The BMG Special Antique Cherry

The BMG Special  Antique Cherry
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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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"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

  << Learn more about pricing, currency and shipping charges for international customers

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 Plastic Main Control Plate • Half-Moon Tail Plate • Matching Truss Rod Cover • Tremolo Cavity 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.

Tone


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!

Conclusion


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!

<< SEE ALL BMG PRINT & ONLINE PRESS REVIEWS HERE

Average Rating (109 Reviews):  
Write a Review and share your opinions!

Rating:  
Fantastic
Saturday, 23 March 2019  | 

Just received the guitar in fantastic condition!! Its PERFECT, however I didnt know they were made in Korea. I thought you made them at House Music Ltd... nevertheless its fantastic and I am very happy and honored to have a piece of history!!!

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful.


Response:

We certainly don't keep it a secret... the superb BMG Special range is crafted at World Music's internationally renowned production facility in the Republic of Korea.

Read the full specs on all BMG product HERE.


Rating:  
Brilliant
Friday, 11 January 2019  | 

This great guitar is for my son's 18th birthday in June. We bought it early because of the popularity of the guitar and how quickly we had seen they sell out.

We experienced first rate customer service, very speedy delivery to Australia which, over Xmas and New Year, was surprising, and then the pleasure of opening the package.

My son played it for about ten minutes and then I packed it up to put away until June. He was devastated as he loved playing it and I must admit it sounds unreal. He tried a few arguments to get it early including using it in his final year music exams but I was adamant it was No..lol!

I jokingly said "if Brian May himself asked me, I'd only consider it". Next thing he's on this website asking to make contact with Dr. May. I really love his cheek, but I guess this shows how much the guitar means to him and, like I said, even to my untrained ear, it's a hell of a guitar. Plus it looks great and is flawless in its production. Brilliant.

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23 of 31 people found this review helpful.


Rating:  
An outstanding homage to a legendary instrument that will blow you away!
Friday, 11 January 2019  | 

I have many but many guitars of different prices, manufacturers and construction type. This is one of the best sounding and most comfortable guitars in my whole life.

The versatility of the pick ups and controls, the high noiseless output of them, the high quality of construction and the guitar action out of the box are simply hard to believe.

Im not even gonna talk about price. This beauty is just too sweet for your eyes, ears, pocket and really makes you feel youre owning a piece of Rock 'N' Roll History. Ill cherish this guitar forever and will buy it again if I have to.

Thanks to Brian May Guitars for such a jewel.

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10 of 10 people found this review helpful.


Rating:  
Absolutely Amazing Guitar!
Wednesday, 9 January 2019  | 

I just received my new BMG Special in Antique Cherry finish, and I am absolutely thrilled with this beautiful guitar! It plays and sounds just as good as it looks. The quality of workmanship is incredible.

I am a long time owner of several Fender, Gibson and Rickenbacker guitars, and my new BMG Special fits right in with all of these. Without knowing the price of this guitar, I would guess that it would cost several times what I paid for it.

Do yourself a big favor and buy one now! I guarantee you will not be sorry!

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful.


Rating:  
He's in love with his guitar.... got a feel for the whammy bar!
Wednesday, 9 January 2019  | 

I surprised my husband with this guitar for Christmas and he was thrilled. Thrilled isn't a strong enough word, actually!

He says it plays so easily and the action is great. Much lighter than he would have thought. Beautiful color.

The only less-than-positive: The packaging should probably be upgraded. I was surprised that it was not double-boxed, especially since it traveled such a long way and passed through so many hands. There was no damage to our shipment, but most of the guitars my husband buys come packaged in much heftier boxes.

Thank you so much!

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4 of 5 people found this review helpful.


Response:

We really do go to extraordinary lengths to ensure that all of our instruments are robustly packaged and shipped by a company that takes extremely good care of its cargo... the take-away here actually seems to be is a totally positive one; that our wonderful instruments get delivered on time and in perfect condition!


Rating:  
Terrific guitar
Wednesday, 9 January 2019  | 

I absolutely love this guitar!!!

Everything about it I love. Fit and finish are good. Sounds great, the switching is a lot of fun to play around with. Loads of tone options. Just a joy to play.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful.


Rating:  
Amazing
Wednesday, 9 January 2019  | 

Plays amazing and sounds extremely close to the original recordings.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful.


Rating:  
Awesome Guitar
Wednesday, 9 January 2019  | 

What a great addition to my own collection. Not only does it look good, it plays so well and has such a great Queen sound. Brain May all the way.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful.


Rating:  
Blown away by this guitar!
Wednesday, 9 January 2019  | 

Firstly, a massive thank you to the staff at BMG. They went above and beyond to assist with my purchase (even messaging me on Facebook to let me know as soon as they had the guitar back in stock after I asked them earlier via FB messenger).

