EXPERT OPINION
20003 - 2005

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EXPERT OPINION - CURLY LEADS

On 11 August at 22.57 , Jason Wheatley wrote:

Hello Brian and your gang of merry experts,
 
Sorry to repeat this question if it's been asked before but where do you get your coiled guitar leads from? I've searched all over the place for one and can't seem to find one anywhere.
 
Cheers
 
Jason

Pete Malandrone replied:

Brian has not used a curly lead for at least 10 years now, so I have no idea where to get them from, osrry.
Pete

 

 

CLARIFICATION ON DEEP IMPACT MISSION TO A COMET

From Noah Petro
Date: 20 June 2005

Brian,

I found a paper (June 2005) on the subject of modeling of the Deep Impact experiment. The citation is:

Burchell, M. J. & Johnson, E. (2005) Impact craters on small icy bodies such as icy satellites and comet nuclei.

Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 360 (2), 769-781. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2966.2005.09122.x

For copyright reasons i believe that I can't send you the paper, only the following abstract :

"Laboratory data and the results of modelling are combined to predict the possible size of craters in icy bodies such as a comet nucleus. This is done in particular for the case of a a 370-kg mass impacting a body the size of the nucleus of comet 9P/Temple-1 at 10 km s-1. This reproduces the Deep Impact comet impact to occur in 2005, when a NASA spacecraft will observe at close range an impact on the comet nucleus of an object deployed from the main spacecraft. The predicted crater size depends not only on uncertainties in extrapolation from laboratory scale and the modelling in general, but also on assumptions made about the nature of the target. In particular, allowance is made for the full range of reasonable target porosities; this can significantly affect the outcome of the Deep Impact event. The range of predicted crater sizes covers some 7-30 m crater depth and some 50-150 m crater diameter. An increasingly porous target (i.e. one with a higher percentage of void space) will increase the depth of the crater but not necessarily the diameter, leading to the possibility of an impact event where much of the crater formation is in the interior of the crater, with work going into compaction of void space and some possible lateral growth of the crater below the surface entrance. Nevertheless, for a wide range of scenarios concerning the nature of the impact, the Deep Impact event should penetrate the surface to depths of a few tens of metres, accessing the immediate subsurface regions. In parallel to this, the same extrapolation methods are used to predict the size of impactors that may have caused the features observed on the surfaces of small bodies, e.g. the Saturnian satellite Phoebe and the nucleus of comet P/Wild-2."

I recommend this paper, which has gone through the peer review process (undoubtedly) so the science will be sound. Also note that it is not written by DI team members. There are several excellent paragraphs on impacts observed on other small bodies as well as on the comet P/Wild 2, which was observed by Stardust (http://stardust.jpl.nasa.gov/). Stardust took some amazing photos of the surface of Wild 2, stunning. If you can't access the above paper, I can perhaps send select sections of the paper, or perhaps the paper's authors M.J. Burchell or E. Johnson can provide one to you? I can certainly recommend more journal articles on the subject if you'd like

I should also describe, the process by which a mission such as Deep Impact is selected by NASA to "fly" as this may shed some light on the mission, and the selection process as it is a bit of a "black box." Initial planning for the mission began in November 1999, most likely with the release of what is called an AO (announcement of opportunity, one of NASA many many acronyms). An AO basically is a call to the science community to propose missions along specific themes (along the lines of : investigate the lunar surface, measure the magnetosphere around Jupiter, explore the nature of comets, etc.). Each initial proposal, typically lead by a PI (principal investigator) with a team of Co-I's (co-investigator's), education and public outreach specialists, and engineers, is about 100 pages in length. For any specific AO, there will likely be as many as 10 proposals. Once the proposals are submitted each is peer-reviewed by a group of scientists. From the initial group, maybe 3 are selected for additional study, when each team then has to come up with additional budget figures and prepare for a final study. The finalists are then subject to further peer-review by scientists, engineers, and NASA administrators. This initial process occurs over a year to 2 years. So each mission that is ultimately selected is chosen by several teams of scientists and engineers (in addition to the Planetary Protection team made up of scientists) that can provide the best science and method to answer the specific questions (see http://www.nasa.gov/missions/solarsystem/explore_main.html for NASA vision of space exploration or here http://solarsystem.nasa.gov/multimedia/download-detail.cfm?DL_ID=3 for the NASA roadmap which on p.70-71 has a nice chart of science questions/issues). That's my best summary of how the selection process works, which is hopefully informative. The key here is that any mission is approved by a significant number of scientists before the first camera is built or the spacecraft is constructed.

As far as the concern over where the debris from the impact will go. This, of course was a major concern of NASA's at first (I'm sure) but can be explained with some simple orbital mechanics (is there such a thing?). Any debris ejected off of the comet will have a very slightly different velocity from the comet itself. The change in velocity (known as delta V) would be so slight that the material will either fall back to the comet or will follow the original path of the comet around the sun. It takes a very significant delta V for an object to change it's orbit (around the sun or Earth for that matter), even getting material from the asteroid belt to the Earth (or from Mars to the Earth) requires large collisions between large objects. The kinetic energy involved in the DI mission is too small to shift the orbit of the comet or its ejected material for that matter.

I spoke with a member of the science team for DI (he can not speak for the entire science team without their approval and recommended that I, as a non-team member, should pass his suggestions along for now). The principle behind this mission is based on our (the entire science communities) best understanding of cometary science. There are no explosives aboard this mission, and the mission will not destroy the comet, following from what we know. The Rosetta mission will contaminate their comet with as much spacecraft material as DI will. This is one important aspect of Planetary Protection, the goal is to protect any life that might be on a body, as well as protecting the Earth from anything that might be brought back in samples.

This mission should prove important data regarding a fundamental process that occurs on all bodies in our solar system, impact cratering, as well as important data regarding the sub-surface of the comet. The data gained from this mission will be able to provide substantial information regarding comets, including information that may one day be useful should a comet stray into the path of the Earth.

I hope that I'm not being viewed negatively here, again, this is an excellent debate, I'm very happy that people all over the world are thinking seriously about this issue. I should remind everyone that I am not involved in the Deep Impact mission, so nothing I say represents the DI team, NASA, or anyone other than myself. If you do want official word from someone associated with the mission, I can provide an email address.

As for the funding debate, I completely agree that with all the money that goes to fight wars, or to prevent wars, or to start wars, we ALL would be much better off (I think so anyway!). I noticed that the budget for the recent War of the Worlds movie is $135 million dollars. So take that movie and another blockbuster and there's the money for Deep Impact (for example). Of course movies provide most who view them some satisfaction, whereas science does not always produce such warm feelings for the masses (if they even know it's going on). But I doubt if people would be willing to give up their cell phones, mini-computers, velcro...

As for the Rosetta mission, it does look promising, again it's trying to answer different questions, but should be a nice compliment to DI. I don't know how European missions work, but at NASA they are required to have a public outreach component to them. I imagine they do, and the images from the surface of 67P/Churyumov- Gerasimenko will be stunning I'm sure. We just have to wait the 10 years for it to get there. But with that mission we'll have images from the surface of three planets (Venus, Earth and Mars), one Moon (ours), one asteroid (Eros), and a comet! The DI mission isn't making much in the way of news now, once it happens (at about 8GMT on the 4th of July), we'll see. I'm sure a media wind-fall will follow the soft-landing on a comet!

To a continued excellent discussion! Back to the dissertation....

Cheers,
Noah\

 

 

QUESTION ABOUT MAXIMA STRINGS

On 27 May 2004, at 11:29, Paul wrote:

Hi

This is a Question for the Expert Section of the Brianmay.com website. Couldn't see a link there so hopefully the is the right way to go about things.
Greetings Mr May ( or whoever responds to this :)

Firstly - Let me say how much I Love your Work - Truly - Words cannot Describe How Much.. ( Although given a coupla pages - I might give it a go ). Can't wait for you to Tour again and return to Perth W.A ( you "promised" that you would at your last concert here ;) Now down to business. I notice at the bottom of this page that someone is asking about Maxima Strings - Hard to get these days. Impossible here in Oz. A chap has started to sell Optima Strings on e-bay recently - describing them as the New Maxima Strings - for that "Brian May Tone." They are Gold plated Chrome etc. Are these the real McCoy - have you heard of these? And Lastly - Just heard that Burns are no longer making the BM Guitar. Wish I knew earlier - as I've just bought one - and would have waited a little longer if I'd known that the `Signal Path' ( if I can put it that way ) was being shortened somewhat :) Looking forward to hearing the details.

Peace, Love & Thanks.
Paul.

Pete Malandrone replied:

Hi Paul

Not sure if you got your reply... been a lot of spam lately...
Maxima has been bought out and are now making the same product under the name Optima. I got hold of some and they are the real deal. if you are unsure try this link
http://saitenkatalog.de
Address your enquiry to a very nice German man called Andre.
Pete

 

 

QUESTION ABOUT USING THE VOX AC-30 LIVE

From Laurens Gardeniers
Date: 6 Junay 2004 12:59 BST

Subject: Question about using the Vox AC-30 Live

After my hiss-question in September (that you kindly answered by the way, thanks!!! :-) )  I have a new technical question for you, again about the Vox Ac-30, and since you're the specialist....
 
I was wondering, how do you control the great amount of volume that comes out of the Vox Ac-30 amp when driven with the trebleboosterat small gigs, or in small (stage)areas. I mean, isn't it just too loud (also in comparison with the other instruments), since you don't seem to be using any powerbreaks? How did you do it in Queen's beginning, when you were playing at little places, pubs, etc?
 
