How Do You Feel About Signature Telecasters?

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by Digiplay, Jun 9, 2019.

How do you feel about Signature Telecasters?

  1. Like them.

    61 vote(s)
    43.9%
  2. Don't care for them.

    78 vote(s)
    56.1%
  1. Vermoulian

    Vermoulian Tele-Meister

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    Most signature instruments are only distinctive to a pretty small segment of the musician community, and most have nothing about them beyond perhaps a discreet signature on the headstock that would clue in the average audience member, or even most musicians, that there's something special about that particular model. Les Pauls are in a little different category because that's a signature MODEL, not just a signature VERSION of an existing model. There are a few other models in that cagetory (like that angular hourglass Annie Clark model that Music Man makes) but for the most part you need to be a pretty serious gear geek to even realize that there's anything special about that particular Strat or whatever.

    (Side note: I've always thought it was funny that there are signature versions of signature models, i.e., a Jimmy Page Les Paul. I seem to recall that at one point Pete Townshend was playing an Eric Clapton Strat on stage with the Who. I was hoping that Fender would put out a Pete Townshend Eric Clapton Strat.)

    There are a few sig models that replicate the look of very distinctive trademark guitars, and those are in a slightly different category---like an SRV Strat that looks just like his number one, or a dragon Jimmy Page Tele, or a Joe Strummer Tele, or that Hendrix Strat pictured above. The Brad Paisley Teles might fall into that category too. But most signature guitars don't scream "signature" from any distance. Again, you'd need to be a pretty serious gear geek to notice that a Mark Knopfler Strat, or a Clapton Strat, or an Eric Johnson Strat, or a Jeff Beck Strat, or a Jimmy Vaughn Strat, etc. was anything out of the ordinary. There are guitars that have subtle configuration differences that would be a giveaway to the discerning eye, i.e., the humbuckers on the Chris Shiflett Tele or the modified controls on the Johnny Marr Jaguar, but on the whole even stuff like that is pretty subtle.

    I might be a little reticent about playing a guitar that was an obvious visual recreation of a very distinctive instrument associated with a particular artist, but I wouldn't be concerned that a guitar I otherwise liked was a signature model. I would not want to have to pay a big premium for the signature, but if it's reasonably priced for what it is I would not avoid it just because it's a sig, even if it was a sig of somebody unrelated, or even antithetical, to the music I play. (I'm a big fan of Les Paul (the guitarist), and look how far afield his signature guitar has gone, compared to what he played on it!)

    Having said that, I can't think of any signature guitars that are currently giving me GAS, but, I would not mind at all having a Geddy Lee Jazz Bass. It looks pretty similar to a regular Jazz Bass (the block inlays and Badass bridge would be the giveaways), but it has a different neck profile that AFAIK is not available on any other Fender bass, which I really like.
     
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  2. bravescoob

    bravescoob Tele-Meister

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    Signatures can be neat in the sense that it causes Fender to build some of their more unique production models. Still, having someone else's name on your guitar might feel a bit weird? Not necessarily something that would keep me from buying one if I really liked it though- ie Troy Van Leeuwen JM, Geddy Lee JBass, and Jim Adkin's Tele.
     
  3. Kid Telecaster

    Kid Telecaster TDPRI Member

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    Yup. Let me know if you see one
     
  4. Durtdog

    Durtdog Poster Extraordinaire

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    The only one I've played that I liked was the Chris Shifflett model.

    I played one at Guitar Center and really liked it very much. I didn't know who Chris Shifflett was, I thought the signature was the guy who built the guitar at the Fender factory.

    If I had need of another guitar, I'd buy that one in a heartbeat.
     
  5. Hatfield92

    Hatfield92 Tele-Meister

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    I recently grabbed me of the Olympic white Hendrix strats while on my quest for a new guitar. I was leaning Strat anyway, but I also played (again) one of the Brad Paisley Teles, which had impressed me previously. This one was used, and the same price as the Hendrix strat. I also played another strat, but the Hendrix one was the clear choice.

    That said, I’m not sure I’m the kind of guy who wants to gig with a guitar that has the iconic Monterey paint job or has the big letters S, R and V on its face. I even had mixed feelings about the silver sparkle cosmetics of the BP Tele.

    So I guess I’m a guy who doesn’t seek out sig guitars per se, but doesn’t rule them out... up to a point. As someone mentioned above, some guitars are just visually too iconic.
     
  6. gypsy jim

    gypsy jim Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    I bought a Gatton Tele because of the specs. (I'm a fan too but wouldn't buy a guitar based on the artist.) It had the big neck I was looking for. In 1992 there were not a lot of stock Teles with big necks. The Bardens and flamey neck were just icing.
    DSCN1411.JPG DSCN1403.JPG gatton headstock.JPG
     
  7. Wrighty

    Wrighty Tele-Afflicted

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    As others have said, anything that looks run-of-the-mill, nothing ‘different’, just blends in...............!
     
