Clapton’s Guitars

“Fingers, guitar, amp, wireless – that’s all he needs.”
Lee Dickson, EC’s guitar technician 1999

Guitars/Amps Short List

No – I’m not a guitar technician or expert… this list is not complete. Look at the FAQ!

Look at the gear section for general information.

Before 1963 Hoya acoustic guitar (terrible guitar)
Washburn acoustic (good, but broken accidentally by his half-brother)
Kay Red Devil – a cheap Gibson ES 335 copy
The Yardbirds New Fender Telecaster
Fender Jaguar
Gibson ES 335
Cherry Red Gibson ES-335 with block fretboard inlays
(same as during Cream and Blind Faith)
Fender Jazzmaster
Vox AC-30-Combo with Arbiter Fuzz Face
Marshall JTM-45-Fullstack
Blues Breakers Fender Telecaster
Gibson Les Paul Standard – red, manufactured between 1958 and 1960
Gibson Les Paul Standard – Sunburst, from circa 1958-59
Custom JTM-45-Top Combo
Marshall Combo Modell 1962 (reissue: Blues Breaker Model)
Vox Wah-Pedal
Cream Three different Gibson Les Paul Standards (cherry sunburst)
Gibson SG from 1964 (not 1961), psychedelically coloured by
the 60’s artist, “the Fool” (Dutch artists Simon Posthuma and Marijke Koger), now owned by Todd Rundgren
(a copy is in the Hard Rock casino in Las Vegas)
Les Paul Custom (1958/61), black
Gibson ES 335 from 1964 (farewell concert), red colour
Gibson Firebird I from 1963 (Wheels of Fire – White Room)
More details here! Plexi-Marshall-Stacks
Blind Faith Fender Telecaster Custom with (factory) Stratocaster-style headstock
Fender Stratocaster
Gibson ES 335
Gibson Firebird
Epiphone 12 string acoustic
Guild 12 string acoustic
Delaney & Bonnie Gibson Firebird
Gibson Les Paul
Fender Stratocaster
Derek and the Dominos Fender Stratocaster sunburst (“Brownie”), sold for US$ 450.000 at the auction!
Concert for Bangla Desh Gibson Birdland
Fender Stratocaster
Rainbow Comeback Fender Stratocaster
Gibson Les Paul
Gibson Explorer
Solo: Blackie-Strat, build in 1969-1970 from 3 Fender Strats, used from 1971 to 1985.
Red Gibson ES 335 from 1964
Fender Eric Clapton signature strat (various models)
Gibson ES 335 and Fender Strat for slide guitar
Fender Dual Showman-Top with Piggyback-Box in Blonde Tolex (studio)
Fender Twin Reverb- and Bandmaster-Amps from the Blackface era (live).
Tweed-Amps (Deluxe & Champ)
Music Man HD-Amps (Hybrid-Amps with solid state-pre and tube poweramp)
Markley 130-Heads plus Marshall 4x12er-Boxes, with Electro Voice EVM 12 L speaker
My Piano 1380 Tri Stereo Chorus, dbx Compressor, Yamaha SPX-90
Soldano SLO-100-Tops
Acoustic guitars Dobro model 45
Martin 12 string slotted head
1939 vintage Martin 000-42
Martin D-28 and other Martins
Ramirez Nylon string classic guitar
Signature models to buy: See Gear section
Strings: Ernie Ball super slinky and regular slinky strings (preferred),
Fender Rock’n Roll strings

Fender Eric Clapton Stratocaster ®

(The following info is from the Fender Website 2000)
MODEL NAME Eric Clapton Stratocaster
MODEL NUMBER 011-7602-(Color#)
SERIES Artist Series
COLORS (805) Olympic White,
(806) Black,
(843) Pewter,
(858) Torino Red,
(871) Candy Green,
(Polyurethane Finish)
BODY Alder
NECK 1-Piece Maple,
Soft V Shape,
(Satin Polyurethane Finish)
MACHINE HEADS Fender/Gotoh Vintage Style Tuning Machines
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)
BRIDGE “Blocked” American Vintage Synchronized Tremolo
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
HARDWARE Chrome
STRINGS Fender Super 250R,
Nickel Plated Steel,
Gauges: (.010, .013, .017, .026, .036, .046),
p/n 073-0250-006
CASE Vintage Tweed Case
PICKGUARD 1-Ply White
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
INTRODUCED 7/2001

Amps

(Credits to Ted and John Rybiski and various guitar mags.)

