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Product 512637

Brian May Guitars Brian May Signature Electric Guitar

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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 ...Click To Read More About This Product

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  • Brian May Signature Electric Guitar Black

    $84999.00

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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
Individual pickup on/off

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 112 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (91)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (10)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (5)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (6)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

98%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Good tone (37)
  • Good feel (36)
  • Fun to play (35)
  • Good pick up (34)
  • Solid electronics (31)

Cons

  • Fret buzz (3)

Best Uses

  • Jamming (31)
  • Practicing (30)
  • Recording (29)
  • Rock concerts (28)
  • Small venues (22)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Experienced (25), Professional musician (14)

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 112 customers

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(22 of 22 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!

      (20 of 21 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Very unique guitar

      Comments about Brian May Guitars Brian May Signature Electric Guitar:

      This is an interesting guitar. Certainly not for everyone, but interesting nonetheless.

      Although I've been a lifelong fan of Brian May, I have to admit that I've never been all that interested in trying to replicate his sound. He has one of the most distintinctive tones in the business and his style is also pretty unique. But when one of these unexpectedly dropped into my lap, I had to give it a try.

      The first thing I noticed was the neck. It's huge. Wide and very thick - with pretty beefy frets. I can't think of another guitar I've played with such a thick neck. My understanding is that May's genuine 'Red Special' has a significantly fatter neck. He must have enormous hands. Initially I expected the neck shape to be a turn off but the more I played it,I thought. Interestingly, it seemed to dictate how I played it. I found myself doing long chromatic runs - not unlike Brian himself. Uncharacteristic for me but the flat fingerboard and really well crowned frets seem to draw your fingers around the board in a different way than normal.

      I played the guitar unplugged for a while to get a general feel. The chambered body resonates very nicely and the guitar is surprisingly loud for a solid body. Some have complained about the balance. It is a bit odd, but I was able to get used to it pretty quickly. If anything bothered me it was the hard edges of the body. As a Strat player primarily, I found the squared off body a bit uncomfortable, but this is no different than playing a bound tele.

      The tremolo is alo a tad different than most. Though it's more or less a variation on the two point trems that people have been making for decades, the bar is a shape I've not seen before. It allows the player to hold the bard while picking and accomplishes that nicely. When used in a more standard manner, the 'hook' in the bar isn't noticeable. I have no complaints with tuning stability. Though I'm not one known for a lot of divebombing, I tried to stress the system a bit and the tuning was as stable as any other guitar I have. The Grover locking tuners took a few minutes to figure out, but seem to do their job nicely.

      Then I plugged it in. I'm lucky enough to own an AC15 and that seemed the logical place to start. Here again the guitar is 'unique'. The Burns pickups may look somewhat like Strat pickups but don't expect them to sound the same. They're both darker and sharper. Perhaps a bit more like the pickups in a good Tele, but not quite. If I had suggest that they sound like anything, I would probably say they sound like good old Dano lipsticks. They're a bit more full than the Danos, but have some of that bite. Each of the three pickups has its own character though all are pretty hot - driving the amp to breakup long before a strat would.

      The switching arrangement is - yes, you guessed it - unique. On off switches for each plus a phase switch for each. I've had a few other guitars with swtiches and it works fine. Though in a performance situation, I would preffer the convenience of a blade, these get the job done and do offer three pickup combinations that are impossible with a Strat style blade (Neck + Bridge, All three on and all three off).

      These pickups are wired in series as opposed to the industry standard parallel. This gives pickup combinations a very different sound and feel than your used to and when turning two pickups on effectively gives you a humbucker. The bridge and middle pickups together sound more like Les Paul to me than, say, the middle position on a Tele. All three on offers a very ballsy, in your face tone that nicely drives an amp into breakup very quickly.

      The phase switches offer even more options though this takes some getting used to. Each switch inverts the phase of one pickup. Think about that relationship for a moment. It means that this is only a factor when using more than one pickup. Changing the phase of the bridge pickup alone will have no affect at all. When you're using the bridge and the middle pickups together, it doesn't matter which of the phase switches you change - the result will be the same. Both up or both down will sound identical. When you turn on all three pickups, it gets more complicated. You will then either have them all in phase with each other or two in phase and one out and you get to pick which you want out.

