• First glimpse of the David Gilmour signature stratocaster

    John McLoughlin has kindly contributed this great YouTube clip of the Fender David Gilmour Relic Stratocaster. The clip reveals all the details and I’m especially surprised by all the work they’ve put into the scratches and wounds. One thing is the obvious wear but if you look closely you can clearly see that there’s lots of small bumps here and there that looks very authentic. I also love how they’ve included the filled hole for the XLR David installed in the early 70’s.

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55 Responsesso far.

  1. Dave A says:

    Bjorn,hope you dont mind my using this section of your site but what Vril and Randell are dicussing just happens to be exactly my dilemma,i also am looking for a v shape neck 57 headstock style to fit on my 84 japanese strat,i am living in sweden and cant find a spare neck anwhere so over the net looks to be the only way although it seems a bit scarey as we know buying a neck without actually seeing it first is a bit of a gamble,is there anyone out there who knows of a fender dealer in sweden that sells parts.HELP please.Bjorn got any spares mate ….I come from the south England and there is not much i miss but would love to be able to walk down Denmark st right now.OK regarding the signature strat also not been able to find one for a look in sweden i would love to have the NOS as i would appreciate my own dings and not the pre dings,just my feelings thats all.Definantly cant find a problem owning one thats for sure,well apart from the cost lol but come on who wouldnt appreciate one,i know we all would.Take care evey one.Tusen tack to gilmourish

    [Thanks Dave! I’m not familiar with any Swedish dealers so I can’t really help you. Anyone else got any idea? I know it’s crucial to try a neck before you buy it but you can always trust dealers like Warmoth. They will help you with your requests. – Bjorn]

  2. Vril says:

    Hi Randall,
    Thanks for those great tips. Like you I’m looking for a vintage tint .. those amber orange tints.. I don’t know the official color code.. wat do they call it? maybe just ‘vintage’?. I did not know that finding one would be so hard. I’m fairly new to playing stratocasters, although i’ve had one, a CIJ for a few years. I’ve mainly been a LP and Ibanez player. But i’m finding it very interesting lately that the strat is a highly parts exchangeable guitar.

    Randall you said you went for a 57 RI neck. Last year while in NY, I went into Manny’s with intentions of buying a ’57 RI, but somehow.. after a few tense moments and puffing a few cigarettes up and down 48th street (is it?), I ended up buying a John Mayer Strat instead!… I still don’t know why I did that.. haha.. not that i’m a big fan of John Mayer’s music.. but it’s an okay guitar.. but i hate the fact that its not a lacquered guitar. I would be playing a maple neck had I bought the ’57 RI. So my quest is still on.

    My problem is I’m based in Asia and the only way I can buy decent guitar equipment is via the net. Thanks for your suggestions.. Will keep looking.

  3. james says:


    Re the backplate removal-

    It’s easier

    a) to re-string it
    b) to adjust the action and trem.

  4. Randall Yeager says:

    Vril, the Stratosphere can be a little random. If you check day after day, you’ll probably find something. They add new posts every few hours. I’m like you, I really want the right kind of tint. I also prefer the soft V.

    I’m not sure of your tastes, but I like the vintage tint. I ended up buying a Hot Rod ’57 reissue. It has the soft V and a 9.5″ radius. The tint is pretty soft, not bleached-blond like some are, it is fairly dark. I use to have an Eric Clapton neck, which had the same specs, but the tint was a little more bleached than the ’57 reissue, if you like a lighter tint than vintage. I just hated the Clapton signature on the headstock.

    You might also like the Eric Johnson neck. It has a nice color. It has a larger 12″ radius. The frets are slightly larger than the ’57. It also has the headstock slightly lowered, so there is not a string tree. I’m not sure if there is a signature on the EJ’s neck.

    I also like the Classic Player Strat neck. Some have the vintage script (large) logo, I like that for some reason. They also have a soft V 9.5″ radius. I like the color of that neck, and it also has abalone dot inlays, and they look kinda cool.

    I’ve also seen various others like the ’60 models that have a V neck, but I agree, it is hard to find one you like. Maybe your tastes are way different than mine, so my help here is really of no help. I’ve bought two necks from them, and it took about two weeks of checking every few hours to find one I liked. Even though they list new stuff often, people like me are out there waiting too, so they tend to go fast. Good-luck.

    If you live in Europe or America, I would recommend buying an American made neck. The Japanese, Korean, Mexican, etc. versions may have a slightly different moisture content. The Mexican made use American wood, if not, it may be a little “dry” for where you live. But the Asian necks will have a higher moisture content, and the neck may twist, flex, warp where you live. It may not, but it’s better to be same than sorry.

  5. Scott says:

    This might seem like a silly question but why do most strat players remove the backplate of the bridge?

    [I don’t know if most guitarists do that but it could be because it makes changing strings easier. Some also claim that you’ll get more sustain. – Bjorn]

  6. Vril says:

    Hi all,
    my apologies for posting this here but since this is the most active of threads, I thought of doing this here. I have been thinking of buying a nice maple neck for my strat but dont know where to look. Something with a good tint and soft V. I looked at Stratosphere but dint like any. Hoping for some good advice from you.

