The biggest names on the biggest brands: the best new signature guitars of 2024

Sig Guitars
(Image credit: Epiphone)

GEAR EXPO 2024: It's usually the case that it's the biggest names in the guitar world queuing up to put their names on bespoke models, and that is certainly the case for 2024. But our selection of signature guitars for the year ahead also contains some very different names, plus the return of an icon.

Yes, we've got legendary guitars making a comeback, less well-known guitarists making their mark and, just before you think we're ignoring the big names, yes, a certain Dave Grohl makes an appearance with DG-335, as does Jimmy Page with his new $50k signature.

Let's see who else – big or small – is signing on the dotted line for the year ahead in signature guitars…

Gretsch John Gourley Broadkaster

We do like seeing signature models with different names on them – not just the usual guitarist suspects – and it seems Gretsch does, too. Its latest Electromatic Broadkaster artist model is for Portugal. The Man's John Gourley. 

Despite the guitar being on the pricey side, at $1,199 / £949, Gourley insists that cost was a factor, with him at least making sure that the guitar's features warranted the cash.

"The first thing we talked about was, can we make an affordable guitar?" he says in the video above. And while that price tag is not the most easily affordable, choosing the model of guitar was an easy one for Gourley – the Broadkaster is his favourite guitar, with the Bigsby B70 tailpiece his outstanding feature. "I just love hearing things bend into tune," he says. "That is the most satisfying thing in the world to me."

Gretsch John Gourley

(Image credit: Gretsch)

The specs are right up there. You get USA Full'Tron pickups, locking tuners and even strap locks. The finish of the guitar is an Iridescent Black, which looks very cool under lights. 

Gourley's signature has a large maple body with a chambered spruce centre bock, but it's thinner than you might be used to, following the musician's request for comfort while playing on stage. 

It's a solid build, though, because Gourley adds: "I'm not gentle with guitars at all, and I don't think you should be – I think you should play these things. It's like sneakers – I put them on, I wear them, skate in them, that's what they're there for."

Indeed skate films have been an influence on the guitar design as they have the band. Artist Cleon Peterson worked on the signature model with Gourley, who explains, "Cleon was an artist at Toy Machine. He just drew skate decks all day and is actually our neighbour. We had become friends years ago and ended up creating a lot of stuff during the pandemic. I was always a massive fan of him so I just said, 'Hey dude, do you wanna make a guitar with me?'"

Gretsch John Gourley

(Image credit: Gretsch)

Peterson's input included the 'cloud' fingerboard inlays, truss rod cover (which is a nod to Gourley's Alaskan home state), metal head badge, and the pickguard graphic. Finally there's also silver sparkle binding, an anchored Adjusto-Matic bridge, a thin U-shaped maple neck with a 12" radius laurel fingerboard and 22 medium jumbo frets.

The guitar is available now from Sweetwater and Andertons and you can get more info from Gretsch Guitars.

Epiphone Dave Grohl DG-335

Dave Grohl DG-335

(Image credit: Future)

One of the most requested Epiphone models ever, and surely one of the very biggest electric guitar releases of 2024 has got to be the Dave Grohl DG-335. We first spotted the Dave Grohl DG-335 at an LA event that took place during (but not at) this year's NAMM show, but since then way more information has come in, and the guitar has started shipping as we write this.

The DG-335 is a combination of Gibson ES-335 and Trini Lopez, with diamond-shaped soundholes and Firebird-style headstock of the latter model. As you can see it is finished in a quite stunning Pelham Blue. There are USA Burstbucker 2 pickups in the neck and Burstbucker 3 in the bridge. Other quality electronics include CTS pots, and Mallory capacitors with Switchcraft three-way toggle switch.


(Image credit: Future)

The DG-335 has a layered maple body and top, and the one-piece mahogany neck profile is 'Elliptical' C, while the fingerboard is Indian laurel featuring mother-of-pearl Split Diamond inlays. The nut is 43mm wide Graph Tech, and there are Grover Mini Rotomatics tuners and LockTone bridge / tailpiece. 

Dave Grohl DG-335

(Image credit: Epiphone)

There also an Epiphone Dave Grohl hardshell case and his signature on the back of the headstock. DG-335 is available now and not retailing at quite the massively high price we were expecting, although it is still four figures. DG-335 is selling for $1,299 / £1,249 and you can get more information from the Epiphone website.