      The out of phase sounds are very different then in phase. Much of the bottom end is removed, leaving a brighter, shriller sound. In some cases, even achieving a lo-fi kind of affect.

      Do NOT expect any two of the single coils, out of phase with each other to sound like a strat. The series wiring just doesn't allow fo the 'clucking' sound that we all know and love.

      A few final notes on the electronics. The volume and tone pots are reversed from what one would normally expect with the volume being the farthest back. While any single coil guitar will produce some 60 cycle hum, I was pleasantly surprised at how quiet this thing is. I haven't removed the pickguard for a peak yet but my guess is that it's well shielded.

      So is Brian's tone in there? Yes, it really is. With the AC15, I was very easilly able to reproduce that signature sound (not the playing, just the sound) I can only imagine what a treble boost and an AC30 could accomplish with this.

      I was actually quite surprised how much it sounds like the real 'Red Special.' The mahogany body, totally different tremolo system should sound really different, but for some reason they don't. The original is made of oak. How can mahogany sound like oak? I have no answer, but it does.

      Luckily, there's a lot more in here too., I found the guitar very well suited to blues and eventually came to feel like I was playing a P-90 equiped Les Paul.

      I think the common thread in this review is 'unique'. It looks unique. It feels unique and it sounds unique. This guitar will not be for everyone. The neck alone will put some off. This will never be a dive bombing, super-hot metal kind of thing. Nor will it ever be a mellow jazz box. But it's pretty much exactly what May designed it to be. If you want to sound like him, this plus an AC30 and a treble boost will get you very, very close. But it's beauty really lies in it's versatility and the number on tones that are present.

      If, on the other hand, you just want something different, this guitar should interest you. I promise you, it will feel and sound different than anything you have. It's always nice to have a different tool in the shed.
      Mahogany body and neck, ebony fingerboard, 2 point trem, locking tuners, three Burns 'Tri-Sonic'single coil pickups, individual on/off switches for each pickup as well as individual phase switches for each. One volume pot and one tone.
      This guitar is remarkably well made for a Korean instrument. I don't say this lightly, but it appears to have the build quality of American made Fenders. Beatiful finish. Excellent fretwork. Nice binding front and back. Perfectly seated set neck.

      Frankly, at this price, this guitar has no right to be this well made.
      For the price these are selling at now, if you're interested in such a guitar, it's a steel.

      (14 of 15 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.

        (13 of 24 customers found this review helpful)

         
        2.0

        Poor quality control.

        Comments about Brian May Guitars Brian May Signature Electric Guitar:

        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.

        (12 of 13 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Brian May Signature Electric Guitar

        By Edgar Forti

        from Bronx NY.

        About Me Professional Musician

        See all my reviews

        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!!

          (11 of 17 customers found this review helpful)

           
          4.0

          Nice But Not for Everyone

          By Andrew Franqueira

          from Minnesota

          Comments about Brian May Guitars Brian May Signature Electric Guitar:

          I've loved Queen and been in awe of Brian May since I was a kid. I have always wanted to try a Red Special replica and ordered this one during a sale expecting to add it to my collection, unfortunately I'm now sending it back.

          It's a decent Red Special replica, Korean made guitar, with a solid mid-range quality. If this is what you're after you won't be sorry. But it's not a great all round guitar, it embodies a bit of Brian May's soul but that in turn underscores a personal rule against buying a "signature" guitar, because at the end of the day I don't want to capture someone else's soul, I want a canvas to create on.

          I think I'm going to opt for a Mustang instead...
          Unusual per pickup switching combination, on/off & phase switching, combined with series wiring, quite a lot of different sound options.

          Man those tri-sonics are loud and cool.
          It's a high quality Korean guitar, not as nice as American or Japanese made guitars, but very good for mid-range Asian guitar.

          The pickguard was suprisingly cheap looking, everything else seemed decent quality.
          Depends what you're after, if you want this guitar it's a great value. If you're looking for something generally nice then there are better deals at this price point.

