Wednesday Question: Best Signature Guitars?

What are the best guitars to be endorsed and developed by real-life rock gods? Nominate your favorite here!

Ultimate Guitar

There are many types of guitar in the world. But not all guitars are created equal.

No, we're not talking about electrified and acoustic, or how many strings they have. We're talking about signature guitars; the kind that are given the blessing of a rock god with a flick of a pen and a kiss from the stars. To some guitar collectors (or in some cases, newbies, depending on the celebrity and brand!), signature guitars are the difference between holy and unholy tones.

This week, we want to separate the dodgy cash-ins from the good stuff with this question:

What is the best signature guitar ever?

The rules are simple: the guitar has to be officially endorsed by a musician. That usually means they've put their name to it, and in most cases they've had some input into what the guitar actually does. It's hard to guarantee their level of involvement, but the best guitars probably took some input from the legends that let them grace their name on the product.

Post one nomination per comment, and up vote those you agree with. We'll round up the results in a shred-tastic top 10 list this Friday!

432 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Tony Iommi Signature SG
    I can attest to the Epiphone one, it's better than alot of the low end Gibson SG's I've played and it has a 24 frets and pickups that are as close as passive gets to active.
    Les Paul - Les Paul
    But a Les Paul isn't a signature guitar. It's a guitar designed by Les Paul. Same with the Strat and Tele. They're not Leo Fender signatures but still bear his name. Les Paul has a signature guitar but it looks more like a 335 sorta thing. And if anything, it should at the very least be a Les Paul Recording.
    Leo Fender never played guitar. Les Paul played a Les Paul until he couldn't play guitar anymore. I fail to see how that isn't the sign of a signature model.
    Kinda is a les paul signature, just endorsed by other guitar companies (primarily gibson)
    Way Cool JR.
    I consider it a signature because Les Paul did partly design them and he did play them. Leo Fender didn't even play guitar so of course I wouldn't consider those signature model guitars. Apples and oranges IMO.
    I wouldn't call it a signature guitar. Just like I wouldn't call the Rhoads a signature guitar. They are guitars that have taken on a life outside those that helped design it. When a "signature model" is being used for other people's signature models, you know that it's not signature model anymore. The SG originally had Les's signature on it and he never played it.
    The Lou Palo Les Paul is a signature guitar, and it is undoubtadly the greatest guitar ever made.
    I'd say Jeff Loomis's signature Schecter. It's really a monster of a guitar.
    its good, owned one for 3 years now, but it just collects dust cuz i play my chris broderick jackson now. the loomis definitely has some major flaws tho.
    Tom morello - Arm the homeless guitar
    Ironically, he has been quoted numerous times saying he hates that guitar. Got it custom made when he was starting out and the guy f'ed up the construction of it.
    Cheers didn't know that TBH I think with Morello its not really the guitar what matters but the pedals wait till we get a signature pedals question
    If that ever was a sig I would buy it right away but since tom is an anti-corporate socialist there is a better chance of the westboro baptist church marrying a gay couple.
    Dimebag darrell's signature Dean
    I own his Washburn model that I bought back in '04. I've played the Dean models as well, but they pale in comparison to his Washburn signature (in my humble opinion). So I'll go with the Dime Signature Washburn.
    nah....go back to the original....if I remember correctly it was a Washburn.....The Dean was just a newer knock off because he signed a contract with them to design and play their guitars.
    Just like the person above me stated, Dean was the original builder of Dime's guitars. Dime later signed with Washburn, who made a couple slight modifications to the Dean ML shape. I hear those older Dean ML's are nothing short of pure awesomeness. I've only tried the newer ones though and I wasn't too impressed with them.
    the original was a Dean, it's just Dean makes the sigs they sell budget like most of their stuff so build quality isn't like Dime's original ML that was customized with the floyd and paintjob that he did to it.
    Have one of those, plays so smooth. Not the cheap ones though, some of those are just utter crap.
    Jackson Randy Rhoads... An iconic guitar for a true guitar legend, still being produced decades later and still used by loads of excellent modern players... the shape, the tone, the hardware, affordable models, it has everything!
    Buckethead's white Les Paul
    David Gilmour signature Black Strat.
    As a bass player, I can imagine having a guitar that's 10% (or 15%, can't quite remember) bigger than a normal guitar would be a cool advantage. I would love to try out the Buckethead Les Paul.
    Axeman Eugene
    You must be pretty big if you feel the need for a guitar that's 10-15% larger than a normal one. Personally I'm a bass player too and I'm pretty tall, and I don't see any problem with the size of regular guitars.
    It's a tone thing. Nothing wrong with the size, I mean who want's to carry extra weight but more wood can also mean more resonance or brilliance.
    Vigier Shawn Lane Signature excalibur ? I've only tested it once, really a shredder guitar : low action & flat fretboard, strange at the beginning but really comfortable and fast in the end.
    Hetfield's Snakebyte. It's a badass looking guitar, and they sound really great as well.
    Hetfield's Ken Lawrence explorer with the flaming sun fret-board. His personnel favorite and mine!
    That is not a signature guitar. As for the Snakebyte.. I'd rather have any of his earlier models...
    Too many damn downvotes, "hurr durr he doesn't have the same opinion as me so he is wrong"
    It seems like people are voting based on the who the guitar is made for and not the guitar itself.
    Rex Inclitus
    Kinda perplexed by that one too not to mention individuals voting on how it looks without even playing it or giving explanations as to what feature's differ and how. This question was obviously for actual musicians but it seems the air guitarists jumped on the bandwagon.
    Lol at the amount of comments in the neg. Anyway I think the Brendon Small "Snow Falcon" Flying V is godly to look at.
    You just read my mind, I was about to say those exact things. Snow Falcon and the Thunderhorse!
    Jeff Waters's Epiphone Annihilation V!! Best quality-price guitar ever
    Indeed sir , workhorse with hugely varying tones , still bought one even though I've spent 25 years hating v's !!
    Jerry Cantrell's signature G&L Rampage. It's the only signature guitar I'd ever buy. I really want the Tribute series model.
    I'm really digging the new Fender Troy Van Leeuwen Jazzmaster, for once it looks like they've taken their time with a signature.
    Without a doubt, Jim Root's Fender Telecaster (not the Squire). For the price, tone and no nonsense features, it is the best signature guitar.
    I agree, but the $1500 USD price tag is a bit much for how bare bones it is. Just my opinion. otherwise great guitar