Skip to main content

The most sought-after new signature electric guitars of 2022

Summer Gear Expo 2022: Best new signature guitars
(Image credit: Gibson)

GEAR EXPO SUMMER 2022: Gibson might seem relatively absent in the electric and acoustic categories this year, but it’s doing overtime with its signature guitar range. Adam Jones, Jerry Cantrell, Joan Jett, Dave Mustaine, B.B. King and even Mana’s Sergio Vallìn have received new signature designs from the big G in 2022. 

However, it is perhaps Fender that gets the scoop with its replica of Nile Rodgers iconic and monstrously successful Hitmaker Strat.

Elsewhere, there’s a huge variety of weird and wonderful stuff on offer thanks to the combined imaginations of artists and luthiers. From no-nonsense metal riff machines, to rotating pickups and note-perfect vintage emulations, take a look at the gear due to hit the shelves this year.

Manson Guitar Works META Series MBM-2

Manson META MBM-2

(Image credit: Manson Guitar Works)

£569

The Manson/Matt Bellamy designed and Cort-manufactured META Series has been expanded and tweaked to more closely represent the guitars favoured by the Muse man. 

This MBM-2 adds a new P-90-equipped option, here paired with a humbucker on the newly-contoured basswood body. In addition, there’s a Hard Canadian maple neck (with a soft V profile) and an Indian laurel fretboard and locking machine heads. There’s also a kill button on the upper horn for Bellamy-esque fun.

Read more about the Manson Guitar Works META Series MBM-2

Gibson Lzzy Hale Signature Explorerbird

Gibson

(Image credit: Gibson)

$2,799

Longtime Explorer player and Gibson brand ambassador Lzzy Hale has come up with this combo of Explorer body and neck with a non-reverse Firebird headstock. 

It’s finished in Cardinal Red nitrocellulose lacquer and underneath you’ll find a mahogany body paired with a SlimTaper mahogany neck and rosewood fingerboard. There’s also a pair of 70s Rocker humbuckers, plus some eye-catching gold hardware.

Read more about the Gibson Lzzy Hale Signature Explorerbird

Ernie Ball Music Man Kaizen

Ernie Ball Music Man

(Image credit: Ernie Ball Music Man)

Given Tosin Abasi’s impressive reputation as a forward-thinking guitar designer with his own Abasi Concepts line, it’s perhaps better to think of the Kaizen as less of a traditional signature and more of a collaboration between builders.

The seven-string offset double-cutaway offers a 24.75” to 25.5” Infinity Radius neck, Steinberger Gearless locking tuners, heat-treated humbuckers on an ultra-lightweight alder body, roasted maple neck and wedge-shaped ebony fingerboard.

Read more about the Ernie Ball Music Man Kaizen

Ibanez Tom Quayle TQMS1-CTB

Ibanez Tom Quayle TQMS1-CTB

(Image credit: Ibanez)

£TBC

The UK fusion guitarist gets his second signature, in the form of the T-style TQMS1-CTB. It’s an alder body build, with a maple top and a roasted maple neck with a rosewood fretboard.

Quayle has opted to keep the pickup pairing of a Seymour Duncan Magic Touch-mini humbucker and Alnico II Pro Custom bridge single-coil. There’s also a Gotoh T1802 bridge and locking tuners onboard, too. It’s all finished in Celeste Blue with a tortoiseshell pick guard.

Read more about the Ibanez Tom Quayle TQMS1-CTB

Reverend Billy Corgan Signature Z-One

Reverend Guitars Billy Corgan Signature Z-One

(Image credit: Reverend Guitars )

$1,799

Corgan’s third collaboration with Reverend has produced a signature model that is designed to handle the heaviest parts of the Pumpkins’ catalogue. 

As such, it retains the winning offset shape of its predecessor the BC-1, but features an alder body, roasted maple neck, aluminium pickguard, locking tuners and two Railhammer Z-One pickups.

Read more about the Reverend Billy Corgan Signature Z-One

Charvel Sean Long Signature Pro-Mod San Dimas Style 1 HH HT M

Charvel Sean Long Pro-Mod San Dimas Style 1

(Image credit: Charvel)

£1,069 / $1,199

If Sean Long’s signature looks like a black canvas that’s very much intentional. The guitarist loves to write on his instruments and his signature offers an inspirational minimalist starting point, in more ways than one. 

It’s a rock-solid, string-thru body hardtail build, with Charvel locking tuners, a super speedy compound radius neck, Luminlay side dots and a pair of EMG 66 and 57 pickups, with the latter finished in a distinctive neon yellow. A no-nonsense platform for greatness.

