Brian May Deacy amp

Brian May's tone is one of the most recognisable in Rock and consists of some very unlikely components. If having a totally home made guitar that was built using any materials he and his father could lay their hands on wasn't enough, many of his finest moments were record using an amplifier built from parts found in a skip (aka dumpster)! Songs such as 'Good Company', 'Killer Queen', 'Bohemian Rhapsody' and 'A Winters Tale', to name just a few, all contained sections recorded with this very distinctive sounding homemade amp. Combined with the Red Special and a treble booster, the 'Deacy', as it was dubbed, produced a very cutting crisp distorted tone, which when manipulated with the pickup and phase switching capabilities of the Red Special, different mic positioning, and the use of a wah as a tone control, enabled Brian to produce symphonic orchestral like sounds from his guitar. The Deacy became very much a part of Queen and Brian's voice in the studio.

Brian wasn't the only academically gifted member of Queen, nor was he the only one to have experimented building musical equipment with anything that came to hand. Queen's bassist, John Deacon, was an Honours electronics student studying in London and found the circuit board that formed the basis for the Deacy amp discarded in a builders skip in 1972. His attention was drawn to the wires hanging over the side of the skip, and on closer investigation he discovered the circuit board attached to the other end. John decided to use the circuit board to build a small practice amp for playing guitar through. He mounted the circuit inside an old bookshelf speaker he had lying around, and mounted a jack socket on the rear of the speaker. There was also a power lead coming out of the back of the speaker that connected to a PP9 battery. The 'Deacy amp' was born! It had no controls and produced a warm, slightly distorted tone, but history was about to be made when John took the little amp along to a Queen rehearsal. Brian May was intrigued and plugged in his Red Special and treble booster. Driving the amp with the treble booster pushed both the input and output stage, producing a very unique distorted tone that Brian has never been able to achieve on anything else, analogue or digital. From that point on the Deacy amp became part of Brian's arsenal of tone tools; often blending it with his darker AC30 tone.

Brian and his tech Pete Malandrone eventually decided that they wanted a replica of the Deacy made as a back up for Brian, as well as producing a unit to sell. Around thirteen years were spent painstakingly researching and building an exact replica; Brian even allowed the original Deacy to be taken apart to match the speakers, circuit board and transistors correctly to produce the legendary Deacy tone. This task was originally undertaken by Australian Greg Fryer and ultimately concluded by Nigel Knight, who has an extensive knowledge of vintage electric components. Everything was researched and analysed to the utmost degree, even down to cabinet thickness and the weave of the grille cloth. Experts at Celestion Speakers aided Nigel, with extensive analysis of the speakers that would eventually result in exact recreations. Eventually the finished replica was sat with Brian's original Deacy, and Brian took part in a 'blind'

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