Brian May and Eric Johnson demo the new BMG Arielle signature

The two guitarists take two different approaches.

Eric Johnson demoing the BMG Arielle

Image: BMG via YouTube

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At the start of February 2021, Brian May Guitars launched its first signature model for an artist other than its namesake, the Arielle. Now, the brand has released two demo videos for the guitar, with guitarists Eric Johnson and Brian May putting it through its paces.

The two demos show two very different sides to the guitar – Johnsons is, as the video’s description states, done in “laid back, chill-out style,” with a clean tone and careful phrasing.

May’s demo, on the other hand, takes a more full-bore rock approach, with hefty bends, dives courtesy of the Wilkinson vibrato system, and a lot more gain applied to the overall tone.

The Arielle’s scale length is 24 inches: the same as found on the original Red Special, a full three-quarters of an inch shorter than a standard Gibson scale length guitar.

Hardware comes in the form of a chrome-finished Wilkinson two-point tremolo, plus Grover 406 Series Mini Locking Rotomatic tuners. The Wilkinson vibrato features six individual saddles, as well as a low-profile surround that eliminates the possibility of horizontal saddle movement.

Electronics consist of May’s Tri-Sonic single-coils, as well as the same phase-switching system that’s found on the red special. This system sports six DPDT switches that allow each pickup to be engaged and have its phase reversed independently. There’s also a master volume and tone control, with the latter using a Sprague 0.033μF Orange Drop capacitor.

You can see May and Johnson demoing the guitar below.

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