Read more about the Charvel Sean Long Signature Pro-Mod San Dimas Style 1 HH HT M

Epiphone Jerry Cantrell ‘Wino’ Les Paul Custom

Epiphone Jerry Cantrell Wino Les Paul Custom

(Image credit: Epiphone )

£749 / $849

Epiphone’s more affordable take on the Cantrell’s Murphy Lab signature drops a few of features (not the least the dual output and Fishman Powerbridge piezo). 

However, it nails the aesthetic of Dark Wine Red and gold hardware and the tones available from the dual humbucker setup (a 98T Pro in the bridge and an Alnico Classic Pro in the neck) should do a snarling job, nonetheless. 

Read more about the Epiphone Jerry Cantrell ‘Wino’ Les Paul Custom

Suhr Pete Thorn Signature Standard HSS

Suhr

(Image credit: Suhr)

$3,649

Session supremo and YouTube guitar authority Pete Thorn returns with his second Suhr signature, this time adding an HSS pickup configuration option. 

At it’s core is a two-piece alder body, with a ‘soft-V to C’ roasted maple neck and ebony 10"-14" compound radius fingerboard. There’s a signature Thornbucker II and a pair of V63 single-coils, plus a Wilkinson WVS-130 tremolo bridge and locking saddles. A pro setup from a pro player.

Read about the Suhr Pete Thorn Signature Standard HSS

Wild Customs Billy F Gibbons Special Standard Edition

Wild Custom Guitars

(Image credit: Wild Custom Guitars)

£5,216 / $6,882

The Standard Edition of Wild Customs’ Gibbons signature shaves about $3,000 off the original $9,000 Artist Edition. However, it retains the innovative Gyrock system, which mounts three pickups on a rotating holder – you simply roll it to change pickup. Meanwhile, the holders can be easily swapped and out and replaced with other sets.

It comes with six pickups, including Seymour Duncan Antiquity Strat Texas Hot, Lipstick Tube, Red Devil BFG signature and Pearly Gates BFG signature, plus Wild Customs own Grizzly humbucker and Jalapeño P90. It’s all mounted on an alder body, with a Canadian maple neck and Pau ferro fretboard. 

Read more about the Wild Customs Billy F Gibbons Special Standard Edition

Gibson Adam Jones Les Paul Standard

Gibson USA Adam Jones Les Paul Standard

(Image credit: Gibson)

$2,999

Tool guitarist Adam Jones was honoured with a limited edition Gibson Custom Shop interpretation of his Silverburst 1979 Les Paul last year. However, at $5,999 it was out of reach of many fans and not least because it quickly sold out.

Now the instrument has entered Gibson’s main USA line and while still pricey, seems much more attainable. As you’d expect from an LP, it’s a solid mahogany build with a maple top and mahogany neck, with a ‘70s-style rounded profile. However, there’s an ebony fingerboard, hand-wired electronics and a unique pickup pairing of a DC High-Gain Humbucker and a BurstBucker 1 – ideal for chunky Tool-like tones. 

Read more about the Gibson Adam Jones Les Paul Standard

Jackson Pro Series Signature Jeff Loomis Soloist SL7

Jackson Pro Series Jeff Loomis Signature Soloist SL7

(Image credit: Jackson)

£1,299 / $1,699

Loomis’ new signature seven-string is a minimalist beast that looks like it can chew through tour dates at a rate of knots. 

The solid basswood body is topped with sandblasted ash, while the three-piece maple neck is graphite reinforced and completed with a 12”-16” compound radius ebony fingerboard.

It’s loaded with a pair of Loomis’ signature Seymour Duncan Blackout pickups, alongside a Floyd Rose 1500 vibrato, die-cast tuners and Luminlay side dots. A none-more-black road warrior.

Read more about the Jackson Pro Series Signature Jeff Loomis Soloist SL7

Gibson Custom B.B. King Lucille Legacy

BB King Lucille Legacy

(Image credit: Gibson)

$6,999

The Gibson Custom Shop hails the King, with this new Lucille model. Alongside the fancy gold hardware and luxurious mother of pearl inlays, there’s a pair of Gibson Custombuckers, Varitone switch and a nitrocellulose-finished figured maple/poplar construction. 

The electronics are quite special, too, with 500K CTS Audio-Taper Potentiometers, paper in oil Bumblebee capacitors and a hand-wired harness. 

Read more about the Gibson Custom B.B. King Lucille Legacy

Jake E Lee Signature Pro-Mod So-Cal Style 1 HSS HT RW

Charvel

(Image credit: Charvel)

£1,369 / $1,299

This Jake E Lee is exciting for two reasons. Firstly, it oozes classic Charvel cool, with a slick S-style alder body, maple neck and speedy 12”-16” compound radius rosewood fretboard.

Secondly, we love the fact that it incorporates both DiMarzio and Seymour Duncan pickups on the same model, with a pair of the former’s SDS-1 DP111 single-coils in the middle/neck and the latter’s JB Humbucker at the bridge. 