A friend of mine who also owns a AC-30 and plays in a live-band says, he never turns up the volume more than 1/3, because it just is too loud. (He uses a distortion-box if he wants to have distortion, by the way), but since I went to the trouble of constructing my own Red Special, I just want to have the distortion that the valves of that amp make, so I really have to set the volume at max! No distortion boxes for me!!!!
 
Thanks in advance,
 
Keep on rockin'
 
Laurens

Pete Malandrone replied:

Simple answer

Brian uses the Vox at full volume every time he is on stage. Volume is controlled on smaller stages by angling the amp away from him, and use of the volume pot on the guitar.

If it's too loud, you are too old !!!

Pete

 

QUESTION ABOUT FX PEDALS

From: Mark Bell
Date: 24 May 2004 19:21:33 BST

Subject: fx pedals

i have got the bm vox amp and iam waiting for the burns rs to come back in stock on queen online store but what i do mot no what fx pedels to get to complete the set up can you help
 
thanx
 
mark bell

Pete Malandrone replied:

To copy the BM Deacy sound, you need no more effects. Just follow the guide in the amp manual.

You may also need some talent, this is available at all good book shops.

Pete

 

 

QUESTION ABOUT BO-RHAP TAPES

From: Andrew Reid
Date: Fri, 16 Jan 2004 13:33:27 -0330

I've got a question abut Bohemian Rhapsody that 'perhaps' is too trivial to deal with, but nonetheless, it has interested me.
I live in Canada, and have listened to a number of CD's and Vinyl that contain the track. However, I can't help but take notice of a bit of (for lack of a better term) 'fuzz' that can be heard on the drum-track when the lyrics come up "Goodbye everybody, I've got to go..." For an easier explanation of what 'I' am hearing, it sounds sort of like a 'pffft' (static?) sound that basically falls in line with Roger Taylor's drum beat - if only for that short few seconds.

My question is simply - has this little 'subtlety' been fixed in the DVD-Audio recording? And was this simply a mastering glitch and/or was this just one of those natural things that happens with recordings.

I'd be curious to find out and hear your thoughts...

Thanks in advance for your time and reply.

Andrew Reid ("Smile" expert)

Justin Shirley-Smith replied:

Dear Andrew

I've just found a moment to answer this letter - sorry for the delay.

I have listened specifically to the section of music you mentioned and I can hear the problem as you describe it.
I would guess this distortion is caused by an imperfect electrical connection in a switch or patch cable during the mix because it is not the whole mix that is distorting - just the left side of the drum kit I think. I don't believe the problem is on the multi-track recording because I don't hear it on the karaoke mix.
The surround mix on the the ANATO DVD-A doesn't have this problem and is as clean as you will hear Bohemian Rhapsody.

The stereo mix on the same DVD-A however, is the original mix so it shares all the same distortions, but in more detail than you've ever heard them before!
This type of distortion is not fixable in any mastering process (yet). The only versions without the distortion are both remixes from the multitrack.

Cheers
Justin

 

 

ERRORS ON CDs

On Fri, 13 Feb 2004 Jeffrey wrote:

Hi Brian,

I was wondering if you might consider addressing some CD error issues that frequently come up amongst us collectors. Feel free to just choose which you want to respond to, if any. I'm just curious whether you're aware of some of these, or have perhaps tried to have them corrected.

First of all, the Hollywood Records errors and/or lapses in judgement. "I Want It All" being edited by about 10 seconds (out of the first chorus) on their version of 'The Miracle' CD. I've heard that they claim this is how they received the master.

Then there's swapped stereo channels on all of 'At The BBC' (their version of 'At The Beeb') as well as the b-side "Soul Brother" on the 'Heaven For Everyone' single. There's also been a few other mastering errors, a couple have been corrected but as far as I know 'Sheer Heart Attack' is still missing a bit of the intro to "In The Lap Of The Gods" and 'The Game' has a little glitch during the intro to "Crazy Little Thing"

Lastly, I believe all editions of 'Rocks' have a noisy mastering glitch during the vocal intro to "Fat Bottomed Girls".

There's still a wealth of fine Queen product out there, don't get me wrong. Thanks for all the years of great music. Rock on!

Feel free to print this. In fact I would prefer it that way :)
Jeffrey

Reply:

Dear Jeffrey

Thanks for this. Please also let us know of any other problems you find as soon as you find them - we will try to make sure these faults are not repeated in the next re-mastering process!

I have known about The Fat Bottomed Girls glitch for some years. Rocks was a compilation of 1994 re-masters and therefore shares the fault. The 1998 and 2001 versions do not glitch.

The Crazy Little Thing glitch seems to be a speed error each time the 1/4" master tape is played (a sticky spot possibly) and sounds different on each re-master. The last re-mastering of this was the Game DVDA and is glitch free I believe.

The BBC Stereo swap has been mentioned to me but I haven't checked which is the right way round yet.
Soul Brother I did not know about - I have started investigations already.

Please tell me what exactly is wrong with Lap of the Gods and on which version or release.

I have made a close comparison between the different versions of I Want It All on the UK, HR and Capital releases of the Miracle album.

1st Chorus UK - No backing vocals - lead vocal double or triple tracked - synth more prominent - no lead Guitar
1st Chorus UK - REPEAT - with backing vocals and lead Guitar.

1st Chorus HR - No backing vocals - lead vocal with more obvious double or triple tracking and / or vocal FX - synth less prominent / more rhythm guitar - plus lead guitar.
1st Chorus HR - NO REPEAT!

This HR 1st chorus is not taken from another part of the song - it is a different mix to the UK version!

The version on the Capital Records Miracle CD is the same as the UK one.

Looking at our audio database, it appears that a new mix of IWIA was added to the Album Master on 15/3/1989 but there are various "Album Master" Tapes with earlier dates so I suppose Hollywood records must have chosen the wrong tape.

If I had time, I would lay out both albums on a DAW (Logic or Pro Tools etc) to check for any other differences.

I would be interested to know what errors (or improvements!) you have found on the 1998 and 2001 re-masters yet?

Best Wishes
Justin

 

 

VOX AC30 AND VALVES

On Wed, 24 Mar 2004 Paolo wrote:

goodevening,

my name is Paolo from italy,

I'm writing to this address because it's the only e-mail address I have found in this fantastic website....I hope someone can help me.

I have to change the valves of my vox ac30 (greenback).
which valves do you suggest to buy? which valves you use in your vox ac30s?

I don't really know how to choose them.

I also use a fryer treble booster and a guild 93 red special.
could you help me please?

thank you very much
best regards
paolo

Reply:

The first thing to say is to always buy valves from a reputable dealer.

Brian gets his from Watford Valves (www.watfordvalves.com) and they are carefully selected and matched to ensure consistent performance and good durability. Watford will ship internationally, so they are worth a look.

The valves of choice are the Harma EL84 S.T.R., or Mullard EL84.

Hope that helps.

cheers,
Matt Pickles

www.brianmaycentral.com

 

 

HMBTEC BRIAN MAY TREBLE BOOSTERS

On Sun, 18 Jan 2004 Jan F. Bischoff wrote:
Hi,
 
I love Queen and your sound, I am a guitar player myself and I always wanted to sound like you do... Do you know HMBTEC Brian May treble boosters? I want to buy one, but I am not sure, I've never heard one!
Please look up our website www.breakup-online.de
 
Greetz
Jan

Reply:

Unfortunately, Pete is drunk on the floor of our kitchen having spent the evening listening to THE DARKNESS and drinking JACK DANIELS like his life depended on it. However I did manage to get out of him the following statement "I'vesssh neverssh heard of it - buy a GREG FRYER pedalssshh, I really lovesssh you youre greatssshh. Is there anything left to drink? No? Passshhh me that flash bleach!!!!!!"

Love as always
Debsy
(Pete's Bird)
x

 

 

HAMMER TO FALL/SOMEBODY TO LOVE

Nora wrote:

Hi,
I have two questions:

- Everytime I listening in "Hammer to fall" I think, why there is a difference between the end of this track on THE WORKS and the end of the same track on GREATEST HITS II? Please explain it?

- Is the beginning of SOMEBODY TO LOVE a "C"?

Hope, You will answer soon
All the best!

Nora

Gary Taylor replied:

Hi Guys,

Here's an attempt to answer the questions you sent me recently.

1) IT'S A BEAUTIFUL DAY : The vocal was probably recorded either at The Miracle or Innuendo sessions, with the band adding their bits later on at the Made In Heaven sessions. I think Greg would know better than most on this one.

2) The reason the Greatest Hits II version of HAMMER TO FALL is different to the original version on The Works album is that the GHII version is the slightly edited version that appeared on the single in 1984. The ending is also the same as the video version, except this one has more explosion sound and the crowd added.

3) I don't know if the start of SOMEBODY TO LOVE is a C as I can't read music!

Hope this helps in some way.
Love Gary.

 

 

SCHEMATICS OF BOOSTER PEDAL

Alfaro, Silvia wrote

I´M JOAQUEEN FROM ARGENTINA, I WANT TO KNOW IF YOU CAN TELL ME ABOUT A WEBSITE WHERE I CAN FIND THE SCHEMATICS (CIRCUIT) OF YOUR BOOSTER TREBLE OR ANY OF YOUR EFFECTS THAT YOU USED WHEN YOU PLAYED IN QUEEN: REMEBER...I LOVE YOU

Pete Malandrone replied:

You need to get Guitar Magazine, volume 13 number 3, which has a circuit diagram and a parts list for a treble booster.

