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Brian May Guitars Brian May Signature Electric Guitar  Antique Cherry

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The Brian May Signature Electric Guitar features an acoustically chambered mahogany body, a dual truss rod mahogany neck, and ebony fingerboard. The ...Read More

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Antique Cherry  
  • 3-Color

    $849.99 Top Rated

    In stock

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  • Antique Cherry

    $849.99 Top Rated

    In stock

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  • Black

    $849.99 Top Rated

    Ships By 8/12/16

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OVERVIEW

Improved and refined replica of Red Special.

The Brian May Signature Electric Guitar features an acoustically chambered mahogany body, a dual truss rod mahogany neck, and ebony fingerboard. The pickups are Tri-Sonics that Brian sealed in Araldite adhesive to prevent microphonic feedback inherent with metal covered pickups. These are controlled by the original Brian May switching system with individual on/off and phase switches, one volume and one tone pot.

The Brian May guitar is faithful to the spirit of Brian's original 'Red Special', an instrument that has achieved iconic status and a unique place in rock history, and designed by Brian May himself. The Brian May Special is a stunning guitar, blessed with superb build quality, awesome playability and an astonishingly rich diversity of killer tones. In fact, it delivers everything you'd expect from an instrument built to the exacting standards of one of the world's greatest guitarists but, in keeping with Brian's vision of a "guitar for the people", with an amazingly affordable price-tag that belies its superior appointments and performance.

Without question one of the most eagerly anticipated instruments of the century. The original BMG replica was originally launched in winter 2001 to rapturous critical and public acclaim. UK Guitarist magazine hailed it as "Best Guitar of The Year" and theater audiences around the globe thrilled to the guitar's sound in performance in the Queen musical "We Will Rock You."

But the story certainly didn't end there. Brian, his long-standing guitar technician Pete Malandrone, and Barry Moorehouse of House Music have significantly improved upon the guitar's overall construction as well as refining the bridge assembly, electronics, finishing and color choices. Simply put, one of the finest artist-designed production guitars is now even better.

Check the drop-down menu to the right to select colors and/or other options.

FEATURES
  • Mahogany body (with acoustic chamber), Pinstripe binding, two-piece scratchplate
  • Mahogany neck, 24" scale (Depth: 22mm at 1st Fret - 24mm at 12th Fret)
  • 24 fret, Ebony fingerboard (Width: 45mm at 0 Fret - 57mm at 24th Fret)
  • Grover GH305 locking tuners, Dual truss rod, Graphite nut,
  • New bridge, brass saddles, Brian May custom tremolo arm
  • 3 x Burns Tri-Sonic pickups (series wired)
  • Master volume/tone controls
  • Original Brian May switching system:
  • Individual pickup in/out phase

Break free with the Brian May Signature guitar! Order today.

Reviews
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Review Snapshot

by PowerReviews
Brian May GuitarsBrian May Signature Electric Guitar
 
4.7

(based on 106 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (87)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (9)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (4)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (6)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

97%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Good feel (31)
  • Good tone (31)
  • Fun to play (30)
  • Good pick up (30)
  • Solid electronics (27)

Cons

  • Fret buzz (3)

Best Uses

  • Jamming (28)
  • Practicing (27)
  • Recording (26)
  • Rock concerts (25)
  • Small venues (18)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Experienced (22), Professional musician (11)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

An AMAZING guitar thats not for everyone

I bought my first BMG about a year and a half ago, a black and gold model. I have to say the first thing I noticed taking the guitar out of the gig bag...Read complete review

