The BMG Special • Antique Cherry

The BMG Special • Antique Cherry
The BMG Special • Antique CherryThe BMG Special • Antique CherryThe BMG Special • Antique Cherry
List Price :  £795.00UK/EU Discount Price :  £695.00 Inc. 20% VATSave :  £100.00Export Price - USA • Australia • Worldwide : £579.17
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Elites ''Science Of Sound'' Acoustic Guitar StringsElites "Science Of Sound" Acoustic Guitar Strings

Kicking off the new decade, in addition to getting an amazing guitar at our regular discount price, every BMG SPECIAL comes complete with an exclusive FREE GIFT PACK (worth over £40)!

This Exclusive BMG New Year Gift Pack Includes :

  • An official Brian May Sixpence produced by the British Pobjoy Mint to commemorate the 2005 Queen + Paul Rodgers World Tour.
  • Brian May Guitars Classic Logo T-Shirt in Heather Indigo (Choice of Sizes)
  • A Set Of Elites Electric Guitar Strings (Choice of Gauges)
  • A Brian May Guitars Microfibre Polishing Cloth + BMG sticker

"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.

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 (500k) 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")
String Spacing @ Bridge 54mm (2.13")
Weight Approx 3.2kg (7lbs)
Strings D'Addario XL Nickel Wound EX120 Super Light • Plain Steel .009 - .011 - .016 • Nickel Wound .024 - .032 - .042
Included Extras Premium Quality Gig Bag with Stitched Brian May Guitars Logo - Length 108cm (42.5") • Width : 42cm (16.5") 
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 switch settings : 

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

"Great price, attention to 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"

Jason Sidwell • August • 2013

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

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

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

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


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

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

In Use

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

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

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


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

Average Rating (182 Reviews):  
Write a Review and share your opinions!

Thank you!
Thursday, 12 December 2019  | 

I just wanted to thank all of you for my Red Special and all the other goodies I got to go with it. I don't do the Facebook or Twitter things, and I'm pretty sure you aren't really active on Ravelry (hey I'm a knitter, and there IS a knitting needle on the original's tremolo bar!), so I wanted to email you this thank you note.

The guitar was a retirement gift from me to me, and I am enjoying learning to play it. I figured even Brian May started at zero, and it took him a few years to get pretty good at it 😉. I promise you that it has come to a good home and will be well loved by a very happy old lady in Denver, Colorado, USA... Thanks again


This review has not been appraised.

Thoroughly fantastic from start to finish
Tuesday, 10 December 2019  | 

Unbelievable service from BMG, and in particular Barry, who took ownership of a small concern I had.

Oh... and of course, the instrument surpasses my expectations, ultra quality build, didn’t even need a setup.

In summary - you NEED to own one of these guitars... RIGHT NOW!

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

Excellent guitar
Monday, 2 December 2019  | 

Great guitar. Looks to be well-made. Action is very nice and neck feels great. I am very happy. Thanks Brian!

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The best guitar
Friday, 22 November 2019  | 

Hello, and thanks to you. I am very satisfied with my purchase at home. The BMG Special is really a great guitar. See you soon on your site for a future purchase.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful.

Exceeds all expectations.
Friday, 22 November 2019  | 

My BMG Special arrived well packed and unharmed. She is a beauty visually. Her sound is wonderful and exceeds my expectations. Her tight strings and narrow fingerboard make her very easy to play and the settings leave nothing to be desired. I am very happy to be able to play her.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

Dream guitar
Thursday, 21 November 2019  | 

August of 2018, I was beginning to learn guitar and I was a bit awful but after watching the movie "Bohemian Rhapsody", Brian May playing his Red Special, and all his iconic riffs were just inspiring and since then, I practiced every day Queen songs back-to-back. I asked my mom and dad if they could save up enough money to buy this beauty... 6 days later it arrives. The first thing I thought was, "Wow the delivery was as fast of the speed of light". I live in California and The DHL delivery tracking service was super helpful.

When I FINALLY took it out of the box, I was just in shock in all emotional levels. The guitar is super light and the neck is really thin. The 20+ tonal possibilities are just amazing! My favorites are blues, rockabilliy, and Queen settings. The tuning heads keep the strings locked in place even after heavy tremlo use and the ebony fret board is extremely comfortable and wood is smooth as water.

In the end, this website made my dream come true and I will continue to buy products from here!

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

Great service
Tuesday, 19 November 2019  | 

Very fast sending... in less than 5 days I've the great guitar at home.

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Love It
Friday, 1 November 2019  | 

An excellent guitar - it plays smoothly, holds tune well and the pickup options give plenty of room for experimentation. Delivery was also very quick and the guitar came well packaged (but not over-packaged, which is always nice to see). Communication from the seller was also helpful, since I don't usually buy guitars online, so I knew the process was going through each stage.