Happy Soldering

 

 

GUITAR NOVICE AMP ADVICE

On 16/1/04 Paul Athoe wrote:

I was wondering if you could help out a complete guitar novice!!

This afternoon I bought the Burns Red Special and I have say that I'm very impressed...well with the look of it anyway as I've not got an amp to play it on yet!!! This is where you come in!!

I've asked various people on what amp I should get to reproduce something close that unique and all so familiar sound of yours. I thought this would be easy and just go out and buy the Deacy...SORTED!! Er, not so it would seem as I've had one or two conflicting opinions. Reading the write up on the Deacy ads, it sounds the perfect choice, but a couple of mates of mine (also both huge Queen fans) say that the Deacy is very tinny and won't produce the kind of "May-sound" that I'm after. The sound I love is the heavier style used on Hammer To Fall, Show Must Go On, I Want It All, Driven By You, The Business...etc. and they said that any other amp would probably get closer to that kind of sound.

Now bear in mind that I'm a complete novice and a total beginner, I'm only going to be using my guitar and amp for home use, I don't want anything too big like the Vox AC30 that would probably blow the neighbourhood away, so they suggested a small Laney amp as this comes with built in effects.

I want to prevent splashing out lots of money and be disappointed, so I thought I'd go straight to the man who would know best, so Brian...what would you suggest?! Oh boy, I apologise for the level of intelligence this probably all sounds to you, but like I said, I'm a total novice!

I really do appreciate the time taken to at least read my email as I know how busy you are these days.

Good luck in all you do, and keep rocking forever!!

Kind regards
Paul Athoe - Newbury, Berkshire

On 16 January 2004, Pete Malandrone replied:

Dear Paul,

You have a few options.

When I started playing, I had a small practice amp, and like you will be, was very dissatisfied with the lack of power and tone, all I wanted to do was make loud 'dive bombing' noises and do Angus Young impressions.So I immediately upgraded to a 65 watt Peavey amp, crap piece of gear in hindsight, but it gave me what I wanted......I'm waffling....sorry.

My point is I suppose, when you start of it really is a matter of trial and error, and finding what works for you. Go to your local guitar shop and play through all their amps, If you find that a bit intimidating, take a mate with you who can play a bit and listen. Or tell the guy (or if you are lucky,girl ) in the shop that you like Brian's tone, and could he/she demo the options in your price range (people who work in guitar shops love to show off ) Take as much time as you need to find the amp you like, then see if you can afford it. If you can, great, if not see if you can pick the same model up second hand from one of the guitar mags.
Or, the best option in my opinion, is to buy a multi effects unit with a headphone output. Then you can get almost any sound you want without pissing anyone off, then when you get confident, upgrade to a big amp, and use your, by now familiar effects unit with it.

The Korg pandora is a nice bit of kit, but there are loads of these effects boxes on the market.

Lastly, the deacy amps only sound tinny in the wrong hands,

Rule 1 of guitar playing......Shit in = Shit out.
Try one in the shop and make your own mind up.

\
Pete.

 

 

LOCATION OF REVERSE-WOUND PICKUP

On 28/11/03 John S. Laidlaw wrote:

A topic that's been brewing on the Brian May World forum recently is the location of the reverse-wound/reverse-phase Burns Tri-Sonic in the Red Special. The question is, is it in the bridge position or the middle position?

Any answer would be gratefully received... many, many thanks!

John Laidlaw

Greg Fryer replied:

Yes it does ring a few bells - a couple of months ago Brian and I were discussing a number of things about the Red Special Trisonic pickups, this being one of them.

The Middle Pickup is the one that is Reverse ound/Reverse Polarity.

Hope this is of help from the ex-land of Rugby World Cup Champions.

Cheers, Greg

PS: Because you blokes haven't won any sort of world cup since 1066 we kinda feel sorry for you so we don't mind you hanging on to it for a couple of years til someone from the Southern Hemisphere comes to take it back. Just please make sure its polished regularly and kept out of the sun.

Cheers GF

 

 

CAN I BORROW BRIAN? GUITAR DESIGN

On 25 September Tim K wrote

Hello. You don't know me or anything, but I'm not a
nutbar or a psycho or anything, but I was wondering if I could borrow Brian to help with some work for a Guitar I have designed, loosely based on the Red Special but more for the Metal/Goth scene.

You see, I have the designs and the plans all drawn
up, I just can't get anyone to listen to me. I was hoping that if Brian worked with me on this, that I could perhaps get the guitar commercially produced...

Oh, and What is Brian's favorite colour?

From Tim K.

On 29 September, 2003, Pete Malandrone replied:

If you are serious about this, then get a prototype
guitar together and send it for our comments.

Favourite colour ? Errrrrrrmmmm.......thats just never
come up as a topic of conversation, but if it ever
does I will be sure to let you know.

 

VOX BM - PLAYING EFFECTS THROUGH AMP

On 25/9/03 1:52 pm, Steve Roberts wrote:

Brian

Just a couple of things. I know you must be really fed up of the questions but I would appreciate you or Pete's input.

I have waited 9 months for my VoxBM amp to go with the excellent Red Special.

I was very dissapointed as when I finally got it and plugged it in, I found that I could not play my effects through the amp. It totally lost all the gain and the sound was a very 'distant' one.

I may be wrong but I cant believe that you record everything 'Dry' and add chorus, phaser, delay afterwards.

Is there a way around it??

Keep On Rockin'
Steve

On 29 September, 2003 Pete Malandrone repied:

Steve

The Deaky is recorded dry and the effects, if any, put
on after.

BM very rarely uses pedals live or in the studio, just
a touch of chorus, the delays on the guitar solo live,
and perhaps a bit of pitch shifting for certain songs
(end of Show Must Go On for example), Wah Wah on odd occasions but overall its just flat out Vox noise.

Your problem with your VBM1......try turning the gain
down on your pedal, also 'distant'signals often mean
the rig is wired wrong or your pedal battery is flat.
To be honest I'm not sure without having the thing in
front of me.

Bear in mind the TB section on the amp is like an
onboard pedal, so your signal may be getting over
processed. If you try to wind gain up on an already
saturated signal is does tend to sound like it's
disappearing.

I'm waffling now, ask me another one I can't answer
without being there.

Pete

 

DVDA vs SACD

On 23 Sept 03, Darren Potter wrote:

A very simple question (yeah I bet!)....

What made you choose DVDA over SACD for the recent re-mix projects? Many audiophiles are claiming SACD to be a "richer" experience.

Its has become of interest because being in the market for a new DVD player, one now has to battle with which advanced CD format to choose. Very few players seem to do both.


Thanks
Daz

On 25 Sept 03, Justin Shirley-Smith wrote:

Daz

I believe it was DTS Entertainment who approached Queen first with regard to remixing (ANATO) in 5.1. DTS Entertainment is a part of DTS that is trying to push the DTS format by releasing important music in that format.

Now, I am as cynical as anyone but the simple fact is that the DTS format is very good and I am glad they came to us. I was working with Rory Kaplan from DTS who went to extraordinary lengths to make these projects as high quality as possible - In fact I don't believe there has ever been as much effort in the pure sonic reproduction area on Queen material before and I believe Rory and DTS are partially responsible for opening the eyes of all of us into how these things could be done.

The fact that Queen surround mixes only exist on DTS at the moment means that both the DVD-V's and the DVD-A's can be played on the same surround system. The DVD-A's will sound better with a DVD-A player but the DTS still sounds great.

All the Queen surround mixes are recorded on Analogue which means we are not locked into either DVD or SACD technology. This means there is nothing technically to stop Queen releasing these surround mixes on SACD. There are many other factors of course..... so don't hold your breath!
I have heard DVD-A and SACD and they both sound fantastic.

Unfortunately, we have to put up with these format wars and there are subtle thing going on. I read recently on the internet someone talking about the fact that some combined DVD-A / SACD players play the different formats with (deliberately???) unequal success. How annoying is that?
Having a player that plays all the formats has got to be good so you will just have to use your ears - take some discs with you to the Hi-Fi shop.

Bye for now
Justin

 

DTS/ 5.1

On 12 Sept 03, Scott Reilly wrote:

I'm a bit confused about DTS and 5.1. Can you advise us mere mortals of what we need to get the full sound from our Queen DVD's.

Thanks, good health
Scott

P.S budget of £200 for a system

On 25 Seept 03, Justin Shirley-Smith wrote:

Unfortunately it can't be said simply because it is not simple. I will try my best....

I know you can get an all in one system that plays, decodes & amplifies DVD's with dolby digital or DTS and will also play multichannel SACD's. An example would be the Sony DAV-SA30 Home Cinema System at £250 - I haven't heard this particular system but i have heard good reports about the £500 Sony big brother model.

This all in one approach is by far the easiest (and cheapest) way to get surround - even if you already have a stand alone DVD player (you can plug the old one into the bedroom tv!). However, you will not
regret spending more for a better sound - read a few magazines and get advice from proper hi-fi shops.

If you have previously invested in good stereo speakers it is possible (and advisable) to build a system from this by adding 2 speakers for the back (these can be the same as the front speakers or smaller versions in the same range of that manufacturer - I would want the tweeters and mid range units to be identical for a balanced sound). You
can then get an AV amp which can decode DTS etc - you will need one that can feed the centre and LFE channel signals into the front speakers. If the front Speakers don't handle the bass you can later add
a Sub-woofer. You would need a DVD player that can output DTS for this to work.

I will try to clarify..... for DTS to work..

The DVD player must have a DTS logo on it. You may need to set the Player to output DTS specifically. You probably need to select DTS in the menus of each DVD you play. The DVD player will then deliver DTS data to its digital output.

