Music, especially that made with guitars, is full of heroes. It is not difficult for fans to see their favourite guitarists as sword-wielding knights. Instrument manufacturers are well aware of this, which is why they make agreements with the most talented musicians to create 'tailor-made' models.
Today we want to dive into the world of signature guitars by taking a look at the 20 most interesting models with just one rule: they have to cost less than a thousand euros!
From edgy, heavy metal and hard rock (for example, with signature models by Nita Strauss, John Petrucci, Randy Rhoads, and Eddie Van Halen), to warmer sounds, perfect for blues or jazz (with signature models by George Benson and B.B. King), passing through rock (Jimi Hendrix, Slash and Rush’s Alex Lifeson), and acoustic (Taylor Swift and The Clash’s Joe Strummer) - the choice, shapes, genres and qualities are all full of surprises!
Whether you like the artist’s music or not, we are sure their guitars below will be a great source of inspiration for many Guitars Exchange readers. Plug in your guitar and play it loud!
Ibanez PSM10-BK Paul Stanley Signature
Styled in a black finish, the PSM10 Paul Stanley Signature Series from Ibanez is an electric guitar with a poplar body and a distinctive single-cutaway body shape. The guitar sports a PSM maple neck, as well as a scale measuring 22.2", a New Zealand pine fingerboard, and 22 medium frets with block inlays. This six string is designed for younger players, making it the perfect choice for children who happen to be into bands like Kiss in the twenty-first century.
Taylor Swift Baby Taylor TS-BT
Based on the compact ¾-scale Dreadnought, the TSBT is crafted from a resilient layered sapele body with a solid Sitka spruce top. Taylor Swift's custom, screen-printed rosette design features the word “Love” three times among a delicate vine motif. The personalized design also features her signature above the bridge.
Fender Joe Strummer Campfire
The Fender Joe Strummer Campfire is a small-bodied electro-acoustic guitar, honouring the legacy of the Clash guitarist. Its body is constructed using solid Spruce for the soundboard and laminated mahogany for the back and sides, resulting in full and characterful acoustic tone.
Ever fancied one of the all time classic signature model guitars but put off by the price? The Ibanez JEMJR-WH sports a Wizard III maple neck. This has been fitted with rosewood fretboard from the Tree of Life. The white finished mahogany body has the distinct Monkey Grip, which has been a feature on the Jem since its conception. The JEM Junior also comes with a Standard DL Double Locking Tremolo system; an essential for a Steve Vai Signature guitar. Other hardware includes a set of Quantum pickups. The Ibanez JEMJR features a traditional Humbucker, Single Coil, Humbucker setup, which delivers plenty of great-sounding biting tones.
Epiphone Nancy Wilson Fanatic Fireburst
The Nighthawk is arguably one of Gibson’s most fantastical designs, and the Epiphone Nancy Wilson Nighthawk ups the wow factor with cool, custom appointments. The guitar sports pearloid twin parallelogram inlays on its striking ebony fingerboard, amber top hat knobs, a luscious burst finish, and vintage-style Epiphone deluxe tuning machines. The Nighthawk’s string-thru design, hardtail bridge, and Graph Tech NuBone nut ensure impeccable tuning stability and rock-solid intonation. Capping off this visual feast is an exclusive truss-rod cover hot stamped with “Fanatic,”; the title of Heart’s hard-rocking fifteenth studio album.
PRS SE Mark Tremonti Standard
The PRS Mark Tremonti Standard has a powerful voice that is well suited to heavy rock rhythm playing and melodic, soaring leads. The Tremonti “S” pickups and dual volume and tone controls allow players to dial in a wide variety of tones, while never losing this model’s signature sharp aggression.
Cort MBM-1 Manson Meta Black
Cort has teamed up with Matthew Bellamy, the frontman and lead guitarist of Muse, and Manson Guitar Works, to develop an all-new signature model that is built to Matthew's high and demanding specifications. The result is a superb rock guitar with big full tone and a rock-solid feel, without the boutique price. This exciting model features an especially designed set of pickups from Manson and a discrete kill button to create unique sonic textures.