          (10 of 10 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          My New #1 Axe

          By Greg Suarez

          from Dayton, OH

          About Me Experienced

          See all my reviews

          Pros

          • Endless sustain
          • Good Feel
          • Good Pick Up
          • Good Tone
          • Maintains Tuning
          • Perfect Neck
          • Solid Electronics
          • well built

          Cons

          • Short Frets
          • Trem Arm Attachment

          Best Uses

          • Jamming
          • Recording
          • Rock Concerts

          Comments about Brian May Guitars Brian May Signature Electric Guitar:

          My very expensive Jackson USA PC-1 is now riding the bench, as I've found the new "Love of My Life." The Brian May Special (which is less than a third of the price) sounds better and is far easier to maintain (I'm getting sick of messing with Floyd Roses). And the best part is with the only moderate amount of trem useage I need, the BMS stays in-tune just as well as a full Floyd Rose set up (thank you, STANDARD locking tuners).

          Between the unique pickup wiring and power/phase options, you can get *almost* any tone imagineable, and probably some you've never heard. The only tone this guitar can't quite match is the legendary Fender "snap," which is probably why May used a Tele to record "Crazy Little Thing Called Love."

          If you pair the guitar with a good compressor/sustainer and the right amp settings, this guitar will sustain as long as a Les Paul (and longer than many LPs I've heard, especially the Epi's). This is thanks to the body's chambering and the dripping-with-tone single coil pickups based on Burns Tri-Sonics.

          The neck is "Made In Heaven." The first time I wrapped my left hand around the neck, I knew they had gotten it right. It's chunky and fast, allowing you to go from chording to soloing in a "Flash." I have always been used to the long 25.5" scales of Fender Strats, but I am loving the short 24" scale so much, that it seems almost awkward to go back to a longer scale.

          It's also surprisingly well-built given its overseas origins (Korea) and budget price. I can't imagine Brian May Guitars is making a ton of money on these given the quality of the craftsmanship and components. It was also set-up fairly well out of the box, but a bit of tweaking is always in order, no matter the origin or quality of the instrument.

          But nothing's perfect, and this guitar has two flaws (both of which come down to personal preference, and not quality problems). First, the frets are very short, and I prefer taller varieties. Second, the trem arm on the (otherwise flawless) Wilkinson bridge is of the tighten-me-down-with-a-microscopic-hex-screw-behind-the-bridge-block variety. I'd like to meet the sadist who came up with this concept and sentence him to 30 continous years of tightening and untightening these trem arms until he goes blind. Seriously, what's wrong with the good old fashioned screw-in arm, a la Fender?

          (9 of 9 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.

          (9 of 10 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          Brian May Guitar Review

          By Guitar090

          from New Jersey

          About Me Experienced

          Verified Buyer

          Comments about Brian May Guitars Brian May Signature Electric Guitar:

          This is a vastly under-used guitar, and you should try it out. I would recommend it to anyone who is interested in a stratocaster in particular. It is somewhat like a stratocaster, but it has a notably nicer neck (which is perhaps closer to a gibson) and many tone varieties. It has a fairly wide fretboard, but the neck on the model I received was nowhere near as deep as I had heard. It is a very comfortable sleek neck design. The guitar stays in tune very well because of the locking tuners. And the whammy bar is good. It falls out at first, but if you wrap a little scotch tape around it, it will fit snugly and not fall out. This is easier than adjusting that screw you may have heard about. I have found about three or four tones which are very versatile clean, somewhat more tones that are thin and nasty. There are several other tones available that are unique in that they have strange EQ curves. In general, the overall EQ of the sound changes drastically with each flip of a switch, but as I said there are about 3-4 tones that are very even and not strange, depending on your definition. Using distortion definitely makes the more unlikely tones more versatile and quite usable, whereas clean they are obviously quite unique in timbre. It is a very fun and easy guitar to play, especially if you like to play high and bend notes. I ordered the black and gold model, and I must say it is a very handsome instrument which looks very elegant. I see no reason why these instruments should be less popular than fenders. They look more sophisticated, they feel nicer, they have an even wider range of sounds than a strat, and they are far more inexpensive than a comparable fender, never mind a gibson. Give it a chance. Brian knows.

