800-ZZOUNDS (800-996-8637)
When you call, mention priority code 1ZZ-KMLD
close [x]
Hours of Operation (EST)
  • Mon, Tue, Wed, Thur, Fri 7:30AM - 11:30PM
  • Sat, Sun 9:00AM - 10:00PM
Free shipping on every order: no minimum, no exclusions. Fast 2-day shipping: free on 90% of orders.
ZZOUNDS EMAIL Sign up to receive emails from zZounds, and never miss out on information handpicked for you by our gear experts! SIGN UP FOR EMAILS
Guitars, Amps, and Effects Bass Guitars, Amps, and Effects Keyboards and MIDI Recording Computer Audio and Software Live Sound/PA Drums DJ Equipment Accessories
Customer Kudos "I'm a long time satisfied zZounds customer. zZounds payment plans are easy on my wallet and they ship free and fast!" - Customer on September 27, 2018

zZounds' Legends of Tone: Brian May

Discover Queen-Inspired Tone

You don't have to be an astrophysicist to discover the unique tone that made Brian May's work with Queen so iconic. While the legendary guitarist put a career in astrophysics aside to pursue performing in Queen full-time, there's a scientific, other-worldly element to his trend-setting guitar tone. His use of Vox AC30 amplifiers and effects like the Dallas Rangemaster and multiple, competing delays gave Queen's tone a spacey, theatrical quality, while staying true to the essence of rock 'n' roll.

In this edition of Legends of Tone, we've gathered our picks for modern, accessible gear that channels May's groundbreaking sound -- and is sure to make your rockin' world go round.

Check out more legendary artists in our Legends of Tone video series »

Catalinbread Galileo Boost

There's something special about a treble-booster hitting a Vox AC30. The midrange gets super throaty with an amazing harmonic swirl. Back the guitar volume down and that classic Vox jangle gets magnified. This is the foundation of Brian May's tone. May's use of treble boosters allowed him to push his Vox combos to the brink in order to hit their sweet spot without excessive volume.

The Galileo is a custom-tuned Rangemaster-inspired boost, combined with the preamp section of a Vox AC30, delivering the distinctive throaty mid-range and jangly crunch of Brian May. The Galileo has three controls tuned to deliver the essence of the Brian May sound: gain, tone, and volume.

New, $159.99 | Learn more »

Vox AC30

Originally pushed with a homemade booster, Brian May's primary amp choice since the late '60s has been the workhorse Vox AC30. Bordering on excessiveness, May has been known to use up to six different AC30 combos at once, each running with different effects to create the perfect blend and atmosphere. The core of Brian's tone exists within the combination of the AC30's jangly bite and the helping hand of treble boosters and time-based effects like the legendary Echoplex.

You don't need the help of six AC30's to tap into quintessential Queen tone. One should do the trick nicely, especially when paired with a range of effects.

New from $1,099.00 | Learn more »

Boss CE-2W Chorus Waza Craft Pedal

Launched in 1976, the CE-1 Chorus Ensemble was not only the world's first chorus effect pedal, but also the very first Boss pedal. Three years later, this inventive new sound was squeezed into the blue CE-2 Chorus. Legend has it, Brian May lifted the circuit from an original Chorus Ensemble, creating a custom frankenstein chorus effect of his own with the help of guitar tech Pete Cornish. Boss' CE-2W Waza Craft chorus pedal is a great stand-in for the original Chorus Ensemble, giving you the same warbled modulation utilized in classic Queen recordings.

Adding a CE-2W to your board will unlock an important component of the signature Brian May tone. If you have multiple amps at your disposal, try running stereo and splitting your chorus tone to one side for a more separated, defined sound.

New $199 | Learn more »

Dunlop GCB95 Original Crybaby Wah Pedal

If it ain't broke, don't fix it. The Dunlop Crybaby Wah-Wah has stood the test of time and has continued to be a staple on countless boards of iconic artists -- so it's no surprise that Brian May has employed multiple different versions of the classic wah. While his go-to version throughout Queen's career was the GCB95 Original Crybaby, May also relied on the DCR-2SR rack module. With the affordability of the GCB95, players of all levels can achieve Brian's often-used cocked wah tone.

Finding the pedal's "sweet-spot" -- AKA the cocked wah tone achieved with the pedal half-way between toe and heel positions -- is key to nailing Brian May's tone. Combine that with a Rangemaster-style boost for unstoppable Queen riffs.
New $79.99 | Learn more »

Catalinbread Naga Viper Modern Treble Booster Pedal

Another killer option for nailing Brian May's Dallas Rangemaster treble booster sound is the Catalinbread Naga Viper. Beyond its basic tuning, the Naga Viper enhances the classic circuit with the addition of two extra controls - range and heat. The original Rangemaster had just one control -- boost -- which most guitarists dimed to push their amps as hard as possible. The range knob is a continuous control which allows you to go from classic treble-boost to a full-range boost and anywhere in-between -- as the original could only function as a set frequency "treble-booster." The heat knob gives you control over the gain level saturation, unlike the original which was fixed at maximum gain.

