BMG Super - Antique Cherry
BMG Super - Antique Cherry
BMG Super - Antique Cherry

BMG Super - Antique Cherry

£3,295.00
Inc. 20% VAT
WORLDWIDE PRICE: £2,745.83
(37 Reviews)
The BMG Super is currently in ongoing monthly production and remains available exclusively to customers on our official waiting list, registration for which is now closed.

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Product Details

Brian May Guitars Super - Antique Cherry

A beautifully crafted modern reimagining of one of rock and roll's most storied instruments, the development of the BMG Super, a collaboration between Sir Brian May, Pete Malandrone and House Music MD Barry Moorhouse, has also been advanced by input from an all-star, globe spanning team of 'Red Specialists', including Australian RS guru Greg Fryer, East Anglian luthier Andrew Guyton, Japanese master craftsman Kazutaka Ijuin, British electronics wizard Aaron Armstrong and, representing the United States, celebrated engineer and designer Ron Smith, proprietor of the Cyber Shop, and expert technician Woody Thomas of RS Conversions.

"The dream of all Brian May fans has finally been realised - this is as genuine a recreation of the Red Special as is realistic for what is a pretty good price" — Simon Bradley

Taking over from the initial 2008 - 2010 production by Japan's Kz GuitarWorks, the Super has been constructed in the Czech Republic by the New Bohemia Electric Corp. since 2015. World renowned for exceptional build quality and innovation, NBE's output also includes guitars, basses and electric concert string instruments for Manson, Warwick, Stuart Spector and Ned Steinberger's pioneering NS Design marque.

This officially sanctioned, custom shop guitar bridges the gap between the more competitively priced BMG Special model and Andrew Guyton's forensically accurate "Timewarp" reproductions and, as a contemporary update to Brian May's and his father Harold's unique, 60-year old innovations, stands proudly on its own merits as an astonishingly versatile, exquisitely engineered, professional grade instrument.

Construction

With the minimum of compromise, considerable effort has gone into reimagining the Red Special for modern musicians, hence the Super conforms to the original's dimensions and technical appointments in almost every regard. The distinctive body shape, headstock, scale length, fingerboard radius, binding, pickguards, pickup surrounds, roller bridge, knife edge vibrato, control knobs and electronics have all been all faithfully rendered... as well as the famous, magnificently broad neck profile.

Of course, 60 years on, there are inevitably some differences in materials — instead of oak and blockboard, the body is constructed from quartersawn mahogany with a book-matched, antique-cherry stained mahogany top — resulting in some minor modifications to the internal acoustic chambering and control cavity. In addition, the Super benefits from a much stronger, glued-in neck join, rather than single bolt-on construction and, in favour of black painted oak, features a wonderfully smooth 24 fret ebony fingerboard. Courtesy of the research carried out by Greg Fryer on the Red Special, and from additional knowledge acquired by Andrew Guyton during his restoration work, all of the Super's alternative appointments and modifications are assuredly true to the spirit and character of the original, as well as to the exacting demands of its creator.

Brian May Guitars Super - Antique Cherry

BMG® Super Pickups

Developed and produced in the UK exclusively for this project by electronics specialist Aaron Armstrong, these new pickups are recreations of the Adeson-spec Tri-Sonic pickups installed on the 'Old Lady' herself and are wax-dipped, wired/reverse wired, baseplated, and hand-wound with the same gauge wire, and to the same tolerances, as the originals.

Although Aaron has employed bobbins (rather than air coils) and a single ceramic magnet (instead of two squeezed together), both of these alterations have clearly added rather than detracted from the pickups’ performance as they come with the maestro's seal of approval, and his blind-test praise for delivering "more bite, growl and volume”.

Electronics

The Super's wiring scheme, switches, potentiometer and capacitor values are exactly the same as the original's with the switching system correctly secured to an aluminium mounting plate. Additional Greg Fryer-approved enhancements include shielding under the entire scratch plate surface area to reduce finger static noise and to assist in insulation from electrical and RF interference as well as a reinforcing plate inlaid into the guitar's body at the output jack to prevent accidental damage.

Hardware

New for 2022, we are very pleased to announce that ongoing production of the Super will feature Ron Smith's supremely authentic 'enhanced' roller bridge. This assembly, utilizing a unique 2-piece roller and anvil design, dramatically reduces the risk of losing a roller during a string break. The rollers slip over a 1mm Ø x 9mm anvil with only 0.05mm clearance per side, ensuring that the roller rotates with as little friction as possible. The anvil presses into precision machined, intonation grooves on the bridge blocks, locking the roller in place whilst allowing it to spin freely, providing the smoothest and most stable string movement possible.

Developed by Kazutaka Ijuin in 2008 for the Mk.1 Super, the knife-edge tremolo tailpiece is a modern reproduction of Brian's bespoke design, with an appropriately curved, threaded arm. In conjunction with the roller bridge and custom Graph Tech Black TUSQ-XL nut, the tremolo system performs, as you would expect, with astonishing comfort, control, dexterity, and perfect return to pitch, aided by the inclusion of Gotoh's fantastic Magnum Lock® machineheads, augmented with pearl buttons.

