When the band signed a record contract, part of the deal (as it was customary in those days) included an avance payment, which by its side included new instruments and amplifiers for all of them, the cost of which would be deducted from their royalties once they started earning profit. Some shows from this era have been documented via either photographs or short videos.

At some point during this era, Brian acquired a Fender Stratocaster, which had been the guitar of his dreams (the one he'd made with his father was a 'placeholder' until he had enough money to buy a proper one). Brian, however, didn't like the way the Strat sounded with the Vox AC30 amp, so he retained his homemade guitar as his main and only used the Strat in case he broke a string (e.g. Liar on 31st March 1974).

Through their record company, Queen also signed to David Bowie's equipment hire, Ground Control (set up in 1973), which provided them the Public Address.

Percussion

Roger's Ludwig kit at Rainbow
Freddie's New Era tambourine
Roger's cowbells
Drum kit
  • Ludwig 26" x 14" bass-drum.
  • Ludwig 14" x 7.5" snare drum.
  • Ludwig 16" x 16" and 20" x 20" floor toms.
  • Ludwig 12" x 12" rack tom.
  • Zildjian 15" hi-hats.
  • Zildjian 16" and 20" crash cymbals.
  • Cowbells.
Tambourine
  • Unknown brand
Roger's mics
  • AKG D19 for the toms

Bass guitars

John's Fender
Bass + rig
  • Fender Precision 1965 electric bass.
  • Orange AD-200B amplifier.
  • Orange PCC 412 cabinet.
  • Schaller foot pedal [volume].

Guitars

Brian's Red Special
Brian's Fender Stratocaster
Electric guitars
  • BHM bespoke [main]
  • Fender Pre-CBS Stratocaster [spare] - the earliest documented instance of Brian having that guitar is from the Keep Yourself Alive and Liar videos shot in August 1973. It's still a mystery when exactly he started using it... or when he bought it to begin with.
Guitar rig
  • 2 x Vox AC30 amplifiers
  • Dallas Rangemaster effect [treble booster] *
  • Cornish bespoke effect [treble booster] *
  • fOXX foot pedal [phaser]
  • Homemade delay unit **
  • Maestro delay unit **
  • *: At some point in this era, the Dallas Rangemaster pedal was stolen from the band's van and Brian commissioned Peter Cornish to build a new one.
  • **: The delay unit was first used in 1973 for the solo in Son and Daughter, until it was replaced by the Maestro one.

Pianos

The famous white piano in Pheasantry
Black Yamaha, probably in early 1973
Piano at Rainbow
Piano
  • Depending on the venue. For example at Canvey Island's Civic Hall he played a Wurlitzer e-piano.
Public Address system
  • 1000 W Millibank amplifiers
  • Allen & Heat mixer.

What about the recording sessions?

Queen most likely used the same basic equipment for the Queen (I) and Queen II albums, with the addition of Hairfred, Ovation and Martin acoustic guitars, Bechstein piano, Goff harpsichord, Hammond C-3 organ and an unknown honky-tonk piano, none of which was used on stage of course. For the I Do Like to Be Beside the Seaside bit, Roy Baker played a Dubreq Stylophone, which is technically a synthesiser (so they did use synths before 1979!).