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Name Recognition: 10 Essential Signature Model Guitars

Name Recognition: 10 Essential Signature Model Guitars

Ah, how young and innocent we all were when Fender introduced its first signature model — the Eric Clapton Stratocaster — in 1988.

Of course, Chet Atkins' name appeared on several Gretsch models (the Tennessean, for example) long before then, and let's not forget that Les Paul — the name that appears on millions of guitar headstocks across the world — was actually a person.

Today, new signature models seem to be popping up daily, each one "designed according to the artist's specifications." Almost every major manufacturer makes them for a host of artists from every genre of guitar-based music. This, of course, leaves players with a wealth of choices.

Below, however, is a list of 10 high-quality signature-model electric guitars that the respective artists can proudly sign their name to — 10 models that get it right.

As always, this list was compiled by a group of Guitar World editorial staffers including Technical Editor Paul Riario, the guy who tries out every piece of gear that arrives at Guitar World. The gear in this story is presented in no particular order.

EVH Wolfgang USA Stealth

Short of committing an act of grand theft Frankenstrat, the Wolfgang USA Stealth from EVH is the be-all, end-all Van Halen guitar for that moment you decide to try your hand at "Eruption."

Of the guitars on this list, the Wolfgang USA Stealth features, by far, the most responsive Floyd Rose system. (It should be noted that the EVH-branded Floyd Rose isn't a floating setup, so it can only be used for diving.)

As Guitar World reviewer Chris Gill wrote in our April 2012 issue, "Whether you're a metal shredder who wants super-sonic speed and nothing-but-black aesthetics or an EVH aficionado who craves the ultimate Van Halen playing experience, the EVH Stealth delivers like no other Wolfgang.

What does it sound like?

Eddie used the EVH Wolfgang USA Stealth throughout Van Halen's North American tour this year, but in case you missed them, here's our own Paul Riario to give you a demo:

MSRP: $3,999.99 | Visit to learn more about this guitar.

From its humble origins in the back of a small music store in London, Marshall Amplification has defined the sound of rock for generations of guitarists around the world. The History of Marshall Amps: The First Fifty Years by Michael Doyle and Nick Bowcott tells the story of Jim Marshall's remarkable life and documents the many innovations of Marshall amplifiers, from the famous “stack” to the most current offerings. It's available at the Guitar World Online Store.


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