    Also Bjorn,
    you must be busy as hell but i was wondering if you had tried out the famous Hermida Zendrive and Jetter pedals. I and I believe many here would like to get your expert opinions on these units..albeit they mayn’t relate themselves to Gilmourising our tones.
    Again sorry for going off topic.
    Thanks in advance. :)

    [I haven’t tried those pedals… Thanks for the tip! I’ll check it out. I don’t have any experience buying guitars on the net but a couple of friends of mine has bought necks from Warmoth. They have a wide range of different models and it’s safe. – Bjorn]

  7. Randall Yeager says:

    Danny, I had an Electro-Harmonix PolyChorus (stereo), and when the effect was off, I had no right channel. It sucked, because I had two amps, but couldn’t split my stereo chain, because I would either lose one amp, or revert back to a mono signal. Either way, I was fucked. Probably not your issue, but Electro-Harmoix does weird things sometimes.

  8. TQuay says:


    Sorry for the delay in getting back but unfortunately, it is you who has misunderstood my earlier comments. You have a remarkable site and it is your “duty” (I suppose) to report on the custom shop efforts of Fender. However, the site does lose it soul when readers must endure three articles about the stupid signature guitar while waiting for one of your wonderful focus on articles to come like “Shine On.” When it comes to Monet, if an art supply manufacturer offered a canvas with holes in it to make it look aged like one of the old masters I don’t think he would be the least bit impressed. And it is not about Monet disliking other artist’s work. There is no work involved here except for the guy at Fender who spends his days punching holes in perfectly good guitars. The point is instead about appreciating an artist with vision like David Gilmour but not clawing at his ankles. What I am saying is be yourselves as guitarists and people and avoid perversions like being fascinated by over priced fake holes in signature guitars because that is David’s story-not yours. I am very much looking forward to Shine on and hope you will someday find time to focus on the solo on Have a Cigar with it’s fascinating tone. Thanks,

    [The Shine On article is up next and I guess it’s stupid of me to promise something too soon. That being said, although this is not a news site, I think it’s important to talk about the Signature guitars and give people the chance to share their thoughts. My job is to both give my honest opinion – which I do – but I will also ask provocative questions to stir up a discussion, which I think is healthy. Again, I don’t see why we can’t be fascinated by the work of some “guy at Fender who spends his days punching holes in perfectly good guitars” and still be musicians with integrity. I agree that one shouldn’t spend 4000$ on one guitar thinking that you own a part of the Floyd history but that’s not what this is about. It’s the same “sickness” as collecting stamps and it’s a matter of sharing our passion and thoughts and feeling apart of a community. – Bjorn]

  9. Danny says:

    Since this seems to be the place where everyone is, I just got my electric mistress in and it only works when I push the flanger/filter matrix switch to the left. Is this normal? Also, what is the difference between direct out and flanged out?

    [The filter matrix allows you to freeze the sweep of the flanger in one specific position. It’s an effect on its own. The direct out is a bypass output for loops etc, while the flanged out is just a fancy way of labeling the normal out. Personally I prefer these settings: colour and rate 10:00 and I turn the range all the way down or off. Cheers! – Bjorn]

  10. Anderson Amancio says:

    Me senti eu mesmo abrindo o case, ótimo video da melhor guitarra do momento!

    I felt myself opening the case, great video of the best guitar now!

    Anderson from Brazil.

  11. Rick Cash says:

    Hi Franck,

    I have not had the pickguard off my NOS but i dont think it will be fully shielded as Davids it not (as far as i am aware.) It is also a little noisy compared to a fully shielded strat so again i assume not.


    [David’s is only shielded on the back of the pickguard around the pots and it’s not standard from Fender to shield their guitars. I recommend shielding the cavity. – Bjorn]

  12. Franck Machu says:

    Among those, lucky guys, who own a DG signature strat, NOS or Relic, who know if the body cavity is fully shielded with copper as on the original one ?

  13. Sha says:

    Neat, though I can’t justify spending the cash for one. Seems to have come with a number of little extras and goodies.

  14. Randall Yeager says:

    Brad, you’re more than welcome. I feel that talking to each other and helping each other out is really the heart and soul of this website. We all must tip our hat to the master, Bjorn. I’m glad I was able to help!

  15. Brad says:

    Hey thanks Randall!! I appriciate all that info!! You went beyond tha call of duty =]].

    Thanks, Brad.

  16. Randall Yeager says:

    Bjorn, I agree, specs should be left to the individual player. I just meant that there should be some significant involvement on Phil/David’s end to justify the price. I was just tossing out ideas. Thanks for clarifying the neck issue too.

    Brad, about the pickguard, I have not been able to find a 1-ply either, but on my black Strat I prefer the 3-ply. I makes the tone a little more “solid”, or tight. I know, sounds weird, but it’s true. Ha, I saw an interview with Eric Johnson where he swears that taking the back spring cover off increases your gain. Strange that little things can make a difference like that.

    Unfortunately, Fender doesn’t make an all black 3-ply, but it does have a full aluminum shield on the back side, which is nice. Here’s what I did to get an all black one.