You will need a digital connection between the DVD player and the AV amp. Sometimes these are combined in one box as in the Sony DAV-SA30.

The AV amp must have a DTS logo on it. You will need to set the AV amp decode DTS from the relevant digital input. The AV amp will then translate the DTS data into 6 channels of music - left, centre, right, sub, surround left & surround right. It can then deliver these signals to 6 separate speakers.

Most AV amps I have seen have a speaker setup page where you can tell the amp what speakers you have. If you tell it you have no centre speaker - it will put that signal in the front 2 speakers equally. If you tell it you have no sub-woofer the same thing will happen. If you tell it you have small front speakers and a sub-woofer it can take all the bass frequencies and put them in the Sub-woofer etc.

I hope this helps...

Justin

 

SURROUND SOUND WITH AMBISONICS

On 17/9/03 11:50 pm, Pete M wrote:
Hello

This is question is intended for Mr. May & Justin Shirley-Smith.

Any views or opinions on Ambisonics as a surround technology especially in the field of upmixing 2.0 stereo tracks to DTS ?

http://www.ambisonic.net/
http://s2n.org/Articles/Ambisonics.html
http://forum.doom9
http://forum.doom9.org/

Or does this method go into the field of 'amateurish' and old (past it's time) in the eyes of the true musicians or could it be used in modern mixing of commercial music releases (dts), I have no use if it has been. I'm genuinely interested in what is your view on Ambisonics is, that's all.

Sincerely
Pete M.

On 25 Sept, 2003, Justin Shirley-Smith replied:

I have no views on this because I don't know anything about it. If we ever need to "upmix" or "unwrap" a stereo mix into a surround mix again I will look into it.

Justin Shirley-Smith

 

ELIMINATING RECORDING HISS / VOX AMPS

From: "Laurens Gardeniers"
Date: Sun, 31 Aug 2003 19:03:10 +0100

Dear Brian, dear Pete,

I have a question for you that I have been struggling with for quite a while. I know that the treblebooster and the Vox AC-30 amp hiss quite a bit.

Now, my question is: since on the various records you DON'T hear this hiss, what can I do if I want to record my playing to filter out the hiss somehow ON THE RECORD. Do you use some kind of
hiss-insensitive mics or something??? In other words: how do you remove the hiss that you've recorded?

And finally a question for Brian:

Brian, suppose you'd be an "ordinairy" man, not a mult-millionaire lie now, do you then agree with me that the price of the Vox AC-30 is WAY to high??? In your young days, before you got famous you
yourself used to have 3 Voxes yourself, is that correct, and if so, were they affordable in those days?? I recently had the luck to buy ONE Vox AC30 for quite a low price, but just because it had been standing in that shop for one year and nobody bought it, so the gave some discount on it. But for the normal price, I find it rediculously high!

Ps: Brian: Have you got any plans for a new solo-record in the (nearby) future??? Personally, I hope so!

Thanks a lot!
Cheers,
Laurens Gardeniers, The Netherlands

On 4 September, 2003 Pete Malandrone repied:

Studio engineers are a clever old bunch and spend much of their time taking the hiss.........and removing it from a guitar take.

And yes AC30s are very expensive, as are most class A valve amps.Unfortunately for you chaps, if you wanna sound like the man, you really do need one.

Maybe if a few of you got together, Korg UK would do you a deal buying direct.

Pete

SEE ALSO BRIAN'S REPLY IN SEPTEMBER 2003 LETTERS

 

VBM-1 AMP

From: Joachim Brückner
Date: 19 Jul 2003 22:24 GMT
Subject: VBM-1 Amp

My name is Joachim Brückner.

I'm from Germany and I'm not sure if this is the right plattform to discuss a problem of the Amp you created with Vox. But I didn't find an email adress regarding the VBM-1.

In detail:
As I am a fan of Queen and especially of you, and as I play some of your songs with my band, it was absolutely clear that I must have that amp.

I did not check it at my dealer. (I thought that it wouldn't be necessary.) But at home in my studio I was more than surprised.
The tone - the effect - sounds fantastic. Exactly what I expected.
But the noise was so loud that I could not use the amp in the studio and also not live.
This loud noise arises unfortunately when using your recommended settings.

So I brought it back to my dealer.

I heard that he sold three of this amps - and all of them returned back to him with the same reason.

Do you know about this noise? Did the amp you tested also have this noise?

I would pay extra for electronic parts in higher quality. If this would solve the problem.

I also sent a mail to Vox but there was no reaction up to now.

Please don't missunderstand me - I really like the sound (your sound) but the noise around is too loud.

Friendly regards from Stockstadt in Germany (26 °C at 11pm)

Joachim Brückner

PS The noise sounds like white noise. The noise is also present when no cable is pluged in. The knobs and the switch are at the "favorite" positions as shown in the manual. I know that it is always critical to turn a preamp or a booster to end position but it should not be that loud. I hope this can help a little.

On 24/7/03 Pete Malandrone replied:

The noise you can hear is exactly how it should be.

The original Deaky, or any amp will have that Hiss with the treble boost in line.

With the booster output connected to an AC30 (or any amp) the VBM acts purely as a treble booster, in other words the boost hi/low and the boost gain are the only controls that are in circuit.

This is the sound that Brian has been using for all eternity.

It is noisy, much more than most mortals are used to, but I can assure you that this is correct.

This sound is music to my ears as it means all is well in BM guitar rig world.

If I had a pound for every time I’ve been asked “MY GOD ! is it supposed to be like that ?” I would be writing this from my palace in the Maldives.

You could try winding the boost down a bit, or setting the boost to low, but you will lose a part of THE sound if you do this.

If you are gigging at a small venue and the noise is intolerable during the parts when you are not playing, try a foot controlled mute switch after the Vbm1, this will lose the hiss and just give you AC30 noise.

Trust me, I’m a doctor (or at least my boss is )

Pete Malandrone

 

THE GAME DVD-A WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO THE VOCAL MIX!?

on 2 Jul 03 D J Worley. wrote:

[This letter was to Brian.... Justin Shirley-Smith replied - as opposite with some technical advice.]

Why has one of the greatest vocalists who has ever lived been confined to a single center speaker in Play The Game and Sail Away Sweet Sister!!!? This stifiles and constrains his voice, rather than allowing it to reach it's majestic peak. A matter exacerbated by the fact that the center speaker is usually the least expensive and consequently inferior to the other speakers in the mix. This is a criminal act, personally I'd rather listen to Freedie than climb or step into his mouth! I imagined the main vocal panning across the soundstage not stuck in a shoe box below or above my telly. In any surround set up unless you pay an absoulute fortune the front stereo pair will provide much higher fidelity and dynamic range. I can't believe you've done this! Please Please think again or at least give us a High Quality 2 channel alternative by doing a SACD Remaster.

Yours Dispairingly
D J Worley.

PS. Have Spent A Bundle On Queen Product Down The Years and Would Like To Thank You For All The Pleasure You Have Brought Me Down Years and Would Like To Thank You For All The Pleasure You Have Brought Me Down The Years So Please Don't Turn Joy To Sorrow.

On 12 July, Justin Shirley-Smith replied:

I have written about this at length in The Game technical notes (which I suspect you have read), but the following might be useful.

The AV amps / receivers I have seen all have the ability to direct the centre channel signal equally to the left and right speakers. You do this in the speaker setup mode by telling it you have no centre speaker. Doing this has various advantages - you don't need to buy a centre speaker (spend the money on better remaining speakers) and you don't have to worry about centre speaker positioning - in fact you don't need to worry about it at all.

Cheers
Justin

 

BURNS SIGNATURE GUITAR AND TUNER QUESTIONS

On 21/5/03 4:36 pm, "Chad Tolley" wrote:

Hi,

I must first say that this web site is great, to keep up-to-date is a hard task I know, so hats off.

I have a couple of quick questions about my Burns copy.

Firstly after reading the response about there being Gotoh machine heads on the real guitar, can you tell me the model of the Gotoh heads that you use, there seems to be a few, I cannot get the Grovers to return to pitch after doing any diving at all.

Secondly I am constantly trying to keep the fret board both feeling and looking 'slick' but find it 'dulls' quickly, the real guitar's fretboard have a lovely greasy shine to it. Is there anything I can coat or treat the fret board with or do to improve it?

Thanks
Chad

Dear Chad,

The Gotoh heads have no model number that I can see, but the box they came in has the number M6RMC on it. This may be the model or serial number.

As for the other problem try a product called Fast Fret by GHS, or just sweat a bit less.

Pete Malandrone

 

From: "jason phelan"
Date: Wed, 09 Apr 2003 06:54:29 +0000

Subject: Re: Signature Guitar

Peter,
Thanks very much for your reply, sorry if i worded my question wrong. My question which ifumbled through supposed to be (Burns are making a more exact copy of Brians guitar) will Brian be using these guitars as opposed to the Burns that are out now? And opposed to the Fryer guitars, Thanks Very much for your time,
Jason Phelan.

on 10/4/03 12:30 pm, Pete Malandrone at wrote:

Okay, there are no firm plans for a more expensive version of the Burns. It has been mentioned to Brian and myself, and these are the choices that the boss has to make.

- Burns make a closer version of the original guitar
- Another manufacturer does the same
- No-one makes it

It’s a tricky one, because whilst there is an undoubted market for the more “pro” guitar players, the original idea was to make these cheap enough for anyone to afford. A more expensive copy may devalue the product and the reason it was made in the first place.
Hope that was a clear explanation of the situation.
The final answer to your actual question is......hang on a minute........just get my crystal ball.

