David Gilmour’s red Stratocaster

For many fans, David Gilmour’s red Stratocaster is as iconic as the Black Strat. The guitar defines the look and sound of the post Waters era Pink Floyd. In this feature we’ll look at the origins and performance history of the red Stratocaster.

David Gilmour pictured playing the 1983 candy apple red 57 reissue Stratocaster during the 1994 Division Bell tour.

One of the first memories I have of discovering Pink Floyd was watching their performance at Knebworth on TV in 1990. David played the red Stratocaster and I remember thinking that this was probably the finest guitar and tone I’d ever heard.

I got to see Pink Floyd perform in Oslo, Norway, on the 1994 Division Bell tour. That whole era is very special to me, with the release of Division Bell and Pulse and David playing that red Stratocaster. Everything came together just as I was starting to play guitar and experiment with tone.

While the Black Strat seemed like an illusive thing of the past, the red Stratocaster was still current in the late 90s and early 2000s and easier to research, mainly through magazine articles and interviews. However, and ironically perhaps, the last pieces of its origins came to place with the sale of the guitar in 2019.

1984 January – The new Fender guitars

David and his long-time technician Phil Taylor, visited the Fender Warehouse in Einfield, Middlesex, England, in January 1984 and tried a bunch of the new reissue guitars from the Fender Fullerton factory.

The three main 1983 57 reissue Stratocasters David bought in January 1984. The candy apple red, the vintage white or cream and the sunburst. All three shown with EMG SA pickups and the sunburst with an additional Roland pickup.

David stated in an interview with International Musician in August 1984, that he didn’t want to bring his old guitars on the road for the upcoming About Face tour. He did however, use the Black Strat for several songs on the tour.

They ended up with at least seven guitars

  • A candy apple red 57 reissue Stratocaster
  • A vintage white 57 reissue Stratocaster (referred to as Cream #1 – main guitar on the 1984 About Face tour and first half of the 1987-90 A Momentary Lapse of Reason tour)
  • A fiesta red 62 reissue Stratocaster (used extensively on the 1984 About Face tour and later performances in 1985-86)
  • A butterscotch 52 reissue Telecaster (used for Run Like Hell on the 1987-90 A Momentary Lapse of Reason tour).

David also acquired some lesser known guitars from the same batch

  • A sunburst 57 reissue Stratocaster (used on Live Aid 1985)
  • A black Elite Stratocaster (heavily modified with Khaler tremolo system and Charvel 22 fret birds eye maple neck as a backup for the Black Strat)
  • A black 57 reissue Stratocaster (later fitted with Kinman HX pickups and used by Tim Renwick on the 1994 Division Bell tour, Phil Manzanera on the 2006 On and Island tour and John Carin on the 2015-16 Rattle That Lock tour).

Fender 1982-85 American Vintage Reissue series

By the early 80s Fender began to realise that the 70s had been disastrous for the company. Other guitar companies were starting to make copies of the Fender guitars that were superior to their own, which obviously was not good for business.

The 1982-85 two tone sunburst 57 reissue Stratocaster, with original case and extras.

The new line of vintage reissues were starting to appear in late 1982, although not fully realised and distributed until late 1983. The line ran up to 1985, when CBS pulled out of Fender. The vintage reissue project became the forerunner to the later Fender Custom Shop.

All guitars were faithful to the originals, with original body and neck contours, nitro lacquer and vintage style hardware and pickups. The only obvious upgrade on the Stratocaster, was the 5-way pickup selector. The original 50s and 60s models had a 3-way pickup selector, with obvious limitations for the modern player.

According to project manager Dan Smith, the reason for making 57 Stratocasters and not 54 or 56, was basically because 57 seemed to have been a defining year in American art and pop culture.

David Gilmour’s #1 red

David Gilmour’s candy apple red Stratocaster is often listed as 1984 (including the original paperwork for the purchase), although a late 1983 would probably be more accurate, given that the guitar was purchased in England in January 1984 and had to be shipped from the US.

The red Stratocaster original specifications 1983

  • Fender 1983 alder body with candy apple red finish
  • Fender 1983 57 reissue maple neck with 7.25” radius fingerboard and 21 vintage style frets
  • Gotho vintage style tuning machines
  • Fender 50s reissue single coils
  • 1-ply white pickguard
  • 5-way pickup selector
  • Fender synchronised tremolo bridge with normal size arm

The red Stratocaster specifications 1985 – present

  • Fender 1983 alder body with candy apple red finish
  • Fender 1983 57 reissue maple neck with 7.25” radius fingerboard and 21 vintage style frets
  • Gotho vintage style tuning machines
  • EMG SA single coils
  • EMG SPC and EXG active tone controls
  • 1-ply white pickguard
  • 5-way pickup selector
  • Shortened tremolo arm to 4.25”
All four photos above show close-ups of David Gilmour’s red Stratocaster taken March 2022. All images are used with permission from current owner.


