Building on the success of the 2021 BMG 'Two Tone' Arielle model, Brian May Guitars announces Antique Cherry finish for their guitar styled after American singer-songwriter Arielle.
THE BMG ARIELLE FEATURES
Striking Body Design
The flamboyant, asymmetric angles of the Arielle's Indonesian Mahogany body, at once timeless and forward-thinking, clearly pay homage to radical American automotive and electric guitar designs of the 1950s and '60s, with a distinctive raised center strip increasing the body mass for enhanced sustain and resonance, a split, 3-ply parchment pickguard and a classic gloss finish completing the cool, vintage look.
24" Scale Mahogany Neck
Employing the short 24" scale favored by Brian May on the original Red Special, the one-piece mahogany neck, in perfect balance with the lightweight body, has been engineered with a decidedly contemporary feel, featuring a generous 45mm nut width, comfortably spacious profile, and wonderfully smooth 24 fret ebony fingerboard with Arielle's choice of abalone diamond snowflake inlays in the traditional BM pattern.
BMG Tri-Sonic Style Pickups
Like the best-selling BMG Special, the Arielle features three BM branded 'Tri-Sonic' style single coil pickups, modern replicas of the vintage '60s units so fundamental to the Red Special's powerful and distinctive sonic character with the same series wiring, retro-styling, and magnet alignment as the originals.
BM Switching System
The unique Brian May designed electronics system is provided by six black DPDT switches featuring high-quality contacts mounted on a contrasting 3-ply black control plate. Engaging each pickup individually as well as providing dedicated phase reversal, this familiar configuration gives the BMG Arielle the same astonishing tonal agility as the original Red Special itself.
Wilkinson WVP Tremolo Bridge
Continuing BMG's long association with veteran British engineer Trevor Wilkinson, the Arielle is fitted with his acclaimed WVP 2-point tremolo, a vintage-styled variant of the unit used on the BMG Special. With a modern, friction-free design offering one of the smoothest actions of any fulcrum vibrato currently available coupled with a sleek, low-profile surround to eliminate lateral saddle movement, the WVP offers superior comfort, stability, and performance.
Thumbwheel Locking Tuners
The distinctive BM style headstock sports 3-a-side locking tuners with an 18:1 gear ratio for precise tuning and a thumbwheel locking mechanism that clamps the string securely. These superb quality machine heads allow for quick and easy string changes, requiring fewer string wraps and maintaining rock-solid tuning stability and more accurate return-to-pitch, even with lots of vibrato and string bends.
BMG Gig Bag Included
A premium quality, padded gig-bag, made from durable showerproof material, with twin rucksack-style shoulder straps, side and front grab handles, dual front pockets, and stitched BMG logo, is supplied as standard.
Versatile and bold, the heart of the Arielle's sound is round, wide, warm, and rich, with clean, clear highs and crisp note articulation, even when overdriven. Eminently capable of authentically delivering the hardest of rock or the most intimate dream-pop shimmer, the Arielle has clearly been engineered to be a brilliant, one-stop stage and studio workhorse. For blues and roots styles, there is a pleasing presence and a tight, focused bass response whilst jazz players and country pickers will love the chiming clarity, especially on out-of-phase settings, and the smooth, hollow twang of the neck pickup. Cranking up the gain, combining two or more pickups in phase, the broad Tri-Sonic response and resonant body give crunch chords ample room to breathe and allow lead licks and solos to project clearly and powerfully.
UK RRP £945.00 (Inc. VAT) — Available now for £845.00 from the official Brian May Guitars online store for a limited time. For more information, please visit BrianMayGuitars.co.uk.
The exhibition will offer the opportunity to experience the environment and surroundings in which the band created so many classic tracks.
Burbank, CA (November 15, 2013) -- Much has been written over the years about rock legends Queen’s mastery as musicians, songwriters and live performers. Less has been learned of the inside workings behind the shaping of the music which yielded four decades of pop hits, rock classics, and inspired countless young musicians to find their own place in music history.
Coming in the year which has marked the 40th anniversary of the release of their first single and album, a new Queen exhibition, ‘Queen: The Studio Experience Montreux’, is to offer a rare insight into one of the most significant periods of their recording years. The exhibition will open December 2, to mark World AIDS Day.
