Mark Knopfler’s 1980s Schecter Dream Machine (Red)

This guitar was purchased sometime in the early 80s at Rudy Music Stop in New York among a couple of other Schecters. At the time Mark was looking for a guitar to replace his 1962 Stratocaster, and apparently, he was impressed with a Schecter guitar that his girlfriend owned at the time.

Schecter’s are great because they feet well in hand. They are better designed and manufactured. The sound is not necessarily better than a Strat, but it has a lot size of pus. More, they are soft to the touch and you don’t cut yourself with the strings. the only drawback is that they are a bit heavier

Mark Knopfler – French Magazine “BEST”, 1980

Mark’s red Schecter was originally equipped with three black Schecter F500T pickups, but it seems that after a few months Mark had them replaced with Seymour Duncans with white plastic covers. There’s of course a possibility that he owned two different red Schecter at that time, one of which had the original black pickups – but that’s just pure speculation.

The guitar also had one volume and only one tone knob, and it had separate toggle switches for each of the pickups – a big change coming from a Fender.

Mark Knopfler playing the 1980 Schecter Stratocaster at the Live Aid concert in 1985.
Mark playing the 1980 Schecter Stratocaster at the Live Aid concert in 1985.

Usage

This guitar was used from 1980 to around 1987 when Mark switched to Pensa-Suhr guitars, although he did pick it up occasionally in the 90s. It was seen at a few of the most memorable Dire Straits concerts, including Alchemy Live in 1983 and Live Aid in 1985.

It was also one of Mark’s main guitars during the recording sessions of Making Movies, and at that point, the guitar still had the original Schecter F500T pickups in it. On Love Over Gold the guitar was seen sitting in the studio in the few photographs that are available, but it’s unknown to which extent it was used there.

Guitars seen in the studio during the Love over Love sessions.
Guitars seen in the studio during the Love over Love sessions.

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