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Rating and Reviews: Eric Clapton Stratocaster

Clapton's signature Strat comes loaded with Fender's Vintage Noiseless pickups, a powerful active mid boost, TBX circuits, and a soft-V-shaped maple neck.

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"This is a guitar that can do it all. Take your playing to a new level..." submitted June 22, 2003

By a customer from aol.com
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Music Style: Mainly blues. Currently with the Black Cat Blues Band
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Sound: This guitar will sound like a les paul with the midrange boost up; it will sound like a strat with the midrange down...It's the only guitar I really need to play everynight...Although I like to give my other gals a little time now and then... Quality: I bought the olympia white... The Wow Factor: Buy one and have yourself a jolly ole time...
17 of 18 people (94.44%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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"4 years later and this is still my favorite." submitted August 9, 2008

By a customer from aol.com
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Musical Background: Hobbyist/Slightly Active musician going on 10 years
Music Style: Classic Rock, Alternative, Blues, Funk
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Sound: With Blackie you can get any sound you are looking for. The sound quality is superb assuming you know about the controls on the instrument and the dials on your amps. She sounds great clean, great in high gain, great in the middle. I love the way she sounds hooked up to a crybaby classic with the fassel, she makes you want to play "White Room" for the 1,000th time. My main amp that I use with this guitar is a Roland Cube 30x and I am blown away by how well they go together. She records well, plays live even better. I'd like to see a version with an ebony fretboard, no complaints on the maple by any means, its more of a curiosity thing. This guitar sounds like angels crying when she is played. Feature: The vintage noiseless pick-ups and the TBX system just blow me away. I had my doubts about them but wow, I gave them a chance and they didn't disappoint. I'm happy with the hard tweed case, looks special. I love the vintage turning machine heads. You can feel a big difference in tuning it versus a mexican strat. Ease of Use: Fast, smooth, and very capable of producing any sound in your head or on just about any recording. Easily modified to the sound I had been looking for. It is very easy to use with other amps, multi-effects pedals, wahs, etc. Quality: Very well made. It's the sexiest guitar I own. The finish is flawless. No loose parts or blemishes. It is my most reliable guitar. I keep a backup Mexican fender strat which I seem to play a bit more than the Clapton just because wow lets face it, she's a thing of beauty. Any instrument you use on the road will have wear and tear lets face it but I believe she is very durable and will last. This guitar will last my lifetime and I will be able to pass her down to my children. Value: Well when I bought this guitar it was already worth more than what it comes off the line. I caught a deal at the time and somehow I am the only owner this guitar had. Guess no one wanted to shell out for it. I would definitely buy the same year model if lost or stolen even though the price is definitely higher now. Manufacturer Support: I have never called Fender. Never needed to actually. So that is a plus. Haven't needed any repairs. My Blackie is a 2005 model and she looks like she just came off the line. The Wow Factor: Love the fact that my "Blackie" is a sexy black. It's a strat so hey it's feels like a woman, plays as fast and hard as YOU want her to =P I couldn't live without this guitar. When I first saw it I had to have it. Was definitely an impulse buy but for once my old lady didn't give me crap about it. Overall: I'll never need another fender strat. However, I bought a mexican strat to mess around with different tunings, set ups, etc as far as strats go. I would definitely buy this guitar over and over and over again if need be. I have no complaints with this instrument at all. This guitar helped me out of my playing rut that we all go through from time to time. Definitely the easiest guitar I own to play.
37 of 41 people (90.24%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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"Clapton signature strat. " submitted July 10, 2012

