The BMG Special Antique Cherry

The BMG Special  Antique Cherry
The BMG Special  Antique CherryThe BMG Special  Antique CherryThe BMG Special  Antique Cherry
List Price :  £795.00UK/EU Discount Price :  £695.00 Inc. 20% VATSave :  £100.00Export Price - USA Australia Worldwide : £579.17
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BMG Custom Guitar Strap  RedBMG Custom Guitar Strap Red
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BMG Custom Guitar Strap  BlackBMG Custom Guitar Strap Black
BMG Custom Guitar Strap  BeigeBMG Custom Guitar Strap Beige
Brian May Red Special Edition G7th CapoBrian May Red Special Edition G7th Capo
Elites Electric Guitar StringsElites Electric Guitar Strings
BMG Ltd. Edition 2018 T-Shirt  Heather NavyBMG Ltd. Edition 2018 T-Shirt Heather Navy



Every BMG Special purchased this month will be accompanied by an Official 2005 Brian May Sixpence produced by the British Pobjoy Mint to commemorate the Queen + Paul Rodgers World Concert Tour. This exclusive, limited edition coin comes complete in a perspex display case.

Please note that this exclusive coin is NOT available for purchase separately. Offer applies strictly while stocks last.


"The variety and uniqueness on offer here make this an outstanding recording guitar when you've run out of options on your usual guitar collection... it's easy to justify how special this Red Special really is!"

Jason Sidwell • Guitar Techniques • August 2013

The result of a unique collaboration between Brian May, his long-standing guitar tech Pete Malandrone and House Music, The best-selling BMG SPECIAL combines the distinctive aesthetics and sound of the legendary Red Special with a wealth of modern appointments and superb quality, production-line craftsmanship.

All the foundations of the trademark BM sound are present and correct, with construction, pickups and electronics faithfully reproducing the original's unique character and tonal versatility. But this is so much more than just a replica... with a price-tag and a range of new colours driven by Brian's concept of a guitar "for the people", The Special is designed to provide modern players of all musical persuasions with an affordable pro-grade instrument that is the perfect "go-to" guitar for any performance environment.

Acoustic Chambered Mahogany Body

True to the look and spirit of the "Old Lady", the instantly recognisable pinstripe-bound, double cutaway mahogany body features an acoustic chamber modelled on Brian's original design that enhances the Special's natural resonance and decreases weight.

24" Scale Mahogany Neck

Engineered with a decidely contemporary feel, and considerably less deeply contoured than the somewhat gargantuan proportions of the "Old Lady", the glued-in Mahogany neck sports a generous 45mm nut width, comfortably spacious "D" profile and wonderfully smooth 24 fret ebony fingerboard. 

Tri-Sonic Style Pickups

Modern replicas of the classic '60's Burns design units that are so fundamental to the Red Special's powerful sonic character, the three series-wired, single-coil pickups feature the same retro-styling, winding and magnet alignment as the originals.

Original BM Switching System

As per the original BM design, The Special is equipped with 6 white-capped slider switches controlling individual pickup on/off and phase reversal and providing a vast range of tonal variations.

Wilkinson Knife-Edge Tremolo

Trevor Wilkinson's "Wave" tremolo-bridge provides a strikingly modern look to The Special as well as delivering smooth, comfortable performance and exceptional stability and sustain.

Grover Locking Tuners

Featuring Grover's innovative Rotomatic® internal "Locking Cam", these superb machine heads automatically lock your strings as you tune, allowing for super-fast string changes and ensuring rock-solid tuning stability, even with heavy tremolo use.

  << Discover more about the unique appointments and performance of the BMG SPECIAL

