Would you believe Clapton uses Ultra Noiseless pickups?

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by dscottyg, Sep 18, 2021.

  1. dscottyg

    dscottyg Strat-Talker

    Age:
    54
    Messages:
    355
    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2021
    Location:
    Jacksonville, FL
    The Eric Clapton signature Strat is listed as having “Vintage Noiseless Single-coil” pickups. Sweetwater says they are “the latest version of noiseless pickups.”

    The American Ultra is listed as having “Ultra Noiseless Vintage Strat Single-coil” pickups.

    Do you think they are the same thing. It’s not that important, I’m just curious because apparently Eric uses his own signature model, and many people say they don’t like the Ultra pickups. If they’re the same as Eric’s, he must like them.
     
    Scott Baxendale and bluesguy62 like this.
  2. CattleDog73

    CattleDog73 Strat-Talker

    Age:
    48
    Messages:
    293
    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2020
    Location:
    MA
    I just think Sweetwater hasn’t updated their ad. I’m not sure the Clapton noiseless are even that recent - there may be a set between those and the ultras as well (what was in the Elites maybe?).

    Personally, I find the Ultra noiseless to be the best Fender noiseless pups I’ve played.
     
  3. dscottyg

    dscottyg Strat-Talker

    Age:
    54
    Messages:
    355
    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2021
    Location:
    Jacksonville, FL
    Ya me too. I don’t get the naysayers. If what you said is right, then it’s even more surprising that Clapton would use 3rd or 4th generation noiseless because people who like the Ultra Noiseless say the older generations were not as good as the Ultra 5th generation.
     
    bluesguy62, fos1 and mfranzdorf like this.
  4. PCollen

    PCollen Senior Stratmaster Silver Member

    Messages:
    3,125
    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2014
    Location:
    Florida

    I have seen close-up video of Clapton playing guitars live having clearly labeled Noiseless pickups, but don't know how recent the videos were.
     
    bluesguy62 likes this.
  5. FuncleManson

    FuncleManson Strat-Talker

    Age:
    57
    Messages:
    105
    Joined:
    May 23, 2021
    Location:
    Moline, IL
    What's the over/under on the number of posts before this thread goes to sh!t?

    I'm a bit surprised we made it to four.
     
    Bcorig, tptmnc, jd35801 and 3 others like this.
  6. Dreamdancer

    Dreamdancer Senior Stratmaster

    Messages:
    2,154
    Joined:
    May 1, 2014
    Location:
    Greece
    Dont really go with what many people dont like....you can find any piece of gear famous or not and you ll find enough people that claim is crap.....
     
  7. guitarface

    guitarface Most Honored Senior Member

    Messages:
    7,757
    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey
    Put on a new depends. It will be ok.
     
  8. EC Strat

    EC Strat Senior Stratmaster Gold Supporting Member

    Age:
    51
    Messages:
    3,510
    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2018
    Location:
    Louisville Kentucky
    Yes the Clapton strat comes stock with Vintage Noiseless pickups. Very different than the Ultras

    I think the Ultras are fenders best noiseless pickups as well.
     
    bluesguy62, fos1 and dscottyg like this.
  9. ThreeChordWonder

    ThreeChordWonder Senior Stratmaster

    Age:
    55
    Messages:
    1,414
    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2020
    Location:
    Cypress TX
    I'm sure when a celeb is asked to put his or her name on a guitar they start out with the best intentions of specifying a guitar of exactly the same specification as their own. However, the manufacturing and marketing teams then get to work, and to achieve a certain price point, some compromises have to be made.

    I mean, if "Big Rockstar" fits his axe with solid gold tuner knobs and diamonds for fretboard dots, fine. But you aren't going to get a $2000 retail version, are you?
     
    jrbirdman likes this.
  10. ibdrkn1

    ibdrkn1 Senior Stratmaster

    Age:
    45
    Messages:
    1,338
    Joined:
    May 14, 2019
    Location:
    Ontario
    I'm not a Clapton hater but his live playing in recent years is almost as lifeless sounding as Noiseless pickups.

    Now.....I haven't seen E.C. live since I think 2004. For some reason he was headlining the "Neil Young show" I went for.

