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Brian May Guitars unveils asymmetric Arielle signature electric, “the Red Special in a parallel universe”

Brian May Guitars has unveiled the Arielle

(Image credit: Brian May Guitars)

We revealed back in 2019 that Brian May Guitars had crafted its first electric guitar for another player – the Arielle, built for, well, Arielle – a singer-songwriter and guitarist from Austin, Texas.

That guitar, based on the handmade Two-Tone guitar Arielle built at 16 years old, has now been officially released.

The asymmetric design boasts a solid Limba body with a raised center strip for increased body mass and sustain, as well as a split, three-ply parchment pickguard and two-tone orange-and-blue diagonal finish.

Features include a mahogany neck and 24-fret ebony fingerboard with abalone diamond snowflake inlays. Much like May’s Red Special, the Arielle features a shorter 24” scale.

Pickups are May’s Tri-Sonic single coils, with the same switching system found on the Red Special, consisting of six black DPDT switches that engage each pickup individually as well as provided dedicated phase reversal.

Volume and tone are controlled by 250k pots with a Sprague 0.033μF “Orange Drop” film capacitor.

Other features include Grover 406 Series Mini Locking Rotomatic tuners, a Wilkinson WVP 2-point tremolo, a "stagger-drilled" solid steel sustain block and chrome hardware.

"This is the very first guitar that Brian May guitars has ever offered that is not based on my original Red Special,” May said. “Designed by, and named after, Arielle, it’s a new dimension.

“To understand why this guitar was irresistible to me, you have to hold her in your hands. She’s light, smooth, agile, and... she sings like a bird!"

The Arielle will be available beginning March 28, with a list price of £795 (approx. $1,085). 

For more information, head to Brian May Guitars (opens in new tab).

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Rich is the co-author of the best-selling Nöthin' But a Good Time: The Uncensored History of the '80s Hard Rock Explosion. He is also a recording and performing musician, and a former editor of Guitar World magazine and executive editor of Guitar Aficionado magazine. He has authored several additional books, among them Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, the companion to the documentary of the same name.