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The Clapton Signature Strat....29 years later.

rhinocaster

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
23,735
This guitar is the one guitar that I've owned more of than any other model over my years of playing. I've owned a green one, two pewter ones and now, finally, the torino red one.

I'll start off by saying that the IDEA behind the guitar never appealed to me mainly because the guitar has a battery in it...I don't like that in a guitar. It's a bias that would ever keep me from purchasing an Ernie Ball Music Man guitar that has the 9 volt battery to run the silent circuit (I don't really need a silent circuit). I'm also generally not a fan of silent single coils. They've rarely given me what I want from a single coil pickup...the tradeoff for the silence was just not a trade I was willing to make.

And yet I keep coming back to the Clapton.

My two favorite Strats are the '69 Fender Custom Shop model and the newest Suhr Classic Pro with the V70 pickups. Both of these Strats have all of the KRANG and sting and clear sweet tones that I adore in an electric guitar. These two guitars can make me happy enough with their musicality and strong, crisp highs that I never think about picking up a Telecaster. That's really saying something with the way I feel about the Telecaster!

And then there is the Clapton.

So, the Clapton Strat first starts to get me with the neck. It's the best Fender neck ever offered (for me). The shape fills the hand without the excessive shoulders of a D neck (and I really like those necks) found on a Nocaster, GE Smith or '52 limited Korina that I've owned. It's baby powder smooth (fast) and lightly flamed...it's bone white (really, really white) and the position markers really pop on stage. The flatter radius and vintage frets are magic together for bending and control. It's a freakin' PERFECT neck that I've never found in another Fender model.

Then there's the tone. This guitar absolutely satisfies me for the '50s Strat sound and I can easily mimic '50s and '60s Buddy Guy tones with it. It's actually overly crisp and dry with the boost rolled all the way down, but add just a hint of that warmth and you're off the the vintage races. Keep rolling up that boost and you start bringing muscle that is more PRS than it is Gibson but I find that to be very usable and musical...more of a Santana sound than a Billy Gibbons sound is the way it hits my ear. I like it. Combined with the TBX circuit, this guitar really does it all in a surprisingly authentic way for me.

The guitar should not make me happy and yet it always has. I've owned a number of Strats from the signature series and the Clapton just rules the roost for me. The guy worked with Fender to build a great take on a great guitar and I can't help but love it!

 

sidekick

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,552
I understand ... Acquired a couple of years ago in nigh-on mint condition an '89 serial # (albeit with a '92 neck date) EC Strat in Torino Red with the Lace Sensors ... It played so well, so comfortably and sounded great, but was on the heavy side ... and a year or so later, I sold it on ebay to a buyer who lives in Finland.

Missed out around that time on a used 3k CS EC master-build in 7 Up Green with Lace Sensors, although if that guitar was to become available again, would be seriously interested.

Torino Red looks great and even nicer when 'in hand'.
 
Messages
1,767
That guitar doesn't look 29 years old. Never played a Clapton. I'm guessing if I had the money to spend on one I'd probably buy a Suhr instead.
 

rhinocaster

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
23,735
That guitar doesn't look 29 years old. Never played a Clapton. I'm guessing if I had the money to spend on one I'd probably buy a Suhr instead.
Hahahaha....haha..ha...:confused:

I loved my Suhr (as well as my current Suhr Tele)...the Clapton does things the Suhr can't. And the Clapton is much less expensive than the Suhr.

I definitely have room in my life for both. :)
 

swiveltung

Senior Member
Messages
14,485
This guitar is the one guitar that I've owned more of than any other model over my years of playing. I've owned a green one, two pewter ones and now, finally, the torino red one.

I'll start off by saying that the IDEA behind the guitar never appealed to me mainly because the guitar has a battery in it...I don't like that in a guitar. It's a bias that would ever keep me from purchasing an Ernie Ball Music Man guitar that has the 9 volt battery to run the silent circuit (I don't really need a silent circuit). I'm also generally not a fan of silent single coils. They've rarely given me what I want from a single coil pickup...the tradeoff for the silence was just not a trade I was willing to make.

And yet I keep coming back to the Clapton.

