Seven great signature electrics

Some would say that there are almost too many signature guitars out there these days and whether you’d agree or not, most of them guarantee at least a high level of build quality, not to mention some serious coolness.

Here are just seven signature guitars that not only mirror what the artist in question plays themselves, but can also offer we men in the street something genuinely special.

So, in no particular order...

Fender Eric Clapton Stratocaster



Often quoted as one of Fender’s best-selling artist models of all time, Eric’s signature model was launched to the world in 1988. Still bearing a lovely, soft vintage-style V profile to the maple neck, pickups on the most recent version comprise a trio of Fender’s noiseless single-coils. What remains from the original is the ever-useful TBX tone control that adds a hefty mid-boost to allow we mere mortals to get that much closer to EC’s golden tone.

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Gretsch Brian Setzer Tribute G6120SSC



Limited to just 59 examples worldwide, not only was this model exact in every detail to Setzer’s own 6120, but was also period-correct too. Warm, fat and twangy in a single spoonful, the guitar actually spoke to us when we removed it – carefully - from it’s case for our feature in GIT298. It said "Put me back, chav."

As Brian himself said: “It’s like a 47 year-old guitar without the smell! I didn’t realise how recognisable that guitar was but, I can’t tell you the people who have that guitar tattooed on their arm…”

It’s the best Gretsch we’ve ever played and, considering the asking price, it should be. EBay awaits...

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EVH Wolfgang



The latest in a long line of Eddie Van Halen signatures, the latest incarnation of the Wolfie is, as our review in GIT320 said, the best–sounding of them all. Ed’s reputation as a pure tone hound remains undiminished in the flurry of VH-related nonsense, and he applied his extensive knowledge to the production of the guitar from the outset. Bourns pots, a thin-skin finish and an upside-down three-way toggle may come across as so much voodoo, but the guitar plays wonderfully and sounds amazing...

Visit EVH here...


Brian May Guitars Super



The ‘posh’ version of BM’s unique Red Special is second only to a mega-bucks guitar from UK luthier Andrew Guyton in authenticity, performance and tone. Causal fans can be excused for allowing the the short scale length, zero fret and those six pesky pickup switches to put them off, but run the bridge and middle Trisonic in series and in phase through an AC30 on full blast and you have the man’s iconic tone. Whether you can stand the sheer volume required is, as ever, down to you but it’s certainly worth it. Pardon?

Visit Brian May Guitars here...


ESP KH-2 Ouija



Metallica may be increasing meh these days – why? – but this ultra-limited edition of Kirk Hammett’s guitar is easily the best KH yet. Not only is the slinky neck everything a rock guitar’s should be, the two EMGs actually possess a distinctive tone; take that, naysayers. The custom Ouija graphics are owned by The Hamster and have been perfectly applied here, and how does it sound? Like some kind of monster™.

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Gibson Angus Young SG



We still don’t understand why the AC/DC’s man’s signature SG possess a Lyre vibrola but Gibson Custom did pull off the impossible: make a cool guitar even more sought-after. Loaded with a pair of Angus’ signature humbuckers, the guitar plays and sounds better than even God himself could have dared hope. DC are not a metal band, nor are they hard rock: they’re a blues band and this guitar has just the right tone. Still think the Zoot Suit is a cool SG? Thought not...

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PRS Tremonti SE



With dark clouds feeling compelled to begin considering a trip to PRS HQ, the Creed /Alter Bridge man’s cheaper signature is still amongst the very best guitars the company has ever produced. They’re criminally cheap at the moment and such is the sheer quality of tone the two fat ‘buckers produce that you’d be mad not to at least try one. At least two members of the Guitarist team own Tremonti SEs and, before you jump to any incorrect conclusions (again), we paid for them with our own money, so there.

Visit PRS here...






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