Pete

From: Kevin Donaker-Ring
Date: Wed, 09 Apr 2003 09:47:14 -0700

Subject: Expert Opinion

Jen, could you pass this on to Pete, please?

Pete,

I just read this bit from you in "Expert Opinion":

"In closing, my advice would be to buy a Burns, but don’t be fooled into thinking this will make you sound like Brian, it won’t. Brian can pick up a 20 dollar, left handed nasty guitar with a cheese grater action and make it sound like him, I play through Brian’s full rig with his guitar and I sound like a strangled kitten. Make your Burns sound like Jason Phelan."

That should be easy to do. The beauty of the Brian May Signature guitars is that they really allow the player to come through. When I got my first Guild way back in '93, I bought it just because I thought it would be kind of cool to have one. I quickly realized what a truly expressive guitar it was, and within a month it was my number one guitar for stage and recording. So I *had* to get another for backup... I now have seven, and one of those has been converted into an electric 12-string (sounds great, BTW).

But getting back to what you said, it's true. I play my Guild or Burns Brian May Signature guitars through my AC30s, and unless I specifically try to sound like Brian, I end up sounding like me. And that's a good thing because I like being me, and Brian is definately better at being Brian than I am. Luckily, though, I don't sound like a strangled kitten!

One of my favorite "Kevin" tones is to go through the Brilliant channel of my AC30 (unlike Dr. May) using the bridge and middle pickups out of phase, though lately I've been using them in phase and increasing the treble control on the amp.

BTW, Jim Elyea tells me he recently interviewed you for his upcoming Vox book. It's been a long time coming. I hope you gave him some good, juicy stuff!

Thanks for your time.

Peace

on 10/04.03 Pete Malandrone wrote:

To be honest Kev, I'm such a dreadful player that I don't even sound like
Pete Malandrone


Yours,

wishing he'd practiced more

 

From: "Sue Foxford"
Date: Sun, 23 Mar 2003 22:36:24 -0000

Subject: ADVICE NEEDED- Please can you help???

Hiya Brian, It's me again, how are you? I need a little advice and I couldn't think of a better person to ask! My hubby has asked for a guitar tuner for his birthday and I'm not sure what to get so I was wondering do you use one and if so can you please recomend a suitable make/model for someone who just plays at home for fun? Hope you can help! Many thanks for your time.Love Sue xxx
Counting the days til I come to see WWRY!!

on 10/4/03 11:58 am, Pete Malandrone wrote:
Dear Sue,
Korg hand held tuners are the best on the market, They are cheapish and accurate. If you have loads of money the Petersen virtual strobe tuner takes some beating.
The Korg DT-7 is a good un, try that.
Brian, however, has the best guitar tuner available at present.................ME
Pete Malandrone – compulsive liar
 

JUSTIN REPLIES: IS DIGITAL SUPERIOR TO ANALOG RECORDING AND MIXING TECHNIQUES? 10 Apr 03

From: "Nick Drengenberg"
Date: Sun, 30 Mar 2003 07:54:07 +1000

Subject: 'Expert Mail' query

I guess this query/hypothesis would be for Justin Shirley-Smith.

Do you think the idea that digital recording/editing/mixing is an evolutionary upward development from analog techniques is correct?

What makes me ask this question is remembering an interview with Roger that I read, where he was sent (possibly by yourself) a tape of something Queen, and he said that it sounded really amazing. And it turned out it was the original analog, which made him wonder if automatically assuming that
digital would be better might be a mistake.

It seems that the essence of digital is sampling i.e. you assume music is 'data', and then the more of this data you can capture, the better the sound. And there's no doubt it's truly amazing what you can do with digital techniques - it gives you enormous powers of manipulation over the sound, very little noise, and so on. But really music or sound *isn't* data, that's just what you can turn it into using different techniques. And really it's
the same for analog - obviously you don't get any 'pure' sound, it's all mediated by microphones, tape and so on. So that maybe no one technique is
better than another (though some, such as digital, allow you to manipulate things much more easily), they all capture very specific aspects of the
original sound. And more than that, 'capture' is a bad word, because it assumes there's some pure original experience which you're trying to
reproduce, when in fact by recording something you hear all sorts of things which you wouldn't standing in the room - it's a creation as much as a
reproduction.

Just curious what a recording professional thinks! To me the asumptions about recording are always about reproduction, rather than creation, and with that assumption comes the idea that music is data of one form or another i.e. analog or digital. Let's face it, the 'original' Queen sound of the band standing there playing isn't anything like 'data' - it's movements of muscle, air, metal and so on.

on 3/4/03 1:14 pm, Justin Shirley-Smith

Dear Nick

You seem to have answered your own questions in many ways, but here are some further ramblings!

The way I remember it, when we first heard digital audio, we were sold on it because it didn't suffer the noise, hiss, print-through etc. that analogue did - plus it offered some new possibilities of manipulation and convenience such as; multiple copies (no generation loss), easier and better synchronisation and editing etc. It was the same with the general public and CD's: a neater package, easier to use, no clicks, hiss or hum, you could walk on it and it still sounded the same! - these things made CD the success it has been. I believe there was a (deliberately engineered?) confusion between the lack of background noise and better sound quality, when they are two separate things.

However, sound quality (faithful sound reproduction) isn't the only aim in recording. For example, it is crucially important to capture the moment / heaviness / passion / attitude etc. which can conspire against perfect sound quality. This is perfectly illustrated by Brian's recent South African story where the studio was not ready to record an improvised jam, and when it was, the feeling was no longer the same - BUT LUCKILY someone had recorded the earlier stuff..... with a dictaphone...! Digital technology allows more opportunity to capture a moment and work on the sound later.

Also Queen, in particular, were always wanting to achieve the impossible, and digital technology made more things possible. So there were genuine reasons for switching to digital even when you knew the shortcomings. As Dave Richards always put it; "Two steps forward..... one step back". (Or was it "One step forward... two steps back"?!)

There does need to be a distinction made between early digital audio and the latest high resolutions available. Digital audio is a bit like a picture made up from dots. (The sampling rate - kHz - can be seen as the number of dots per inch - dpi - and the bit rate can be related to the number of possible shades for each dot.) If there aren't enough dots - you can see each one, and the picture is a poor reproduction of the original image. If the dpi are increased, there comes a point when the dots are not apparent any more. (44.1 kHz / 16 bit - CD quality - could be seen as an audio equivalent of this.) But if this picture is very closely compared to a developed print of the same image, it can still be seen to be inferior. With better technology, the resolution can be increased further until the defects (blurring etc) of the original image can be seen before the dots become visible, even at high magnification. This is roughly where we are with 192 khz / 24 bit digital audio - the analogue distortions are evident before the digital ones. It is important to remember that analogue audio always had it's own shortcomings. For example, there has always been a trade off between the best treble reproduction at high tape speeds against the fat bass at lower speeds. Having said that, we still make both digital and analogue copies of original masters simply to 'future proof' our archive.

In answer to your question, I do believe digital recording and editing are, in their current form, an evolutionary upwarf development from analogue
techniques. However, in practice and given the opportunity, we use analogue and digital recording, editing and mixing in what ever combination we think will give the best result. This is because each technology, from vintage to brand new, has it's own advantages over the others.

I don't think anyone assumes that music is data. Both analogue and digital recording are simply a means to reproduce sound. We are accustomed to the 'defects' of analogue (distortion, phasing etc) being intentionally introduced in pop/rock music, and now we can hear a similar attitude to digital artifacts like the loud clicks on Madonna's Don't Tell Me. This is one way a distortion becomes a creation like you say. You suggest a recording could never be like standing in the room with Queen playing and this is true, but the simple truth is that it can't sound the same without being at the same (very loud) volume. If you turn it all down it doesn't sound so impressive. This is one reason for
using compression and distortion - it can make quiet things sound loud - by emulating the way ears behave when dealing with high volumes.

I noticed a posting on a message board by someone who was looking forward to "hearing a clear, more defined mix of Drowse" on a possible DVD-A of ADATR. I know this is probably a joke, but it illustrates what you were saying about
people thinking only in terms of reproduction. My understanding of the original mix of Drowse is that it is intentionally washy, indistinct and 0 atmospheric, as it's title suggests; a mix that reproduced the performance more clearly would not be very clever. We certainly don't think only in terms of reproduction - it's just a part of what we do.

Justin Shirley-Smith

 

BRIAN'S SHIRTS 08 Apr 03

on 3/4/03 at 22:34 pm Steve Philpott wrote:

Subject: Brians Shirts

Hi there,

My wife was checking up on all the latest BHM news and suddenly shrieked and started raving about Brians shirt that he is wearing in the "Give A Quid" photo. She is willing to "Give a Tenner" if she finds out where the shirt was from ?????

Over to you guys ...............

Steve Philpott

From: Ed to Brian's Office:
Any idea? I'd guess the shirt is probably Australian.

Reply:
You know him too well! The shirt is a Mambo one which he purchased on the last visit in Melbourne.

Sara


 

SIGNATURE GUITAR QUESTION 08 Apr 03

on 1/4/03 10:32 am Jason Phelan wrote:

Subject: Signature Guitar

Hi,
my name is Jason Phelan, i am in Australia i contacted Greg Fryer yesterday about the guitars and Greg said that he isnt making any, which is pretty disappointing, if the Burns Replica is coming out will Brian stop using the Fryer models? i know that i for sure would like not only what Brian endorses but something that Brian endorses and uses, and that is available to buy. And i can tell you that the Greg Fryer model is not obtainable unless i happen to be Brian. Any way if u can answer this message to the best of your knowledge (PETER) that would be fantastic. thanks very much.

