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2018 Fender Custom Shop Todd Krause Masterbuilt Eric Clapton Signature Blackie Stratocaster Near-Mint w/ Case, COA, Tags


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Up for sale, a 2018 Fender Custom Shop Todd Krause Masterbuilt Eric Clapton Signature “Blackie” Stratocaster in near-mint, 100% original condition and in perfect working order, complete with the original tweed hardshell case, hangtags, COA, and case candy. The highest tier of Fender's Custom Shop, the Masterbuilt models are made by a singular master craftsman, in contrast to other "team built" Custom Shop tiers. This particular Strat was handcrafted by Todd Krause, and with more than thirty years at Fender (and just over a quarter century as a Master Builder), Krause has helmed numerous high profile artist models for players including Jeff Beck, Bob Dylan, David Gilmour and even Clapton himself, making him uniquely qualified to craft this iteration of Clapton’s “Blackie” Strat.

Featuring an alder body and a maple neck capped with a 22 fret maple fingerboard, this Strat has a balanced and extremely lively sound with excellent articulation, faithfully channelled through the trio of Vintage Noiseless single coil pickups. These single coils have a sparkling response and hum-free performance, and each position on the five-way switch yields a distinct tone, from bridge pickup bounce to great warmth and bell-like chime in the neck position. This “Blackie” also features Clapton’s active Mid-Boost circuitry for extra cut and sonic heft, and forgoes the TBX tone control for a standard Tone knob. Weighing 7lbs 8oz, this Strat has been professionally setup here at Mike & Mike’s Guitar Bar with 10-46 strings, low action, and spot-on intonation.

The maple neck has a medium depth soft V-shaped profile carve with lightly rolled fretboard edges and ideal heft in every register, measuring .820” deep at the 1st fret and .920” at the 12th. The 22 fret maple fretboard has a modern 9 1/2“ radius, and the stock slender fretwire is pristine. 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. On the headstock, the Kluson-style tuning machines turn smoothly and hold accurate pitch, with a staggered post design for optimal break angle across the nut. The back of the headstock retains both Clapton and Krause’s signatures, and the four-bolt neck plate is embossed with the Custom Shop chevron and CZ-prefix serial.

All of the electronics work as intended, and controls include a Master Volume knob, standard Tone control, and active 25dB Mid Boost control powered by a 9v battery. The factory wooden block is installed behind the tremolo block as per Clapton's specs, and the vibrato arm is included as well. The chrome-plated hardware all shines like new, including the jack cup, bridge base, and “ashtray” bridge cover. Plastics comprise the trio of knobs and the one-ply pickguard, and there is a second three-ply black pickguard included in the case.

This is an exceedingly well-kept Masterbuilt Strat, with cosmetic wear on the gloss Black finish limited to a few exceedingly faint scratches in the clear coat on the body as a whole. The smooth satin finish on the neck profile is flawless.

The original G&G tweed hardshell case is included, along with the hangtags, COA, case candy, and a second sheet of paper with a handwritten message signed by Krause.