The Mountain Studios sessions saw Queen at their most demanding – both of themselves and those who worked around them. Freddie’s proclamation, “I want it to sound like a herd of Wildebeest stampeding from left to right,” was one such typical moment recalled by David Richards, then studio engineer, and later their producer. “Queen had no interest in what might have been done before. They were always looking for something new. So you would have to invent a way.”
Covering Queen’s sessions in Swiss based Montreux Mountain Studios where they regularly recorded between 1978 – 1995 and where they created the bulk of tracks for six of their most popular albums, the exhibition will offer the opportunity to experience the environment and surroundings in which the band created so many classic tracks.
The exhibition, which is under the auspices of the Mercury Phoenix Trust, will particularly highlight Freddie Mercury’s personal ties with Montreux and the studio where in his final months Freddie would spend as much time as his health would allow, recording his very last vocal tracks.
Dedicated to Freddie, the exhibition is being staged by the Mercury Phoenix Trust, the HIV AIDS charity set up in Freddie’s name to fight HIV AIDS worldwide. It will use the exhibition as a backdrop to furthering awareness of its programme of education and global funding in the worldwide fight against AIDS.
Its work in staging the exhibition is enabled through the sponsorship of the Fondation Casino Barrière Montreux, with the support of the Montreux Casino Barrière, the original home of Mountain Studios.
Michel Ferla, Fondation president, says: “The Fondation du Casino Barrière is proud to have been able to support the development and creation of ‘Queen: The Studio Experience Montreux’ at the Montreux Casino where it all started and to bring attention to how Queen contributed to the cultural musical heritage of the town.”
‘Queen: The Studio Experience Montreux’ will faithfully recreate within the Montreux Casino complex the rooms which originally housed Mountain Studios during the Queen recording years (the studio moved out in 2003 for renovation reasons). These revived spaces will be used to display extensive memorabilia from the original studio and from the band’s personal archives of the period: original Queen handwritten song lyrics, band members’ own instruments and costumes, studio tape boxes - many showing the original and subsequently changed titles of tracks, as well as combining specially created interactive audio and visual environments.
The ‘Queen: The Studio Experience Montreux’ is curated by Queen official archivist Greg Brooks and designed by Marmalade London whose previous assignment for Queen was the creation of the resoundingly successful ‘Stormtroopers in Stilettos’ exhibition, originally staged in London in February 2011 to mark the band’s 40th Anniversary. Says Marmalade London’s David Simpson:
“Following the success of the London project, which was attended by more than 22,000 visitors over a ten day period, it is a great privilege for us to now design a permanent exhibition as a celebration of the band's extraordinary achievements. The Swiss town was not only an invaluable retreat for the members of the band, but also a place where so many iconic tracks were conceived and recorded. The combination of footage, costumes, memorabilia, interactive displays and storytelling makes this a compelling exhibition, not only for existing devotees, but also as an introduction to nurture a new generation of fans.”
The exhibition centrepiece will be the original control room used by the band and where Freddie recorded his final vocals, complete with the actual microphone used in those sessions. Visitors are even given the opportunity to sit in the very studio chair Freddie used in those final days of recording, and to take control of legendary producer/engineer David Richards’ mixing desk to create custom mixes of Queen tracks. Initial tracks offered will come from the band’s final Montreux album, “Made in Heaven”. For anyone who has ever wanted to hear a favourite Queen song without guitars, drums or bass, pull up just the piano and backing vocals, or hear just Freddie’s voice in solo, this will present a truly unique opportunity to do so.
Queen first recorded at Mountain Studios in 1978, turning to the studio to complete their seventh studio album, “Jazz”, which they had begun recording in the South of France. A year later Queen took ownership of the studio, which they retained until early 1993.
Following their introduction to the studio with the “Jazz” sessions, five further albums were worked on there, as well as the studio being used by Roger Taylor and Brian May for solo work. Mercury chose Mountain to record a substantial part of his last solo work, his “Barcelona” album with Spanish operatic soprano, Montserrat Caballé.