Looking forward to a response.

Jason Phelan

Dear Jason,

Brian uses both the Burns and the Fryers as spares.

The Fryers are the main ones we use because of their superior build quality and feel compared to the Burns, the sound also being a little closer to the Red Special.

Bear in mind the Fryers were built as close to exact replicas to the original as possible and this means the neck profile is much thicker than is comfortable for most players ( It feels like a sawn in half telegraph pole when you pick it up ) Brian seems to make it work okay though, don’t you think?

The Burns is much more user friendly, neck wise, and has compromises on the tremolo system to keep the price down for the average punter. It is a very good spare guitar to have and is used a great deal as such, but the original is still used for EVERYTHING unless a string is broken , or a song is being played in a dropped tuning for some reason. I’d be lying if I told you that Brian prefers the Burns or the Fryer to the “Old Girl “but both are good substitutes in certain situations.

In closing, my advice would be to buy a Burns, but don’t be fooled into thinking this will make you sound like Brian, it won’t. Brian can pick up a 20 dollar, left handed nasty guitar with a cheese grater action and make it sound like him, I play through Brian’s full rig with his guitar and I sound like a strangled kitten. Make your Burns sound like Jason Phelan.

Hope this helps you and others
Pete Malandrone

 

 

BUDDHIST PERSPECTIVE ON THE WAR ON IRAQ 03 Apr 03

I asked my friend Tom Short to write a piece on the Buddhist perspective on the war on Iraq. Tom is my oldest and most trusted friend - and one of the wisest people I know. He has been a Buddhist for over 30 years and has run a meditation group for most of that time, as well as being a life-long PROPER vegetarian. (I wish I could manage that! - after all these years I STILL have a weakness for prawns - and that's not good!)

I think the piece Tom has written is very inspiring and I offer it here in full. I hope you all enjoy it as much as I do.

Cheers

Brian

DRAWING THE LINE

Following a recent e-mail exchange, Brian has asked me to say a few words about how Buddhism views the current Iraqi war. By way of background, Brian and I have known each other for about 35 years, since college days and I have been a Buddhist for most of that time.

Buddhism has a reputation for compassion and non-violence and it therefore will not come as a surprise to know that violence is almost always considered inappropriate. Without going into lots of theory, Buddhism sees many of our problems rooted in the depths of our being in the form of Greed (wanting things that I do not have or wanting situations to be more favourable for me), Hatred (not wanting things or situations that threaten me; this is strongly related to fear) and Delusion/Ignorance (Not seeing situations as they really are but colouring them with my greed and hatred). This trio has been responsible directly or indirectly for most of the non-natural deaths that have occurred since civilisation began. These are truly the fundamental ‘weapons of mass destruction’ and if we are honest we have to admit that we carry them around by the bucket load. Part of the delusion is that I draw arbitrary lines around things and say that is what is inside is ‘mine’ and what is outside is ‘other’. That which is ‘mine’, inside the line, must be protected and increased (greed) and that which is ‘other’ and outside the line is a threat and must be destroyed or consumed (hatred). Examples of things I draw such lines around are: my car, my house, my family, my partner, my team, my country.

I am writing from the UK where, like many countries, some people have strong allegiances to football (soccer) teams such as Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal, Spurs etc. Much of this is good-natured competition, but sometimes the fans of rival teams have pitched battles in which members of both sides can be seriously hurt. What has happened? I have drawn a line around my team with me inside and the ‘others’ outside. I then have to defend it. Strangely, if there is an international match these rival fans will come together to support the national side. For a while we ignore the smaller line a draw a larger one called England (or whatever your national team is called). Now the threat is the other countries.

I had this thought the other day when a newspaper I read said it was supporting ‘our boys’ (conveniently forgetting that women are also involved) fighting in Iraq. Who are ‘our boys’? We draw our line around the British troops; possibly include others from the coalition. But what if I draw my line to include the Iraqi people as well? Why shouldn’t I? The Iraqis feel pain; have families; would probably rather not be involved, just like the Brits. They are people I would probably get on well with if there were no war. I want to draw my line around humanity. Everyone inside is one of us. Everyone outside should be done away with – oops there isn’t anyone outside! Buddhism goes further than this, it says you just imagined the lines – they are not there at all and that you must make some effort to see this. We draw these lines and use them as channels for our greed and hatred. It happens all the time. If you work in an organisation that is divided into departments then you will immediately know what I mean. ‘Those lazy bastards in Purchasing don’t they realise how hard we are working …’. Managers and worker, blacks and whites, them and us – it is a familiar disease. The slogan for this disease is ‘You are either with us or against us’ (sound familiar?). Our lines are sharp, distinct barriers – fuzziness is for wimps!

So what should we do? Well, if you have any influence or power I suggest you use it to try and point these things out to those in who drive this current offensive. For the rest of us I suggest we start at home. Let’s do our best to rid ourselves of our own ‘weapons of mass destruction’. For this we need to look at that most intractable line that we all draw - this is the one with just me inside. This is the line that separates me from the rest of creation and thus keeps me in a state of fear and anxiety. How do we deal with this? This is what Buddhism is all about and you can read up the details in one of the many books on the subject.

For now, try this experiment for a few days: Take some simple routine activity that you find mildly irritating - these are usually the ones that you put off for a while until someone or something makes you do them. As an example take the washing-up. For a fixed period do the following. Firstly, do the washing up immediately it is appropriate (even if this means missing your favourite TV programme!). Then, instead of distracting yourself with radio or music just concentrate entirely on the washing up. Treat each cup, plate saucepan etc as if it were some precious object. Treat them with respect. Consider the work that went into making them, the thought that went into their design. Likewise, carefully consider the temperature of the water; the amount of washing up liquid needed. Observe the bubbles and feel the texture of the water and the feel of the plates etc. In other words completely lose yourself in what you are doing. This will feel slightly artificial at first and you may detect a degree of resentment arising; just recognise this and keep going. If you persevere with this practice, the process of washing up will cease to be a chore and become something strangely fulfilling – it takes a while and a certain degree of resolve. What is happening? I am starting to rub out that line between me and the washing up! It is then no longer a chore; no longer a waste of my time; no longer a waste of my effort. This sort of thing happens all the time with things that we enjoy and find fulfilling. If I am watching an exciting programme on TV, watching a beautiful sunset or playing the guitar I do not have to make this effort. I become one with the programme, the view or the playing – the line disappears all by itself! The trick is to confront the rest of my life with this same commitment and slowly rub out that line that separates me from everything else. In truth, this is a gradual, lifelong process. It can feel scary because I am losing myself but it turns out I am gaining everything else – there is no longer an ‘outside’ to be scared of, or hate. My weapons of mass destruction become less destructive and that destructive energy gets recycled into love and compassion.

This doesn’t sound like its got much to do with the Iraq war but in this world you have to change what can - and that is yourself. The ripples this creates can have a much greater influence than you could possibly think. Try it!

You might like to look at the web site for the Buddhist Peace Fellowship at:

http://www.bpf.org/html/home.html

For a different and very deep view of the war and the Buddhist implications see the wonderful article by David R. Loy at: http://www.mkzc.org/nonDual.htm .

In case you do not have time to read the whole thing here is the story with which he finishes the article:

A Native American grandfather was talking to his grandson about how he felt about the tragedy on September 11th.
He said, "I feel as if I have two wolves fighting in my heart. One wolf is vengeful, angry, violent. The other wolf is loving, forgiving, compassionate."
The grandson asked him, "Which wolf will win the fight in your heart?"
The grandfather answered, "The one I feed."

 

 

SPACE AND PHYSICS QUESTIONS 03 Apr 03

on 27/3/03 10:55 pm, Justin Whitby wrote:

Dear Brian

Reading your answer about Black Holes and how they are the result of collapsing stars got me thinking about something I remember reading about a few years ago. The article in question said that when our Sun died it could take the Earth with it (in a few million years time of course!), but this would be a result of the sun expanding. So is this a different phenomena or have I misinterpreted the story? Please could you set the record straight.

Yours Justin Whitby

INTERESTINGLY, IT'S NOT CLEAR WHETHER OR NOT THE EARTH WILL BE SWALLOWED WHEN THE SUN BECOMES A RED GIANT. THE SUN WILL SHED MASS AND SO LOOSEN ITS GRIP ON THE EARTH SO THAT THE EARTH MOVES OUTWARD IN THE SOLAR SYSTEM. IT MAY JUST ESCAPE BEING SWALLOWED, THOUGH IT'LL BE BURNT TO A CRISP OF COURSE!

And here's a great one !!! - Brian


on 29/3/03 7:50 pm, Gwyn Carwardine wrote:

Hey Brian, do you think it's possible that time is quantisable? i.e. time is not analogue as we all believe but is actually digital and everything is universally synchronised to (incredibly) small steps? An electron or photon
or whatever would effectively hop from place to place (a distance defined by the speed of light divided by the number of time 'steps' per second) without existing in the middle. I don't know enough physics to know the knock-on effects of this hypothesis but I have been curious for some time!

