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 CherryThe BMG Special - Antique Cherry
List Price :  £945.00Worldwide Price : £704.17
UK Price :  £845.00 Inc. 20% VAT
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The result of a unique collaboration between Sir 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 shape 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 decidedly contemporary feel, and considerably less deeply contoured than the somewhat gargantuan proportions of the iconic original, 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 vintage '60s 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 and magnet alignment as the originals.

Original BM Switching System

As per the original BM design, the Special is equipped with six white-capped slider switches controlling individual pickup on/off and phase reversal, providing a vast range of tonal variations.

Wilkinson Knife-Edge Tremolo

Trevor Wilkinson's "Wave" tremolo-bridge provides a striking modern look to the BMG Special as well as smooth, comfortable performance with exceptional stability and sustain.

Locking Tuners

The distinctive BM style headstock sports 3-a-side locking chrome tuners with an 18:1 gear ratio for precise tuning and a thumbwheel locking mechanism that clamps the string securely. These superb quality machine heads allow for quick and easy string change with fewer string wraps and will maintain rock-solid tuning stability and more accurate return-to-pitch, even with lots of vibrato and string bends.

The BMG 2024 Sixpence

Coinciding with the 60th anniversary of the completion of the Red Special and 20 glorious years since the launch of the Brian May Guitars brand, every BMG Special now comes complete with a FREE 2024 Sir Brian May "Official Queen Pick" in a perspex collector's case.

Complete with Padded Gig Bag

A premium quality, padded gig-bag, made from durable showerproof material, with twin rucksack-style shoulder straps, side and front grab handles, dual front pockets and stitched BMG logo, is supplied as standard with all Special models. An optional BMG Custom Fitted Hard Case is also available.

Body Acoustic chambered mahogany with mahogany top
FINISH Gloss polyurethane
Binding 6-ply pinstripe, front and back
Neck 1-piece mahogany
NECK JOIN Set neck construction
Truss Rod Dual action / 440mm
Fingerboard Coromandel ebony
Frets 24 x medium jumbo 18% nickel/silver vintage size frets + zero fret
Fret Wire Crown Height: 0.914mm (0.036") / Crown Width: 2.7mm (0.106") / Radius: 230mm (9.0")
Inlays BM pattern white front + side dots (Φ 6mm / Φ 1.5mm)
StriNG GUIDE PPS (45mm x 6mm)
Pickups 3 x BM brand custom Tri-Sonic style series wired single coil pickups
Switches White slider switches – 3 x pickup on/off / 3 x pickup phase in/out
Controls Master volume / Master Tone (A500K / B500K) with BM replica aluminium control knobs
Bridge Wilkinson WVP 2-point, knife edge tremolo (36mm block) with brass saddles
Tremolo Arm Custom BMG arm with plastic tip
Machineheads 3-a-side chrome thumbwheel locking tuners with 18:1 gear ratio
Pickguards Plastic main control plate and half-moon tail plate with matching truss rod cover, black tremolo cavity cover
Overall Length 98.8cm (38.9")
Body Length 40.63cm (16")
Body Width 35.67cm (14")
Body Depth 40mm (1.57")
WEIGHT Approx. 3.2kg (7lb)
Scale 610mm (24")
FINGERBOARD RADIUS 250mm (9.8")
Neck Width at Nut 45mm (1.77")
Neck Width at 12th Fret 53mm (2.09")
Neck Width at 24th Fret 57mm (2.24")
Neck Depth at 1st Fret 22mm (0.87")
Neck Depth at 12th Fret 24mm (0.94")
String Spacing at Nut 36mm (1.42")
String Spacing at 12th Fret 45mm (1.77")
String Spacing at Bridge 54mm (2.13")
Strings D'Addario EXL120 Nickel Wound Super Light – Plain Steel .009 - .011 - .016 / Wound .024 - .032 - .042
INCLUDED GIG BAG Premium quality BMG gig bag with twin shoulder straps, side/front grab handles, dual zipped front pockets and stitched logo
INCLUDED EXTRAS FREE 2024 Sir Brian May "Official Queen Pick" / sixpence coin in perspex collector's case
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.

 

Jason Sidwell » August 2013

"Great price, attention to build quality, and an obvious visual appeal tick the important boxes... 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"

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. the busy 16th note riffing from "Ogre Battle"). 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!

 

Average Rating (451 Reviews):  
Write a Review and share your opinions!