It’s all strung together with a five-way selector and a single volume control – a utilitarian system that still offers flexibility.

Read more about the Jake E Lee Signature Pro-Mod So-Cal Style 1 HSS HT RW

Gibson Custom Shop Sergio Vallìn 1955 Les Paul Gold Top

Gibson Murphy Lab Sergio Vallìn Gold Top Les Paul Standard

(Image credit: Gibson)

$7,999

Yes, it’s another eye-watering-ly expensive Gibson Custom Shop signature, but Maná guitarist Sergio Vallìn’s 1955 Les Paul Gold Top is here because, well, it’s stunning.

It’s loaded with a pickup pairing of Custombucker humbucker at the bridge and P-90 at the neck and equipped with a Bigsby B7 vibrato. It’s been finished in Gibson’s Murphy Lab for a beautiful aged look. One for the ‘one day, maybe’ list.

Read more about the Gibson Custom Shop Sergio Vallìn 1955 Les Paul Gold Top

Fender Nile Rodgers Hitmaker Stratocaster

Fender Nile Rodgers Hitmaker Stratocaster

(Image credit: Fender)

£2,449

According to Fender, the value of the song’s produced by Nile Rodger’s Hitmaker Strat exceeds $2 billion. Now the production line model of Rodgers’ legendary six-string is hitting shelves. 

It’s an alder body in a slightly compact 1960 silhouette, with a chrome-plated brass pick guard, a ’59 profile neck and a set of custom single-coils. Tuning stability comes via the hardtail bridge and Sperzel locking tuners. It all comes in a hardshell case – to keep your Hit’ protected. 

Read more about the Fender Nile Rodgers Hitmaker Stratocaster

Gibson Dave Mustaine Flying V EXP

Gibson USA Dave Mustaine Flying V EXP

(Image credit: Gibson)

$2,799

Combining Gibson’s iconic Flying V with an Explorer headstock, Gibson’s first Mustaine signature model is a high spec thrash machine. 

It’s loaded with a pair of Mustaine’s signature Seymour Duncan Thrash Factor humbuckers, Grover Mini-Rotomatic tuners and a solid hardtail bridge. The neck is interesting, too, stretching to a longer 25.5” scale and swapping in a compound radius ebony fingerboard for the traditional 12” radius.

Read more about the Gibson Dave Mustaine Flying V EXP

Epiphone Joan Jett Olympic Special

Epiphone Joan Jett Olympic Special

(Image credit: Epiphone)

£489 / $549

This signature model from Joan Jett is based on the rock vet’s well-worn Melody Maker and represents great value, bringing in a few premium components to the affordable Epiphone range.

There’s a single Powerhammer Pro humbucker in the bridge, controlled by a CTS volume pot and an on/off toggle switch, plus a GraphTech nut and a Switchcraft output jack mounted on the pick guard. The body is mahogany but it’s a relatively lightweight build. All in all, an appealing blend of simplicity and quality hardware at an equally attractive price point.

Read more about the Epiphone Joan Jett Olympic Special

ESP LTD James Hetfield Snakebyte Camo

LTD James Hetfield Signature Snakebyte Camo

(Image credit: ESP Guitars)

£1,657

The Metallica rhythm god’s Snakebyte ESP and LTD signature models have been given an overhaul for 2022 with a new camo finish. The LTD version still costs a significant chunk of change, though.

However, it’s an all-mahogany body and neck construction, with a Macassar ebony ‘board. There’s also a Tone Pros locking TOM bridge and it comes installed with Hetfield’s own signature EMG JH humbucker set. 

Read more about the ESP LTD James Hetfield Snakebyte Camo

Gibson Custom Shop Noel Gallagher signature ES-355

Artpèges

(Image credit: Artpèges)

£?

Noel Gallagher recently posted a Gibson-branded teaser clip on Instagram. The video featured a montage of stills of Gallagher with his favoured ES-355, alongside the text “August 2022…” The accompanying hashtags read: #No1 #GibsonCustom #ComingSoon – all but confirming the existence of a forthcoming signature model. 

Details are otherwise sparse, but it seems we won’t have long to wait. In the meantime, you might want to read about that (and how the Gibson ES-355 that broke up Oasis sold for £325,000) below...

Read more about the Gibson Custom Shop Noel Gallagher signature ES-355

Matt is a freelance journalist who has spent the last decade interviewing musicians for the likes of Total Guitar, Guitarist, Guitar World, MusicRadar, NME.com, DJ Mag and Electronic Sound. In 2020, he launched CreativeMoney.co.uk (opens in new tab), which aims to share the ideas that make creative lifestyles more sustainable. He plays guitar, but should not be allowed near your delay pedals.