By Alan Crandall in Groton, CT
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Musical Background: Ive been playing for 30 yrs. Pro for 15. Electric , acoustic, dobro , slide , mandolin, bass,. Record , teach, perform, write.
Music Style: Every style imaginable but mainly steeped in traditional American forms, which the whole world has taken and given back to us wi
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Overall: This is the regular production model which was the original concept anyway! The custom shop version of this guitar can be expected to have greater attention to detail,(fret ends, choicier woods,less hands on the product etc). Although the custom shop is great (I've owned all of the time machine series at one point) and I certainly wouldn't ever criticize their work. But I've had ones that were not stellar shall we say. I've also had a couple that I cannot think for the life of me why I sold them! Guitar players are a weird lot for sure. We convince ourselves that if we only have that elusive piece of gear it'll be the final piece of the puzzle in our quest to finally get to the magical tone promised land.The reason I started with the custom shop comment are because we expect the special work they do to instantly make a guitar a "cut above"! Now as I said I've had a few that certainly just that. But I must report to you that I've had and have some guitars that just came off the production line "right". After all before the custom shops of the world ALL of our guitars pretty much came that way. Unless you're a guy from the 50s- 60s era then truly massive production is how we ve been receiving our instruments for a long time now! Having said all that I'm happy to report that the Eric Clapton signature regular original model is a solid solid guitar! First of all like any guitar anywhere you may have to check a few out. The one I purchased in pewter was 7lbs 2 ozs. Very good neck pocket(snug and correct dimensions)great string alignment absolutely perfect fret work( I was stunned) and a deliciously inviting maple neck with straight grain running the length of it. Sound unplugged ,big complex and resonantly lively! all features right on the money. Little set up work required because I have a very specific guideline where I want my guitars to be. But an average Joe would be fine with the outta box set up. The sound of the pickups( same as the custom shop pickups) are a little more clinical sounding than your average strat sound. By that I mean ultra clean,very quiet and strat enough to be convinced of stratdom but enough of a different character to have its own voice. They're not weak as I've heard, they're crisp,transparent ,but not biting like a trad strat pickup. Coupled with the 25 db boost and the tbx tone control you can get some seriously wide ranges with this guitar , if you take your time. And learn how to get the most out of every possibility. I've heard the CS version dropped the tbx as Clapton was starting to have issues with it.I find it useful and this guitar can easily do a whole night without switching instruments! Truly realistic gibsony sounds semi hollow sounds, the aforementioned strat tones and even hybrid sounds. The playability is as fine as you. An ask for. It's excaliber in guitar form! It's soooo good to know that there are people on the assembly line in the main factory saying "you know what we re artisans too and we. An make a product as good as any CUSTOM house anywhere. Even if it's our own. Either they're really refining their production techniques or I caught them on a really good day! Either way check one out it's it's own animal and different. It can make a statement and really stop a crown in their tracks!!
17 of 19 people (89.47%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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"Excellent and Versatile Stratocaster!" submitted June 10, 2014

By William F in Pittsburgh, PA
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Musical Background: I have been playing music for more than 30 years. Electric and acoustic guitar mainly, in and out of bands.
Music Style: I especially like blues and classic rock music to listen to and play.
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Overall: The Eric Clapton Signature Stratocaster is an excellent and versatile guitar due to the Boost and TBX functions. A big plus are the vintage Noiseless pickups. They still give you that strat sound from glassy clean to quack in the middle ppsitions but without the hum. The boost is great as you can dial in a little or alot of gain. TBX gives you more treble or more bass. This strat can go from strat to near humbucker sounds. The neck is very playable. The guitar was set up from the factory excellently. A problem I did have was when Fedex delivered the guitar, the case was unlatched inside the shipping box and someting apparently dented the guitar body. The Fedex person told me that since there was no outward damage to the box, there was no reason to file a claim. I also ordered a guitar that was supposed to be 7 lbs 3 ozs and received one that weighed 7lbs 6 ozs. Somebody's scale is off.
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"I found it" submitted July 26, 2014

By John Joseph in Waukee, IA
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Musical Background: since 1974, used to play in bands, have Banjo and Bass to learn yet.
Music Style: Classic Rock, Blues, Jazz
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Overall: Since my 1974 sunburst strat with 3 position switch we always snuck into 5 positions, I have looked for a Strat with the sound and action of that 1974. I could get that Nils Lofgren cry like on cry tough. I have played dozens. The tonal qualities, warmth, brightness, action, mid db knob, quality of construction are all there. I am in love. I have started taking lessons again (started in 1970) after just putzing last 20 years. My college degree teacher who has played in dozens of bands is way jealous. Thank you Fender and Zzounds for bringing me back. And Zzounds shipped it set up. I haven't even taken it to my local Lutherie to get it in playing condition. It was ready to go.
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"great guitar" submitted April 28, 2012

