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
Used in the Razorblade Suitcase tour (1997), can be seen in the cold contagious official video clip, in this video and on everything related with the tour. Usually used with the leopard skin strap. Fender Stratocaster Eric Clapton Signature in Candy Apple Green with 3 Fender Lace-Sensor pickups.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.