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2000s Burns Brian May Red Special Electric Guitar Cherry w/ Tri-Sonic Pickups, Near Mint


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Up for sale, an early 2000s Burns Brian May Red Special in near mint, 100% original condition and in perfect working order. Not to be confused with later (and lesser) iterations of the Red Special platform both from Burns and via other brands, this particular Burns model captures both the visual and sonic stylings of this wholly unique instrument.

With a trio of Burns Tri-Sonic single coil pickups and a sextet of two-way mini toggles to engage the pickups and offer some delightfully thinned out and snappy out-of-phase sounds, this Red Special can handle gain with ease and deliver the sweet, singing, articulate sounds for which May is known. Just add a treble booster and your favorite Vox amp and you're well on your way. The guitar weighs 7lbs 7oz with a chambered mahogany body, professionally setup here at Mike & Mike's Guitar Bar with 10-46 strings, low action, and accurate intonation.

The mahogany neck has a chunky C-shaped profile carve with generous shoulder, still feeling plenty fast for replicating May’s speedy lead work and measuring .860" at the 1st fret and .960" at the 12th. The 24 fret slab ebony fretboard has flawless medium jumbo fretwire, playing cleanly in every register up the 24 3/4" scale, with a straight neck and responsive, optimally adjusted truss rod. The graphite nut measures a full 1 3/4" in width behind the zero fret. On the headstock, the original Gotoh locking tuners are intact and turn smoothly with white pearloid buttons.

The electronics all work as intended, with large machined aluminum Master Volume and Tone knobs governing the trio of pickups, each with its own dedicated on/off and phase two-way mini toggles. The pickups have good muscle and fullness, and the mahogany body adds a bit of inherent warmth and bark to the sound. The chrome plating is gleaming on the Tri-Sonic pickup covers and on the London Deluxe tremolo which has a blade pivot and a smooth, easy response, complete with the original arm. Cosmetic wear on the gloss multi-ply bound Cherry finish is limited to just a couple light finish scratches in the clear coat of the gloss on the body as a whole. The gloss finish on the neck profile is flawless.

The original Burns-branded padded gigbag is included.