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Brian May Guitars Logo
Brian May Guitars Brian May Signature Electric Guitar   (Open Box)
Ships Internationally
  • Write a Review
Product# 512637
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. Case sold separately.

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

FEATURES Body
  • Body shape: Double cutaway
  • Body type: Semi-hollow or chambered body
  • Body material: Solid wood
  • Top wood: Not applicable
  • Body wood: Mahogany
  • Body finish: Gloss
  • Orientation: Right handed
Neck
  • Neck shape: Brian May
  • Neck wood: Mahogany
  • Joint: Set-in
  • Scale length: 24"
  • Truss rod: Dual
  • Neck finish: Gloss
Fretboard
  • Material: Ebony
  • Radius: 9.5"
  • Fret size: Medium jumbo
  • Number of frets: 24
  • Inlays: Dot
  • Nut width: 1.77" (45mm)
Pickups
  • Configuration: SSS
  • Neck: Tri-Sonic
  • Middle: Tri-Sonic
  • Bridge: Tri-Sonic
  • Brand: Burns
  • Active or passive: Passive
  • Series or parallel: Series
  • Piezo: No
  • Active EQ: No
  • Special electronics: Phase switch
Controls
  • Control layout: Master volume, tone
  • Pickup switch: Individual on/off, individual phase
  • Coil tap or split: No
  • Kill switch: No
Hardware
  • Bridge type: Tremolo/Vibrato
  • Bridge design: Brian May custom tremolo
  • Tailpiece: Not applicable
  • Tuning machines: Grover locking
  • Color: Chrome
Other
  • Number of strings: 6-string
  • Special features: Pickups
  • Case: Gig bag
  • Accessories: None
  • Country of origin: South Korea

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 103 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (86)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (8)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (4)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (5)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

97%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Good feel (30)
  • Good tone (30)
  • Fun to play (29)
  • Good pick up (29)
  • Solid electronics (27)

Cons

  • Fret buzz (3)

Best Uses

  • Jamming (27)
  • Practicing (26)
  • Recording (25)
  • Rock concerts (24)
  • Small venues (17)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Experienced (22), Professional musician (10)

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

 

Bad Purchase...

Totally disapointed, and I am returning it for a refund. Trem arm doesn't fit even with set screw removed, so that's useless. Neck is unbelievably wide. String location on fretboard is off...Read complete review

Totally disapointed, and I am returning it for a refund. Trem arm doesn't fit even with set screw removed, so that's useless. Neck is unbelievably wide. String location on fretboard is off for some reason, low E is too far over. Guitar is very uncomfortable to sit and play because of body shape. No paperwork or warantee info provided. Comes loosely packed in box only protected by included gig bag. It would be nice for a Queen fan to hang on the wall, but that's about it. Not a comfortable guitar unless you have the hands of a basketball player and you only play standing up with a strap.

Reviewed by 103 customers

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Displaying reviews 1-10

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5.0

Amazing Guitar!

By 

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!

Comment on this review

(3 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

OH HAIL TO THEE BRIAN MAY GUITARS,

By 

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 review

    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    Sounds better than Guild copy.

    By 

    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 review

    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    4.0

    Get one while they still make them!

    By 

    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 review

      (1 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Buy this guitar while you can!

      By 

      from Carolina

      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 review

      (12 of 12 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      An AMAZING guitar thats not for everyone

      By 

      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 review

          (6 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          Brian May Signature Electric Guitar

          By 

          from The Brnx N.Y.

          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!!

            Comment on this review

            (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            great, unique guitar unlike any other

            By 

            from north central MA

            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:

            there are plenty of reviews here to help you decide if you want to pull the trigger on this guitar. i just want to clarify one issue of mis-information people keep posting about the tremolo arm. people keep writing in their reviews that you can't adjust the play in the arm and that it just falls out because there is no adjustment screw. FALSE. with the arm attached, push down on the trem. this will expose the back of the trem block as it tilts up and out of the body. right where the trem block attaches to the bottom of the bridge you will see a tiny set screw. simply tighten/loosen that to adjust the play in the arm to taste. done! the only real negative is that due to the short scale you are more prone to fret buzz if you're heavy handed (just like on a jaguar). this can be minimalized by avoiding super light string gauges and tuning to A-440. tuning down a half-step or more will only increase the liklihood of fret buzz.

            Comment on this review

            (2 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

             
            4.0

            Unique Is An Understatement

            By 

            from So Cal

            About Me Professional Musician

            Ask me a question

            Pros

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

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Jamming
              • Recording
              • Small Venues

              Comments about Brian May Guitars Brian May Signature Electric Guitar:

              Very impressed with this guitar out of the box. Feels and looks quality. Les Paul/Strat plus. I love the Ebony fretboard. Flat-wide board may take getting used to for some. Not for tiny fingers. Very versatile pickups. Easy to play; great tones.

              Sadly, the strings on the guitar are too light; and will not stay in tune. I did not even use the Trem arm, which could only have made the tuning worse. The E string broke within minutes of playing it out of the box. I will take some time to set-up, tweak and update this review later. I am optimisitc.

              Comment on this review

              (1 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              Great Guitar

              By 

              from Key largo, Fl

              About Me Experienced

              Pros

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

              Cons

                Best Uses

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

                Comments about Brian May Guitars Brian May Signature Electric Guitar:

                I bought this guitar about a month ago, and it has exceeded my expectations. It came set up with the action low and the intonation just right. The guitar sounds amazing with my 100 watt Marshall tube amp and I have used for multiple gigs.
                I bought this guitar because I needed a single coil guitar to go alongside my humbucking Gibson Sg standard, and I never really liked the feel of stratocasters. This guitar feels like a Gibson but sounds completely different. Also, disregard all of the comments that say the neck is extremely wide, as it is barely larger than my Gibson.
                The only downside that i can think of is the free floating trem bar that sometimes falls out. The system its self works great, but if you lean to far forward the bar falls out. Other than that its a great guitar and i encourage everyone to buy one.
                p.s.
                I bought the guitar in honey sunburst, and it is absolutely b-e-a-utiful.

                Comment on this review

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