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Fender Legends - Clapton, Beck, Marr & Johnson

Published: Fri April 26, 2013  News Feed

Fender Legends - Clapton, Beck, Marr & Johnson


Fender Guitar Gods

From the 60's blues explosion using tweed amps & Strats, through 70's guitar heroes wielding Teles, 80's indie chime with Princeton Reverb & Jags and more recently garage rock greats cranking the might Twin. Fender has been at the heart of rock tone for over 50 years and with the help of the artists responsible they've laid bare some secrets, allowing you to get that same great sound.

Of course these aren't just replications of stock models, artist input often leads to special features that you won't find anywhere else and alterations to classic designs which might just suit your needs perfectly. We've also offered some alternatives, ideal if you want to get a great sound in that artist's genre.

Eric Clapton StartEric Clapton

The consummate guitar hero, whether it's riffing, soloing, crunchy, clean or balladeering "Old Sock" will have played an iconic example. Layla, Tears In Heaven and Sunshine Of Your Love simply could not have come from the hands of anyone else.




The Guitar


Eric has recently collaborated with the Fender Custom Shop to make the Brownie Tribute Strat, famously used on Layla. But if you can't get a hold of this limited edition, then the Eric Clapton Stratocaster will deliver major mojo without the worn cosmetic details. The pickups have vintage tone but are a modern noiseless design, couple with active mid tone controls you get a great combination of perfect single coil mids, vintage character and low noise.

The Amp


It has to be Tweed for Clapton's raw blues and he's overseen the design of some jaw dropping 50's inspired amps. Another superb synthesis of old and new, based around the original '5E/5F' schematics that created the sound of electric blues but using components from Weber, Mercury Magnetics and Groove Tubes. These really are the finest examples of contemporary tweed tone.

Slow Hands Alternatives


If you're after a good contemporary Strat with vintage character but modern features then the Squire Vintage Modified range are ideal. Plus we best not neglect to mention the amp which Clapton made famous in the 60's, the Marshall Bluesbreaker, originally very similar in design to a Fender Bassman. If you fancy some classic Marshall tone at a volume that wont wind up the neighbours then check out the Limited Edition JTM1-C 1 Watt Combo.

Jeff BeckJeff Beck


From one 60's legend to another and fortunately for us Jeff's not shy about sharing his rig, Jeff's tech Steve Prior shared the details with Guitar Geek.

The Guitar

It has to be a Strat and much like the Clapton signature model here we have noiseless pickups voice but this time voiced with heavier ceramic tone, ideal for Jeff's finger picking style.

The Amp

He's well known for cranking things so it has to be a British icon, the Marshall stack. With minimal effects, Jeff uses a Snarling Dog Wah and TC Electronic delays.

Eric Johnson GuitarEric Johnson

Making for another Clapton & Strat connection, Eric Johnson played at other Eric's Crossroads festival in 2005 and introduced his signature Stratocaster the next year at Fender's 60th Anniversary festival.

The Guitar

His signature model was a real labour of love, with painstaking attention to detail. Vintage pickups and appointments mean this is an ideal pick for those looking for a true vintage Fender without the difficulty and expense of looking through second hand listings.

The Amp

For the backline and FX Guitar Geek has us covered again with a detailed breakdown. No big surprise to see classic Fender Deluxe (Black & Silver face rather than Tweed era) and Marshall Plexis featuring. The 60's feel continues through the effects with a Fuzz Face, Crybaby and Electro Harmonix Deluxe Memory Man. There's a contemporary addition of a TC Electronic Chorus too.

Alternative Eric

Being that he uses a vintage style strat we can only hasten to recommend the Squier Classic Vibe Strats, a lot of classic Alnico tone for your money. Add in a tasty Blues Junior valve amp and your away with a giggable blues rig for less than a grand. Eric was also a big fan of the Fender G-Dec modelling amp and he could really coax some amazing tones out of it, the current Fender Mustang series builds on the G-Dec legacy with even more amazing amps and effects built-in.

Johnny Marr GuitarJohnny Marr

Johnny's status as a guitar god has risen as the years go by, possibly as the guitar press "matures" and looks back to headier days. It could also have a lot to do with the fact that Mr Marr remains very relevant today, with a stint as guitarist in Modest Mouse and a recent solo release.

The Guitar

The Johnny Marr Signature Jaguar is really a fine guitar regardless of how you feel about the man himself. Making what many people consider to be improvements to the Jaguar formula, adjusting the tremolo arm and adding in mighty Bare Knuckle pickups.

The Amp

Nothing says 80's chime like a Fender Deluxe, Johnny uses effects pretty sparingly but a quality chorus will never hurt if you're after Smiths era Marr.
 
 
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