View Poll Results: Do signature models influence you to buy?

Voters
153. You may not vote on this poll
  • Yes, I like the player

    8 5.23%
  • No way I'll pay for the name + a logo tax

    13 8.50%
  • Yes, If the price were equal to the standard and appointments were nicer

    16 10.46%
  • I buy what I like and don't care if there's a name on the head

    110 71.90%
  • I'm probably better than that clown, I'd be embarrassed to play one

    6 3.92%
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  1. #1

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    I'm not one to buy a signature guitar, though it seems like many do AND pay a substantial premium for models like the Larry Carlton and Dave Grohl 335's.

    That's not to say I don't have signature guitars, but it's not because there's a name on the head.

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  3. #2

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    I wouldn't search out a signature model because of the artists but I would because I dig the guitar in general. ...but it being a signature model wouldn't turn me away either.


    "I hate signature models. I prefer Les Pauls."

  4. #3

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    I don't think I've ever owned a signature guitar, except a Les Paul--everybody owned one of those.

    I _have_ sought out a model of guitar because my favorite guitarist(s) played one--i.e., Jim Hall/Herb Ellis/Joe Pass played the Gibson ES-175 which I bought and played for over 30 years.

    OTOH, I'm about as apt to play a no-name guitar as something glamorous--if I like the sound and playability. Example: I sold a '68 Stratocaster and purchased a Nash S-57. The Nash is basically a parts guitar, but I REALLY like it a lot. Who cares what (if any) name is on the headstock.

  5. #4

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    Really depends on the appointments. I'd love a PM2 because a bridge mic on a jazz box is completely redundant to me. I'd love Ritenour L5 because I dig the size and sound. Same with GB10.

    It really depends on the price, too. I don't wanna pay a grand extra for someone else's name on the now-ebony fretboard.


    ...except in the future when there's a Gibson Marwin Moody Signature ES-139

  6. #5

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    ...hmm? I might go for a Trini Lopez...purely because of the artist appeal. ;-)

  7. #6

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    Dave who?

  8. #7

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    Wait a minute! I did have an Arthur Godfrey baritone ukulele as a kid. So much for not being inspired by chops.

  9. #8

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    Dave Grohl...the drummer with the signature guitar.

  10. #9

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    Not jazzy, but I own a Jimmie Vaughan signature strat. I couldn't name a Jimmie Vaughan song, but I like the neck shape and the pickups sound good. And the signature is small enough on the back of the headstock that I don't feel like I'm playing a billboard. Also, it's MIM and I got it used, so it's not like I paid extra for it. In fact, the previous owner had a trem cover with an actual Jimmie Vaughan autograph (as opposed to the decal on the headstock). I let him keep that and got him to knock $50 off the price.

  11. #10

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    Tal Farlow

  12. #11

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    I would love if my Pisano Eastman didn't have the little frog logo & signature, but oh well . . . I don't look down at that stuff too often.

    I also have a set of "Slash" Seymour Duncan Alnico 2 humbuckers.
    I don't think that name association is helping a great sounding pickup set find a broader audience . . .

  13. #12

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    I have so many guitars I can't help but have some.

    I have a few guitars endorsed by the great Lester William Polsfuss
    I have a Gretsch Tennessean with "Chet Atkins" on the label
    I have a Howard Roberts Fusion III
    I have an Ibanez Gem that actually has Steve Vai's signature on it
    I have a Joe Satriani JS1000 but it does not say Joe or Satriani anywhere on the guitar or literature.
    I have a Charlie Christian (look-alike) guitar but there is no mention of Charlie on the guitar or in the period catalog or advertising.

  14. #13

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    I am usually not so much into signature guitars.
    However the Tal is a good example of a signature guitar that makes sense to me.
    Tal actually played his signature or the prototypes pretty much all his career and it is the only full scale, full depth ES 350 like still in production from Gibson.

  15. #14

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    Uh, Gibson WesMo?

  16. #15

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    I voted no but....if there was an Ed Bickert replica tele I'd buy 3.

  17. #16

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    None of the choices suited me, so I didn't vote. But I will tell you this. I used to run an open mic where one of the regulars went out and bought a guitar and amp that looked exactly like mine. He still didn't sound anything like me.