Body Acoustic Chambered Mahogany with Bookmatched Mahogany Top
Binding 6-Ply Pinstripe, Front + Back
Neck 1-Piece Mahogany
Finish Gloss
Truss Rod Dual Action (440mm)
Fingerboard Ebony
Frets 24 Medium Jumbo 18% Nickel Frets + Zero Fret
Fret Wire Dimensions Crown Height : 2.7mm (0.106") • Crown Width : 0.914mm (0.036") • Radius : 230mm (9.0")
Inlays White Front + Side Dots (Φ 6mm /Φ 1.5mm)
Neck Join Set Neck Construction
Pickups 3 x BM Brand Custom Tri-Sonic Style Series Wired Single Coil
Switches White Slider Switches • 3 x Pickup On/Off • 3 x Pickup Phase In/Out
Controls Master Volume + Master Tone (250k) with BM Replica, Lathe-Turned, Billet Stock, Aluminium Control Knobs
Bridge Wilkinson WVP Knife Edge Tremolo (36mm Block) with Brass Saddles • Custom BMG Trem Arm with Plastic Tip
Machineheads 3-A-Side Grover 406 Mini Locking Rotomatic® Tuners
Nut Graphite/PPS Black (45mm x 6mm)
Scratchplates Main Control Plate • Half-Moon Tail Plate • Matching Truss Rod Cover
Overall Length 98.8cm (38.9")
Body Length 40.63cm (16")
Body Width 35.67cm (14")
Body Depth 40mm (1.57")
Fingerboard Radius 250mm (9.8")
Scale 610mm (24")
Neck Width @ Nut 45mm (1.77")
Neck Width @ 12th Fret 53mm (2.09")
Neck Width @ 24th Fret 57mm (2.24")
Neck Depth @ 1st Fret 22mm (0.87")
Neck Depth @ 12th Fret 24mm (0.94")
String Spacing @ Nut 36mm (1.42")
String Spacing @ 12th Fret 45mm (1.77")
Weight Approx 3.2kg (7lbs)
Strings D'Addario XL-120 Super Light • Plain Steel .009 - .011 - .016 • Nickel Wound .024 - .032 - .042
Included Extras Premium Quality Gig Bag with Stitched Brian May Guitars Logo
Options (additional cost) Moulded, Impact Resistant, Plush Lined HISCOX "LiteFlite" Custom Fitted Hard Case with Stamped Brian May Guitars Logo
Country Of Origin World Musical Instruments Co. Ltd. - South Korea

Brian May

An exclusive demonstration of the first iteration of the BMG Special by the good Doctor himself.

Lucas Vianna

A superb demo of the Brian May Guitars SPECIAL from young, Brazilian guitar ace Lucas Vianna, a performer in the 2016 São Paulo and 2017 Danish touring productions of the smash hit Queen musical "We Will Rock You".

Lucas uses the Special to demonstrate some of Brian May's favourite pickup and phase switch settings : 

And here, Lucas shows off the Special's unique, genre-busting tonal dexterity :

  << Read more information on BMG switch settings HERE

It's Red and It's Special!

Jason Sidwell • August 19th 2013

Originally launched in 2001 by Burns, this version of Brian May's Red Special guitar was released in 2006 by Brian May Guitars, a company headed up by Barry Moorhouse of House Music, Pete Malandrone (Brian May's tech) and Brian May himself. 

As you'd expect, this guitar is available in red (Antique Cherry) just like Brian's own guitar but there are other options if you hanker for the design and tones but not this colour. Natural, Blue, Black/Gold, White, Green, 3-Tone Sunburst... there's much on offer.

While the design brief was for a guitar that offered 'best product at an affordable price', there's not a huge apparent difference between this model and Brian's own. Certainly from a distance, they look very similar as regards body shape, pickups, controls and dot arrangement for the 24 frets. Up close, the main differences are bridge type (here it's a Wilkinson bridge), the whammy bar (this one has a unique curve where it connects to the bridge), the type of volume/tone dials, no pickup surrounds and the headstock décor. The mahogany body (the original is oak with a mahogany veneer) also features an acoustic chamber that aids resonance at louder volumes as well as making for a lighter weight guitar.

For a guitar in this price range, there are some noticeable bonuses too; the Grover tuning lockers, combined with the graphite nut (a zero fret is present, just as on the original), helped tuning stability even when going for the bigger whammy bar dives that Brian favoured during the late '80s. There's also the workmanship on show; joints, frets and paintwork are pretty much faultless. For the more discerning, we liked the fact that the nut width of 45mm at the 1st fret is a little more than other guitars that typically favour 42-43mm. The neck isn't as deeply contoured as Brian's own but it is more substantial than many modern rock axes; with the nut width and neck contour we found it very comfortable to play. If you've found open string chords like A major a bit of a squeeze on a standard electric, you'll love the room two extra millimetres affords here. Talking of playability, each guitar comes strung with a .009 gauge set of strings enabling easy bend strings and smooth finger vibrato.


Having used this guitar over a period of several months – most extensively during show work for We Will Rock You – we're happy to report that the tones available are not only unique but also very reminiscent of Brian's own. This is down to the three retro single coil pickups that ape Brian's own Burns Tri-Sonic pickups. These are wired in series (instead of the more common wired in parallel) which means that each pickup turned on increases output volume. Three pickups may not be that unusual but two sets of switches certainly are (white here, same colour as on Brian's red special); the higher placed set turns the pickup on/off and the lower set is for in/out phase reversal. If two pickups are on and one is reverse phased, the resulting tone is minus the sonic elements that are shared by both pickups. This can result in some very unique sounds, from round humbucker based tones (in phase) through to thinner, almost vocal sounding tones that can help a solo cut through a band mix (out of phase).