Regards, Gwyn Carwardine

THIS IS CONNECTED WITH BLACK HOLES. BECAUSE OF THE UNCERTAINTY PRINCIPLE, THINGS WHICH HAPPEN FOR A SHORT TIME ARE ASSOCIATED WITH LARGE ENERGY/MASS FLUCTUATIONS. IF SOMETHING HAPPENS IN A TIME LESS THAN A CERTAIN INTERVAL - I THINK IT'S ABOUT 10^-44 SECONDS - THE MASS ASSOCIATED WITH IT APPEARS WITHIN ITS OWN SCHWARZCHILD RADIUS (REMEMBER, THE EXTENT OF THE MASS HAS TO BE SMALLER THAN THE SPEED OF LIGHT x THE TIME FOR WHICH IT EXISTS) AND SO IS INSTANTLY SWALLOWED INSIDE A BLACK HOLE. NOTHING CAN THEREFORE HAPPEN ON SMALLER INTERVALS, SO THIS REPRESENTS THE QUANTUM OF TIME.


on 30/3/03 7:37 am, Sara Baker wrote:

Hi Brian,

Since you brought Einstein up..

There was a fascinating article in a magazine called DISCOVER entitled "Was Einstein Wrong About the Speed of Light?" written by Tim Folger. One of the people espousing this theory is João Magueijo a young Portuguese physicist who is a research fellow in theoretical physics at Cambridge University. This questioning of E=mc2 theorizes that the constant ("c") may not always be constant. This in turn has an affect on black holes and their description/definition thusly (according to Mr. Folger∂s article) -

In conventional physics, light simply falls into a black hole -- just like anything else in space-time and never comes out. That doesn∂t happen in Magueijo∂s universe. According to his calculations, if the varying speed of light theory turns out to be right, light comes to a full stop at the very edge of the black hole; it freezes and never enters the hole. Moreover, since nothing can travel faster than the speed of light - even in Magueijo∂s theory - all other motion halts at the black hole∂s surface too. Nothing falls in. So black holes aren∂t really holes after all.

A black hole is like an edge to space, Magueijo explains. "Nothing can come out, but nothing can go in either.∂

If an unlucky astronaut travelling along a cosmic string were to swerve near a black hole, the spaceship would seem to move more and more slowly. The black hole would remain forever in the distance, an unreachable obstacle" For information about this article and the magazine, visit the web site listed below. This site also give you a link to Mageuijo∂s actual research papers he has written on the subject, as well as a link to the web site of John Webb (Australia) and his collaborator Michael Murphy (UK) who are also
doing work on "varying constants."

http://www.discover.com/apr_03/gthere.html?article=featspeed.html


I highly recommend the article in DISCOVER - it∂s quite fascinating. If you can∂t get a copy of the April issue delivered to you in the UK, I would be more than glad to send you my copy. The possible implications for astrophysics are absolutely intoxicating - even for those of us who are only laymen/women.

Cheers, Sally (California)

THIS PERSON CLEARLY KNOWS WHAT THEY ARE TALKING ABOUT!

on 29/3/03 8:55 pm, Courtney Tahmassebi-Pour wrote:

Hey, Bri!

My friend Anthony was at my house yesterday. He's our school's Sterling Scholar in math, and he's a real brain, into physics, astronomy, chemistry, and whatnot, so I let him read your answer to the window cleaners about black holes. He, even as cynical and sadistic as he is, found it quite interesting. And he's not impressed by everything. He's convinced that Freddie was Queen, and I'm still trying to prove to him that you all were more or less equally important. But, he's as stubborn as a jackass, so I doubt I can convince him of anything. Anyway, he had some questions about astronomy, and when I thought about it, so do I. so, here they are.

Anthony's Q's:

A) What exactly is a Red Giant. I mean, how is one formed, what's required for a star to be one, etc.

B) If there was a Big Bang, how is it possible that everything is Red shifting equally from us in all directions and dimensions (if it indeed is)?

And, my questions...

THE ANSWERS TO THE FOLLOWING CAN BE FOUND IN MY BOOK, AFTERGLOW OF CREATION (UNIVERSITY SCIENCE BOOKS, SAUSALITO).

C) If there was a big bang and everything has red shifted, is it possible that our solar system, or something very close to it, is at the centre of the universe? Or, if not,

D) Would whatever is at the centre of the universe (or any particular galaxy, for that matter) have to have the biggest mass of anything around, just to keep it all sort of 'stuck together'? What I mean is, at the centre of the universe, could there be one absolutely gigantic galaxy, and at the centre of that, one absolutely gigantic star?

E) If the universe's rate of expansion keeps decelerating to the point where its gravitational pull overcomes its rate of acceleration and the whole universe begins collapsing on itself, will all the laws of physics change?

For instance, there is speculation that time will go backwards, etc., and that the second law of thermodynamics will no longer be relevant, because entropy will be reversed, etc.

YES, THE ARROW OF TIME WILL REVERSE, ALTHOUGH IT WILL NOT HAPPEN OVER NIGHT. IT'S THE DIRECTION OF TIME (ENTROPY INCREASE) IS CONNECTED TO THE BOUNDARY CONDITIONS OF THE UNIVERSE. BECAUSE THE UNIVERSE STARTED IN AN ORDERED STATE - THAT IS, A BIG BANG - AND IS FREE TO EVOLVE HOW IT LIKES - TIME GOES FORWARD. COFFEE GETS COLD BECAUSE THE QUASAR 3C273 IS RECEDING FROM US! IF THE BOUNDARY CONDITIONS WERE REVERSED AND THE ORDERED STATE WAS IN THE FUTURE - THE SITUATION FOR A COLLAPSE TO A BIG CRUNCH - THE ARROW OF TIME WOULD BE REVERSED.

HOWEVER, OUR THOUGHT PROCESSES BY WHICH WE PERCEIVE THE UNIVERSE WOULD ALSO BE REVERSED. SO A CONTRACTING UNIVERSE WOULD LOOK LIKE AN EXPANDING UNIVERSE. IT'S LIKE A DOUBLE NEGATIVE. CONCLUSION: WE COULD EQUALLY WELL BE LIVING IN THE CONTRACTION PHASE HEADING FOR A BIG CRUNCH WHILE BELIEVING WE ARE IN AN EXPANSION PHASE HEADING FROM A BIG BANG!

ALL IN MY BOOK, THE UNIVERSE NEXT DOOR (HEADLINE (UK); OXFORD UNIVERSITY
PRESS, NEW YORK (US))!

What do you think? Or, is it possible that nothing will change except the density of everything, until the whole universe goes back to where it supposedly came from, just a dot?

F) Or, could there be nothing at the centre of the universe, like what your friend Mr. Chown suggests about black holes, that there is no mass, but a ravitational pull anyway?

G) What do you think is outside our universe? More universes perhaps, or just nothing. That would freak me out, cos trying to comprehend "nothing" is like having your brains smashed in by a slice of lemon wrapped around a large gold brick (clever line care of Douglas Adams, form the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy).

And, one last question:

H) What marks the boundaries of the universe? Is it just where the stars stop?

Anyway, thank you so much. I know I'm kind of stupid when it comes to this stuff, but it just fascinates me. Sorry I asked so many damn questions, too.

Love ya!!!
Abraxas
ENDS.

OK Folks - you asked for it -  my esteemed cosmologist friend Marcus Chown has given me some fascinating answers to the deeper questions you asked.   Some of this goes into areas which I truly only dimly understand.  I was going to attempt to answer the "Direction of Time versus Entropy" question myself - but it would only have been a rehash of what I had read in Marcus's book.  So you guys are much better hearing it from the Horse's mouth.  I think we're all very privileged!!

I suggest we call a hiatus in this avenue of discussion for while at least, following these interchanges.  I suggest we all go off and read Marcus Chown and Stephen Hawking from cover to cover, and then have a long think, and then we'll reconvene this time next year!  Ok??!!  

I've really enjoyed opening this intriguing can of worms - thanks everyone - I might even have to award a prize to the Window Cleaners!!!!

Cosmologically yours

Dr. Bri  

 

From: Marcus Chown
To: Brian May
Subject: FW: SOAPBOX: SPACE AND PHYSICS

Dear Brian,

Yes, there definitely is a lot of interest out there... red giants, why the Universe has no centre (this has to be the most common misconception!) etc. Have included some comments in CAPS.

Have also referred to my books. Details are on my website...
http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/MChown

I seem to remember there's an "Ask the astronomer" website. But your "Ask therockstar about astronomy" website is pretty unique, I have to admit!

Best wishes,
Marcus

Well, there we go - serves us all right!!!! ha ha!

Cheers

Brian
 

GUITAR QUESTIONS 31 Mar 03

Stephan Moller wrote:

1) Did Brian used purely his fingers to play the guitar, or a plectrum, or a sixpence coin?

2) Which Treble Booster did he use? (Greg Fryer, Pete Cornish, ... ?)

3) Has Brian used a slight chorus effect between guitar and amp, or was it the guitar whammy bar?

4) Which and how many Amplifiers where used (Vox-AC30? Deacey Amp?)

5) Has Brian used a power soak between transformer and speaker, to reduce the sound level pressure ?

6) Most important : Which microphone(s), and how where they positioned at the loudspeaker?

7) Was it recorded in an anechoic chamber, or in a living room?

8) Has Brian used additional mixing console effects (Compressor, Equalizer-settings , additional Reverb?)

 

Hi Stephan
I'm sorry, I haven't time to look all this up so you
will have to make do with my memory. I am assuming
this is about the comparison on the guitarist magazine
CD. MY ANSWERS IN CAPS - Justin Shirley Smith

1) FINGERS AND COIN PROBABLY - PETE?
2) CORNISH PROBABLY - PETE?