George Benson can thrill the connoisseurs but also make the neophytes dance; his music isn’t jazz or pop, it is a delicious sound played by an absolute master guitarist. Floating Magic Touch-Mini humbuckers are chock-full of clean response and clear articulation. A comfortable nyatoh neck offers incredible hand-filling playability, while the bound walnut fretboard feels smooth and looks amazing. Set-in neck construction ensures maximum sustain.
Ibanez JIVA JR-DSE
Shortly after the successful launch of Nita Strauss’ Ibanez signature guitar (the JIVA10 in 2018), Nita approached Ibanez about making a more affordable version of this immensely popular guitar. Instead of simply cutting corners on a JIVA10 and calling it a day though, Nita decided to design a whole new guitar that is just as striking as the original JIVA, but has a character all of its own. The JIVA JR has many of the appointments of the original JIVA10, including the Ibanez S body shape, H-S-H pickup configuration, double-locking Edge Zero-II tremolo, and of course, the ‘Beaten Path’ fretboard inlay, but it also features a new finish that is sure to grab attention.
Epiphone Emily Wolfe Sheraton Stealth
Emily Wolfe lent her creativity and worked with Epiphone luthiers to develop her first-ever signature guitar, the Emily Wolfe Sheraton Stealth. Available in Black Aged Gloss, this guitar features an Indian Laurel fingerboard with 22 medium jumbo frets and mother-of-pearl block inlays with abalone lightning bolts. The headstock comes in the popular 60s Kalamazoo shape with Emily's Wolfe logo--a mother of pearl Tree of Life--inlay on the front, and a black gloss Emily Wolfe "Stealth" signature on the back. This six string is fitted with Grover Rotomatic tuning machines and a GraphTech nut, an Epiphone LockTone Tune-O-Matic bridge and Stop Bar tailpiece hold down at the other end of the strings that contribute to the impressive sustain of the instrument. The electronics include full-sized Epiphone Alnico Classic PRO humbucker pickups that are paired with CTS potentiometers for smooth control over individual pickup volume and overall tone.
Evh Stripe Red
With a long history of being copied, the EVH Striped Series guitars put Eddie Van Halen's authentic style and sound in your hands ... These are high powered, high-performance machines as kickbutt to look at as they are to play. The Striped Series guitar features a basswood Stratocaster-style body decked out in Eddie's famed graphics: red with black stripes, black with yellow stripes and white with black stripes. These unique guitars also have a graphite-reinforced bolt-on quartersawn maple neck with a hand-rubbed oil finish on the back, 12"-16" maple fingerboard with 22 jumbo frets and black dot inlays - and a thumbwheel truss rod adjustment wheel for convenient neck relief tweaks.
PRS SE Santana SY
Carlos Santana’s influence as a PRS artist led to the development of the SE electric guitar series, which launched in 2001. In honor of that legacy, PRS now specifically offers the SE Santana model, featuring a 24.5” scale length on a 24 fret neck, a PRS patented molded tremolo, Santana "S" humbuckers, and the same body shape silhouette as the famed guitarist’s revered American-made PRS models. This guitar and its appointments honor Santana’s skill and style better than ever and offer players great quality and value.
The Joe Satriani Signature guitar is designed for maximum playability and tonal diversity. It has a powerful, wide-ranging tone from Infinity RD (neck) and Quantum (bridge) humbucking pickups, and push-pull coil-tap greatly expands your sonic options.
Epiphone Slash Les Paul November Burst
Part of the Inspired by Gibson Collection, Slash’s signature guitar has inspired numerous generations of players around the world. Perfect for every stage and players of all levels, the Epiphone Slash Les Paul Standard features a mahogany body, maple cap with AAA flame maple veneer, a Graph Tech nut, Epiphone LockTone Tune-O-Matic bridge and Stop Bar tailpiece. It also features Slash’s personal touches including a C-shape neck profile, Epiphone Custom ProBucker Alnico 2 pickups that are replicas of Gibson’s Custom BurstBuckers and exclusive to the Epiphone Slash Les Paul Standard models, color-coordinated hardware appointments, CTS potentiometers with Orange Drop capacitors, Epiphone Strap Locks, and a custom hardshell case.