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Nice Guitar!
Wednesday, 30 October 2019  | 

The BMG Special came to me nicely set up ready to play. The action is comfortably low and the intonation is good. The build, finish and workmanship of the guitar is very good.

I purchased the guitar with the hard shell case. At the start the guitar fits very snug and the case will need a bit of breaking in. But overall the case is very high quality.

My only gripe about the guitar is the inability to give the tremolo bar some tension. I like to leave the bar in a stationary position rather than leaving it slack. But overall this is a fine guitar at its price point.

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The tremolo arm can be tightened to taste by means of an adustment screw on the rear of the bridge block. Please visit our Product Support Page for full details on correct installation.

Tuesday, 29 October 2019  | 

My guitar arrived safely. Thank you for the quick delivery. She is wonderful.


This review has not been appraised.

Feels great, sounds great
Monday, 21 October 2019  | 

Absolutely love the guitar and sound... feels great, sounds great.

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Thank you very much
Tuesday, 15 October 2019  | 

Long before I came along in my husband’s life, he has been a massively obsessive fan of Queen and all things to do with guitars. He has a strangely large collection, even though he can’t really play – but it keeps him happy and quiet.

And ever since my husband and I have been together, he has been mentioning this desire for yet ANOTHER gutar. I really didn’t take much notice of it, and I kind of just fobbed him off with a “maybe for your 50th” comment.

We were in New York recently, and my husband was determined to find this music store in times square. But once we got there, they didn’t have any Brian May Guitars in stock, and we weren't in the area long enough for them to ship one in. I saw my husbands little heart snap in two! He looked so upset!

So I baught it for him via your website for his 50th birthday – he is only 47 now, but why wait when he will just sepnd the next 3 years pining over it anyway. He seems really happy with the guitar, now – I am not one to know to much about guitars – frankly I'm not a fan (violinist, you see). But he was speechless when it arrived. I am assuming that was joy, it was the first time he was ever really quiet…

I personally was really happy with the delivery service. It would have actually been up home if I had paid the duty at customs on it earlier. Honestly, we landed back in Australia on the Friday morning, I paid the duty around lunch time, and it was at our house that night! In good condition, it was packed appropriately and there are no complaints coming from me.

All in all, I am happy with the service, my husband seems happy with the guitar (not said otherwise). So, thank you very much.  

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Great product
Wednesday, 2 October 2019  | 

Great product and great service

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LOVE this guitar
Monday, 16 September 2019  | 

Since I received my BMG all my other high end Guitars are collecting dust.

Just LOVE this guitar. Thank you 🎼🎼🎼

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful.

Awesome Guitar
Monday, 9 September 2019  | 

Quick delivery, the guitar arrived in perfect condition, the finish is amazing and it sounds awesome. Tuning stability is just perfect, Wilkinson bridge and Grover locking tuners do their job.

Thanks for this masterpiece.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

Absolutely beautiful
Monday, 2 September 2019  | 

My parents purchased this guitar for me through Australian distributor, The Rock Inn and, oh my goodness, it's beautiful. Lovely finish and has a nice weight. I love how many versatile sounds can be achieved through this guitar and it's just so much fun to play. It's an absolute joy to call The Special my very first electric guitar, and I can't wait to bring her out on stage soon!

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful.

Super fast shipping, the guitar is perfect!
Monday, 26 August 2019  | 

I'm not a virtuoso guitar player but I own a studio and I was looking for a nice playable electric that could give me a few different sounds.
The price was in line with budget and I've always been intrigued by this guitar, I knew what it could do and I decided to pull the trigger.

The guitar arrived in less than a week, in perfect conditions, it looks and feels beautiful.

Now for the main test, I actually called in a few great guitar players that would dissect the playability and sound of the guitar through their pedals and amps. It turns out that everybody, even the most picky players are getting familiar with it in less than 20 minutes, and start to enjoy its many pickup patterns almost immediately. I really recommend it to anybody looking for something that sounds great and that will find a few go-to combinations of the pick ups and their phases.

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Thursday, 22 August 2019  | 

Thanks for the great service and quick delivery!

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Best guitar
Tuesday, 13 August 2019  | 

The guitar was a gift for my son. I asked what his thoughts were for feedback - his response was that it's the best guitar ever and he has hardly put it down since he got it

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Great guitar and awesome value!
Tuesday, 13 August 2019  | 

The guitar arrived from the UK to Florida well packed and without a dent or scrape on the box. What blows me away is the quality of the fretwork and the setup right out of the box. Plays great and the intonation is spot on despite the long journey.

Guaranteed fun chasing all of the tones with this guitar!

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

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