The guitar itself is simply gorgeous. For the price I paid I was amazed by the quality of the build, set up very well, no sharp frets or anything to complain about, even the gig bag is far superior to gig bags you get from other brand guitars costing a lot more.

I've heard people all the time saying things like 'it plays so easily' and 'it plays itself' about guitars they have just bought. I've never really understood that; I've played guitars that just didn't feel right to me, but always played guitars that seemed comfortable enough. I am not an advanced player so I figured maybe it was something that you only really realised once you really know your stuff.

After playing this guitar I finally realise what those people were talking about, it just feels so comfortable and I feel like I can play with much less effort, it just gels with me.

Again, thank you for such a fantastic guitar and great service, could not recommend you enough!

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful.


Rating:  
A volte i sogni si avverano
Tuesday, 8 January 2019  | 

So che non le Red Special SUPER ma anche questa riproduzione di manifattura davvero notevole.

Curata nei minimi particolari, ben rifinita e sorpatutto suona da DIO... complimenti a chi l'ha progettata e realizzata.
Spero, un giorno, di poter acquistare anche la RED SPECIAL SUPER.

Buona Musica a tutti voi by Massy Pellicoro from Scomoda-Mente tribute Band NEGRAMARO.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful.


Rating:  
Real value for money
Monday, 31 December 2018  | 

The guitar is largely above my expectation. Real value for money. Very good looking, very nice playing, accurate finish. Definitely the guitar I missed in my collection. Not difficult to fall in love with.

Assistance post-purchase and delivery to Italy excellent. Grazie Brian!

 

This review has not been appraised.


Rating:  
Happy
Tuesday, 18 December 2018  | 

My guitar arrived safely and in perfect shape... delivered in a very reasonable time and is exactly what I wanted... the finish and construction of this guitar is superb... the best I have ever had... My Gordon Smith Gypsy now stands in second place... Thank you!

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful.


Rating:  
Wonderful
Thursday, 13 December 2018  | 

Last Friday, my Brian May guitar got delivered. It is wonderful!

I want to thank you for the service and fast delivery!

 

This review has not been appraised.


Rating:  
Kudos to all
Thursday, 13 December 2018  | 

Just want to offer kudos and "I'd go for a pint with all of you" if I could.

Hats off to Barry Moorhouse over there in England, and Dave Good (in the USA) for their efforts in getting my order through before failing on my own with my stupid US credit card company.

Can't wait to get to get me hands around her neck! (Oh, a bit cheeky?)

Again, Huzzah to all!

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful.


Rating:  
Magnificent
Thursday, 29 November 2018  | 

Hello, I just received the guitar BMG Special and its cover.

Thank you for your professionalism... She is magnificent.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful.


Rating:  
Truly Brian May all the way
Wednesday, 28 November 2018  | 

Perfect player right out of the box! I absolutely love it!

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful.


Rating:  
BMG Special Signature Edition... Great service from the other side of the globe!
Tuesday, 20 November 2018  | 

Thanks to the whole BMG team for fantastic communication & care throughout the whole order.

The international shipping was brilliant & easy to track my axes journey from the U.K to Aus!

BMG staff have been great via email & on social media. My BMG Special is an absolute thing of beauty. The craftsmanship, the look, feel & sound are great, thanks again 👍

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful.


Rating:  
Sounds and plays great
Tuesday, 30 October 2018  | 

Great to finally own a copy of the iconic guitar. Sounds and plays great.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful.


Rating:  
First electric guitar and I love it
Tuesday, 30 October 2018  | 

Id been playing bass for a little over a year and figured Id move onto electric guitar when I purchased my BMG SPECIAL.

To say the least, I have been extremely satisfied with my purchase. Queen is my favorite band of all time and if youre looking for that signature Queen guitar sound you cant do any better than this for a better price. There are so many different types of sounds you can get out of this guitar thanks to the pickup switches and the phasing switches that sometimes you forget theyre all coming out of the same guitar.

I look forward to playing this beautifully crafted guitar for many more years to come.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful.


Rating:  
A dream.
Thursday, 25 October 2018  | 

Was absolutely thrilled when my BMG special arrived. Not only because I couldnt wait, but with the care that was taken into such a beautiful instrument and the relatively speedy delivery.

But the instrument itself is a dream. Plays really well and comes pretty much ready to play. Little set up required if any other than the tremolo arm. If you are thinking of getting this guitar, even if you think oh, Im not that great a player, its a great instrument to not only have, but makes it so much fun to put time into and want to play all day.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful.


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