Volume/tone knobs and strap buttons are also now provided by expert machinist Ron Smith. The 6061 aluminum alloy control knobs — exactly the same as the one now fitted to the Red Special itself, after the original knob was lost at a Q+AL show in Dallas in 2019 — are precision made replicas with modern, red painted locator dimple, whilst the traditional buttons are made from nickel-plated brass, with red fibre washers and BM-style "bottle-top" rubber strap locks.

   

Strings for Champions

The BMG Super is set-up in the House Music/BMG workshop with Optima 24K Gold Brian May strings, a special signature formulation developed for the maestro himself. Optima's unique combination of steel alloy and 24 carat gold plating guarantees full protection against corrosion, with an enhanced core material that significantly improves longevity and tuning stability, providing brilliant tone and superb performance for considerably longer than conventional strings.

Included Extras

The Super is supplied complete with an exclusive, premium quality, custom BMG branded fitted hard case by industry leaders Hiscox, a 2024 BMG/RS commemorative sixpence, and an accompanying certificate of authentication, numbered and personally signed by Dr. Brian May.

Specifications
Body 2-piece quartersawn sapele mahogany (Entandrophragma cylindricum) with acoustic chambers
Top Book-matched, quartersawn sapele mahogany (Entandrophragma cylindricum)
FINISH Antique Cherry gloss polyurethane
Binding White, front and back
HEADSTOCK Original RS shape with mother-of-pearl "MayStar" and Super signature inlays
Neck 1-piece quartersawn sapele mahogany (Entandrophragma cylindricum)
Neck JOIN Glued in construction
Fingerboard Ceylon ebony (Diospyros Ebenum)
Frets 24 x Jim Dunlop 6130 8% nickel/silver vintage frets + Zero fret
Fret Wire Crown height: 0.914mm (0.036") / Crown width: 2.7mm (0.106")
Inlays BM pattern mother-of-pearl face and side dots
STRING GUIDE Graph Tech black TUSQ-XL
Pickups 3 x BMG Super® series wired, single coil Tri-Sonic style pickups, hand-wound in the UK by Aaron Armstrong
Switches White Switchcraft slider switches — 3 x pickup on/off / 3 x pickup phase in/out
Controls Master volume / Master tone
Control Knobs Ron Smith/Cyber Shop replica aluminium control knobs with red painted locator dimple
Bridge Ron Smith/Cyber Shop replica 'enhanced' BM design roller bridge with snap-in, 2 piece rollers
Tremolo Custom BM design knife-edge tremolo with screw-in arm
Machineheads 3-a-side Gotoh SG381 Magnum Lock® tuners with white pearloid buttons
Pickguards Replica main control plate and half-moon tremolo tail plate with matching truss rod cover
Strap Buttons Ron Smith/Cyber Shop traditional nickel-plated brass with red fibre washers and "bottle-top" style rubber strap locks
Body Depth 40mm (1.57")
WEIGHT Approx. 3.62kg (8lb)
Scale 610mm (24")
Fingerboard Radius 184.2mm (7.25")
Neck Width AT Zero FRET 49mm (1.93")
Neck Width AT 12th Fret 53.4mm (2.10")
NECK WIDTH AT 24TH FRET 56.3mm (2.22")
Neck Depth AT 2nd Fret 26.5mm (1.04")
Neck Depth AT 14th Fret 29.8mm (1.17")
String Spacing At Nut 40mm (1.57")
String Spacing AT Bridge 50.8mm (2.00")
Strings Optima 24K Gold Brian May Signature Strings – Plain .009 - .011 - .016 / Wound .024 - .032 - .042
Included CASE Moulded, impact resistant, fully-fitted, plush lined BMG custom Hiscox Liteflite hard case
INCLUDED EXTRAS Official 2024 BMG/RS commemorative sixpence in perspex display case
INCLUDED Authentication Official Super certificate of authenticity, numbered and personally signed by Sir Brian May
Country Of Origin Handcrafted by NBE Corp. s.r.o., Horovice, Czech Republic
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Customer Reviews
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37 Reviews:

A work of art
Rating:
18 February 2024  | 

This is my second Brian May Guitars purchase. My first was a Black and Gold LE that I love very much. That said, the BMG Super is a beast! Though of course between the two guitars there is similarity in tone, however the Super seems to have more bite. Quite a bit more actually, and I've noticed when doing the out of phase thing I can really dial in (as close as possible without being Brian) the tones for things like Boh Rhap, Princes Of etc.

I can't express enough how unbelievable the tonal quality of this guitar is. I have several (meaning very many) guitars and this is in a league all its own.

The one thing I will tell you is the neck is exceptionally fat. Way larger than anything I have ever played before but though that will take some getting used to I believe it lends to the sustain of the instrument. Notes go on forever. I am a five star very happy owner of a Brian May Super.

I'd also like to mention my contact representative through the process of both guitars. His name is Dave Good. Straight through the process of both guitars, the communication level was superb. I never, ever had to wait a day for a return email or a followup. Responses came right away and were clear and friendly. He never expressed any frustration with someone that could be overly excited about a purchase like this and if being honest probably emailed him more than I should have lol. I emailed him one day with a small packaging/delivery request and he not only was cool with it, but gave me the great news that my guitar was ready sooner than expected. He made this a great experience.

I am a very happy person right now and for anyone considering the purchase of a Super, I would tell you it's worth every penny and more. The team knocked it out of the park.

