Carlos Santana. B. B. King. Steve Vai. These legendary guitar maestros have all lent their names to signature guitars during and even after their careers. Without a doubt they’re fantastic treasures that avid fans won’t be able to resist, especially when they’re faithful reproductions of electric guitars that those renowned artists wielded on their claim to fame.

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Carlos Santana’s PRS SE Santana Yellow
  • Top Wood: Carved Figured Maple; Back Wood: Mahogany
  • Neck Wood: Mahogany
  • Fretboard Wood: Rosewood
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Jimi Hendrix’s Fender Stratocaster - Olympic White
  • Reverse headstock and reverse-slanted ’65 American Vintage bridge pickup
  • Offers comfortable chording and effortless string-bending
  • 6-saddle Synchronized Vintage Tremolo bridge offers the same expressive pitch control Jimi used to create his signature sound
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Eddie Van Halen’s Frankenstrat: EVH Striped Series 5150
  • Solidbody Electric Guitar with Basswood Body
  • EVH Floyd Rose Tremolo - Red
  • 1 Humbucking Pickup
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Steve Vai’s Ibanez JEMJR
  • Mahogany Body
  • Wizard III Maple Neck
  • Rosewood Fretboard
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B. B. King’s Lucille By Epiphone
  • Laminate Maple body
  • Laminate Maple top
  • Alnico Classic Humbucker pickups
Check Price on Amazon.com

Picking up a flawless replica of the axe your guitar hero used to shred is one way to proudly pay homage to a beloved influence. There have been numerous signature electric guitars released by artists over the decades, and most of them aren’t available anymore. Still, there’s a good chance that your fave musician still has a model or two that you can bring home.

Read on to check out the best signature electric guitars that you can still get in 2020.

What Exactly Is A Signature (Electric) Guitar?

Signature guitars are simply models carrying the name of a well-known artist. Some are, as mentioned, copies of iconic guitars mass-manufactured for the artist’s legions of fans. Others are the fruits of active collaborations between popular brands and guitarists, who will often direct the specifications to get the tones they’re looking for. The rest are mostly the results of endorsement deals to associate a famous name to a product in some way.

Easily the most famous example of a signature guitar is the Gibson Les Paul. Nearly every guitar player knows what a Les Paul is, but not who it was named after. Guitar makers have been creating signature models for stringed instruments as early as the 1920s, but it wasn’t until Gibson worked with Lester William Polsfuss, who was then the most famous guitarist in the country, that signature electric guitars really took off. The iconic Les Paul guitar shape and configuration still lives on today, and it remains one of the most desired by players everywhere.

Best Signature (Electric) Guitars Today

There are many electric guitars that sport the names of top musicians within easy reach, but it shouldn’t be a surprise that they’re going to cost you a pretty penny. What follows is definitely not a budget-friendly list, but an easy reference for guitar aficionados looking to take home a piece of a musical legacy.

Carlos Santana’s PRS SE Santana Yellow

Carlos Santana’s PRS SE Santana Yellow

Paul Reed Smith started creating custom guitars for Carlos Santana back in the 1980s. The first Santana signature model PRS made commercially available was “The Yellow” and over the succeeding years, the new iterations were all that Santana played in his performances. To commemorate the launch of the SE series, PRS brings back an updated version of that sweet, honey-colored electric guitar in the SE Santana Yellow.

Specs and Highlights

  • Body: Mahogany with maple veneer
  • Neck: Mahogany, 24.5” scale length
  • Fretboard: Rosewood with bird inlays, 24 frets
  • Pickups: Dual SE Santana “S”
  • Bridge: PRS patented molded tremolo
  • Controls: Volume, tone, 3-way toggle selector

Fans of the award-winning Supernatural guitarist will recognize the trademark silhouette of the PRS-made Santana guitars. What’s even more exciting is that the new SE Santana Yellow bears traditional design elements bringing it closer to the original. The mahogany body has a deeper carve while the flame maple top looks better than ever. The original headstock shape, heel style, and nut placement are all there, as well as the birds flying on the smooth rosewood frets. It’s comfortable to play sitting down or strapped up, and the balance feels just right.