Mercury was not at first enamoured with the idea of recording in a place with such a peaceful life as Montreux – when asked what to do with the studio once the band first took ownership, he quipped, “Throw it in the lake.” Freddie increasingly grew to love his new surroundings, eventually securing a lakeside apartment and taking up residence for the last period of his life, spending many of his remaining days in Mountain Studios storing vocal tracks for songs he knew would only ever be released once he was gone.
Mercury left Montreux for the last time on November 10, 1991, passing away in London exactly two weeks later, on the evening of Sunday November 24. His last work recorded there appeared on the band’s last album “Made in Heaven”, November 1995. It became one of Queen’s biggest selling albums, reaching sales of more than 20 million units across the world.
Says Brian May: "It's strange how life takes huge turns because of what seems at the time like a small decision. Our whole association with Montreux is the result of a momentary desire to take our recording work outside Britain so we would be more focussed (about 1978, I'm thinking). We decided to try Montreux and Munich as new places to find musical inspiration together as a band. Both turned out to be massive influences on our lives, and Montreux became a kind of second home. So much of our later development is tied into Mountain Studios, so it will be nice for Queen followers to be able to experience the studio first hand, and connect to possibly the most fertile period of all in the Queen story."
Adds Roger Taylor: "Mountain Studios, so many memories."
"Queen: The Studio Experience Montreux" will be opened by Brian May and Roger Taylor December 2, 2013. Thereafter open daily from 10:30 to 22:00. Entrance free although donations to the Mercury Phoenix Trust are encouraged.
For more information:
Queen Studio Experience
Three simple treble boosters from Freyer pay tribute to Brian May''s signature sounds
Right from the begining, on Queen’s earliest recordings, Brian May’s sound had his signature on it. His tone was immediately as distinctive and recognizable as his style of playing, but the key to his overall sound was always in its range of expressiveness. With only a guitar, a treble booster, and an amp, May could (and still can) go from the chiming, delicate ring of strummed chords and jangly arpeggios to lean, bluesy riffs and singing, melodic leads (sometimes accompanied by an orchestra of guitars singing along) to squealing bends and gliding, operatic vibrato, and from there on to something that sounds very much like a jet plane crashing to the ground— often in the space of a single song. While it’s never a perfectly “clean” sound, even in its most blistering and phased-out moments, it never loses its definition and string clarity. To be sure, you need good gear for this. But you also have keep in mind that good gear not sufficient; for this you also need singular technique.
The allure of that sound, however, has made May’s tone a sought-after commodity by guitarists of all skill levels. And there have been some successes. For many players, the simplicity of May’s signal chain is a big part of its allure, especially because it contains the x factor of a homemade and very special guitar (and often on recordings it also includes a one-off, handmade amp). And though May’s tone must certainly be counted among those that are worth chasing, the nature of the rig itself has to be somewhat responsible for the fairly brisk trade in May-oriented gear currently available—which if it isn’t aimed at making his tone available to you affordably (and by other means), it is designed to reproduce, with varying degrees of accuracy, May’s actual rig. Greg Fryer’s Brian May Treble Boosters fall into the latter category; they are in fact expressly accurate. One of them, the Touring booster, is part of May’s current rig. The others, aimed to faithfully reproduce the tones of Queen records past rather than present, do seem like they’re up to the task—when used with a Red Special guitar and an AC30, at least. Fryer is after all the one who restored the original, irreplaceable Red Special, and then made the backup replicas used by May; designing and building custom pedals and amps for May’s use has surely given him a unique insight into what makes that signature tone possible.
The boosters are available in three flavors: the Deluxe, the Plus, and the Touring. I’ve had more luck telling them apart by color and by sound than by name: they are purple, blue, and bright red, respectively. It may go without saying that all three battery-powered pedals (no AC jack) are simpler than most boosters—as simple as boosters come, in fact. Aside from the label, nothing but Switchcraft In and Out jack sockets, Bulgin 9V-battery drawers and rubber feet adorn their exterior. Inside each enclosure is only a small PCB with a few components, all painted black. Simplicity is an important part of the recipe, especially if you’re trying to achieve the same stunning sweep from the warmly jangling, almost-liquid sound of May’s “cleans” to the muscly, fat rhythm tones and searing, raw overdrive that evokes something like a Concerto in E-Minor for violins and rocket artillery.
