The BMG Special • Antique Cherry

The BMG Special • Antique Cherry
 The BMG Special • Antique CherryThe BMG Special • Antique Cherry 
List Price :  £825.00UK/EU Discount Price :  £725.00 Inc. 20% VATSave :  £100.00Export Price - USA • Australia • Worldwide : £604.17

Availability :  

In Stock • Immediate Despatch  

In Stock • Immediate Despatch

BMG Custom Guitar CableBMG Custom Guitar Cable
The BMG Studio StoolThe BMG Studio Stool
AmpliTube Brian May • DownloadAmpliTube Brian May • Download
BMG Custom Guitar Strap • RedBMG Custom Guitar Strap • Red
BMG Custom Guitar Strap • Red StripeBMG Custom Guitar Strap • Red Stripe
BMG Custom Guitar Strap • BlackBMG Custom Guitar Strap • Black
BMG Custom Guitar Strap • BeigeBMG Custom Guitar Strap • Beige
BMG Polo Shirt • Light BlueBMG Polo Shirt • Light Blue
BMG Classic T-Shirt • Heather IndigoBMG Classic T-Shirt • Heather Indigo
Official BMG Shirt • Exclusive Design By Brian MayOfficial BMG Shirt • Exclusive Design By Brian May
Official BMG ''Hold Everything'' WaistcoatOfficial BMG "Hold Everything" Waistcoat
Brian May Guitars Signature G7th CapoBrian May Guitars Signature G7th Capo
Optima 24K Gold BM Signature StringsOptima 24K Gold BM Signature Strings

This month, keep calm, stay healthy & rock the lockdown with a brand new Brian May Guitars Special, complete with a FREE BMG CUSTOM STRAP (worth £54.50).

Elegant, environmentally friendly, practical, super-comfortable and built to last, these superb, handmade, 100% vegan signature straps feature durable, lightweight construction, non-slip, sweat-wicking microfibre lining, a unique easy adjustment system, and double pick/sixpence holder.

Brian May Guitars Custom Straps are completely free of animal product, with every aspect of their construction and composition guaranteed animal cruelty-free.

Available in a choice of colours - please be sure to make your choice when you check out!Promotion available strictly while stocks last.

Applies to new purchases of the classic Antique Cherry BMG Special plus currently in-stock LE Series variants.
Offer does not apply to purchases of B-Stock items.

"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 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 + Tone (500k) with BM Replica, Lathe-Turned, Billet Stock, Aluminium Control Knobs
Bridge Wilkinson WVP Knife Edge Tremolo (36mm Block) with Brass Saddles
Tremolo Arm 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 EXL120 Nickel Wound Super Light • Plain Steel .009 - .011 - .016 • Wound .024 - .032 - .042
Included Extras Premium Quality Gig Bag with Stitched BMG Logo - Length 108cm (42.5") • Width : 42cm (16.5") 
Options (additional cost) Moulded, Impact Resistant, Plush Lined Hiscox "Liteflite" BMG Custom Fitted Hard 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 :

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

This guitar conjures up the magical sound of Queen
Thursday, 25 June 2020  | 

On June 22nd, 2020 I got this beautiful guitar in Freistadt (Austria). The BMG is brilliantly made and the color antique cherry is just beautiful. The sound of this BMG is brilliant, and I only play on my Katana MKII. As a pick, I ordered a sixpence coin on Ebay to appreciate Brian's guitar art. Thanks, Brian May for the opportunity to receive this BMG. God save the queen - rock on! Best regards, Joe

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

One beautiful guitar!!
Monday, 22 June 2020  | 

My guitar finally arrived on Thursday. I have to say it is one beautiful guitar!! I wanted to take time to thank all of the staff at BMG for the quick shipping and also the packing of the guitar!! The guitar strap is amazing, and also the gig bag!! Cheers to you all!!

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5 of 5 people found this review helpful.

The best guitar I have played.
Tuesday, 2 June 2020  | 

The neck on the guitar is super comfortable for me. It sounds amazing and it is so versatile. Extremely good guitar for the money, a five out of five.

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Well done... a beautiful guitar
Friday, 29 May 2020  | 

I’ve had an eye on acquiring a Red Special guitar for years and under these unusual global circumstances I could focus on things not otherwise possible.

