net for years.
Look at the pictures and the thread mentioned (especially what Mr. Huge observed) and make your own opinion.

analogguru





Title: Re: Octavia Evolution courtesy of Roger Mayer
Post by: Ghandi on January 23, 2007, 08:44:01 AM
before I mix it up altogether:

the hand drawn helios schematic is electronically correct,
the other helios schematic is electronically incorrect,
your tyco schematic is electronically correct,
your octavio schematic is electronically correct,
way huges tyco schematic is electronically incorrect.

and way huge said that he had some original tycos under his fingers,
and always found the first transistor to be connected electronically wrong,
if  I remember correct.

do I got it right?

anyway thanks for your time and help getting more clearance in the octavio/octavia history!

cheers
ghandi
Title: Re: Octavia Evolution courtesy of Roger Mayer
Post by: Arno van der Heijden on January 23, 2007, 09:22:15 AM
@Arno van der Heiden
Reading is really hard, eh ?
As far as I know, the first olympic modules used germanium transistors.
they were also posititive ground. Later they switched to negative ground.

Maybe I should have been more clear.

What I meant to ask was: Do you know if there exist schematics of the germanium version of the Olympic module (which were possibly used as a driver for the Octavia at one time)? Or is is it just a matter of swapping silicon for germanium transistors (having the right hfe etc...)?
Title: Re: Octavia Evolution courtesy of Roger Mayer
Post by: petemoore on January 23, 2007, 09:26:33 AM
  I just would like to know what the Octavio or via has evolved to. The Tycho I have has been modified, and has to be driven hard by a Fuzz for best results.
  Mine is out of the box for repairs right now, and is going to be looked at soon.
  I'm pretty sure I turned that transistor around at least once, and decided to leave it as the schematic shows.
Title: Re: Octavia Evolution courtesy of Roger Mayer
Post by: analogguru on January 23, 2007, 09:55:36 AM
Quote
the hand drawn helios schematic is electronically correct,

I ASSUME that the hand drawn schematic was done (traced) by a technician of Hyde-Street Studios.
Whern I look at the photos of the plug-in card the schematic SEEMS to reflect the reality.

Quote
the other helios schematic is electronically incorrect,
Definitely with 3 PNP transistors configured in this way this would be unusable in studio applications.
In a distortion-unit you can do everything, main point is that it should distort.
("Oohhhh, nice a new factory... sry, fuzz sound to play around" - yes, No. 287)

Quote
your tyco schematic is electronically correct,
My tyco schema is not 100% correct, it reflects only what I have seen from the pictures.
I can draw a perfect schematic, when i have three original units in front of me.
Then I would say: This is the way a Tyco was build.
But it SEEMS to be more correct than what was floating around previously.
And I have to say, I am only sure, that in the photo the emitter of the first transistor is connected to the base of the second one.  And I claim, that this was done intentionely.
I can NOT say if this an NPN as shown in Mr. Huges schematic, or a PNP as shown in my schematic.
A PNP would make more sense to me.

Quote
your octavio schematic is electronically correct,
The corrected octavio schematic shows what I can see from the pictures shown in this thread.
It SEEMS to me, that i reflects the reality - when I compare it also with the original RM58 and RM68 schematics. (Links to it are in the other thread).

Quote
way huges tyco schematic is electronically incorrect.
This I cannot say, outgoing from the assumtion that he has 3 original units, and I beleive that Mr. Huge is not stupid, I would say Mr. Huges schematic can be more correct than mine.

What confuses me ist the 100ĩF capacitor, even if he makes sense.  From the pictures above i would assume that this cap is only 25 ĩF, a 100ĩF would be bigger....

The important thing is the emitter orientation, and that is the same like in my schematic.
When you are in doubt, believe the schematic of mr. Huge.  I draw my schematic 2 years ago, without the schematic of Mr. Huge, I didnīt have time to play around with it and i didnīt want to use Mr. Huges schematic - copyright respect and so...

Quote
and way huge said that he had some original tycos under his fingers,
and always found the first transistor to be connected electronically wrong,
if  I remember correct.

When I look at the pictures , I can believe that.

Quote
do I got it right?

basically yes.

Quote
anyway thanks for your time and help getting more clearance in the octavio/octavia history!

no problem at all, "truthfinders" are alway welcome.

I am only reporting my finds and presenting my thoughts.
Please have a look at the photos and schematics and make your own opinion, and:

Never trust "authorities".

analogguru
Title: Re: Octavia Evolution courtesy of Roger Mayer
Post by: analogguru on January 23, 2007, 10:21:12 AM
Quote
What I meant to ask was: Do you know if there exist schematics of the germanium version of the Olympic module (which were possibly used as a driver for the Octavia at one time)?

I was happy to find this schematics and they are rare....

What i forgot to say:
The Helios "Factory"-schematic seems to be from around 1972.
So I ASSUME that there existed an earlier hand-drawn schematic in the olympic-studio.

For one unit a hand-drawn schematic is enough, if you sell more units commercially you should be able to support the customer with "professional" schematics.

Quote
Or is is it just a matter of swapping silicon for germanium transistors (having the right hfe etc...)?
If the unit runs with germanium it should be normally no problem to swap in silicon.
silicon have less leakage current, more gain....

