The 2019 Crossroads Guitar Collection is exclusively available online through Guitar Center and sees new high-end custom shop electrics and acoustics from Fender, Gibson, Martin and Paul Reed Smith.
Eric Clapton’s name is put to a Fender Custom Shop Eric Clapton “Blind Faith” Telecaster, built by Master Builder Todd Krause, a Gibson Custom Eric Clapton1964 Firebird I, and a Martin 000-42EC Crossroads Ziricote auditorium acoustic.
John Mayer’s signature graces the parlour-sized Martin 00-42SC John Mayer Crossroads, while Carlos Santana’s PRS Private Stock Carlos Santana Crossroads electric rounds out the set.
Those in the Dallas, Texas, area can view these boutique guitars at the two-day 2019 Crossroads Guitar Festival which opens on Friday 20 September. Clapton’s famous Gibson ES-335 will be on display there, too.
These guitars are priced for serious collectors, with a “significant portion” of the proceeds from the guitars’ sale will go to the Crossroads Centre Antigua, which provides therapeutic addiction treatment.
A master-build from Todd Krause, the Blind Faith Telecaster is a meticulous reproduction of a 1964 Telecaster with a lot of history to it. The guitar came to prominence when Clapton was seen playing with it on set during Cream’s cameo spot in the Danish comedy-drama Det var en lørdag aften. Back then it had been modified with a ‘60s Strat neck with a rosewood fingerboard.
But when the Tele became a go-to electric for Clapton in the Blind Faith supergroup era, debuting on 7 June 1969 in front of 100,000 people in Hyde Park, the rosewood fingerboard was now maple, the large headstock had shrunk to a smaller ‘50s profile. Oh, to be on a gear forum then . . .
The mod, of course, was subsequently revealed. Clapton had taken the neck from his trusty 1956 “Brownie” Stratocaster and bolted it on to the Tele.
Not all of us have the luxury of cannibalising vintage Fender electrics and this is the first time this Telecaster with “Brownie” neck Custom Shop option has been available. If, like Slowhand, you prefer the soft-V profile of the ‘50s Strat neck but would very much like a Telecaster, it’s yours for $11,999.
Inside the case you’ll find a certificate of authenticity, signed by Clapton himself, and a replica of his 1969 guitar strap.
A meticulous reproduction of Clapton’s reverse-headstock Firebird I, this specially commissioned Gibson Custom Shop model has a newly designed Alnico V mini-humbucker to give it that hellacious ‘bird tone.
It has a neck-through construction with a nine-ply mahogany walnut neck glued to two solid mahogany wings. There are period-appropriate controls for master volume and tone, a lightning bar wraparound bridge, Kluson tuners, and it’s finished in nitro so it’ll age beautifully.
The Eric Clapton 1964 Firebird I comes with a deluxe hard case. The candy within includes a certificate of authenticity, a custom strap and picks. Clapton has signed the rear control plate. Only 100 were made, street price $7,999
The Martin 000-42EC Crossroads Ziricote sees a number of tweaks to the 000-42. The Crossroads Ziricote features a 000-14 fret body, a sitka spruce VTS top and ziricote back and sides. Martin’s VTS (vintage tone system) torrefaction process ages the guitar’s voice, making it sound like an older instrument.
A titanium truss-rod helps give the Crossroads Ziricote a 1930s fighting weight, but with the ease of adjustment a high-end modern instrument should have. The detail and finish is incredible on this instrument, with herringbone pearl inlay, flame-maple body binding and abalone inlay on the headstock.
This deluxe acoustic comes with a certificate of authenticity signed by Clapton and Chris Martin and retails for a cool $12,999.
There's something about a smaller-bodied acoustic guitar that always appealed to me. In one glance, it inspires me to write, travel, perform and age along with it.
The Martin 00-42SC John Mayer Crossroads is based on Mayer’s parlour-sized 00-42 “Stage Coach” acoustic. The sunburst finish has been updated, with cocobolo used on the back and sides.
Mayer is a big fan of parlour-sized guitars. "There's something about a smaller-bodied acoustic guitar that always appealed to me,” he says. “In one glance, it inspires me to write, travel, perform and age along with it. Not very long ago I was inspired to return to a completely natural way of writing and recording music, and at the center of that vision were the Martin 00-sized guitars that defined an era of brilliant songwriting in the '60s and '70s."
As per Clapton’s Martin, the details are impeccable, with custom fingerboard inlay, grained ivoroid body binding and Paua pearl inlay on the headplate.
This John Mayer signature model is limited to 50 instruments worldwide and comes with a hard case, a certificate of authenticity signed by Mayer and Chris Martin, and retails for a cool $12,999.
That is a lot . . . . But, wait! Mayer has also signed the soundhole label, too. OK, go on then, “Add to cart.”
This model goes way back to the first guitars Paul Reed Smith made for Carlos Santana. It is a pre-1985 model, so the body shape is a little different and the headstock features the lesser-spotted eagle inlay. The neck is a 24.5” scale, with a 24-fret Brazilian Rosewood fretboard with solid-shell bird inlays, and this is glued to a solid mahogany body with a generously sized curly maple top and gloss nitro finish.
The electronics are handled by two PRS HFs,3520 LT open-coil humbuckers, with a dual mini-toggle switch for coil-tapping. In terms of hardware we've got a PRS plate-style tremolo and Phase III locking tuners.
There are only six of these in existence and they will come with a certificate of authenticity, signed by Carlos Santana, and, with this is a PRS Private Stock guitar, a certificate of authenticity signed by Paul Reed Smith and PRS director of Private Stock, Paul Miles. It’s priced $11,999.
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