Frequently Asked Questions

Here is a selection of responses to some of the questions that we often get asked about the Brian May Guitars range and our services. Most of the answers can be found elsewhere on the site and you will find links here to the relevant sections for more detailed information.

We have tried to be as comprehensive as we can, so please have a good look through the site as chances are, your enquiry is answered either here or on our product or customer support pages!

If you still need further information or clarification, then please contact us by Telephone, by direct Email or via the form on our CONTACT PAGE

 

The BMG Special

LE refers to our range of LIMITED EDITION models - As the name implies, these exclusive instruments are produced in strictly limited quantities on a rotating basis for players who want something a little different... they share the same basic specifications as the classic Antique Cherry Special model, but feature alternative finishes, pickguards and hardware combinations.

Read more about the BMG LE Series HERE

The BMG Special model is supplied complete with a premium quality, custom gig bag made from durable showerproof material with twin, rucksack-style shoulder straps, side and front grab handles, dual front pockets, and stitched Brian May Guitars logo.

A professional grade, British made BMG custom Hiscox "Liteflite" hard case is also available to purchase either with the BMG Special, or seprarately. The case features a bespoke, form-fitting interior specifically designed for the unqiue proportions of the BMG Special (and other RS style instruments). When the case is purchased WITH a guitar, customers will also receive the gig bag.

Read more about BMG Cases and Gig Bags HERE

Yes! The BMG Special is produced in a left handed version although, as part of our LE Series, only in strictly limited quantities according to demand. If delivery of any LE Series model is scheduled, the month of arrival will be marked on the product.

If you wish to be notified when any model comes in to stock, please navigate to the relevant product page and click the link on the top left of the page. An email will be sent to you as soon as stocks are available to purchase.

The Wilkinson WVP bridge features a custom, push-in tremolo arm that is secured by a clamping bush which can be tightened to taste by a small allen bolt on the rear of the block. The thread-less design means that the arm can be positioned at any orientation without interference.

See detailed instructions for fitting the tremolo arm HERE

... or is it best practice to loosen it off and take it off everytime?

It's a matter of personal choice. The interweb, in its delightful partisan way, will no doubt reveal support for both sides of the argument... Whilst it always depends on how carefully you will transport the instrument in its gig bag, we would suggest best practice is to remove it and eliminate any risk.

See detailed instructions for fitting the tremolo arm HERE

The spare string is for the Wilkinson tremolo unit and may be required if you wish the restring the Special with heavier gauge strings.

When tuned to pitch, your guitar's strings exert a pull on the tremolo bridge. In order to function correctly and return to neutral pitch, the tremolo bridge has springs that pull in the opposite direction to balance the string tension.

At standard tuning, lighter strings (9's or 10's) require less tension to get to pitch compared to heavy strings (12's or 13's). Therefore, if you wish to put 12 or 13 gauge strings on the BMG Special, you will need to add an additional tremolo spring to increase spring tension to balance the increased pull of the new strings.

To install additional springs, remove the plate on the back of the body to expose the tremolo spring cavity.

All BMG Special models bear a unique BHM prefixed 4, 5 or 6 digit serial number applied by transfer either vertically or horizontally to the rear of the headstock which denotes the year of manufacture and the production sequence.

Check the year of production of your guitar HERE

BMG's BM branded pickups have a lightly lower output than The Burns Brian May Signature Tri-Sonics (close to 7kohms), but the difference is minimal. The BMG and Burns sets both utilise older style, isotopic magnets which give a much warmer sound - much like original sixties sets.

Adrian Turner's Adeson Tri-Sonic Pickups, as featured on the Mk.1 + Mk.2 BMG Super were designed around the original set found on Brian's Guitar and wound on original Burns-era equipment using original sourced materials and magnets.

Adrian Turner's Adeson Tri-Sonics, as featured on the Mk.1 + Mk.2 BMG Super were designed around the original set found on Brian's Guitar and wound on the original Burns equipment from that era using original sourced materials and magnets.

 

The BMG Special LE Series

LE refers to our range of LIMITED EDITION models - As the name implies, these exclusive instruments are produced in strictly limited quantities on a rotating basis for players who want something a little different... they share the same basic specifications as the classic Antique Cherry Special model, but feature alternative finishes, pickguards and hardware combinations.

Read more about the BMG LE Series HERE

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The BMG SE Series [Signature Edition]

Since 2016, to coincide with Brian May's concert tours and live perfomances around the world, BMG have offered all ticket holders the opportunity to purchase a BMG guitar signed by Dr.Brian May.