          (7 of 7 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!

          (6 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          Buy this guitar while you can!

          By Mike the Knife

          from Georgia

          About Me Experienced

          See all my reviews

          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.

          (6 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          WOW doesn't even come close...

          By Seth

          from Eastvale, CA

          About Me Experienced

          Pros

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

          Cons

          • Free Floating Tremolo

          Best Uses

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

          Comments about Brian May Guitars Brian May Signature Electric Guitar:

          Let me say first that the staff of Musician's Friend was superb. Their dedication to the customer is unmatched! From beginning to end, the customer service department was extremely friendly.

          Then I receive the guitar...

          I've had this guitar for a week, roughly. Upon opening the package, the first thing you notice is the craftsmanship on the guitar. It can sit inside of a living room and look right at home. This has nothing to do with the fact that I've wanted this guitar for the last 23 years. Let me tell you now...it was well more than worth the wait!

          The strings that come on the guitar need to be replaced. I broke 3 of them on the first night I played it, and I don't play hard either. Upon doing that, some slight work on adjusting the bridge, this guitar was good to go.

          I own the Brian May digitech pedal issued a few years previous, and what a wonderful marriage it is! Even if you're not looking to exactly copy the Brian May sound, this guitar is for you! You won't need anything else...this guitar has it all! I've read the reviews on here about it having a wide neck. Let me say that the neck is no wider than the one on my Strat. The tone, the power...this guitar has it all! I'm spoiled from here forward. The only thing I don't particularly care for is the tremolo arm is loose and doesn't have the ability to stay in. It takes some getting used to. But one drawback compared to the many pros...I consider it not a big deal.

          (6 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          Brian May Red Special - Awesome!

          By Toryglen-boy

          from Australia

          About Me Professional Musician

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Good Feel
          • Good Pick Up
          • Good Tone
          • Great build quality
          • Great feel
          • Looks fantastic
          • Solid Electronics

          Cons

          • Wont balance sitting

          Best Uses

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

          Comments about Brian May Guitars Brian May Signature Electric Guitar:

          Took the plunge, and bought one of these, after not being able to afford one of the very expensive replicas on [@], i wasn't dissapointed. build quality on this for a korean guitar is outstanding, far better than many of the recent Indonesian guitars, and knocking on the door of a good Japanese instrument. The guitar looks "shorter" when on a stand, due to the shorter scale length, but within minutes of playing, you forget this, and get used to it very quickly, the fretboard has quite a curve to the radius, and the neck has plenty of wood, think like an old semi-acoustic and your on the right track, took me a while to get used to, after an Ibanez wizard neck, but it gives you plenty to hang onto when bending, the fit and finish of the frets is excellent, as is the hardware in general, the tremelo has a very nice soft and springy feel to it, making it very responsive, intuitive to use, but the jewel in the crown is the tonal range available with the pickups and phase switches, you can get everything from that hollow reedy sound, to a screeching lead sound, that sounds like it already has a treble booster, not the easiest guitar to play sitting down as it slides about a bit, and it can take a bit of work in getting used to the locking tuners, but once there, its fabulous, there is some hum from various pickup combinations, but this is the nature of the beast, once you play it for a while, it feels more vintage than modern day rock guitars, but just as playable, in a different way, access to the upfrets is quite good to, although again, getting used to a curved fretboard can take a bit of work, if used to the flat lolly sticks of today, and even when you dont play it, it looks fabulous, some will hate it, but most will love it, its one of THOSE types of guitars, but it you dont get it, you dont get it, but there is nothing better than "Tie your mother down" through this, and playing with a silver coin, it sounds extremely authentic.hope this helps :)

          (6 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          The workmanship is amazing

          By Tele52

          from Los Angeles, CA

          See all my reviews

          Comments about Brian May Guitars Brian May Signature Electric Guitar:

          You need this guitar
          This may be one ofthe truly great guitar bargains. It's nothing like any guitar you've ever played. The neck, the body, everything is a little different, but it all comes together wonderfully. Huge tones from the Burns Brian May Trisonics. This guitar is so much fun to play, it's light, it's loud, it's has sweet creamy tones, and that "tie your mother down" bark. I've owned many, many, guitars, I had a shop for a while. And I can honestly say, I'll never sell this guitar.
          Fit and finish top notch. Brian's not getting rich on these
          Double bound chambered mahogany body, Rosewood board, not baked anything, locking Gotohs, Wilkenson Trem, premium gig bag, for this money is a bargain

          (6 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          An Extremely Versatile Tone Machine

          By Sam Allyn

          from Iowa

          Comments about Brian May Guitars Brian May Signature Electric Guitar:

          I've played guitar for years, accumulated all kinds of gear, and this is the first review I've ever written. Unfortunately, Brian May's line of guitars are difficult to find in the US, but I had the opportunity to try them out while traveling back and forth to London throughout the past couple of years. I was immediately blown away.

          Recently, I decided it was time to go guitar shopping again, and was weighing a few different options, including a Burns Sonic and a Fender Jazzmaster, but the Brian May Signature seemed the wisest choice by far.

          I'd also like to note that Brian May is, indeed, one of my greatest musical inspirations, but by no means was I interested in emulating his tone. Instead, I simply wanted to explore the guitar's tonal capabilities, and see how I could make it my own.
          The number one reason I decided to purchase this guitar: It features 3 Tri-Sonic style single-coil pickups, wired in parallel as opposed to series (i.e. a Stratocaster), and each pickup has two switches: an on/off switch, and another to flip its phase, meaning, when combined with another pickup, some of the low-end frequencies are cancelled out, which can give you some stellar and unique lead tones.

          The Wilkinson tremelo is an added bonus. Seems very durable. I use it frequently, and have had no problems with the guitar going out of tune.
          The only issue for me was with the volume and tone knobs. I had to pull them both off to remove the plastic after receiving the guitar, and, after popping them back on, they're a little off-kilter.

          Other than that, it's rock-solid.
          Tremendous. I can't say it enough.

          I did plenty of research before buying, and read countless reviews for different guitars "ideal for musicians on a budget," that were "a great value for the money," but I was far more concerned with tonal versatility, than the amount of money I was spending.

          They say you get what you pay for, but, though that may be true to a certain extent, it's entirely subjective. The money you invest in a guitar is not necessarily proportional to its sound, feel, and durability.

          The Brian May Signature is the perfect example. You're hard pressed to find anything--in any price range--that can even come close to touting the number of tonal options as this guitar.

          (6 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          Special, indeed!

          By Derek Price

          from Lexington, ky

          Comments about Brian May Guitars Brian May Signature Electric Guitar:

          Definitely worth the price. Just so everyone knows, this guitar does come with a decent gig bag. I ordered a case for it, though. I would've gladly paid more if it came with a case. Another thing worth mentioning is that it is too wide to fit in most cases. I measured it, and the cheapest case that fits it is Gator's GWE-LPS model. If you're planning on gigging with this, put one of those in your cart too!
          Other reviews covered the basic features. Just have a few things to add in. The fit and finish are amazing. The neck is nice and chunky, like a Gibson, or my
          main axe, a PRS McCarty solid body. I also own an American Strat, and tone wise, it's a completely different (but good!) animal than either one.

          I bought this mainly because Queen has been my favorite band since i was a kid. Brian May is my all time favorite guitarist. I've always been fascinated by his unique gear setup. I can of course get some some Queen sounds on it, especially through a Vox. I'm still figuring out the best pickup settings for using it in my band. We have a more blues- and funk-based sound.

          Build wise, it's very sturdy, and the fretboard is fast. I'd describe the frets as medium. I prefer jumbo frets, and use .11's, but the stock .9's feel pretty good. Not sure if I will get it set up for .11's. The only thing that really threw me off was the Wilkinson trem. Unlike a Strat trem which threads in directly, you have to raise the bridge and tighten an Allen screw to install this one. I guess I'll leave it in. It's very responsive. Thus far, the "self locking"(?) Grover tuners have worked out pretty well.
          This beats a lot of American made guitars I've played, including some Gibsons. Nothing will ever beat the PRS, but this is a lot of bang for the buck!