David Gilmour has been using GHS strings since the Wall era in the early 80s. The set is a custom selection with gauges 10, 12, 16, 28, 38, 48.

1984 March – About Face

The guitar is used for a promotional shot for About Face in March 1984. The picture shows the guitar prior to any modifications.

David did not use the guitar for the About Face tour between March and July 1984.

1985 July 13 – Live Aid and the EMG pickups

The red Stratocaster made its stage debut on July 13th 1985 during Live Aid at Wembley Stadium, London, England.

The 1983 candy apple red 57 reissue Stratocaster on an early 1984 promotional shot for About Face in its original form, with 50s era reissue pickups (left). David performing with Bryan Ferry at the Live Aid concert in Hyde Park London on July 13th 1985. The red Stratocaster is now modified with EMG SA pickups, EXG and SPC active tone controls and David’s custom shortened tremolo arm.

David played guitar with Bryan Ferry and started out with a 1983 sunburst 57 reissue, which failed during the first song, Sensation. David swapped the sunburst with the red, which he used for the remainder of the set.

The guitar can be seen sporting EMG SA single coils, replacing the original 50s reissue pickups. The setup also featured the SPC and EXG active tone controls.

The original tremolo arm was replaced by a custom shortened 4.25” arm.

EMG SA pickups

EMG had been making active noiseless pickups since the late 70s. The SA single coils (Single coil Alnico magnets) feature alnico 5 magnets, internal shielding, a low impedance preamp and 9V battery powering.

According to David Gilmour, the reason for installing the SA pickups in his new 57 reissue Stratocasters (the red, the vintage white / cream and the sunburst), was to reduce or eliminate noise. Passive single coils and long cable runs were constantly picking up RF noise and hum from the ever growing light rigs and often, a recording studio was no better.

Active pickups will also drive the signal through large pedal and amp rigs, which certainly must have been a reason for David to use them.

Soundwise, the SAs are very similar to early Fender pickups and the 60s era in particular, with a bit more mid range and compression due to the slightly higher output.

While EMG recommends placing the pickups close to the strings, David preferred them as low as possible to emulate the output and tone of his passive single coils.

The 9V battery, which is required to power the pickups, is located in the back cavity of the red Stratocaster, next to the tremolo springs.

David also installed EMG active tone controls, the SPC boosting the lower mid range (400-500Hz) and the EXG, boosting the bass and treble frequencies.

David appear to have kept the EXG control low or off for most of his tones, while the SPC was often boosted slightly for solos in particular, anything between 2-7, allowing the tones to both cut through and sustain. For clean tones and milder overdrive, he appear to have kept the tone controls off or occasionally boosting the SPC slightly.

Surely, David would adjust the tone controls based on what he needed right then and there, depending on how the guitar sounded in the particular venue or studio.

By 2005 and the recording and touring of On an Island, David went back to his Black Strat favouring both its performance and tone, commenting that the EMGs “didn’t sound quite as Stratty in some ways”. (Guitarist 2006)

1985 October – Tremolo system

The guitar is fitted with a Dive Bomber Tremolo Upgrade system for better tuning stability. This is a kit featuring a graphite nut and string trees, saddles with roller nuts and high quality springs. The system was soon removed.

1986 – 87 – A Momentary Lapse of Reason

The red was used extensively during the 1986-87 recording sessions for Pink Floyd’s A Momentary Lapse of Reason, alongside a wide range of different guitars, including a Steinberger GL 3T.

1987-90 – A Momentary Lapse of Reason tour

David would use different guitars during the first leg of the 1987-90 A Momentary Lapse of Reason tour, favouring in particular the 1983 57 reissue vintage white / cream Stratocaster, also sporting EMG pickups and the shortened tremolo arm, and a 1981 Charvel Glendora, modified with an EMG H humbucker and shortened tremolo arm.

David Gilmour playing the 1983 candy apple red 57 reissue Stratocaster at Nassau Colisseum, New York, USA, in August 1988 during the filming of the concert album and video Delicate Sound of Thunder.

