The sound clips below were recorded with the Clapton Mid Boost
gain control turned to zero and the TBX Tone Control turned to 10 for maximum
treble a'la Buddy Guy's tone which is also the same as the original Eric
Clapton Signature Strat when they featured Lace Sensor Gold
pickups instead of his newer "vintage toneless" pickups as some
refer to them as. The Lace Golds sounds fantastic if you want the
clean, active Strat Buddy Guy tone or much or Eric's. It's also what
Stevie Winwood uses in his surf green Strat that he set Clapton's
2008 Crossroads Festival on fire with, prompting Eric to do a tour
with him. Remember how great Dr. Mr. Fantasy sounded? These are the
With the Clapton Mid Boost, having the gain set to zero gives a clean "Stratty"
tone but not to be confused with no gain because the Boost puts out a whopping 72k
of output on any setting (clean or boosted) vs. 6k for a regular Strat type pickup.
It's kind of like having a clean-fat boost pedal built into your
guitar but has much more direct presence and none of the noise
associated with the extra cables. It also sounds really fantastic
running into modeler effects like the new Eventide TimeFactor or
ModFactor making all of their effects come to life far better than
any pedal ever could achieve.
This is partly
because it is powered by a 9v battery and the circuit is always active vs.
standard pickups which are passive. I installed an on/off switch like Buddy Guy
did on a few of his Strats. Otherwise, if you leave the cable plugged in, it
drains the battery and the guitar will not work with a dead or no battery as the
mid boost is always in the circuit and can not be bypassed exactly
how Buddy and Eric's works. Not to worry though, because it could take
several months to a year to fully drain a fresh battery since there is such a
low draw of power, but still best to turn it off.
Clips 1 thru 5 are played clean starting
with the neck-middle positons, then middle-bridge position, because
these are the 2 positions (2&4) that Buddy Guy is famous for using
to get his signature sound. On clips 6 thru 10, the gain control is turned up to
around 7-8 to have more of a boosted or humbucking pickup type sound.
Speaking of the battery, I installed the Mid Boost without routing a
battery compartment into the back of the body and storing the
battery under the pickguard as I'm not a supporter of cutting into
body and removing wood. Since the battery rarely needs changed,
(maybe once per year), it can be changed every several months upon
string change or the battery could last for a few years if it's not
Equipment Used To Record the Clips...
U.S. Made Fender Highway 1 Strat body with a US
Made American Standard Maple Neck complete with top of the line Sperzel locking
tuning machines as used in the Robin Trower Signature Strat, plus 3 Lace
Sensor Gold pickups as used in both the Buddy Guy Strat and Eric Clapton
Stratocasters, along with the Clapton Mid Boost kit also used in both Buddy's
and Eric Signature guitars. You will hear Buddy's sound instantly on the clips
Amp Used: Marshall JCM 800 Split Channel w/Reverb 50 Watt Combo
1986 into a 2x12 Cabinet loaded with
as used in the Jimi Hendrix JH100 Stack (next to impossible to get). Pedal used
on later hi-gain clips: MXR Carbon Copy Delay with a touch of reverb.
Sound clips below, actual guitar and
then a clip of Buddy Guy playing his signature Strat below that on one of his
DVD lessons called Buddy Guy - Teachin' The Blues....(I love that DVD by the