United Artists: 15 New Signature Guitars That Can Help You Channel the Spirit of Your Favorite Ax Slinger
Guitar World brings together 15 new signature guitars that can help you channel the spirit of your favorite ax slinger.
Ever since guitarists started gaining fame and fortune from their artistry, there have been players who wanted to emulate them. In response, guitar makers have created signature model guitars bearing the names of celebrated musicians.
As far back as the 1830s, top luthiers like Johann Stauffer and René Lacote were collaborating with leading guitarists of the day, including Luigi Lagnani, Fernando Sor and Napoléon Coste, to create custom models. This includes what are possibly the first seven-string guitars, designed by Coste and Lacote, some of which bear Coste’s name handwritten on the label inside the body.
The premise back then was much the same as it is today: as well-known and accomplished guitarists achieved new vistas of tone and technique, they lent their names and/or expertise to the design of instruments that—presumably—could help ordinary players attain similar musical feats. Even if you lacked the creative soul and dexterous fingers of a Sor, Hendrix or Vai, at least you could have the same kind of guitar.
The vogue for signature guitars escalated in the late Twenties and early Thirties as our modern concept of celebrity took shape around new innovations in entertainment technology such as phonograph records and movies with synchronized sound. The prime example of this phenomenon is the Gibson Nick Lucas model flattop acoustic, which was introduced in the late Twenties.
Washburn Time Traveler PS2012R Paul Stanley The Washburn Time Traveler guitars are hand crafted and aged to look, feel and play as if they're 40 years old. Built in the Washburn USA Custom Shop, these limited-edition guitars utilize premium woods and components. Plus, no two are alike, making each a collectible in its own right. The aged nitrocellulose finish is available in Pelham Blue, Polaris White, Golden Mist and Cardinal Red. LIST PRICE $8,665.33 | washburn.com
Vigier DoubleBfoot Ron Thal The Vigier DoubleBfoot is exactly like the guitar Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal uses on tour with Guns N’ Roses. It features twin carbon-reinforced fretted and fretless necks, DiMarzio pickups with custom switching, and proprietary Vigier hardware. Originally intended as a one-off custom job for Thal, the DoubleBfoot is now available as a production model. STREET PRICE $5,700 | vigierusa.com
Gibson USA Brendon Small Snow Falcon Flying V Inspired by Metalocalypse’s ax-swinger Toki Wartooth and designed by his creator Brendon Small, the Snow Falcon is built for the stage but it’s vicious in the studio. Finished in an eye-catching silver-and-white burst, the guitar has a shred-ready all-white fingerboard and features the power and playability of a classic V. The Gibson BurstBucker pickups add punch and feature coil splitting. LIST PRICE $2,498 | gibson.com
Dean Jacky Vincent Custom Floyd Setting the bar for the next generation of shred-savvy guitars, this slimmed-down version of the popular Dean Custom Series guitars features set maple neck construction, an alder body with a dazzling purple finish and EMG 81/85 pickups. This guitar also debuts a new Dean reversed headstock, along with an intricate wolf and Roman numeral inlay. STREET PRICE $799 | deanguitars.com
ESP Alex Skolnick EC Based on ESP’s popular Eclipse body style, the ESP Alex Skolnick EC features a mahogany body, a set mahogany neck with a 24 3/4–inch-scale length, a rosewood fingerboard with custom inlays, a custom headstock, Grover tuners, a TonePros locking TOM bridge with stop tailpiece, and an Alex Skolnick signature Seymour Duncan pickup set. STREET PRICES ESP Alex Skolnick, $4,999; LTD AS-1 Alex Skolnick, $949 | espguitars.com
