In part two of a series of three videos about making a replica of Brian May’s legendary Deacy amplifier, I unbox the Knight Audio Technologies (KAT) custom kit of electronic components and assemble it, discussing the characteristics of key components such as the transformers as I progress. The video duration is 21 minutes.
In part one of a series of three videos about making a replica of Brian May’s legendary Deacy amplifier, I briefly discuss the origins of the Deacy amp circuit (salvaged from a vintage transistor radio that John Deacon found in a London dumpster in 1971) and what Queen tracks Brian used it to record on. I then move on to talk about the new Knight Audio Technologies (KAT) amplifier board kit and the other component parts required including suitable vintage and modern woofer and tweeter loudspeakers and the cabinet itself. I finish by introducing the only official Deacy amplifier replica which was made by Knight Audio Technologies between 2011 and 2019.
Check out the third article in the musical equipment section of this website which covers the Brian May Deacy Amp replica made by Knight Audio Technologies (KAT):
It contains the original pictures shown below, technical specifications for the amplifier, hyperlinks and four embedded YouTube videos, including Jamie Humphries‘ review for Guitar Interactive magazine and some demonstrations recorded by Martin Pitcher at the 2018 and 2019 Brian May Red Special enthusiast meets.
Following up on the recent story of the KAT Studio-One all-valve practice amplifier, Nigel Knight has released details of the other part of his R&D endeavour over the past few years. Nigel recently announced:
Brian was never happy that we had to discontinue the production of the Deacy Amp replica, but the decision to do so was based purely on the fact that we could no longer source transistors with the correct characteristics that matched the original, either locally or globally and certainly not in the numbers we needed to extend production. So from the point that Deacy Amp replica serial number 0150 rolled out the door, I was on a bit of a mission to design its replacement.
This then, is the Studio-D. It is germanium Deacy’s silicon brother if you will. After years of trawling through transistor specifications, we finally found a set that could be configured to provide the same responses as the original AC125, AC126 and AC128 transistors. We are still using the original Deacy circuit, transformers and components albeit with the odd bias-tweak here and there and it still fires into a single 6.5″ twin-cone speaker. The resulting amplifier sounds magnificent and we’re really pleased with it.
The Studio-D is equipped with an adjustable battery simulator (DABS Unit), HF tone trim pot (that mimics the tone dulling effect of putting a tea-towel over the amplifier) and a built-in attenuator that has been optimised to the speaker and Deacy responses and, like the Studio-One, allows you to dial-down the volume.