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Brian May's Red Special

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Has anyone come up with a good model of Brian May's guitar?   I'm covering Fat Bottom Girls in a band I'm in and a regular Strat tone doesn't cut it.   I have a Variax 700.  Thanx!

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I set up one....  Rickenbacker body and two P-90s in series... couldn't figure out how to get the 3rd pickup without making the body a Strat...  then I lose the chambers.   It sounds nice, but not exactly right.   Anyone else try it?

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Unfortunately, it's not possible to use three pickups simultaneously on the Variax, regardless of guitar body. (Notice what happens if you try to turn on the 3rd pickup.)

 

You can place pickups anywhere you like, though. It might be worth trying two pickups in non-standard positions, or very far apart and quite different output pickups but in series and out of phase, or other out-of-left-field ideas. You never know what bizarre combination that's impossible in the physical world might get you the sound you need.

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Interestingly, he doesn't use Red Special on FBG!

 

"Fat Bottomed Girls,†which is in dropped-D tuning, is played with a Red Special replica that's green and was built by British luthier Andrew Guyton."

 

RedSpecial-green-WEB.jpg

 

The picks, or lack of one is also going to factor in heavily:

 

"May rocks his various Red Special models with the help of sixpence coins because they give him the ultimate touch-sensitivity control allowing him to feel every contact the coin has against the strings. Plus, he enjoys using the serrated edges of the coin for an added bite."

 

May-coins.jpg

 

Also, the wet-dry-wet rig does make a pretty significant impact as well!

 

"Instead of hitting a dirt box for distorted tones, May simply uses the volume control on his guitar to wrangle all he needs out of his trio of Vox AC30s. The amps are set up in a wet-dry-wet configuration with the center amp receiving a totally dry signal and both of the outside amps getting a different delayed signal. The ping-pong effect is mirrored in the onstage monitors as well. Each amp has been heavily modded to remove all the unnecessary (at least to May) reverb and tremolo circuits."

 

May-Amps-WEB.jpg

 

"The only real effects May uses is his Fryer Treble Booster mounted on his guitar strap, a Dunlop rackmounted wah, and a pair of TC Electronic G-Major 2 delay units (one set to 800 ms and the other 1600 ms)."

 

May-Rack-WEB.jpg

 

 

 

Of course it helps to have a guy off stage switching your tones up for you with a MIDI controller!

"His longtime guitar tech Pete Malandrone handles all the switching offstage via a KAT MIDI controller."

 

May-FX-Controller-WEB.jpg

 

 

http://www.premierguitar.com/articles/21168-rig-rundown-queens-brian-may

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