Helping bring you the soulful sound Santana is famous for are the dual SE Santana “S” humbucking pickups. The PRS-patented molded tremolo bridge securely keeps the strings in tune, so you can play to your heart’s content. This noteworthy electric guitar easily delivers its promise of bringing you Santana’s legendary tone, and it’s a worthy tribute to one of the greats.

Carlos Santana’s PRS SE Santana Yellow

Bears the traditional design elements bringing it closer to the original version and mahogany body has a deeper carve.

 

Jimi Hendrix’s Fender Stratocaster – Olympic White

Jimi Hendrix’s Fender Stratocaster - Olympic White

Widely regarded as the embodiment of a “guitar god,” Jimi Hendrix is easily one of the most influential instrumentalists in history. His pioneering innovations in using tone-altering effects changed rock music forever.

Even though he used various guitars throughout his career, it was the Fender Stratocaster that ultimately became linked to his name. Hendrix used a Strat in almost all of his most acclaimed performances and recordings. One of his most recognizable electric guitars, that you can now get an excellent version of from Fender, was an Olympic White number that he played at the 1969 Woodstock Music and Art Fair.

Specs and Highlights

  • Body: Alder
  • Neck: Tinted maple with engraved neck plate
  • Fretboard: Maple, 9.5” radius, 21 medium jumbo frets
  • Pickups: Reverse American vintage single-coils
  • Bridge: Vintage fulcrum (6-saddle synchronized tremolo)
  • Controls: Volume, tone (x2), 3-way selector

As a left-handed electric guitar player in a world full of right-handed people, Hendrix reversed and restrung models which gave him a unique sound and distinct style. This meant that the Strats he customized had its bass strings producing brighter tones, while the treble strings created darker sounds. The longer bass strings will feel tighter to play due to increased tension, but bending notes on the shorter trebles will be easier.

Fender has built those unusual modifications into this Authentic Hendrix version so right-handed players can recreate their idol’s fantastic tone. And what fiery licks and melodies you can pluck out of this reverse Strat, indeed. Along with the flipped headstock, the single-coil bridge pickup is also slanted in reverse, resulting in tighter warm tones and better defined harmonics. 

To make sure no one will mistake this signature Strat for anything other than a genuine Hendrix design (in case the reverse headstock and strings weren’t enough), at the back of the maple neck is an engraved metal plate marked “Authentic Hendrix.” With all these flashy details, the model isn’t just eye candy either. Its fretboard has a flatter surface that makes chording easy, while its alder body remains comfortable to play no matter how you hold it.

It’s unbelievable to even say it, but even non-Jimi Hendrix fans will find this unique Fender Stratocaster to be an amazing instrument that can truly furnish some explosive auditory lightning bolts.

Jimi Hendrix’s Fender Stratocaster - Olympic White

The reverse headstock and reverse-slanted ’65 American Vintage bridge pickup, accurately reproduces Jimi’s legendary signature tone, offers comfortable chording and effortless string-bending.

 

Eddie Van Halen’s Frankenstrat: EVH Striped Series 5150

Eddie Van Halens Frankenstrat EVH Striped Series 5150

Eddie Van Halen created one of the most easily recognizable electric guitars ever when he attempted to combine the physical specs and bridge of a Fender Strat with the classic tone of a Gibson guitar. The result is the aptly named Frankenstrat, which became even more striking thanks to the red, white, and black stripes that Van Halen himself painted over it several times. Now, fans can grab a symbolic piece of the monster guitar from Van Halen’s own brand EVH Gear.

Specs and Highlights

  • Body: Basswood
  • Neck: Quartersawn maple, 25.5″ scale length
  • Fretboard: Maple, 12″-16″ compound radius, 22 jumbo frets
  • Pickups: Single EVH® Wolfgang® humbucker
  • Bridge: EVH Floyd Rose locking tremolo
  • Controls: Volume

There have been numerous unlicensed replicas of the Frankenstrat produced throughout the highs of Van Halen’s career by companies trying to cash in on the band’s popularity. Interestingly, they struggled to keep up with the guitarist’s continuous tweaking of the guitar’s design and electronics. The Striped Series 5150 that EVH Gear released carries all the distinctive marks of the original, from the single humbucker configuration to the hockey stick headstock. 

