Welcome to The Signature Issue of Guitar Magazine, in which we explore the phenomenon of artist-signature instruments and more recent variations on the theme, with YouTubers getting in on the act and stars of the magnitude of Ed Sheeran launching a whole range of products emblazoned with their name.
As well as reviewing a pair of new Sheeran by Lowden acoustics and checking out the latest affordable iteration of St. Vincent’s signature model courtesy of Sterling By Music Man, we also find out about the five years of painstaking R&D behind British blues guitarist Aynsley Lister’s new Rift signature amp. If you’ve ever wondered exactly how much blood, sweat and solder goes into the process of developing a bespoke amplifier to an artist’s specifications, read our review and hear from the amp-designer and musician at the heart of this collaboration.
Conversations about signature guitars inevitably lead to the question: ‘What would your signature guitar be?’. Although my teenage dreams of rock stardom and endorsement deals have faded somewhat in recent years, in the highly unlikely event that I was ever offered the opportunity to design a signature instrument from the ground up, it would be a tough choice. Give me an ES-335 with a Bigsby, a fat neck profile and a nice set of PAF-style humbuckers and I’m happy. Or a hollowbody with P-90s. Or a Gretsch with Filter’Trons. Or a vintage-style Strat… the list goes on.
If anything, spring reverb, old-school tremolo and a whammy bar are more important to what I think of as ‘my sound’ than the guitar itself. Then again, I’m not exactly playing polyrhythmic mathcore, and it would take a massive headstock to accommodate such a
All that said, I’m sure that you have some great ideas when it comes to fantasy signature guitars. Whether it’s an offset double-neck with a B-Bender and a built-in Fuzz Factory, or a Strat in the same colour as a 1982 Ford Cortina, please get in touch via email or on our social channels and let us know what your dream signature guitar would be. Until next time…
Inside the issue
The ES-295 is one of the most iconic Gibson models of the 1950s. We put this stellar specimen from 1953 under the microscope and find out what makes it tick.
This young British talent is blazing a new trail in guitar music with his lush neo-soul sound. We speak to Misch about his album Geography, his Fender love, and cutting a track with hip-hop greats De La Soul.