Later on - during In the Flesh tour - Roger switched from his Torino red Fender Eric Clapton Stratocaster to a slightly modified black model of the same guitar that visualy resembles David Gilmour's Black strat - maple neck with black body, black pickguard, black pickup covers and black control knobs. See Bray Studios rehearsal (2002) footage or We Shall Overcome music video (at 04:55) with Roger covering an old classic. Features of Fender Eric Clapton Stratocaster include an alder body, three Vintage Noiseless pickups (s/s/s), active mid-boost (25 db) and TBX (Treble Bass Expander) circuits, special soft V-shaped neck, and blocked original vintage synchronized tremolo.more
As a big Clapton fan this guitar was always high up on my list. I got my first one new in 2010 and a second one from 1989 a few years later and since then it is one of my favorite models in the Fender line.
The TBX-tone control and the 25db Midboost really give a lot of versatility and allow the player to change the tone from cutting and bright to smooth and warm. The neck shape is very comfortable, although the V is less pronounced than on older models. I compared it with my 1989 Clapton Stratocaster, but honestly, I cannot decide which neck shape I like more. Both, however, are similar.
The Vintage Noiseless pickups have a lot of clarity and are an integral part of the modern Clapton tone. The Gold Lace Sensors in comparison are a little bit smoother sounding while being not as crystal clear, but the TBX-control can take care of that. One has to keep in mind that the boost is always on, even when set to zero, that means that Clapton Strats always a have a higher output than most other strats, even if these are also equipped with the same pickups. This is also the reason why these guitars don´t really sound like vintage Strats, the tones definitely have a modern edge to them.
While playing these guitars I learned that you could use its features to get a smiliar tone to Eric Clapton but also to find new sonic possibilities. Speaking of Clapton-tone, most of the time I use this guitar with my Fender ´57 Twin Amp and that way it is really easy to find the tones heard on Clapton´s more recent live recordings. It also works really well with most Overdrive pedals, for example I really like it with a Boss Blues Driver BD2, the Hermida Zendrive or a Mad Professor Sweet Honey. While all this aims for a more traditional tone these Clapton Stratocasters also excel with modern amps.
I never unblocked the vintage tremolo, but I guess it would work the same as any other American Vintage tremolo.
Overall I can really recommend this guitar to every guitarist looking for a really versatile Stratocaster with little bit of Clapton-vibe.
Eric Clapton is the best guitarist out there, not just because of technique but more for his struggles against adversity - most particularly with drugs and alcohol. The feeling he puts into his playing is what it is all about. The hot pick-ups on this guitar along with the look make it a great instrument to own.