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A long journey

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A long journey

Postby smile44 » Sun May 14, 2017 9:45 am

Some news from a long-time member of the RS forums… who had disappeared for few years.
I did register again a few days ago, and it was nice to see that quite a few well-known names are still posting here !
On my side, I have some news about some personal Queen/Brian May-related project.
Nearly 10 years ago, I started building my first guitar amp, based on the 1W amp-Mullard schematic…some AC125, AC126, AC128s transistors, two transformers, some usual electronic parts, a good old vintage speaker, and I had my first BM-style amplifier, the perfect companion to my RS and TB to achieve the tones we all love. I couldn’t expect I would still be working on this circuit ten years later.

As you may remember, 3 years ago, I managed to find a Supersonic PR80 amplifier board, which is a key part of Brian May’s original Deacy amp. I was lucky enough not only to find an original board, but also some extra original transformers that were used on these boards.

Here is an unseen picture of my original board.
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Owning this original board and these transformers was of course a unique source of information that I only could have dreamt of before. All the technical details, but also aesthetical infos were there before me…still waiting to be fully discovered though. I then decided to start another “journey”, which ended a few days ago : building from scratch my best BM-style studio amplifier, using the same parts John Deacon once assembled if they were still available or building my own if they were not.

The key elements were the audio transformers…which I completely replicated, using an original pair of Supersonic original transformers. It was not only a technical replica, but also the original vintage look was part of the project. Having full access to the loose transformers did help a lot of course, as some unexpected details and infos could be seen and measured.
Having done this work, I thought I should go much further, and build a twin brother/sister to my original Supersonic board. I won’t bore you with all the details of my R&D work, but it took me most of my spare time during the last 3 years. I carefully replicated the electronic board, but also the speaker cabinet (thanks to a very similar cabinet I have). The speakers, another key part, have been chosen and tweaked using the original Elac speakers as a reference.
Enough talking, please find below some pictures of my work.
I hope you’ll enjoy seeing these as much as I enjoyed my “special journey”.

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smile44
 
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Re: A long journey

Postby ledzepx » Mon May 15, 2017 5:47 am

Wow that is nice. Sooo how does it sound? Any samples yet?
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Re: A long journey

Postby smile44 » Mon May 15, 2017 3:31 pm

Thanks !
As requested, here are a few sound snippets…
I decided to not alter the recordings in any way : what you hear was just recorded off the amp, with no EQ, no reverb, etc.
We must remember Brian used many different methods to create different tones. As I couldn’t find that kind of information out, I felt it best to leave the recordings "as is" so as to not disguise anything.

God Save the Queen beginning
https://soundcloud.com/smile44/gstq-raw-mix

N&M OOP
https://soundcloud.com/smile44/nm-oop

B&M Cello
https://soundcloud.com/smile44/bm-cello

B&M Clean
https://soundcloud.com/smile44/bm-clean

B&M IP Chord
https://soundcloud.com/smile44/bm-ip-chord

B&M IP High Lead
https://soundcloud.com/smile44/bm-ip-high-lead

B&M IP Low Lead
https://soundcloud.com/smile44/bm-ip-low-lead

B&M IP
https://soundcloud.com/smile44/bm-ip
smile44
 
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Re: A long journey

Postby ledzepx » Mon May 15, 2017 9:50 pm

Damn! I am blown away. Wow!
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Re: A long journey

Postby Doug » Thu May 18, 2017 6:18 am

Bonjour Manuel.

Thanks for posting up the details and congratulations on reaching the end of your personal journey to make a vintage correct replica of the Deacy amplifer.

I am still engaged on my personal journey to make a vintage correct Red Special replica using CAD, CAM and CNC and it is taking a similar amount of time to your project.

It is sad that Nigel Knight/KAT has ceased production of the official Deacy amplifier replicas due to an imbalance between customer demand and the time, cost and trouble involved with producing them. I have Deacy amp replica 0065 and although I don't use it much, I treasure it and respect the huge R&D effort involved in replicating something which was originally constructed from low quality component parts.

Regards.

Doug
RS Custom Guitars 64 Supreme
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Re: A long journey

Postby smile44 » Fri May 19, 2017 1:27 pm

Salut Doug,
Thanks for your kind words !
I have been away from the RS forums for a long time, so I have just started browsing all that I missed in the meanwhile. Your work on the 1975 RS and all the research on the design and shapes of the original RS is just outstanding, what a read. I can rely on that very much, because I followed a very similar path with my project. Of course, achieving a final product is very rewarding in the end, especially if the quality is there, but all R&D and design is probably the best part of it. The search is the prize...
I remember the times, ten years ago maybe, when all this work would have fed pages on a single thread on the forums, with heated discussions on the position of a screw, or the shape of a upper horn... These times are gone, sometimes for the better, because the commercial offers have widely improved over the years, making the guitars and amps available for most, but sometimes also for worse, because the passion has gone for a lot of RS aficionados, the information being now "out there". On my side, tracking down an original Supersonic board and replicating it and the cabinet to a T with modern parts kept me busy for several years, and was such a great experience...some treasured moments really. I'm sure you're still having some of those with your projects. Keep them going !

Manuel
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