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.

 

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 in 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.

Discover more about the Left Handed BMG Special HERE

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

Yes, although some product photos depict previous models, the current iteration of the BMG Special (in all finishes) features aluminium replica "top hat" replica knobs and white trem tips as standard equipment.

Full details of the specifications of the BMG Special can be found on our website HERE

Firstly, we assure you that there is absolutely no damage to your brand new instrument!

There is however a factory-applied clear adhesive film covering the pickguards (and pickups) to protect the instrument from abrasion during manufacture, set-up, and transit.

This clear covering can easily be removed, revealing the beauty beneath.

BMG's current 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-Sonics, as featured on the 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 is produced by World Musical Instruments Co. Ltd. of South Korea.

Full specifications for all BMG instruments are available HERE

We have regular shipments of the BMG Special in Antique Cherry arriving EVERY month but, with demand so high in the wake of the phenomenal global success of the “Bohemian Rhapsody” movie, we strongly suggest that customers register on the relevant product page to receive an email notification as soon as this model is in stock and available to purchase/pre-order online.

We are currently experiencing such incredibly high demand for all BMG instruments that, after email notifications are triggered, the most recent batches of BMG Specials in Antique Cherry to arrive have all sold out within a couple of hours.

We do have regular shipments of the BMG Special arriving every month so we strongly suggest that customers register on the relevant product page to receive an email notification as soon as this model is in stock and available to purchase online.

Unfortunately, there is no way around the fact that customers who miss out in a given month are obliged to re-register to receive an email notification for the next month's delivery.

 

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

Each month BMG offer a different selection of colours for purchase, in striclty limited edtiion quantities. All in-stock finishes are available for immediate purchase.

If the model/colour you wish to purchase is marked as "Currently Sold Out", please be sure to register on the relevant product page to receive an email notification as soon as that instrument is available to purchase/pre-order.

As production is confirmed, the expected delivery schdules for LE Series finishes will be published on the relevant product pages.

Read more about the BMG LE Series HERE

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BMG Signed Guitars

Since 2016, to coincide with Brian May's concert tours and live perfomances around the world, BMG have offered 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

These promotions are now all closed.

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.

 

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

The premium quality, limited edition BMG Super model is not currently offered for online sale and, for the forseeable future, wil be available only to customers on our official waiting list.

This waiting list was established in November 2018 and, in light of a totally overwhelming response, was closed at the beginning of 2019. Having been out of production for the best part of two years, the Super was bound to have amassed serious interest during its absence, but it seems that everyone - ourselves included! - underestimated the enthusiasm for this exceptional instrument.

We currently have several hundred customers who have registered their interest in purchasing a BMG Super and until we have worked through this list and all orders have been fulfilled, regsitration for the list will remain closed.

Whilst we can make no promises about production times, we anticipate that this process will take at least a couple of years to complete.

Are the Adeson-spec Super pickups available to purchase separately?

For the foresdeable future, the Adeson-spec BMG Super pickups will only be available on our flagship BMG Super model itself.

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Order Processing & Payment

All BMG sales transactions are processed by Barclaycard ePDQ Essential - a robust, world class system for online card transactions that provides the complete assurance of 128 bit end-to-end SSL encryption and total security.

This means that if authorisation of your credit card has not been successful - for whatever reason - you will need to refer to your bank or credit card provider for clarification as we will be unable to provide you with further details.

Please note that many banks and credit unions in the United States of America apply an AUTOMATIC BLOCK to any foreign transactions, so it may be advisable for US customers to contact their bank in advance to check the status of their account and, if necessary, arrange for any such block to be temporarily lifted and avoid the transaction being declined.

Currently we are unable to accept online payment by PayPal.

Unfortunately, we do not offer credit terms or stage-payment plans.

Yes, we can accept payment by international or domestic bank transfer.

Please contact the BMG sales office on +44 (0) 1276 453 079 for details.

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.

As a United Kingdom company, BMG's default online discount prices are displayed inclusive of UK Value Added Tax (20%). This price applies to all orders dispatched to countries within the European Union.

All orders shipped OUTSIDE of the EU are exempt from this domestic sales tax, so customers in the United States Of America, Australia and Worldwide should therefore refer to the EXPORT PRICE displayed on each product, which includes an effective 20% discount on ALL purchases.

Once you have added products to your basket and entered the correct delivery country in the drop down box on the Shopping Basket page, the correct tax-free export price will be applied to your order.

Full details about our 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, our delivery partners (UPS or DHL) will contact you to advise you of any applicable charges and to arrange payment.

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

As a United Kingdom based company, all BMG prices are displayed in UK POUNDS by default.

However, for the benefit of customers in the Euro zone, the United States of America and Australia, it is possible for prices throughout the BMG website to be displayed in these alternative currencies by clicking on the corresponding flag icons BELOW or at the TOP of every page

   << EURO            << US DOLLARS            << AUSTRALIAN DOLLARS   

Whilst these values are updated in real time to reflect the prevailing mid-market exchange rate, customers are advised that these prices should be used as a GUIDELINE only as we cannot guarantee the exchange rate that your bank or credit card provider will apply when processing your payment.

Please note that :

  1. Regardless of the currency you choose to show prices in, your credit/debit card will always be charged in UK Pounds.
  2. The alternative currency prices displayed are estimates only, based on the current mid-market exchange rate, and may not accurately reflect the rate that will be applied to your purchase by your bank or credit card provider.

Full details about pricing, currency, and international shipping charges can be found on our Customer Support Page HERE.

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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.

We have an extremely privileged professional relationship with Dr. May and we are not at liberty to pass any personal messages to him, under any circumstances.

We suggest that you direct correspondence to his OFFICIAL WEBSITE or post something to his personal FACEBOOK PAGE

Although we have previously run limited promotions which have bundled complimentary Brian May/Queen commemorative coins with the the purchase of a BMG Special, we do not offer sixpence coins for sale on the Brian May Guitars website.

If you are looking to purchase an official commemorative coin, please visit the official Queen web store at www.queenonline.com.

If you wish to purchase UK sixpences to use as a guitar picks, eBay has many resellers of vintage coins at reasonable prices.