What confuses me a little bit on every schematic is the high input impedance.  For studio applications this gives a "not so good" noise performance and is not really necessary with input transformers as used in the mixing cxonsoles.  By using germanium transistors this can also lead you into troubles.
A rule in transistor amplifier design is, that the current through the voltage divider at the base of the transistor should be ten times higher then the collector current divided thru the gain (beta) to avoid temperature instabilities caused by the leakage current.

This is especially using germanium transistors, cause their leakager current is much higher than silicon ones - and the gain lower. So for a germanium design the very low current through the base-voltage divider would cause me real headaches.

@petermoore

I started only to report my findings on the tyco stuff. I didnīt know that this would result in a RM octavia discussion.  What I know about the RM octavia is not much, you can find pictures, schemas in this thread and referencved links. (sorry, until now I didnīt find it important enough to draw a schematic of the RM Octavia or correct the values in Justin philpots schematic - only between us my confession: I drew one of the Fifi-Factory :o. I corrected this only very rough yesterday to answer german speaking Gandhi).

analogguru
Title: Re: Octavia Evolution courtesy of Roger Mayer
Post by: Ghandi on January 23, 2007, 01:50:50 PM
Quote
way huges tyco schematic is electronically incorrect.
This I cannot say, outgoing from the assumtion that he has 3 original units, and I beleive that Mr. Huge is not stupid, I would say Mr. Huges schematic can be more correct than mine.

oh no,
i although don't think that mr. huge is stupid.

what I meant was that a pnp for Q1 would make more sense than a npn on his schematic.

cheers
ghandi
Title: Re: Octavia Evolution courtesy of Roger Mayer
Post by: petemoore on January 23, 2007, 02:10:38 PM
 Octavia = Octavio
  Some schematics reflect that there are unsettled or unknowns about the circuit, or my...drift is off...
  'Will the real Slim Shady please stand up?'
  I have a Tycho-like build here and wouldn't mind seeing the circuit gone over with a fine toothed comb to see if there isn't room for improvement, trying lots of stuff, a FF with comes closest, pretty close..I have to guess.
  I was about to take the last half and see what could be done with the first half [maybe a FF w/buffer, or...] to wreak a bit more Octavio sound from it. I'm not sure what I'm getting from it alone [especially, but also w/FF] is what I want, I'm not concerned with authenticity so much as function.
Title: Re: Octavia Evolution courtesy of Roger Mayer
Post by: analogguru on January 23, 2007, 04:17:11 PM
Quote
I'm not concerned with authenticity so much as function.

This is a reasonable word...

so I had a loook at the actual schematic at ggg.

This schematic will work fine.

1.) You can try to change C4 to 100ĩF this will give more bass gain/distortion at higher gain settings.

2.) Then I would place a resistor of 47 Ohm to 100 Ohm in series with the Gain poti R8.
This makes it more easy to adjust gain and secures stability. Maximum Gain will be reduced a little bit.

3.) Then you can try to change the poti R8 to 5 ok 10k (reverse) logarithmic. (reverse) logarithmic makes it more easy to adjust gain.  If you use a logarithmic for test purposes exchange the outer lugs, gain will increase counterclockwise.

depending on the value of the poti this will decrease minimum gain so you can play around with "undistorted" signals.

4.) disconnect the center tap of the output transformer and make following series setup:
+V -> 10k resistor -> Diode -> Diode -> Gnd. (Diodes 1 N 4148)
Place a 2k5 Trimmer between the connection 10k Resistor and the 2 diodes on one side and the other side to gnd (This means in parallel to both diodes).
connect the slider lug to the center tap of the output transformer.
turn the trimmer fully to gnd.

Disconnect the volume poti from the two (rectifier) diodes.
place a 10k resistor from the two (rectifier) diodes to gnd.
Place a 100nF cap between the 2 diodes/10k resistor and the volume poti.

switch the unit on and adjust the trimmer to your taste.

The purpose of this mod is to place a small dc-current through the diodes which reduces the "gating" effect when the signal gets smaller.

5.) Use 2 x 9V Batteries in series.
18 V will give you more headroom and output signal.  Maybe you can even create "transformer saturation distortion" effects.

analogguru
Title: Re: Octavia Evolution courtesy of Roger Mayer
Post by: analogguru on January 23, 2007, 06:05:44 PM

Here is a schematic about the mod I was talking:

(http://analogguru.an.funpic.de/pictures/Tycobrahe_outputmod.gif)

BE WARNED !!!:

"...THIS IS MY INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY AND COPYRIGHT...."
at least for the next 20 years  ;)

analogguru
Title: Re: Octavia Evolution courtesy of Roger Mayer
Post by: johnabraham on January 23, 2007, 06:06:54 PM
Pivotal circuit starting in '66.
Title: Re: Octavia Evolution courtesy of Roger Mayer
Post by: petemoore on January 23, 2007, 06:56:53 PM
  I don't know why I don't see a schematic or link, just see a box with an x in it, perhaps it's this browser of mine
Title: Re: Octavia Evolution courtesy of Roger Mayer
Post by: analogguru on January 24, 2007, 02:17:47 PM

@petermoore

sorry, but my browser displays the schematic...I donīt know what should be wrong....

If you still have problems, try this link:

http://analogguru.an.funpic.de/pictures/Tycobrahe_outputmod.gif (http://analogguru.an.funpic.de/pictures/Tycobrahe_outputmod.gif)

analogguru