Brian May Special review by Brian May Guitars

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 8
  • Features: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9.4 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.8 (36 votes)
Brian May Guitars: Brian May Special
3

Price paid: £ 465

Purchased from: www.dolphinmusic.co.uk

Sound — 10
This guitar suits my music style great, has I said above it can get you any sound you want. It can cover pop, Indie, classic rock, rock, hard rock, metal at a stretch. Just with metal, some guitars could be better suited for it but this guitar can handle it if need be. I'm using a Vox VT15 but I've owned a number of guitars with this amp from a Peavey Wolfgang, Ibanez RG350, Epiphone Les Paul Standard and Custom, Parker P42 and so far this Brian May guitar as got to be my favorite. People say these guitars don't work well with Marshall amps but I just think they were only after Brian May's sound as these guitars sound beautiful through a Marshall. Only effect I use through this is a Electro Harmonix Big Muff Pi, I'm not that big on effects really. The guitar can get noisy if you have 2 pick ups on and 1 of them out of phase but I think thats just the nature of the guitar as it makes the notes really scream. The guitar can give you rich, full, bright and any other sound you want. You really have to try one out and play with the pick up switches to believe it. Theres so much variety, especially for the money I paid for it. It is now my number 1 guitar thanks to this.

Overall Impression — 10
I play rock mainly like The Darkness, Queen, Stone Gods, CKY, HIM, anything in between and this guitar suits that music very well. I've been playing for about 5 years or so now and I own a Parker P42, Peavey Wolfgang Special, Ibanez RG350, Epiphone Les Paul Standard, BC Rich Flying V (unknown model) and this guitar, I really am thinking of selling some of my guitars now because I no longer have no use for them. Really am thinking of buying another Red Special but in a different colour. Best thing with this guitar is try to get a case/gig bag thrown in with it. Otherwise your have to buy one online. If it was stolen then I would definatly buy another one. I just love the feel of the guitar, the weight, the neck, etc. One thing I do hate is the Wilkinson Strat style tremolo unit as I'm not a big fan of the Strat style tremolos but then again it works well so can't complain really. My favorite thing as to be the pick ups and pick up system and the neck of the guitar. I tried a number of Strats and Teles in the guitar shop near me but I decided to get this guitar over them because I'm a fan of the Les Paul and Strats, this guitar could get me a sound thats close to them and have its own to experiment with. I played it in the shop then shopped online to see if I could get it cheaper, abit of a gamble but this time it paid off really haha.

Reliability & Durability — 9
I haven't played Live with it yet but I am hoping to soon. I am guessing it will withstand playing live though. The hardware will last for years and years, no problems with that. The strap buttons are solid but alot of people will get them replaced anyway though. I would depend on this guitar and use it without a back up but then again its best to be on the safe side and have a back up. The finish is really nice and I think over the years the finish will wear thin but I think its meant to have that look abit.

Action, Fit & Finish — 8
The guitar was set up really well when it arrived here, had no problems with pick ups so far but only flaw I have found is on the back of the guitar where the binding looks to have been knocked in and the guitar is left exposed abit thanks to it being pushed in but that is the only problem with it.

Features — 10
This is a 2009 made in Korea Brian May Guitar Red Special in Antique Cherry. It as 24 frets with a zero fret, 24" scale neck, ebony fingerboard. I think its a laminated top, it has a mahogany body with Acoustic chamber and a mahogany neck. The finish is transparent and you can see the wood underneath which is always pretty to look at to me. The body type is kind of a thinner and lighter Les Paul but its built after Brian May's guitar so you should know how that looks. It is fitted with a Wilkinson tremolo bridge with a Brian May custom tremolo arm which works really well. The guitar is fitted with 3 Burns Tri Sonic pick ups with the original Brian May switching system, individual pickup IN/OUT phase plus individual pickup ON/OFF. Master volume and tone, this is my personal favorite on this guitar, you can go from Brian Mays tones, to a Strat to a Les Paul and even to a Tele. The guitar comes with Grover GH305 locking tuners and they work really well, real easy to change strings quick and keeps it in tune, just what you want! I was told by some shops that they don't give a gig bag with the guitar but from dolphinmusic they gave me one for nothing so result!