I am very impressed by the build quality and the feel of this guitar as I’ve adjusted it to my playing style. Also pleasantly surprised to receive in excellent order my RS in just under 5 days (from the UK, customs to Vancouver Canada).

The promptness and professional responses from Dave Good and Gill Moorhouse shows their care towards what they do. Many thanks to Dr. May, BMG and House Music. Thumbs up also to the included custom strap and the flexible fantastic sounds of AmpliTube Brian May.

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Best birthday present ever
Wednesday, 27 May 2020  | 

According to my husband this was the "best birthday present ever". He loves it... did I say he loves it!!!!

The guitar arrived within 3 days after I placed the order (we live in the US) in perfect condition.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

Miracle has come
Monday, 25 May 2020  | 

For the first time in my life, I saved myself money and bought a guitar! It's really a miracle that it's such a great guitar!

I am practicing hard with the help of an instrument store! The clerk of the musical instrument shop was also happy to hear that the guitar had a great tone when he tried BMG.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

Friday, 22 May 2020  | 

I'll just quote my daughter, to whom it was a present : "It's the best present ever!"

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Efficient shipping, constant updates and beautiful guitar!
Monday, 18 May 2020  | 

I would recommend this company and the BMG Special guitar 100%. It took just three days to arrive from the UK to Germany and the updates and progress of the shipping was sent via email and text so you know exactly what's happening and when it will be delivered.

The guitar was delivered well packed and I opted for the soft case. This case in itself, despite being included, is VERY well made, comes with extra to clean to add to the guitar and has the logo and signature on the front of the bag. I like that it doesn't open all the way down to the end of the case - this avoids the guitar to fall out and get damaged (only the side opens and you can slot it in). It comes with straps to carry it like a backpack or just the side handle if you prefer. What can I say about the guitar? Well, it's perfect.

The wood is beautiful and the pickups are out of this world - picking up strings individually and totally changing the tone. The guitar is so easy to play and I love the extra frets and the lightness of the strings. For me, it has that distinct "Brian May" sound even if you don't have the proper gear (Vox amp, pedals etc). I also got the free strap and it's incredible - the best I've ever had. The pick holders are super useful and I love the material (vegan leather) - you wouldn't know the difference. It's super comfortable as well. Overall, it's my favourite electric so far and I will treasure it. It's a work of art. Thank you very much!

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful.

I couldn't be happier
Friday, 15 May 2020  | 

I couldn't be happier, the guitar is everything I expected and more. I was a bit concerned with a guitar coming all the way from London to the US but it made it safely. It has become my favorite guitar and I will enjoy playing it forever.

Thanks Brian for making it possible to own a piece of rock history so we can make our own. Oh, and other than a quick tune this guitar was set up perfectly. The action was also perfect! Bravo! Gentleman!

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful.

Even better than I dared dream!
Friday, 15 May 2020  | 

This guitar is the best guitar I have ever played. Not only is it a brilliant replica of my hero's guitar, it is a magnificent guitar in its own right. The finish is spectacular, the action is light and low, it holds tuning, the tremolo is perfect... and the sound! Brian is in there... I love it.

Also only took 8 days to get from London to my house in Australia. Only thing I'm annoyed about is that I waited until I was 47 to buy one

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful.

Flawless Antique Cherry
Thursday, 7 May 2020  | 

Reaching out to express my gratitude. I just recently received my guitar, and I cannot begin to say how excited I was to hear it was being delivered especially during a worldwide crisis. I was blown away.

This package made it from London to Cleveland in 3 days without one scratch on the outside box. Amazing. But WOW once I opened... I was so surprised by the quality and workmanship put into this instrument. Truly outstanding. As a longtime fan of Queen Music and the unique sound of Brian's Red Special, this guitar will forever be part of me, my home and family. Special thanks go out to those involved in making this all happen - Barry Moorhouse & Gill Moorhouse in Sales; David Good the communicator on the Social Media Team and, of course, Brian May.

Flawless transaction with so much happening right now. In conclusion. if anyone is a big fan like me and interested in a guitar, these are the guys to go to. Don't settle for anything less. The kindness from this BMG Team goes along way.

With Sincere Appreciation, Jim D Macedonia Ohio USA
Best Wishes, guys. Keep healthy!