The latest signature release of the Frankenstrat sports the same basswood body and bolt-on maple neck shaped into a comfortable “C” curve. The compound-radius maple fretboard plays fast, and has an easily accessible adjustment wheel for the truss rod. Needless to say, the outlandish stripes and even the red 5150 sticker of the original are all there, and even those who aren’t well-versed in electric guitars history will get a kick out of it.

Underneath all the glam and pizzazz of the exterior is a high-performance weapon with surprisingly down-to-earth simplicity. A single Wolfgang alnico humbucker pickup at the bridge will get you all the power and precision you need in generous chunks. Dive-bombing is encouraged, as the EVH Floyd Rose tremolo features a locking nut tailpiece that remains stable under fire. The sole knob is actually a low-friction volume dial that Eddie Van Halen himself says is all you really need.

Make no mistake, the EVH Striped Series 5150 is a stellar reproduction of the solid-body that Van Halen loved so much that it got severely damaged from overuse.

Eddie Van Halen’s Frankenstrat: EVH Striped Series 5150

Carries all the distinctive marks of the original, from the single humbucker configuration to the hockey stick headstock.

 

Steve Vai’s Ibanez JEMJR

Steve Vai’s Ibanez JEMJR

Renowned as a heavy rock guitar virtuoso, Steve Vai personally designed one of the most successful signature electric guitar series in history, the Ibanez JEM. He built his own prototypes since he wasn’t satisfied with the popular Strats and Les Pauls at the time. He held off on endorsing any guitar brand until they came up with a top-notch instrument matching his exact specifications. Only Ibanez returned a worthy version, and their collaboration remains to this day. 

There are several excellent models in the Ibanez JEM series but we’re including this electric guitar as it’s easily the most accessible and retains all the trademark details of Vai’s original designs.

Specs and Highlights

  • Body: Mahogany
  • Neck: Wizard III maple
  • Fretboard: Rosewood with Tree of Life inlay
  • Pickups: Quantum humbuckers (2) and single-coil
  • Bridge: Double-locking bridge
  • Controls: Volume, tone, 5-way switch

The Ibanez JEMJR has all the signature elements of the acclaimed series: from the vine inlay to the monkey grip handle. With a sharper body shape, pointier horns, and larger cutaway near the neck, there’s no mistaking Vai’s unique touch. It has one of the fastest necks in Ibanez’s catalog, letting you blitz out super-slick and lightning-quick runs with ease. You won’t forget your first time handling the high-performance Wizard III neck and the extremely lightweight mahogany body of the JEMJR.

Unlocking your path to electric guitar wizardry are two Quantum humbucking pickups with a single-coil in between that can wail with vicious tenacity. They’re so hot that you’re well advised to turn your volume down until you (and your neighborhood) can handle it. Holding your preferred strings stable is a double-locking bridge that Ibanez has made standard, as it retains perfect tuning even after searing bends.

Passionate Steve Vai fans looking to upgrade their weapons for sonic warfare should definitely give the Ibanez JEMJR a serious look. You’ll get to wield the wild clean tones that Vai became known for and unleash secret alien love harmonies that will have your audience kneeling in tender surrender.

Steve Vai’s Ibanez JEMJR

This guitar is easily the most accessible and retains all the trademark details of Vai’s original designs.

 

B. B. King’s Lucille By Epiphone

B. B. King’s Lucille By Epiphone

B. B. King, aptly called the King of the Blues, was a tireless performer, appearing in hundreds of shows every year even well into his 70s. Though he used different electric guitars during the early years of his career, he soon switched to a semi-hollow Gibson that he affectionately called Lucille. King continued to almost exclusively play variants of the Gibson ES-355 electric guitar, christening them all with the same nickname and utilizing their unique sound in his sophisticated style that would heavily influence generations of blues musicians.

Fans of the legendary guitarist should be excited to know that Gibson’s subsidiary Epiphone has created an outstanding version of Lucille without the outrageous price tag.