17 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Stuart90
    Yeah well, the name of the guitar is Red Special but they come in about 7 colours now and I've always like the sunburst ones. I would buy 2 for live play and have the other as a back up. I don't like the necks on Strats and Les Paul's are abit too heavy for my liking and this guitar as a neck like a Les Paul and the weight of of Strat, its perfect for me. Also the thing I hate is the thing I don't mind at all. I don't like the Wilkinson's bridge but its still good value for money. I can play whatever the hell I want, I feel no insult or anything from playing The Darkness. We all have our different musical tastes and yet theres nothing funny in me saying that unless you are immature and act like a 5 year old. Plus if nearly everyone on here and out there at my age is learning to play Metallica, Pantera, etc then I'd rather go my own way learning from songs others wouldn't try.
    KingHenrik1967
    'buying another RED special,but in a different colour' sounds like a slight contradiction that =P lol
    szekelymihai
    KingHenrik1967 wrote : 'buying another RED special,but in a different colour' sounds like a slight contradiction that =P lol
    sounds like Henry Ford's "You can have it any colour you like as long as it's black"
    matttt
    Stuart90 wrote: Yeah well, the name of the guitar is Red Special but they come in about 7 colours now and I've always like the sunburst ones. I would buy 2 for live play and have the other as a back up. I don't like the necks on Strats and Les Paul's are abit too heavy for my liking and this guitar as a neck like a Les Paul and the weight of of Strat, its perfect for me. Also the thing I hate is the thing I don't mind at all. I don't like the Wilkinson's bridge but its still good value for money. I can play whatever the hell I want, I feel no insult or anything from playing The Darkness. We all have our different musical tastes and yet theres nothing funny in me saying that unless you are immature and act like a 5 year old. Plus if nearly everyone on here and out there at my age is learning to play Metallica, Pantera, etc then I'd rather go my own way learning from songs others wouldn't try.
    Good review, man. I've played a Burns version of this guitar and wasn't overly impressed I gotta say...And as for playing The Darkness, same here man, brilliant riffs.
    megaironpriest
    TheBackHouse wrote: Listen to this man, he plays The Darkness i lol'd...
    Me to, me to... haha
    White Queen
    I still have a question, somewhere in the comments you are talking about different producers. I am considering buying a Red Special, ut of course I want it to be of good quality as it is a pretty expensive purchase for the budget I have. So which producer is the one who made the good ones then? As I am going to buy one in my local music store, I think I'd best ask first. Apart from that, thanks for the review, it was really useful to me!
    Skullivan
    I was thinking about getting a red special.Does it have a unique tone to it clean or otherwise? I mean does it recreate his tone well? Not perfectly because I know that most of it comes from his AC30. But just enough to play queen songs near-pitch? Also, what colour, the gold and white ones looked cool on the website.
    Stuart90
    Yeah, try dolphinmusic.co.uk they give a free gig bag and the Brian May Guitars brand is probably the best at the moment. Burns were hit or miss and I have yet heard a complaint about these Brian May Guitars version. Try not to let them charge you extra for a gig bag, every Brian May Guitar should come with a Brian May Guitar gig bag.
    davesalis
    White Queen If you are going to purchase one of these great guitars you want to get the latest version which are produced by Brian May Guitars, not the older Burns version. you can tell the difference between the 2 by the fact the latest version has white switches, burns had black, also the latest has the scratch plate at the bridge, the burns does not. It should also come with the free gig bag, some dealers are charging extra. I paid 460 for mine from Fairdeal music in Birmingham, they don't advertise it on the web site, I have hardly put it down since I got it.
    jean_genie
    Why would you buy two? Alternate tunings? Backup for live play? It seems to me that rather than buying two guitars that roughly approximate strats and pauls, it would make sense to instead buy a Strat and a Paul. Or cheaper versions thereof. Amirite?
    Stuart90
    They are just really great guitars, still good as the first time I picked it up!
    davesalis
    Good review, I am looking to buy one of these very soon, although I am a huge Queen fan the main reason I will buy one is because they are so versatile. As a guy in the guitar shop said he hated to admit it as he was not afan of Queen but he had one as he could play so many styles with just one guitar due to the guitars tonal range and they good value for the money.
    Stuart90
    [/quote]Good review, man. I've played a Burns version of this guitar and wasn't overly impressed I gotta say...And as for playing The Darkness, same here man, brilliant riffs.[/quote] The Burns ones weren't really the best made, they were hit or miss. I have heard nothing but good about these Brian May Guitars now Dr May himself is over seeing how they were made unlike with the Burns. The Darkness have a very nice rhythm guitar to them, they did do well for themselves and their new bands are quite good haha
    .QOTSA.
    In impressions you put things you HATE about the guitar, how did you then think it was right to give it a 10!