From Bohemian Rhapsody and Fat Bottom Girls through to One Vision and I Want It All, this guitar undoubtedly gets you much closer to Brian's tone than any typical Strat or Les Paul. Of course, to get even closer you'll want to factor in choice of pick (Brian favours old sixpence coins, sometimes fingers) effects (treble boost, delay, phaser, chorus) and amplifier (Vox AC30 with top boost, the Deacy amp) but this guitar is a substantial aspect to May's magic. With over 20 pickup setting options, it's certainly one of the most tonally versatile guitars on the market!

In Use

While the amount of pickup options can seem overwhelming, some are favoured more than others by Brian. So we spent much time on his favourite tone; the bridge and middle pickups in phase. Used for various solos (check out his lead licks on Brighton Rock), it's a thick sound with a specific bite that's great for soloing (eg the scalic runs in It's A Kind Of Magic proved great for this) as well as low string playing (eg Ogre Battle's busy 16th note riffing). Certainly, it's the closest option if you're chasing a typical bridge humbucker tone but with an appealing raspy edge if you dig in on the lower wound strings. 

Combining neck and bridge pickups (out of phase) has a thinner, almost honky, tone that paired with amp distortion (ideally a Vox AC30) is pleasingly unique. Check out the solo on Liar (from "Queen 1") for reference. 

Another favourite tone of Brian's combines the neck and middle pickups for a warmer option than bridge and middle; listen to the solo on Roger's Rocket (from "Queen 2"). A variation of this, features the middle pickup set out of phase which is vital if you want to duplicate the harmonically rich lead tone for the solos on "Somebody To Love" and "Bohemian Rhapsody" (add a little phaser effect to the latter song for extra authenticity). With the light string gauge and easy playability high up the fretboard, playing the Bo' Rhap solo was a very joyous experience!


Brian May fans will love this guitar; great price, attention to build quality and an obvious visual appeal tick the important boxes. The tonal options also make it a must have but not only for those that hanker to emulate him. The variety and uniqueness on offer here make this an outstanding recording guitar when you've run out of options on your usual guitar collection. Based on these factors, it's easy to justify how special this Red Special really is!


Average Rating (60 Reviews):  
Write a Review and share your opinions!

BMG Special Signature Edition... Great service
Thursday, 19 April 2018  | 

Thank you very much for the great service and the fulfilment of a little extra request. THANK YOU!!!

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Excellent performance
Wednesday, 18 April 2018  | 

This is the single most awesome thing I have ever bought, the guitar itself came well packaged and arrived when promised. The build quality is fantastic and, even better, the sound is out of this world. The team were great, prompt, and polite in all my dealings with them. This was an excelent overall performance... I just need to learn to play now!

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Tuesday, 17 April 2018  | 

The Brian May Guitars Special is a tonal T-Rex. Sounds awesome through a Vox... all I need now is a big curly wig!

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Thursday, 5 April 2018  | 

I love this guitar! Sounds like no other guitar I own (and I own a lot). Plays great - looks great. Absolutely love it! Arrived from the UK to South Bend, Indiana in less than a week. I couldn't be happier with this purchase. Thanks to everyone at BMG and House Music Limited.

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Thursday, 5 April 2018  | 

Very playable, great tone options, great build quality

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BMG Special Signature Edition
Sunday, 18 March 2018  | 

Thank you for that very special and wonderful instrument!

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BMG Special Signature Edition... My pride and joy
Wednesday, 14 March 2018  | 

I've had a BMG for a few years now - had a few people play it and love it with the words 'exceptional value' used more than once!

I did always want a signed one though - we got a friend an ex-WWRY for his 40th some years ago and I've considered mugging him many times since!
I've noticed this signed one came with aluminium rotaries and a tremolo end cap, unlike my first. There also seems to be a brighter or fuller tone from the new one, perhaps due to age difference?

Anyway, I'm thrilled with my wonderful guitar, it proudly hangs on the wall (though v.occasionally played - it would be a shame to never let it 'live' ).

For anyone who's considering it, I would 100% recommend one, superb guitar in it's own right and at the price it's untouchable.

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BMG Special Signature Edition... Worth the wait
Monday, 12 March 2018  | 

The Red Special arrived in perfect state. Although I had to wait a couple of months since it had to he signed by Brian, it was totaly worth it.

Great sound, and a lust for the eye!

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BMG Special Signature Edition... Legendary
Saturday, 24 February 2018  | 

I ordered a BMG Special shortly after seeing Queen in concert in Houston, TX in August 2017 and received it shortly thereafter.

Before I start in on the guitar, let me say that every interaction I've had with the wonderful people at House Music has made me happier about my decision. Thank you, Gill and everyone else there. You've been kind and very patient with my complicated order.