Specs and Highlights

  • Body: Laminated maple
  • Neck: Laminated maple, 24.75” scale length
  • Fretboard: Rosewood, 22 medium jumbo frets
  • Pickups: Two Classic Alnico humbuckers
  • Bridge: Tune-o-Matic with TP-6 fine tuning tailpiece
  • Controls: Volume (x2), tone (x2), Vari-Tone selector

King himself designed the electric guitar that would become Lucille. The hollow and semi-hollow instruments that he previously used were susceptible to feedback at high volume, so he wanted a variant of the ES-355 without the violin-style F-holes and got his wish. Epiphone’s Lucille faithfully brings this unique touch in this all-maple ebony piece, along with its golden hardware, pearloid block inlays, and sloped dove wing headstock proudly bearing the guitar’s moniker in mother-of-pearl.

Needless to say, Lucille lets you achieve King’s singular blues sound: bright bell-like highs and rugged lows that sing with soul. Its two Classic Alnico humbuckers can be configured through the six-position Vari-Tone selector, with separate volume and tone controls for each. Accurate tuning is kept stable through the Tune-o-Matic bridge with TP-6 fine tuners.

If you’ve always wanted to play one of King’s fine ladies when you’re in the mood for some blues, Epiphone’s B. B. King Lucille can be your sweet little angel.

B. B. King’s Lucille By Epiphone

With a laminated maple body, laminated maple top and with Alnico Classic Humbucker pickups.

 

Kurt Cobain’s Fender Jaguar

Kurt Cobain’s Fender Jaguar

Kurt Cobain and Nirvana paved the way for grunge and alternative music to conquer the mainstream, bringing with them a new era of rock. There’s no denying how vast his influence was in shaping the musical culture of Generation X, and there’s no shortage of Nirvana fans to this day and age. One of Cobain’s most popular axes is a 1965 Fender Jaguar that he frequently took on the road; it’s this battered, road-worn solid-body electric guitar that Fender brings back for the modern punk rocker.

Specs and Highlights

  • Body: Alder
  • Neck: Maple, 24” scale length
  • Fretboard: Rosewood with pearloid dot inlays
  • Pickups: DiMarzio DP103 humbucking and DP100 Super Distortion
  • Bridge: Adjustor-Matic bridge and Gotoh sealed tuners
  • Controls: Volume (x2), tone, three-position switch

Fender rebuilt Cobain’s customized Jaguar to spec, with a few modern upgrades and minus the wear and tear of course. The C-shaped neck has a shorter 24” scale length than typical Jaguars, making it closer to a Jazzmaster. It feels comfortable and highly playable. The lustrous paint job looks gorgeous, and there’s a version for left and right-handed players.

Giving this modified Jaguar its unique sound are the dual DiMarzio humbucking pickups, a DP103 at the neck and a DP100 Super Distortion at the bridge. With the triple knurled knob configuration, it’s versatile enough to sound great whether you’re playing old-school punk or heavy metal. An Adjustor-Matic bridge plus Gotoh tuners complete the hardware, which comes in shiny chrome. Finally, at the back of the neck is an engraved metal plate marking the Fender Jaguar a signature Kurt Cobain electric guitar, a phenomenal rendition that looks absolutely amazing and sounds even better.

Kurt Cobain’s Fender Jaguar

A DiMarzio hum bucking DP103 PAF 36th Anniversary neck pickup and DP100 Super Distortion bridge pickup deliver legendary tone. A modern "c" shaped neck and a 24" scale length give you a comfortable feel and smooth playability.

 

John Petrucci’s Seven-String: Sterling By Music Man JP70

John Petrucci’s Seven-String Sterling By Music Man JP70

When it comes to shredding, Dream Theater’s John Petrucci will always be a name on people’s lips. Petrucci is highly regarded for the broad range of his guitar skills and techniques, such as fast alternate picking and his recurring use of seven-string electric guitars. The addition of a seventh string extends the range of the tones he can produce, resulting in more expressive solos or heavier shredding. Sterling by Music Man brings that versatility and range to the hands of progressive metalheads everywhere with the JP70.

Specs and Highlights

  • Body: Mahogany
  • Neck: Maple, 16” radius, 25.5” scale length
  • Fretboard: Rosewood with custom JP inlays, 24 medium jumbo frets
  • Pickups: Two humbuckers
  • Bridge: Modern tremolo
  • Controls: Volume, tone, three-way toggle selector

Designed with John Petrucci at the helm, the JP70 features a distinctive, sleek shape that sets it apart and makes it comfortable to play. The contoured forearm scoop makes shredding even easier while the maple neck enables quick chording and picking. Once you start taking on the challenge of mastering seven stringed electric guitars, you’ll definitely realize how much these design details matter.

