Special Strap Boosters for Brian May

We were asked by Pete Malandrone to come up with a better solution to the existing Fryer Strap Treble Boosters as these, whilst performing well as Touring-style Treble Boosters, would almost constantly over-drive the Sennheiser Radio Transmitters pushing them to ‘Peak’ on almost every note thus adding unwanted distortion to Brian’s sound. Ideally, the units should also have on/off switches such that the unit could be turned off at the end of each gig, rather than dismantled and the battery removed as was required with the existing Fryer unit.

So, we set about designing a new TB. One that would be able to match the impedance and properly drive the up-stream radio transmitter whilst still contributing harmonically to the incoming signal from Brian’s Guitar. We also decided to introduce further features such as battery on/off switch; status LED and level trim controls as part of our own design wish list.

The unit that emerged not only fulfilled all the above, but also exhibited significant weight reduction over the original as well as better RFI shielding.

Five units were hand-built and delivered ready for the second phase of Queen rehearsals. We managed to get a couple of hours in the morning to dial-in the relative signal levels as best we could before the rehearsals began. It was then up to Pete to adjust the relevant levels in order to balance the system, which he did over the next couple of days of rehearsals.

The result is a far cleaner ‘clean’ tone with bigger and better overall dynamics. Brian has since commented that “he can’t remember the last time his guitar sounded ‘that clean’”!

From our point of view!...... Job done!!

Four of the five units at work! No.5 was attached to the Guyton Twin Neck!

Guitar Rack

Photo courtesy of Andrew Guyton

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