Mayday product description and ordering

The Mayday overdrive/distortion pedal is handmade by Greg Fryer and gives the full volume overdriven Vox AC30 Brian May sound but at much lower overall volume levels. It is especially good for achieving the full volume harmonically rich sound at low practice levels or rehearsal levels.

The Mayday needs a treble booster first in line to drive it, and has been designed to suit  the Fryer Treble Boosters: Touring, Super, Deluxe, Plus and Special.

Note: other manufacturers treble boosters: we have found that the Mayday sounds good when used with the Pete Cornish treble booster but have been informed by customers that other brands of treble booster may not produce such good results.

Mayday and Treble Booster Super

The Mayday has been designed for amps such as Vox AC30, Vox AC15, Vox Pathfinder, and will also sound good used with amps such as Roland, Fender and Marshall etc.

The Mayday is priced at $AUD590.00 (approx 290.00 GBP, $USD416.00, 382.00 Euros, 50,000.00 Japanese Yen) plus shipping by UPS. Please see www.xe.com for currency exchange rates.

How to order:

April 2016 update: my aim is that later in 2016 we will have an ‘affordable factory made’ Mayday pedal available. This will be based on my current handmade Mayday pedal but will also incorporate features from a customised version of the Mayday which I have developed for the new production of WWRY in Australia for use with their Vox AC30 C2 amps. I am also considering other models such as an integrated Treble Booster/Mayday pedal and will keep this webpage updated with latest info.

Hooroo, Greg

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Mayday pcb ‘secret message’ from the great George Harrison, his last message to the world and so easy to forget in our busy lives. For a long time I have wanted to have George’s beautiful message on one of my products in some small way…. so here it is 😉

Mayday pcb message

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Settings:

Suggested settings are pictured below for using the Mayday pedal plugged into the normal channel of the Vox AC30 with the AC30 volume control set low at approx 1/4:

On newer AC30s made after 2004 set up the amp for a loud clean sound. Master Volume control is set at full, then reduce the channel volume control to approx 1/4 or less to suit your overall volume requirements. Then control things from the Mayday pedal output level control and adjust pedal controls to suit the tonality and drive/distortion that you want.

Output Level control sounds best set between 8 o clock and 11 o clock.

The Range control is a 4 position rotary switch which increases bottom end as you turn it clockwise, adjust to suit your guitar and amp’s tones.

AC30 sound setting guide

AC30 sound setting guide

AC30 sound setting guide #2

AC30 sound setting guide #2

The ‘D’ footswitch at left gives a sound very close to Brian May’s legendary Deacy Amp, adjust controls to suit your taste. Output level control is best for Deacy sound set at approx 9-10 o clock but adjust to suit your requirements.

Deacy Amp sound setting with left footswitch engaged

Deacy Amp sound setting with left footswitch engaged

Deacy Amp sound setting #2

Deacy Amp sound setting #2

Treble Booster Super is pictured above driving the Mayday pedal. This is a great sounding combination but any good treble booster used first in line will sound good with the Mayday overdrive/distortion pedal. Adjust the Mayday input level control to suit the signal strength of the treble booster and your own personal tastes.

Mayday input level control will usually be set between 3 o’ clock and full.

A 9V Adaptor is required to power the Mayday pedal. Recommended types are centre negative, 2.1mm dia jack, 100ma and above current capacity. Boss PSA and Voodoo Labs Pedal Power 2 are also recommended.

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Background:

The 2015 Mayday circuit was originally my number 2 circuit for the 2005 version ‘Fryer Fuzz’ pedal. The Fryer Fuzz 4 transistor circuit used some very nice sounding Germanium components which later unfortunately became unavailable. After I was asked by some guitarists in 2014 about making a replacement for the older Mayhem distortion pedal, I began looking at this no 2 circuit again and in 2015 did some revisions which have resulted in the current Mayday pedal.

The original Mayhem pedal 2000-2008 used germanium and silicone semiconductors and was designed mainly for home use and for lower volume band use. Its role was to provide the full volume overdriven AC30 Brian May sound but at lower volume levels using the Vox AC30 amp.

Many people choose to run the AC30 at full volume like Brian May and use an attenuator to get the overdriven BM sound at lower volume levels. This can give some very good sounds but is hard on the EL84 valves and circuitry and sometimes results in amp failure due to the amp being run flat out all the time. Even at very quiet home practice levels the new Mayday pedal gives exciting rich full volume BM style sounds.

What amps does the 2015 Mayday pedal suit?:

The original 2000-2008 Mayhem was designed to be best used when plugged into the AC30 Normal channel and the volume control set to 1/3 or less. There were many other amp types that it didn’t suit at all.

The new 2015 Mayday is also designed for use with the AC30 Normal channel, but the  flexibility of its controls and circuit makes it equally useful when used with other amp types.

What guitars does the Mayday suit?:

The pedal has been designed for use primarily with the Brian May Red Special guitar, but  sounds equally good with Gibson Les Pauls or any guitar with a Gibson style humbucking pickup.

How is the Mayday pedal powered?:

By a Boss PSA style 9V Adaptor 2.1mm dia jack negative centre.

For the Boss PSA please see: http://www.bossus.com/products/psa_series/features/

I really love the sound of this new pedal, and hope that you will be as enthusiastic about it as I am!

Hooroo, Greg

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2000-2008 ‘Mayhem’ overdrive/distortion pedal pic:

Brian May Fryer Mayhem; pic by Luke Holwerda

2001 Brian May Fryer Mayhem; pic by Luke Holwerda