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Signature Series- What's in a name?

I'm going to get a bit controversial here. It is not my intention to decry any manufacturer or their hard working staff, but are we being duped by the marketing departments? Marketing is a disease of the eighties, yes it does wonders for companies to bring to our attention all the products available to us, however, let us just look at where we are today with regard to instrument choice.
We all know that the most valuable guitars are the early models, even well worn examples have an historic value. What made them so good is not up for discussion here. I want to open a debate and get your views by simplifying the subject. If you had the money in the 60's to 80's for a decent guitar, you were either a Gibson or Fender person, you had a few choices with a Les Paul, but with the Strat it was purely colour and neck finish. I remember my first Strat, I still have it, 1972 model, I wanted white but couldn't afford a new one, and got this 3 tone with maple neck which was a year old.
So the question is, if technology allows us to make things more consistently better, why do we keep getting fed signature series instruments?
I appreciate that custom shop made guitars are superb, finest woods (they look good), great paint job (looks good), electronics to mimic the early models, what are we saying, today's standard pickups are so perfect the sound is not as good?
We would all like to sound like our heroes, but there is more to it, I guess we want to get as close as possible, but I don't see many bands playing these signature guitars on stage, so are they all confined to the bedrooms of the world? Personally I would be a little embarrassed to have SRV in large letters on my guitar.
It seems the idea was good but now there are more of these on offer than traditional standard instruments.

Whilst we are discussing these 'specials', let's look at Fender as an example, great idea to have a 'Custom Shop', some great instruments made to order, then a series of limited runs, then some anniversary issues until we get to the closet classic, NOS (new old stock) and relics. My concern here is now the 'Custom Shop' has an offshoot of 'Master built', so the best of the best, where will it stop?

I want to hear from you, later I may post a quick form survey, for now please use the link below. It is your opinion that counts!

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