The BMG Special • Antique Cherry

The BMG Special • Antique Cherry
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The BMG Special • Antique CherryThe BMG Special • Antique CherryThe BMG Special • Antique Cherry
List Price :  £845.00Worldwide Price : £620.83
UK Price :  £745.00 Inc. 20% VAT
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Availability :  

Pre-Order Now • Available 29/10/2021   

Pre-Order Now • Available 29/10/2021

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"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

The result of a unique collaboration between Dr. 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 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 strikingly modern look to the BMG Special as well as delivering smooth, comfortable performance with 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.

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 Bookmatched Mahogany Top
Binding 6-Ply Pinstripe, Front + Back
Neck 1-Piece Mahogany
Finish Gloss
Truss Rod Dual Action (440mm)
Fingerboard Macassar 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 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 "Wave" 2-Point 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 PPS (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 (Approximate) 3.2kg (7lb)
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.

Tone

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!

Conclusion

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

Rating:  
Queen dream come true
Tuesday, 19 October 2021  | 

When the new BMG Special arrived I was super excited. Workmanship of the guitar is perfect. It almost looks better than Brian’s original one (just kidding). Love the six switches between the three pickups and after watching Brian May’s YouTube tutorial video I had a better understanding what these switches can do.

Efficient customer service, fast delivery and excellent product. Who wants to live forever? I am sure this guitar will. Thanks again for such an iconic guitar.

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Rating:  
Fabulous
Tuesday, 12 October 2021  | 

Fabulous guitar, not just for Queen covers. Great all rounder, just surprised it flies under the radar. Love it.

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Rating:  
Loving it
Tuesday, 12 October 2021  | 

Very well built guitar. Loving it. Delivery was surprisingly fast. Thanks

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Rating:  
Superb support
Thursday, 23 September 2021  | 

We met a few weeks ago when I popped into the workshop to drop off my son Rhys’ BMG Special, which had developed a pickup issue.

He has been playing it relentlessly for the past 8 weeks and I thought you’d appreciate knowing that (of course) everything is fine with the guitar.

I also wanted to thank you and the team at House Music for being so friendly, helpful and accommodating; I really enjoyed meeting everyone and hearing your advice.

I hope everyone there remains well and that business is good.

Thanks again for the superb support - I hope I’ll have the chance to order from you again in the future.

Kind Regards,

Paul

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful.


Rating:  
Exceptional service
Wednesday, 22 September 2021  | 

Just to say my BMG arrived safe and well yesterday morning!

Exceptional service - UK to Cyprus, door-to-door, in 5 days!!!

The guitar is perfectly set up, other than tuning I have not had to touch it - even the strap didn’t need lengthening.

Great value guitar. Thanks for your help.

Yours sincerely
Stuart Lawrence, Tala, Paphos, Cyprus

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful.


Rating:  
The Brian experience
Wednesday, 22 September 2021  | 

As a lifelong Queen fan and having recently upgraded my studio to have a 'red' theme (wall carpets, coke fridge, etc), I was lying in bed and it hit me like a thunderbolt of lightning (very, very frightening), you've GOT to get the Red Special, man! Whipped out the phone, ordered and began the waiting game. It took a few days to arrive but by the time it did I was beside myself with excitement.

The guitar itself comes with a soft case of reasonable quality. It's not a 'flight' case, you should look to Mono for that, but sturdy enough for general throw over the shoulder moments. It also arrived with a complimentary 'Brian' strap, which is 100% vegan (if you like eating straps) and has handy little slots on the front section for plectrums and sixpences (yes, they fit!)

The Red itself is exactly what you expect it to be. It retains the homemade feel of the original but shines and sparkles as you lift it out of the case into the sun. The cherry red is GORGEOUS! Weight is well balanced, the neck hanging at about 6-7 degrees on the horizontal plane. There are six switches, two for each pickup, that allows you to switch in and out of phase, delivering some great tone options. Strings are fed through a slot on the underside, but I've not restrung it yet, so can't comment on the ease of doing so. The trem arm assembly isn't on a par with Floyd Rose but retains tuning well, as are the tuning heads, which look pretty basic, honouring the original design I would assume. I'm kinda glad it has the honesty and integrity of the original, though.

The price is pretty decent for what you're getting, as this could have been a fan rip-off easily double the price. In line with the 'music is for everyone' approach of Brian, it seems the price is kept deliberately within budget to suit all demographics.

Can you get it to sound like Brian though, Michael?! Well, I"m using a Kemper system, so downloaded a few profiles that apparently would match Brian's sound. They didn't. I did find a few pre-installed ones that were pretty close to his rig, though, so, with sixpence in hand I set up a delay and attempted to his Brighton Rock solo. It was pretty darned close! bear in mind, there's a reason why Brian May sounds like Brian May. Coz he is. And you're not. I've learned to mimic his style over the years, but like any impersonator, you never fully get there. However, armed with the Red, you get as close as you possibly can.

