Fender Eric Clapton Stratocaster
Fender Eric Clapton Stratocaster

Eric Clapton Stratocaster, Chitarra Corpo tipo Stratocaster from Fender belonging to the [Artist Series] Eric Clapton Stratocaster model.

content in English
King Loudness 12/08/2011

Fender Eric Clapton Stratocaster : Recensione di King Loudness (content in English)

"You win some, you lose some"

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The Fender Eric Clapton Strat was one of the very first signature guitars designed by Fender way back in the bygone '80s. It has stood the test of time whilst Slowhand keeps on playing. The signature look of his black Strat has become ingrained in a generation's mind when they think of EC. It was basically designed to take EC's favourite old Strat "Blackie" and bring it into the modern age with some updates and refinements. It features an alder body, a maple neck with custom "V" shape and 22 frets, standard bridge and tuners, and Fender Noiseless pickups with custom 12db midrange boost to beef up the overall tonal character. Here's the full list of specs:

Body Alder
Neck 1-Piece Maple, Soft V Shape,
(Satin Urethane Finish)
Fingerboard Maple, 9.5 Radius (241 mm)
No. of Frets 22 Vintage Style Frets
Pickups 3 Vintage Noiseless Pickups (Neck, Middle, Bridge)
Controls Master Volume,
Tone 1. Master TBX Tone Control,
Tone 2. Master Active Mid Boost (0-25dB)
Pickup Switching 5-Position Blade:
Position 1. Bridge Pickup
Position 2. Bridge and Middle Pickup
Position 3. Middle Pickup
Position 4. Middle and Neck Pickup
Position 5. Neck Pickup
Bridge Blocked American Vintage Synchronized Tremolo
Machine Heads Fender/Gotoh Vintage Style Tuning Machines
Hardware Nickel/Chrome
Pickguard 1-Ply White, (8-Hole)
Scale Length 25.5 (648 mm)
Width at Nut 1.650 (42 mm)
Unique Features Special Soft "V" Shape Neck,
Blocked Tremolo,
Active Mid-Boost Circuit
Accessories Vintage Tweed Case, Strap, Cable


This guitar was designed after a late '50s platform, so the general feel of it is very close to the real deal, just with a few tweaks as per EC's request. The most notable is the V neck. Personally, I cannot gel with the V neck at all and it would be the sole reason I would never buy a Clapton Strat, regardless of how good it sounds or looks. It just feels far too awkward for my hand, especially when I'm used to thicker necked Gibsons. However, many other players swear by it, so it's definitely in the court of opinion to decide. Otherwise it has a really cool and useful set of features that bring a '50s Strat and a modern Strat together. The weight is medium with these guitars, and it's contoured just like a '57. The upper fret access is the same here as any other standard Strat design.

Getting a nice tone out of this guitar is not difficult because of the Noiseless pickups combined with the 12db midrange booster. It is a setup that allows the user to go from pure vintage Strat chime and quack to some extremely thick and syrupy lead tones with some SERIOUS mojo. It has a bit of a learning curve but it sounds great once you get it.


The tones of this guitar are really cool to my ears. I'm all for two things... classic Strat and then really thick and juicy Strat. This guitar was the one that begun the marriage of both, and we can thank EC's ears for bringing us those wonderful tones. Plugged into a clean Fender amp, the tones are definitely that of a good S... covering everything from blues to jazz to surf to whatever else. However, once you kick that 12db mid boost in, it's really kickin' and clippin'. Overtones really start to appear and those beautiful odd order harmonics that I love so much are really apparent even on the cleanest of sounds. It's a great way to get that subtly broken up bluesy tone that so many of us covet from time to time.

Overdrive tones are as good on this guitar as they're gonna get for pure Strat meets raunchy fat. The pickups have a quality that exchanges some of that primary Strat chime for a bit more oomph and kick in the lower register. This on its own produces a sound that is perfect for late '60s psychedelia on through '70s arena rock. Kick on that mid booster, step up, turn your Marshall to 11 and watch as that black Strat just starts to shake... close your eyes and you'd swear you had a really light Gibson in your hands. Tones just have a whole other dimension with the booster kicked in, and it's really awesome that they found a way to blend the Strat and the Gibson tones together. Now if only it wasn't for that pesky V neck...


All in all I think the Eric Clapton Strat is a fantastic guitar for someone looking for a great vintage feeling, versatile TONE machine. However, I'm not a V neck guy and can't gel with the feel, so I know it isn't for me. At $1,600 new these guitars are a great deal for what you get, and if you're a V neck/Clapton/thick tone fan, this guitar is sure to please.