rockman News                                  December 2020


  The X100 and earlier versions is in high demand right now -- and why not?  It’s the most featured packed Rockman headphone amp.  Not a week goes by without a few of them arriving awaiting assessments and service.  Most clients just want their beloved Rockman, IIB and X100 to sound amazing again.  But, there are those who want to get the most of the existing infrastructure and some who wish for a more user friendly headphone amp, not just what presets and fixed parameters for the onboard effects that technology would allow over 37 years ago.   Below you will find some of the most requested mods for the X100 and earlier versions that I have develop.

the DBE Bootstrap mod

  A lot of X100 and variant owners use the headphone amp for recording, practice and even live performance.  One of the big drawbacks is you can never really get any of the four presets without echo, chorus or both.  The DBE Bootstrap Mod changes everything!

  The DBE Bootstrap mod is quite liberating!  This particular mod  was developed by DB -- yours truly.  The E is for Echo.  The term Bootstrap has two meanings:  Doing something without the help of others or using an internal function to load a program into a computer.  In terms of the X100 and its variants, both interpretations encompasses the spirit of this mod.  It allows the user total control over the Echo effect, without the help of others and from a hardware resource within the headphone amp.

  Post DBE Bootstrap Mod, the user can configure their X100 and its variants Echo function on or off via a simple Bootstrap setting switch inside the headphone amp.  What does this mean exactly?  Turning the Bootstrap switch off frees the headphone amp of the echo effect.   Allowing the user to achieve an echo free tone with no signal or tone degradation.  Imagine processing your X100 tone with modern time-based delay technology and not the preset echo or chorus that was achievable over 37 years ago?  Even better, you and can still engage the chorus if desired and enable the echo effect if and when you need it.  All the while, the headphone amp remains stock!  This is a more elegant approach without cumbersome toggle switches protruding from the headphone amp or inside.  Just a one time installation of the Bootstrap switch that serves a component on the Printed Circuit Board. 

  The DBE Bootstrap Mod = Clean 1, Clean 2, Edge and Distortion free of preset onboard effects.  Think of the possibilities with today’s signal processing technology!

clean 1 & 2 Compressor Threshold adjustment

  What makes the Rockman headphone amps so unique is they employ an onboard compressor.  Does your Rockman headphone amp experience excessive “squashing?”  Just hit a power chord on the Clean1 or Clean 2 setting and you will probably notice a good amount of squashing or compression going on.  It has its place, but really can get in the way when you want to make the most of the Clean 1 & 2 presets.  Despite being simplistic in terms of compressors with no user parameter control, there are some adjustments to be made to the threshold  in the Clean 1 & 2 settings.  The threshold setting is the level your signal needs to rise above for the compressor to engage and operate., the factory default is set pretty low.  The adjustment is subjective but it does mitigate a lot of the excessive squashing, so chords and notes bloom more naturally.

  For further information or to inquire about SR&D and Rockman repair and modifications, please e-mail:




original rockman, iib and X100 modifications

Look to this page often, as there is a lot more in-store for the X100, its variants and the Sustainor and much more!

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