If there’s one guitar that’s going to give you a hope of sounding like Brian May, it’s got to be this one. Mr May built the first ever ‘Red Special’ with his dad and he’s used it pretty much ever since. However, if you think that this guitar isn’t the one for you because you don’t just want to sound like Brian May – let’s remember that his music spans so many styles and moods that, when all played on one guitar, mean it must be a guitar that can sound like anything!
What’s the guitar like?
This guitar has a mahogany body with an acoustic chamber, a mahogany neck and a 24-fret ebony fingerboard. The three pickups are all Burns Tri-sonic and the tremolo is Brian May’s own design as is the pickup switching system. The guitar weighs just over 13 pounds and has what’s now considered to be a classic rounded body.
What’s so special about it?
It wasn’t just fans of Brian May and Queen who voted the Red Special ‘Guitar of the Year’ in 2015 – it was fans of guitars. Designed with the exacting standards of one of the world’s top guitarists, it’s an absolutely fascinating instrument to sit down with. You really have to play around for an hour or so especially experimenting with the pick-up switch to find the breadth of sounds this guitar can come up with. You’ll find that there’s now no need for you to go out and buy a Strat or a Les Paul – the Red Special can do that sound for you! Go to http://www.theinstrumentreviewer.com/best-electric-guitar/ and see if there any guitars it can’t mimic!
The good stuff
It’s a good guitar in more ways than one, however and I think that its weight, smoothness and durability make it an exceptional choice as a first guitar for a beginner. The quality workmanship will ensure that you can concentrate on your fingering and picking techniques without having to worry about pickups coming out and knobs falling off. On top of that, it’s a real looker of a guitar – one that anyone would be proud to go on stage with.
The bad stuff
Nothing too serious to complain about, just watch the setup of the action, fit and finish when you first receive the guitar – you might have to make some adjustments yourself. If you’re not confident doing this, I hope you’ve got a bit of cash left as you’ll want to take it to someone who knows what they’re doing and won’t destroy your nice new guitar!
The overall view
The Red Special is a personal favorite and I think everyone should have a chance to play around with one, if only to test its versatility. I see that Amazon reviewers currently rate this guitar with 4 stars out of a possible 5 – a figure I find surprisingly low, although the negative reviews tend to be about the guitar’s setup upon receipt. This is obviously an area where Mr. May’s company could make some improvements!