By scott sawyer in cherry valley, CA
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Musical Background: I've been playing since I was a kid , I'm musically educated but I don't do anything on a pro basis anymore
Music Style: soft rock , rock
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Overall: I've bought and sold alot of guitars over the years , but i like this one the best . I've always liked the gibson sound but prefered the playability of a strat . I can get the best of both worlds with this guitar . Tthe neck is smooth and slick and i so far have been able to get a pretty cool kinda sustained bluesy sound out of it that i like and i've still got a long ways to go with amp experimentation , I prefer small vintage marshall and fender combo amps myself . With all i read ahead of time about the quality of this guitar i have to disagree with any of the negative . i think the quality of construction is real good , the thin pick guard is not a problem for me and i think it adds to the good tone . This is a players guitar and a real good one at that , not a museum piece , I,ve got a vintage ibanez roadstar i like alot that I'll probably use for hard rock bits but other than that this guitar is it .
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"Clapton Strat - The Benchmark for Tone" submitted October 22, 2004

By a customer from att.net
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Musical Background: Active Musician
Music Style: Blues, Rock, Christian
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Sound: Mine is a 1999 model with the lace sensor pickups. The TBX tone control is awesome. Roll to the bass side and treble is cut for bluesy or jazz sounds. Leave in the middle for circuit off lace sensor sounds aka strat. Roll to the treble side and cut the bass for bell like chime. Dial up the midrange booost(lower tone control) and let this baby sustain forever on either setting. With a 59 Bassman Reissue or other tube amp, it's an awesome combination. Add some good effects pedals or multi-effects and look out! Covers many sounds well. I prefer the "old" lace sensors like mine has over the noiseless but it's an easy swap to replace the noiseless pickups with lace sensors if that's your preference. Some reviews indicate the "old" pickups were best. Feature: This guitar has all the features you need to cover any style of music as long as you don't need a tremelo and understand all the adjustments you can make to the tone and volume of the guitar. I found many salespeople did not know how to use all the features with boost and TBX. Batteries can go dead if you leave it plugged in. Suggest you unplug when not playing. I get 1 year plus out of akalines. Some complain about the 1 ply pickguard but I find it adds more resonance due to the thinness. The pickups sort of float as you play. I changed my Mexican strat to a 1 ply and the tone also improved. Quality: Mine is a summer 1999 in olympic white and it was and is flawless in every way. I replaced the 5 way switch once just due to use. I play it live with no backup except a spare battery and a small screwdriver. Never breaks strings either. I use Fender Bullets 10-46 or Ernie Ball 10-46. Staysin tune except for temperature changes. Value: Mine was bought new in 1999 for $900 so I'm very pleased. Also, I think back then signature strats were built by a luthier and are now "team" built unless you get a custom shop version for big bucks! Manufacturer Support: Fender phone support has always answered my questions. They don't have an 800 so use a cell phone or unlimited long distance plan. I've called them about string guage when it was new. Tube amp specs and their website schematics and tech info is good. The Wow Factor: It's practical, durable, multi-functional and dependable. Overall: I hope to keep this one for as long as I can play. I don't play it live as much because a couple of other instruments have been damaged where I play.
12 of 14 people (85.71%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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"2012 Fender EC Strat" submitted November 18, 2013

By M R J in Greensboro, NC
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Musical Background: 55 years playing music. I play guitar, trumpet, bass horn, bass guitar, and bass violin.
Music Style: Garage Rock, Southern Rock, '60's Surf, electric and acoustic blues.
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Overall: My new version of Eric's famous "Blackie" is everything I expected, and more. I have quickly come to really like the neck shape, which I thought migt take longer. The quality and workmanship are exceeded only by the versatility. Now I can sell several other guitars, as this one meets so many tonal requirements. If you've been con EC Strat, don't wait as long as I did.
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"The ultimate Blues - Blues/Rock Guitar." submitted July 6, 2003