    When you buy a new one from Fender it comes with the protective plastic coating on it. Leave it on. Get a can of black high-gloss paint designed for plastic. Cover up as much of the pickguard as possible with newspaper, because the paint can eat through the thin protective film, but the film will go right up to the edge of the bevel. Spray a coat or two on (lightly); the Fender pickguard will be layered: black, white, black. After you’ve sprayed the edge, remove the film and clean with rubbing alcohol, if any bled through the protective film; I had to polish mine as well. Presto, you’ve got an all black pickguard.

    One problem I’ve found with after-market parts over the years is that they usually are slightly different. Sometimes screw holes don’t line up. Sometimes pickup routings don’t match. Also, most after-market pickguards have a minimal amount of shielding on the backside, usually just where the pots are. I think is probably some sort of trademark issue, so they have to fudge the specs a bit to prevent a lawsuit. I prefer to buy Fender and tweak it however I like. I have used Allparts and Stewart Mac before, and sometimes it’s a headache.

    All that being said, if you’re using single-coil pickups, SHIELD the ENTIRE pickguard with COPPER! Monte Allums (www.monteallums.com) offers excellent shielding parts, and super-fast shipping. You can also get scraps and sheets of copper foil to shield the body cavities, and they are really cheap too. You can get scraps for around 10 cents! Yes, cents!

  17. Rick Cash says:

    Well here is my baby in action! (Sorry for the sloppy playing)

    [Looking good! – Bjorn]

  18. Brad says:

    Hey Bjorn, I was wondering, who makes tha 1-ply black pickguard for the DG strat? If you can tell me I would appriciate it!! Oh and by tha way I try to visit your site more often but lately I’ve had to much school work =[[.

    [I haven’t been able to find one similar to the one on David’s guitar but you can get regular 1-plys at Allparts.Com. – Bjorn]

  19. Franck Machu says:

    The blackstrat is a standard model from the early CBS era, that would mean nothing special in terms of wood ?
    I can’t believe that. There is something definitely special to this guitar that makes it THE David’s favorite for so long. I can’t believe it’s only a romantic and sentimental affair. Wood is wood. Each tree is different, each piece of wood has is own personality. The piece of wood used to make the original one was not specially selected to make a legendary guitar but it has, by chance, something that makes it different. Phil Taylor concludes its book saying that when David went back to blackstrat after years of disgrace, his body language changed immediatly when he picked it up. Is there something to see with gravity center ? with touch of the neck ? with memories of the hippie years ? This guitar has probably a soul, intrinsically, that the Fender replica can’t duplicate.
    Altough all I have said above, I have no doubt that the new Gilmour signature Strat has a greater tone than the standard Fender US manufactured model. The best Strat made during the last years by Fender was often said to be the Eric Johnson model. Maybe the Gilmour one will supersede it. The EJ model used to cost 2200 euros at its release. It now costs 1700 euros. It is not a custom shop model, so I don’t know if the price of the DG strat will follow the same curve.

    [As I’ve said, I’m no expert on early Fender models but the guitar is just a standard late 60’s model. Whether they used better wood in those days I’m not sure but the wood used in custom shop models today is much better. David might have been lucky with this particular guitar but there’s no reason why his should be that much better than anything else from that era. The reason why he still insists on using the guitar is because he’s comfortable with it and they’ve grown together… if you will. I think that goes for most guitarists. Give them tons of guitars but they always tend to go back to a that beaten old friend. It doesn’t really matter if it’s good quality or not but it’s a matter of which guitar you feel most comfortable with. I’m afraid it’s just a romantic relationship and we, the fans, are the ones who are hailing this guitar as something divine. – Bjorn]

  20. Danny says:

    Hi, all! My DG NOS just arrived a couple of days ago. Contrary to popular belief, this thing is simply amazing. The neck is heavenly along with its look and tone. The added goodies are wonderful too. The toggle switch is great with the bridge PU. It mellows it out nicely. I will try and send in some videos or pics of it. If you can, GET IT!!!!! It is simply amazing.

    [Congratulations! – Bjorn]

  21. Josh says:

    I’d be interested to know, too, if the extra routing is there under the pickguard in the relic version… They seem to have been pretty thorough, but you never know! Anyone brave enough to crack theirs open and take a look? =)

    In my experience, it should make a bit of a difference… I’ve had plenty of strats, and the ones that were swimming-pool routes (ie, one big pickup cavity instead of three little ones) sound different. It’s not super-obvious, but there is something.

    Of course, once you factor effects, pickups, etc into the mix, the difference will be pretty slim =)


    [I would imagine that if there is a difference the guitar will sound a bit warmer and perhaps slightly more hollow? I don’t know but a denser body or the more wood that’s around the pickup the brighter and punchier the tone will get… or perhaps not… – Bjorn]

  22. Randall Yeager says:

    Ha, Vril makes a damn good point. The new Gilmour Strat is probably many times better than the one he actually plays. I have some doubts to whether or not the neck is stock on David’s. Phil did order many custom necks over the years for David, and it seems logical that when David replaces a neck, he doesn’t just go on eBay and buy one. More than likely, David’s current neck was produced in the Custom Shop, or at least built by a master builder. Let’s face it, the neck is where the rubber hits the road.