Early ’60’s / Blues Breakers:
Marshall brand model JTM 45 2×12 combo including tremolo (which Marshall has reissued, albeit all there new tube amps are wired via printed circuit boards rather than point-to-point military spec wiring, as was the case thirty years ago.) It has a pair of British KT-66 output tubes. Future production switched over to 6L6GCs quickly followed by EL34s.

The Marshall JTM 45 is /was a British adaptation of the Fender Bassman amp. It’s best known in it’s free-standing head and separate speaker cabinet form, usually played through a Marshall 4-12 slant front cabinet. The combo version has, 2 -12″ speakers on-board. It uses 6l6 type output tubes, rather than el34’s that have helped form the signature “British” sound.

Cream:

Marshall Plexi, a 100 watt head with two 4-12 cabinets. These were the amps of choice in the late 1960’s for the hard rock guitarist. The recordings of Clapton with cream have a dark, heavy sound. The product of a les paul or es-335 driving a Marshall stack(s).

While with Cream Clapton certainly used a Hammond organ “leslie” cabinet with a rotating speaker, for those swirly sounds in some of Cream’s recordings (i.e. the beautiful chord work that comes midway on “Badge”). He probably got turned on to this rig through his association with George Harrison, who used the Hammond organ leslie for a lot of later Beatles stuff.

A signature sound of Clapton and the leslie is heard on Blind Faith’s “presence of the lord”.

S.R.V. tribute concert:
Reissue custom shop Fender “Bassman” (at least for some numbers)

Pilgrim tour 1998:
Black Fender EC signature strat (from the Fender custom shop) with Curly-Maple neck and Ernie Ball regular slinky strings (0,010-0,046). Ernie Ball Heavy pick.
Martin 00028EC with BSS.D.I.-box for pickup.
Fender Tweed-Twin-amp (1958 reissue). No effects or wah-wah. Transmitter system (no cable guitar to amp) Samson “Synth”.

More info is in Aspen Pitman’s book on the history of the tube amp.

More information is in the FAQ!