By early 1988, the red Stratocaster cements it self as David’s primary guitar for both stage and recording lasting up to 2005.

1988 February – Fryer modifications

While on tour with Pink Floyd in Sydney, Australia, in February 1988, guitar technician Greg Fryer performs repairs and modifications on the red Stratocaster, including maintenance on the frets and nut and carving out the cavity of the guitar to be able to lower the EMG pickups even more.

1990s – Guest appearances

The 90s saw David Gilmour doing numerous guest appearances on stage, albums and TV-shows. The red Stratocaster was used for most of them.

1993-94 – Division Bell

David used several different guitars for the Division Bell album, including a 1955 Gibson Les Paul Goldtop and a 50s Gretsch Chet Atkins. However, the red Stratocaster was the main guitar for the sessions and was used extensively on the album.

1994 – Pulse

The red Stratocaster is David’s main guitar for the 1994 Division Bell tour and recorded and filmed for the Pulse live album and concert film released in 1995.

For the tour, David wanted a back up guitar for his favoured red Stratocaster. They managed to track down an identical 1983 57 reissue at Charlie Chandler’s guitar shop in Hampton outside London, England. Apparently, the guitar used to belong to Humble Pie/Bad Company guitarist Mick Ralphs, who played rhythm guitar with David on the About Face tour.

2004 September – Strat Pack

David performed a 3 song set at the Strat Pack Fender 50th Anniversary show at Wembley Arena, London, England, on September 24th. The red Stratocaster was used for Sorrow, while the 0001 1954 Stratocaster was used for Marooned and Coming Back to Life. The show was released on DVD in 2005.

2005 July – Live 8

Pink Floyd reunited for a last time on July 2nd 2005 at the Live 8 concert in Hyde Park, London, England. David is seen using the red Stratocaster during rehearsals but favoured the Black Strat for the actual performance.

2006 – On an Island tour

David toured his new album, On an Island, between March and August 2006. By now, the Black Strat had regained its position as David’s main guitar. The red Stratocaster was used for one song only, Shine On You Crazy Diamond.

2006 August – Gdansk

David performed at the shipyard in Gdansk, Poland, on August 26th 2006 in front of 50.000 fans. This marks the last stage appearance of the 1983 57 reissue red Stratocaster. The show was released on audio and DVD in 2008.

2019 June – Christie’s Auction

On June 20th 2019 the red Stratocaster is sold for charity for a price of 650.000 US$ at the Christie’s David Gilmour Guitar Collection auction.

It is not known whether David Gilmour is still in possession of the second 1983 57 reissue red Stratocaster that he bought in 1993.

The Black Strat – A History of David Gilmour’s Black Fender Stratocaster by Phil Taylor
The David Gilmour Guitar Collection Christie’s auction catalog 2019 The Complete Pink Floyd – The Ultimate Reference by Glenn Povey
The Strat Chronicles by Tom Wheeler
International Musician (August 1984)
Guitar Player Magazine (1984)
Guitarist (2006)
Vintage Guitar Magazine (2004)
Kit Rae’s David Gilmour tone building site

93 Responsesso far.

  1. Andrew says:

    I can’t imagine what it’s like to touch THIS guitar that plays on PULSE and DIVISION BELL! The sound of which inspired so many people to start playing the guitar… It looks like David on two saddles E and B cut the screws that adjust the height of the saddles so as not to touch the hand! It would be great to have the same quality photo of the ENTIRE fretboard showing the state of the frets!!!

    • Hi. The first time I played the both the red and black strats, I completely forgot how to play. Was a really intense moment. I will be with the strat later this summer, I will get some pics of the fret board. It is really cool to see some of the wear. You can actually see where Davids favorite places to bend the strings.

  2. Sindre says:

    The second Red Strat was spotted at the Pink Floyd Exhibition in California 2021..
    The Bill Lewis was also on display

    • Bjorn says:

      Nice! And these are the originals? I’ve seen some claims that these were displayed as custom replicas. Seems to me that it says “spare” on the red Strat plaque, which certainly indicates that it’s the one bought in 1994.

  3. DefJef says:

    In that second pic of the guitar which shows a close up of the bridge end, the saddles look really snaggly and misaligned. Almost as though they are the wrong spacing. They seem to be fanning out. Look at how close that bottom E string nearly passes over the saddle height screw!

  4. Anonymous says:

    OK. Here is the story. I can tell you that I did not purchase the guitar, the person stated in the article at Fryer guitars is wrong, That person did not buy the guitar. The person that purchased the guitar wishes to remain anonymous. I simply know the person that bought the guitar.

