Brian May Tribute Edition
"Choosing a Brian May Special or, even better, a Super will set you apart from the crowd... you will get a fabulous guitar in either case and one that will go places other guitars simply cannot venture into."
Issue 40 of Guitar Interactive saw guitarist and We Will Rock You veteran Jamie Humphries taking over the always excellent free online magazine for a massive tribute to Brian May.
Alongside a pair of brand new interviews with Brian and his long serving tech Pete Malandrone, available exclusively in the magazine's online edition, Jamie also presented a trio of extensive video reviews of our Super, Special and Rhapsody models.
BM aficionados should also check out Jamie's Tone On A Budget video for Guitar Interactive in which the BMG Special is just one element in an eminently affordable hardware solution to the age-old conundrum of how to get the Brian May sound without blowing the bank.
The BMG Special
"It's a really versatile instrument... As you can tell, I love it"
Dan Cooper — BRIT school graduate, multi instrumentalist, studio wizard and long term BMG aficionado — did an excellent job of showcasing the wonders of the BMG Special during his engaging and energetic video review.
During a PTE podcast a month earlier, Dan declared the Special a "Strat killer" and, in this up-close and personal whirlwind tour, he explained why. Detailing the instrument's most unique features and unravelling the mysteries of the switching system and tremolo assembly, he ably demonstrated why it makes such a superbly versatile and affordable - addition to his studio arsenal.
The BMG Bass
Even if the inescapable Queen association doesn’t appeal to you, the Brian May Bass is still a refreshing '60s-inspired instrument"
Gareth Morgan, one of the UK's foremost 4-string experts, found plenty of fun to be had with the BMG Bass in his glowing appraisal of the instrument for the August 2014 issue of G&B.
Gareth rated the playability of this medium scale beauty and, construction-wise, gave particular credit to the "expertly applied" antique cherry finish and "comfortable and highly playable" matching neck.
Sonically, he discovered even more to be excited about... "The basic sound — both pickups on, with the tone knob at full — is excellent: nice and fat with growling lows and an overall feeling of controlled aggression".
In summary, we think Gareth was right on the money when he declared the BMG Bass "an unusual and fine-looking beast with a heap of ’60s flavour which harks back to wilder times".
Better still, he found it "highly playable and great fun to whizz around on" — Isn't that what bass playing should always be about!?
The BMG Special
"Great price, build quality, and an obvious visual appeal tick the important boxes... an outstanding recording guitar when you've run out of options on your usual guitar collection"
Regular GT contributor Jason Sidwell gave an informed thumbs up for the BMG Special, an instrument that he had already become rather intimate with through his work on the UK touring production of We Will Rock You.
From this extended, real world road test, Jason praised the workmanship on display — "joints, frets, and paintwork are pretty much faultless" — as well as the Special's unique sound and versatile nature, concluding that "it's easy to justify how special this Red Special really is".
The BMG Special
"They really are very good, excellent value for money and offer great versatility for a beginner, a Brian fan or a pro"
The late Michael Casswell was certainly no stranger to the BMG Special, having used his handpicked Black 'N' Gold MK. II model extensively in the band for WWRY London and for the Queen/Brian May dedicated instructional DVDs he presented for LickLibrary. So it was entirely fitting that he was tasked with reviewing the new 2012 iteration of the instrument for issue 14 of online magazine, Guitar Interactive.
Needless to say, Mike was impressed with the upgrades evident in the MK III models... "They're getting better and better" he said, enthusing over the enhanced resonance, the quality and comfort of the neck, the performance of the newly appointed Wilkinson tremolo, and the "organic" vintage sound of the BM brand Tri-Sonic style pickups.
In an accompanying video, Michael demonstrated exactly why the Special stands on its own merits as a superb studio and live instrument with a unique personality and considerable versatility.
The BMG Bass
"Delightful to play, with its own character and sounds – recommended"
Whilst Roger Newell admitted that he initially found the concept of a Brian May style bass "a somewhat curious design choice", the Guitarist Magazine veteran and bass guru certainly seemed to warm to the idea, discovering that the BMG Bass is "well styled", "nicely built" and delivers an "unexpected variety of solid sounds".
In this 4 star review, Roger concluded that "If you want something off the beaten track, the Brian May Bass has a great deal to offer".
The BMG Super Mk. I
"The dream of all Brian May fans has finally been realised... The Super is as genuine a recreation of the Red Special as is realistic for what is a pretty good price"
The UK's "Guitar Player's Bible" delivered their own verdict on the acclaimed BMG Super in a glowing 4.5 Star review by Simon Bradley, a man who knows more than a thing or two about the storied Red Special.
Simon lavished abundant praise on the Super's finish and overall build quality, its "truly wonderful to play" neck design and, of course, for the attention to detail that brought this instrument "closer in vibe, tone and feel to the original Red Special than any other hitherto realistically available copy".
Kudos to Simon for also making the point that this isn't just an instrument for Brian May aficionados and that the Super was designed to be a staggeringly versatile instrument worthy of any guitarist's attention for achieving the neat trick of being "the true halfway house between the tonal wonders and traditional uses of a Fender Strat and Gibson Les Paul".
The BMG Special MK. II
"The sheer wealth of tones presented by the three pickups and innovative switching system impresses... for everything, from honky country to all-out metal, the Special will rock you"
Although he found the fingerboard "super smooth" with a neck that "plays wonderfully", it was the abundant wealth of tonal possibilities that Simon Bradley rated highest amongst the then-newly upgraded BMG Special's attributes...
"There’s no obligation to play Queen-style music as there’s so much more you can do with this guitar".