#1
I posted a similar thread called "Artists Using Artist Guitars", but this thread I made to answer another question. After realizing that most guitar manufacturers out there have artist model guitars taking up close to 50% of their normal selections (meaning no custom shop stuff), I was wondering if it is considered bad or "unoriginal" if you use artist guitars. I hear people say that it is because you're copying another person's style and possibly their exact specs, but is this true and is there something wrong with that?
#2
It is, to me, like playing someone elses guitar...and I hate that feeling...it's almost noobish feeling. I would just get a good reliable guitar, customize it to your tastes, get famous, and wait for Gibson/PRS/ESP/etc. to recognize u as an investment. ha
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#4
I don't see anything wrong with it. I myself don't really like to do it. I don't see me buying a signature model anytime in the future, esspecially because I just sold off my last sig guitar, which was my Dean DFHCFH.

I guess it all depends on how you feel about it. I don't think people would think differently of you for playing a signature guitar.
#6
surely this would mean that slash, jimmy page,and anyone that is using a Gibson LES PAUL guitar is using a signature guitar of a jazz player.....
anyone...no?
#7
Some of them offer great features that are not available on other models. Its like a custom guitar but not made for you so if its made for someone that you love thier sound and style then they can be great. If you have no idea and are just a poser then they are good too.
#8
I bought a JS100.
I just think it's a nice, comfortable guitar, the neck is a bit more vintage-feeling than most Ibbys in that price range and it's overall a bit more simple.
And I'm going to customise the hell out of it soon.
If something's blatantly a signature model, like an EVH, then yes, it's unorigional. If not, go ahead.
#9
Personally I'd just get a stock guitar and make it my own, or get a custom order, which I actually intend to do once I get a job. I agree with Skynyrd890 though, it feels like playing someone else's guitar. Granted sed guitar tends to be that kind of guitar your grateful to be playing, but it's not the kind of feel you want on your favourite axe.

With that same key though, both Pete Townshend and, occasionally, Ronnie Wood, use Clapton signature strats(albeit Pete's are heavily modded), so to each his own I suppose.
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#10
Yeah i mean i wouldn't ever really do it. I think since your paying extra for the name you might as well get a better guitar thats similar and mod it to your liking if you want something different
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#11
Quote by livingproof
surely this would mean that slash, jimmy page,and anyone that is using a Gibson LES PAUL guitar is using a signature guitar of a jazz player.....
anyone...no?


Yup, and I believe most that buy an LP don't even know its a signature guitar or a guitar originally intended for jazz.
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#12
Depends. If it's just a new finish or a cheap pickup swap then it's not worth bothering with. Some signature guitars though offer features that are nearly impossible to find elsewhere though, and then it becomes worth it and I don't begrudge anyone using one.


Epiphone's range is a good example.

They have the Slash and Zakk Wylde signature guitars - they're regular Standards, but with a different finish and swapping the usual Epi pickups for cheap EMG Hz passive pickups (which are universally agreed to be awful), and Seymour Duncan Alnico II Pros (which are tonally vapid and the only reason to use them is if you want the lowest and most basic output possible - which is great when you're Slash who has a great amp rig to pick from, but for the kids at home trying to emulate his tone, it's utterly useless). Not only are these changes all arguably worse than the basic model, but if you had up the cost of the parts, you're paying almost twice what you would if you just bought a Standard and changed the pickups yourself.

Then they had the Joe Perry signature LP (which I myself own) and the Tony Iommi signature SG. Firstly, these have Gibson USA pickups, which are pretty expensive - and yet the Iommi SG and Joe Perry LP cost less when you buy these stock than if you bought standard versions of the guitar and put those pickups in. Then on top of that, they each have some more unique features that you don't get on the standard anyway; the Iommi had custom inlays, 24 frets (rather than 22), a slim-taper neck (instead of the usual Epi neck), and the front strapbutton positioned on the upper horn rather than behind the neck of the guitar. The Joe Perry LP got the slim-taper neck too, old Gibson-style Kluson tuners, the neck pickup was made in reverse polarity, and was chambered in the same way Gibsons were in the early 80's, rather than the more drastic chambering that they and Epis are made with now.



I use a Joe Perry LP myself, and I've gotten my hands on the Iommi SG before, and they were fantastic, and since they offer things that the usual Standard models don't (even with modding), they're worth getting and I don't see any problem with anyone using them.

On the other hand, the Slash and Zakk Wylde LPs are a joke; they cost more than any other model and yet they offer arguably less. If you used either of those, people have every right to point and laugh at you, I think.