Rating:  
Great job
30 October 2023  | 

Great job! Love it and will enjoy for many years to come, thank you.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful.


Rating:  
BMG Special guitar - good quality, fast delivery and awesome, classic sound !
12 October 2023  | 

Very pleasantly surprised at the BMG Special. I knew it would be good but its much better than I had anticipated. High quality, nails the key Brian May tones and is great value. I ordered it as Im going to be playing in a local production of the Queen musical We will rock you in 2024.
It arrived in Sydney, Australia a week later which is very impressive!! Id read all the online reviews and watched many of the You Tube clips of the BMG Special. Everything worked perfectly straight out the box. Easy to quickly get used to the pick-up system (I expect I will be playing 90% of the time on the Bridge/ Middle p/u in-phase positions).
Only change I made was to put on higher gauge 10-46 strings and re-balance the tremelo arm as I prefer a higher gauge string on all my guitars.
Combined with the KAT Brian May Treble Booster and a VOX AC 30 or AC15 amp it sounds awesome ! Very pleased with the purchase and fast service 😀👍

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful.


Rating:  
Prodotto eccellente
31 August 2023  | 

Chitarra curata nei minimi dettagli, settata benissimo. Lo strumento molto versatile e lo sto usando anche per eseguire canzoni che non sono dei Queen. Il sound della chitarra una bomba, uguale all'originale. Consiglio vivamente il prodotto ♥️

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful.


Rating:  
Very good
18 June 2023  | 

The sound is very similar to the Brian May guitar, the quality of the product is very good.

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1 of 3 people found this review helpful.


Rating:  
My lifelong dream
09 June 2023  | 

I've recently bought the BMG Special and it has immediately become my favorite guitar. I had been waiting for it for many years and finally having it feels awesome. The guitar literally wants to be played, it is extremely comfortable to play and it sounds amazing. The pairing of a BMG Special, sixpence and AmpliTube is probably the best you could ever ask for as a Brian May fan. I absolutely recommend this beauty to all Queen fans and just people who want a very versatile guitar.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful.


Rating:  
Special indeed
01 June 2023  | 

Very happy with my BMG Red Special. Looks great, plays great, and puts you in the great man's shoes! Excellent piece of kit! Get one!

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful.


Rating:  
Absolutely fantastic!
31 May 2023  | 

Absolutely fantasic guitar I am extremely pleased, it arrived wthin just 3 days! Would 100% recomened to any fan of Brian May. Fantastic work

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Rating:  
I love this guitar, oh my lord!
03 May 2023  | 

From my daughter: "this guitar is absolutely amazing, and professional. Coming from a huge fan of Queen and Brian May in general, I love it!"

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful.


Rating:  
Amazing
28 February 2023  | 

This has been a life long dream to own a guitar like Brian May.

I cannot speak highly enough of the guitar.

The delivery was quick and well packaged. Looking forward to purchasing another one in the near future.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful.


Rating:  
AMAZING guitar
27 February 2023  | 

Obviously it has an iconic look, but the playability on this machine is amazing. Ive owned a lot of guitars but this Red Special easily outplays a Gibson Les Paul, SG or even a Tele or Strat. I am amazed at how great this is. This is in my top 3 guitars, no doubt. (Its on top of it

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful.


Rating:  
Thank you, Brian May Guitars!
13 February 2023  | 

What an amazing gem!

So excited to hold this beautiful BMG Special in my hands.

The whole purchasing and delivery process was just impeccable. With regular updates on preparing, delivery, shipping and arrival, I was able to follow the whole journey of my BMG Special. She arrived nicely packed and very well protected to travel safely to her new home. Thank you for all the time and care you gave to this Bijou.

And now, let's make some "noise"!

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful.


Rating:  
Enjoying my BMG Special
10 February 2023  | 

I've been a fan of Brian's since I saw Queen in Waterbury, CT in 1975. So, after all these years, I finally decided to purchase one of his guitars and I am glad I did!

Dave in sales and marketing responded to my emails quickly, answering all my questions and concerns.

The guitar is a blast to play, great setup, came with 9's, which I prefer. Switch pickup selection is easy to navigate (I set up a strat style with 3 toggles, so familiar) and I am finding unique tones with the phase switching. I am not looking for Brian's sound, just enjoying the guitar for what I play. The shorter scale allows for a very soft feel which is nice. Light touch, slick fret board. I thought playing beyond the twelfth fret migtht be tight, but not a problem. Stays in tune, whammy bar is nice and has a nice subtle touch (I don't dive bomb). No buzz outs on the fret board and I like a low action. Intonation spot on, gig bag is heavy duty and black guitar strap is very cool.

