Clapton Strat Quesions...

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by John55, Dec 16, 2005.


  1. John55

    John55 Member

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    I've been wanting to try one of these guitars for some time but before I jumped in and bought one I thought a little bit of background on them might prove valuable!
    Is there any particular "era" of them that could be termed the best? By that I'm referring to fit/finish, overall build quality and even their tonal characteristics? I know the early ones used Lace p'ups and now they are using their own vintage noiseless p'ups. Do most folks have a preference? If I were to get one and didn't like what was in it, could they be replaced with Lollars or Fralins and still have the boost circuit? Any comments/suggestions appreciated!
     
  2. satinsixstring

    satinsixstring Member

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    If you can, save a few hundred bucks more, and order a custom shop one.

    Big differance in feel and finish.

    As for that, I haven't played a Clapton strat that I havernt liked (this includes a '90, '95, '00, and a brand new '05.
     
  3. Gotham City Blues

    Gotham City Blues Member

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    As far as pickup replacement for the EC Strat goes, your best bet is pretty much a noiseless design. You can put in any single coil you want, but the hum will be boosted along with the signal if you turn the mid boost circuit up. Kinman possibly has the widest selection of noiseless Strat pups available. Good luck.
     
  4. John55

    John55 Member

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  5. AaeCee

    AaeCee Member

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    I own a CS Clapton, and second what both sss and Derek said. The boost circut mandates a noiseless pickup. The new CS version has the Clapton specific VNs, and IMO they have a bit less of a sterile nature than Lace Sensors. Note that these VNs are different than those that come in other Fenders with VNs, and the output seems a bit hotter than the others as well. The total electronics package works very well together, and I wouldn't change a thing. I have a few other CS Strats that have custom shop pickups that are heavenly (by my and others assessments), but if there is an audible difference with the VNs, it's negligable, and at gigging volumes utilizing the boost circut, any pedals, etc., is undetectable. The on board boost circut really warms up the Clapton's tone, and lends to an amazingly versatile tonal spectrum, while always still very 'stratty' overall. It's a great guitar, and though I have a well-heeled stable of others, this is the one I reach for first for both performances and just noodling. The only change I made (right away!) was to refret with larger stainless steel wire. Not a fan of 'vintage' frets, as it comes equipped.
     
  6. Rich

    Rich Silver Supporting Member

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    John

    To be somewhat of a contrarian here--

    Dont order or buy a thing until you've had a chance to check out the production model, the CS and if you can find one locally, a used Lace Sensor equipped one. I mention the Lace specifically because they have a very distinct tone to them which you may prefer (and which satisfied Mr Clapton for many years until the Lace/Fender parting).
     
  7. Bo Faulkner

    Bo Faulkner Member

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    I had a fairly new one.. Even with the boost off the pickups are still "active" It was much brighter/ hotter than my vintage style guitars even with the boost off. sounded good with tweed but sounded like poo poo with marshally stuff. Played good and felt good... couldnt deal with the tone of it. Try one for a week before you buy.
     
  8. John55

    John55 Member

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    Thanks for all of the good insight fellas, lots to consider before making a purchase. I have found a couple of used ones and obviously there are plenty of new ones available. My problem is that none of them are anywhere near me so I'll be buying blind, so to speak.
    I've owned several vintage Strats and while the tone was wonderful in it's own way, it really wasn't exactly what I was after. They just didn't offer the drive and thick tone I want. I play P90s and humbuckers primarily, and would like something that gets more into that territory but still has the sonic qualities of the Strat. I guess EC must have felt the same way, from what I've read, so thought one of his Strats might be what I'm after. After watching the Cream reunion DVDs I believe this to be true, but until a person actually plays one through his own amps you never know for sure. I do use Marshalls and tweeds, but lately have been using an old BFDR quite a lot.
    I owned a Strat some years ago that had the Lace p'ups in it, and frankly wasn't terribly impressed with them. They were okay, but the next model I had was equipped with their VNs and it sounded much more Strat like to my ears. How either would sound, coupled with that boost circuit is what I need to find out. I'd also like to have one with a fairly large neck profile, and was hoping that someone could say whether or not any certain "era" of them tended to have the largest neck sizes. The new Eric Johnson model has the neck I'm after, just wish it wasn't voiced quite so "vintage" or I'd have one in a second. That said, I might try one of them anyway, especially if the EC guitar doesn't work out.
     
  9. AaeCee

    AaeCee Member

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    Hey John, if you can find a dealer willing to 'handle' a few for you, assuming they have a few in stock, they'll surely be able to discern which has the largest neck. Fender necks still vary in like guitars somewhat. I too like stout necks, and the EC while not huge, isn't small either, and the soft V makes for a very satisfying feel. I really think you'll like the EC. In your description, you mentioned 'near humbucker tones'...plugged mine into a friend's amp recently with the selector on the bridge and the boost at 6 or so, dammed if it didn't have a bucker vibe to it. Turned both of our heads. All in all, the versatility enables a very wide tonal range, especially with the right effect boxes. Post if/when you get one. BTW...if you search around, you can find new CS versions for < $2000.00.
     
  10. John55

    John55 Member

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    AaeCee,
    I'll certainly post something once I get it bought! What makes one of these interesting to me is the ability (hopefully) to just turn a knob and go from typical Strat tone right into some good thick OD, or anywhere inbetween. I like to use my volume knob to control that, not fond of pedals, and that's why vintage type Strats typically don't do it for me. They just don't have the balls to push an amp hard enough on their own to get me what I"m after. If you just want a little hair on the notes, they're okay but in my experience they need a pedal to really get an amp cooking the way I like it.
     
  11. AaeCee

    AaeCee Member

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    I love 'regular' strats, but you're so right. You gotta boost them to really get that push, and I always do. And your reasoning on the EC is EXACTLY what motivated me to get one. Only since I've owned it though, have I come to appreciate the fantastic tonal versatility of this axe. Believe it or not, it sounds great for jazz of all things, in between neck and middle, boost around 4, no other effects.
     
  12. hdiddy

    hdiddy Supporting Member

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    I have the one with the Vintage Noisless and love the sound with the TBX down on the treble and a little boost
     
  13. John55

    John55 Member

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    Me2, I love them for clean to semi-clean blues and general rythmn playing. But, when I wanna rock or just get into that really mean and nasty tone, they leave me standing there wondering "Is that all there is?" I WILL have one of these!
     

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