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  8. KellyCaster71

    KellyCaster71 Tele-Holic

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    After thinking about it, I've had quite a few "signature" guitars. Not usually because I was a particular fan of the artist, but the features of the guitars themselves that appealed to me.
    Let's see I've had:
    SRV Strat: Bought mid 90's, (huge fan) but eventually sold about 20 years later because I just didn't like much about Strat except the 2&4 positions and don't like the controls.
    Gibson Herb Ellis 165: Didn't even know who Herb Ellis was, but got a good deal on it used as I couldn't afford a 335. After many years traded it.
    GE Smith Tele: Not a particular fan of the artists (although I think he's a great player). But I love the features of the guitar. It's a 50's style with a couple of things that set it off. Huge Neck.
    Bonamassa Les Paul Studio: Always wanted a gold top, but prefer black plastics and back. Like the other extra touches. If I took off the nameplate, you wouldn't know.
    Paisley Signature Tele: I'm a fan but also like the lightness, neck and the pickups. Just plain fun to play and has a fat and fast neck once it finally cured.
     
  9. Area51

    Area51 Tele-Holic

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    Well said!
     
  10. coolidge

    coolidge Tele-Meister

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    I always feel like I'm over paying for a signature so they can pay the artist their cut, so I avoid.
     
  11. bb_matt

    bb_matt Tele-Meister

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    Thread too long, didn't read... TTLDR.

    At the end of the day, It's a guitar. You play it. It makes a sound. WTF does it matter whether it's a 'signature series' or not?

    It could be the butt-ugliest guitar in the entire universe, but if the sound it produces is angelic or becomes a channel through which the late great guitarists can vent some spleen, like some kinda guitar ouija board, it's all good.

    What do I think of them? Whatever. I'm sure they are pretty, but pretty doesn't mean good.

    Each to their own, I respect that. But I really couldn't give a flaming bollock hair about a mass produced 'signature' guitar.
    An original guitar actually used and owned by a great... well, that's a different matter entirely...
     
  12. kookaburra

    kookaburra Tele-Afflicted

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    Julian Lage, nice!
     
  13. jrblue

    jrblue Tele-Afflicted

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    I'm ambivalent. I'm not into pretending I'm someone else, or hero-worship, but if you know someone's style and the specs they like, and you want that same setup, it's obviously a good way to go. I don't mind having someone's signature on my guitar, even if it's not a favorite guitarist of mine, because if it's really their design, they deserve credit. What I want to know is why hasn't the Roy Buchanan estate collaborated w/ Fender on a signature/tribute for that guy?
     
  14. stevedenver

    stevedenver Tele-Afflicted

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    Oooh, love that blue sparkle gatton.
    But for the weight, ive always liked the marty stuart tele.


    Like everyone else, i have to like the features.
    In my case, the signatures i bought were priced way under market, distress sale.
    And, the quality is great.
    Few know the Hellecasters, i think.

    I have the custom shop Jorgensen gold sparkle, and green will ray teles.
    Very distinctive looks and unique features and sounds.

    I dont think twice about gigging with them. Both look great under stage lights.
    But, they are boat anchors.

    Otoh, my lentz blackguard is 5lbs...much nicer to stand a few hours with. Also great sound.
     
  15. RIPROY

    RIPROY TDPRI Member

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    I fell in love with an old worn blackguard Telecaster on the album covers of "Loading Zone" back in 1977, when I first purchased the album new. Then I started to greatly admire the man who played it, Roy Buchanan. There were generally no "signature guitars" back then, so I had to make my own (and his favorite amp)! Still loving it today!
     
  16. stanger

    stanger Tele-Meister

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    In general, I'm pretty meh about most of the Signature guitars, but this one's looks really grabbed me when I first saw a picture of it, and still does.
     
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  17. SAguitar

    SAguitar Tele-Meister

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    I can't say that I've never been moved by a signature model guitar because I own a B.B. King Gibson Lucille, and he has been a life long hero. I also have 8 Les Pauls because I can. But at this late stage of my life, I can't see purchasing any others.
     
  18. rjtwangs

    rjtwangs Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    I would like to see a " Sir Doug Sahm " Signature Custom Telecaster....
    IMG_323356702062066-1.jpg
    FB_IMG_1436590852993.jpg


    RJ
     
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  19. Mike Wingate

    Mike Wingate TDPRI Member

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    Fortunately Wilco Johnson is not dead yet.
     
  20. Twangsalot

    Twangsalot TDPRI Member

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    9234654C-AD8D-4DA4-BF18-F7CF4D315A88.jpeg Just got my JP Dragon Tele yesterday. Looks good. No time yet to plug it in. I fell in love with the Zeppelin sound. If I had known it was a Tele I would have bought one back then, ‘67 or ‘68. I buy what I want.
     
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