The California custom amp builder Michael Soldano was commissioned to build two of his SLO-100 amplifiers for Clapton in 1988. When interviewed in November 1988 for the Japanese Young Guitar magazine while on tour in Japan, Eric Clapton spoke about his newly acquired Soldano amps. Clapton commented that he had been using Fender Dual Showman amps (Lot 88) when he heard Mark Knopfler at rehearsals and was impressed by his sound. He realised it was Knopfler's amp rather than the guitar that was responsible for the sound character. Clapton tried Knopfler's amp and liking its sound which he described as 'warm' and 'round', immediately placed an order with Michael Soldano. Clapton went on to explain that although he was allowed to go on top of the waiting list, he waited two months before he received his amps because they were all handmade and not mass-produced. Clapton went on to say that Soldano was the best amp for him and thought it would be a classic. He added that he would be recording the next album with Soldano amps. Clapton's guitar technician stated in an interview in 1994 Guitar Techniques magazine: "The Soldanos are the original amps that Mike Soldano built for us in a hurry. Of course we bought them, but because Mike dropped everything else he was doing, Eric gave him a signed Clapton Strat, which we thought was a fair deal. Eric said, "In return, why don't you sign my amps?" so that's what he did. We have two, one as a spare, but I like to alternate them so that valves are properly burnt in on both." In 1989, the British music accessories engineer Pete Cornish was commissioned to build a guitar routing system to replace Clapton's Bradshaw switching system which would allow Clapton to recreate his studio guitar sound using his on-stage amps. This was to be achieved by a system that would mix the direct dry sound with various processed sounds at will. The Soldano heads were modified to form the heart of this elaborate system hand-built by Cornish and his wife, Lynda. The system defined Clapton's guitar sound between 1990-1994,the period of Clapton's return to forceful playing and a grand scale rock shows as chronicled by the album, 24 Nights. The entire system from the wireless transmitters that were once attached to Clapton's Versace guitar straps, and the nine-button foot-controller, to the purpose-made mains power distributor, multi-core cables, the massive rack unit housing Cornish's routing system, the control centre of the system, as well as the rack-mount signal processors including the Dyno-My-Piano Tri-Stereo Chorus, and the EV loaded Marshall cabinets are sold as an entire set-up, flight-cased and ready to go on a world tour.more
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