Epiphone Alex Lifeson LP Std. Axcess
Through an extensive collaboration between Alex Lifeson and Gibson, Epiphone pushed the boundaries of the classic Les Paul to create the exclusive Alex Lifeson Les Paul Standard Axcess. The guitar includes a pair of powerful Epiphone pickups - the Pro Bucker 3 bridge pickup and the Ceramic Pro neck pickup. It also includes coil-splitting options via the push-pull volume controls and a Graph Tech Ghost Floyd Rose system. Together these features give the player access to both traditional magnetic humbucker tones as well as the Ghost’s realistic acoustic tones. For added flexibility, you can blend acoustic and magnetic voices to create a rich layered sound and then route them through either a traditional mono jack or use two cables to access the individual magnetic and piezo outputs.
Epiphone B.B. King Lucille
Unlike most semi-hollowbody guitars, the B.B. King Lucille doesn’t have any f-holes; B.B. himself requested this feature to help further reduce the possibility of feedback. Other standout features that make this Lucille such a stunning guitar and loving tribute include gold hardware, Grover Rotomatic tuners, a brass truss rod cover with B.B. King’s name engraved on it, mother of pearl ‘Lucille inlay’ on the headstock face, and a TP-6 tailpiece with fine tuners. The electronics are equally impressive, with a six-position Varitone switch, a pair of Alnico Classic PRO humbucking pickups wired to CTS potentiometers, and stereo and mono output jacks for maximum flexibility.
Epiphone Joe Bonamassa Lazarus 1959 LP
When blues-rock guitar legend Joe Bonamassa found this guitar, a rare 1959 Gibson Les Paul Standard, it was in poor condition and had been refinished in red. However like the Biblical Lazarus, Joe's original guitar was brought back to life. Once it was restored, its stunningly figured top was revealed. Featuring a one-piece mahogany neck, a mahogany body with a maple cap, topped with a wide-grain AAAA flame maple veneer, it's outfitted with Gibson BurstBucker pickups and 50s style wiring with CTS potentiometers and Mallory capacitors. It comes in a vintage-style case with Bonamassa graphics.
Sterling by Music Man JP70 Signature MD
The 7-string JP70 follows the iconic design of the JP7 — the original Ernie Ball Music Man John Petrucci signature model. Featuring die-cast locking tuning machines, the JP Shield logo inlaid at the first fret, a contoured forearm scoop, and a full floating modern tremolo bridge, the JP70 is the personification of a shredder’s dream. It is available in Mystic Dream.
Jackson Pro Rhoads RR24Q Trans. Purple
The Jackson Pro Series Rhoads RR24Q solidbody electric guitar delivers striking aesthetics, an ultra-playable neck, and a perfect balance between classic design and modern features. This guitar follows in the footsteps of the original Randy Rhoads model, sporting the familiar aggressive “V” design and unmistakable legendary tone - courtesy of Seymour Duncan Distortion TB-6 - and SH-6 humbuckers. The Pro Series Rhoads RR24Q features a comfortable oil-finished maple neck, along with a lightning-fast compound-radius fretboard. Get it in your hands and we think you’ll agree, the Jackson Pro Series Rhoads RR24Q is an outstanding solidbody electric guitar.
Fender Jimi Hendrix Strat OWH
Featuring an alder body and a 21-fret neck with a C-shaped profile, 9.5-inch radius, and oversized headstock, the Fender Jimi Hendrix Stratocaster is clearly inspired by the late-Sixties Strats that Hendrix favored. Vintage-style tuners, the master volume/neck pickup tone/middle pickup tone control setup, and control knobs, pickup covers, and switch tip - made of aged white plastic - further enhance the model’s classic late Sixties vibe. However, a few features like the medium jumbo frets, five-position pickup selector switch, vintage-style synchronized tremolo (shipped with a floating setup), and American Vintage ’65 Single-Coil Strat pickups are provided to satisfy the preferences of today’s Strat players.
Photo Credit: Epiphone