Thank you so much!

 
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A beautiful guitar
Rating:
16 February 2024  | 

The Brian May Super is a beautiful guitar. From the moment it arrived I was in love. This is a high spec and detailed instrument that is as gorgeous to look at as it is to play. It's also the only official instrument that comes close to the original. I've owned my Super for a number of months now but even on the days I don't play it, I still open the case just to admire it.

There are a few discrepancies from the original without a doubt. I've already changed the trem tip and a brass screw over the spring cover, which for me makes a real difference. For the purists out there, the fret board isn't lacquered but honestly, this doesn't bother me.

The neck is thick and chunky as per Brian and Harold's original, though amazingly it's so easy to play. The sounds the guitar produces are also authentic. Additionally, I feel the Red Special itself is flexible by design to get a wide range of tones from across the rock-board. Whether it's playing Queen songs, shredding like Nuno Bettencourt or soloing like Slash, The Red Special Super is a versatile and rich guitar.

I also want to give a shout out to Dave at BMG and to say thanks. Throughout the process, including after-sales, Dave has given his time generously to answer all my questions and support my Red Special journey. I also spoke to BMG's guitar tech Chris during one of his surgeries and he was lovely, knowledgeable and extremely informative. Beyond the guitars, BMG are a great company too.

I highly recommend both the Brian May Super as thing of beauty and Brian May Guitars as a company of excellence. Owning this guitar really is a dream come true.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
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My Super RS Super
Rating:
14 February 2024  | 

Well, what can I say...

I ordered my Super approximately 18 months ago and was delighted when I heard mine was due sometime in January 2024. This guitar partners my other 3 RS guitars (one is signed).

I opened the case and was immediately struck by the amazing colour. I pulled it from its case and was also surprised by its light weight. 7 pounds and 4 ounces. Acoustically it is very loud and resonant and that neck... just WOW!!!! It's enormous but it very quickly felt at home. I've got quite big hands and like a chunky neck but this is amazing. I gigged the guitar within a few days of receiving it and didn't have any problems with it.
Pickups sound great, they are hotter than the pickups I have in 2 of my other RS guitars and the volume control cleans up beautifully as you back it off.

String bending is an absolute delight, the radius of the fingerboard makes it super lovely to bend strings. A superb setup out of the box (which is good really, the very authentic bridge makes adjusting the action a little more time consuming) and it was ready to gig with. I may put 10's on this but I'll see how it goes at the next few gigs.

Overall, as you can see, I am delighted with this take on Brian's famous 'Old Lady'

Thank you everyone at BM Guitars.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
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A dream comes true
Rating:
17 November 2023  | 

I want to say thank you for all the support and help regarding my order for the Super.

The guitar arrived well and the only thing I can say is "WOW“, what a beauty and what a finish. Best of all is the neck. I knew that this would be a chunky one but this one is outstanding of every neck I played before. I am lucky to have longer fingers than others LOL

It sounds great and a dream comes true. And, yes, I had some tears in my eyes as I opened the case and saw her for the first time in real. Of course I took my "History of the Red Special" book to compare some details and it's so amazing to hold it in my hands.

My Queen history is back from the early '80s, but I never saw Fred live. I had the chance in 1986, but my parents didn't allow me to go for it. So the very first Queen gig I saw was in 2015 with Adam. I don't know what was the most I did - crying or singing - but I will never forget.

And now I have my own real Red Special.

Again, thanks to all of you and, if possible, a big hug and greets to Brian when you see him.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
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Outstanding Instrument
Rating:
12 November 2023  | 

I ordered the BMG Super a couple of years ago, and then almost forgot about it. So now I received it.

An outstanding instrument. Very well built and as close to the original, as you may expect.

The neck is glued in and the fretboard is ebony, which I would prefer anyway. Bridge and tremolo however are an upgrade to the first run of the BMG Super and, as I understand it, correct to the original. The thick neck is a pleasure to play.

Together with the small VOX MV50 Nutube Brian May amp the guitar is incredible fun to play. It has a dry rhythm and singing lead tone that no other guitar has.

I am very happy, I am a lucky owner of a guitar of its own class.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
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Dreams do come true!
Rating:
20 September 2023  | 

I've been a fan of Brian May since the age of 10. He's the reason I even picked up the guitar, 30 years ago! I received the new BMG Super last week and am completely blown away.

Opening the case was an emotional moment for me. I admired this guitar almost my entire life. Not only is it a beautiful crafted piece, it sounds and feels absolutely amazing. Holding this guitar, and playing through the Brian May/Queen catalog of music, is a completely different experience. I'm truly honored to own this guitar! If you're on the fence about purchasing, do it. It's more than just an instrument!

7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
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A long time wait… well worth it
Rating:
19 September 2023  | 

The Red Special Super is sought after by many guitarists from all walks of life, and for good reason. It looks and sounds like the original “Old Lady”, made by the master himself. I’ve waited a long time for this beautiful, and beautiful sounding, machine and I must say, it was worth every second. Thank you Brian May Guitars for making this man’s dream come true. Truly remarkable.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
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A sample of excellence!
Rating:
08 July 2023  | 

It took me nearly 3 years to wait until I had my "Super", due to lockdown and other circumstances. Now, at the day before my 60th birthday, I received it. The time until then I have found Dave Good (nomen est omen) the most helpful person, keeping in touch, always answering requests in a nice and cheerful manner. This kind of customer support isn`t standard these days! Even though it was not sure if she will be ever delivered... it had now come true.