1999 Auction prices for EC’s guitars (source: slowhand digest)

1.  $ 26,000 - 1994 Martin J12-40 (est. $4,000-6,000)
2.  $ 35,000 - 1996 Fender Stratocaster EC signature model (black) (est. $6,000-8,000)
3.  $ 14,000 - 1951 Gibson J-185 (est. $6,000-8,000)
4.  $ 22,000 - 1998 Fender Stratocaster EC signature model (sunburst) (est. $5,000-7,000)
5.  $ 38,000 - Gibson ES-335 DOT (est. $6,000-8,000)
6.  $ 35,000 - 1996 Martin OM-28 VR (est. $6,000-8,000)
7.  $ 28,000 - 1995 Gibson Les Paul Custom (est. $6,000-8,000)
8.  $ 24,000 - c. 1960's Silvertone (est. $1,000-2,000)
9.  $ 45,000 - 1995 Gibson B.B. King Lucille (est. $6,000-8,000)
10. $ 24,000 - 1996 Gibson Explorer (est. $2,000-3,000)
11. $ 16,000 - c. 1960 Harmony Stratotone Mars Model (est. $1,000-2,000)
12. $ 21,000 - 1985 Martin Shenandoah 000-2832 ($3,000-5,000)
13. $ 50,000 - 1994 Fender Stratocaster EC signature model (cream) ($6,000-8,000)
14. $ 34,000 - 1991 Gibson Firebird ($2,000-3,000)
15. $ 26,000 - 1970's Gibson Les Paul Custom ($5,000-7,000)
16. $ 26,000 - 1999 Gibson Les Paul Standard ($3,000-5,000)
17. $ 30,000 - c. 1962 Gibson SG Les Paul Standard ($5,000-7,000)
18. $ 22,000 - 1958 Gretsch Chet Atkins Tennessean ($5,000-7,000)
19. $ 17,000 - 1959 Martin 00-17 ($4,000-6,000)
20. $ 24,000 - late 1050's Hofner Club 60 ($2,000-3,000)
21. $ 45,000 - 1959 Gibson ES-335TDN ($20,000-30,000)
22. $ 26,000 - 1990's Vicente Sanchis Flamenco Model 41 ($3,000-5,000)
23. $ 36,000 - 1060's Coral Sitar ($6,000-8,000)
24. $ 44,000 - 1919 Martin 0-18 ($4,000-6,000)
25. $ 24,000 - c. 1920 Gibson L-3 ($2,000-3,000)
26. $ 22,000 - 1940 Gibson L-7 ($5,000-7,000)
27. $ 35,000 - 1990's Beltona Tri-cone ($6,000-8,000)
28. $ 40,000 - 1970's Gibson Les Paul Recording Model ($6,000-8,000)
29. $ 30,000 - c. 1962 Gibson SG Les Paul Junior ($3,000-5,000)
30. $ 16,000 - c. 1928 Gibson L-3 ($2,000-3,000)
31. $ 20,000 - c. 1940's Gibson L-50 ($4,000-6,000)
32. $ 32,000 - c. 1949 Gibson ES-125 ($6,000-8,000)
33. $ 17,000 - c. late 1930's Kalamazoo ($1,000-2,000)
34. $ 24,000 - 1960 Gibson ES-330TD ($3,000-5,000)
35. $ 50,000 - 1994 Fender Stratocaster EC signature model (cream) ($6,000-8,000)
36. $ 18,000 - 1959 Gibson ES-225TD ($2,000-3,000)
37. $ 21,000 - 1953 Gibson ES-295 ($6,000-8,000)
38. $ 14,000 - Fender/Versance guitar Strap ($8,00-1,200)
39. $ 52,000 - 1996 Fender Stratocaster EC signature model (black) ($6,000-8,000)
40. $ 17,000 - c. 1940 Gibson ES-100 ($4,000-6,000)
41. $ 22,000 - 1960 Gibson ES-330T ($3,000-5,000)
42. $ 52,000 - 1956 Gibson Byrdland
43. $  9,000 - Fender/Versance guitar Strap ($8,00-1,200)
44. $ 50,000 - 1996 Fender Stratocaster EC signature model (black) ($6,000-8,000)
45. $ 24,000 - late c. 1930's Kalamazoo ($1,000-2,000)
46. $ 70,000 - 1959 Gibson ES-335TD ($20,000-30,000)
47. $ 42,000 - 1993 Fender Stratocaster EC signature model (ivory white) ($6,000-8,000)
48. $ 38,000 - 1957 Gibson Byrdland ($10,000-15,000)
49. $ 19,000 - 1997 Fender Broadcaster Relic ($5,000-7,000)
50. $ 28,000 - 1994 Fender Stratocaster 40th Anniversary Concert Edition Model ($5,000-7,000)
51. $ 24,000 - 1941 Martin 00-18G ($5,000-7,000)
52. $ 12,000 - late 1950's Fender Twin Amplifier ($2,000-3,000)
53. $ 55,000 - 1958 Fender Stratocaster (Mary Kaye model) ($30,000-40,000)
