1. Win a Broadcaster or one of 3 Teles! The annual Supporting Member Giveaway is on. To enter Click Here. To see all the prizes and full details Click Here. To view the thread about the giveaway Click Here.

Let's talk about the weirdest signature model guitars....

Discussion in 'Other Guitars, other instruments' started by Blazer, Jun 14, 2015.

  1. Blazer

    Blazer Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Age:
    44
    Posts:
    16,577
    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2003
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    Grover Jackson once said that he found it a shame that in the mid eighties more and more players were looking for an endorsement deal which would give them maximum exposure instead of giving them the best guitar that could possibly be built for them.

    So many players got signature models which were based on stock models that that company they signed up with had. Or were models that were developed beforehand without actual input of the artist which name it was going to carry.

    One such guitar was the Washburn Ace Frehley model.
    [​IMG]
    What makes this guitar weird is not just the shape but also that specs-wise it just doesn't have anything in common with the Les pauls that Ace is known for playing: No mahogany body, no Dimarzio pickups, not even a Gibson scale length. Frehley later said that he thought the guitar looked cool but when he took it on tour he quickly abandoned it since it sounded terrible.

    Belgian guitarist Dany Lademacher is best known for his work with Herman Brood and he also was known for being a connoisseur of P-90 pickups, having used a refinished gold top as his main axe. In the late eighties Lademacher was offered a custom guitar built completely to his specs made by Dutch luthier Robbert de Vos. Lademacher was quite clear about what he wanted: the guitar had to have a two octave neck with a Gibson scale length, a Kahler whammy bar and of course P-90 pickups. As for the shape, he figured a scaled up strat pickguard would be cool.
    [​IMG]
    Lademacher on the far right playing his Robberts custom guitar.

    And more recently Lademacher was offered a signature model by the Dutch company DooDad who produced the model in China, it is based on Lademacher's old Robberts Custom but with a slightly revised shape.
    [​IMG]
    So what makes this signature model weird? Well LOOK at it...

    Of course the folks at DooDad realized that not everybody digs P-90s, or a Kahler, or a baby blue finish, so they also offered a plainer version...
    [​IMG]

    But one thing you can't fault Lademacher on is him putting his money where his mouth is because he uses his DooDad siggy model all the time now.
    [​IMG]
     
  2. harold h

    harold h Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,377
    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2004
    Yamaha Wes Borland

    [​IMG]
     
  3. Hexabuzz

    Hexabuzz Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,558
    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2014
    Location:
    Northeast PA
    The Jackson Vinnie Vincent...

    [​IMG]
     
    fortj3 likes this.
  4. Fearnot

    Fearnot Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    5,376
    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2010
    Location:
    Decatur, GA
    The First Act Paul Westerberg... classic guitar anti-hero move.

    [​IMG]
     
    Crawfish likes this.
  5. ME262

    ME262 Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    888
    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2012
    Location:
    Sweden
    Look, the guy was permanently on another planet, so what did you expect? I'm surprised it even looks playable. I just wish I could create something that coherent when I'm drunk, but on the other hand, the guy was a professional, I'm just an amateur drunk. But yeah, looks like the product of an alcoholic.
     
  6. Bongocaster

    Bongocaster Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,521
    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2011
    Location:
    From the home of King Records
    Well sure, if you're just going to take things out of context.:(



    ;)
     
    fortj3 likes this.
  7. Blazer

    Blazer Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Age:
    44
    Posts:
    16,577
    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2003
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    Err, you probably hadn't properly read what I typed, but the Washburn Ace Frehley was made WITHOUT any input of Ace himself. They just presented him with the thing and said "We want to put your name on it."
     
  8. Jimmy Dean

    Jimmy Dean Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,036
    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2009
    Location:
    Portland, OR, houseboat
    I remember when Fender started signature models in the 80's. One of the first was the Yngwie Malmsteen. The fingerboard was scalloped between the frets so you could change pitch by pressure on the fretboard. I don't think they sold many of those. The other one I never got was the Sieve Vai's Ibanez GEM.
     
