The BMG Arielle - Antique Cherry

The BMG Arielle - Antique Cherry
The BMG Arielle - Antique CherryThe BMG Arielle - Antique CherryThe BMG Arielle - Antique CherryThe BMG Arielle - Antique Cherry
List Price :  £945.00Worldwide Price : £704.17
UK Price :  £845.00 Inc. 20% VAT


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Building on the success of the widely acclaimed 2021 BMG 'Two Tone' Arielle model, styled after American virtuoso Arielle Schwartz's distinctive, eponymous custom build and engineered in collaboration with Brian May himself, the House Music team is thrilled to drop the first in a series of fresh new alternative seasonal colourways for this unique instrument.


Now available in traditional translucent Antique Cherry flavour, "the Red Special in a parallel universe" continues to rock a sleek, retro-futuristic look infused with choice elements from Dr. May's storied homespun creation and of course delivers everything one should expect from a Brian May Guitar — impeccable design, superior quality, pro-spec construction, exceptional playability, and devastating tonal dexterity.

Striking Body Design

The flamboyant, asymmetric angles of the Arielle's Indonesian Mahogany body clearly pay homage to radical American automotive and electric guitar designs of the 1950s and '60s, with a distinctive raised centre strip increasing the body mass for enhanced sustain and resonance, and a split, 3-ply parchment pickguard and classic gloss finish completing the cool, vintage look.

24" Scale Mahogany Neck

Employing the short 24" scale favoured by Brian May on the original Red Special, the one piece mahogany neck, in perfect balance with the lightweight body, has been engineered with a decidedly contemporary feel, featuring a generous 45mm nut width, comfortably spacious profile, and wonderfully smooth 24 fret ebony fingerboard with Arielle's choice of abalone diamond snowflake inlays in the traditional BM pattern.

BMG Tri-Sonic Style Pickups

Like the best-selling BMG Special, the Arielle features three BM branded 'Tri-Sonic' style single coil pickups, modern replicas of the vintage '60s units so fundamental to the Red Special's powerful and distinctive sonic character with the same series wiring, retro-styling and magnet alignment as the originals.

BM Switching System

The unique Brian May designed electronics system is provided by six black DPDT switches featuring high quality contacts mounted on a contrasting 3-ply black control plate. Engaging each pickup individually as well as providing dedicated phase reversal, this familiar configuration gives the BMG Arielle the same astonishing tonal agility as the original Red Special itself.

Volume and tone are controlled by 250k pots with a Sprague 0.033μF 'Orange Drop' film capacitor delivering exceptional sonic purity, a nuanced tonal roll-off sweep and, with individual pickups or selected pairings, a pleasingly warm response, without getting too muddy or bright.

Wilkinson WVP Tremolo Bridge

Continuing BMG's long association with veteran British engineer Trevor Wilkinson, the Arielle is fitted with his acclaimed WVP 2-point tremolo, a vintage-flavoured variant of the unit used on the BMG Special. With a modern, friction-free design offering one of the smoothest actions of any fulcrum vibrato currently available coupled with a sleek, low-profile surround to eliminate lateral saddle movement, the WVP offers superior comfort, stability and performance.

Additional features include a stamped steel, heat hardened top plate, solid stainless steel saddles, and a "stagger-drilled" solid steel sustain block that provides unrivalled tuning stability, ensures easy and accurate intonation adjustment and improves overall sustain, brightness and top end, resulting in a more expansive, sharper tone.

Thumbwheel 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.

Padded Gig Bag Included

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.

Playability & Sounds

Versatile and bold, the heart of the sound is round, wide, warm and rich, with clean, clear highs and crisp note articulation, even when overdriven. Eminently capable of authentically delivering the hardest of rock or the most intimate dream pop shimmer, the Arielle has clearly been engineered to be a brilliant, one-stop stage and studio workhorse. 

For blues and roots styles, there is a pleasing presence and a tight, focused bass response whilst jazz players and country pickers will love the chiming clarity, especially on out-of-phase settings, and the smooth, hollow twang of the neck pickup. Cranking up the gain, combining two or more pickups in phase, the broad Tri-Sonic response and resonant body give crunch chords ample room to breathe and allow lead licks and solos to project clearly and powerfully. In all positions — single coil or humbucking — the Arielle retains a natural brightness with a tight, balanced, low end courtesy of its shorter scale length. 