The guitar itself is a masterpiece (I use to built my own guitars)... the neck a bit narrower than a Les Paul, but the shape of the neck I would describe a bit more than a full C-Shape. Everything at this guitar says "quality first". The finish is absolutely top! The bindings are made perfectly, the headstock, the tuners, the layout of the picks, bridge... everything is in a straight line.

The sound is something "unusual" and will definately take a while to reach a point where you will sound a bit "May-alike". To catch up her true colours it is best to try her out at a clean amp. No effects... so you can say which switch-selection gives the basis. Then you can go for the sound we all love.

The hardcase is also a very fine sample of craftmanship, including the certificate of origin, a rag, cushion, tools, sticker, manual, keys.

All in all: The excellence of Sir Brian Mays music found its way in this guitar, the customer service, and therefore the three years of waiting was definitely worth it.

Thank you from Germany.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
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Just beautiful
Rating:
01 June 2023  | 

After waiting 4 years I received the guitar. When I opened it it was just beautiful. I have been learning to play for a couple of years but the BMG Super is so light and so easy to play.

The payment process was extremely easy. I received an email sayer the guitar was ready so I paid through the link and it arrived a couple of days later.

I have purchased various items including a Special and each time the process from ordering to receiving the items was so easy and timely.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
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A stunning replica
Rating:
28 October 2022  | 

I recently collected my BMG Super from Barry Moorhouse and the guys at House Music, so here’s my Red Special journey and a review/comparison with my old Burns BM Signature model.

I’ve always been a dedicated Queen fan. As a teenager I saw them three times with Freddie and more recently with Paul Rodgers, and then Adam Lambert on vocals. I play the guitar for a living so when I heard, back in 2002, that there would be a musical theatre show based on Queen songs called “We Will Rock You”, I auditioned to see if I could get one of the two guitar chairs up for grabs. I ended up having three auditions, all in front of Brian, the last one being 90 minutes long. The two chairs were deservedly awarded to Laurie Wisefield and Alan Darby, but Brian asked me to be first dep for both players, so I was sitting in on rehearsals learning all the parts and began covering for them even before opening night. During this period I was privileged enough to hold THE Red Special when Brian was present at one of the rehearsals and Pete Malandrone plopped it onto my lap, knowing what a huge fan I was! I was so stunned I couldn’t think of anything to play (I’m not worthy!) but I swear I could hear angels singing!

The guitars used on the show at the beginning were the Burns branded BM Signature Red Specials supplied by House Music. There were about half a dozen available for deps to use but I bought my own so I could have it set up to my liking and most importantly have the volume pot replaced and numbered covers put on. The position of the volume control is vital to control the level of distortion available from the thundering AC30s! I wrote the position of the volume control for each song on my copy of the music: 1.5 for clean, 3 for crunch, 4 for main rhythm sound (Hammer To Fall etc.), 7 for main lead sound, 10 for lead when using the out of phase settings (eg. Bo Rap solo).

The Burns BM Signature has served me very well for the last 20 years on hundreds of performances of WWRY, gigs with Queen tribute bands, and countless orchestral Queen concerts with the BBC Concert Orchestra and “Symphonic Queen” (Ex-WWRY singers and band deps) all over the world. But I always desired a more accurate, higher quality replica. I’d heard about the Guilds and others, but never really knew if they were worth the high secondhand prices being asked on auction sites, so I never took the plunge for fear of being ripped off. So I got very excited when I heard about the BMG Super, an accurate replica made in collaboration between Dr. Brian May, Pete Malandrone and House Music MD Barry Moorhouse.

Within the first few seconds of casting my eyes on the Super, three things struck me:

1. The neck is HUGE! I have a Gibson custom shop 1958 Les Paul reissue which has the chunkiest neck I’d ever played, but the neck on the Super is even chunkier and much fatter than the neck on my old Burns and the current BMG Special models. Apparently this wasn’t a design choice. It was just that Brian got bored of sanding down the hard wood growing impatient to get the guitar finished, so he could start playing it.

2. The gold strings. These are Optima 24K Gold Brian May Signature Strings — Plain .009 - .011 - .016 / Wound .024 - .032 - .042

3. The attention to detail, the pearloid tuners, the pickup surrounds, volume and tone pots and the tremolo. These details have been much more accurately produced on this instrument than on my Burns and on the current BMG Special.

Impressions after a few hours playing:

This is a quality instrument; well balanced, resonant, well set up and inspiring to play. It's pleasingly lighter than I expected thanks to the chambered body. That chunky neck is actually very comfortable and really not a problem for someone like me, more used to slim Strat necks.The pickups are more detailed and refined than those on my old Burns. Turn the volume right down, gently glide the edge of a sixpence across the strings and those sweet, glassy chord tones just sing. I spent a while thoroughly engrossed in exploring the clean tones and pickup combinations (going through a treble booster and my Cornell Legacy head). Crank up the guitar volume and its all there; this guitar roars! The tremolo feels smooth and spongey, reminiscent of a Bigsby and stays in tune better than the Strat-style trem on my Burns.