  9. vibrasonic

    vibrasonic Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,495
    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2011
    Location:
    sault ste marie canada
    The only sig model I like is the Les Paul.
     
    Doug 54 likes this.
  10. Blazer

    Blazer Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Age:
    44
    Posts:
    16,577
    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2003
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    [​IMG]
    You'd be surprised, there actually were a lot of players who adopted the Malmsteen signature since it's a damn good rock guitar with classic looks.

    Here's the current Malmsteen strat, compare that to the red one, they updated the guitar further to Malsmsteen's wishes.
    [​IMG]

    That would be the Ibanez JEM.
    [​IMG]
    Well it was a child of its time, Hairmetal and the likes.

    These days Vai is toting a much more toned down version of that same guitar.
    [​IMG]
     
    leonard d rock likes this.
  11. flyswatter

    flyswatter Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,315
    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2013
    Location:
    Canada
    Well, it can't get much weirder than when the guitar is a caricature of the guitarist himself.
     

    Attached Files:

    bricksnbeatles and Joe Sailor like this.
  12. vespa1

    vespa1 Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    435
    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2011
    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    I always thought that Courtney Love's signature Fender Neptune was weird on a couple of levels.
     
  13. ME262

    ME262 Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    888
    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2012
    Location:
    Sweden
    Oh, yes that's right. Now I have no explanation whatsoever as to the "design". It's a mystery.
     
  14. garytelecastor

    garytelecastor Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    9,400
    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2006
    Location:
    On the Bayou in da Tundra
    For me, the one that takes the cake is EVH Frankenstein.

    Overview

    The Frankenstrat was Van Halen's attempt to combine the sound of a classic Gibson guitar with the physical attributes of a Fender. It was made from an ash Stratocaster body, with pickup routing which he modified to fit a Gibson PAF humbucking bridge pickup.[2] The guitar has a maple neck and fretboard and chrome hardware, and had several paint designs until it arrived at its final combination of red and black-and-white stripes. It is a six-string guitar, with a Floyd Rose tremolo.
    Design

    Body and neck

    Van Halen bought the Frankenstrat's ash body and maple neck for $130 from Wayne Charvel and Lynn Ellsworth, who sold Boogie Body bodies and necks. Because it was not cosmetically attractive, the body was a factory second. Since the body had a knot in the wood, Van Halen bought it at the discount price of $50. The $80 neck had jumbo fret wire, and its truss rod was adjustable at the heel.[3]

    Bridge and pickup

    The guitarist originally used the Fender tremolo system from his 1958 Fender Stratocaster, adding the Floyd Rose later. He equipped the Frankenstrat with a PAF (patent applied for) pickup removed from his Gibson ES-335, potting the pickup in paraffin wax to reduce microphonic feedback (an older technique). He then screwed the pickup to the guitar in the bridge position, slightly sideways to compensate for the different string spacing between the Gibson's pickup and the Fender's bridge. This pickup was later replaced by a Seymour Duncan humbucker.

    Controls

    Van Halen removed both tone control potentiometer, wiring the pickups in a simple circuit largely due to his limited knowledge of electronics. He placed a knob marked "Tone" on the volume-control spot, then using a vinyl record he carved into a pickguard to cover the controls; this pickguard was later replaced by a real, similarly-shaped pickguard. Although it has five mounting holes (one drilled by Van Halen), it is installed with only three screws. A strip of double-sided masking tape was added near the pickguard, on which Van Halen placed a variety of picks. The simple circuit consisted of a single humbucking pick-up, an A500k potentiometer (the volume control) and a 1/4-inch output jack.