    But as for Vril’s point, does this really justify the price tag? We all can build one of these guitars, almost exactly as David’s, both in terms of electronics and qualities of wood, for around $1,400. A nice case costs about $150-$200. Phil’s book… $21.00. Evidence Audio Melody cable $65.00-$85.00 (depending on length). “Live in Gdansk” CD/DVD about $40.00.

    Altogether that’s about $1,711. So Fender is telling me that the woods used and Phil Taylor’s (not David’s) autograph is worth about $2,000 extra!!! Sorry, I don’t think so. I could really give a shit less about Phil’s autograph. And the wood can’t possibly be that much better than the American series of woods used on the current high end models like the Hod Rod ’57 & ’62. Now, a Custom Shop guitar with the same neck costs about $1,900. So clearly the neck isn’t worth the extra cost, in terms of labor and wood quality.

    The current price tag would only be justified if Fender built the guitar, Phil Taylor wired it up and set the action. David played each guitar individually and signed off on a certificate of authenticity. They should also throw in an Evidence Audio Lyric HG (15ft). A special addition of “Live in Gdansk”, which is autographed by the band. And maybe a few other goodies. Honestly, and thanks Vril, but the Fender price tag really seems like more of a rip off than I had originally thought. Basically, you’re buying the idea of owning something next to God. Shit, for that price they should throw in a second rosewood fretboard neck to swap around like David did, or at least have one of those hot Fender models come over a give you a blowjob. Nothing here seems to justify the price at all.

    [David’s current neck was taken from one of the 1983 blonde ’57 reissue Strats he bought in 1984 prior to the About Face tour. These were the first reissue guitars Fender produced after CBS got out and as far as I know they’re made with what we now today as custom shop specs although Fender’s custom shop wasn’t up and running until a couple of years later.
    I don’t agree that the Signature guitars should come with David’s action or string height. They should be set up to default specs and it should be up to the individual player to adjust the action according how one prefers it. – Bjorn]

  23. Vril says:

    Dear Bjorn,
    I’m posting after a long time, and wow do I have a lot to catch up on.! The DG relic strat absolutely looks stunning. But I have my own humble 2 cents about the idea of owning this expensive guitar.

    In reference to an idea floated in one of the posts above about the high quality ‘materials and the components’ used to recreate this guitar, wouldn’t that just be limited to cosmetics and maybe electronics or even hardware?. What about the wood?!..
    My question is

    Is the DG relic strat a better crafted guitar with superior wood than the one David has? Because everyone knows David’s is a regular production guitar which he bought at Manny’s in NY some decades ago.

    What’s your idea of owning an ‘ even better than the real thing’ copy? to owning an ultimate replica.?

    Again i’m just being a devil’s advocate here… haha the grapes are sour indeed. :p

    rock on.!

    [I’m not an expert on vintage Fenders but the original guitar was just a standard model from the early CBS era, which is considered to be much better than models created in the mid/late 70’s. It was nothing special about it and the quality of the wood etc would be like any guitar from that era and I would assume that a Custom Shop guitar today would have much better wood than what they used in those days. The electronics and hardware are modeled after David’s and the quality of these things haven’t really improved that much over the years. Still I would assume that the Custom Shop pickups are of slightly better quality than the stock neck/middle pickups on David’s guitar. The Signature models are expensive because of two reasons, – the wood used are of exceptional quality and it’s handmade based on the specs on a specific guitar. This is not an assembly line model. If this justifies the price tag I’m not sure but it’s not the same as buying a US ’57 reissue… – Bjorn]

  24. Randall Yeager says:

    Hey Jaime, I have been listening to Gdansk CD for the past three weeks. Although I think every rendition of ‘Shine On’ is good, except for Waters’ ‘In the Flesh’ version, but the Gdansk version is stellar! I love the simplicity of it. I liked the ‘Remember That Night’ version, which is pretty much the same thing, but I HATED Crosby and Stills singing backup.

    My only complaint about the Gdansk CD is, and I mean this with the highest levels of respect and admiration, but Rick’s vocals on ‘Comfortably Numb’ are extremely weak, which is sorta how I feel about Waters’ original parts. On The Wall, and every live version, David should have just sang all the parts, even though I like when his part comes in as a contrast to either Rick or Roger, depending on the version.

    For what it’s worth, the Gdansk versions ‘Fat Old Sun’, ‘Shine On’, and ‘Echoes’ are the best live recordings of those songs, even though I like the Pompeii arrangement of ‘Echoes’ a little bit better. I have a special 5-disc version of Gdansk, which has a somewhat humorous version of ‘On the Turning Away’ on the 3rd CD. I can’t help but laugh when David messes up the lyrics and starts laughing. And as always, that solo is one of his best (in my opinion, better than Comfortably Numb’s), and always fuckin’ jams!!!