My two favorite Strats are the '69 Fender Custom Shop model and the newest Suhr Classic Pro with the V70 pickups. Both of these Strats have all of the KRANG and sting and clear sweet tones that I adore in an electric guitar. These two guitars can make me happy enough with their musicality and strong, crisp highs that I never think about picking up a Telecaster. That's really saying something with the way I feel about the Telecaster!

And then there is the Clapton.

So, the Clapton Strat first starts to get me with the neck. It's the best Fender neck ever offered (for me). The shape fills the hand without the excessive shoulders of a D neck (and I really like those necks) found on a Nocaster, GE Smith or '52 limited Korina that I've owned. It's baby powder smooth (fast) and lightly flamed...it's bone white (really, really white) and the position markers really pop on stage. The flatter radius and vintage frets are magic together for bending and control. It's a freakin' PERFECT neck that I've never found in another Fender model.

Then there's the tone. This guitar absolutely satisfies me for the '50s Strat sound and I can easily mimic '50s and '60s Buddy Guy tones with it. It's actually overly crisp and dry with the boost rolled all the way down, but add just a hint of that warmth and you're off the the vintage races. Keep rolling up that boost and you start bringing muscle that is more PRS than it is Gibson but I find that to be very usable and musical...more of a Santana sound than a Billy Gibbons sound is the way it hits my ear. I like it. Combined with the TBX circuit, this guitar really does it all in a surprisingly authentic way for me.

The guitar should not make me happy and yet it always has. I've owned a number of Strats from the signature series and the Clapton just rules the roost for me. The guy worked with Fender to build a great take on a great guitar and I can't help but love it!

I'm 100% with you. It's the most versatile guitar on the planet. Mines a '99 blackie with anodized aluminum pickguard. I would love to have a different color, but "if it aint broke don't fix it". I bought this one after spending days trying different ones at different locations. #2 choice was that dark green... Sherwood? But I thought that was ugly.
 

kev

Member
Messages
2,602
7Up Green is all I wanted. Never got one.
Yer freakin me out Mike. Would you stop it with the whole reading of my mind thing? lol

For me, I'd be seeking out a '56 carve neck, but yeah, throw it on an original release 7UP body/electronics/release the trem back to Leo spec...boom!
 

rhinocaster

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
23,735
I'm 100% with you. It's the most versatile guitar on the planet. Mines a '99 blackie with anodized aluminum pickguard. I would love to have a different color, but "if it aint broke don't fix it". I bought this one after spending days trying different ones at different locations. #2 choice was that dark green... Sherwood? But I thought that was ugly.
I'm very much relating to the "If it ain't broke.." part. This Clapton arrived from Sweetwater with a visible neck pocket gap on the treble side when the neck was aligned correctly. This is one of the first things I look at with a bolt neck guitar and I prefer solid contact between the neck and the body on the sides....yet, this is one of the loudest (acoustically), most resonant electrics I've owned. It actually sounds like there's a small speaker in it facing the back of the guitar...the trem strings ring like crazy. Plug it in and the guitar is just ALIVE!

This one ain't broke even if I'd prefer a tighter neck pocket...:D
 

rhinocaster

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
23,735
I find the earlier ones have the best necks and I love the lace senors.
Interesting....I've enjoyed the two I've purchased in the last 4 years as much as the two early ones I've owned.

Actually, I think the early ones had more of a "Clapton voice" than they do now with the different pickups....both were absolutely great.
 

rhinocaster

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
23,735
I have a 92' 7-up Green. I just re-fretted the original neck with original sized frets. Currently I have a Clapton carve neck on it with medium jumbos and locking tuners.
When this guitar needs frets it's getting the same vintage size in stainless....that would make this guitar perfect in every way!
 

paulvcarter

Member
Messages
2,680
Interesting....I've enjoyed the two I've purchased in the last 4 years as much as the two early ones I've owned.

Actually, I think the early ones had more of a "Clapton voice" than they do now with the different pickups....both were absolutely great.
The earlier ones and the Custom Shop ones have a neck with more V, which feels smaller.
 

rhinocaster

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
23,735
The earlier ones and the Custom Shop ones have a neck with more V, which feels smaller.
I do remember that more pronounced V and I remember that the FIRST guitars that Fender made for Clapton had too much V for him even though he asked for an extreme V neck. I do prefer the more meaty V they're making today. Fits me a little better. But I could be happy with the old one too...I actually was!
 






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