BMG Special LE - Metal May
BMG Special LE - Metal May
BMG Special LE - Metal May
BMG Special LE - Metal May

BMG Special LE - Metal May

List Price £995.00
UK Price  £895.00 Inc. 20% VAT
(8 Reviews)
In Stock
Product Details
"The variety and uniqueness on offer here make this an outstanding
recording guitar when you've run out of options on your usual guitar" 
Jason Sidwell • Guitar Techniques

Brian May Special LE - Metal May

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.

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")
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
Country Of Origin World Musical Instruments Co. Ltd., South Korea
Audio Demos

SIR Brian May

An exclusive demonstration of the first iteration of the BMG Special by the maestro 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 Sir Brian May's favourite switch settings.

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


Customer Reviews
Write a Review and share your opinions!
8 Reviews:

What a sound!
23 April 2024  | 

Killer look! The handwork, build quality, super professional setup surpasses all factory or custom builders! And what a sound!

The plastic protective stickers on the black pickups need to be rethought, though... Very sticky after removal, needed some WD40 to rub off.

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The film provides esential protection for the pickup covers during assembly, packing and tranpsort and the adhesive does form a tight bond on the powder-coated material. To remove any residue, we recommend using "Goo Gone" or a similar citrus-based solvent cleaner, rather than WD40 or any acetone-based products.

13 August 2020  | 

I ordered a Metal May guitar and have been really impressed with the service from Brian May Guitars. The delivery of the guitar (I live in New Zealand) was quicker than expected and the thorough packaging ensured the guitar arrived in a perfect condition.

I have played on a Burns Brian May guitar for the past 18 years and it has been an excellent guitar. The Metal May is another superb guitar. I prefer the tremolo system on the Metal May and also find it slightly more playable due to its neck. While I wanted another BM guitar, it was an added bonus that it plays slightly differently to my Burns. It also looks fantastic in black and sounds great. The free guitar strap is top quality and gig bag is as well. Thanks again.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
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Love it !!!
06 August 2020  | 

I’m a big Queen fan and I’ve been since “Killer Queen” was released. I’d played guitar a few years at the time and went from John Fogerty to Brian May. “Brighton Rock” became my guitar school.

This Metal May is simply fantastic. I love the fact that the all black colour turns it into something different than the other BMGs. They’re all beautiful but this version stands out. Ordered in on a Friday and got it next Tuesday !!! Tuned it up and it had a perfectly setup. A big neck and wide fretboard and that might take a little time to get used to for some. For me? No problem cause it’s a lot like one of my Firebird’s (2006).

Anyway ! I’m really really happy with this guitar and I guess there’s room for one more... maybe in gold or blue or red. Thanks BMG and keep up the good work 👍🏻

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Awesome guitar + awesome service + delivery!
04 August 2020  | 

Wow! I absolutely love this guitar! I was very fortunate to secure a signed (By Dr. Brian May) BMG Special guitar a couple of months earlier. I loved it so much, but being signed, which I treasure, I don’t want to play this live @ gigs... so, solution... buy another! This time, the BMG LE Metal May.

I’m so happy with this guitar, too. It’s set up well, with a beautiful feel, and looks and sounds awesome! Both times, the guitars arrived from England and on my doorstop in NZ within 10 days (in actual, probably less). Communication was great from the time I placed my order, to dispatch and all delivery steps on the way. And this is through COVID-19 times.

Thank you so much BMG Guitars! You rock! The BMG special Guitar Rocks! Just like Legend Brian May Rocks! 😊 5 Stars PLUS! One extremely happy customer. Thank you.

12 of 12 people found this review helpful.
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Super pleased!
19 December 2018  | 

I don't know what to say so I'll say it all...

I'm not a great guitarist, not a performer. I jam at home for stress relief and to make myself happy.

I was looking at finally getting myself a Strat. A co-worker caught wind of this and being a huge Queen fan pointed out this site to me. Pointed out that Brian May has a doctorate in Astrophysics and had deisgned his own axe. Then I saw the switch setup and learned more. I ordered one, hoping it would be everything I wanted.

Given that the guitar is purely analog I paired it with a full tube 40 watt Marshall and an Orange Micro Terror as well for headphones.

I'm delighted.

I just can't find a limit yet. My only problem so far has been that the tremolo bar seems to rise a bit high under my palm but really, I'm no expert and I may be able to remedy that with another whammy bar and just cutting down the length where it engages the bridge a little. Maybe. Dunno, I might need some time to adjust my technique instead.

I'm one very happy strumming, picking guitar player these days.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
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BMG Special Signature Edition... Metal May!
30 August 2018  | 

Fantastic and beautiful!! It was worth to wait for it!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
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Pure black beauty
12 August 2018  | 

I have been playing my 25th anniv. silver Strat since 1978 and needless to say it was May's playing, even my Mum loved the sound of Queen, that influenced me to play. The BMG MM (Metal May) is a guitar of pure black beauty. Believe it or not but when Brian May took over production I wrote and asked his factory in England to build something similar. They were not able to do it then but now they have it! OMG, talk about the stars lining up with that.

With that being said it did take a bit of getting used to in two major areas:

1. The neck - There is room to play on this bad boy of a fret board! I have long fingers so I only noticed a minor difference on the thickness of the neck but it does have a feel all its own. I also had to adjust to the spaces between the strings as they are wider but for some reason made bending easier.

2. The switches - Unlike my Strat the Metal May has so many variables it takes more than just a week or so to get a grip on some of the variations. I suggest to vary the switches and your amp settings to get your OWN sound, one that feels good to you then map it out on paper so you don't forget. And folks, my review is based on NO effects.

The Metal May does a great job on sustains, bending strings (I am sure that bending is more difficult with my Strat due to the width of the neck and pick ups (the MM seems to offer a board designed with bending in mind), feedback is fun to play with as well.

My Strat is made with a heavy wood body of which I have grown accustomed to. Upon receiving the MM I noticed it to be lighter than mine but keep in mind this is the more affordable axe as compared to BMG Super. And for some folks too heavy of a guitar can be a strain on the neck/shoulders.

The unique sound is routed through the Tri Sonic pickups which are incredible to hear. And again, with the array of switches the sounds are endless from bright to crunch. I like crunch!

Overall a well thought out guitar at a price that is competitive in today's market. I never thought as a 16 year old kid seeing Queen in Las Vegas at the Aladdin Theater that I would even come close to holding my hero's guitar.

My bucket list is the BMG Super but this will abide my time quite well my dear!


Jim Dale

6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
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Metal May - The Most Cool Looking of The May Collection
25 October 2015  | 

I love this guitar... This was my first Brian May Guitar so I was expecting big things. I was not disappointed, this guitar is amazing.

Firstly, very accurate to the original and the sound is hauntingly near. With the black one, the in and out phase switches really show up bright and once you get some retro silver switches on there (which you can get from the site) the whole guitar looks really futuristic. I think with the black one the shape is accentuated with its white glowing edges. The black pickups really look 'Rocky' and I can't think of a cooler looking guitar.

This is a limited edition so grab it while it's available. I am very very happy with my purchase and will continue to check the site for updates and new editions.

The team were professional and friendly and full of advice and amused me with tales of Brian himself propping and requesting guitars. Which brings you back to why you're here in the first place, Brian May, the man, the legend. Himself and his father created this guitar and now you have the choice to enjoy it too, in many flavors.

If you like Brian's sound and are fan of cool looking guitars, I recommend you will not be disappointed with this. Love it, and always will!

7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
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