The guitar is better than I expected. The range of tone I can extract from this instrument is breadth-taking (pun absolutely intended). The pickups and the unique and innovative wiring profile offer so much sonic variety, it's nearly overwhelming. That alone makes this a guitar of note.

But the overall quality of this instrument is what elevates it to a work of art. From the locking tuners to the strap button, all the hardware is top quality. Of note is the super-stable tremolo that does NOT knock the guitar out of tune.

Furthermore, the wide neck profile and the chambered body make this instrument feel like a luxury. So light and yet so CHUNKY. I've never played a guitar like it. It is now my primary six-string. It's like having a LP, Strat, and Tele all in one stunningly beautiful guitar.

Thank you so much to the whole team involved in realizing this guitar, and to Dr. May, especially.

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Fantastic guitar
Thursday, 11 January 2018  | 

Fantastic guitar with a specific sound like no other of my 9 guitars. So happy I bought this one to complete my collection. The neck is perfect, and so playable. Associated with a Treble Booster (mine is a Mesa Tone Burster) and a Vox AC30C2 you do have the exact Queen sound. Incredible for just 789!

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Husband loved it!
Tuesday, 2 January 2018  | 

It was a delight to see my husband open his present on Christmas day... all the family watched his reaction... it was amazing. Thank you Brian May Guitars for making a very SPECIAL Christmas.

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Such a joy to play
Saturday, 30 December 2017  | 

I was very pleasantly surprised with the setup of the guitar when it arrived - everything was spot on, from intonation to action to tremolo (which IMHO is better than usual 6 point trem).

Locking tuners work as they should, even after prolonged use of trem (dive-bombs included ... there were no problems with the intonation.

The guitar is such a joy to play, being 24" scale with comfortable neck profile, and 2 easily accessible full octaves per string. However, it is more suitable for playing with the strap (after all, it's rock guitar), a bit awkward when sitting down. Volume and tone pots, together with upgraded lovely Aluminium Replica "Top-Hats", are working quite nice, turning the volume pot offers wide array of useful tones from sparkling clean to down and dirty screaming... of course depending on your amp and pedal settings .

Pickup combinations work very well, although sometimes in an out-of-phase setting they can be shrill sounding... it all depends on type of amplifier used.

The guitar is very versatile, not just for (obvious) Queen songs, but suitable for a vast range of styles - I enjoy playing with it songs of Rory Gallagher, Beatles, Led Zeppelin, CCR, to name a few...

Great guitar, well manufactured, setup and service were excellent! I would recommend this guitar (and House Music Limited) not just to Queen/Brian May fans, but to anyone in need of a guitar that can cover many styles.

P.S. I would sure like to obtain BMG Super ... but it will have to wait until I learn to play better :o)

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Saturday, 30 December 2017  | 

Bought this as a Christmas gift for my partner, he was thrilled with it!. It has infinite tone possibilities and is red! It was easy to order and delivered promptly in good condition. I was updated regularly with the status of the order and it arrived ready to unwrap and play!

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Friday, 29 December 2017  | 

Muy bonita, acabados perfectos.

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I love this guitar
Monday, 11 December 2017  | 

There were a few faults with it but I can live with that, otherwise a great all round guitar with a variety of sounds that can be made from using the controls!

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Tuesday, 5 December 2017  | 

Excellent guitar, especially due to the individual phase control of the three pickups. It enables reproducing the Brian May's unique sound. A downloadable PDF manual would help a lot. Also a more accurate description of the difference between the BMG Special and the the LE versions could be useful.

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Thursday, 23 November 2017  | 

Arrived in Australia in good condition and in good time... it is a beautiful guitar. I'm very happy with my purchase.

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Thanks for the guitar!
Thursday, 16 November 2017  | 

Good performance! Pleasantly surprised by the new knobs!

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BMG Special Signature Edition... Definitely special!
Tuesday, 7 November 2017  | 

It was such a thrill to get my signed BMG Special yesterday! It was nicely packaged, and I got the optional hard case, which was really impressive.

The guitar itself feels amazing to play and is well made.

Having the signature of my favourite guitar hero on the top makes it the perfect memento for an amazing concert.

I love it! Thank you so much everyone!!

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BMG Special Signature Edition... Wonderful instrument
Tuesday, 31 October 2017  | 

Dear Guitar folks

I wanted to let you know what I received my signed Red Special yesterday. What a wonderful instrument at such a great price! I've been playing all morning!

I wanted to thank you for such a great item. It made it all the way to Hollywood, California in one piece and the packaging was terrific. Thanks again and much success to everyone there!

Jason McDonald Los Angeles, CA

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful.


Hi Jason

Thank you for your positive feedback. We are thrilled to hear you are so happy with your new guitar!

Many thanks once again for choosing a Brian May Guitar.

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