    As for the guitar, even though the neck pickup is mostly used on ‘Shine On’ the Black Strat for WYWH is different than the Black Strat of today. That Strat had stock Fender pickups. Bjorn, correct me if I’m wrong. The SSL-5 wasn’t added until his 1978 solo album. The over-wound Fat 50’s probably weren’t invented yet. So I am guessing that the new Signature Black Strat is only good at recreating the tone used for The Wall. I’m sure David wanted a guitar that covers everything, because he plays everything, but for the actual album versions, you should go buy some stock Fender 69-71 pups. On last detail is that the Black Strat from DSOTM up to The Wall had a rosewood neck, giving it a slightly deeper/darker tone than the previous and current maple neck would.

    But hey, Red vs. Black… doesn’t matter. To each their own. I prefer the current version of the guitar, simply because I like the look of a maple neck on the black guitar; although, the all-black Black Strat is growing on me. I also think the new version of the Black Strat has a killer tone! Gdansk and ‘Remember That Night’ sold me on the tone. Gilmour is Gilmour. Give him a Peavy Predator and he could make it fucking sing. Shit, he could probably rock the balls of a First Act guitar. I always joke that the first act with a First Act guitar would be to take it back! :)

    [The current neck and middle pickups were installed in 1972, when David took the bridge assembly from another Strat that he had. These are marked 1971, which means that he used the stock ’69 pickups on Pompeii. Still, I doubt that there’s much difference between the two. The Duncan SSL1 was installed just prior to the Wall tour in late ’79 and wasn’t used on the Wall album – David had a DiMarzio FS1 bridge pickup between 1976-79. The SSL1 was custom wound by Duncan, which today makes it closer to a SSL5, hence the choice for the Signature Strat. For the authentic 1970-75 tones I’d go for a CS69 set. – Bjorn]

  25. Randall Yeager says:

    I got Phil Taylor’s ‘Black Strat’ book last week (2nd Edition). Great book, but more for a fan than someone looking for tips and tricks, but an interesting read nonetheless. I think that since the most likely person to buy the book would also be a guitarist, some more in-depth tech. info would have been nice. Perhaps, a third edition is coming down the pipeline.

    I was surprised by something I found in the book, and maybe Bjorn or someone else knows what I am about to ask. Does anyone else think that all the extra wood that was removed for the humbucker would give the guitar a more resonant, or semi-hollowbody type sound? I wonder if the relic version also has all that would so hastily removed.

    I’m building a new guitar and I am wondering if anyone has experience with Seymour Duncan’s Five-Two pickups (for Strat). I like the concept, just wonder about tone. I am thinking of using one in middle position, which is a position I rarely use to begin with. Anyone have any recommendations on a good mid pup? I liked the Fender CS 69 I used to have in mid position, but I am looking for something a bit different. I have actually been considering the mid pickup used in the Eric Johnson signature Strat.

    [I’m not sure if the bigger cavity makes any difference. I would assume so but I’ve also read comments saying that it doesn’t. – Bjorn]

  26. Robbie says:

    Maybe someone who owns one can chime in for this. I’m really curious what setup Gilmour uses as far as neck relief and overall action. I know how I like mine but would like to try his. Thanks

    [Judging by closeups of his guitar I would say the action is pretty standard. Perhaps slightly higher than what’s recommended by Fender to be able to bend properly. It’s really impossible to be sure without having examined the guitar. – Bjorn]

  27. jaime says:

    I still prefer the red strat sound, just lisen shine on version on pulse vs gdansk. pulse version sounds way better than the new dvd, funny ´cause dave recorded the whole disc with the black.
    red strat = gilmour´s
    black= floyd´s

  28. jude says:

    Thanks Lucas for the info, and the song reference was cool. Makes me proud of my name

  29. Alex - New York says:

    thanks for the video! after seeing it i went to guitar center and gave it a go…all i can is that they nailed it! fender custom shop did a marvelous job, all the details and all…and it played very nice…extremely fun to play, i think i was sitting there for well over an hour playing all my favorite Floyd songs etc. is it worth the 5 grand? i dont know, but if i had 5 grand to spend i might consider it! so yes i do envy you because you have it! rock on man, treat it nicely, it is a BEAUTIFUL guitar…Bjorn have you experienced it yet? Great video once again and thanks for sharing..-alex

  30. Lucas says:

    Hey Jude (no pun intended =D), I think jeff beck didn’t use a fuzz face, he just used a Fender amp and a Colorsound Power Booster as he explains in this video.

  31. jude says:

    Greetings Bjorn

    I’ve recently listened to alot of the early floyd when David arrived. I’ve grown to like that peircing, sharp but warm fuzz tone. I wanted to know if you think that a fuzz face would also be good for early Jeff Beck stuff. He gets alot of sustain on songs like Becks Bolero, and it sounds like Dave’s early tone.

    [I’m really not that familiar with Beck’s work. Anyone? – Bjorn]

  32. Josh says:

    Hi Bjorn;

    I wasn’t calling you a hater in my comment, of course! =) I was just commenting on the negative response this guitar is getting from a lot of people – it has surprised me.

    To reply to the above comment about the guitar not having Gilmour’s signature on it – I actually agree with that, and am glad it does not – after all, the original black strat doesn’t have one! It seems more realistic without it, to me.


