It’s always a blast to hold the similar model of guitar played by one of your heroes. Of course, neither the wood nor the frets are magic talismans that radiate his or her talent into your fingers, but playing such guitars is often good enough to feel the same mojo, and perhaps do a bit of surreptitious hero worship.
Signature instruments take that experience one huge step further by involving the artist’s direction and/or preferences into a production guitar. In some cases, you may get the same setup and materials found on a musician’s prized acoustic.
Other signature models might simply impart the joy of a beloved instrument— such as Taylor Swift’s memory of writing songs on a Baby Taylor.
Whatever the case, wielding a signature model is a great way to pay homage to a player who inspired you.
Gretsch G9520 Jim Dandy Flat Top
Bronze burst flat-top made of select guitar woods and fully lined and braced. The G9520 offers warm and pleasing tones, with a comfortable 24" scale.
LIST PRICE: $239
Carvin Craig Chaquico Signature CC275
Thinline, chambered mahogany body and neck. 4A flame maple top, 25" scale length. LR Baggs ribbon acoustic pickup. Available from Carvin’s USA Custom Shop.
LIST PRICE: $1,269
Fender Tom Petty Kingman
AA Sitka spruce top, mahogany back and sides, maple neck, Indian rosewood fretboard, and a Fishman VT-2 pickup/preamp system. Black hardshell case included.
LIST PRICE: $5,500
PRS Guitars Private Stock Alex Lifeson Thinline
Select European bearclaw spruce top. Koa back and sides. 25.25" scale length. Peruvian mahogany wide neck. Ebony fretboard and bridge. MOP/Paua “Birds in Flight” inlay and headstock eagle. L.R. Baggs Lyric pickup system. Ameritage hardshell case.
LIST PRICE: $8,999
Oscar Schmidt Ukulele Mike Signature Model OUUM200K
Tenor 4-string ukulele. Solid cedar top. Mahogany back and sides. Includes a hardshell case and a limited lifetime warranty.
LIST PRICE: $599
Washburn Forrest Lee Bender
Forrest Lee B-bender system, solid cedar top, rosewood back and sides, mahogany neck, rosewood fretboard, Fishman Isys+ preamp/tuner.
STREET PRICE: $799
Dean Michael Schenker Performer
Spruce top, mahogany back and sides, mahogany neck, rosewood fretboard, custom Dean electronics.
STREET PRICE: $369
Gibson Donovan 1965 J-45
Sitka spruce top, mahogany back and sides, ’60s-style radiused body, mahogany neck, rosewood fretboard, L.R. Baggs Lyric pickup.
STREET PRICE: $3,049
Taylor Taylor Swift Baby Taylor
Sitka spruce top, sapele laminate back and sides, tropical American mahogany neck, ebony fretboard.
STREET PRICE: $299
Takamine JJ325SRC John Jorgenson Signature
Sitka spruce top, bubinga back and sides, mahogany neck, rosewood fretboard, CT4B II preamp/tuner system, Palathetic under-saddle pickup.
STREET PRICE: $1,649