    I tried to want to stick around for Eric but couldn't. Maybe five or six songs into his set I called it a night. I love those songs but.....

    Maybe he was just having a bad night. Guitar sounded like yogurt. It's good, but it's not ice cream.
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2021
  11. ThreeChordWonder

    ThreeChordWonder Senior Stratmaster

    Age:
    55
    Messages:
    1,414
    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2020
    Location:
    Cypress TX
    ^ Clapton has been quite open about nerve damage problems and such like.

    He's the same age as my mother, but has the mileage of a space shuttle!
     
  12. StratSounds

    StratSounds Senior Stratmaster

    Messages:
    3,244
    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2016
    Location:
    Rocky Mountain Way
  13. nifnof70

    nifnof70 Strat-Talker

    Age:
    51
    Messages:
    499
    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2017
    Location:
    Harpers Ferry WV
    Well said!

    At his age, he's performing what he can and over the last 50+ years has had a pretty decent body of work.
     
  14. vid1900

    vid1900 Most Honored Senior Member

    Messages:
    8,985
    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2016
    Location:
    Yemen
    He could play anything and it would sound like claption

    For the Cream reunion, he just played his usual Strat and Fender amp

    He did not bother to buy a Gibson and Marshall stack again, because his handlers do not care enough to bother.

    Sounded fine.
     
    iam4grace and dscottyg like this.
  15. ThreeChordWonder

    ThreeChordWonder Senior Stratmaster

    Age:
    55
    Messages:
    1,414
    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2020
    Location:
    Cypress TX
    That claption bloke again, huh? I thought he looked a bit different last night...
     
  16. Triple Jim

    Triple Jim Guy Who Likes to Play Guitar Silver Member

    Messages:
    7,464
    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2018
    Location:
    North Central North Carolina
    It seems like a lot, or most top level guitar players don't really put much thought into tiny details like which generation of noiseless pickups are in their guitars, or what brand tubes are in their amps.
     
    TheMadStratter, tanta07 and fos1 like this.
  17. PonyB

    PonyB Strat-O-Master

    Age:
    60
    Messages:
    832
    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2020
    Location:
    above ground
    I'm sure their techs know the artists' preferences.
     
    drp146 and fos1 like this.
  18. fezz parka

    fezz parka fezz parka

    Age:
    62
    Messages:
    31,561
    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2011
    Location:
    Ticket Booth at the JWPL
    He has for decades.
     
    Electgumbo likes this.
  19. John C

    John C Most Honored Senior Member Silver Member

    Messages:
    7,336
    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2012
    Location:
    Kansas City
    I'm not sure what Eric has in his personal guitars but the production ones definitely have the Vintage Noiseless pickups and have not changed since they switched to those (from the gold-logo Lace Sensors) circa 2001. I suspect that @CattleDog73 is correct and Sweetwater hasn't changed their writeup and wasn't intending for it to mean they have the current Ultra Noiseless pickups.

    Fender generations of in-house noiseless pickups to the best of my recollection:
    1. Vintage Noiseless - appear on the first generation American Deluxes in 1998 and on the Clapton Strats in 2001 (the Beck Strats have the "Hot Noiseless" variation of this design); after the American Deluxes move on to other pickups Fender begins using the Vintage Noiseless pickups on MIM models.
    2. SCN - appear on the second generation American Deluxes in 2004; are used on them through 2009. SCNs are designed for Fender by Bill Lawrence but are built by Fender, and are not used again after the American Deluxes move on to other pickups in 2010
    3. N3 - appear on the 3rd generation American Deluxes in 2010 and are used through 2015. N3s are also used on the short-lived "American Deluxe Strat Plus" models with the personality cards.
    4. N4 - appeared on the American Elites of 2016-2019
    5. Ultra Noiseless - current pickups on the American Ultras
    Not counting the Lace Sensors since those were supplied to Fender by Lace, and the pickups in the original 1983-84 Elites were single coils with a dummy coil to reduce the hum.
     
  20. StratUp

    StratUp Senior Stratmaster

    Messages:
    3,133
    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2020
    Location:
    Altered States
    I don't think Clapton is noiseless.

    Ba dump, ding!

    Read into it what you like. But don't lock the thread.
     
    SalvorHardin likes this.