Best Signature Guitar Models Under £1000

Get closer to your favourite guitarists

chris shiflett telecaster

As guitarists we, we look up to our guitar wielding heroes. Whether we started at a very early age with the tennis racket in front of the mirror mimicking Slash with his Les Paul on stage or later in life inspired by Dave Grohl and his custom hollowbody guitars, and thought “yeah I want to learn how to rock out” their influence lasts a lifetime. Our favourite artists usually inspire us to take up an instrument and will more often than not, influence the exact brand of guitar/bass/drums we play.

With this in mind, some of the world’s biggest brands have created special signature models that allow us to get that little bit closer to our musical heroes and replicate (as far as possible) the sound we fell in love with. A signature guitar isn’t usually around forever, and can sometimes become quite the collector’s item after a few years due to the fact they’re often a limited run, so if you get the chance to snap one up – do it before they’re gone.

Today we’re looking at a variety of very special signature models from a wide range of musical genres and artists including items directly inspired by Jimi Hendrix, Ed Sheeran, Joe Bonamassa, KISS and Foo Fighters.

Fender Jimi Hendrix Stratocaster Electric Guitar

Fender Jimi Hendrix Stratocaster Electric Guitar

As far as guitarists go, you can’t ignore Jimi Hendrix’s influence on us all. At some point, the guitarists you look up to would have taken some kind of inspiration from the legend, whether it’s a blues lick here or a reverse headstock there. Known for playing a Fender Stratocaster upside down (hence the reverse headstock) Hendrix inspired thousands of guitar players, especially lefties, to take a classic and make it their own. Fortunately for us all, Fender have created a signature model that imitates Hendrix’s style perfectly. The most notable feature of this guitar of course is the reverse 70’s style headstock, but it’s the American Vintage ’65 Gray-Bottom Strat pickups for the neck, middle and bridge that really emulate his sound. The Olympic white colouring and off white pickups add to that vintage look too. As far as signature models go, this Fender Hendrix Strat is up there with the best.

Epiphone 2015 Limited Edition Joe Bonamassa Les Paul Standard Bigsby Electric Guitar in Inverness Green

Epiphone 2015 Limited Edition Joe Bonamassa Les Paul Standard Guitar

The Joe Bonamassa signature Epiphone Les Paul guitar is a beauty to behold, and quite rare too. The only guitar of its kind, the Inverness Green model features a classic Bigsby B70 vibrato tailpiece as well as the awesome Burstbucker humbucking pickups, but it’s Bonamassa’s input that really sets this signature model apart. The top has a carved maple cap, and the colour scheme was requested by Bonamassa himself. The mahogany body offers seriously rich resonance, which is why Bonamassa requested it when working with Epiphone’s luthiers at Nashville HQ. As an added bonus, the guitar comes with a certificate of authenticity that is hand signed by Joe Bonamassa himself – awesome.

Martin Ed Sheeran X Signature Edition Electro Acoustic

Martin Ed Sheeran X Signature Edition Electro Acoustic Guitar

As far as singer/songwriters and guitarists go, Ed Sheeran’s meteoric rise to fame and influence on younger generations of guitarists cannot be contested. Sheeran’s penchant for playing a ¾ size or “mini” guitar has inspired thousands of fans to show an interest in what could be considered a travel guitar and eventually a signature model from Martin. Martin have created a beautiful guitar in collaboration with Sheeran, which includes solid spruce top and Koa back and sides as well as signature “X” inlay. The Fishman IsysT pickup system is perfect for professionals or the casual player. In addition, 100% of Ed’s royalties from each guitar sale will be donated to the East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices – a great guitar and a great cause. Although this guitar is no longer available, the Martin LX1E Little Martin Electro Acoustic Guitar is a good option if you like smaller scale guitars.

Fender Chris Shiflett Telecaster Deluxe Electric Guitar

Fender Chris Shiflett Telecaster Deluxe Electric Guitar

Long-time Foo Fighters collaborator Chris Shiflett is widely regarded as a great guitarist and his signature Telecaster is a fitting tribute. Through his work with Dave Grohl, Me First and the Gimme Gimme’s as well as the Dead peasants, Shiflett has become a household name amongst guitarists, so it makes sense that he be awarded a signature model. Modelled closely on his very own 72 Tele Deluxe, the signature version features specially-voiced signature pickups that replace the usual single coils for a pair of humbuckers – the custom-designed CS1 and CS2. Whether you want to play punk, rock or country, Fender Chris Shiflett Telecaster Deluxe guitar is perfect.

Epiphone Tommy Thayer White Lightning Les Paul

Epiphone Tommy Thayer White Lightning Les Paul Outfit Electric Guitar

Whether you’re a fan of KISS or not, this really cool looking Epiphone Les Paul is impressive. Tommy Thayer, Kiss guitarist since 1994, collaborated with the luthiers at Epiphone to craft one of the most exciting signature models ever made – a bold statement yes, but you have to hear this thing sing. Packed with a pair of Seymour Duncan JB humbuckers, the Tommy Thayer White Lightning Les Paul really packs a punch. For fans of the band, you’ll be pleased to hear that it comes with a signature hardcase as well as a custom leather strap and hand-signed certificate of authenticity.

About Lee Glynn

Lee Glynn is a guitarist and multi-instrumentalist who lives in Liverpool, England. After moving to the UK from Perth, Australia, Lee enjoyed a successful career as guitarist in Liverpool based rock band Sound of Guns.
After releasing two albums, a myriad of EP’s/singles and touring extensively around the world for 6 years including stops at Glastonbury, Latitude Festival, as well as the coveted Reading & Leeds Festivals, Lee decided it was a time for a change of scenery.

Utilising his experience in music journalism, Lee now works within the web team at Dawsons Music, where he can still relay his passion for music by producing great content for the Dawsons blog and social media. Lee is still an avid guitar player and writer.

Here are some fun facts:

  • Before moving to the UK, Lee used to host a radio show in Australia at the age of 18. Lee presented the unsigned bands segment at Twin Cities FM in Perth, WA.
  • Sound Of Guns enjoyed a short but successful career in music with many of their songs being used in television adverts, sports channels and the extremely successful videos Road Bike Party and We are Not Crazy We are Amazing.
  • He also can’t play bar chords due to an accident so learned to play power chords by studying Black Sabbath songs and Tony Iommi’s playing style.