Ready to explode with power, the Sterling by Music Man humbucking pickups are specially designed for high output. Expect rock-solid tuning accuracy to stay consistent thanks to the Modern Tremolo bridge that all John Petrucci signature models come equipped with, which also include the artist’s signature on the headstock as well as a custom JP Shield inlay on the first fret.

The premium quality of the Sterling by Music Man JP70 makes it an astounding deal for those who want to tame a seven-strung beast.

John Petrucci’s Seven-String: Sterling By Music Man JP70

All of the Sterling by Music Man John Petrucci Signature Series Instruments feature John's signature on the headstock, and the "JP Shield" inlaid on the first fret. Built to John's Music Man JP6 specifications, JP70 features sleek styling, along with a comfortable contoured forearm scoop.

 

Stevie Ray Vaughan’s Number One: Fender SRV Stratocaster

Stevie Ray Vaughan’s Number One: Fender SRV Stratocaster

Stevie Ray Vaughan and his band Double Trouble almost single-handedly revived blues in the 1980s, when its presence was hardly felt in the charts at all. Considered by many as one of the greatest guitarists ever, his fierce style burned with passion, and his influence permeated the rock and blues scene since, earning him inductions into both Hall of Fames. He used a number of electric guitars throughout his career, but his ‘Number One’ is a 1963 Strat that he also lovingly called his ‘First Wife’.

Specs and Highlights

  • Body: Alder
  • Neck: Maple with thick oval shape, 25.5” scale length
  • Fretboard: Pau ferro, 12” radius, 21 jumbo frets
  • Pickups: Three Fender Texas Special single-coils
  • Bridge: Reversed American vintage tremolo
  • Controls: Volume, tone (x2), five-way selector

Before his tragic death in a helicopter crash, Vaughan helped Fender design his Artist Series Stratocaster, a signature electric guitar model sporting everything that made Number One great. On its alder body finished with a glistening three-color sunburst is a black 3-ply pickguard engraved with his initials. Making it feel even more unique are the maple neck shaped into a deep ‘60s-style oval and pau ferro fretboard with Dunlop jumbo frets. It’s blisteringly fast to play.

The three Texas Special single-coil pickups and 5-position blade grant you access to Vaughan’s searing sounds. You can get swerve from classic Strat tones to red hot licks easily, bending strings comfortably without losing tuning precision courtesy of the left-handed American vintage tremolo bridge. Whether you’re looking to groove or rock  your heart out, this one-of-a-kind Strat will deliver the goods.

The Fender Stevie Ray Vaughan Stratocaster is such a brilliant tribute to the artist himself that it looks and sounds like a work of art.

The true hallmark of an excellent signature electric guitar doesn’t simply lie how closely it mimics the original’s design and sound. It should also be able to stand by its own merits, unsupported by the huge name affixed to it. We found all of these electric guitars to pass that important criteria, so whether you’re a fan of the signature artist or not, grabbing any of these fantastic models will get you a standout piece to play and enjoy.

Stevie Ray Vaughan’s Number One: Fender SRV Stratocaster

With a thicker oval shaped neck, flatter 12" freeboard radius, and Dunlop 6105 Narrow Jumbo frets, the SRV signature Strat offers easy string-bending and a fast, comfortable feel.

 

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Robert Smith
Robert is a guitarist who holds a bachelor's degree in music issued by the Manhattan School of Music. With several years of hands-on experience, he’s now deeply interested in teaching his knowledge and insights with everyone.

Hard work was necessary to create Trusic.com. As an old-school musician, Robert wasn’t knowledgeable in HTML, CSS, Analytics, front/back-end code, and more. It took him time to create a plan and form a team of musicians who could write solid, well-made articles for all audiences interested in musical instruments.

Now Trusic.com is alive and the whole team is hoping to provide readers with insightful material to choose the most convenient instruments and instrument accessories for beginners or even advanced level students.