  18. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by morroben
    Not jazzy, but I own a Jimmie Vaughan signature strat. I couldn't name a Jimmie Vaughan song, but I like the neck shape and the pickups sound good. And the signature is small enough on the back of the headstock that I don't feel like I'm playing a billboard. Also, it's MIM and I got it used, so it's not like I paid extra for it. In fact, the previous owner had a trem cover with an actual Jimmie Vaughan autograph (as opposed to the decal on the headstock). I let him keep that and got him to knock $50 off the price.
    "Ain't That Tough Enough"

    That's the only one that comes to mind.

    By the way, one of the guys who sort of nudged me into guitar building had a Stevie Ray Vaughn Strat. That was one of the only 2 Strats I've ever played that I really liked. So when hell freezes over and I consider buying a Stratocaster, SRV will be high up on the list.

    But, no. I have never desired a guitar just because someone famous plays it, whether their name is on it or not.

  19. #18

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    Yeah, the JV just happened to have the features I like in a strat. I got it in spite of it being a signature series, not because of it. I've played the SRV and they're nice. I'd have to replace the SRV pickguard...too gaudy for me. And they cost about 6x what I paid for the JV.

  20. #19

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    I don't have a Herb Ellis signature 165 but I would like to. It's the only signature model I ever really think about. I had a teacher who got a SRV signature Strat but returned it after a week or so. He thought it played great but he just didn't have enough use to justify the expense.

  21. #20

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    The only signature guitar I have ever had was a 70's (I think) Charlie Christian 150. Don't remember why but I never bonded with it. I have a hardtail Strat with a Warmoth no name neck, and a hardtail 12-Jazzmaster with a Warmoth no name neck. Although I realize that it may not be a top tier jazz box, some day a Hagstrom HJ800 will be delivered. Kinda based on the Jimmy Aquisto model. I hope that I like it.

  22. #21

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    i have owned:

    Ibanez GB (in 1979 or so)
    Guild/Benedetto Johnny Smith
    Gibson Lee Ritenour L5 Signature


    Only the first purchase was influenced by the name.

  23. #22

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    Even Barney Kessel didn't want a Gibson Barney Kessel guitar. So much for a signature guitar.

  24. #23

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    If it has the Roy Smeck name on it, I'm in!!!

  25. #24

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    Sadowsky Jim Hall -- The playability of the neck is off the charts, and has a very nice, airy acoustic sound that feeds into the electric sound, even though it is a plywood guitar .

    Here is a guitar that was specifically, consciously and meticulously made to Jim Hall's specs.

    It's my go to guitar because the playability is just about Perfect . I feel like I have reached a moment where the small number of instruments I have are in fact just perfect, so that's why I never bother or think about buying More gear. It's a great feeling when everything is exactly what you need to get on with the task of making music .

    It's a nice feeling, when one realizes one can just get on with the music and forget about acquiring any more instruments.

    I even sold a couple Gibson plywoods (53 175, 74 Howard Roberts ) and kept the Jim Hall because all I really need is that one. You'd be hard-pressed to find a more playable neck .

    now that Jim has passed away, I reflected on the fact that I will never sell this guitar, because it is a great guitar first and foremost and secondly, the musician that gave the guitar his name was beyond category .

  26. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jabberwocky
    Even Barney Kessel didn't want a Gibson Barney Kessel guitar. So much for a signature guitar.
    He wouldn't play one of his Kay Kelvinator signature guitars either (and they were actually pretty cool guitars)

  27. #26

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    The local music stores has one of those Barney Kessel Kay guitars and it is really cool looking.

    When I saw Barney doing a solo show he had his Gibson what 350 and had black tape over the Gibson name. Someone asked him about that and Barney replied. Well some guitar companies have no respect of Jazz guitarist so I don't show their name, but for $5 I'll let you put your name up there for the night.

  28. #27

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    I've got a couple Chet Atkins models, but these designs are only available as Chet's signature models: The Gibson Studio CEC nylon string, and the Gibson Country Gentleman with the 25.5" scale, 17" body & wide neck (TV Jones FilterTrons added).

  29. #28

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    I bought my new Lee Ritenour L5 because it's of more comfortable size than my other L5's. I will eventually replace the truss rod cover which bears Lee's signature with a neutral one. Though i very much respect the man i'm not fond enough on him to permanently have his signature on the guitar. However, i would leave Wes's signature if it was a WesMontgomery model ;-).

