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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BMG Custom Guitar Strap • RedBMG Custom Guitar Strap • Red
BMG Custom Guitar Strap • Red StripeBMG Custom Guitar Strap • Red Stripe
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

"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.

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 (77 Reviews):  
Write a Review and share your opinions!

Rating:  
BMG Special Signature Edition... Beautiful instrument
Wednesday, 18 July 2018  | 

A shame the wait for it was 6 months and upon receipt strings D And A were fitted the wrong way round!
In conclusion a beautiful instrument.

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Rating:  
Really happy & excited
Thursday, 12 July 2018  | 

Hello, good afternoon.

I am writing to tell you that I have received the guitar, and I am really happy and excited. It is a product of the highest quality, and it is a pleasure to play my music in the Red Special

It arrived in a very short time until Buenos Aires and in excellent conditions. Greetings and love from Buenos Aires!

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful.


Rating:  
BMG Special Signature Edition... Thank you
Tuesday, 26 June 2018  | 

Hello House Music & Dr May

Please find that the hand signed Red Special guitar along with its padded soft case and also the hard case that I ordered, have all arrived safely across to Northern Ireland.

This will be a fantastic birthday present for my dad and a real family heirloom to be passed down from one generation to the next.

Thank you so much to you all and a special thanks to Dr. May for signing the guitar and making this something to treasure.

Kindest regards,

Michael L

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Rating:  
BMG Special Signature Edition... Tutto perfetto
Monday, 18 June 2018  | 

Fantastica!! Grazie per avermi spedito la chitarra in tempom per il compleanno di mio figlio! Great!! Thank you for sending me the guitar in tempom for my son's birthday! Thank You!!

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Rating:  
Great Service
Monday, 11 June 2018  | 

Very fast delivery to Germany within 3 Days !!! All Items well packed. thx

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful.


Rating:  
Fantastic guitar!
Thursday, 7 June 2018  | 

A Brian May Guitar has been on my wish list for ages - as long as they have been available, but it was only recently that I looked into getting one, and was amazed by the price for such a high spec instrument.

I already have 7 guitars, covering all of the classic types, and with prices covering a huge range as well. How would the BMG Special compare?

It was packed safely and securely, delivered promptly. When I took it out of the packaging, I was stunned by just what a beautiful looking instrument it is. It was set up very nicely as well, with a comfortable action that suits me down to the ground. When I finally plugged it in, the sound was crisp and clear, and the various switching options gave a huge range of choices.

I have created some dedicated patches in my FX unit, which allow me to get the legendary classic sounds, but the guitar suits all of my other patches as well - it's versatile and having the 2 octave neck gives me extra freedom! The ebony fingerboard is lovely - I have always loved ebony and I just don't know how BMG can do it for this price!

This is a superb bargain - snap one up quickly: you won't be disappointed!

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful.


Rating:  
BMG Special Signature Edition... Old lady autografata dal doc.
Tuesday, 5 June 2018  | 

Emozione unica. La cosa piω bella θ stato vedere la felicitΰ di mio figlio (Alessandro Brian) di due anni e mezzo, che mentre scartavo l'imballaggio urlava "la chitarra di Ma! La chitarra di May!"

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Rating:  
BMG Special Signature Edition
Tuesday, 5 June 2018  | 

Very nice guitar

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Rating:  
BMG Special Signature Edition... Such an iconic axe!
Wednesday, 30 May 2018  | 

What to say? The BMG Special is close to perfection : lightweight, easy to play with a very stable tremolo from Wilkinson. The short scale neck with 24 frets is a bit disconcerting for my large fingers. The cherry red color is very eye-candy. You can see the beauty of the mahogany in the transparency.

The sound is... unbelievable, way beyond my expectations! Neither a Strat or a Les Paul, somewhere in between. The RS can be very twangy (try the bridge pickup alone!) or very muddy (try 3 pickups together in phase).

