For a number of years now, Eric Clapton has extensively played his own spec’d Fender Signature Strat, albeit in various colours, whilst various ‘Crash-o-casters’ with a unique graffiti street style art finish, can often be found attached to his strap – Initially the Clapton Strat was only available as a regular USA production model, whilst the Custom Shop and Todd Krause Masterbuilt model were introduced at a later date – Always available with a shiny new gloss finish on an alder body – It was sometime later that a lightly aged nitro finish became available on an ash body – And that is what I can offer for sale today – A new Fender Custom Shop Clapton Strat with a lightly aged Journeyman Relic ‘aged white blonde’ finish – So played in but not abused – I hand picked this Strat, following a recent visit from the UK Custom Shop product specialist, partly based on the feel, partly based on its aesthetic qualities and partly based on its vibrant un-plugged character – Furthermore I acquired it with an additional discount, so instead of a price tag around the £3500 range, how about £3190 – Complete with case and certificate – Quick comment on the weight and at 7lbs 3oz few will have any issues
I’m not sure if I need to go in to all the product details regarding the Clapton Strat, as these are either common knowledge, or easily found on various web sites, but click here to take you to the Fender web site as required
Aged vibe :- I fully appreciate that not all guitar players buy into the seriously aged vibe of many Custom Shop Strats, so with that in mind, a Journeyman nitro finish takes more of a lightly aged approach, that some might say is more authentic – This ‘aged white blonde’ finish possesses a faded worn character – You’ll find no shortage of lacquer checking , yet overall it receives far less dings and dints, with very little in the way of a wear that reveals the ash body – Aged, but not abused, might be a fair remark, therefore the Journeyman finish is a far more subtle approach to finding a Strat with some played in character – Hence you can buy it and play it, without having to give it the kids gloves treatment, then getting upset regarding any nicks and grazes that it will inevitably acquire – It is generally accepted that a thin base coat and finish allows the guitar to ‘breathe’ so as to maximise the guitars natural vibrant character and this is a big plus factor of the aged approach
Feel :- The neck is based on Clapton’s original 50’s ‘blackie’ hence a soft V profile, that tapers gently from .850″ at the top nut end, to .925″ around the 12th fret – Compared to the best selling classic vintage 60’s C profile, it is only .050″ thicker at the top nut end, yet with a similar thickness around the 12th fret – So a comfortable amount of girth, that is easy to handle and so much of a feature found on the original late 50’s Fender necks – The character of a soft V is that what ever V profile you can feel around the top nut end, it is subtle, yet from the 5th fret on wards it certainly feels more rounded and that of a C profile – Additionally and thanks to the Journeyman aged finish, the neck is spec’d with that worn ‘played in from day one’ character that instantly feels comfortable and familiar – Add a 9.5″ fingerboard radius and it allows for a more fluid playing action along all 22 frets – EC still favours a vintage/medium size fret wire yet that does not appear to impede his controlled string bending and vibrato – I dare say the idiosyncratic nature of any signature model is that you are buying the spec that they want and request
Tonal character :- On the 50’s style single ply scratchplate, you’ll find a set of noiseless pick-ups, along with the mid range tone boost, where the bottom tone pot used to be – The noiseless pick-ups retain the vintage character, with crisp shimmering highs, transparent mids and rounded full lows, but what if you want to rip it up a bit, whilst you kick some dirt, for classic rock styles, then what are your options ? – This is where the active 25db mid boost comes into play – Sure you can buy a regular boost pedal, but having it on the guitar allows you to dial in just a touch, or wind it all the way up to 10, as and when required, hence you are totally and instantly in control – As you approach 10, then it delivers a fat humbucking flavoured tone, that will sing and sustain, especially on overdriven amp settings, making it ideal for classic rock/blues styles – But please don’t just limit yourself to the two extreme outside settings of 1 (ie turned off) or 10 (on full), as all the ‘in between’ levels provide you with subtle and effective voices, hence no shortage of expression available to you – Try it at 2 or 3, for just a small additional level of boost, which even on clean amp settings will beef up the tone just a touch – So much so that if you leave it at this setting for a while, so it effectively becomes the norm, when you then take the boost level back to zero you’ll certainly notice the difference – Hence the boost level can be extreme or minimal – You decide – Overall it can be chilled and lush or it can enter the party animal land as required, so no shortage of soul and expression – Just remember that when EC got back together with Jack and Ginger to perform with Cream, no Gibson Guitars were used, just an EC Signature Strat –
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Guitars4You Offers Reliability, Integrity and Expertise
Every guitar in stock at Guitars4You has been personally selected, inspected and approved by me, with particular attention paid to the set-up and playing performance – Every sale, phone call, mail order transaction or e-mail is handled my me – Mark Hopkin, the owner, Managing Director, cleaner and coffee maker (Jo, my wife helps with the coffee) – A 35 year journey has fuelled my knowledge, experience, love, devotion and passion for exceptionally fine guitars – This reflects in every aspect of our business.
I have no desire to run an Amazon style 'click to buy' guitar shop, that lacks any soul or passion, or indeed to fill a showroom with a selection of dirty, shop soiled or dusty guitars that are in need of a set-up.
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