  30. #29

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    Signature guitars are not always a self indulgence thing making a guitar more expensive just because of a signature;
    it can provide options no longer or otherwise available.
    Coming to mind is the ES 165 when it was the only available single pup ES 175, or the Wesmo which is pretty much a single pup L5 CES or the Tal for the ES 350; these are not more expensive for the name on it but they answer a certain demand for tone and options.

  31. #30

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    I like having the signature guitars of my heroes.
    Joe Pass JP 20, and a Johnny Smith.
    I think if you pay the premium for it, it should be hand signed too.

  32. #31

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    Scofield and Benson reportedly play standard Ibanez production guitars- Sco doesn't play his signature model, he plays a 30-something year old AS200. Metheny seems to play a prototype (and now plays a Slaman). From reports of other pro players who knew Joe Pass, he didn't actually care for his Ibanez but played it for years because Ibanez paid him to do so and it was a very helpful chunk of his income- even at Joe's level, jazz doesn't pay very well.

    I've had a 1981 GB10 for about 30 years. Being a signature model had nothing to do with buying it- it's one of the best sounding amplified archtop guitars I have ever played. The neck is superb and it's amazingly comfortable to play standing. It could be my only guitar.

  33. #32

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    Like I said I am trying to acquire a second tier jazz box. If I wouldn't have gone for the Hagstrom HJ800 Jimmy (which I hope shows up someday soon!) I would have considered something like a Joe Pass Epi. I also happen to really dig Joe Pass but the fact that his name is on the guitar doesn't mean anything to me. I don't know if I would go to the trouble of replacing the truss rod cover to make it a plain Jane, but I might. I also feel like I should have given the lower tier PM and GB Ibanez's a shot, but for some reason Ibanez's don't work for me. I think that I would rather try a SS300 or SV300, but every time I pick up an Ibanez I just don't feel right. Nice guitars, but not for me.
    Last edited by lammie200; 01-09-2016 at 03:00 PM.

  34. #33
    I like the Ibanez PM2 quite a bit, but that's got nothing to do with Pat Metheny. I especially don't like that his name is inlaid on the fretboard, and it's actually giving me pause from buying a PM2.

    Artists' names on truss rod covers is one thing -- they can be replaced easily enough if they offend -- but having an artist's name inlaid on the fretboard goes too far. If an artist's name must be inlaid, at least that artist should be dead.

  35. #34

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    Been thinking...I would certainly own and play a Tal Farlow. It's an outstanding guitar, as is the Howard Roberts Custom guitar (the one like the -175 with the oval hole and the suspended humbucker).

  36. #35

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    Interesting thread and we'll timed ... I'm in discussions right now with a small builder to possibly do a Jim Soloway signature model. We just began talks and it'seems a seriously cool process.

  37. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkRhodes
    I don't have a Herb Ellis signature 165 but I would like to. It's the only signature model I ever really think about. I had a teacher who got a SRV signature Strat but returned it after a week or so. He thought it played great but he just didn't have enough use to justify the expense.
    I have a line on a 165 that is precisely what I'm after to a detail. He's not in the mood to part with it which is fine because I just blew my gear budget and I'm on no position to buy if he was. Haha. We shall see when the gear fund replenishes.

  38. #37

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    Y'know the best signature guitars I've ever played are the ones I've bought and tweaked to my liking. Totally unique!

    Now I did buy a J Mascis Jazzmaster (JM JM) for the neck and P90 pickups, not because I particularly like Dinosaur Jnr but the guitar played sooo well. Funny thing is all the other Squire JM JM's I have played since do not sound or play as well.

  39. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by jazzbow
    Now I did buy a J Mascis Jazzmaster (JM JM) for the neck and P90 pickups, not because I particularly like Dinosaur Jnr but the guitar played sooo well. Funny thing is all the other Squire JM JM's I have played since do not sound or play as well.
    O, man, that's a name I haven't heard in years! I remember reviewing "You're Living All Over Me" when it came out---'86 '87?--and I liked it and thought readers of the mag I was writing for would to. I actually remember his voice more than his guitar playing. At any rate, "thanks for the memory!"


