Eric Claptons’ Fender Stratocaster Eric Clapton Signature (First Edition)access_time First seen circa 1988
The Eric Clapton Signature Stratocaster was officially released in 1988, and ever since then, Eric has been using the model as his main go-to guitar. The first version of the EC Signature Strat that came out that year was essentially kept the same all the way until 2001, although there have been some minor changes made to it in very early stages of production. We will focus on the final version, which seems to be what Eric himself used, but if you’re interested in the differences between the two – check Xhefri’s post about The Fender Signature Stratocasters Using Lace Sensors.
The final version of the Eric Clapton Signature Stratocaster featured alder body and a soft V-profile maple neck with 22 frets. It was equipped with a Fender vintage-style tremolo which was blocked on all models with a simple block of wood, which kept the tremolo from actually being functional but allowed for an easy and simple way to enable it if needed.
The electronics consisted of three Lace Sensor Gold pickups, which essentially give out the classic 50’s single coil sound but without the hum, also measuring around 5.8k ohm on average. They were however wired to the MDX midrange boost circuit, which is designed to make single-coil pickups sound like humbuckers. This goes to show that Eric was after a guitar that would be a sort of a hybrid, that would simplify things for him by eliminating the need to switch guitar during a concert to achieve a different type of sound.
As we’ve said, this is the model that Eric used as his main guitar from 1988 to 2001. Although we will touch on a few guitars that stand out, we will not try and list every single EC Signature Strat that he used, because of the simple fact that they were all essentially one exact same guitar.