Scholz Research & Development, Inc.
Scholz Research & Development, Inc. or SR&D is the name of the company founded by Tom Scholz to design and manufacture music technology products. The manufacturing facility was located in Woburn, Ma. in the 1980s. Scholz is also a key member of the rock band Boston.
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-a-kind products that Scholz felt other guitarists would find useful. Thus, SR&D was founded in 1980.
Later on, SR&D added other signal processing equipment to their product line, notably the Rockmodules, which were half-rack effects that modularized individual components of the Rockman. Guitar amplifiers and other gear were also produced.
The Rockman line, which used analog circuits, became less successful during the digital effects boom of the early 1990s, essentially putting the company out of business. Today, some SR&D products are highly collectible.
In 1995, Scholz sold the Rockman line to Dunlop Manufacturing, Inc. and closed SR&D.
SR&D's first product was the Power Soak, which places a load on a power amplifier allowing only a portion of the signal to reach a speaker cabinet. Lower volume is the result, but the unique tonal characteristics generated by an amp at full power are not lost. Lower volume is useful in recording studios or any place where loud amps can be a problem. The power soak is only used for tube (valve) amplifiers.
Dunlop continues to manufacture the last revision of the Rockman headphone amps, the Ace family (as Rockman Guitar Ace).