With a fast, modern radius neck, inviting 24" scale, a body shape that balances comfortably whether sitting or standing, and a responsive, diverse tonal palette, this is an instrument designed to an endlessly rewarding joy to perform with.

Body Indonesian mahogany
FINISH Gloss polyurethane
Binding Cream binding, front
Neck 1-piece Indonesian mahogany
NECK JOIN Set neck construction
Truss Rod Dual action / 440mm
Fingerboard Coromandel ebony
Frets 24 x medium jumbo frets
Fret Wire Crown Height: 2.7mm (0.106") / Radius: 250mm (9.8")
Inlays Abalone 'Diamond Snowflake' facing inlays with white side dots
NUT PPS / 45mm x 6mm
Pickups 3 x BM brand Tri-Sonic style series wired single coil pickups with chrome covers
Switch System Switchcraft DPDT black switches / 3 x pickup on/off / 3 x pickup phase in/out 
Controls Volume: Alpha B250k / Tone: A250k with Sprague 'Orange Drop' 0.033μF capacitor
Control Knobs Chrome UFO style
Bridge Chrome Wilkinson WVP 2-point, knife edge tremolo with 41.2mm block
Tremolo Arm 6" arm with parchment tip
Machineheads 3-a-side locking tuners
PICKGUARDS 2 piece, 3-ply parchment pickguard and 3-ply black switch plate
Overall Length 1054mm (41.5")
Body Length 432mm (17")
Body Width 304.8mm (12")
Body Depth 45mm (1.78") with 5mm (0.2") raised centre strip
WEIGHT Approx. 3.4kg (7.5lb)
SCALE 610mm (24")
Fingerboard Radius 304.8mm (12")
Headstock Angle
Neck Width AT Nut 45mm (1.77")
Neck Width AT 12th Fret 52mm (2.05")
Neck Width At 24th Fret 57mm (2.25")
Neck Depth AT 1st Fret 20.84mm (0.820")
Neck Depth AT 12th Fret 22.48mm (0.885")
Neck Depth At 12th Fret 22.37mm (0.920")
String Spacing at Nut 36mm (1.42")
String Spacing at Bridge 53mm (2.09")
Strings D'Addario EXL120 Nickel Wound Super Light – Plain Steel .009 - .011 - .016 / Wound .024 - .032 - .042
Included EXTRAS Premium quality BMG gig bag with twin shoulder straps, side/front grab handles, dual zipped front pockets and stitched logo
Country Of Origin World Musical Instruments Co. Ltd., South Korea

“I am a lover of life, a singer of songs, and player of guitars” — ARIELLE

Born in New Jersey, raised in California and Hawaii, and now splitting her time between the UK and and the USA, Arielle is a fiercely independent and determined young performer and recording artist blessed with a crystal clear, four-octave voice, exceptional guitar chops, and a musical style that combines the vocal purity of Karen Carpenter and Joni Mitchell with the bombastic guitar stylings of Jeff Beck and Brian May. Proudly self-identifying as a "nineties child, with a sixties and seventies soul", she has written and recorded seven self-released EPs and two long-players to date, gaining ever-increasing international notoriety and critical plaudits for her emotionally drenched, organic, classic folk-rock stylings.

Most recently, in between contributing to Eric Johnson’s 2020 album ‘EJ Vol. II’ and the soundtrack to the Joe Bonamassa documentary 'Guitar Man', Arielle released a brand new collection – the remarkably assured 'Analog Girl in a Digital World' – in the spring of 2021, coinciding with the launch of Arielle's very own eponymous commercial guitar model.

Whilst a completely fresh product for the international playing community and a "new dimension to Brian May Guitars" as Dr. May himself proudly describes it, this remarkable instrument is actually the result of a unique team-up between Arielle and the Queen legend whose origin story begins over a decade previously.

“It was like we’d always been friends” — ARIELLE

Aged 17, and already an accomplished player, Arielle first encountered Brian May in 2007 at a signing session to promote “Bang! - The Complete History of the Universe”, his collaboration with astronomer Sir Patrick Moore and fellow astrophysicist Chris Lindell, at Book Soup, the famed indie bookstore on West Hollywood’s Sunset Boulevard. On meeting the maestro, Arielle recalls: “The experience was magical, yet I had seen it in my head so many times that it became real to me. It became natural. I can’t tell you how many of these books I have read about manifesting your dreams, and having them become real... They work!”