    Finish

    The musician painted the guitar black; when it was dry he put strips of masking tape on the body and repainted it white, creating the classic Frankenstrat.[4] Van Halen put a Gibson decal on the headstock, emphasizing the "cross-pollination" between Gibson and Fender. Because companies began selling guitars with similar finishes he stopped playing the Frankenstrat in public, instead using the black-and-yellow "bumble bee" guitar pictured on Van Halen II. In 1979, disappointed with the bumble-bee guitar's performance, Van Halen re-taped the body of the Frankenstrat and painted it with red Schwinn bicycle paint. According to the guitarist, "The Schwinn bicycle paint gives it pop."[citation needed]

    Upgrades

    The Frankenstrat has gone through a number of necks over the years, and its bridge has evolved from the 1958 Fender tremolo to original Floyd Rose bridges (with and without fine tuners). The placement of the 1971 quarter was to keep the Floyd Rose bridge flush with the body, and Van Halen attached truck reflectors to the rear of the body for decoration. He installed large screw eyes instead of strap buttons, a foolproof (albeit unsightly) method of securing the guitar to the strap.

    During the late 1970s and early 1980s, many guitar companies tried to capitalize on Van Halen's popularity by manufacturing Frankenstrat replicas. In an attempt to mislead the companies, the guitarist installed a non-functional red single-coil pickup in the neck position of the Frankenstrat. To confuse imitators further, he screwed a three-way switch into the empty middle-pickup slot on the guitar's body. Like the neck pickup, it was purely decorative.

    If you are itchin' to git one, there is one on ebay right now for $25K.

    EVH2.jpg

    EVH1.jpg
     
  15. flyswatter

    flyswatter Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,315
    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2013
    Location:
    Canada
    Was thinking that myself. It's weirdness is only countered somewhat by its unusually legendary status.
     
  16. uriah1

    uriah1 Telefied Gold Supporter

    Posts:
    23,977
    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2011
    Location:
    Around
    courtesy of the bottle rockets
     

    Attached Files:

    6stringcowboy likes this.
  17. Vladimir

    Vladimir Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    51
    Posts:
    2,214
    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2003
    Location:
    Zagreb, Croatia
    I think Albert Lee's signature guitar is far from traditional.
     
  18. John C

    John C Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    4,113
    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2005
    Location:
    Kansas City
    The Albert Lee is another case of a guitar that was already built but the artist got it and loved it. According to Sterling Ball, he and Dudley Gimple (EBMM's chief designer) had built that as a prototype for Sterling himself (even though he is primarily a bass player he does play guitar). However, Albert (who was an EB string endorser and friend of both Sterling and Ernie) was at an EB company event, played the guitar and fell in love with it so Sterling gave him the original. By the way the original name for that model was the "Axis".

    EBMM took it into production a couple of years later as the Albert Lee Signature, and after Eddie Van Halen left they revived the Axis name for the continuation of his model.

    From what I've read about the EVH signature model is a further evolution of a concept single-cut guitar that Dudley was already working on for EBMM. When EVH came on board they first made him a single-pickup, Floyd equipped rear-routed Silhouette-type guitar with traditional Strat-style contouring. Ed didn't want that any more, spotted the single-cut prototype and they eventually reworked it to the EVH/Axis shape and features. Which is why Ed didn't own the design when he left EBMM for Peavey - and also why Ed set it up so he owned the Wolfgang design, not Peavey.

    That more Strat-contoured version of the Silhouette body I think wound up being the original Luke model body.
     
  19. surfoverb

    surfoverb Doctor of Teleocity

    Posts:
    12,390
    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2007
    Location:
    Virginia
    thats not why its scalloped. scallopped fretboards are for speed, vibrato, and control when bending. Listen to yngwie or blackmore those dudes have killer vibrato.
    the yngwie strat is a great guitar, one of the most popular sig series.
    the CIJ ones are great too.
    and the JEm is another hugely successful signature guitar.
     
  20. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    57,248
    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2009
    Location:
    Kelowna, BC, Canuckistan
    Maybe not the absolute weirdest, but unless you wanted to emulate Jason Becker, why would you want a guitar that looked like that?

    [​IMG]
     
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.