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Tuned To Perfection: Five Top Guitars

By LLM Reporters on 14th March 2015

There are some beautiful guitars in the world, ranging from prized originals played by guitar legends, such as Eric Clapton and George Harrison, to sheer vintage classics that represent an era of craftsmanship all but lost in the modern day.

A good portion of these remain far away from potential buyers in museums and vaults, but if you look hard enough you might find yourself fortunate enough to have a chance at obtaining one of these gems. Not only will all the guitars on the list play beautifully and look the piece, they’ll also be a wise investment, as a quality guitar will never diminish in value.

We take a look at some of the most sought after vintage instruments that you should keep an eye out for if you’re looking to purchase a true quality guitar.

Fender Custom 60th Anniversary Telecaster Prototype

In the summer of 1949, Leo Fender took a prototype solid-body electric guitar, that he’d designed and built, around clubs for guitarists to test. That guitar evolved into the Fender Telecaster we know today.

In celebration of the Fender Telecaster’s 60th anniversary, the Fender Custom Shop decided to recreate the original guitar built by Leo Fender himself, resulting in the ‘Snake Head’ Telecaster seen here. They created 60 or them to the exact specifications of the original axe and put them up for sale.

The last one to be seen in the wild was number 50 from the batch, marked up for a mere £3,900. It’s entirely possible to track them down, and would be a welcome addition to any collection.

The limited edition 60th anniversary Telecaster, with signature snakehead

1962 Fender Slab-board Stratocaster

Besides the Telecaster, Fender’s most prolific and loved guitars has to be the Stratocaster. The original guitar was designed by Leo Fender and his team, beginning production in 1954.

Unfortunately a great deal of the original guitars will be either in poor condition or missing, but if you were to find a Stratocaster in good condition from this era of craftsmanship you could be looking at anywhere upwards of £22,000.

The slab-board Stratocaster comes with original slab fretboard, which are great for playing on in comparison to a standard veneer fretboard.

A 1962 Stratocaster in near mint condition

1968 Prototype Les Paul Custom

The late Les Paul was one of the pioneers of the solid-body electric guitars and has one of the most iconic guitars, the Gibson Les Paul, named after him and the design he invented.

Purchase any true Gibson guitar and you can be sure that quality isn’t far behind, but the one-of-a-kind guitar featured here is a true masterpiece. Sold at auction for approximately £116,000, commemorating what would have been Les Paul’s 97th birthday, the 1968 Prototype Gibson Les Paul Custom is a master crafted guitar owned by the man himself.

The buyer remains unknown, but be sure to snap it up if you see this same guitar go up for sale.

The prototype Gibson guitar designed by Les Paul himself

1965 Jimi Hendrix Stratocaster

Anyone who’s heard of the name Jimi Hendrix knows his famous stage antics. On one prestigious gig he actually set his guitar aflame and left it to the stage crew to handle to put out the ablaze guitar, whilst needing treatments for minor burns himself.

That very guitar managed to survive the ordeal and was stowed away inside a garage for the next 40 years, only being found and revealed in 2007. It went up for auction and fetched a staggering £280,000, purchased by collector Daniel Boucher in 2008.

He said that “I thought I’d have to pay a little bit more for it, actually. I am going to play it, I hope some of it rubs off on me.”

“It changed music, he raised the bar so high you couldn’t get over it. Obviously it is an investment, it couldn’t not be an investment for that amount of money, but I bought it because I like it.”

Keep an eye out for that same scorched beauty if it ever reaches auction again.

Hendrix and his signature flaming Stratocaster

The Goldcaster

Known as the ‘luxury gold guitar’, the Goldcaster is exactly what you might expect – a Fender Telecaster shape, custom-built to order and mad with a 18 Karat gold top.

It’s really an exercise in indulgence with the Goldcaster, with nearly every aspect of the guitar being made from the same 18 Karat gold. Custom options include a solid platinum top, precious gemstones, diamonds and custom engravings.

What kind of price tag might you expect from such a piece of luxury? A basic model will cost you around £640,000, with the extra options obviously adding more to the already extravagant pricing.

The exquisite Goldcaster guitar, a one of a kind guitar