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Discussion Starter #1
Lately my brain has been telling me to take a stab at figuring out “that tone” that has been elusive to me for years. I have either been too busy and forgot, or, who knows?

I have always considered the guitar playing and tone on the Aqualung album as top 10 of all time. Your views might differ. My ears are stumped, and I can’t duplicate that delicious tone, that sounds so pure/simple.

Thanks to the internet, answers can be found, much can be read. So basically a p90 LP JR, a rangemaster pedal and a small lightly overdriven amp, played straight up, without a bunch of EQ tricks is supposed to be the way the tone is achieved. I am talking about the studio version. It was reported done with minimal prep and minimal takes, in about an hour or so.

I have tried my other fuzz and drive pedals, combinations, etc.

So I am on the hunt for a Rangemaster that will do the job. None of the YouTube demos have me convinced that the Rangemaster is the tool for the job.

Anyone?
 

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IIRC the range master is a germanium treble boost. They sound best when pushing an amp that is close to breaking up. They also tend to sound better in British amps. And if I am not mistaken, there is more than one version of it. The Dallas rangemaster and the Hornby Skewes? And because they are germanium, no two sound alike.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Yes the Hornby Skewes was mentioned, but also how little electronics and how much radio interference was also mentioned with that particular device. The original device is quite pricey and internals described as a piece of wire with not much electronics on it.

Even the amp used, is referred to a nothing special studio amp.
 

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Rangemasters depend on three things:
- the specific transistor,
- the manner in which the guitar loads down the input to the Rangemaster,
- feeding the output directly to the input of a tube amp.

I've made a few over the years, and only one had any real magic to it. It used a 2SB175 transistor I cannibalized from a transistor radio I bought with the money I earned from a 1965 summer job picking strawberries for the federal government. Instant "Beano" tone. Unfortunately, I got cocky and thought I could capture the same magic again, and sold it to a local storeowner. I'd happily give him the $60 back for it, but from what I hear, it has been on his own pedalboard for a numbr of years.

I probably exaggerated the role of the transistor a bit. Lots of different germanium trannies could probably be used, but the challenge is identifying what passive component values around it extract the desired behaviour. If you have a real one, and can throw it on a scope, you can play with the component values on the clone until you nail the same thing, using a different transistor, that you get from the original. But unless you have something to work from, you're sort of stuck using the component values shown in the schematic, and sticking different trannies in a socket until you get something you like. And there, the particular transistor starts to matter, since some will sound great with the stated passive component values, while others won't.
 
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