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Do Signature Guitars Still Matter?

Do Signature Guitars Still Matter?

Which guitarists are worthy of an artist-signature model? Rhett and Zach are on the case.


First off, let’s be thankful for this episode of Dipped In Tone. Rhett survived a close brush with a tornado while on the road in Arkansas, and returns to the pod to analyze all things signature guitars with Zach, who continues his dogged campaign to own a ridiculous number of Tube Screamers. (They didn’t plan their near-matching shirts.)

The conversation-starter is the new Jason Isbell “Red Eye,” a $21,999 collector’s version of the 1959 Gibson Les Paul that famously belonged to Ed King of Lynyrd Skynyrd. When King passed away in 2018, the story goes that Isbell wanted the guitar, but couldn’t afford it. Zach and Rhett explain how he accrued the capital to snag the axe, and the details behind the new artist edition.

But who gets signature guitars, anyway? Some iconic players, like John Frusciante—so easily identified with his Strats—still don’t have their own model. Is he being snubbed, or choosing to keep his name off a mass-produced guitar? Maybe some guitarists feel signatures are too corporate—which could also explain why Jack White has, so far, not lent his name to a model. (Though pedals are a different story.) And what about massively popular YouTube guitar stars and influencers—have they earned the right to be in the running for a signature 6-string?

Later, Zach and Rhett dig into the economics of siggys—how much do their namesakes actually earn from the sale of their personal brand?—and debate Slash’s bombshell move from Marshall to Magnatone.

On her new record with her trio, Molly Miller executes a live-feeling work of structural harmony that mirrors her busy life.

Photo by Anna Azarov

The accomplished guitarist and teacher’s new record, like her lifestyle, is taut and exciting—no more, and certainly no less, than is needed.

Molly Miller, a self-described “high-energy person,” is fully charged by the crack of dawn. When Ischeduled our interview, she opted for the very first slot available—8:30 a.m.—just before her 10 a.m. tennis match!

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On this season finale episode, the actor and musician leads a Prine-inspired songwriting session about how few tools we have in our collective toolbox.

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Featuring enhanced amp models, a built-in creative looper, AI-powered tone exploration, and smart jam features.

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Donner andThird Man Hardware’s $99, three-in-one analog distortion, phaser, and delay honors Jack White’s budget gear roots.

Compact. Light. Fun. Dirt cheap. Many cool sounds that make this pedal a viable option for traveling pros.

Phaser level control not much use below 1 o’clock. Repeats are bright for an analog delay. Greater range of low-gain sounds would be nice.

$99

Donner X Third Man Triple Threat
thirdmanrecords.com

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A huge part of the early White Stripes mystique, sound, ethos, and identity was tied to guitars and amps that, at the time, you could luck into for cheap at a garage sale. These days, it’s harder to score a Crestwood Astral II, or Silvertone Twin Twelve with a part-time job in the ice cream shop. Back in the late ’90s, though, they were a source of raw, nasty sounds for less than a new, more generic guitar or amp.

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