I will admit I was surprised it was not double boxed when it arrived but it was well packaged and in the gig bag well wrapped. Thanks guys!

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful.


Rating:  
Possibly the best guitar ever designed
08 February 2023  | 

The BMG Special is a bit different than the original Red Special (or BMG Super), but it still has its essence. In my opinion, it's a version of Dr May's guitar with a more modern approach to today's components.

Aesthetically it is the most beautiful guitar of all. It has a sound that is so versatile, unique and characteristic that it is impossible not to love it.

It maintains the tuning super well. In addition, the guitar having a semi-hollow body, it is much lighter than it seems at first glance.

I am lucky to have a BMG Special signed by Dr May.

Thanks to Dr May and his entire team for the incredible work you do!

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful.


Rating:  
Amazing
05 February 2023  | 

This guitar is just fantastic. I once owned a Fender but never really got into guitar playing, but this guitar just wants you to play. It feels excellent in the hand, and the strings are nice and bendable, but stay very much in tune.

The sound it produces is lovely and, especially when using the AmpliTube Brian May, it sounds very much like the man himself.

The joy factor of this beauty is very high. So if you can afford it, you won't regret it.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful.


Rating:  
Amazing
02 February 2023  | 

Absolutely love them! Thank you for these amazing quality products and I hope to buy more from you in the future.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful.


Rating:  
Ordering was easy
02 February 2023  | 

Ordering was easy, transport to Germany and customs clearance without any problems.

I hadn't personally seen or held the guitar in my hand and I like it. I'm a beginner so can't say much.

I would buy them again.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful.


Rating:  
Thank you Dave and Sir Brian
31 January 2023  | 

Well, what can I say? I am so ecstatic, delighted, and really beyond words.

Dave, you are a legend. My BMG Special has its own place in my massive collection of Queen and Brian May memorabilia... I'm currently looking for a specialist to preserve this wonderful signature that the good Dr has taken the time out to sign. Dave, may I say a fantastic credit to you and your company for my very high quality guitar.

I now have more accessories to purchase from your brilliant company.

Very, very highly recommended if there are other people out there who would like to buy these guitars.

Many thanks again

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful.


Rating:  
Truly remarkable - and not just the guitar!
09 January 2023  | 

If you are dreaming of a Red Special (or other colour), let me tell you this... I cannot thank the guys at BMG and Sir Brian May enough for this stunning signed instrument I have before me - and for their amazingly personal service!

From the moment I enquired about it until the day it landed in NZ (yes, the opposite side of the planet), they kept me fully informed and up-to-date on the process. And then, the cherry on the top... Sir Brian signed it 2023, I guess knowing it wouldnt arrive until after the new year among other things. How thoughtful was that!

Sir Brian and (Gill/Dave at BMG), I realise the mammoth effort you have all gone to with this promotion and hope you know just how much these amazing instruments inspire everyone who owns one. 'Over doing the job' to use the phrase - but in the best possible way!

So thanks again to you for this beautiful instrument that my family and I will cherish hugely - and to anyone still dreaming, I recommend going for it, it's totally worth it!

Best wishes from Auckland, New Zealand

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful.


Rating:  
Dream guitar for my wife
08 December 2022  | 

My wife has been a life long fan of Queen, and especially the astrophysicist and occasional guitarist Brian May. They have literally saved her life. So when the chance to purchase a Red Special arose I had to get her one. Its her pride and joy.

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Rating:  
Awesome, player friendly guitar
01 December 2022  | 

Hello to all at House Music and BMG, I have been playing guitar for over 40 years and, as you might imagine, I've owned many guitars of all makes and models but none of them even come close to the Red Special. This is the most awesome sounding, player friendly guitar ever built. I play mine through a Vox 15R, mated to a Vox extension cabinet with twin vintage Celestion Greenback 12's and I'm still awed by the sounds and tones I get from this guitar.

My experience with House Music was most pleasant. Dave Good made my purchase really easy, as this was the first time buying anything from anyone overseas especially my cousins from across the pond, if you will. I'm planning to purchase the Red Special bass so I can have a set.

Again an incredible guitar, thanks again, Dave, and to Dr. Brian May for all the wonderful music you gave to the world. I saw Queen five times at the Los Angeles Forum in the '70s. Thanks again, everyone

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