  40. #39

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    Wesmo, Sadowsky Jim Hall, EJ strat, GB10, 57 gold top LP.... Guilty as charged, but I have more than that without names. Love 'em all, some just have more of a heritage. I don't hold it against them.

  41. #40

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkRhodes
    O, man, that's a name I haven't heard in years! I actually remember his voice more than his guitar playing. At any rate, "thanks for the memory!"


    No voice but cool 'foot on monitor' widdly widdly rawk.


  42. #41

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    weirdly, the mascis jazzmaster is universally beloved by all. even j himself plays one instead of his more expensive options. people just love that thing, regardless of genre.

    as for me, i'm not necesarily against the idea of buying a signature guitar, but i would feel like an idiot with something that was clearly a sig guitar- something clearly labeled or having some kind of super obvious signifier wouldn't work for me.

    and lastly, i probably wouldn't buy one because i tend to modify all my guitars to some extent, in effect, making all my guitars defacto feet signature models. unless a sig model somehow got me closer to where i want to go, i don't see the need, especially if i have to pay more for it. if one were to come into my hands, though, i wouldn't hesitate to start swapping things out.

  43. #42

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    A few have really redefined or refined the guitar with player input eg Gibson Les Paul, Gibson Johnny Smith, Benedetto Pat Martino. On the whole though the signature is just marketing.

  44. #43

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    I think Martino sounded better with the Gibson version. :-)

  45. #44

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    I only signature guitar I would buy for the name would be a Herb Ellis an Aria or a Gibson, but if I played a guitar I really liked having an artists name on it would not stop me buying it.

  46. #45

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    I think it's cool if the guitar itself is original enough. So I wouldn't play somebody's signature Strat or if Gibson made some "Pat Metheny" 175 someday with a toothbrush and all... but something like a Guild Johnny Smith or a MusicMan Albert Lee? Sure.

  47. #46

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    LOL

    I'm a sucker for signature guitars ....

    I've managed to get my Les Paul collection down to 5 ... and need to sell at least one more ....

    one of my LPs is the Jeff Beck Oxblood version ... not the super expensive one with his actual signature on it, but still a signature version of a signature guitar

    I have an SRV strat which is great .... luv my Wes Montgomery L5

    And I even have a Chinese Ibanez Pat Metheny guitar

    Would love to have a Japanese Pat Metheny, a Lee Rit L5, a Chris Squire Rick bass, a Tal Farlow, a Jimmy Page LP, a Billy Gibbons LP, a Clarence White Martin ..... and I'm sure I could think of a few more given time

    Part of its just hero "worship" and part of it is having a guitar that comes close to sounding like my favorite artists when I want something close to their sound


  48. #47

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bluedawg
    I've managed to get my Les Paul collection down to 5 ... and need to sell at least one more .... one of my LPs is the Jeff Beck Oxblood version ... not the super expensive one with his actual signature on it, but still a signature version of a signature guitar….
    I think the Les Paul is the benchmark for signature guitars, and double signature guitars. I have those covered, I think, including a "not the super expensive one" Jeff Beck Oxblood, but mine is chambered, and sounds/feels/plays quite different from the Tonequest (upper right in photo). I guess the Mickey Baker (lower right in photo) is also a double signature model, but it also never got the Silver Sharpy treatment. None of these are catalogue models, but were special requests from the hip dealers. Hooray for Les Pauls!

    Last edited by Hammertone; 01-12-2016 at 06:08 PM.

  49. #48

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    I had this fantasy that Mr. Johnny Smith played and endorsed the quality of my guitar before he signed the label. The reality is probably that they mailed him a stack of labels and he signed and mailed them back (at least it is not signature stamp :-). Still, it is nice to feel the connection but if the neck was narrower or there were three pickups instead of one, I would not have even considered buying it.

  50. #49

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    If Gibson did a Lee Rit Sig L5 with a 25" scale and 1 3/4" nut, I'd have to have one, even if they re-named it the 'J Beiber' model.

  51. #50

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    A Les Paul Signature Jeff Beck model? Curious name there.

    What happens if some rocker in 30 years from now named Jack Hack plays a Les Paul / Jeff Beck model and he becomes REALLY famous. Does the guitar get named a Les Paul, Jeff Beck, Jack Hack model? :-) Or do they disrespect Jeff Beck and drop him to name it a Les Paul Jack Hack?