3) I THINK THERE WERE NO EFFECTS BETWEEN GUITAR AND AMP.
4) ONE AC30 - I THINK
5) PETE?
6) NORMALLY WE USE A SENNHEISER 421 PERPENDICULAR AND TOUCHING THE SPEAKER CLOTH - JUST OFF THE CENTRE OF THE SPEAKER - BRIAN WILL OFTEN MOVE THE MIC WHILST LISTENING TO THE HISS AND FIND THE BRIGHTEST POSITION - THIS IS OFTEN ALL WE USE. ON THIS OCCASION I THINK WE ALSO HAD A SHURE SM58 (OR 57) SOMEWHERE NEAR THE CABINET (PETE?) AND AN AKG 414 AS A ROOM MIC (APPROX 3/4 METRES AWAY AT HEAD HEIGHT) BUT I CANT REMEMBER EXACTLY HOW I USED THEM - IT MIGHT HAVE BEEN 421 AND 58 SPLIT BETWEEN LEFT AND RIGHT AND NO ROOM. (OR SOME ROOM IN THE PHANTOM CENTRE)
7) LIVING ROOM
8) NO COMPRESSOR - NO EQ - JUST MIC POSITIONING AND MIXING - IF THERE IS A REVERB/DELAY IT IS PROBABLY A ENSONIQ DP/4 (MONO INPUT PARALELL TO LEFT AND RIGHT - SETTING 75 "DELAY & REVERB" - STEREO OUT)

-------

From PETE MALANDRONE:

These are the answers to Mr Mollers questions, as far as I can recall.
1) No plectrum, fingers and sixpence
2) Fryer
3) Whammy bar
4) One AC 30
5) No
6) Beyer 421 close mic'd on one cone approx 2 inches off centre to the right
7) Living room
8) No effects

Hope this helps
Pete

 

BURNS GUITAR: GROVER LOCKING TUNER 25 Mar 03

Ralf Ettel wrote:

Dear Brian,

My Name is Ralf, I'm from Berlin, Germany and I play Guitar in a Band called RIGBY.

I have the BHM Signature-Guitar from Burns, it's the best guitar I ever had. The sound with Treblebooster, Marshall Gov`ner Dist. and an old VOX TB is absolutely great. I want to thank you for making it possible for everyone to play your wonderful Guitar.

My question is: Did you choose the Grover Locking-Tuner or did Burns choose them? I ask this because these tuners are very hard to use(you need a coin to lock them), and they cut through thin strings when I turn the knob a little too much. If I turn the knobs less, the guitar is out of tune.

I'm going to replace them with Schaller Locking-Tuners, they never made any problems.

Apart from that, Congratulations for your work on this wonderful guitar. I wish you all the best and Peace for us all.
Ralf

on 26/3/03 2:44 pm, Pete Malandrone wrote:

Ralf,

The Grovers were chosen because they provide a locking method at an affordable price. We did look into other locking machine heads but the price was inhibitive.

When I first tried the Grovers, I must admit they were a little tricky to use, but with a little practice I have found them quite reliable and easy to get on with.

The knack is to let the machine head do it's job, in other words, don't fiddle with the top "screw" part. If you treat them like a normal tuning peg, you will find that the string locks and un-locks itself quite nicely thank you, and you are right, if you then tighten the screw down further,you will break the thinner gauge strings.

Another good trick to avoid tuning problems is to give the string an extra wind round the peg, this avoids any slippage.

Schallers and Gotohs are probably the best locking machine heads on the market, so if the Grovers bother you that much, and you have lots of spare cash, I can recommend these as high quality replacements. The real guitar is fitted with Gotoh's, but I don't think there is much to choose between them.

Hope this helps you,

All donations for advice to the Guitar-Techs benevolent fund www.mygodwhatwasidrinkinglastnight.com

Thank you
Pete Malandrone

See also BRIAN'S REPLY in March letters

 
MISSING MULTI-TRACK TAPES 25 Feb 03

on 19/2/03 1:06 pm, Colin Cerexhe wrote:

Hi there,

Although it's not on Brian's list, he might want to know that for the record, the Knebworth tapes seem to be hanging around in the corner of a recording studio. Whether they are copies or not, we couldn't decide (It was a thread at Queenzone a couple of months back)
http://www.genesis-movement.co.uk/g99/thefarm.htm

QUOTE:
"Also scattered around were some boxes with Queen written on them. These were apparently some tapes that they had sent to The Farm for copying (part of a Queen Archive Boxset perhaps?  It looked as though it was from Knebworth 9/8/86)"

Anyway, I just hoped it might be of some use.

Colin Cerexhe.
-----------------------

on 18/2/03 4:47 am, LJGFAB4 wrote:

I am a Beatle (and Queen) collector who may have some good or bad news for you. I recall reading in Richard Lester's biography some years ago (he was director of A Hard Day's Night and Help!) that he had stored some outtakes of both movies in EMI's vaults. When he went looking for them in the 80s, it turned out that EMI had a "statute of limitations" on storing films and recordings. After seven years, they simply threw them out!! I hope and pray this did not happen to the Queen recordings, because that would be a MAJOR loss. I have not heard any updates about EMI's storage policies but they may be doing the same thing to other people. Hollywood also did this in the 40s and 50s with silver nitrate films from the 20s and 30s. The films disintegrated because they were not stored properly and many classics were lost -- all that remain are stills and scripts. Horrible, isn't it?

Hope you find them, and hope you can visit some fans in America come 01 August in Irving, Texas -- the next North American Queen Convention! We would LOVE to have you and Roger too!!
Good luck in the search!
Lisa J Goodrich
Nashville, TN
USA
-------------------------

on 17/2/03 4:50 am, Richard Bennett wrote:

Not Multitracks - but might be of interest ? let me know.

Richard Bennet
<attached JPGs of acetates>
-----------

on 16/2/03 4:29 pm, Luke Mullens com wrote:

I read before that the whole Flash Gordon album and half of Queen1 was missing, does that mean they have since been found or is this list in addition to these?

Luke

on 25/2/03 12:36 pm, JUSTIN SHIRLEY-SMITH wrote:

Dear folks

RE: LOST MULTI-TRACK TAPES APPEAL

Thanks for all your replies - I'm afraid nothing has turned up yet but PLEASE tell us about any tapes you think could possibly be of interest to us. I'll try to get some photos posted of the sort of tapes we are looking for. Below are my replies to some of the people who responded.

To Colin Cerexhe
I saw this stuff on the WWW a while ago. These were simply tapes that I sent to "The Farm" (the Genesis studio) to have copies made. They are indeed the Knebworth multi-tacks of which we have a complete set, plus copies. I had been asked to mix the Knebworth version of Under Pressure for an internet bonus download or something (I think it eventually got put out on a CD) and needed the copies for this reason. Why somebody took a snap of them while they were there is not known - I'll ask the guys at the studio.

To Lisa J Goodrich
I am in touch with the EMI Tape Library and they often unearth odd Queen tapes and send them to us. These are invariably stereo production master copies, or the like, and so do not help us in the multitrack department. Your story sounds pretty scary and I'm glad I've never heard it from anyone else! (I have heard similar things about the BBC though.)

To Richard Bennet
Vinyl is not my domain - I'll pass this on to Greg Brooks.

To Luke Mullens
The final result of the band's work in the studio would have been a "Stereo Flat Mix Master" which contains the entire album mixed and sequenced with the right gaps and cross-fades etc. This is what they would have delivered to be mastered (or cut) on to vinyl. The mastering engineer would then have made a copy (called a "Production Master") of this with additional tone and level changes as desired or requested and this would be the version reproduced on the original records and CD's.

When re-masters are done it is desirable to go back to the Stereo Flat Mix Masters to make new tone and level adjustments dictated by current tastes or technology. This is what happened in in the early 1990's when Kevin Metcalfe re-mastered the entire catalogue for the "Digital Re-Master Series", and again in 1998 and 2001 for Hollywood and Toshiba EMI.

It is the Stereo Flat Master Tapes you are talking about and they are indeed missing for Queen 1 and Flash Gordon but don't panic - the original production masters are very good and there is no danger of these performances being lost - I believe a few million copies exist!
Some of the performances on the multi-track tapes are another matter though - hence our appeal.

Best wishes
Justin Shirley-Smith

 
NEW DEACY VOX AMP 23 Feb 03

on 23/1/03 7:16 pm, Jen wrote:

Hi Pete

Wonder if you have thoughts on these questions..

1. I've been asked what John Deacon thinks of the new Vox Deacy Amp?

2. Does 'Combo' imply that it also takes the place of ONE (of the normal 3)
AC30s in a typical set up?

3. It was thought that Greg Fryer was going to produce a Deacy amp, or is
he doing one as well as the Vox people?

Thanks
Jen

on 23/1/03 3:51 am, Pete Malandrone wrote:

Hi Jen,

Q 1. No idea until we send him one, and still then , probably no idea.

Q 2. No, not nearly enough gain to go into the big rig, really it's more of a bedroom amp. I would be interested to hear one slaved through an AC 30....Hmmm..... Must try that.

Q 3. If he is, it's news to me, Hope all is well in Queen land

Pete

 
STRINGS AND SLIDE QUESTION
on 24/1/03 at 15:49:31 "Arno van der Heijden" wrote:

Brian,

What brand strings are you using since Maxima went bankrupt? What gauge?

What type of slide do you prefer? Glass or metal?

Kind regards,
Arno van der Heijden

Ed: Brian said: "Best to ask the man who knows."

on 27/1/03 3:47 am, Pete Malandrone wrote:

I have enough Maxima strings to last Brian for a while yet, ( I bought all the remaining stock ! sneaky Ehh ?) But I am looking into alternatives and will let you know if we change manufacturers.
When Brian finishes with his slide on stage , he throws it to me. I have not dropped one yet, but just in case, I use the metal ones. No other reason than that.
Pete

 
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