Quote by DSOTM80
Yup, and I believe most that buy an LP don't even know its a signature guitar or a guitar originally intended for jazz.
To be fair, what is now most comonly known as a 'Les Paul', is significantly different to the original Les Paul design that he uses himself. Really the only thing the two types of guitars have in common is the fact they have a single cut body design, and even that varies between them slightly.
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#14
Quote by Flying Couch
Pete Townsend plays a Clapton Strat, IIRC. Nothing wrong with it.

Not to mention the Randy Rhoads that hangs around so many players necks.
Really, how are signature models any different from normal guitars? Bottom line is, if it's good, buy it. The prices aren't even as jacked up as people here make them out to be.
#15
Only if the guitar is question scream out that it is a sig. Such as the Zakk Wylde guitar, or the Dimes.
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#16
Quote by Rock Pig
Not to mention the Randy Rhoads that hangs around so many players necks.
Really, how are signature models any different from normal guitars? Bottom line is, if it's good, buy it. The prices aren't even as jacked up as people here make them out to be.

Unless you're talking about the Matt Bachand sig... horribly overpriced EMGs (you could put in yourself) and a paintjob that would only suit metalheads/punks (even then, I know some metalheads don't like it).
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#17
Even if it screams signature I say if you like it, buy it. I personally lust after the SRV sig strat.
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#18
Quote by EdgedInBlue
Even if it screams signature I say if you like it, buy it. I personally lust after the SRV sig strat.

That's an iconic instrument, though. It screams signature model, but like the Randy Rhoads, it's sort of become accepted as an "ordinary" instrument. Except, unlike the Rhoads, it's not different enough to be justified (don't get me wrong though, it's still a great guitar)
#19
Yeah, I agree that some sigs are different in meaning than others. If you're buying for a signature paint job and inlays and all that, then I wouldn't go for it. But personally, owning the EJ Sig Strat is my dream, because it's just built so perfectly. I love the neck, the feel, the pickups, everything. So it depends on what you want. I don't understand buying an exact replica of an artist's guitar, like the EVH Frankenstrat replicas out now, but just buying a mainstream instrument that happens to be a sig model doesn't make you a tool. It just meanst that that guitar fits you better than anything else you could've bought.
#20
This kind of thing is pretty dependant on the guitar; looks and whether or not it is a good guitar in its own right.
Buying a Synyster gates schecter sig is pretty questionable because of the real quality of it and how personalised it is. Same generally goes for a Zakk Wylde sig because of how unique they are to Zakk. I know for sure I wouldn't be comfortable playing something like an ESP KH-2 vintage because it *comes* with stickers on it, even one that says 'kirks guitar'
Basically there's not much wrong with a buying a signature guitar as long as its a decent guitar in its own right but emulating one artist down to the looks of the guitar doesn't give you much of an identity or originality. Rammstein's guitarist has played kirk hammet signatures but managed to carve out his own music.
Generally, buying a guitar for the sole reason of copying a single guitarist down to their tone isn't a great idea.

TL;DR Don't buy guitars to copy people, buy one that's yours.
#21
Quote by maidenforce19
I posted a similar thread called "Artists Using Artist Guitars", but this thread I made to answer another question. After realizing that most guitar manufacturers out there have artist model guitars taking up close to 50% of their normal selections (meaning no custom shop stuff), I was wondering if it is considered bad or "unoriginal" if you use artist guitars. I hear people say that it is because you're copying another person's style and possibly their exact specs, but is this true and is there something wrong with that?

?
You'd be lucky if it was 5%
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#22
Quote by steven seagull
?
You'd be lucky if it was 5%


+1 to this man, most guitar makers don't have very big signature ranges at all...apart from ESP and possibly Dean if you include the whole "Dime" range.

Personally I see nothing wrong with using a signature guitar from an originality point of view, it's just the economics of the whole thing that renders it supid.
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#23
yeah i think its fine if the model youre using is just like any other model but with a swapped paint job or a little perk here and there some examples are any dave mustaine ltd/esp sig and michael amotts esps. to me a true artist model is something like bucketheads white les pauls or slash's b.c rich mockingbird.
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#25
Quote by livingproof
surely this would mean that slash, jimmy page,and anyone that is using a Gibson LES PAUL guitar is using a signature guitar of a jazz player.....
anyone...no?


lol. true.
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#26
Quote by steven seagull
?
You'd be lucky if it was 5%



+2

also so much tone comes from your amp / fingers. just because a guitar has certain specs doesnt mean you'll sound like someone.

so what difference does it make if someone wants to walk around wt an SRV billboard on his pick guard...
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#27
I would if it had the sound, feel, spec and look that I wanted... I doubt I'd get one just because a person I admired had one... and I certainly wouldn't get one in the hope that some 'mojo' would rub off on me...

