1993 GUILD BRIAN MAY, RED,Limit Edition,Signatur Series,Very RARE, Mint Mint Mint AS NEW with TAG code VA557

All original 1993 Guild Brian May Signature in Museum condition! 7 lbs 3.4 oz, Wide C neck profile, and a 1 7/8″ nut width. 24″ scale length and includes the original hard shell case! The Queen tone!

code VA557














G.O.W.R. Ball Grosvenor House Hotel
November 1992
Joe Brown, George Harrison & Chas jammin'

In the Spring of 1964, Brian May, then a student at Hampton, Middlesex, England, and his father, an electtonics engineer, worked on a project to make an electric guitar. After two years of experimentation and construction the "Red Special" emerged. This guitar, Brian's principal instrument, has been an important part of "Queen's" great sound.

In 1984, the Guild guitar company and Brian worked closely together to produce 316 close counterparts of the "Red Special", which had to retain the quality and special features of a custom-made guitar. It is a unique guitar-different in feel, sound, features, appearance, and character. The new edition, with custom made parts such as pick-ups, tremolo, and the design and shape of the neck and body, is almost a perfect copy of Brian's own guitar.

So you may say that the new re-issue is a spitting image of the "Red Special". Guild will only produce a limited amount of this new edition.

Components and Feel

As with the original version, this body is made out of hand-picked mahogany that was cut specially to show the beauty of the grain. The fingerboard is made out of high-grade ebony with low frets for fast easy action. The neck is wider than most electric's (1 13/16 at the nut) allowing plenty of space for string bending and full control of chords with the left hand. Two full octaves are fretted with cut-a-ways allowing easy access to the 24th fret. The inlaid fret markers give a lot more guidance than on most guitars. The head of the guitar is shaped so as to position the tuning pegs almost in line with the strings, giving it minimum bending at the nuts. The graphite nut positions the strings horizontally, and a 'zero fret' positions them vertically. This eliminates tuning problems at low fret positions, bringing the open string sound into line with fretted notes. This nut arrangement holds tuning with aggressive vibrato use.

The Vibrato

Vibrato units rock strings back and forth over the bridge, and twenty years ago Brian's guitar was the first to have micro rollers to eliminate friction at the bridge. This saves breakage, but equally important, enables the vibrato to return to true pitch, which has always been a problem with early units. Brian's own design of a frictionless vibrato uses a rocking plate on a knife-edge which hsa served him well. This vibrato will be identically reproduced by Schaller.

The Sound

The Guild "Brian May" doesn't just sound like a typical Gibson Les Paul or a Fender Stratocaster. It gives you more in terms of getting your feelings across than any other guitar. The new re-issue has specially designed Seymour Duncan pick-ups which duplicate the original Burns Trisonic pick-ups. These pick-ups have a widened magnetic field, so that the unit picks up from a greater string length than the normal single coil pick-up. The end result is an output which retains the clarity of a single coul pick-up with some of the warmth associated with a hum-bucker. Equally as important is the way the pick-ups are wired in series, rather than parallel as normal, each has an on/off switch (upper row) and a phase-reversing switch (lower row). This is to product a large number of different sounds without having to use any tone controls.

Setting Your Sounds

Setting 1 - standby
    Top On/Off Switches: ON-none OFF-1,2,3
    Bottom Phase Switches: (doesn't matter)
The guitar has a true "off setting", in this position it can be used as "standby". Volume can be preset at a level, switching one or more on/off switches, brings the guitar on at a pre-set level. Phase switches can be set anywhere in the standby mode.

Setting 2 - fingerboard pickup only
    Top On/Off Switches: ON-1 OFF-2,3
    Bottom Phase Switches: (doesn't matter)
This setting will give you a warm sound with a distinctive "plunk" that is ideal for blues playing. Be careful that the phase switch isn't half way between, or there will be no sound at all.

Setting 3 - middle pickup only
    Top On/Off Switches: ON-2 OFF-1,3
    Bottom Phase Switches: (doesn't matter)
This pickup has a slightly harder sound, being situated nearer one end of the string and picking up different harmonies.

