7. Epiphone Björn Gelotte Ltd Edition Les Paul Custom
After receiving over 50,000 votes across 11 categories, this year's Total Guitar readers' polls were fiercely competitive. Now, the results have been tallied, and we're ready to announce what you voted the finest gear and guitarists of 2015.
No longer simply a case of slapping an artist's name on the headstock, the signature guitar is now something that's honed over years of collaboration between artist and manufacturer.
These six instruments are testament to that development, and their appeal extends well beyond their immediate fanbase. This is how they took your fancy, starting with…
Epiphone Björn Gelotte Ltd Edition Les Paul Custom
As riff-master general in Swedish metal titans In Flames, Björn Gelotte helped pioneer the melodic death metal sound in the mid-90s.
In Flames' sound has since undergone a profound evolution, but Gelotte's taste in guitars is unchanged. He's a Gibson Les Paul Custom man, hot-rodding them with EMG active pickups to bring clarity and power to down-tuned riffs.
"It makes for a decadent guitar that pairs classic looks with all the power of a modern metal electric. Think of it as a tuxedo with a stick of dynamite tucked in its pocket."
6. Ibanez JS140
Ibanez has always managed to ensnare more than its fair share of off-the-wall players in its artist roster - and instrumental giant Joe Satriani has stuck with the company since being snapped up in the 80s, after breaking through in a flurry of demisemiquavers, landmark albums and questionable hair.
Joe's first signature model, the JS1, was introduced in 1989, and fast-forwarding to the here and now, this brand-new JS140 makes a welcome addition to 2015's Satriani signature range.
"As a mid-priced rock-ready electric, we reckon you'll be impressed."
FULL REVIEW: Ibanez JS140 review
5. Epiphone Gary Clark Jr Blak & Blu Casino
While he also plies his trade with Gibsons and Fenders, it's the Epiphone Casino that Gary Clark Jr is most associated with, along with a burgeoning pedalboard and his Fender Vibro King and Princeton Reverb. Never afraid to step outside of 12-bar blues constraints, and with his latest album, The Story Of Sonny Boy Slim, just released, Clark is establishing himself as a the coolest young guitar hero around.
Epiphone clearly knows when its on to a winner, as the company has wasted no time producing a signature mode, the Gary Clark Jr 'Blak & Blu' Casino, which is available in both our featured Bigsby version or with a trapeze tailpiece, which retails at £619.
"This is one classy package – steeped in heritage, a choice of vibrato or trapeze versions, not to mention aggressive on-the-street pricing, this is a compelling offering."
FULL REVIEW: Epiphone Gary Clark Jr Blak & Blu Casino review
4. Fender Dave Murray Stratocaster
Given that he plays lead guitar in Iron Maiden, the world's biggest heavy metal act, Dave Murray is a relatively unassuming chap.
His first affordable signature model is typical then, of a man happy to let the music do the talking; a signature graces the back of the headstock, but otherwise this is an instrument to impress your own personality upon.
"Definitely not just for Maiden fans; think of it as an all-rounder for rock, with a quietly eccentric retro-vibe belying its SuperStrat status."
FULL REVIEW: Fender Dave Murray Stratocaster review
3. Cort Manson MBC-1 Matthew Bellamy Signature
For a guitar made for such an extraordinarily talented musician, Matt Bellamy's latest signature model is a bit, well, ordinary. Those of you expecting onboard effects and MIDI controllers to emulate the Muse man's custom Hugh Manson-made axes best look elsewhere.
At £499, the MBC-1 is designed to hit a completely different price point, and although still designed by both Matt and Hugh, it's made in Indonesia by guitar-making giant Cort.
"Bellamy, Manson and Cort have created one of the finest rock axes at this price. Let's hope this is just the beginning of a significant partnership."
FULL REVIEW: Cort Manson MBC-1 Matthew Bellamy Signature review
BUY: Cort Manson MBC-1 Matthew Bellamy Signature currently available from:
2. Epiphone Ltd Ed Lee Malia Les Paul Custom
The latest addition to Epiphone's growing list of signature models is a Les Paul created for Lee Malia, guitarist with metalcore heavyweights Bring Me The Horizon.
You'd be forgiven for expecting a high-octane blacked-out metal machine loaded with active pickups; instead, Lee has opted to base his signature on the Les Paul Artisan, an ornate LP produced by Gibson for a short period of time in the late 70s and known best for its banjo-style fretboard inlays, affectionately referred to as 'hearts and flowers'.
"An extremely well-constructed guitar from a custom shop that's deserving of serious recognition, especially at this price point."
FULL REVIEW: Epiphone Ltd Ed Lee Malia Les Paul Custom review
1. Fender Jimi Hendrix Stratocaster
South paw Jimi Hendrix created a legend when he flipped over a right-handed Fender Stratocaster, switched the strings round and then went about the business of becoming the greatest guitarist of all time.
It was the late 60s, and he was only reacting to a dearth of decent left-handed guitars, but Jimi's iconic compromise subtly altered the feel and sound of his Strats. The tension in his low E, A and D strings increased, making it easier to tune down to Jimi's favoured Eb, while the high E and B became easier to bend.
The angle of his bridge pickup was reversed, too, influencing the guitar's tone. It's these details that Fender has replicated with its new Mexican- built Jimi Hendrix Stratocaster.
"This Hendrix model might just turn everything you think you want from a Stratocaster on its head."
FULL REVIEW: Fender Jimi Hendrix Stratocaster review