I bought my first BMG about a year and a half ago, a black and gold model. I have to say the first thing I noticed taking the guitar out of the gig bag ( that it comes with) is just simply how nice, well made and beautiful these guitars are. I have been playing guitar professionally for 34 years and this is a high quality instrument. I imagine that they wont be around too long and or they will start raising their prices, and no, I don't work for BMG! It's not an exact replica like some of the other models that have been made of Brian's guitar, but those models will cost you about 4K. The finish and colors are top notch and the binding and construction are beautiful. The locking tuners and tremolo work perfectly and the trem is very smooth and responsive. The neck is very wide and flat and feels great, very much like a classical guitar neck. If you look at pictures of Randy Rhoads flying V you will see the same style of neck, chunky, flat and wide. The variations of the pickup selectors will give you anything from a humbucker sound ( with the middle and bridge PU's)a strat sound ( with the neck and bridge PU's) or a tele ( Neck PU only)The out of phase options can make this guitar sound like your playing the "Whole Lotta Love" Led Zep lead guitar tones, not really too useful but interesting. The short scale will make 9's feel like 8's or 10's feel like 9's, so keep that in mind when you first go to play it. It feels like almost too easy to bend 9's on this guitar. I ended up replacing the cheaper looking tone knobs with BM replica knobs I found online which suited the look much better. You can actually buy the knobs from the BMG website now, why they don't come with the great old 70's stereo looking knobs I don't understand. I also replaced the tremolo bar with a BM replica trem you can find online as well and it looks much better. Now for the only "cons" I can find.

This guitar should flat out be sold with a Treble Booster because the PU's are very quiet and very weak, really the ONLY issue I had with this guitar. They have a nice sound to them but this guitar ( AND BM's own personal Red Special) MUST have the additional treble boost to sound like anything resembling QUEEN or a modern day "Rock" guitar sound. I imagine that this why most of these guitars get returned. No one want to replace the great "looking" PU's in this guitar and instead they just sell them. In BM's own instructional Hot Licks video he shows how without the Treble booster his guitar is dull and muddy sounding. I bought a BM treble Booster and add that to ANY distortion and your half way there to having the BM tone. Once I figured out how to make this guitar sing I bought two more, the Antique Cherry and the Gold models, both are immaculate and look great, I will never sell them. If you don't basically purchase a Treble booster WITH this guitar your going to be disappointed. I would not change out the PU's simply because they have a cover on them that is so distinctly BM that it would just look wrong. Also, if you use a Treble Booster you have to basically turn the treble on your amp either very low or off as the TB does all the work and tone shaping.

All in all: I love these guitars (obviously!) for their playability, workmanship and looks. The sound you can get out of them with any distortion is very unique ( I use them with everything from Vox amps to Mesa Boogie, Soldano Etc.)and they are not just for rock, that front single coil can get an awesome Tele tone out of it. Just remember one thing... Treble Booster, and you wont be disappointed with this guitar at all!

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Poor quality control.

I have been a huge Queen fan for 25 years and it was always my dream to own a Red Special. That dream quickly turned into a nightmare and I had to return the...Read complete review

I have been a huge Queen fan for 25 years and it was always my dream to own a Red Special. That dream quickly turned into a nightmare and I had to return the guitar. Kudos to Musician's Friend for having such an awesome return policy and great customer service.
I'm giving this a three because of the pickups and pickup configuration. There's a wide variety of tones to be had with this guitar, but the guitar itself is lacking in other areas. The horns on the upper part of the body are too shallow to make holding it on your leg comfortable when sitting. You feel like you're fighting it all the time because of balance issues. Another problem is the trem arm. It free floats in the arm hole, and if you lean the guitar forward, it'll fall out. The only remedy to this is a tiny screw underneath the trem plate at the back of the trem that is virtually invisible and nearly inaccessible.
The finish on this guitar is nice, and the locking tuners work well, but there's a big issue with quality control on these guitars. They don't come set up at all. When I got mine, I had to adjust the neck and the trem height both to get rid of fret buzz. Unfortunately, the saddle on the E string could not be pulled back far enough to intonate the string properly. I had to remove the saddle spring and pull the saddle back completely to the back of the trem to get it to intonate. Even then, the E string wouldn't stay in tune at all. It constantly would go sharp if you did any string bends or used the trem. I spent two and a half days trying to dial in and make this guitar workable, and finally just gave up and sent it back. This issue could have been discovered if there had been any proper set up done at the factory before the instruments are sent out.
With poor quality control requiring a lot of set up and potentially having trem/bridge saddle issues, I have to give this a 1.

Reviewed by 106 customers

Displaying reviews 1-10

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2.0

Waiting for my replacement shipment to process.

By Shawn

from undisclosed

Verified Buyer

Comments about Brian May Signature Electric Guitar:

In the process of returning it for a replacement. Neck pickup was no wired correctly and was loose. Other than that... a beautiful guitar.