Having brought along her trusty B.C. Rich Warlock to be autographed (to his request of “show me what ya got”, Arielle complied by dropping a Randy Rhoads solo), an initial discussion about music began a conversation and friendship which continued when Arielle relocated to London the following year to study at the Institute of Contemporary Music Performance.

During her time in the UK, under Brian May's guidance, the young guitarist was suitably struck by the iconic Red Special to seek to fashion her own bespoke guitar from scratch, recruiting a friend (elusive Californian luthier, Patrick Yates) to assist in realising a uniquely personal concept that combined the Old Lady's feral tone and protean versatility with functional elements and appointments from several other favoured instruments, and her unabashed passion for retro-modern aesthetics.

The resulting instrument, dubbed 'Two-Tone’' (less for the distinctive orange and blue finish, than for its unorthodox dual tone controls), became Arielle’s constant musical companion and inspiration for the next 13 years, as her professional career blossomed through on stage performances with Cee-Lo Green and Vince Gill, headline solo shows and support slots for Heart, Guns N’ Roses, Joan Jett, Gregg Allman, Larkin Poe and Keith Urban, guest sessions with Eric Johnson, a duet with Talia Dean of Kings Daughters, and regular appearances on the hit ABC TV drama 'Nashville'.

In 2017, Arielle reconnected with Brian May during a UK tour and mentioned that she was considering producing a self-financed, commercial version of her Two Tone design… to which Dr. May, with a hugely successful guitar brand to his name, immediately suggested : “Why don't I help you?!”

"We collaborated in making the Arielle a new mission to guitarists everywhere - to open up a new door to excellence!" — Brian May

Work began the following year with the House Music Group’s Barry Moorhouse duly called upon to provide the resources of Brian May Guitars and production partner, World Music, to fashion a brand new commercial instrument fusing choice elements from both Two Tone and the original Red Special.

Over the next 24 months, the project evolved via a progression of samples assembled for scrutiny at Dr. May's home in between performances with Queen + Adam Lambert throughout Europe, the USA and Australasia, and Arielle's own trans-Atlantic touring and recording commitments.

Logistics aside, gaining approval from two discerning guitarists with exacting standards yet different demands and styles may ostensibly have seemed daunting, Arielle and Brian May always shared a common purpose. "Everything was about playability, diversity, and tone." she reveals, "It needs to look sleek, it needs to be unique, while also classic and timeless, and it needs to sound GOOD at a great price. That was our goal.”

The goal was achieved in the summer of 2020, despite an unexpected new challenge which saw everyone involved locked down in their respective bunkers across the world, with the final iteration fully realising this shared artistic vision, as well as representing a bold and contemporary addition to the Brian May Guitars canon.

"IT's the Red Special in a parallel universe... It REALLY does sing!" — Brian May

Eminently playable and visually arresting, the BMG Arielle sports the exact same lightweight Limba/Korina body, retro-futuristic stylings, raised centre strip and colour scheme as the original 'Two-Tone’, matched with a mahogany neck, meticulously profiled and balanced to accommodate Brian May’s signature 24” scale, and a smooth, vintage radius ebony fingerboard adorned with abalone diamond snowflakes. Throughout, a passion for both classic and modern design inspires the pairing of split pickguards, series wound Tri-Sonic style pickups, authentic BM pickup/phase system and distinctive 3-a-side headstock with innovative Grover locking tuners, Wilkinson two-point tremolo and industry-leading Shin-Chin electronics.

As befits a Brian May Guitar, especially one described by the maestro himself as "the Red Special in a parallel universe”, the Arielle naturally inherits the BMG brand's enviable reputation for superb playability, professional build quality and tonal inclusivity, well evidenced by the audio visual samples provided here.

With a basic sound that is edgy, detailed, crisp and full, the exceptionally nuanced tonal palette delivers everything from a distinctive out-of-phase BM-approved crunch, to a rich blues voicing, to clear, bright cleans perfect for delicate fingerpicking and effect-heavy dreamscapes.


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Nice guitar
10 January 2023  | 

Guitar is well built, short scale with 24 frets is great as I have a hand injury and it has become difficult for me to stretch to 5 frets. I love the out of phase sounds possible.

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Still in tune
31 December 2022  | 

My husband is blown away by the quality of the guitar and that, although there was a long journey to the west coast of the USA, it was still in tune right out of the box. Thanks for making such a high quality product that my guitarist loves!

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful.