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
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In Stock • Immediate Despatch  

In Stock • Immediate Despatch

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Elites ''Science Of Sound'' Acoustic Guitar StringsElites "Science Of Sound" Acoustic Guitar 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 Red, Black, Red Stripe & Beige - Please be sure to make your choice when you check out!


This special offer applies to new purchases of the classic Antique Cherry flavour BMG Special and currently in-stock LE Series variants.

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

Very special
Monday, 17 February 2020  | 

This guitar sounds absolutely "special". I LOVE IT. Thanks to the factory who built this guitar for me. It is absolutely perfect. Wonderful colour, it stays perfectly in tune, and you can work with the tremolo system without straying out of tune. THANK YOU ENGLAND/KOREA FOR THIS WONDERFUL GUITAR!

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful.

Monday, 3 February 2020  | 

Quality and finish on top. Sounds and plays great. Very nice neck. Recommend other payers to try this unique guitar.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

I got my old lady!
Friday, 31 January 2020  | 

I got a BMG in my dream. It was more beautiful than I thought and smelled great . I think the combination with VOX was amazing, and the "Screaming Tone" was almost perfect. Unfortunately, there is too much noise in the out of phase tone using neck pick-up and middle pick-up. I think I need to work on the ground separately. Now I'll try to set up a Treble Booster.

I thank Dr. Brian May for creating a great guitar and inspiring me to use it.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful.

A fine unity of unique design and modern technology
Monday, 27 January 2020  | 

The guitar is a fine unity of its unique design and modern craft; excellent for its class. Materials and components, both mechanical and electronic are pro-spec and function flawlessly. It fits and feels comfortably while playing; the sound is distinctive, rich and powerful; the instrument is a true pleasure to play with.

Customer support staff is excellent, providing professional service in a kind and elaborate manner.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful.

Downright stunning
Friday, 24 January 2020  | 

Received my BMG Special yesterday YESTERDAY. WOW! Your company is doing everything right with these guitars. I have immediately bonded with this guitar. Just a downright stunning guitar and the build quality and playability rivals guitars that cost 3x as much. I will be saving for another one.

Please thank Dr. May for making his guitar model available.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful.

I'm in love with my guitar, gotta feel for my BMG!
Thursday, 16 January 2020  | 

So happy with my purchase, this beautiful guitar looks and feels amazing, the craftsmanship is second-to-none and the photos don't do it justice!

The staff were helpful, very professional and answered all my questions!

I highly recommend this stunning guitar to everyone!

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

Very happy
Thursday, 16 January 2020  | 

6 days to arrive from London to South Australia - Outstanding! Upon opening the box I was astounded with the build quality and finish, playability is a bit off at the moment, hard to keep in tune, possibly because the guitar is still quite young. but overall very happy, thanks Brian for sharing your special guitar with us.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

BMG Rocks!
Wednesday, 15 January 2020  | 

Just purchased my SECOND BMG Guitar. Love it! Plays and sounds like a dream and you can feel the quality of build. It really is a fine instrument that turns heads and gets comments every time I play it.

I’m super proud of it. Thanks BMG! 😁🤘🏻

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

Thursday, 9 January 2020  | 

Great service from BMG. Guitar is well-made, neck feels awesome, and it sounds just amazing.

Arrived unharmed in a very nice package.

I'm so happy that I'm finally able to have this beauty at home! Thanks!

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

I absolutely love this guitar!
Monday, 6 January 2020  | 

I don't know how to review this guitar without sounding like an endorsee.

The guitar arrived very well packaged and played well straight out of the box. I did read that purchasers had to do a lot of setup work upon arrival but it was not the case for me and I live in Australia.

The guitar sounds great, the tone versatility is quite something. Although I enjoy Brian May's playing, I didn't want his sound - Ironic I know. My intention was to have a versatile guitar as I do enjoy a lot of sound experimentation and it delivers.

I use an Axe Fx through a standard monitor as an amp, which gives me tons of versatility and the guitar responds well. I wouldn't say metal is its thing, but you have room for loads of creativity if you have the right gear.

Some have mentioned that it's hard to get a good clean tone, again I had no issue. It could be another gear-related issue, not a guitar problem.