By a customer from COMCAST.NET
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Music Style: BLUES - ROCK
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Sound: The sound is pure Stratocaster and then some. The quality of this instrument is second to none! It takes a little getting use to if you never played a guitar with low frets, but well worth adapting to. In addition to the 5 Fender tones the pickups are totally noiseless and the one tone knob is set up to be a midrange boost, that really kicks(sustains forever). Feature: This guitar is far superior to my American Standard Stratocaster, for which I also have no complaints. Even the tweed case with its ugly orange/gold interior is very well constructed. Quality: This is one guitar that I will not sell or trade in. This is a keeper! Value: Worth the extra bucks that it cost's compared to the American Standard Series Stratocasters. The Wow Factor: Can't beat Black with a maple neck.
6 of 7 people (85.71%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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"This is a keeper" submitted February 26, 2004

By a customer from flmtgif.org
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Music Style: Country and Southern Gospel
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Sound: This guitar is probably the most versitle guitar I've ever played. I own a Gibson 57 Black Beauty and a Telecaster Elete, both nice guitars but the Eric Clapton Strat is my favorite. You can get any Strat sound imanginable out of this guitar and the neck has a nice feel to it. Great guitar I recomend it. Feature: Came with a deluxe tweed case and owners manual Quality: Very durable, never had any problems with it. The battery lasts a long time, so no problems there Value: Best guitar for the money, if you can only afford one guitar, this is the one Manufacturer Support: Don't really know about support because it's never needed any The Wow Factor: Great looking guitar too. Mine is White and I just love the way it looks Overall: This is one guitar I will keep forever. It's got that clssic Fender sound with modern electronics that are durable too. I love the guitar
5 of 6 people (83.33%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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"Eric Clapton "Blackie" Strat" submitted May 10, 2014

By Kenneth Olsen in Westerly, RI
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Musical Background: Been playing for 50 years. Bands as a kid, on my own, a bunch of us guys jam at the local Yacht Club. I also play bass guitar.
Music Style: Classic rock, country, blues, jazz, almost anything the other guys want to play as well.
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Overall: An outstanding guitar. Have always loved strats and teles and own a few, but this one gives me all the classic Clapton sounds that I've been trying to get with pedals, etc. They are all right here in one package. Finish is beautiful, mechanics are flawless. Will take this one to the grave...It's now my NEW baby!!
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"Blackie!!" submitted February 6, 2014

By Justin G in Boca Raton, FL
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Musical Background: Been playing for 30 yrs.
Music Style: Rock, Blues, Country
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Overall: Dude....it's Blackie! Plays like a dream. Have not touched my LP in since it has arrived. I feel like it has made me a better player. Buy it.
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"Blackie" submitted February 19, 2010

By a customer from gmail.com
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Musical Background: Started playing out @ 15, & I'm now 58.
Music Style: Blues, Country Rock, Classic Rock
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Sound: Mine is an '89 w/Gold Lace Sensors; sounds great - fine tone and sustain w/just a tad of noise. Feature: TBX is its main feature - as I use a tweed Fender w/th volume up there on the amp and low on the guitar, I don't often depend on it. Works as advertised, though. Ease of Use: Nice maple, good fret job - for what more can you ask insofar as ease of use goes? Quality: Minus a point (rarely does an instrument gain a '10' rating imho; the single-ply pickguard isn't too stable as it's warped a bit. Value: A bit nicer than the average American Strat, because of its exclusivity and above average neck. Manufacturer Support: Haven't used/needed it. The Wow Factor: I'm likin' it just fine. Overall: Does all I ask with a minimum of fuss/hassle.
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"A very clean sounding quality instrument." submitted March 23, 2008