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

Monday, 4 May 2020  | 

I was lucky enough to get a Brian May signed one from the KJA 2020 tour promotion. This is a very very very good guitar. The playability is amazingly smooth and the various pickup/phase combinations make for many tone combinations. The Grover locking machine heads are really great, the finish is beautiful, and the guitar certainly has a top end feel to it.

Since this one is signed I don't want to play it much though, to preserve the beautiful signature. But I will probably get me another one soon!

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Love the versatility
Monday, 4 May 2020  | 

Received the guitar recently. It beats my expectations with great playability. Love the versatility with the pickup switching. Really nice hard case with the guitar, although the soft case was really usable.

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Stunning guitar
Wednesday, 29 April 2020  | 

I'd read a few reviews of the BMG Special online, watched the obligatory YouTube demonstrations, and decided that, being a fan of Queen and Brian May for 40 years, it was time to try the guitar, so ordered online.

First surprise was how quickly it arrived, but the second was how well it played straight out of the box, quick tune up was all it needed.

I play in a covers band and we do a few Queen songs, so I tried these first and I was not disappointed. The sound and tone from this guitar is so close to the original it is absolutely amazing. I normally play a Les Paul and all of mine have the slim '60s neck so the BMG Special neck feels "normal", making it as easy to play as the guitars I am used to, but it's the sounds that it can create that really make probably the most versatile guitar I have ever owned (even better than the old 70's Shergold Masquerader that I should never have sold!). It might even get a play in my Lizzy tribute as well........
As guitars go, this is a relatively inexpensive guitar even including the hard case. The finish is excellent, the frets are perfect and the tremolo and locking tuners work really well. I am very impressed and extremely pleased with the purchase.

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1 of 2 people found this review helpful.

Love it!
Monday, 27 April 2020  | 

Been a fan Queen and Brian May forever and wanted a Red Special for a long time. Watching Brian on his Instgram mini-concertos inspired me to play again. So glad to have finally pulled the trigger!

The quality of the guitar is great, it's a gorgeous instrument and the sound is awesome. Brian's switch system is different than a Fender of a Les Paul but there are great resources including here on the website that show examples of switch settings. The easiest way is just to play with them and figure out what sound you like.

Another thing that I love is the guitar is great at all styles (not just Queen style) so you can rock out to Queen or AC/DC or Metallica or whatever. Possibilities are endless!

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Excellent service
Sunday, 26 April 2020  | 

The counselor was very kind. And he takes care of things quickly. I used Translator because I can't English well so I was wrong in grammar, but the counselor understood them all.

I bought - all I have left is waiting for my signed BMG • KJA 2020.

Thank you, counselors.

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The Special is awesome!
Friday, 24 April 2020  | 

I simply love the tone and the unparalleled playability of this super fine guitar. It is absolutely top value for money. It is completely different from my Strat, Tele, LP, PRS etc. My other guitars have hardly been touched since I receive my Special.

The service and communication from BMG Guitars is very quick and super friendly. (Thanks to Gill Moorhouse!

The only very minor issue could a slicht string buzz on the low E and A strings when fretted from abt. the 12th to the 15th fret. I increased the action a bit, but the higher action does diminish the ' feel' a bit. Maybe BMG cab help met out a little on that. Thanks

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Totally worth the cost
Tuesday, 21 April 2020  | 

This is a very high quality guitar (as I would expect, with Brian May using one while he is quarantined at home). My daughter has been saving up for one since she started working, and was within a hundred dollars of having enough when we decided to purchase it for her as a reward for working so hard on school, at her job, and on learning to play (4 different ukuleles, electric guitar, acoustic guitar, and bass guitar - all since June of last year). The look on her face when it was delivered was worth every penny.

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A fantastic instrument
Friday, 17 April 2020  | 

This guitar is truly one of the best sounding, most unique, and versatile guitars ever made. I own many classic vintage guitars – they all have their personality, however the Brian May Special is truly special. It's a fantastic instrument, like no other in character and play-ability. For rock music, I think it stands out as the best rock voice of all guitars. The guitar was well set up when I received it. Shipping was fast and the staff I talked with were great!

Oh yes, and thank you, Brian for bringing this wonderful instrument, affordably, to the public!!!

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Monday, 13 April 2020  | 

Loving it! the guitar is amazing!


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