In terms of it being a quality instrument, it is very well made, no doubt about it. I was hesitant at first in purchasing because I was put off by the marketing and replica advertising, it just sounded too gimmicky, but this is not the case. This is a great guitar, and a very well made guitar at that. Just like your Gibsons, Fenders and other labels I can throw at you. It sounds nothing like these guitars but that's not why you hear!

I absolutely love this guitar!

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful.

Excellent for every guitarist
Thursday, 2 January 2020  | 

Brilliant - my grandson Freddie has not stoped playing it ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

AWESOME! (natch)
Wednesday, 1 January 2020  | 

Was a gift to hubby so he gets to review :

“Obviously the coolest guitar EVER and does not disappoint. Looks the part and sounds the part but with the extra Reverse polarity option on the pickups. Has inspired me to learn properly and get rid of bad habits which is one of the reasons I wanted this experience.

I’m getting a bit of what seems to be stickyness on the neck but I think that might be my playing and will prob be resolved with some guitar-neck-oil magic glitter stuff.

Anyway, so looking forward to the free Queen concert with every Special... kidding! That would give a rating of a billion Rhapsodies!!”

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

Beyond fantastic
Thursday, 26 December 2019  | 

Sorry for the delay in getting back to you re my purchase experience with Brian May Guitars. I purchased the BMG Special for my niece, who is a huge Queen fan, as a Christmas present so I had to wait until Christmas day.

She was so excited and was very much taken by surprise. We've never seen her that excited to the point where she was speechless. Wait, I take that back, she was like this when Brian May reposted her picture on his Instagram when Queen came to Pittsburgh.

Now to business : My experience with Brian May Guitars was beyond great. Your customer service and response time to my questions was beyond fantastic and to that end I want to thank Dave and the other members of your team that I had the great opportunity to interact with during this process.

Thank you guys again for making this the most pleasant purchase that I've ever had. We're totally satisfied and my niece is definitely on cloud nine and has not let the BMG Special out of her sight. We think she even slept with it.

I can't say it enough, you guys are GREAT!!

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

A GREAT guitar
Saturday, 21 December 2019  | 

WOW !!! This is what came to my mind, when i got the message that my package had arrived after only 5 days. The guitar came in perfect shape, and tuned!

After carefully opening the package i could think of nothing else but - WOW.
A GREAT Guitar

Thanks !

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

Friday, 20 December 2019  | 

I’ve wanted to buy this guitar for some time now, however the high price tag didn’t encourage me to purchase. I am a huge Brian May fan and love the unique sounds that no other guitar can replicate. After some thought, I decided to purchase this guitar as a present for myself. I am so happy with the build quality, finish, sound, etc. - I can list so many positive things about this guitar.

I encourage anyone who is a Brian may fan to buy this guitar as you won’t be disappointed.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

Thank you!
Thursday, 12 December 2019  | 

I just wanted to thank all of you for my Red Special and all the other goodies I got to go with it. I don't do the Facebook or Twitter things, and I'm pretty sure you aren't really active on Ravelry (hey I'm a knitter, and there IS a knitting needle on the original's tremolo bar!), so I wanted to email you this thank you note.

The guitar was a retirement gift from me to me, and I am enjoying learning to play it. I figured even Brian May started at zero, and it took him a few years to get pretty good at it 😉. I promise you that it has come to a good home and will be well loved by a very happy old lady in Denver, Colorado, USA... Thanks again

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

Thoroughly fantastic from start to finish
Tuesday, 10 December 2019  | 

Unbelievable service from BMG, and in particular Barry, who took ownership of a small concern I had.

Oh... and of course, the instrument surpasses my expectations, ultra quality build, didn’t even need a setup.

In summary - you NEED to own one of these guitars... RIGHT NOW!

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful.

Excellent guitar
Monday, 2 December 2019  | 

Great guitar. Looks to be well-made. Action is very nice and neck feels great. I am very happy. Thanks Brian!

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

The best guitar
Friday, 22 November 2019  | 

Hello, and thanks to you. I am very satisfied with my purchase at home. The BMG Special is really a great guitar. See you soon on your site for a future purchase.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful.

Exceeds all expectations.
Friday, 22 November 2019  | 

My BMG Special arrived well packed and unharmed. She is a beauty visually. Her sound is wonderful and exceeds my expectations. Her tight strings and narrow fingerboard make her very easy to play and the settings leave nothing to be desired. I am very happy to be able to play her.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful.

Read all 197 customer reviews...