    [I was only joking :) I think that people has to view this guitar as any other guitar. Just because it’s based on David’s doesn’t mean that you’ll instantly love it. Some people prefer these vintage necks and others think they’re like baseball bats. You can’t get disappointed in Fender that didn’t make the guitar you wanted. – Bjorn]

  33. Rick Cash says:

    Just picked up my NOS black strat and I must admit……..I was blown away! The pickups sound absolutely fantastic! Cranked through my Hiwatt DR103 it sings! Over the moon with it! I was suprised to hear just how much resonance the guitar produced, even acoustically this sounds special. Don’t forget people this is a custom shop guitar, only the best materials are used and this all adds up to a big difference.

    I also have a cream USA stratocaster with custom shop 69 pickups (See gear gallery) and an unfinished V-shape neck. On an AB test of the two guitars you and really hear the difference. The SSL-5 in the DG strat has allot more bite and sustain. The fat 50 is nice and smooth with very chunky tones and the whole guitar just feel more alive.

    I believe a big part of this is due not only too the wood used but also the finish on the guitar its self. Some advice for those planning on building there own, get a nitrocellulose finished body! It really does make a difference.

    The neck was ok for me as my main guitar before this one was a 52 Telecaster with a one piece U-shaped neck so the C profile is not uncomfortable at all.

    Its the first time a have used a shortened trm arm and it really does feel comfortable and give you a lot more control.

    The price is not realistic for every one and that is fine. As Bjorn had shown in many articles you can pick up very high quality guitars and components to modify them for a fraction of the price. However I truly believe that you would have to spend a small fortune to build a guitar of as high quality as this one, so why not just spend a small fortune on the real one ;)

    O one last thing…. Not sure if this has been mentioned and I have missed it but for all of you lucky enough to see Gilmour at Cagdon Hall a few months ago performing Atom Heart Mother ( i was one of them!) David was using a prototype Relic DG Strat! This was confirmed by a friend of mine that went to Abby road for the official launch of the guitar here in the UK.

    Did any one notice??? ;)

    PS – Ill send you an updated gear pics soon Bjorn.


    [Thanks for the little review. Congrats with the guitar! I think we talked about the Atom Heart gig in an earlier post… Sure would like to have been there :) – Bjorn]

  34. PascalGrandMaison says:

    Just want to had this negative comment :
    They should at best make Gilmour sign the PhilTaylor book, or at least, make a stamp with the DG signature on the guitar, like in the back of the headstock.

    With all peoples around making them their own RELIC, having the signature on it would have been more official.


  35. PascalGrandMaison says:

    Hi all of you Gilmour fans !
    I have to say that i have my own RELIC model in hand actually and it’s the best of all my 4 Strats. I have one ’69 cream, one ’74 black (wich i’ve modified like THE BLACK STRAT in 2006, one ’86 Candy Apple red with EMG DGilmour on it, CONCLUSION : I’M a big, if not the biggest Gilmour fan.

    Ok now that this is said, i just want to tell you that, all the matter in a guitar is the quality, the sound and the feeling. Mine is so deadly a great guitar. I’m so happy to have it. The acoustic of it is so great and full sustain, the neck feels just right, the electronics sounds really great and Gilmouresque. Great job from Custom shop, thanks.

    BUT :
    It is so right that anybody can make a great BLACK STRAT of his own, and maybe can be better than the one that DavidGilmour own himself. (outch) But making you one, and having the CustomShop Tribute one, is two different things. I know exaclty what i’m saying, because i’ve made my own BLACK STRAT a couple of years ago, and I wanted to have the official CustomShop one. It’s like collecting great gear that makes me closer to god Gilmour…

    Finaly, for those who think having this guitar will make them sound like DG, you’ve havent understand anything at all ! The sound of DG is IN HIS HAND. That’s it that’s all. Remember, you can give him a Ukulele and it’s still sound like Gilmour… pgm

  36. Josh says:

    Well, even though there have been a lot of haters out there… I bought one. My NOS Gilmour arrived yesterday, and I have to say – it is stunning.

    I’ve been playing in a Floyd Tribute act for a while now, and so of course I’ve had a home-built strat to copy David’s (an 89 strat body with a Clapton strat neck). It’s been great – but I just had to have the real thing.

    Unlike collectors, of course, mine will be put to work as a real honest-to-god working and touring instrument – which I think makes it a lot more legit to own the signature model =)

    As for first impressions – it looks great, and is very _very_ well put together. The neck isn’t my favourite – a touch shallow for me… But I’ll deal :D The finish actually seems fine and very nice; I’m not sure what people are complaining about.

    I can hardly wait for rehearsal tonight to plug ‘er into the ol’ Hiwatt.