The promotions have covered the following tours & residencies :

  • 2016 One Voice European Tour with Kerry Ellis - Signed BMG Mini May
  • 2016 Q+AL European Tour - Signed BMG Rhapsody or BMG Mini May
  • 2017 Q+AL North American Tour - Signed BMG Special
  • 2017 Q+AL Europe/UK Tour - Signed BMG Special
  • 2018 Q+AL Australia/New Zealand Tour - Signed BMG Special
  • 2018 Q+AL European Tour - Signed BMG Special
  • 2018 Q+AL Las Vegas MGM Park Theater - Signed BMG Special

Current and future BMG signed guitar promotions will be advertised on the BMG website, our social media channels and in tour brochures.

Brian uses a Sharpie brand metallic paint marker.

Other than ensuring that it not exposed to direct sunlight for prolonged periods, there should be no need to protect the signature if the guitar has been purchased for display purposes. However, being signed on the body's upper bout, the signature will almost certainly wear off during playing... to prevent this, there are two options we suggest.

1. Get some good quality clear self adhesive film and apply this over the signed area, with all corners rounded so there are no sharp corners where the film can start to peel off with playing.

2. Apply a clear lacquer encapsulating coat on the top of the guitar... we strongly recommend that this is carried out by a respected professional.

The logistics of organising for Brian to sign up to several hundred guitars prevent us from offering the option of a personalised autograph.

No, but Brian May's long standing and well publicized, official and personal involvement with Brian May Guitars is provenance enough to ensure the authenticity of his signature.

Demand is inevitably high for our signed guitar promotions so, as well as increasing production, we have to find cunning ways to work around Brian's increasingly hectic schedule to organise way more signing sessions than we had planned for. As it is simply not logistically possible to have hundreds of guitars signed in one sitting, we have to prepare them in batches, deliver them to Brian's home, oversee the autograph process, collect them and arrange final despatch... it's quite the painstaking process!

Orders are allocated and processed in strict order and we always advocate patience.

Check the year of production of your guitar HERE

 

The BMG Mini May

The Mini May travel guitar was designed to be be played in standard tuning, although its short scale (22.7") means that it has somewhat less string tension than a full sized electric guitar and as such may require a lighter touch.

That said, there is a whole load of creative fun to be had experimenting with open and alternate tunings... Brian himself used the Mini May tuned to G - C - F - Bb - D - G (+3 semitones) on the 2016 One Voice Tour with Kerry Ellis, giving the instrument a mandolin-like chime with plenty of bite and crunch from the single tri-sonic style pickup.

In January 2017, regulations enacted by CITES - The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna & Flora - were expanded to heighten the worldwide protection of all species of rosewood under the genus Dalbergia.

All sales to non-EU territories of any product that utilises rosewood in its construction must be accompanied by an export licence, for which applications are currently subject to a lengthy approval process as well as significant additional costs.

Whilst we research using an alternative fingerboard wood, customers are advised that the current iteration of the BMG MINI MAY is therefore ONLY available for sale within the United Kingdom & European Union.

Please keep an eye on the BMG website and on our social media channels for announcements on a new Mini May that both supports conservation AND is readily available to all our customers!

 

The BMG Super

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Order Processing & Payment

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International Orders

All Brian May Guitars products, with the exception of the BMG Mini May travel guitar are available to shop all over the world.

Full details about international orders and worldwide shipping charges can be found on our Customer Support Page HERE.

No. You will be responsible for paying any domestic import taxes and duties. Prior to delivery, UPS will contact you to advise you of the applicable charges for your region and to arrange payment.

To discover more about current import tarfiffs for your region, you should contact the relevant government agency in your country of residence.

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General Questions

No, this is not something any guitar manufacturer would do. There are however, plenty of available resources online which detail the construction of Brian's original Red Special.

No, we regret that it is not possible to offer custom appointments such as custom neck profiles, colours, hardware, electronics or headstocks without Brian May's signature and model ID.

If you wish to contact Dr. Brian May, we suggest doing so via his offcial web page and various social media accounts.

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Read more about the BMG LE Series HERE

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  • 2016 One Voice European Tour - Signed BMG Mini May
  • 2016 Q+AL European Tour - Signed BMG Rhapsody or Mini May
  • 2017 Q+AL North American Tour - Signed BMG Special
  • 2017 Q+AL Europe/UK Tour - Signed BMG Special
  • 2018 Q+AL Australia/New Zealand Tour - Signed BMG Special