The BMG Special - Antique Cherry - Left Handed

The BMG Special - Antique Cherry - Left Handed
The BMG Special - Antique Cherry - Left HandedThe BMG Special - Antique Cherry - Left HandedThe BMG Special - Antique Cherry - Left Handed
List Price :  £995.00Worldwide Price : £745.83
UK Price :  £895.00 Inc. 20% VAT


Limited Stock Available - Buy Now!  

Limited Stock Available - Buy Now!

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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.

Knife-Edge Tremolo

A custom knife edge 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 Custom 2-point, knife edge tremolo 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 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

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.


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!


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 (15 Reviews):  
Write a Review and share your opinions!

Fantastic guitar!
01 September 2023  | 

I just received my new left-handed BMG Special! As a US customer who used to own a Burns model, this new one feels lighter, more balanced, and the neck is very user-friendly. The sound is exactly what I expected. Switches and knobs are all functional and smooth, and the guitar is just so darned beautiful! Dr. May and the manufacturer have me a raving fan.

As for the Brian May Guitars store, Dave Good provided exceptional customer service. His responses to my emails were prompt and helpful. I placed the order at 6:30pm EDT on 28 August. The shipment was dispatched first thing on 29 August, across the Atlantice Ocean it went, and today, August 31 at 3:40pm, the new guitar arrived at my front door. That's less than 3 days on an international order! And Dave kept me apprised of the order the entire way.

I am so impressed with the guitar and the service. Brian May Guitars is the BEST!!

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04 April 2023  | 

Great guitar for the price! Thanks.

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Love it
10 February 2023  | 

Had my signed BMG special for 2 weeks now and I absolutely love it. It feels great, sounds amazing, and obviously it looks very cool.

Absolutely over the moon with my guitar and thank you so much Sir Brian May for signing it!

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Good value, great quality
28 October 2022  | 

I've been a Queen fan since I heard "Keep Yourself Alive" on a pink bootleg L.Z. album around 1973 — What most impressed me was the "Old Lady", Brian's home made guitar. The sound was fascinating. Well, being a musician, and loving Queen of course, I wished that one day some day a company would make them. I know there were a couple of companies that tried but failed. Then Brian decided to build them himself and hasn't looked back.

Bloody good job, Brian!

I happen to play left handed and when I found out that the Red Special could be bought in a left hand config, I hummed and hawed and finally bought one.

Out of the box it was impressive, I tuned it, played it and, overall for the money, an excellent axe. Action, neck, machine heads excellent, the only thing that was a tad disappointing was that the tone knob does very little to change the tone, probably a bad pot and the guitar never came with any feature listings of the guitar, other than that I am very pleased.

This guitar is a keeper PERIOD, now I am eyeing a left handed SUPER.

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Comprehensive information about the main features of the BMG Special (including a guide to switch settings) is available on our website HERE.

Exceeds expectation
16 April 2021  | 

I was going to treat myself to one of these beauties last year - other things got in the way - but I finally managed to acquire in March 21.

First of all, the shopping experience with BMG was outstanding - very straightforward, great communication and updates, and extremely secure. My BMG Special was with me within 3 days, very well packaged, and in one hell of a sturdy box.

As for the instrument itself, it arrived in perfect condition. Nicely polished, good amount of protective film over the scratch plate, pick-ups etc. and for once this film was easy to remove - I've had many a challenge on other guitars in the past. Minimal set-up required and almost in perfect tune ;o)

The fretboard is to die for and the action is incredible - you merely have to present your fingers to the board and the notes ring out. Tested the tone via small BOSS practice amp with no FX and though a more meatier 250W PA utilising 3 Multi FX units (BOSS GT-100, Zoom G5 and a Line 6 POD 2.0). Outstanding tone quality and the in/out phase switches are amazing.

Finally I hooked it up to the Amplitube BM rig - enough said - stunning.

I would thoroughly recommend this guitar and would strongly advise any buyers to purchase direct from BMG.

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Perfect guitar but the delivery gave me problems
25 March 2021  | 

The guitar is absolutely perfect, well made and stunning in its looks.

It also arrived earlier than I thought.

The only issue I had was with the delivery system - I had NO clue that I should have paid a customs duty at such a high price (I rarely buy from the UK), as I got the mail from DHL during the night and no one warned me about it. Plus, if i couldn't pay, they would have sent the guitar back.

Anyway, apart from this little inconvenience, I am very very happy!!

I suggest writing about the customs duty thing on the website, if that's possible, it would be helpful!

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As explained on the SHOPPING BASKET and CUSTOMER SUPPORT PAGE pages, since Brexit, supplies of product to the European Union are now zero-rated for UK VAT/sales tax.