The clean sounds are beautiful, shimmering and mesmerizing. Of course, this axe is made to rock at full throttle! With distorted sounds, it sings, goes in feedback easily, the neck is fast. With a bit of practice, you find the right pickup combinations to re-create the iconic sounds of Brian!

Gift in the gift, my guitar has the silver signature of the Master on its body...

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Rating:  
Amazing guitar
Monday, 21 May 2018  | 

A really wonderful guitar. Superb condition, action, sound, really comfortable. Was shipped to me fast and safe too... Great job!

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Rating:  
BMG Special Signature Edition... Perfect guitar
Thursday, 17 May 2018  | 

It was worth to wait so long for this signed guitar. It sounds very good and my son plays it all day long.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful.


Rating:  
BMG Special Signature Edition... Great sound, reasonable price!
Tuesday, 8 May 2018  | 

This guitar, at this price, is far exceeding my expectations. Clear, brilliant sound, faithful to the original one. I love the keyboard (really easy to play), the bridge tremolo and the endless sound options given by the 6 switches.

Gotta' try it!

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Rating:  
Money well spent
Monday, 7 May 2018  | 

Lovely instrument, received well packaged and on time. My son is in love with it... and so are the neighbours!

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Rating:  
BMG Special Signature Edition... Help me down from the moon
Friday, 4 May 2018  | 

I just received the guitar a few weeks ago, and I can't understand how it is possible to get such a good guitar to this price! Simply if you are considering to buy one of these guitars and aren't sure yet - just buy it you will not regret it!

This guitar will give you anything from some nice strat sounds to a tele and Les Paul type of sound. It is so versatile and I am sure that many will agree to this. I must have another one in the near future - even if it dosen't have a signature from Dr. Brian May.

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Rating:  
BMG Special Signature Edition... UK to New Zealand in 1 piece
Thursday, 3 May 2018  | 

This was a great purchase which was made easier with the help from Gill who made sure, on my arrival from New Zealand to the UK to run the hottest on record London Marathon for MacMillan Cancer Support charity, that the guitar was all ready and waiting for me to return to New Zealand with it.

The extra hard case that I ordered to go with it was worth its weight in gold, as the guitar made it 13,000 miles around the world in 1 piece, flying economy!!

This guitar will take pride and joy placed in the entrance to my house for all to see and admire. Who knows, maybe it will get played as well - occasionally

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Rating:  
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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Rating:  
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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1 of 1 people found this review helpful.


Rating:  
Wow!
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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Rating:  
The most versatile guitar I own
Sunday, 15 April 2018  | 

If you've never owned or played a Red Special before, I'd recommend starting with a BMG special.

Make sure the BMG neck is to your liking, because original copies are even wider and thicker. I've had my BMG for 4 years, have well over a thousand playing hours on it, and it's a quality guitar. The tremolo is the best of any guitar I've owned... and, although it doesn't look like the original, it works perfectly and that matters the most to me.

The BMG is the most versatile guitar I own. Yes, it does the Brian May tone, but it's great for blues, jazz, and any other classic rock. 90% of my playing is blues and rock (10% Queen), and this guitar does that. You can get it to sound like a Strat, like a semi-hollow, or have it do the Brian May tone. The switching allows me to give a different emotion to my playing without punching pedals.

Plus, if I bang up the BMG I'm not kicking myself for dinging a $3-4K guitar... if it gets lost or stolen I can get a replacement much faster.

Final thought: If you're chasing the BM tone, the amp and treble booster is as important as the guitar. For under what you'd pay for a copy of a Red Special you can get a BMG, a nice Vox AC30, and a treble booster (don't forget the treble booster... it should be standard issue with any BMG guitar!).

(via Facebook)

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Response:

We are actually planning to launch a BMG Branded Treble Booster, developed by British engineer Nigel Knight, at some point in late 2018/early 2019!


Rating:  
Amazing
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 Ltd.

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Read all 77 customer reviews...