By a customer from aol.com
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Musical Background: Hobby
Music Style: Blues, Jazz, Traditional
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Sound: The range of tone and the sound of this instrument actually surprized me at first. I own two other USA made Strats and I did not think this Strat would provide the range and quality of sound it produces. The more I play it, the more I enjoy it. I did have to replace the strings that came with it right away and adjusted the intonation a little, but I am quite pleased with it. I even enjoy the lack of the sixty cycle hum from the pick ups. Feature: I also own the VG Strat and enjoy it's versatility of being able to change tuning and sound. But it is an excellent Strat just the same. Ease of Use: Very easy to get great sounds even with a tiny amp. Quality: I believe this to be as durable as any other US made Strat which is excellent. Value: I think it is a fair price for a quality instrument. Manufacturer Support: I;ve had no problems to deal with them on, but I live near Scottsdale, AZ and know them to be an excellent company to their employees and in the community. The Wow Factor: It is shaped like a woman. Overall: I will probably cool my heels and enjoy this one for a year or two.
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"Sound-Great/ Fit and Finish- Eh..." submitted March 20, 2012

By Dave D in Wise, VA
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Musical Background: 32 years active musician
Music Style: Christian, worship, blues
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Overall: I owned one of these guitars (have since sold it). The mid boost is really useful for getting a wide range of tones from regular Strat to fat humbucker tones and everything in between. The fit on this guitar (I hate to admit) leaves quite a bit to be desired. The back plate on the body did not fit correctly where the 9volt battery goes. Just as several people have noted the pick guard is just plain cheap looking. I know, it is made like the original single ply version of clapton's blackie. But I'll bet that the axes he plays now don't have crappy looking single ply pickguards on them. I guess if you want, you could replace it but the place where the battery goes would have to be routed out. Come on Fender, these should be put together better. They bear the name of one of the most famous Strat players of all time.
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"Eric Clapton Stratocaster" submitted November 17, 2013

By Mike D in Sanford, FL
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Musical Background: 12 years guitar
Music Style: All music styles
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Overall: Guitar is a must for Strat fans, so save your cash and sell your old Strat.
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"Great Purchase" submitted November 26, 2013

By Ron Arenal in Victoria, TX
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Musical Background: 30+ years, electric guitar
Music Style: Blues, rock n roll
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Overall: Great purchase, awesome price
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"Slowhand Boogie." submitted August 24, 2005

By a customer from hotmail.com
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Musical Background: Active Musician
Music Style: Blues, Rock, Jazz
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Sound: One of the most tonefully versatile guitars? Try, THE most tonefully versatile guitar EVER period. Piercing highs, to real bassy lows. This thing does it all. Classic strat sound, humbucker sound, you name it. I've heard a lot of complaints about the new noiseless pickups, though I have no gripes about them. If they're not your cup of tea, it's not hard to fit the guitar with whatever you prefer. No sense in going out of your way hunting for an older model just for pickups. Just buy the ones you prefer, they're like 70 bucks, big deal. Feature: I bought the Custom Shop version (Midnight Blue), which costs about $600 more than the factory model. I'm still not sure what the difference even is other than the color choices. Came with a vintage tweed case (really ugly interior). A vintage Fender strap (need a hole puncher for leather just to use it, unless you're 6'2", or a fatass), A guitar cable (only 3 feet long, not much use for anything other than fx pedals), a whammy bar, a chrome tremolo plate cover, a couple allen wrenches, a polishing cloth, the users manual, and a set of strap locks. The TBX control and mid-boost circuit are really what sets this baby above the rest. Far superior to the other strats I've played. Quality: The weird superglue laminate on the neck makes it seem a little cheap at first, but I suppose it's less likely to get filthy. Doesn't affect play at all. Pretty much the same deal with the 1-ply pickguard. It just looks cheesey, but again, not a big deal. Buy a new on if it's not your thing, though you'll probably have to adjust the action. I get a lot of buzz from the low E-string. Not sure how to remedy this either. Aside from that, I don't know. Strats are pretty much all made the same. Mix and match, customize however you see fit. Value: It's an amazing strat. In fact, probably the best of the bunch. But it is just that. I can't say it's a work of superior craftsmanship, as no strat is. You could probably build this yourself piece by piece for little more than $600 if you know where to look. Felt like I paid more for a name rather than the instrument as a whole, though I don't regret the purchase. Manufacturer Support: Have never had to deal with them. The Wow Factor: Definitely the most desirable strat I've ever come across. Overall: Completely satisfied. I'll never buy another strat after this one, unless it gets lost, stolen, or destroyed somehow.
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Eric Clapton Stratocaster Customer Review submitted April 23, 2005

