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1991 Fender CS Clapton Strat Lefty in Candy Apple Green

1991 Fender CS Clapton Strat Lefty in Candy Apple Green


Rock guitar legend Eric Clapton used quite a few guitars during the Yardbirds and later the Cream portions of his career, including Fender Telecasters, Gibson Les Pauls, ES-335s and SGs. In 1970 just before the famed sessions for the Derek and the Dominos project, Clapton started using a 1956 2-tone sunburst Stratocaster (nicknamed “Brownie”) he purchased in ’67, while still playing with Cream. Perhaps responding to a new found love of Strats, while on a US tour with the Dominos, he bought six ‘50s period Stratocasters from the Sho-Bud Guitar Shop in Nashville, for $100.00 each. Back in the UK, he gave one to George Harrison, one to Pete Townsend, one to Steve Winwood and kept the last three for himself. Of those three he liked the neck on one, the solid black body of another and preferred the sound of the pickups in the third. Using those parts, Nashville luthier Ted Newman later assembled the now legendary “Blackie” Strat, famous for its chipped black finish, well worn neck, cigarette burned headstock and Clapton approved tone! EC used this guitar, almost exclusively for the next 15 years. Then, fearing his beloved Strat wouldn’t survive another re-fret, he retired “Blackie” in 1985. Fender had hoped Clapton would move to the recently released US made Elite Stratocaster, as it incorporated active pickups and some interesting tonal options, similar to what were featured on his eventual signature model. For whatever reason he did not warm to the Elite, possibly because of its VERY modern appearance, complete with the push button selection of three very odd looking active pickups. This prompted a Fender vow to produce a viable replacement for “Blackie” with a more vintage look and feel. Quite a few prototypes followed, but let’s fast forward to 1988. The production model EC Strats were essentially a US 1957 reissue Stratocaster with a deeply contoured alder body, a one-piece maple neck with a soft V profile and a 9.5 fingerboard radius, 22 vintage style frets, a “blocked” vintage style tremolo and vintage Gotoh/Kluson tuning machines. The heart of the guitar and what made it a Clapton Strat were the 3 newly developed Fender Lace Sensors, which offered a quieter, more powerful tone with better sustain and clarity than a vintage style Strat pickup. Coupled with new active electronics, in which the MDX Active Mid Boost circuit offered a 25 db mid boost (which EC called the compressor) and the TBX Expander Tone control circuit, accentuated the bass and treble when turned up. The subsequent models were very successful and remained largely unchanged until 2001 when Fender replaced the Lace Sensors with Fender Vintage Noiseless pickups, which Clapton seemed to prefer. There are still many players that love the Lace Sensors, but Fender parted ways with the Lace company around that time.

Along with this particular instrument being a left-handed version of an already RARE guitar it also features gold hardware and a Candy Apple Green finish. The neck profile is a softer V shape than a lot of Clapton models we’ve seen. All indicators tell us this one was produced in 1991, and it does feature the now discontinued Fender/Lace Sensor pickups

This 1991 instrument is in very good condition, the only blemishes being about 6 dings on the very bottom of the body. Most of which are not through to the wood. The gold hardware is tarnished in places and there is some discoloration on some of the plastic parts. The original pickup spacers have been replaced with newer ones. The Fender decal appears to have had some extra finish applied, perhaps to protect it. This is not concerning, because all other indicators, including a peek under the pickguard show us this is indeed a 1991 Fender Custom Shop Eric Clapton Stratocaster. - Mark Pertain, Maple Street Guitars

  • Left Handed Stratocaster Body Shape
  • Alder Body
  • Gloss Body Finish in Candy Apple Green
  • Maple Neck
  • Maple Fingerboard
  • Black Dot Inlays
  • Large Soft “V” Neck Carve
  • Gloss Neck Finish
  • Fender/Lace Sensor Gold Pickups
  • Gold 6-Point Tremolo Bridge
  • Gold Vintage-Style Fender Tuners
  • Single-ply White Pickguard
  • 1 11/16” Nut Width
  • 25 1/2” Scale Length
  • 22 Frets
  • Hardshell Case
  • “Clapton” Active Pickup Circuit with MDX Mid Boost and TBX Tone Expander
  • 5” Fingerboard Radius
Serial Number(s) SE801118