Eric Clapton Stratocaster Review

manufacturer: Fender date: 05/07/2015 category: Electric Guitars
Fender: Eric Clapton Stratocaster
This signature Strat offers special features including a trio of Fender Vintage Noiseless pickups, plus powerful active mid-boost and TBX circuits, all of which make it one of the most versatile instruments we offer. Other features include a special soft V-shaped neck and a blocked original vintage synchronized tremolo bridge.
 Sound: 10
 Overall Impression: 9
 Reliability & Durability: 10
 Action, Fit & Finish: 8.5
 Features: 10
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
 Users rating:
reviews (2) pictures (2) 57 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 9.6
Eric Clapton Stratocaster Reviewed by: srv34, on november 09, 2012
3 of 4 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 790

Features: The model I baught was a 2005 and was in a satin black which looks quite impressive. It has 22 frets which were set very well with no protruding parts or glue. The body is made of Alder making it light but gives it great tone. It has a one piece maple neck with the classic 50s soft "V" shape. It has three "noiseless" pickups which give it no feedback which is great. // 10

Sound: I play mostly blues and rock but do play some hard rock. The EC Strat plays all three genres perfectly. The thing sounds like a classic Strat. Until you slip into mid-range boost mode. Then the guitar takes on new dimensions. Particularly when using a good tube/valve amp. The mid-range boost is controlled from the second tone knob and provides gradual increments in mid-range boost. For example, roll the knob to 3 and the boost just starts, crank it to full and the Strat takes on Les Paul like tones and makes your tube amp thicken and fatten. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: The action can be set very low without buzzes, which indicates the quality of the fretwork and the neck alignment. It just feels great to play. You'll notice a difference if you have always played '62 style rosewood necks, which are flatter across the back and more, curved across the front. Like everything, its what you get used to, but this EC neck is smooth and full of big bends and quick passes. // 10

Reliability & Durability: This guitar is defently built to last. when I braught it home I played it for 5 hours straight and when I stopped it didnt look like I touched it. I haven't had to tune it since I first did. The strap buttons are solid but I still use strap locks just incase. I would bring this to a show without a backup its just so vercitile. The hasn't chipped and I've abused it. Overall I think this is the best guitar I have ever baught. // 10

Overall Impression: For the style of music I play being blues and classic style rock I found this guitar to be excellent. Its classic V shaped neck goes perfectly well with its low action playability. I've been playing for 5 years and this is easly the best guitar I have baught in my 5 years of playing. If this guitar was ever lost or stolen I would buy a new one without thinking about it. I love the tone this guitar gets making it go from a classic strat to a les paul in tone. If I could change anything about this guitar id change the pick guard because its only single ply and it tends to lift up which gets annoying when playing. My favorite feature of this guitar is the pick ups they give it a vintage sound which you can't find much anymore. When I went to buy a new guitar I tried out a les paul standard, Gibson ES335 and this Stratocaster and the Strat out played out sounded and just out classed the other two and also was about 1300 dollars cheaper. I recommend this guitar to anyone who wants to have a guitar that sounds like liquid gold. // 8

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overall: 9.4
Eric Clapton Stratocaster Reviewed by: norwichguitar, on may 07, 2015
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Features: I purchased an American 1996 Fender Stratocaster Eric Clapton signature used. It has 22 vintage frets, maple fretboard and neck in cream. Came with vintage bridge and tuners with gold lace sensor pickups with mid boost. The lace sensors were one of the biggest part of my decision in this guitar, I had always loved the look and read great things of them, but never had the chance to try them out, as soon as I plugged into a Fender Hot Rod Deville, I was sold. Also came with a Fender strap, tweed case, lead & tools. // 10

Sound: I enjoy playing Eric Johnson, Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, Tommy Emmanuel, Yngwie Malmsteen, Bryan Adams, Foo Fighters, The Shadows as well as Eric Clapton. I mostly play blues, rock, jazz, pop. Whenever I am using this guitar for work however, I needed something extremely versatile. The Eric Clapton Strat is certainly that. I feel like I can get sounds ranging from B.B. King to Gary Moore and Joe Satriani. Some more subtle songs such as hand on heart by Steve Vai play very well. Hendrix with the mid boost maxed out is phenomenal! 

I use a Fender Hot Rod Deville 212 for all my clean tube needs and dirty up with the Boss DS1 adding Delay when needed. I keep my setup as simple as possible to make it flexible, quick and easy to set up. I use George L's cables. If you like rock, pop, blues and a little jazz. I think this guitar is a complete package for these styles. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: Action is very ideal, however, this guitar was purchased used and clearly had a professional set up. This guitar does need to be looked after, set up regularly, the frets are getting very worn now and I imagine that within the next year a complete re-fret will be needed. Only flaw with the instrument is a cosmetic joint on the body by the neck, quite a large space on the left hand side. For the expense of the instrument new, I am very surprised there was such a flaw. Regardless of the gap, It has no affect on the sound, playability and durability, just doesn't look as fantastic as I'd hoped. // 7

Reliability & Durability: I play this guitar live all the time, never had an issue. I have had this guitar for 4 years now, used every day for an average of 8-10 hours, except Saturdays, she gets a little rest. I haven't got a single issue with the hardware, although that being said, the vintage tuners were originally annoying when restringing. I had looked on YouTube for a better way and soon realised I was being pedantic when I restring the instrument before the guy had put one string on. Still annoying though when a string pings out of the tuner hole and whips your finger. I have had no issues with the strap buttons nor even the input and dials... very surprising. // 10

Overall Impression: Overall this is the best guitar I have purchased and so far used.  I own an Ibanez Jem, Ibanez RG320FA (1990) among others. I have been looking at 2 more stratocasters as back ups, but nothing has yet come close, and I don't really wish to look like an Eric Clapton fanatic. I had tried a few different Stratocasters, Les Pauls, Ibanez's & PRS, but nothing really suited my style so beautifully. I am a full time guitarist and have been playing for 12 years, I needed something reliable and versatile. It's lived up to my expectations.

// 10

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