Sound: I frankly was unimpressed with the noisless pickups. They sound very thin and too clean. I strongly prefer the Texas Specials for the true Strat sound. I do however love the neck and action.
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"Eric rules" submitted October 13, 2005

By a customer from hotmail.com
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Musical Background: hobbyist
Music Style: Rock, Classic, Rock , Jazz
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Sound: It rocks Feature: comes with hard case with it Quality: probably one of the best in the market Value: its worth buying Manufacturer Support: very easy to reach- called twice to ask some questions The Wow Factor: classic fender style Overall: probably will not need to buy another electric guitar for years to come.
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"Disapointed. to say the least" submitted December 28, 2007

By a customer from bendbroadband.com
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Musical Background: Active
Music Style: Rock
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Sound: Sound is good when setup is rite. you must take this to lacal shop for setup1 Feature: Chezzy short strap, pick guard is one ply and makes noies and moves. large gaps at mounting points will not lay flat. Ease of Use: It is not playable. needs to go to a shop tobe setup at a cost $40-$60. the manual tells you to take it to a shop or do it your self Quality: No it has lumps on the body, big gaps at the point ware neck meets the body Value: Not close you can buy a American Strat for less then $800 Manufacturer Support: Support said this is the way we make this guitar and if you dont like it send it back at my cost. The Wow Factor: I seen this guitar and said this is awsome and then opened the box and down hill from their Overall: I got it for X-mas. Dec 25 and it will be sent back by Jan 2
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A temporary customer reference number is assigned to each customer only while they are shopping on zZounds.com. If you call our customer service department for assistance, this number makes it easier for us to answer any questions you have about products, services or purchases.
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1. zZounds offers the industry‘s most musician-friendly payment plans

zZounds offers a variety of Play as You Pay installment plans that allow you to get the gear you want today. While our competitors might offer house credit cards that require you to fill out an application and pass a credit check, our payment plans are easy to get, simple to use, and, best of all, accrue zero interest. Unlike those house credit cards that can leave you vulnerable to exorbitant interest charges once the promotional period ends, we never have and never will charge interest when you take advantage of one of the zZounds Play as You Pay plans.

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2. zZounds guarantees the lowest price

Seen it for less somewhere else? Get it for less at zZounds. Simply click the “Seen it for less?” link on any product page and as long as we‘re not losing money, we‘ll beat any legitimate competitor‘s lowest price, usually within two hours. Want our best price even faster? Call us at 800-zZounds (800-996-8637), and we‘ll provide you with a lower price on the phone. Also, if you purchase from us and later find the product for less elsewhere, call or email us within 45 days, and we‘ll refund you the difference.

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3. zZounds gets you your gear fast

At zZounds, you‘ll get your gear fast and, usually, with free delivery. Because we have warehouses in New Jersey, Nevada and Mississippi, nearly 95 percent of Americans reside within our two-day shipping zones. Combine this with the fact that many of our best-selling products qualify for free two-day delivery and you get expedited shipping without the additional cost.

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4. zZounds makes returns super easy

Buy it, try it, like it, or return it to us for a full refund. It‘s just that simple. If you‘re not in love with what you bought, return it to zZounds within 45 days, and we‘ll promptly arrange for an exchange or a refund. No hassles. No hidden charges. And if a product‘s defective or damaged, call us at 800-zZounds (800-996-8637), and we‘ll email you a prepaid shipping label so you can easily return it to us at zero cost to you.

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5. zZounds delivers top-rated customer service

zZounds has received multiple Bizrate® Circle of Excellence Platinum awards, placing us in the top 0.7 percent of Bizrate‘s network of 5,200 retailers. Our success in meeting the needs of our customers -- since 1996, we‘ve satisfied over 1,000,000 people -- is due in large part to the fact that zZounds only hires experienced musicians to answer your calls and emails, and they are never paid a commission.

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