Fender Telecaster electric guitar

10 most iconic guitars ever

Our picks for 10 of the most iconic guitars in history!

This topic has divided players and collectors for decades: what are the most iconic guitars in history? What is the king of guitars? What is the most famous guitar ever?

Of course, these questions could reach a list as long as there are variations of the Stratocaster. Every guitar – acoustic, bass or electric – has had some form of significant influence throughout its creation. However, the models we are choosing today have made huge impacts on the music world and the guitar making universe.

We could have gone for the most popular by sales or the most copied, the most used by artists, the most expensive to be sold, their coolness factor or the ones that made the biggest impact on the guitar world. We have gone for all of these!

So, here is our pick of the 10 most iconic guitars in history; debate at your leisure…

Gibson Les Paul 1958-1960

From the Greeny to The Beast and the Goldtop to the ‘Bursts this is revered as one of the best sounding and most sought after guitars. Is it the pickups, the woods or just the plain magic of this period that makes them special?  If you have got a spare million you can join the club… 

Fender Stratocaster

One of the most recognisable and copied designs ever and with good reason. From Buddy Holly and Hank Marvin (cool red) to Clapton and Gilmour (black), through to Hendrix, Niles and Rory Gallagher the Strat has produced some superb music over the years.

Epiphone Casino

This was just a Gibson hollow body design used by Epiphone until the Fab Four took it on. Paul got his in ’64 and John and George in ’65. Sales rocketed as did the music – check out Revolver. Paul Weller and Noel Gallagher also got in on the act and plenty of re-issues later the Casino is still going strong. P90’s and a cool design – what’s not to like?

Martin Dreadnought

The Martin Dreadnought – D-45, D-28 and D-18 variants have probably been on more recordings than any other acoustic guitar. The flagship D-45 was produced from 1933 to 1942 and then from 1968 – still in small numbers – making it very sought after and collectable. The D-28 and D-18 are more ‘working’ guitars but still two of the best-selling Martins ever. 

The Super Strat

Eighties hair meets shred! Hot-rodded guitars based around the Strat design – hello Super Strat! Steve Vai and EVH led the way on the shred scene and Charvel, Jackson, Ibanez, Schecter and ESP followed…

Gibson EDS-1275 Double Neck

From the days when rock stars needed a mighty axe for their stadium sounds. Great sounds, cool looks and a massive weight all elevate this to iconic status! Jimmy Page, Steve Howe, Don Felder and Alex Lifeson all sported these in the ‘70’s on stages around the world.

Rickenbacker 360/12

One of the coolest headstock designs ever and one great guitar that started the ‘jangly’ sound of the ‘60’s. Led by George Harrison and then taken on by Roger McGuinn of the Byrds, this 12 string has featured on some great records.

Ovation Adamas

Aerospace technology meets traditional lutherie to produce a feedback busting acoustic that could cope with live performances. Reaching its height of popularity in the ‘80’s the Ovation started the whole amplifying your acoustic properly industry!

Hofner Violin Bass 500/1

At a time when bass players sat in the background and still used double basses, Macca brought it to the front with a cool design and warm tones. This guitar is all over some of the Beatles best work and rightly so. Still revered and used today by new generations of players.

Fender Telecaster

Last, but not least, the mighty Tele – the one that started it all back in 1950. The first mass-produced, solid body electric guitar is still in production, and copied, today. Wilko Johnson, Brad Paisley, Graham Coxon, Merle Haggard, Bob Dylan, Albert Collins, Francis Rossi, Bruce Springsteen, Keef, Jimmy Page and Andy Summers all show that it transcends genres and is one of the greatest guitars ever.

All of these guitars are still in production (re-issues included!) which shows their enduring character and status.

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