In Conclusion:

Most of my pro-guitarist friends and I have a few, shall we say, “more affordable” instruments in our arsenals. The kind of instruments that will do the job but we don't mind leaving in an orchestra pit, tour truck or putting in an aircraft hold — Tools of the trade that we are not emotionally attached to. My Burns falls into this category. The Super most certainly doesn’t! This is rapidly becoming a cherished instrument that I’m definitely becoming emotionally attached to! I love how accurately all the details of the original have been reproduced in this stunning replica.

This is the Red Special I’ve always wanted.

I will need to get used to the numberless volume control though! I certainly wont change those unique covers but maybe need to design some kind of way to accurately preset the volume control or just get a better feel for it.

Another fun challenge will be to see how else I can use this versatile instrument beyond attempting to sound like Brian. It provides many sounds that no other guitar I own can produce, making it a very useful addition to my guitar arsenal.

Many thanks to Pete Malnadrone, the guys at House Music, and of course to Brian!

33 of 39 people found this review helpful.
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Exceptional
Rating:
20 October 2022  | 

I received my BMG SUPER at the end of July this year. I can now give you a feedback on this magnificent guitar.

Exceptional build quality — Before even playing with it, we spend some time looking at it because it is really beautiful. The grip may seem surprising at first because the neck is rather big, but you get used to it very quickly and then it's only happiness.

In terms of sound then there is great as it is versatile and then the potentiometers are really very precise.

And then a big thank you to Dave and the entire team for their kindness and professionalism, especially their patience due to several errors made by my bank at the time of payment. Kisses

14 of 22 people found this review helpful.
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In a class of Its own
Rating:
13 July 2022  | 

Although the many positive attributes (and eccentricities) of this unique instrument have been covered many times over by others here, and elsewhere, I wanted to, nevertheless, take a moment to put my impressions of the guitar (all most excellent) in print; and also take a moment to tip my hat to the outstanding professionalism and courtesy shown to me by all at House Music-most especially the invaluable assistance provided by one Dave Good, so instrumental (pun intended...) in getting this killer axe into my hands, as soon as it was once again in production.

Yes, the neck is large and REALLY comfortable: truly, after 10 days of (constantly) playing this magnificent beast, everything else feels sort of well, inferior (really)! But the rainbow of sounds which can be coaxed out of this thing is truly remarkable: I count 15 individual and distinctly different settings yielding noticeably different tonalities! All are usable IMHO and they have opened up new sonic landscapes I had not even thought existed.

Here's the thing: I'm a bit of a geezer who owns several guitars from all the different walks of "guitar life". The usual suspects: LPs, Strats, Teles, Gretches, Rickenbackers (I USED to consider myself a "Tele Guy"...), but the BMG Super simply keeps me coming back to it.

This isn't a honeymoon thing either, as I'm somewhat merciless upon first receiving a new acquisition: I know within minutes if it's a keeper or if it's headed for a new owner.

The Super is a keeper.

Rather than waxing on any more about this interesting and unique guitar, I urge you to (try and) get yourself one: You won't be sorry...

Cheers

18 of 29 people found this review helpful.
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An extraordinary instrument — The arsenal of different sounds is unbelievable!
Rating:
04 July 2022  | 

I registered myself for the BMG Super waiting list in late November 2018. After being informed last week that an instrument was available for me, I finally received it today. Of course I couldn't wait to get home to finally play a real 'Red Special', especially since I got to see the maestro perform live last weekend!

Once I unpacked the box, the first thing I noticed was the beauty and sturdiness of the black guitar case. The locks keep the lid of the guitar case closed at all times and the case also comes with two keys. Not to mention the huge BMG Guitars logo on the top side of the case. After opening the locks, I was finally able to get my first look at my own Red Special. The appearance of this instrument is phenomenal, the deep dark red color, the three beautiful large BMG® Super Pickups (which are a recreation of the Adeson-spec Tri-Sonic installed in the 'old lady' herself) and the fantastic pickup/phase switching system. Not to mention that fantastic headstock with the Brian May star inlay.

When I lifted the BMG Super out of the case, I couldn't believe how light this guitar was. I'm used to playing on a Gibson Les Paul, so this was a huge difference. To say it's as light as a feather is an exaggeration, but really, the guitar weighs insanely light! What I was most curious about was the neck of the guitar, as this is quite a notorious phenomenon. And it's absolutely true, the neck is huge compared to other 'standard' guitars! However, once I was playing - unplugged - for a while, I already forgot about the big neck. It's hard to explain in a review, but don't let the huge neck stop you from buying a BMG because strangely enough you get used to it extremely quickly! It plays extremely well and feels really nice. Furthermore, the guitar comes with 009 Optima 24K Gold Brian May strings.

Once I had explored the guitar unplugged for a while, it was time to connect it to my amp. I play over a Marshall stack without a treble booster, so I knew beforehand that I wasn't going to get the exact Brian May sound. Fortunately, I didn't buy the BMG Super for an exact sound replica either, so this didn't really matter to me. The clean sound of this guitar is extraordinary, so beautiful and clear! Especially when you combine the clean sound with the tremolo, you quickly get a Brian May feeling/sound, even without a VOX and/or treble booster. I was actually quite surprised about this fact. The single volume knob (which does not have a red dot but a silver notch, unlike the photo on the product page) also responds very well to the pickups. Even with full overdrive you can get the guitar to a clean sound! Of course the guitar with overdrive also sounds amazing. Soon the famous hits like 'Hammer to fall', 'Tie your mother down', 'One vision' and Fat bottomed girls' sounded through my studio.