54. $ 26,000 - c. 1952 Gibson Super 400C ($12,000-18,000)
55. $ 26,000 - 1956 Gibson Super 300C ($10,000-15,000)
56. $ 42,000 - 1990 National Reso-phonic Model M-1 ($6,000-8,000)
57. $ 22,000 - Fender D'Aquisto ($5,000-7,000)
58. $ 68,000 - 1991 Fender Stratocaster EC "Blackie" signature model ($5,000-7,000)
59. 1987 Guild GF-60NT ($2,000-3,000)
60. $ 16,000 - 1989 Guild F-46NT ($3,000-5,000)
61. $ 35,000 - 1982 Gibson Chet Atkins Standard ($5,000-7,000)
62. $ 95,000 - 1986 Fender Stratocaster EC signature model (black) ($10,000-15,000)
63. $ 60,000 - 1987 Fender Stratocaster EC signature model (Torino red) ($6,000-8,000)
64. $ 50,000 - 1987 Fender Stratocaster EC signature model (7-Up green) ($6,000-8,000)
65. $ 18,000 - 1988 Guild GF-60NT ($2,000-3,000)
66. $ 17,000 - 1988 Guild F-61NT ($2,000-3,000)
67. $ 50,000 - 1987 Fender Stratocaster EC signature model (Torino red) ($3,000-5,000)
68. $ 42,000 - late 19th century Salvador Ibanez ($3,000-5,000)
69. $ 35,000 - 1990 James Trussart Steel Deville ($3,000-5,000)
70. $ 42,000 - 1990's Fender Stratocaster EC signature model (gold sparkle) ($5,000-7,000)
71. $ 28,000 - 1982 Fender Stratocaster '57 Re-issue model ($5,000-7,000)
72. $ 62,000 - 1992 Fender Telecaster 40th Anniversary model ($5,000-7,000)
73. $ 45,000 - 1988 Pensa-Suhr ($5,000-7,000)
74. $ 29,000 - 1982 Roland G-505 ($3,000-5,000)
75. $ 26,000 - 1986 Guild Nightbird ($3,000-5,000)
76. $ 42,000 - 1980's Fender Stratocaster XII ($6,000-8,000)
77. $ 30,000 - 1991 Taylor 955-C ($5,000-7,000)
78. $ 55,000 - 1987 Fender Stratocaster EC signature model (7-Up green) ($6,000-8,000)
79. $ 35,000 - 1990 Gibson Chet Atkins Standard ($5,000-7,000)
80. $ 15,000 - Fender/Versance guitar Strap ($8,00-1,200)
81. $ 48,000 - 1990 Fender Stratocaster EC signature "Blackie" model ($5,000-7,000)
82. $ 16,000 - late 1950's Fender Twin Amplifier ($2,000-3,000)
83. $ 62,000 - 1956 Gibson ES-350TN ($15,000-20,000)
84. $ 78,000 - 1959 Gibson J-200 ($8,000-12,000)
85. $ 32,000 - c. 1964 Gibson ES-345TD ($15,000-20,000)
86. $ 35,000 - c. 1980 Santa Cruz F-13 ($4,000-6,000)
87. $ 35,000 - c. 1980 Santa Cruz FTC-15 ($3,000-5,000)
88. $ 28,000 - 1060's National Studio 66 Model ($1,000-2,000)
89. $ 30,000 - 1980's Fender Stratocaster Elite ($5,000-7,000)
90. $ 42,000 - 1980's Roger Giffin ($5,000-7,000)
91. $ 26,000 - 1980's Fender Stratocaster Elite ($5,000-7,000)
92. $ 120,000 - 1958 Gibson Explorer (estimate available on request)
93. $ 35,000 - 1979 Fender Stratocaster Anniversary model ($5,000-7,000)
94. $ 35,000 - c. 1930's National Duolian ($6,000-8,000)
95. $ 32,000 - 1978 Guild D-55NT ($5,000-7,000)
96. $ 155,000 - 1974 Martin 000-28 ($12,000-18,000)
97. $ 42,000 - c. 1975 Fender Telecaster ($6,000-8,000)
98. $ 80,000 - 1956 Fender Stratocaster ($20,000-30,000)
99. $ 28,000 - Dobro Electric Twelve String ($2,000-3,000)
100. $ 50,000 - c. 1930 Gibson L-4 ($ 6,000-8,000)
101. $ 55,000 - 1930's D'Angelico ($20,000-25,000)
102. $ 42,000 - 1930's D'Angelico Exel ($20,000-30,000)
103. $ 190,000 - 1954 Fender Stratocaster ($20,000-30,000)
104. $ 90,000 - 1952 Fender Telecaster ($15,000-20,000)
105. $ 450,000 - "Brownie" - 1956 Fender Stratocaster ($80,000-100,000)