Oliver Leiber from Ollywood Studios USA testimonial

Well known Hollywood Hills record producer Oliver Leiber has been using several of Greg Fryer’s handmade Brian May effect pedals as well as a custom Greg Fryer handmade AC30 amplifier for several years now and has updated us about his equipment and also about what Red Special guitars Oliver has been using for his recording work.

” Hey Greg, I’ve been enjoying recording with your amp and pedals for years now! I can’t tell you how much great use I get from them!!! I’d like to buy a Deacy Amp soon so please let me know when they’re out.

OK the gear that I use: in the studio my “go to” treble booster is my early issue maroon BM treble booster that you handmade for me in 2001. Its not the Plus Deluxe or Touring which I also use but your original handmade one. If I am looking for a “bit more” for a specific kind of lead tone, I will switch out to the Treble Booster Plus sometimes which definitely pushes the amp more and makes the sound more saturated which works nicely for single line stuff….

I have the Touring booster on one of my pedal boards which I bring in and out using a loop switcher….its also a great sounding pedal!

If I find myself in a recording situation where I don’t have a great AC30 handy and I’m staring at a Fender Twin or something super clean sounding with nothing but clean headroom, I’ll bust out the Fryer Mayhem pedal which gets me pretty close to where I like to be in that world!

As for the Fryer AC30 that you built for me, I really love both channels!! When I’m going for the Brian May thing its all about your Normal channel throttled with the treble booster in front….stick a Shure 57 and a Beyerdynamic M160 on one speaker and I’m off!!!

As far as BM guitars, well I am using BOTH a Guyton and a Kz Pro Red Special. They are both excellent guitars with incredible attention to detail and finish. At that level of quality building I would say it comes down to “different” rather than “better” in comparing the two. By virtue of the fact that they are different pieces of wood with different pickups, each has a setting or two where it seems to really shine and “speak” the best. Admittedly it is a great luxury to have both to choose from at any given time, and I would be truly happy just owning either one! Nuf said about the guitars….



Ollywood Studios logo

Ollywood Studios logo

Custom transformers from Greg Fryer’s handmade Brian May and WWRY AC30s

Background info about the ‘We Will Rock You’ theatrical production AC30s: the London WWRY production has been successfully using Dave Petersen’s custom made amps since 2002, whilst the productions in Australia, Japan, Sth Africa, Sth East Asia, Canada, USA, Germany, Zurich and Austria have used Greg Fryer’s handmade amps.

The Petersen and Fryer amps share several similarities but also have other differences in concept and circuit, and have been developed independently of one another. Both amps use Dave Petersen’s idea (borrowed from the early AC15) of having the whole HT B+ supply filtered by the choke, although Greg and Dave have pursued different ways of approaching the running of the EL84 power valves and are using different voicings and drive levels for their preamps. Both amps also use different methods of safety cutout for when the EL84s become overstressed.

Greg felt it important when he was developing his amps in 2003-4 to also develop high quality handmade mains, choke and output transformers for the WWRY amps and the later Brian May AC30s in 2005. This was because of the reliability and quality problems that had been experienced with the mass produced UK Drake and Dagnall transformers from the 1994-2004 Vox AC30 TBX series.

After many thousands of hours being played loud in the WWRY productions around the world and with Brian May on stage during the Queen + Paul Rodgers 2008 World Tour, these special handmade transformers have proved to be very reliable and also very good sounding. The transformers have been developed in Australia with the valuable assistance of several experienced amplifier and transformer specialists from Sydney and Melbourne, and are made in similar ways to the great old Vox transformers of the 1960s and 70s.

Particular attention was devoted to the development of the output transformer so that it produces the right tonal and distortion characteristics, with several variations being trialled and assessed by Greg Fryer during 2003-04.

(9th November 2009: please note that our custom transformers are no longer available for sale. We recommend that you consult your amp tech about suitable replacements if needed or contact Mercury Magnetics in USA, Heyboer dealers in USA, or Dave Petersen/Shere Sound in UK)

Please also see the vintage amps forum at http://vintageamps.com/plexiboard/ for an excellent source of Vox and other amp info.


Photos of Greg Fryer’s Brian May and WWRY amps:


Brian May AC30s Queen + Paul Rodgers 2008 World Tour

Photo credit: Amanda Thomas


WWRY Zurich AC30s Sept 2006
WWRY Zurich AC30s Sept 2006


WWRY Las Vegas AC30 head 2004


WWRY Las Vegas AC30s 2004

WWRY Cologne 2005

Photo credit: Frank Rohles

WWRY Tokyo AC30s 2006

Photo credit: James Barber