“There’s a great simulator that really does a very good job of simulating my sound”: Brian May reveals which affordable amp-in-a-box gets closest to nailing his iconic Queen tone – but it’s one you might not expect

Brian May of British rock band Queen playing live onstage at the Hammersmith Apollo, July 12, 2012
(Image credit: Future)

Brian May’s combination of his Red Special electric guitar and Vox AC30 guitar amp has helped create one of music’s most coveted guitar tones, which is the muse of many tone-chasers the guitar world over.

Many have tried to harness May’s Queen sound through analog means, but in the age of pedal amps and digital modelers, there's no shortage of products promising to deliver that vintage guitar tone at a fraction of the price.

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month**

Join now for unlimited access

US pricing $3.99 per month or $39.00 per year

UK pricing £2.99 per month or £29.00 per year 

Europe pricing €3.49 per month or €34.00 per year

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Prices from £2.99/$3.99/€3.49

Matt Owen
Senior Staff Writer, GuitarWorld.com

Matt is a Senior Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.