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Product 512637

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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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
  • 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
  • Individual pickup on/off
  • Case sold separately

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 98 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (82)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (7)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (4)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (5)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

97%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Good feel (25)
  • Good tone (25)
  • Fun to play (24)
  • Good pick up (24)
  • Solid electronics (23)

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Jamming (22)
    • Practicing (21)
    • Recording (20)
    • Rock concerts (19)
    • Small venues (14)
      • Reviewer Profile:
      • Experienced (19), Professional musician (9)

    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 98 customers

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    (4 of 4 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 review

        (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Brian May Signature Electric Guitar

        By Forti

        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

          (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          great, unique guitar unlike any other

          By steve-o

          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

          (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

           
          4.0

          Unique Is An Understatement

          By Ratmonger

          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 1 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Great Guitar

            By Josh

            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

               
              5.0

              Well designed and executed instrument

              By n/a

              from Spotsylvania, VA

              About Me Experienced

              Pros

              • Excellent Well Executed
              • Fun To Play
              • Good Feel
              • Good Pick Up
              • Good Tone
              • Solid Electronics

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Jamming
                • Practicing

                Comments about Brian May Guitars Brian May Signature Electric Guitar:

                Excellent, well thought out and well executed guitar. The switching is unique and provides a lot of versatility. The neck is fast and the the action was perfect right out of the box. The zero fret is a smart idea - the strings do not buzz. The tuning machines stay in tune. Only problem I had is that the vibrato arm just slips in the hole without locking, and can fall out if the guitar is turned downwards.

                Comment on this review

                (3 of 8 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                2.0

                Like a brillian drunk.

                By ScottyL

                from Shingle Spring, CA

                About Me Professional Musician

                Ask me a question

                Pros

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

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                  • Jamming
                  • Practicing

                  Comments about Brian May Guitars Brian May Signature Electric Guitar:

                  I hated to return it because the combo of tones are wonderful and easy to play and gorgous. But, there are far too many inhearent problems with the design: The trem bar cannot be made to be stationary, and also falls out. The volume and tone pots are reversed when compared to ALL other electric guitars. Stupid. The pickup on/off swithes are also reversed; so confusing. When you turn on a wall light switch, you click it upward. Not Brian's guitar, which also makes the parallel switcing confusing. It's extreemly easy to ajust the intonation, but it goes right back out if you use the tremolo. Rediculous! It's akin to dealing with a brilliant drunk. Impossible. Good luck, folks...

                  Comment on this review

                  (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  5.0

                  Very Nice Guitar

                  By JasperDyne

                  from South Jersey

                  About Me Experienced

                  Pros

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

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

                    • Jamming
                    • Practicing
                    • Recording
                    • Rock Concerts

                    Comments about Brian May Guitars Brian May Signature Electric Guitar:

                    I don't usually buy "signature" products, because it automatically brands you with a certain amateurish/wannabee status. It's kind of like buying a set of Tiger Woods golf clubs. You're never going to be Tiger Woods and buying his clubs thinking they'll make you more like him is delusional.

                    That's one reason I got the green version and not the regular "Red Special." Brian May has some honkingly big shoes to fill and if you're playing one of his guitars, there's a huge amount of expectation from your audience.

                    In spite of that prejudice, of my 10 guitars, this is one of the finest instruments I own. The workmanship is excellent. The frets are like silk and the neck is smooth and fast. I don't know if some of the previous complaints about the neck being too thick are reviews of this model, but my guitar's neck is pretty thin and easy for even my sausage-like fingers to navigate with ease.

                    The body and binding are flawless. There's just enough "life" in the wood to sparkle in bright light, but not become a distraction. It's a very pretty, yet quirky beast that's a real attention-getter.

                    Action was near perfect right out of the box—it was dang near in tune, too!

                    Gig bag is high-quality with a nice, rugged feel.

                    Playing it is a delight. You can tell that this is a guitar deigned by a guitar geek. Everything is just right. The tonal variations you can get out of this thing are remarkable. I spent quite a bit of time messing around with the switching combinations and you can coax just about anything out of this, except some of the twangier Telecaster sounds (which is probably why Brian used a Tele on Queen's rockabilly-inspired songs like "Crazy Little Thing Called Love").

                    My only issues with it were the weird tremolo bar that just sort of floats in its socket, unlike the screw-in types in Strats and the lack of any documentation or manual in the box. I had to search online to find a key to the various switches and what they do to affect tone.

                    This is a really nice guitar for the money. If you're on the fence about buying one, don't hesitate. You'll be glad you did.

                    Comment on this review

                    (0 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                     
                    5.0

                    Best Guitar I Have Ever Own!

                    By rpguitars

                    from Frisco, Texas

                    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:

                      Plan to purchase another Brian May guitar.

                      Comment on this review

                      (0 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                       
                      5.0

                      Excellent Guitar and sound!

                      By rpguitars

                      from Frisco, Texas

                      About Me Experienced

                      Pros

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

                      Cons

                      • None

                      Best Uses

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

                      Comments about Brian May Guitars Brian May Signature Electric Guitar:

                      This guitar is well made. I plan to buy another one!

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