    As for recommendations, well… If you’re just a hobbyist, feel free to make your own. If you’re a working musician, especially one who is in a Floyd act, this is a fine guitar to have – but that doesn’t mean you can’t make your own if that’s what floats your boat =)

    [I don’t know if I would call my self a hater… Congratulations with the guitar! – Bjorn]

  37. Liam says:

    Hi Bjorn

    Just wanted to say thanks for the advice I have decided to stick with my strat I agree it is very personal to me and I dont know what I would do if I did not have it so thanks for that advice I’ve modifyed it on the DG strat you see today with the 59v neck and a black pickguard I will be adding my own pickups preferably 69’s because I like the sound I was wondering were you get that bridge for your strat the one that has the shortened tremolo it would make using it more easy for me :] aand how much does it cost thanks

    [I’m using a Vintage S bridge from Callaham Vintage Guitars. It comes with a shortened tremolo arm. See their site here and read my review here. – Bjorn]

  38. Max from Italy says:

    Wow! I’d like to hear it playing! ;)

    However, I think this: if you have enough money and you can afford to invest some in this guitar, well just do it. Maybe one day it wil become priceless.

    For all the others (like me ;P), just build your own… Every guitar should fit his player like a glove, so build it up and play, play, play until the REAL scratches and bumps come up!

    This is my 2 cents, peace to everyone! ;)


  39. comfortably_numb says:

    makes me wish i was rich…lol.such gorgeous instrument.i told my wife about the DG reissue and how much i wanted one…then i told her the price and she almost fainted.si ive settled wth my 300 dollor vintage sss squier strat….waaahhhhh!

  40. Mark USA Made says:

    Graet post and insite from all..
    Great web site Too
    Wish I could afford to just Donate…
    Grace Peace and Love To All

    [Thanks! Glad you enjoy the site :) – Bjorn]

  41. Dean says:

    Does anyone know if DG has recently changed the black pickguard on his strat?

    The reason I ask is that during the Dark Side documentary and at Live8, the pickguard can clearly be seen as not fitting closely around the neck pocket. You can see the sections that were cut away when the Charvel neck was installed.

    I’m not absolutely certain, but in every shot I’ve seen of the DG sig model, it looks like this (admittedly small) detail has been missed. Very odd when they’ve gone to the trouble of recreating the filled XLR hole etc.

  42. Kev Tom says:

    I have to admit to being gutted when the prices for the DG strat were announced. I’d set my heart on owning one for such a long time, hoping that it wold be as “affordable” as was alluded to for months before its release.

    But as iconic as DG and his Black Strat are, I can’t justify the cost.

    A modded MIM 50’s Strat will do me just fine, thanks.


  43. Liam says:

    Hi Bjorn the websites awsom by the way i go on it nearly all the time

    I have been looking at the David Gilmour relic strat with interest and excitement. I would love to buy one in the future do you know if its a limited run and will it still be around my interests are entirely on the relic not on the NOS version. Thats not to say I havent been doing some DIY to my own strat I wanted to make my strat into a DG strat for a wile just w8ing for the rest of the parts as I started it from my Fender Mexican Strat. And the Black Strat book which I own after reading your review on it I was flicking through the many versions of it it to see which one i liked the best it most probably is the one funny enough from the wall era when he was on stage with the charvel neck and the seymore duncan which he added during his live performances of the wall so i might be modding my strat on those secs but back to the relic. I was wondering when you buy It I dont assume many people play it much cause of some sort of faze like they dont want to touch it but Im a person who will play the instrument excessivly because thats what i bought it for in my opinion but this would show some wear with it do you think that could be the reason these peeople just leave them on the stand play once then thats it or is the guitar more durable than im putting it out to be. Whats your opinion should I go for it in the future will they still be around or stick with my wall era modified strat and just what is your opinion

    [My personal opinion is, as I’ve stated many times, that I’d rather make my own DG Strat… which I have. Again, I wouldn’t mind having one of these DG Signature Strats but I’m not going to go all the way and buy one. Whether or not you should must be up to you but the way I see it is that a guitar is very personal and I want something that I’m comfortable with. Perhaps it would have been a different situation if I didn’t have a guitar that I loved or if I were to buy my first Strat… I don’t know. I’m dying to try one of these though… and I recommend strongly that you try one before decide. The fact that it’s a Gilmour Strat doesn’t have to mean that you like the guitar… – Bjorn]

  44. Brad says:

    Thanks for the video.

    I can’t believe all the scratches! I would send that thing back!
    JUST KIDDING of course.

    I hate to say it, but when that strat came out and they announced the price, I decided to build my own to my liking and when he opened that case in the video, guess what, it looks just like mine and I have a couple extra thousand in my pocket. In addition, I LOVE the soft V neck on mine instead of the C. To each his own I guess.

    Now if I could only make mine sound like David’s…….


    [Well… that’s always the case isn’t it. Why can’t they make a guitar or pedal that makes you play just like David???? LOL! I would bring the guitar back and claim that it sucks because it doesn’t play like David… :) – Bjorn]

  45. João J. Francisco says:

    Thanks Bjorn! Now I saw what I thought is could be impossible for to see in my life!!

    It’s an impressive piece of art!

