Brian May Bass review

A crazy little bass from Brian, but will it rock us?

  • £715
  • €1090
The bass is made in Korea to keep the costs trim

MusicRadar Verdict

Delightful to play, with its own character and sounds - recommended.

Pros

  • +

    Well styled and nicely built. Unexpected variety of solid sounds.

Cons

  • -

    Chrome knobs would suit the guitar better.

Why you can trust MusicRadar Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

Unlike the obvious Strat/Precision or the SG/EB-3 pairing, the Brian May Bass seems a somewhat curious design choice. However, seeing it in the flesh and, indeed, playing it, proves its worth.

"If you want something off the beaten track, the Brian May Bass has a great deal to offer"

A short 800mm (31.5-inch) scale length means it's visually well proportioned, with a set neck construction and a cherry-red, fully bound mahogany body, mahogany neck and ebony fingerboard. It has 20 frets, Hipshot tuners and the bridge is a high-mass, raised-tail design.

Although the bass is made in Korea to keep the costs trim and is less electronically complicated than the Brian May guitar, it's a very nicely put together instrument.

Sounds

Passive circuitry provides individual volume controls for the huge Gibson-style humbucker and the skirted Burns-like single-coil set, alongside a master tone control. Curiously, the humbucker does not dominate the sound, so it's easy to get a good balance between the two.

Rolling back the tone control reveals an almost parametric slant for the very last section and produces a great throatiness to the overall sound that is both unexpected and rather good. Backing off both volume controls a little actually unleashes the best hollow tones, too.

Full of sound and visual appeal, the Brian May Bass is a little too pricey for the beginner, but if you want something off the beaten track, this has a great deal to offer.