Epiphone Dave Grohl Signature guitar

(Image credit: Epiphone)

Alex Lifeson Lerxst Limelight

Alex Lifeson Godin

(Image credit: Alex Lifeson Godin)

Fans of Rush will know the story and the legacy of Alex Lifeson's Hentor Sportcaster guitar. While the Canadian proggers were putting together their Moving Pictures album in 1981, Lifeson was on the lookout for something a little more creative in the guitar department.

The results was the Hentor Sportscaster, a highly modded S-type guitar. The model became synonymous with Lifeson and other Sportcasters would follow – even tribute builds that were available to Rush fans. However, there was never an official signature model, but that is about to change. 

Lerxst Limelight

ESP LTD Bill Kelliher Royal Shiva (Image credit: Lerxst)

The new Lerxst Limelight guitar isn't so much a recreation of the original guitar, which was used to record the song that inspired its name – see the video below – but more of what you might call a progression. 

The guitar is the result of a partnership between Lifeson's Lerxst brand for signature guitar releases and Canadian company Godin Guitars. The classic Sportcaster's ‘Frankensteined’ body build is included to an extent, but certain characteristics, like mismatched pickup outputs and tuning awkwardness caused by the original Floyd Rose, have been ironed out.

"The original Hentor brought together a mix of tone and playability that empowered me to explore sounds and styles of playing that I had never attempted before,” Lifeson says of that original guitar. “Ultimately these things became signature parts of my style. 

"When the idea came to reimagine this guitar it made sense to partner with innovators like Godin who I knew I could trust to utilise the advances in technology and manufacturing skill to create something that could power a new generation of players looking to push their own boundaries.”

 “It was not quite enough for me to just develop a reissue of that very special instrument,” he continues. “This was an opportunity to showcase 40 years of evolution within that solid platform. Well, Axe and you shall receive!”

The finished guitar has a contoured swamp ash body in Cream, and a maple neck with a 12" radius ebony fretboard and medium stainless steel frets. There are pickups in an HSS configuration as on the original Sportcaster, but now made by Mojotone and to Lifeson's specs for added balance across the combinations. 

Finally the locking tuners are 18:1 ratio and you have a choice of tremolo; either an Original Floyd Rose or Vega Trem with Graph Tech net. Both options are priced at $3,999.

Alex Lifeson Godin

Simon Godin with Alex Lifeson at the Godin factory  (Image credit: Richard Sibbald)

Godin Guitars President and CEO Simon Godin adds, “Collaborating with Alex Lifeson, an iconic artist who continually pushes tonal boundaries, is more than an opportunity—it's a testament to our shared pursuit.

"Together with Alex, we’ve fused our expertise and passion to craft instruments that transcend expectations. This collaboration represents a union of two relentless forces, aiming not just to build guitars, but to sculpt vessels of inspiration, setting new standards in musical expression."

There's more info at the Godin Guitars website

EVH MIJ Series Signature Wolfgang

EVH Gear's MIJ Series Signature Wolfgang is a high-performance electric guitar with Eddie Van Halen’s touring specs, perfectly suited to the effervescent rock playing of its namesake. It is available in either off-white Ivory or matt-black Stealth finishes, and as you might expect, it is everything Eddie

There are oversized screw-eye hooks for the guitar strap, an EVH-branded Floyd Rose vibrato, and a solid double-locking unit for divebombs and whammy bar mayhem. There’s also an EVH D-Tuna for going into Drop D tuning as should you wish.

MIJ Series Signature Wolfgang

(Image credit: EVH Gear)

This MIJ model has 'premium' written all over it, starting with multi-ply binding on the body and headstock. It has a solid basswood body topped with arched Big Leaf maple. The neck joins the body via a four-bolt joint, quartersawn from maple into a Wolfgang Backshape. There is graphite reinforcement which should make it durable and resistant to temperature changes.  

The ebony fingerboard has 22 stainless steel frets with pearl block inlays and the neck has a hand-rubbed satin urethane finish. The fingerboard dimensions boast a 12” to 16” radius for a state-of-the-art feel. 

MIJ Series Signature Wolfgang

(Image credit: EVH Gear)

There are direct-mount Wolfgang humbuckers on the bridge and neck, with an Alnico III at the neck and an Alnico II at the bridge. There's a three-way reversed pickup control mounted on the upper bout. You also get an EVH BI Tech HPU low-friction volume knob and a high-friction tone knob. 