Overall, I'd say this guitar might not be for everyone, but it does play beautifully and is an astonishingly good tribute to one of the most original guitars ever created with love by a father and son. xx

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful.


Rating:  
Excellent!
Wednesday, 1 September 2021  | 

The best guitar I've ever seen! Powerful sound! I love it! Beautiful case and well set-up!

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Rating:  
Very good service
Monday, 23 August 2021  | 

I'm more than pleased with the Red Special... she's the most versatile guitar I ever owned and she is very well crafted. Many thanks to Brian who created such a beautiful guitar and made it possible that we can buy a copy of his Red Special.

And many thanks to you all for the very good service!

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Rating:  
Géniale!
Monday, 23 August 2021  | 

Cette guitare est un rêve, fan de Brian May, j'ai beaucoup réfléchi avant de l'acheter, et je ne regrette pas du tout, la guitare est magnifique et très bien finie, le manche est un peu plus large et bas et demande donc un temps d'adaptation mais une fois celui ci passé, c'est que du bonheur, le son des micros est génial, typiquement celui attendu, et le vibrato flottant est lui aussi génial, si vous en rêvez aussi, alors foncez vous ne serez pas déçu!

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Rating:  
5 stars are very few... 10 star!!
Wednesday, 18 August 2021  | 

Perfect purchase... The BMG is a fantastic guitar... a guitar with attention to detail, with quality materials... Excellent electronics... Perfect sales network that follows everything step by step and is always present to meet every need... Great... Great Brian May.

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Rating:  
Great guitar!
Friday, 13 August 2021  | 

Enjoying it very much.

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Rating:  
An amazing addition to my Queen collection
Friday, 6 August 2021  | 

As my first guitar, it is not easy to give a comparison. Feels good quality, sounds great, and is an amazing addition to my Queen collection.
Incredible talking point when people see it, as it is uniquely recognisable as a Brian May.

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Rating:  
So helpful
Monday, 2 August 2021  | 

Hello from Scotland! Thank you so much for letting me know that the RS is on her way! This morning I phoned the shop and your technician was so helpful... thank you for this too.

I will recommend BMG whenever I can.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful.


Rating:  
Amazing
Monday, 2 August 2021  | 

It's got to be said, but you have the best customer service I have ever known. Absolutely amazing. 😁 Many Thanks.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful.


Rating:  
Marvellous to play
Friday, 23 July 2021  | 

I am extremely pleased with my BMG Special which arrived safely in New Zealand having been shipped from the UK. It was very well packed and undamaged.

On opening the package, the guitar needed just a slight re-tune and was ready to play. I was also pleased that the intonation was correct and needed no adjustment. Similarly the fretboard height is set up properly and no adjustments were required to the truss rod.

It is a beautiful guitar and marvelous to play. The only comment I would make is that there were no instructions with the guitar, i.e. fitting of the tremolo arm (I did go onto the BMG website and found the video which showed, among other things, how to fit and secure). The accessories, along with the allen, Keys also includes a large spring but as yet I have not been able to find out what the spring is for.

All in all I am very, very happy with my purchase and would highly recommend. Five stars in my book. I now just need to learn how to play!!

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Response:

An additional spring is provided with every BMG Special should customers wish to swap the factory fitted (9 guage) strings out for a heavier gauge and need to re-balance the tension on the tremolo.


Rating:  
Awesome guitar
Monday, 19 July 2021  | 

Very pleased with the overall purchase experience. Very good information updates and on-time shipping and delivery.

Everything arrived well packaged and protected. The guitar is truly amazing, the tone and playability was very good straight out of the box and the quality and finishing detail are superb, especially on the neck and fretwork - better than some higher priced guitars from other well known brands.

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Rating:  
Great Guitar
Saturday, 17 July 2021  | 

Very pleased with my purchase - this is just an excellent guitar, and definitely not just for Queen songs. The range of sounds from the selector switches is amazing. The initial setup from the factory is spot on making the guitar very easy to play. I like the fact that you can switch from a fat, full humbucker sound to single coil Fender style sound very easily. In short, “Chuffed to bits”!

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Rating:  
Superb Instrument
Monday, 12 July 2021  | 

It is a masterpiece. It exceeded my expectations in every way. Of all the guitars I own, this one became my favorite. Thank you for the privilege of owning such a gem.

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Rating:  
BMG to Melbourne
Saturday, 10 July 2021  | 

Very happy with the BMG - strings very easy to bend (zero fret?), amazing how many different sounds with the switching system, tremolo a lot of fun.

VERY good quality all round and no hassle shipping to australia.The $300 import duty is the only other thing to consider if you want this versatile guitar.

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Rating:  
Excellent
Friday, 9 July 2021  | 

An excellent quality instrument for the price - you will not find better.

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