While playing with the overdrive I noticed why Brian May chooses to play permanently with a treble booster, since the highs (especially the high e string) gets masked a bit by the lower frequencies. Of course this could also be due to my stack/pedals, which is something I have to check by connecting a treble booster to it. Oh, and of course I need to get a sixpence, because duh, it's a Red Special!

I do notice that you need to get experience in the pickup switching system. The knobs also go a little stiffer than I expected and you need to make sure the tremolo doesn't get in the way either. However, I am convinced that this is just a matter of getting used to it. After all, I only have my BMG Super for a day! Furthermore, the choice options in terms of pickup combinations and therefore sound are endless. So many possibilities, I still have a lot of exploration to go! What is nice - I think - to know for people who are still hesitating to buy a BMG Super, is that this guitar literally seems to be a combination of the Fender sound (single coils) and the rough Gibson sound (humbuckers). I can get both the sharp and clear of a single coil guitar and the heavy and aggressive of a humbucker guitar. These are things I have never managed to get done so well, even with coil tap guitars like my Les Paul Classic and Telecaster Player Plus.

All in all I am very satisfied with my purchase. This is a very professional guitar with immense sound possibilities that you will be able to use for the rest of your life. Nevertheless, the personally signed and numbered certificate of authentication by Brian May is already a unique asset (and yes, it is hand written!). By the way, don't forget to order a Brian May guitar strap, it fits wonderfully and also looks great with the BMG Super.

Before purchasing, keep in mind that you still have to pay the 21% VAT + import duties to the DHL Express if you do not live in the UK, something some people may overlook. You can find some more information about that under the 'Shipping & Delivery' tab on this website. Finally, I would like to offer my gratitude to the Brian May Guitars team for building this guitar. Of course also thanks to the maestro himself for making this unique opportunity possible. Special thanks and certainly compliments to Dave Good, who was very helpful to me during the waiting time and prior to the purchase process. You will not find such good service anywhere! Keep it up! And for some of you who might think this review is paid, the answer is no. I would like to help future buyers/doubters with a choice as I myself, after a very long time on the waiting list, also doubted whether I should buy this guitar, because let's be honest: it is a lot of money. But trust me, once you've seen it and played it in real life, it's all worth it!

I hope this review has been of some help to you, as the reviews below have helped me very much prior to the purchase process. I only have one word for the BMG Super, and that is: SUPER!

16 of 25 people found this review helpful.
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Amazing
Rating:
28 April 2022  | 

I had almost given up on getting this guitar, but now I have one it is great. The craftsmanship is amazing and the guitar plays excellently.

Just ordered a Brian May strap to complement my guitar and will buy a lead when they are back in stock. Thanks to Dave Good and his colleagues for producing this guitar, but special thanks to Dr. Brian May for setting up the company to enable this to happen.

20 of 39 people found this review helpful.
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A remarkable instrument - well worth the wait!
Rating:
27 April 2022  | 

It was rather a long wait - 4 1/2 years to be precise - but I can honestly say that it was worth it.

Having not played the instrument before, I was unsure whether it would ending up being a 'display' or 'play' instrument. However, within minutes of picking the Super up, I realised it was definitely in the latter camp; really great feel, versatile range of sounds, an all-round comfortable instrument.

One thing I would point out is that the guitar, like the original Old Lady, has a very chunky neck - much bigger than an old school 'U' shaped Fender neck - but I really like bigger necks so it felt like home to me straight away. Overall, well worth the wait.

19 of 31 people found this review helpful.
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Excellent service, excellent guitar
Rating:
27 April 2022  | 

I put my name down for a BMG Super back in 2018, lots of delays due to supply chain issues (Brexit, COVID, so entirely understandable disruption), but I was kept informed every step of the way, with all my questions answered within one day.

The guitar arrived today and it's a remarkable instrument, eminently playable, surprisingly light, well finished, and just a generally great instrument. BMG could not have done more to make me a happy customer and I highly recommend the guitar and BMG as a customer-centric business.

16 of 24 people found this review helpful.
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Questions answered
Rating:
24 April 2022  | 

I still remember the magic moment. It was back in 1974, me being something like eleven years old, put my saved 11 Deutsche Mark into my pocket and hopped on the bus to the local record shop. A friend of mine said there was a sale on a record by a British band who were doing "harmony singing", as he put it.

The record was actually only 8 Deutsche Mark, not that big of a success I supposed, discount rack, way back in the shelf. Back home I put it on my parents' old mono Dual music box - and was blown away by the guitar intro on "Keep Yourself Alive“. When the central guitar orchestration appeared, I put the needle back time and again to understand: What was that? Why did my tears flow? It hit me emotionally deep inside. Something so different to all the Beatles and Hendrix guitar sound I listened to. Being an aspiring one-year-learner on a cheap copy of the now famed Egmont acoustic (yes, it was possible to do it much crappier), I dreamt of pimping this guitar and make it ring like Queen´s guitarist Brian May. Sure, later on I liked the "operatic sections“ a lot, Freddie´s unmatched vocals, but essentially it has always been the guitar that shook me from the inside.