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(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

Great Guitar, with some minor issues

By Big Willie

from Oceanside, CA

About Me Professional Musician

Verified Reviewer

Pros

  • Fun To Play
  • Good Feel
  • Good Pick Up
  • Good Tone

Cons

  • Bridge will need to be replaced
  • Poor Electronics

Best Uses

  • Jamming
  • Practicing
  • Recording
  • Rock Concerts
  • School Bands
  • Small Venues

Comments about Brian May Guitars Brian May Signature Electric Guitar:

I've had this guitar for roughly 3 years, so I've seen what it can handle and what it can pump out. For starters, it screams. Super great sounding guitar.

Unless they've since changed them since I've bought this guitar, the volume and tone pots are pretty horrendous. Started cutting in and out and getting super crackle-y not long after I bought it and had to replace them. The bridge saddles wore down pretty quick and started getting super deep burrs, no matter how often I cleaned and de-burred. Strings were breaking constantly. Bought aftermarket roller saddles and it's worked a lot better since.

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(1 of 10 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Beautiful guitar. I do not play . Just collect queen memora

By Seve the collector

from N. Fort Myers fl

About Me Novice

Verified Buyer

Comments about Brian May Guitars Brian May Signature Electric Guitar:

I do not play . Just collect queen memorabilia

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(5 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Amazing Guitar!

By RacerXF1

from Northwest Indiana

Pros

  • Fun To Play
  • Good Feel
  • Good Pick Up
  • Good Tone
  • Solid Electronics

Cons

  • None

Best Uses

  • Jamming
  • Practicing
  • Recording
  • Rock Concerts

Comments about Brian May Guitars Brian May Signature Electric Guitar:

I love this guitar. The quality out of the box is great, I set up guitars for a living and have done nothing to it, plays fine. The pickups and selector switches give you a wide range of tones. Can't stop playing this instrument, too much fun!

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(10 of 11 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

OH HAIL TO THEE BRIAN MAY GUITARS,

By wildwillie

from Joliet, IL

About Me Experienced

Pros

  • Excellent Quality Build
  • Fun To Play
  • Good Feel
  • Good Pick Up
  • Good Tone
  • Solid Electronics

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Collecting
    • Jamming
    • Practicing
    • Recording
    • Rock Concerts
    • School Bands
    • Small Venues

    Comments about Brian May Guitars Brian May Signature Electric Guitar:

    I was instantly impressed with the packaging from both Brian May guitars and musicians friend, "The 2015 calendar, Nice touch." Rich well crafted gig bag. When I removed the guitar I was amazed with the rich finish and quality construction of this well designed instrument. This guitar represents what quality builders can create, And the BMG company have surpassed their goals by creating an exceptional instrument at an affordable price. I've been playing for 42 years and I have 67 guitars of all makes & models, And know a thing or two about proper set up. From the factory this guitar is set up basic just like the ones costing five times the amount. And if you don't know the proper way to set up a guitar take it to a professional guitar technician and tell him what guage strings you prefer and what type of action you would like it set up for. You'll be very glad you did. this guitar is real easy to set up just like the ones costing five times the amount. I play thru a pedal board using the stereo plug thru two moderate solid state amps. And I can honestly say these pickups are hot. This guitar adds a whole new dimension in textured sound. And has perfect string intonation & spacing. the Brian May guitar inspires me to play longer and play better, And I'm very lucky to be able to add this jem to my collection. I just hope the BMG company is going to be around for a long time to come. Bravo to Brian May guitars great job, For an even greater experience.
    THANK YOU.

    Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

    (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    Sounds better than Guild copy.

    By Patrideskell

    from Sioux City,Iowa

    About Me Experienced

    Pros

    • Fun To Play
    • Good Feel
    • Good Pick Up
    • Good Tone
    • Solid Electronics

    Cons

    • Fret Buzz

    Best Uses

    • Jamming
    • Practicing
    • Recording
    • Rock Concerts
    • School Bands
    • Small Venues

    Comments about Brian May Guitars Brian May Signature Electric Guitar:

    Just received my new Brian May guitar 23 hours after ordering! Absolutely beautiful! Compared to my early 90's Guild Brian May w/Seymour Duncan "TriSonic" pickups,this one really gets closer to Brian's sound. My only problem found was that the low E string fretted out at the 11th fret. A quick swipe with a file took care of that. I got the antique cherry red, will probably purchase one or two more in other colors as well.

    Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

    (4 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

     
    4.0

    Get one while they still make them!

    By Guitarast

    from New York

    About Me Professional Musician

    Ask me a question

    Pros

    • Fun To Play
    • Good Feel
    • Good Pick Up
    • Good Tone

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Jamming
      • Practicing
      • Recording
      • Rock Concerts
      • School Bands
      • Small Venues

      Comments about Brian May Guitars Brian May Signature Electric Guitar:

      Amazing value for the money! This screams Queen, but can be used for literally everything.

      Pros:
      * Sounds great!
      * Sustain for days!
      * Best floating tremolo I've ever used! After using Nut Sauce doesn't go out of tune at all! The tremolo arm doesn't screw in. It just goes inside the whole, and you can tighten the little screw in the back with a supplied hex key.
      Very true to the original.
      * Lighter than a Stratocaster.

      Cons:
      * Inaccurate tremolo unit, not true to the real Red Special. The real Red Special has a knife-edge tremolo unit. The Wilkinson system on this guitar works amazingly well, minus the unsightly back plastic cover that had to be put in. In short, it's a better version of the Stratocaste synchronized tremolo. Take a plastic tip off your Strat whammy arm, and put it on this one.
      * Cheap plastic-y volume/tone knobs and pots. Everybody gets the metal knobs to replace these. I'm not that vain, but I don't really like these pots. They behave like your typical Gibson ones: Loud, Loud, Loud, Loud, silence. In other words, I wish they could dial down my guitar at around 5, which they don't.
      * The neck is wider and shorter than what most guitarists are used to. I found it much harder to vibrato with this neck. However, pay attention to what Dr. May does -- he uses the whammy bar for vibrato. This technique works very well.

      Bottom line: amazing quality instrument. Some minor upgrades can make it your number 1 instrument. It just begs to be played. I love it! Contrary to what this website says, I have a feeling this is discontinued. Get one while you still can, people!!!

      Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

      (6 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Buy this guitar while you can!

      Profile Image

      By Mike the Knife

      from Georgia

      About Me Experienced

      Ask me a question

      Pros

      • 3 Pin Strip Binding
      • Detailed Finish
      • Ebony fretboard
      • Excellent Construction
      • Fun To Play
      • Good Feel
      • Good Pick Up
      • Good Tone
      • Solid Electronics
      • Superior Design
      • Well Fitted Smooth Frets

      Cons

      • Likely To Be Discontinued

      Best Uses

      • Jamming
      • Practicing
      • Recording
      • Rock Concerts

      Comments about Brian May Guitars Brian May Signature Electric Guitar:

      I have seen Queen many times, starting in mid 70's at SMU Moody coliseum. First off, the negative reviewers on this guitar are bringing up how they don't know how to attach the tremolo bar, and one says the knobs are reversed. The bar instructions are available even in some of these reviews, and the knobs were reversed on the Burns guitar NOT this one so thanks for reviewing the wrong guitar! This one has the half-moon pick guard below the bridge! The New and Improved Brian May Guitar has his personal touch making sure the quality is up there like everything else he does. I received mine right after Christmas. It's amazing what you get for the price. This guitar should be $2000. Ebony fretboard, everything nicely fitted, setup almost perfect, and these amazing pickups that sing. That's the tone you hear Brian May use, these same pickups. Plug into your delay pedal, then into a chorus like Boss ce5 with two outputs, which go to two separate amps on each side of stage or room. I am using Mesa amps but any top line tube amp should do it. That's how you get the sound that will blow your socks off. It's scary how much better you play when you are hooked into a rig with this level of equipment, you know just thumping Brian Mays guitar when set up at a concert makes a beautiful noise? Maybe you are playing poorly because you have been fitting yourself to poor equipment. Get this guitar.

      Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

      (17 of 17 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      An AMAZING guitar thats not for everyone

      By Tony Cortezza

      from Phoenix, Arizona

      About Me Professional Musician

      Pros

      • Fun To Play
      • Good Feel

      Cons

        Best Uses

          Comments about Brian May Guitars Brian May Signature Electric Guitar:

          I bought my first BMG about a year and a half ago, a black and gold model. I have to say the first thing I noticed taking the guitar out of the gig bag ( that it comes with) is just simply how nice, well made and beautiful these guitars are. I have been playing guitar professionally for 34 years and this is a high quality instrument. I imagine that they wont be around too long and or they will start raising their prices, and no, I don't work for BMG! It's not an exact replica like some of the other models that have been made of Brian's guitar, but those models will cost you about 4K. The finish and colors are top notch and the binding and construction are beautiful. The locking tuners and tremolo work perfectly and the trem is very smooth and responsive. The neck is very wide and flat and feels great, very much like a classical guitar neck. If you look at pictures of Randy Rhoads flying V you will see the same style of neck, chunky, flat and wide. The variations of the pickup selectors will give you anything from a humbucker sound ( with the middle and bridge PU's)a strat sound ( with the neck and bridge PU's) or a tele ( Neck PU only)The out of phase options can make this guitar sound like your playing the "Whole Lotta Love" Led Zep lead guitar tones, not really too useful but interesting. The short scale will make 9's feel like 8's or 10's feel like 9's, so keep that in mind when you first go to play it. It feels like almost too easy to bend 9's on this guitar. I ended up replacing the cheaper looking tone knobs with BM replica knobs I found online which suited the look much better. You can actually buy the knobs from the BMG website now, why they don't come with the great old 70's stereo looking knobs I don't understand. I also replaced the tremolo bar with a BM replica trem you can find online as well and it looks much better. Now for the only "cons" I can find.

          This guitar should flat out be sold with a Treble Booster because the PU's are very quiet and very weak, really the ONLY issue I had with this guitar. They have a nice sound to them but this guitar ( AND BM's own personal Red Special) MUST have the additional treble boost to sound like anything resembling QUEEN or a modern day "Rock" guitar sound. I imagine that this why most of these guitars get returned. No one want to replace the great "looking" PU's in this guitar and instead they just sell them. In BM's own instructional Hot Licks video he shows how without the Treble booster his guitar is dull and muddy sounding. I bought a BM treble Booster and add that to ANY distortion and your half way there to having the BM tone. Once I figured out how to make this guitar sing I bought two more, the Antique Cherry and the Gold models, both are immaculate and look great, I will never sell them. If you don't basically purchase a Treble booster WITH this guitar your going to be disappointed. I would not change out the PU's simply because they have a cover on them that is so distinctly BM that it would just look wrong. Also, if you use a Treble Booster you have to basically turn the treble on your amp either very low or off as the TB does all the work and tone shaping.

          All in all: I love these guitars (obviously!) for their playability, workmanship and looks. The sound you can get out of them with any distortion is very unique ( I use them with everything from Vox amps to Mesa Boogie, Soldano Etc.)and they are not just for rock, that front single coil can get an awesome Tele tone out of it. Just remember one thing... Treble Booster, and you wont be disappointed with this guitar at all!

          Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

          (11 of 12 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          Brian May Signature Electric Guitar

          By Edgar Forti

          from Bronx NY.

          About Me Professional Musician

          Pros

          • Custom Shop Look
          • Fun To Play
          • Good Feel
          • Good Pick Up
          • Good Tone
          • Great Neck
          • Solid Electronics

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Jamming
            • Practicing
            • Recording
            • Rock Concerts
            • School Bands
            • Small Venues

            Comments about Brian May Guitars Brian May Signature Electric Guitar:

            When I received the Brian May guitar, I was impressed by the workmanship for such korean made instrument. But hec this is 2014 not 1970's. It was very well made almost to the custom shop quality guitars they make today. It's very resonant and the tone is wonderfull!! A mix of an ES335 and a strat. Prety close to an acoustic sound when played unplugged really impressive instrument. The tremolo is very usefull if you know how to set it right. The arm was very loose so I pushed the arm down an lifted the tremolo and inserted the allen key to a small screw on the back and tighten up to my liking. I don't understand these people about the arm being too loose duh!! use your common sense please!! go to the Brian Red Special web site and read the instructions and print them and put them in the gig bag for future reference. The neck is phenomenal it feels close to the Paul Gilbert Ibanez Fireman and a Gibson 59 Les Paul neck Excellent frets jumbo and perfect!!. It plays geat for slide and open tunings. the tuning pegs are wonderful and easy to put the srings fast. The gig bag is excellent. This guitar my friends If it was made in th USA would take you back at lest 2000.00 easily not kidding is that good!!

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