  46. Jared says:

    Hi, Bjorn

    Unfortunately, I was NOT able to give it a go plugged into an amp. I spent ten minutes or so strumming it quietly unplugged. I could probably go back and do that in the coming days… I feel really bad saying this but, the general consensus around the music store was (my guitar instructor knows the guy that owns the store, and that’s how I was allowed to get my hands on the DG NOS) It ain’t all that great… for the PRICE. It’s a really GOOD guitar, but there were other custom shop models available that were cheaper and played better…

    It’s all subjective though. I’m now very curious to see how it would compare to your guitar… what I keep hearing is, the 1983 ’57 RI neck was not the best of the RI necks… subsequent years were better. I can say, that the DG neck actually felt similar to the CIJ ’68 RI neck… Maybe your neck is better?

    BTW, eagerly awaiting your POD X3 LIVE review… could you give us a sneak preview??? Maybe??? ;)

    [Well, I’m sure that the DG Strat beats the hell out of my CIJ quality-wise but it would be interesting to check out the differences between the two. I have a V neck on mine, which would be different and I’m very eager to compare the stock bridge with the Callaham. Hopefully they’ll get one soon here in Oslo too.
    I’m working on the POD review (it’s a X3 red bean actually) but I need to make more patches… Cheers! – Bjorn]

  47. Jared says:

    Hi, guys

    Before anyone drools over the DG strat and decides to drop thousands of dollars on it… I HIGHLY HIGHLY suggest you get your hands on one and try it first before your buy….

    I played the NOS model the other day… Even though it’s a well made guitar, it wasn’t exactly easy playing. The neck was tough… and the finish on the neck was thick. I would imagine some players may not find it very comfortable to play… I wasn’t knocked out… especially for what it costs.

    It sure LOOKS cool though…

    [I’ve read similar reports. People seems to dislike the neck and finish especially. I prefer these kinds of necks though and I would imagine that with time the neck finish will feel smoother. It’s like any guitar really. Either you like it or not. Did you get to try the pickups? Any difference from what you expected? – Bjorn]

  48. TQuay says:

    Look Guys this is Sad,

    I have been very grateful to find this site because I have been fascinated by the incredible sounds of Pink Floyd for sometime and it can be difficult to find good advice anywhere on how to do so but when it sinks into pathetic obsessions it has lost its spirit. Of course it is the mission of a David Gilmour site to show a product with his name attached but it is saddenng to praise the job they did in making holes in the fucking guitar to match what David did to his. Do any of you have any idea how many million of gallons/liters of water is wasted each year washing designer jeans to make them look old. Who cares? They are not going to last longer in fact just the opposite. You are all missing the point drooling over Fenders new overpriced offering. It is the sound that is important. So what does this guitar have that I couldn’t find elsewhere? I am building a custom guitar at this time and as long as I use many of the quality components, such as 69 pickups and a Callham bridge and EA cables, I should be in the ballpark for $1,200USD and not $4,000. What I have liked about this site is it instructs us to keep things simple and buy only essential items that will really make a difference in sound-for that’s all there is.

    Stop and think a minute. Isn’t it Water’s lyrics like in Have a Cigar and Comfortably Numb that give a human outrage to being treated like a material object that give it the spirit they have? Just like Gilmour’s song “What Do You Want From Me?” (maybe not the actual title as I’m not as familiar with post Pink Floyd Gilmour as others) stop being obsessed fans and start being musicians. Monet painted in the style of his heroes at first and then launched out into his own. I see that is what I need to do too.

    [Hmmm… I think you’ve completely misunderstood. If you’d put more effort in reading other posts about David’s Signature Strat on this site you would have discovered that I, among others, are not a big fan of signature Strats and like you I much rather make my own – which is what I’ve done and years before Fender decided to do something about it. I can’t see the point in buying a guitar with someone else’s specs but that’s doesn’t mean I can’t marvel on the details and look of the new guitars. Do you think Monet stopped liking others painting just because he found his own style? This is a hobby but it’s a hobby that doesn’t stand in the way of discovering our own musical style. Does one have to stop collecting stamps if one is asked by the post office to make one?
    Yes, Cigar and Numb deals with people being treated like objects and the whole urge for money and materialism. But who has toured the world for the last 9 years earing figures that none of us can even begin to imagine?
    – Bjorn]

  49. Sylvain says:

    Some little nice videos about David’s guitars and his way of playing.


  50. Mark says:


    I want one so badly!

    Just a pity I can’t afford one at the moment :(

    It’ll be well worth the wait though when I can save up the money for one ;)

  51. Marcello Sperandeo says:

    Looks like a stunner.
    I can only hope that I will own one someday…
    Very detailed…
    Love all the little extras too!
    Can’t wait to hear what it actually sounds like…

  52. Collin says:

    Very cool video. Seems like an incredible guitar. I wouldn’t mind having one…

  53. Ørjan says:

    Nice clip cant wait for the other ones he said he would borrow a better camera for the next vid!!!

  54. bernhard says:

    I agree, the scratches look very well made indeed, especially the xlr hole. I wouldn’t have expected it to be otherwise though. impeccable job for sure. watching this though, as cool as it looks as a relic, I won’t regret one single bit to have ordered the NOS model.

    thanks for sharing this video, I am very very much looking forward to this guitar. I guess opening the case for the first time on my own I will just sit very still and stare at it for 10 minutes or so… hahaha ;)).