Schecter Synyster Gates Custom S The Synyster Gates Custom S by Schecter Guitars features a black-and-gold–striped mahogany body with a three-piece mahogany set neck. The guitar boasts an ebony fretboard along with the infamous “SYN” and Avenged Sevenfold “deathbat” inlay. Other features include a Seymour Duncan Invader/Sustainiac–loaded pickup configuration, a Floyd Rose bridge and Grover tuners. LIST PRICE $1,649 | schecterguitars.com
Martin D-35 Seth Avett Built in collaboration with Seth Avett of the Avett Brothers, this 14-fret dreadnought has a high-altitude Swiss spruce top and a three-piece back of East Indian rosewood with a flamed koa center wedge. Avett himself designed the copper snowflake inlay on the ebony fretboard. LIST PRICE $3,999 | martinguitar.com
Takamine EF250TK Toby Keith Signature Based on his longtime Takamine workhorse acoustic, the Toby Keith EF250TK has a full-sounding jumbo body with a convenient cutaway, a solid spruce top with scalloped X-bracing, and beautiful flame maple back and sides. The guitar also features Keith’s signature on the heel cap and his silhouette image on a special headstock medallion. LIST PRICE $3,599.99 | takamine.com
Ibanez JS2410 Joe Satriani Signature The JS2410 in Muscle Car Orange is Joe Satriani’s latest signature ax and features two firsts for him: a 24-fret fingerboard and an alder body, a wood that the guitarist says delivers an extra measure of cut through the mix. The guitar includes Satriani’s signature DiMarzio pickups, an original Edge Trem bridge and a three-piece Prestige neck. STREET PRICE $2,499.99 | ibanez.com
Ernie Ball Music Man JP13 John Petrucci The Ernie Ball Music Man JP13 signature guitar features a basswood body with maple top and mahogany tone block. The 24-fret rosewood neck is constructed of mahogany with a flatter 17-inch radius and stainless-steel frets. The two-humbucker pickup configuration featuring the DiMarzio Illuminator signature bridge and neck pickups is a welcome addition to the family. RETAIL PRICES 6-string, $3,500; 7-string, $3,700 | music-man.com
Epiphone Ltd. Ed. Matt Heafy Les Paul Custom Epiphone and Trivium's Matt Heafy present the Ltd. Ed. Matt Heafy Les Paul Custom and the Matt Heafy Custom-7 seven-string, two new and totally killer original takes on the world-famous Les Paul. Designed in close collaboration with Heafy, each signature Les Paul Custom reflects his distinctive approach to guitar. LIST PRICES Six-string, $1,165; seven-string, $1,332 | epiphone.com
PRS SE Mark Tremonti Custom The SE Tremonti Custom is a powerful Singlecut guitar that features a maple top and neck rather than an all-mahogany body and neck. It also has a trem-up rout, previously available only on the Core Tremonti model. This guitar has two humbuckers, each with its own volume and tone control, and a three-way pickup selector on the upper bout. STREET PRICE $709 | prsguitars.com
The Cort Arena 1 is the latest signature guitar from Scorpions guitarist Matthias Jabs. It features the Jabs-designed Scorpu pickups, with his exact humbucker/single-coil/humbucker specifications. Additional features include a Full Force switch to bypass the guitar’s electronic, and an Easy Grip tone pot that provides a single-coil push/pull option on both humbuckers. LIST PRICE $949 | cortguitars.com
Framus Wolf Hoffmann Signature The maple body of the Framus Wolf Hoffmann Signature guitar is curved ergonomically to suit the right hand perfectly. The fretboard is made of tiger-stripe ebony with block/pyramid inlays, and the 24 nickel-silver frets are installed with Framus’ unique Invisible Fret Technology, then perfectly dressed by Plek technology. LIST PRICE $6,799.99 | framus.de
Peavey Rudy Sarzo Signature Cirrus Bass With its neck-through-body design and studio-quiet active electronics, the Rudy Sarzo Signature Cirrus is firmly rooted in the Cirrus legacy of finely crafted, tonally superior instruments. This 35-inch-scale bass features quilted maple wings, a maple neck with mahogany stringers, a rosewood fingerboard and the classic snake-eye inlays from Sarzo’s original signature bass. STREET PRICE $799.99 | peavey.com