Up for sale, a 1999 Fender Eric Clapton Signature Stratocaster “Blackie” in excellent, 100% original condition and in perfect working order, complete with the original tweed hardshell case and hangtags. The original production version of one of Fender's most popular and enduring Artist Series models, this Clapton signature Strat was crafted in Fender's American workshop for outstanding playability, quality, and tone. This particular Strat delivers clear, hum-free single coil tone thanks to the trio of Lace Sensor Gold pickups, and the guitar boasts a few Clapton-centric, player-friendly factory tweaks to improve the instrument's overall performance.
The Lace Sensor pickups feature a unique radiant Field Barrier system that surrounds both the coil and magnets, reducing 60-cycle hum. The patented Lace Micro Combs replace traditional bobbins, giving the player a wider tonal range and better string-to-string balance than traditional pickups. An active Mid Boost control replaces the Strat's second Tone knob, enabling humbucker-esque warmth and richness inherent to Clapton’s iconic “woman tone,” with a center-detent TBX tone control offering further sonic range. This Clapton Strat weighs 8lbs 2oz, professionally setup here at Mike & Mike’s Guitar Bar with 10-46 strings, low action, and spot-on intonation.
The satin-finished maple neck has a medium depth, soft V-shaped profile carve with lightly rolled fretboard edges, measuring .870” deep at the 1st fret and .910” at the 12th. The 22-fret fretboard has a modern 9 1/2“ radius, and the stock slender fretwire is practically perfect, with just a hint of wear beneath the plain strings on the crowns of frets 2-3. This guitar plays cleanly up the 25 1/2“ scale with a straight neck and a responsive, optimally-adjusted truss rod, and the nut measures 1.650” (42mm) in width. The headstock sports Clapton’s signature with “Blackie” text, and the stock Kluson-style tuning machines turn smoothly and hold accurate pitch. The neck heel retains the factory stamps and both the neck heel and pocket are dated March, 1999.
All of the electronics function as intended, with untouched solder joints and original CTS pots. The first Tone knob features Fender's patented TBX circuitry. This center-detent, stacked 250k/1 Meg control enhances your tonal palette, and from 0 to 5, the TBX is a standard tone control, but dialed up past 5 the control decreases the resistance, which allows more bass, treble, presence, and output to flow to your amp. The second Tone knob is a powerful active midrange boost, with a small circuit board nestled neatly beneath the pickguard. The chrome-plated jack cup and bridge base are notably clean, with a light dusting of patina on the saddles. Just like Clapton, the vibrato is blocked from the factory with a piece of wood, and the vibrato cavity cover retains the factory protective film. The original vibrato arm is also included, and the unit can be un-blocked at the next owner's discretion.
The gloss Black finish delivers the look of Clapton’s classic “Blackie” Strat, and this is a well-kept example, with cosmetic wear limited to a handful of minor marks along the body perimeter and on the lower bout on the back, as well as a small cluster of nicks on the bass-side body horn on top and some light scuffing in the clear coat on the back central to the waist. The smooth satin finish on the neck profile is flawless.
The original tweed hardshell case with red plush interior is included, along with the factory hangtags and case candy.