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Does Eric Clapton play his signature model?

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by Jackson753, Jul 26, 2019.

  1. Jackson753

    Jackson753 Strat-Talk Member

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    I've just been watching Eric Clapton: Planes, Trains and Eric. I associate the charcoal Strat with Eric Clapton. I've seen that there have been many EC Signature Stratocaster models. It got me thinking what does he actually play himself?

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  2. Triple Jim

    Triple Jim Senior Stratmaster

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    Good question. I know I've seen Trower with his signature Strat in interviews, so I assume he plays them at shows too. I'd think Clapton would do the same.
     
  3. EC Strat-boy

    EC Strat-boy Senior Stratmaster Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Yes he plays his signature Strat
     
  4. guitarface

    guitarface Most Honored Senior Member

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    He does, but his come in whatever color he wants.
     
  5. Jackson753

    Jackson753 Strat-Talk Member

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    Thank you all. That's good to hear. I'm not sure why but I'm more drawn to maple fretboards on Strats and Teles. The Clapton Charcoal Strat had a good looking fretboard to my eye on the documentary.

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  6. vid1900

    vid1900 Most Honored Senior Member

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    Normally, when an artist plays his "signature" guitar, it looks like the production model, but it is a custom version.

    Don't think for a second that Buddy Guy walked into GC and pulled his $699 guitar off the wall, "Ah perfect, just like I like it...."

    It's all marketing.
     
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  7. TangerineDog

    TangerineDog Senior Stratmaster

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    Imagine a young player making it big. First contract, marketing deal, but she/ he comes from a poor background and has only ever owned one expensive guitar - an MIM, worn down, played, loved and just what the player is used to.
    That then becomes the signature model, marked up +300$ of course.
    Idk if it has ever happened, but if it ever does, who knoes? Maybe any one off the wall would do :D
     
  8. Antstrat

    Antstrat Senior Stratmaster

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    Clapton in his own words said he likes maple over rosewood because maple feels better to him. Found that interesting, no tone reason just feel.
     
  9. dante1963

    dante1963 Strat-O-Master

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    Buddy Guy does play a Custom Shop version of his sig model, and Clapton plays the Custom Shop version of his sig model. Jimmie Vaughan, however, travels with two Strats. One is his $800 sig model that was relic’d by the Custom Shop to look like his original ‘61, and the second is his $800 off the rack sig model.

    So, at least one guy plays just the same guitar we can buy at GC.
     
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  10. RaySachs

    RaySachs Senior Stratmaster Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Yeah, Clapton plays his signature strat, but keep in mind they make a Custom Shop version and a consumer version. My guess is he's using the Custom Shop guitars. Not sure what the functional difference is - I think they use the same active electronics and tone control circuitry and I'm sure the trems are blocked the same way, but I'm sure they're finished and assembled with a good deal more attention to detail...

    Robert Cray has both consumer line and Custom Shop models too and I'd guess he's playing Custom Shop guitars. But with his, there's a not insignificant difference. His Custom Shop guitars use a 12" radius fretboard and the consumer model is 9.5. The pickups are reputed to be largely the same. Which is why I love my consumer level Robert Cray but actually wouldn't want the Custom Shop. Probably not a lot of difference in sound, but I've never played a Fender neck with a 12" radius that I could get comfortable with. Gibson and similar necks, no problem - 12" feels just right on those. But on Fender and Fender type necks, I'm great with 7.25 or 9.5, but 12" just feels all kinds of wrong to me. And I've WANTED to like some of those 12" necks, but just didn't.

    My understanding is Jimmie Vaughan just has his consumer level signature guitars and that's what he plays...

    Edit: Oh, Dante must have posted basically the same thing while I was writing this... So, I'm late, as usual!
     
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  11. EC Strat-boy

    EC Strat-boy Senior Stratmaster Strat-Talk Supporter

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    I have a production line EC and I’m telling you it was flawless new. Really don’t see much difference bt it and a custom shop - though I’ve never played one. Just don’t see how it’d be made any “better” per se as the production line is excellent and the CS has the same electronics specs and PUPS.
     
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  12. helsinkirocks

    helsinkirocks Strat-Talker

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    Dave Mustaine plays his signature Vs live. I'm sure in the studio, he uses some of his favorites from the past, but he has said in interviews that live, the guitars he plays are the exact ones you can buy online.
     
  13. John C

    John C Most Honored Senior Member

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    Team-built CS Claptons are exactly the same in terms of electronics and pickups, but the Master Built ones typically have a standard tone pot instead of the TBX - which is how Clapton started getting his personal guitars wired from the CS about 10 years ago or so.
     
  14. diogoguitar

    diogoguitar Senior Stratmaster

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    That reminds me of Robert Cray. He also has a MIM signature strat. He does also have a CS model with his name. I did see in a dvd him playing a CS model (I could see the wing on the back of the headstock)
     
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  15. StratSounds

    StratSounds Senior Stratmaster

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    It stands to reason that if you've made it to the point where Fender wants to make a signature strat model for you, the one that you're playing on stage isn't exactly the same one you can grab off the wall at Guitar Center, ha.

    I know I'd be like, "ummm, yeah, you can make some money off my name, but while you're at it, why don't you go ahead and make me about a dozen custom shop rigs that pretty much look the same as my sig model, thanks guys!" I'm sure that's commonplace and Fender is happy to do it, might even be a part of their offer from the get go. Makes total sense.
     
  16. RaySachs

    RaySachs Senior Stratmaster Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Right, but as noted a couple posts back, the Robert Cray Custom Shops have a flatter fretboard radius than the MIM. I’m personally glad, because I greatly prefer the 9.5” radius on the MIM than the 12” on the Custom Shop and I can not afford the MIM anyway, so t works out for me. But that’s a pretty big feature to do differently between a custom and consumer line product, so I find it kind of surprising...
     
  17. Kester

    Kester Strat-O-Master

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    Clapton’s are effectively Masterbuilt and always used to be made by Todd Krause, not sure who makes them now. I remember reading an in depth interview with Krause in which he explained that Eric tweaked the neck profile several times over the years. These tweaks would then be incorporated into the standard EC model but took a while to filter through.
     
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  18. esseff

    esseff Strat-O-Master

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    Yes, I read that, in his early days he associated rosewood with jazz guitars/players and he wanted to be more rock n roll. Nothing tonal about it.
    .
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2019
  19. esseff

    esseff Strat-O-Master

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    I think Fender rationalises it by saying, we make custom prototypes for the artist and once they are happy with it, they make the production runs out of the factory. The artist continues to use the custom prototypes.
    .
     
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