Today, turning to be sixty in a few days, I am happy to hold a Brian May Guitars Super in my hands. After a long, long time, prolonged by the pandemic and obvious production issues the guitar finally arrived quickly after a kind email notice of Dave Good, BMG's marketing & sales manager, in perfect condition via DHL.

Since being eleven I read all about the Red Special I could lay my hands on, started to build my own - yet unfinished - version of something similar and played guitar in amateur bands since I've been thirteen. Starting with a heavily modified Höfner 4560 back in 1975. the line-up now includes selected Gibson Les Paul, Gretsch Bo Diddley, Dan Electro Silvertone vintage, and a small number of British Mmster luthier Patrick Eggle Guitars mainly dated in the early '90s, even some super rare Red Wing Ventura and Tornado and one of the marvelous Jim Sullivan Legend of 1993.

To be honest, whenever a "Brian May sound“ was asked for on a live perfromance, the Eggles could provide a sufficiently proper impersonation with a home-made Rangemaster copy, and later on a more road-worthy Fryer treble booster deluxe, even without the famous AC30. A hardly known boutique amp S3 Climax by German valve wizard Günther Christ and a grandiose Engl 2x50 Power amp delivered via a classic Marshall JCM1960 come close enough for a live gig.

But why the Red Special Super now? Because the question from nearly 50 years ago remains still unanswered: What was that?

Now, after some days of diving into the guitars props and specs I begin to understand. And that's what this review is all about: What makes the Red Special Super special?

Basic inspection of overall quality shows a close to one hundred percent perfection, very minor flaws, probably only visible for the experienced and scrutinizing eyes of a dentist and a top notch polishing grade throughout. The guitar presented itself stringed with the Optima .009 gauge Brian May gold strings - nice feat - and the tremolo bar surprisingly came mounted. The insertion point of the bar into the brass nuckle presents some minor grating, but I feel it is more true to the original than CAD/CAM perfection. I know from my professional dental field that the costs rise exponentially if one aims to hand shape and polish these complex forms. I am fine with that. If one likes to get these things up front it is commonly known what an Andrew Gruyton RS is sold for.

Amazingly the guitar arrived nicely in tune, so the first checks on the acoustic properties reveal a chambered construction, reminding me of the acoustic properties of my old very thin semi-acoustic Höfner 4560: surprising clarity, each string individually "there“, no muddy mumble, nice, one could easily play it without amplification at all in the living room without the typical Strat/Tele/Les Paul solid body "no sound“.

After three days the strings seemed to have set in, and the whammy bar does what it's supposed to do with no detuning. Dive bombs: no problem. The close look at the mechanics of the instrument reveal the engineering view so often written about, the zero-fret concept, the now-locking Gotoh tuners, the roller bridge, known as being first of their kind in an assumed "amateur DIY guitar“.

But who plays the BMG Super without amps? My living room stuff mentioned above driven in directly without treble booster help displayed a nice, clean and by any means professional clean sound, the BMG super pickups appear to be perfectly adjusted.

Even at this point the first glimpse of an answer to the foremost question appears shadily: the guitars answers perfectly balanced on all strings, every single strings generates a contoured defined tone, chords, single lines, riffs. Early on in the evaluation the volume control delivers amazing adjustments. Honestly, I am not that much of a volume-knob-fiddler, but here the impact on the sound is significant.

At this point the first "I understand“ flashes cross my mind. Crunching the S3 Climax - without the integrated all-valve treble booster - the next flashes light up: here it is.

The guitar is THERE, unmistakingly present, differentiated in string identification quite uniquely. Even though I am not that much of a "play like Brain May“ guy - I humbly assume I have my own style of playing - the guitar appears easy on providing Brian May-like playing, not only the sounds. And here the idea appears: Brian May started playing this guitar being around 17 years old. This guitar shaped his style, his playing. It is statistically highly unlikely that events like that occur, but father and son May built an instrument which lead to the unique playing style and sound, and if I may say that as a complete amateur in the music business, this doesn't happen often. If it was the engineering approach or sheer luck, who knows?

Back to facts: When switching the S3 on full gain a great and volouptous heavy guitar sound appears. Kicking in the in-built treble booster the guitar rings out, tapping easily - though not adjusted to a laser adjusted, no-fret appearance like the Jim Sullivan Legend is.

The often cited massive neck withstands any resonance even at high volumes and in my opinion appears to be a major element of the outstanding unique tone. The set neck does its job properly, I understand that the Mays inserted the screw on the original additionally to be sure... I did that on a repair with my Höfner too. Feels better, but I doubt any effect on the BMG Super, it looks better without the screw.

Since I am a pretty tall guy with large hands, the neck required minor adaption, no more than an hour or two, the strings action does not call for any thumb pressure on the neck. My Eggles -Patrick Eggle is well known for his slender necks - handle quite differently, but not as far off as one might imagine.

Nevertheless, my personal respect for Brian May even rose, since this guitar, like all top-level instruments, will not hide sloppinesss or lack of precision while playing. Imagine that on a two-hour show.