          (5 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

           
          4.0

          Get one while they still make them!

          By Guitarast

          from New York

          About Me Professional Musician

          See all my reviews

          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!!!

            (5 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Every Thing They Said It Is!

            By Dolphinchaser

            from Port Charlotte, FL

            About Me Novice

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Feels Sweet
            • 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:

              The Brian May Guitar feels sweet in your hands, the finish is as smooth as glass. Your hands flow up and down the fret board like butter. The sound tones produced by this guitar are epic, like no other guitar in the world. The switching system is simply brilliant and allows so many different tones to be produced when playing the same cord. The Guitar arrived with the action nice and low an in tune. The soft case the Guitar arrived in, is fantastic. This Guitar is really comfortable and fun to play. If you like having multiple Guitars to play this one should be at the top of your list because it just sounds better than all the rest! Truely a wonderful instrument and at a bargin price tag. I could have spent alot more on a Guitar and not received the quallity and value that this Guitar gives you. Brian May wanted a Guitar "For The People" I think he has more than exceeded that goal. I had contact with the following people below before I purchased the Guitar so I want to thank them all for there support. A heart felt Thank You to Brian May Guitars in the U.K., Barry Moorhouse of the House of Music in the U.K. and Musicians Friend here in the U.S.A.

              (5 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              Beautiful Instrument, Great Fun!

              By Mike

              from Denver, CO

              About Me Experienced

              See all my reviews

              Ask me a question

              Pros

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

              Cons

                Best Uses

                  Comments about Brian May Guitars Brian May Signature Electric Guitar:

                  I love this guitar! I got the cherry one, and first off, I have to say, the craftsmanship is superb. It's truly beautiful!

                  I got this just for fun, and it's been just that, a lot of fun. I have guitars that are easier to play (not that this one is difficult, just not high performance). But this one is great, of course, because of it's back story, but also because of the opportunity it presents to try something truly different.

                  Getting a sound setup to do this guitar justice required a bit of a research project, although that was part of the fun. The guitar is capable of reproducing Brian's tone, but you need accessories, like a treble booster or comparable EQ. (The Danelectro Fish and Chips is an inexpensive option.) There's a lot of information available on the Internet on the topic. Just don't expect the guitar to sound like Brian's recorded sound unassisted, because the guitar is only one ingredient in that sound.

                  When playing the guitar on my knee, the fret positions are oddly shifted to the right from what I am used to, though there's nothing wrong with that.

                  I really like the wide neck. What's interesting is, the distance from the outer strings to the edges of the fretboard is greater than typical. I kind of like that -less risk of pulling the high E over the edge accidentally, and you may be able to pull off a subtle vibrato without a string bend.

                  Other highlights:
                  The tremelo is excellent.
                  So are the tuners.
                  Hanging on the wall, it makes your house look like the Hard Rock Cafe!

                  Tip: Finecases dot com sells a great case for it. (I wish Musician's Friend did!)

                  (5 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  5.0

                  A +

                  By I broke free.

                  from Indiana

                  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 read all the reviews saying "good guitar for the price". I would say great guitar at any price. I have owned over 30 electrics in my life Fender strats and teles, Gibson les pauls, PRS, Ibanez, Jackson, Washburn and on. I own a custom made Red Special, the 5000 usd plus type. All around I take this guitar.

                    The only possible caution is the neck radius is 7.25", versus most guitars of 9.5" or higher. I prefer a 7.25" personally. If that's your thing then in my opinion to actually play the guitar, not for resale or collection purposes I would honestly pick this guitar over any I have ever played or owned. Note a 7.25" radius is only on a few guitars. Rickenbacker 360 and 325, Fender Vintage(50's) strats and teles a few others.

                    Brian May put his name on this and you can tell he did not do so lightly. I own two already a black and a green one. Some one please buy a white one and return it so I can snap it up used. :)

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