If you're simply looking for a Rangemaster stand-in and don't need the added AC30 voicin of the Galileo, the Naga Viper is the perfect option for dialing-in true Brian May treble-boosted tone.

New $169.99 | Learn more »

Brian May Tone of Your Own

Looking for tips to get that fat-bottomed Queen tone? Join us as we deconstruct the sound of Brian May on the zZounds Blog!

Check out our Legends of Tone: Brian May!

BizRate Customer Certified (GOLD) Site
Questions? Our gear experts can help!
800-zZounds (800-996-8637)
When you call, mention priority code 1ZZ-KMLD. Llame Gratis en Español: 844-432-7449
Lunes-Domingo de 9AM a 7PM EST
Customize Search Results for Your Location
Follow zZounds on:
Shop with those who respect your privacy — we do. Copyright © 1996-2018, zZounds Music, LLC. Terms of use apply.
close [x]What is this?
A temporary customer reference number is assigned to each customer only while they are shopping on zZounds.com. If you call our customer service department for assistance, this number makes it easier for us to answer any questions you have about products, services or purchases.
close [x]What is this?
A temporary customer reference number is assigned to each customer only while they are shopping on zZounds.com. If you call our customer service department for assistance, this number makes it easier for us to answer any questions you have about products, services or purchases.
close [x]

1. zZounds offers the industry‘s most musician-friendly payment plans

zZounds offers a variety of Play as you Pay® installment plans that allow you to get the gear you want today. While our competitors might offer house credit cards that require you to fill out an application and pass a credit check, our payment plans are easy to get, simple to use, and, best of all, accrue zero interest. Unlike those house credit cards that can leave you vulnerable to exorbitant interest charges once the promotional period ends, we never have and never will charge interest when you take advantage of one of the zZounds Play as you Pay® plans.

zZounds payment plans details »

2. zZounds guarantees the lowest price

Seen it for less somewhere else? Get it for less at zZounds. Simply click the “Seen it for less?” link on any product page and as long as we‘re not losing money, we‘ll beat any legitimate competitor‘s lowest price, usually within two hours. Want our best price even faster? Call us at 800-zZounds (800-996-8637), and we‘ll provide you with a lower price on the phone. Also, if you purchase from us and later find the product for less elsewhere, call or email us within 45 days, and we‘ll refund you the difference.

zZounds.com price match details »

3. Nobody Beats zZounds‘ Fast & Free Shipping

At zZounds, we know you want your gear fast, and shipped to you free of charge. That‘s why we have absolutely free ground shipping on every single order shipped within the continental United States. This includes heavy and oversized items. No minimum purchase required. No exclusions. We also ship over 90% of our orders with FREE 2-day shipping. We pull it all off with our strategically placed, coast-to-coast warehouses.

zZounds.com shipping details »

4. zZounds makes returns super easy

Buy it, try it, like it, or return it to us for a full refund. It‘s just that simple. If you‘re not in love with what you bought, return it to zZounds within 45 days, and we‘ll promptly arrange for an exchange or a refund. No hassles. No hidden charges. And if a product‘s defective or damaged, call us at 800-zZounds (800-996-8637), and we‘ll email you a prepaid shipping label so you can easily return it to us at zero cost to you.

zZounds.com return details »

5. zZounds delivers top-rated customer service

zZounds has received multiple Bizrate® Circle of Excellence Platinum awards, placing us in the top 0.7 percent of Bizrate‘s network of 5,200 retailers. Our success in meeting the needs of our customers -- since 1996, we‘ve satisfied over 1,000,000 people -- is due in large part to the fact that zZounds only hires experienced musicians to answer your calls and emails, and they are never paid a commission.

zZounds.com customer service »
close [x]
Available on
orders $59+
learn more

Need it now but short of cash? All we need is the first payment up front and the rest in easy monthly payments!

Fast approval.
We approve everyone, with very few exceptions, as long as we can verify your identity.
No interest. Ever.
It's just as if you paid the whole amount up front!
No paperwork. Nothing to track.
No application to mail or fax, no bills to pay. We automatically charge the payments to your credit card.

We'll wait on your money so you don't have to wait for your gear!

When you checkout, just click the Play as you Pay® checkbox to indicate which installment plan you wish to use.

close [x]
no minimum

learn more

Why fight traffic and pushy salesmen when we'll bring your gear straight to your home, free of charge?

zZounds free shipping is really free!
No hidden charges or hassles on returns.
Fast, reliable delivery
We have warehouses on both coasts, so most shipments arrive in 3 days or less.
close [x]

A guarantee so solid, you never have to worry about price when shopping at zZounds

We'll beat any price
Simply click the Seen it for less? link next to the gear you want or call us at 800-zZounds (800-996-8637)
Got a coupon from another site?
Use it with us - we'll beat those prices, too!
Find a better price after buying from us?
No problem. We'll refund you the difference for 45 days, so you'll never regret buying from zZounds.

You'll still get the trustworthy service you've come to expect from zZounds, without paying more for your gear!