The 'Worldwide' prices for all BMG products therefore now apply to ALL purchases outside the UK and include a 20% tax-free export discount for all international customers.

However, before delivery, customers across the EU are advised that they will need to pay standard VAT/sales tax for their order, according to the rules in their own country (plus a modest local customs clearance charge, over which we have no control).

Effectively, for EU customers, the final price should therefore be equivalent to purchasing the product in their own country.

A great guitar!
15 September 2020  | 

I finally saved enough to buy this guitar and I am not sorry! The guitar is beautifully made and the size, weight and colour are just perfect. I am very happy with this guitar! Thank you for a great device!

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

Great guitar! Great customer service!
26 August 2020  | 

Simply wonderful!!!

I'm not a professional but I found the sound of this guitar extraordinary. What a wonderful sensation playing 'Hammer to Fall' or 'One Vision' with the Queen sound. This guitar has a great power. I have a USA Fender Stratocaster but it will remain in the case for a long time, thanks to the BMG Special.

Quick and fast shipment, and a very friendly customer care ready to answer to my questions.

I'm totally satisfied. Money well spent.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

Wonderful guitar
13 February 2020  | 

It's a real wonderful guitar. Great sound paired with stunning looks. The fretboard is really good and fast. Totally worth it!

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Fully meets my expectations
15 January 2020  | 

The guitar I purchased fully meets my expectations and I am satisfied with it. The only small flaw in my opinion is the connection of the cable which easily tends to disconnect.

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Finally getting to play left-handed on a beautiful guitar!
22 August 2019  | 

I had decided to bite the bullet and start playing left-handed (as it should be). After doing some research, I decided to go with this lovely left-handed model from BMG.

Purchasing was a breeze and shipping was mind-bogglingly quick. The only surprise was a modest tax collected by the shipper at the last minute. Not a big deal, and I don't mind paying a legitimate tax, but was just surprised.

Having said that, the guitar and case were beautifully packaged Within minutes I was up-and-running. The feel of the guitar is first-rate, and so far the sound is great (discounting my gorilla-like playing).

BMG has done a great job here, offering a capable instrument at a sane price. Gleefully recommended.

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Apologies if having to pay import tax/custom duties came as a surprise... we do highlight this fact on our customer support page HERE.

Until a post-EU UK manages to sucessfully negotiate one of those magic, tariff-free trade deals with the USA and the rest of the world that Brexit advocates promise, such charges will always be due on purchases from Brian May Guitars.

13 August 2019  | 

The purchasing process on your website was very easy and straightforward. I was very impressed. As soon as I opened the package, I immediately realized it was a high quality guitar.

I just hope I can do it the justice it deserves.

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A 43 year dream is finally realized...
17 July 2019  | 

From the time I heard my first Queen album back in the early 70's, I have dreamed of having a Red Special of my very own. A lifetime later, now that my children are all grown up, I decided to order one of these beauties. It made its way across the pond to me in Canada unscathed and I felt like a child in a candy store opening up the box to stare in awe at what I now finally held in my hands. With a few moments of setup I was ready to play... so I did.

Wow... this guitar is FIERCE! I can hardly find the words to describe the growl that I can pull out of this beast, but with the flick of the wrist I can tame her and turn the guttural rasp into a delicate whisper or a soaring aria. Hands down, this is the most versatile instrument I have ever had the pleasure to play, and I will treasure it for as long as I live.

I wish this guitar had been available 40 years ago when I was playing guitars in a few local bands instead of the Strat that, in truth, did the job for me, but doesn't hold a candle to the versatility of this instrument.

Thank you Dr. May for making this available to the common man, and for the stellar job you have done in designing and creating such an exquisite example of a guitar that can only be classified as a functional work of art. Your attention to detail and dedication to perfection is unparalleled, and greatly appreciated. Keep up the great work!

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

Killer special - guaranteed to blow your mind
13 June 2019  | 

Had my Special about a month now and it’s playing beautifully with a ‘killer’ range of tones. The neck feels gorgeous with a really nice playing action. Overall the build quality is of a very high quality and in my opinion far outweighs its price point.

BMG were very helpful throughout the ordering and delivery process, keeping me updated with delivery timescales and tracking info, making the whole buying experience very easy and assured.

Thank you to all at BMG for a great guitar.

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One happy boy!
07 February 2018  | 

My son was so happy to receive his guitar last Friday .... he's 15 years old and this has been such a goal of his to purchase the guitar, and he did it, with his own hard work and determination. It is such a beautiful guitar, the hard protective case is of fine quality. Cannot fault. it will be treasured for years to come. Thank you so much, Brian May Guitars.

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7 of 7 people found this review helpful.