Having driven the Super through much of the Rock 'n' Roll and heavy genre from blues, ZZ-Top, Tex-blues to tapping, AC/DC riffing and Hendrix-style national anthems, and even some classical guitar Bach - to the joy of the radiologist whose office is upon mine - I finally cabled the BMG Super to its indigene habitat: The AC30 C2 (with master volume) and the Fryer treble booster deluxe - plus the sixpence.

I am pretty familiar with playing coins, in my early days just a single pick would be sold for one (!) Deutsche Mark, so we put "Pfennig“ (penny) on the railway trails, let it flatten by the train and shaped it with mom's nail care stuff.

And here it comes. First sound IS "Queen", IS "Brian May". The pending question answered from 1974. What was that? It was the Red Special in Brian May's hands. Plus the sparkles of the sixpence and the overdriven AC30.

And the faint idea shaped in the early reviewing manifests. I am no Queen cover band player, yes, I can do a so-so BoRap solo, but this guitar leads you to the guitar playing we all love so much. It fosters the scales, the orchestral cello-department-like baritone lines, just get yourself a multi-track and you know how the musical genius of Brian May found its instrument - and probably musical partner - to express and sometimes probably hint at musical ideas which this great instrument generates within itself in interaction with the player.

Use the volume knob: It crisps up and lowers volume to the well known sounds. But with a slight attack on the sixpence the AC30 rings the bell. You don’t have to hit it hard, this is an instrument for a sensible player. Once getting used to the guitar's response and the delicate handling of the small sixpence you can articulate like having your own language - within the language family of Brian May. Combined with Freddie Mercury musical and vocal uniqueness, the equally amazing rhythm section with John Deacon and Roger Taylor, it appears to be unlikely that this band would not have risen to the stars.

If this guitar shall be your Brian May impersonation guitar: perfect choice, for any afficionado or Queen cover band guitar master - because you have to be that to handle the Brian May lines. I did not get into the pick-up combinations, it is well documented and often written about. The new pickups leave not a micrometer of room for anything but praise: perfect choice.

But if you - like me - are doubtlessly a dedicated fan on the one hand but a self assured musician in his own style on the other, this instrument will give you a new approach to heavy guitar playing, even jazz and swing comes easy, always with the option to let it ring if occasion occurs with just a tap on the treble booster or a slightly more aggressive picking. My secret love: speedy country and western typical Telecaster stuff: Easy. (Why in the world Reinhold Mack persuaded Brian May to use a Telecaster on "Crazy Little Thing Called Love“?)

Getting acquainted deeply to an instrument like the BMG Super takes its time. But this instrument surely will be my first pick for many occasions. I did not expect this, I felt I just should have one to close my guitar playing life cycle. Starting with a crappy copy of an Egmont at the age of eleven to the privilege of owning an amazing interpretation of the Red Special at sixty, feels like I can live with that. We all may be grateful to Brian May and his late father for providing the world with such an instrument, well thought out, constructed to last decades, a true workhorse. I am personally grateful that an instrument on this level of quality is made available by Brian May and Brian May Guitars, and surely all the folks on the project. It´s a musician's guitar, a player's guitar. It may well be an investment, but I do not tend to think like that on musical instruments. They are means to express your soul and balance you within the challenges life offers. This one does.

If the suspicion should arise this instrument was given to me for free: No, I had to pay the absolutely OK price, and I would do it again. Umberto Eco once suggested the author should perish upon finishing his work that he might not hinder the exegesis. Please have mercy on me, spare me some more years with this great guitar.

17 of 27 people found this review helpful.
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A lifelong dream come true
Rating:
18 April 2022  | 

It finally arrived. After seemingly years of waiting, MY Red Special Super is here.

Thanks to the team at Brian May Guitars for making a lifelong dream come true.

I need to say, WOW, it’s everything I hoped it would be. The finish, build quality and attention to detail is superb, and the case is a nice touch to keep it safe and secure.

Now, to plug it in and (grins from ear to ear) it’s all there – the sounds we all have loved for the last 50 years all leap out from my speakers. OK, my version of them anyway. The neck seems huge at first but I suddenly realised after about half an hour that I had forgotten about it and was playing away in total comfort. It just feels right.

One major surprise was playing non-Queen songs through a Boss GT1000 and getting EVH tones, Slash tones, even a great Dave Gilmour tone. The guitar really comes into its own showing remarkable versatility. It seems to do it all.

Yes I have been a Queen fan all my adult life so I may be biased but the guitar is what it is... SUPER.

Not many will get the chance to play one in the flesh but, if you do enjoy it, you will love it.

16 of 27 people found this review helpful.
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Love it
Rating:
12 March 2022  | 

13 of 16 people found this review helpful.
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A piece of history
Rating:
25 December 2021  | 

I received this marvelous Guitar early December. Thanks so much to the whole team, and Dr. May of course. I'm delighted to have the chance to play this fantastic recreation of a piece of history!

I stopped watching the "Get Back" documentary to receive this piece of art. It's already my favorite guitar among my collection which includes some beautiful Gibson, Fender and Musicman. I like everything from the size to the sound!

If you had the chance to speak to the man himself, you can tell him that a French guy who discovered rock through Queen records in late '80s has the feeling to own a bit of history now .

15 of 23 people found this review helpful.
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