Brian May Special review by Brian May Guitars

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

Purchased from: eBay

Features — 10
If you didn't buy this guitar because you're a massive Queen fan, you brought it for the "famous" three pickup selection phase thing. Now don't get me wrong, I'm a massive Queen fan but after buying this guitar I've been getting into way more music than Queen and classic rock stuff. You really need to sit down with this guitar and play with the different sounds for like an hour to see what fits you and your style of playing. There are tons of pickup and phase selection combinations, meaning there are some great sounds. I'm going to eventually make a video on it for YouTube but you can make it sound like a Strat (just neck pickup), Les Paul (bottom two pickups in phase), 335 (top pickup with tone knob rolled all the way off) and more. Other stuff would be the lovely padded gig bag, the Grover locking tuners, the semi hollow body (nice and light) and the 24 frets with very easy access.

Sound — 10
Like discussed above, it can sound like many guitars and of course, Brian May's Red Special. If you have the right gear (a Vox amp or similar and a treble booster) you can really get the rich sound Brian May gets from his Old Lady. I'll list some sound combinations for those who have one: strat - neck pickup out of phase; Les Paul - bottom two pickups in phase; 335/hollow body - neck pickup in phase with tone rolled all the way down; lovely creamy clean - all pickups on and in phase; scream distortion - top two pickups, one in phase and one not

Action, Fit & Finish — 9
The setup could have been better. The strap buttons where lose (easily fixed) and the action was to high (another easy fix). Funny story actually, when me and my mate un-boxed it (after a month of waiting for the delivery) it was very badly tuned, so when I got up to bust out some Queen licks it sounded awful. It also came with some strings on it (obviously) and a spare set of 9s. I quickly chucked some Ernie Ball Super Slinky's on it but still free strings. The pickups where also too high up to the strings but theirs two screws on the side of the pickups to fix that.

Reliability & Durability — 8
This guitar is one solid mofo. I've smashed the head-stock several times and haven't gotten anything in return. Yes it will survive a gig and the finish hasn't had any problems (I live near the ocean so you'd think the salt would damage it). The screws and bridge have some rust but that's just my sweat and wear. Now a big problem is with the zero fret. My guitar strings have bad groves into it and it tings when it comes in and out of the groves. I'm going to sandpaper it next time I change the strings and the pickups don't seem to pick it up (but hey the original Red Special has a zero fret and it is a replica).

Overall Impression — 10
No matter what you play this guitar is for you. With the variety of sounds from this its fit to suit anyone. I've been playing for about 3 years and play a large variety of music, ranging from grunge to pop to hard rock and classic rock. I run it through a Vox (of course) but also own a Epiphone Les Paul, a Fender Amp and a Fender Acoustic (plus my pedals). And on top of all this it looks like a dream lol. If it where stolen I wouldn't be able to afford a new one but if I could I would definitely but a new one. Thanks for reading :)

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