Finally there's a killswitch mounted on the lower bout, finished in red which you can use for staccato/stuttery effects. An EVH hardshell guitar case is included. 

The EVH Gear's MIJ Series Signature Wolfgang is £1,799 / $2,599 ($2,699 for Ivory). For more details head over to the EVH Gear website.

EVH Gear Shark and Circles

Shark and Circles

(Image credit: EVH Gear)

There's more from EVH Gear now as the company has brought back a pair of Eddie Van Halen cult classics in the form of the Shark and the Circles. These guitars are steeped in EVH lore, both based on two electric guitars both radically modified by Eddie Van Halen

The Shark is the most recognisable of the two, the original model of which was made famous on a 1978 tour, and originally a butchered Ibanez Destroyer. The Shark was first released at NAMM 2019 but is now rejoining the EVH Gear line-up. 

The guitar has has a quartersawn maple neck glued to the ash body and, like the original. Jagged edges give it the toothy look that led to its Shark nickname.

EVH Striped Series Shark

(Image credit: EVH Gear)

The guitar has a brass nut and the bridge is a solid-brass and chrome-plated harmonica-style unit that helps give the Shark its tone. The short 24.75” scale gives it a slightly different feel to its 25.5” Fender-like siblings in the line-up.

Finally, there is a pair of EVH Wolfgang Shark humbuckers that are controlled by low- and hi-friction Bourns pots. Shark costs £1,499 / $1,899.

EVH Striped Series Circles

(Image credit: EVH Gear)

The Circles guitar is an S-style, hot-rodded, and with an outstanding “crop circle” design. The original was the guitar that EVH rocked around 1981 when he was blowing minds with Unchained. 

It is a more conventionally EVH, with a basswood, Strat-like body, a maple bolt-on neck, and 12” to 16” maple fingerboard with dot inlays. There an EVH-branded Floyd Rose vibrato with a D-Tuna for drop D tuning, and a single EVH Wolfgang humbucker at the bridge. 

Circles is cheaper than Shark at £1,299 / $1,399 and both models will be available this April. Head on over to the EVH Gear website for more.

Jimmy Page EDS-1275 Doubleneck

We've saved possibly the best – definitely the most expensive – until last. We knew it was coming, but none of us quite predicted the price of Jimmy Page's new signature EDS-1275 Doubleneck. You want it? Yours for $49,999!

This, though, is an accurate replica of the guitar Jimmy Page used to deliver Stairway To Heaven, Celebration Day, The Rain Song, and The Song Remains The Same live with Led Zeppelin. It was even played more recently on a tribute to Link Wray.

Each one of these 50 'Collector’s Edition' guitars is signed and and has been "played" by Page himself. 

Jimmy Page EDS-1275 Doubleneck

(Image credit: Gibson)

Apparently Gibson scanned Page's original EDS-1275's profile with 3D technology and also utilised a process Gibson CEO Cesar Gueikian said was “almost taking an MRI of the guitar” to recreate the feel of the original.

“I really wanted to have something that was exactly the same as my one,” Page said during a Q&A with Gueikian at the launch earlier this year. “Because I’ve changed the controls but also the colour of it, from my point of view, it had to be absolutely as close to the bones as possible. They took a lot of trouble and time to get everything absolutely right. 

“It wasn’t a case of OK, ‘I’m Jimmy Page, make my doubleneck. That looks shit, now go and make it!’ It wasn’t like that… The Murphy Lab, the distressing – that looks like mine.”

For the asking price you also get "a lavish collection of case candy" curated by Jimmy that includes a Certificate of Authenticity book, a Premium Cherry/Black Leather Strap and Vintage Replica Strap, a wooden Pick Display with the actual Herco Flex pick played by Jimmy Page on the specific guitar, Schaller Strap Locks, an Embroidered Dragon Guitar Shroud, and a Gibson Doubleneck Stand. 

Quite a lot of extras, then (for quite a lot of cash). Start saving and find out more on the Gibson website.

Looking for more great new gear? Get all our round-up, news, features, tutorials, tips and more at our Gear Expo hub page.

Andy Jones

Andy has been writing about music production and technology for 30 years having started out on Music Technology magazine back in 1992. He has edited the magazines Future Music, Keyboard Review, MusicTech and Computer Music, which he helped launch back in 1998. He owns way too many synthesizers.

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