Brian May Fryer Treble Booster prototypes 2005 and 2010

Prototypes of the Brian May/Fryer Treble Booster pedal were developed in 2005 and 2010 with the objective of having a good quality unit that could be mass produced at a later date.

In 2005 I commissioned a Korean company Muse Inc (who are the makers of Nobels guitar effect pedals amongst others) to make 2 prototypes of the BM/Fryer Treble Booster Touring (pictured below).

Muse Inc used my BM/Fryer Touring schematic diagram and photos of my previous Brian May Treble Boosters, and made the 2 prototypes with quite a lot of their own input regarding box and component specifications.

Unfortunately nothing eventuated from the 2005 prototype sample that I left at Brian’s studio. It is my understanding that the 1st prototype was then given away by Pete Malandrone to Nigel Knight who later sold it in 2012 to Mike Ryde. In 2016 Mike sold this #1 2005 prototype booster through the Red Special group facebook website.

The mass produced BMG treble booster idea was discussed again in 2007 when I visited Brian May at his Allerton Hill studio to show him a Kz Jnr Red Special guitar and discuss the concept of the Brian May Super guitar. During my 2007 visit I had talks with Brian, Pete Malandrone, Barry Moorhouse, Barry Gibson and Adrian Turner which were very productive and fortunately the BM Super guitar project went ahead, being a co-production between myself and Japanese guitar maker colleague Kazutaka Ijuin.

After I returned to Australia I began work with my graphic designer Hourie Sarkissan on artwork for several new Brian May/Fryer treble booster pedals including my Treble Booster Deluxe and Treble Booster Plus designs, both of which were manufactured in the UK in 2008 after Nigel Knight and I formed our new company Fryer Sound Ltd. Unfortunately Nigel is someone who I now wish I had never met.

Amongst the artwork that Hourie and I produced on 20th November 2007 was the artwork for the Brian May/BMG treble booster prototype which we later developed during 2009-2010, with the first prototype completed in April 2010.

Scanned jpeg of proofsheet artwork done by Greg Fryer and Hourie Sarkissan on 20th Nov 2007 for several Brian May/Fryer treble boosters #1

This prototype for the Brian May/BMG Treble Booster was based around my Treble Booster Touring design but was planned to have surface mount components which hopefully would reduce manufacturing cost.

The 2010 prototype was not made to specifications either written or stated by Brian May. Brian was only distantly aware of the 2005 prototype because that was the way that things usually went with the BM/Fryer pedal development, and indeed this was the same ‘process of communication/feedback’ when I made my 3 Red Special replica guitars for Brian in 1996-97: Brian usually had a very ‘hands-off’ trusting approach with was fantastic to work with from my perspective, and he trusted me with the effect pedals, Trisonic pickups and Deacy Amp development from 1998 to get on with the job of developing good quality products and to keep him informed when something was developed to a stage that he could him examine and test it, and this usually occurred at or near the final stage of a product’s development.

(One notable product exception was the development of the Deacy Amp replica which required a much greater amount of regular input from Brian because it was such a difficult and complex design to get right). After we formed our company in 2008, as before, Brian gave the same trust to Nigel and myself to get on with the with our job of developing for UK manufacture versions of the quality Brian May/Fryer pedals which Brian later tested, examined and commented about at the end of the TB Deluxe and TB Plus product evolution. (The BM/Fryer TB Touring had already been around in a couple of incarnations since 1998-99 and of course was not a new product to Brian in 2008 when UK manufacture began, but my TB Deluxe and TB Plus were only recent 2007 designs).

At no time do I remember Nigel Knight and I ever discussing either by telephone or in emails the earlier Pete Cornish BC149 treble boosters that Brian had used in the 1970s. The 2010 BMG booster prototype used a surface mount BC847 transistor that was reasonably close in output level and sound to the BC182L transistor of the TB Touring pedal. I had found the BC847 SMD transistor in my transistor tables book in 2009 and suggested it to Nigel as a transistor to consider for this booster.

The 2010 BMG treble booster prototype’s specifications were determined primarily by Nigel and myself, and discussions were held at times with both Barry Moorhouse and Pete Malandrone regarding this prospective BMG product.

From the time that we began Fryer Sound Ltd in 2008 I had experimented with prototypes for a possible BMG booster and although we were very busy with many other things, Nigel and I had regular discussions about the BMG treble booster project at that time.

Below are photos of my prototype BMG booster including pics of repairs that I did recently to a surface mount 47uf cap which had broken off the board. I replaced it with a standard size 47uf capacitor, the blue one you can see in one of the pics.