Such boosters would also require exceptional clarity and sensitivity, since if you’re running a VOX or similar amp flat out, you’ve really got only the guitar to control every tonal variation of this rig. You can bet that all three of these treble boosters have plenty of both clarity and sensitivity to offer, but each provides its enhancements in a different way.
The regal, purple-colored one provides 35dB of gain and is aimed at May’s midseventies Queen tone. With single-coil guitars such as a Nash S-63 Strat-type and a stock Fender Road Worn Telecaster, pushed the almost-dimed AC30H2 into a sizzling overdrive, while retaining the punch and definition of the picked notes and barre chords. Think “Tie Your Mother Down,” but leaner. Rolling back the volume on those guitars cleaned up the tone beautifully to a pleasing, bright shimmer. The humbuckers on a Gibson LP Studio, a Fender Contemporary Tele and a Hamer Talladega Pro all bit much harder in the mids, retaining all the punch and clarity, but showing little sparkle at the top end. It was a pair of P-90-equipped guitars—a Deusenberg MC Signature and an Eastwood Airline Tuxedo (of all things)—that produced the most sensitive, fuzz-like leads and ringing, harmonic sustain of songs like “Brighton Rock” and “Stone Cold Crazy,” though both guitars, being hollow in some part, tended to feed back too easily.
Though the blue one has the most gain of the three at 36dB, the Plus has a very different sound from the other two, and because it hits the amp in a different way will probably sound like it has less gain than the other two pedals with many guitars. It is easily the most “vocal”-sounding of the three. Parkedwah tones and rich, sweet string sustain with violin-like qualities are not difficult to produce with humbucker- or P-90-equipped guitars. It’s this pedal that most clearly demonstrates how closely zeroed-in Fryer is to the precise elements of Brian May’s rig, since my humbucker-equipped guitars were all a little too much. Each produced fat growls, harmonic-laden overdrive and thick sustain when cranked, but not a lot of the gorgeous clarity and sparkle of the AC30; my Strat- and Tele-type single coils lacked the robustness for those fat, creamy mids.
The combination of the Deusenberg’s neck p-90 and bridge humbucker actually produced fairly good approximations of some of the less gain-heavy tones heard on News Of The World, like the smooth, chiming ring of “We Are The Champions, ” “Spread Your Wings,” and “It’s Late,” while rolling up the guitar’s volume and leaning into it produced the meat-eating, power chord crunch of… well, the same songs, actually. But that capacity likely also has something to do with the Deusy’s unique middle-position wiring.
The bright red one is the one May himself has been using since 1998. At 31dB of boost, it offers the least gain of the three, but its characteristics are quite similar to those of the Treble Booster Deluxe. With P-90s, this pedal also produced the closest thing to the rangy crunch and woolly thickness of May’s early-70s work on songs like “Modern Times Rock ‘n’ Roll” and “Son & Daughter.”
If you’re not chasing May’s tones, these pedals are still a good bet The Nash’s Lollar pickups through an Orange Tiny Terror Combo with the gain set moderately low engendered a superb, raw British bluestone: plenty of hair on the top end and a smoking crunch that was fully saturated but still retained the string detail.
The Final Mojo
Keep in mind that these boosters are designed not to mask the subtleties of your technique, so they won’t mask your mistakes either. Having said that, neither a lack of subtlety nor a the lack of a Red Special replica kept us from a very instructive tonechasing experiment, and the chase led us to some very satisfying guitar/amp/Fryer Brian May Treble Booster combinations that didn’t invoke shades of “Keep Yourself Alive.” Even if you’re not about to dive into the back catalog in your current Queen cover band, any of these three pedals will likely give your tube amp a very musical kick in the teeth. If you want the advantages of a great treble boost in a very simple signal chain, these are worth a listen. Fryer promises top-quality performance and 500 or more hours of continuous use from each, so it’s really down to which flavor takes you closest to the tones you’re chasing. For me, the Plus (blue) is the clear favorite, or maybe it’s the Deluxe (purple), or possibly the Touring (red).
You want a very sensitive, great-sounding boost that will also help you achieve a very precisely
You're happy with the way your modeling amp handles your Queen covers.
List $185 - Fryer Sound, Ltd. - fryerguitars.com