View Full Version : My list of 10 Essential Signature Guitars

02-05-2013, 08:11 AM
Hello all,
Guitar Aficionado recently published their list of 10 Essential signature guitars. I thought their list was lame, so I thought I'd indulge myself and list my own top 10. Here they are, in no particular order.

1. Gibson Historic R9 1959 Reissue Les Paul - The all-time Classic Sig model, IMHO.
2. Fender Eric Clapton Stratocaster - the 1st signature Strat. I hate the midboost, but these have the best Strat necks I've ever played.
3. Ernie Ball Music Man EVH - I've owned all of Ed's signature guitars, except tr $25,000 Frankie. (That one was a piece of ****...) I still think the original is the best. Awesome tones, and a PHENOMENAL neck.
4. PRS Santana - Gave PRS credibility in the early days...and let's not forget it's beautiful and sounds great.
5. Gretsch Country Gentleman - How many folks bought a copy trying to sound like Mr. Guitar?
6. Jackson Randy Rhoads RR1 - This modified V is a classic. How many metal heads started buying pointy guitars after Randy started playing this? This was also the first Jackson guitar.
7. Gibson Wes Montgomery - I was torn between this and several other hollow Gibsons, most notably the Johnny Smith. But I went with the Wes, solely because I'm such a huge Wes fan.
8. PRS DGT - I'd venture to guess this is one of PRS' most popular models. Totally different vibe than the Santana. Why have I never owned one of these?
9. Ibanez JEM - While I'm not a huge fan of these guitars, Steve Vai's JEM series has been immensely popular for over 25 years. The JEM has been influential too. How many players based their own guitars off of a pointy Ibanez with a basswood body, ultra-hot Dimarzios, and a paper-thin neck?
10. Washburn Dimebag Series - I'm not a big fan of of Pantera, nor do I care for Washburns in general. But they've sold about 40 million of the damn things...

I'm not sure this is the best list...I'm sure with a bit more thought, I could come up with some better choices. And note there are no Telecasters on the list. (I guess Tele players like em off the rack for the most part?) But I do think my list is 10 times better than Guitar Aficionado's.

What's your list?

02-05-2013, 11:16 AM
I don't see how you can have an essential guitars list of any kind that doesn't include a Tele. Fender has done some great Sig Teles - James Burton, Jerry Dohahue, Danny Gatton, Ritchie Kotzen, Merle Haggard, John 5, Albert Collins, GE Smith, etc.

It's hard to grock what criteria you are using. Sales? Influence?

BTW, a PRS wide/thin neck is less than a millimeter thicker than most JEMs - at the nut a WT is 19.84mm and most JEMs are19mm. Only two of the JEM models had the paper-thin "wizard" neck Ibanez RG guitars are known for (17mm at the nut). All the other JEMs until very recently have been 19mm at the nut - it looks like the very latest ones are now 18mm.

02-05-2013, 11:33 AM
I couldn't decide on a Tele, but agree one should have been listed. I really like the Buck Owens Tele, but couldn't justify one of those as essential. I can't stand thin neck guitars. I've tried to get along with Wide-Thins, but just can't.

02-05-2013, 11:43 AM
SRV Strat - come on man!

02-05-2013, 12:16 PM
My list, not all "signature" guitars but those readily identifiable and synonymous with some of my favorite players.

Van Halen's stripes

SRV's number 1 strat

Gary Moore's ex-Peter Green Les Paul

Brian Setzer's 6120

Dimebag Darrell's Dean ML

Michael Schenker's black and white V

Rick Neilsen's checkerboard Hamer 'explorer'

02-05-2013, 12:23 PM
My list is just personal favorites in signature models, not trying to be comprehensive at all:

DGT, Tom Petty Rickenbacker, Santana, Lester, Lucille.

02-05-2013, 12:42 PM
As long as it has Paul's signature, I'm good.

02-05-2013, 01:12 PM
I picked up a Lucille once and played it for a few. I can't see me ever buying one, but I did really like it.

My list is just personal favorites in signature models, not trying to be comprehensive at all:

DGT, Tom Petty Rickenbacker, Santana, Lester, Lucille.

02-05-2013, 08:39 PM
Gibson Johnny A model

02-05-2013, 10:26 PM
I've never tried his guitar, but I have 2 of Johnny A's albums. (Does he have more?). That guy is a fantastic guitarist.

02-05-2013, 11:52 PM
Tele needs to be on there somewhere - Maybe a Andy Summers Tele? People forget the first two Zep albums where a Tele - Maybe a Page Dragon Tele?
Les Paul - 1959 - sure
Strat? So many versions - Like the OP, I loved the feel of "Blackie". For me it was a one trick pony with the mid boost. It's a GREAT trick but still.... Then again I'm not a strat guy.
EVH Stripes
Lots of great guitars....

02-06-2013, 06:55 AM
I think they were talking about actual signature models that are available for purchase. Personally, I don't think any of the signature Teles are any better than the old Butterscotch 52.