Setting 4 - bridge pickup only
    Top On/Off Switches: ON-3 OFF-1,2
    Bottom Phase Switches: (doesn't matter)
This pickup gives a very treble type sound being near the bridge and picking up high harmonics. This setting is very clear, even at high levels of amplification. It is very useful for playing patterns where more than one string is played at one time. If you back off the tone control to take off a little of the edge, it produces sounds reminiscent of "Woman" tone.

Setting 5 - pickup 2 and 3 in phase
    Top On/Off Switches: ON-2,3 OFF-1
    Bottom Phase Switches: DOWN-2,3 (1 doesn't matter)
This setting produces a humbucker sound, however with presence giving it a very distinctive sound. Brian has used this sound more than any other. It sustains great for solo work and it has a thick and full sound for reinforcing chords without it getting woolly.

Setting 6 - pickup 2 and 3 out of phase
    Top On/Off Switches: ON-2,3 OFF-1
    Bottom Phase Switches: DOWN-3 UP-2 (1 doesn't matter)
This is a very interesting setting. For example if you hit a chord using setting 5 and then flick phase switch 2 to the up position and hit the chord again, you'll hear a dramatic change in the sound. The two pickups are cancelling out the low harmonics and all that is left are a mixture of high harmonics. It's a kind of crunchy sound.

Setting 7 - pickups 1 and 2 in phase
    Top On/Off Switches: ON-1,2 OFF-3
    Bottom Phase Switches: DOWN-1,2 (3 doesn't matter)
(no notes on this setting)

Setting 8 - pickups 1 and 2 out of phase
    Top On/Off Switches: ON-1,2 OFF-3
    Bottom Phase Switches: DOWN-1 UP-2 (3 doesn't matter)
A dramatic change from setting 7 and also one of Brian's favourites. Scratchy at low levels, but at high levels piercingly pure and still able to sustain.

Setting 9 - pickups 1 and 3 in phase
    Top On/Off Switches: ON-1,3 OFF-2
    Bottom Phase Switches: DOWN-1,3 (2 doesn't matter)
A cutting but rather sweet sound.

Setting 10 - pickups 1 and 3 out of phase
    Top On/Off Switches: ON-1,3 OFF-2
    Bottom Phase Switches: DOWN-1 UP-3 (2 doesn't matter)
Very harsh and dirty, contrasting the pickups which are most different in sound.

Setting 11 - pickups 2 and 3 against 1
    Top On/Off Switches: ON-1,2,3 OFF-none
    Bottom Phase Switches: DOWN-2,3 UP-1
This uses all three pickups and sounds a little bit like a Rickenbacker tone, or a harder version of Brian's favourite sound, setting 4. Funky rhythms at low levels, hard and hollow at high levels.

Setting 12 - pickups 1 and 2 against 3
    Top On/Off Switches: ON-1,2,3 OFF-none
    Bottom Phase Switches: DOWN-1,2 UP-3
A very rich sound at very high levels (Violin type tone)

Setting 13 - pickups 1 and 3 against 2
    Top On/Off Switches: ON-1,2,3 OFF-none
    Bottom Phase Switches: DOWN-1,3 UP-2
Brian calls this "Bread and butter" after that rhythm sound. Makes a strange clang on the low strings. piercing at high levels.

Note: In phase settings

Don't be intimidates by the pickup switches - they're easy to feel out after a while. Don't forget that "phase" is a relative term - all that matters for an in-phase situation is that both pickups have the same phase. So phase switches can be both up or both down etc.

For example:
    Top On/Off Switches: ON-2,3 OFF-1
    Bottom Phase Switches: DOWN-2,3 (1 doesn't matter)
is the same as
    Top On/Off Switches: ON-2,3 OFF-1
    Bottom Phase Switches: UP-2,3 (1 doesn't matter)

The same applies to out of phase settings:
    Top On/Off Switches: ON-2,3 OFF-1
    Bottom Phase Switches: DOWN-3 UP-2 (1 doesn't matter)
is the same as
    Top On/Off Switches: ON-2,3 OFF-1
    Bottom Phase Switches: DOWN-2 UP-3 (1 doesn't matter)

Note: all of these settings can be modified by using the tone controls. More sustain can be obtained by using a booster preamp like Brian's, which Guild is planning to market.