I'd consider a billy corgan strat because, well, it's a well-made strat with single coil sized humbuckers... but his patronage wouldn't be a factor

I love Joe Bonamassa's playing but even if I had the spare money available to buy a very expensive Les Paul, it wouldn't be his signature model

but I think i'd try to avoid a signature guitar where possible because a chunk of the money you pay is inevitably for the name... and there are some guitars you can't play without looking like you're trying to BE that guy... who could play a square Bo Diddley guitar and get away with it? or a Stevie Ray Vaughan strat?

i have a friend who has a an ESP KH-2 (not an LTD, but a real one), and he got it because he worships Kirk Hammett, but it's also a very high quality guitar (it'd better be for the amount it costs), and I wouldn't say no to one myself

the trouble is that if you get famous, the guitar you're associated with is part of some other person's identity... so when it comes time for YOUR signature guitar, what are you gonna do?? not that this is likely to be a problem for most of us, but why not have your own unique guitar from the start? (or at least, one that isn't someone else's unique guitar)

some guitars do transcend their 'signature' status... obviously the Les Paul is one, and the Clapton strat you could probably play at the highest level without being seen as trying to copy EC, but that takes years to happen.. can't imagine the Dean Matt Heafy or the Gibson Tom Delonge reaching that status for a few decades yet
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#28
I personally wouldnt buy one. Why pay extra for someones name? But ive never gave any thought to other people playing them. I guess i always just assume that the reason a person is playing a particular guitar is because they like it. Not because it is someones sig guitar.
#29
The only sig model that I've played and liked was Joe Satriani's. I loved the fretboard on Malmsteen's, but hated the feel on the right hand...something just wasn't right. Satriani's JS1000 is sweet, but I still wouldn't want it. Playing something made for someone else just feels weird.
#30
A guitar is a guitar, and im not designing anything so i dont see i difference between production and signature models
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#31
it's good to get a sig. guitar, the only problem is that if you do that you are (usually) looking for a sound similar to the original guitarist. This causes problems when you try to become individual, people might keep referring you back to the original (think Jack White with the Airline guitar. it's his thing, and we instinctively think when we see someone else play it: "Jack did it better")
#32
i agree with most the arguments here, my point would be that if you like an artist model there is usually a normal origional model of the guitar which it is based upton, so just get that.

if its a reeli, like hugely different shape, then i guess its obviously a sig but normally there is a guitar that the artist sig is based on, so get that
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#33
I use a signature guitar (Fender CS Jeff Beck Stratocaster) and I don't see why I wouldn't buy another signature instrument. I bought it because it sounded good and played well and it was one of the cheaper CS Fenders, not because it has 'Jeff Beck' written on the back of the headstock. Oh, I also like the colour, that's all.
And I don't see how you are copying someone's style if you play an instrument which has the same specs as that particular someone's instrument. By that logic we'd all need crazy-ass custom guitars because it'd be unheard of of owning a production line model - I mean, others have the exact same guitar, buying one of those will make me a copycat. Seriously, this is stupid. I don't care about signature gear, but if it does what I want it to for a reasonable price, who am I to say no to it?

EDIT:
And by the way, do you know why certain artists sound the way they do?
Because they damn well know what they're doing, that's why! They worked on their skills and style, that's what makes them who they are, their gear has nothing to do with that. Clapton would still sound like Clapton if he played his songs on a broken ukulele.
You cannot emulate someone with his signature gear only. In fact, the gear won't even help the tiniest bit with that.
Last edited by TheQuailman at Nov 14, 2008,
#34
Tons of artists use other artists signature guitars, I saw the Kirk hammett signature mentioned above and even Kirk Hammett plays a Randy Roads guitar. If you read the Slash auto-biography he talks about buying one of Joe Perry's guitars and recording with it and filming with it for the november rain video, does that make Slash un-origonal?

Having a signature guitar isn't going to emulate an artists sound, to do that you'll need all of their amps and effects... not to mention their producer and mixing board.

I say if you want it then buy it... Will you get famous? probably not, but will you have fun playing it? probably yes.
#35
It depends from my point of view. IMO, you're a complete tool if you buy a Dimebag sig guitar from Dean or something to that effect. They make those for a quick buck off Dime fans, and other companies do the same thing for others. Here's the thing, though: if you feel it helps complete YOUR tone, and you're not trying to emulate someone else's, go for it. But otherwise, you're just buying a load of crap from a corporate giant who thinks (and just proved) they're better than you.