  5. Hi all. Bjorn, is there any way you can contact me? Thank you.

  6. kevin says:

    i am working on building this guitar but cant find a 50’s strat body, only a 60’s one.
    is there a 50’s replacement strat body?
    thanks all.

    • Bjorn says:

      There are lots of outlets for Fender parts and check out Warmoth too.

    • Troy says:

      Did you get that guitar built?

      My main concern with starting out on such a noble goal would be that without that cobalt blue textured jumper (see the eight pic from the top) – which is complete unobtanium after the mid-80’s – (or similar threads exclusive to the 80’s/90’s period concerned) the desired tonal effect can never be reached & satisfaction will remain denied for eternity.

      I’ve heard that the main reason that DG parted ways with said guitar was that tonally it seemed to lose a certain “je ne sais quoi” when played without such attire. :D

      Cool guitar though for sure. Would be interesting to play through those specific active EMG pickups. I’ve tried the Clapton Strat with the active Noiseless pickups (not the earlier version with the Lace Sensors).

      Looks-wise the EMG’s remind me of the (non-active) Lace Sensor (gold lettering) pickups on my long lost early 90’s Fender Strat Plus (which was three-tone sunburst with a maple fingerboard – now that was one of my best playing guitars ever).

    • Mark Gardiner says:

      There are some Classic 50’s bodies in CAR. I ended up getting a PowerHouse Deluxe body as it has a compartment in back for the battery.

  7. Dennis says:

    This may seem like a trivial post amongst all the ones steeped in technical details about Mr Gilmour’s guitar and trying to duplicate it. I saw the Division Bell show at the Oakland Coliseum in 1994 and was simply blown away by David’s playing on that beautiful red strat. I went to Guitar Center in San Jose the following week and picked up a candy apple red MIJ strat that looked just like David’s to my eye. Still gorgeous to this day (and still playing it)!

  8. Johan Branting says:

    Let’s also not forget that the Red strat was played by Mark Knopfler in series 3, episode 6 of the comedy series “French and Saunders” in 1990! :D

  9. Anton says:

    Hi Bjorn! I have old EMG SA pickups with all the wires and 5-Switch, but looking at the DG-20 panel – I can see there’s a main board. What’s the exact purpose of it? Is it for the SPC EXG? I don’t have any kind of main board in the old set and I can’t find out is there supposed to be one. As well as I can’t find the detailed info about Red Strat’s scheme.

    • Bjorn says:

      Oh… I’m horrible with electronics. Sorry… Anyone?

    • Drew Blackwood says:

      The board holds the circuitry for the SPC and EXG and acts like a bus board (you plug everything into the circuit board rather than the 5-way switch in modern EMG setups). There’s no benefit to it and there are a few drawbacks. I think anyone looking for a Gilmour setup is better off with a standard SA kit and seperate SPC and EXG pots.

    • Dollar Store Gilmour says:

      I believe it’s for connecting the pickups and for the tone controls, but i’m not sure

  10. José Miguel Guimarães says:

    Hi Bjorn!
    Do you know if the 7.25” C-shaped nitro lacquered vintage tint maple neck is made in USA or in Mexico?

    Many Thanks


    • Bjorn says:

      What neck? Do you have a link?

    • sindre19999 says:

      The Vintage tint necks you see online new are mexican necks. I believe you are refering to the 50´s classic player with Vintage frets. I have this neck myself.
      All new USA maple does not have the vintage tint. You have to sand them down and tint them yourself or use other means to get the look.

  11. Emre Ayd?ner says:

    is it really THAT IMPORTANT to have emg’s for pulse tones? especially for coming back to life, another brick and sorrow tones on pulse? maybe for money too? i mean, is it “THAT” important? is there no way we can get the same liquid, smooth, warm, fat tone without emg’s but everything else? i mean i’m going crazy here i think :)) can’t get the tone with texas specials and every pedal you’ve recommended…

    • Bjorn says:

      Well, David’s playing those songs with the Black Strat as well and I think it sounds great :) The EMGs do add something different though but keep in mind too that his PULSE rig was very different from what he’s been traveling with for the past two decades. It depends on the amp too obviously. It’s the combination of Hiwatts and EMGs that makes up much of the PULSE tones. The SPC control is perhaps the most important feature, adding mid range. You can compensate by using pedals with more mid range or adding an EQ boosting the 400-500 range.

      • Emre Ayd?ner says:

        i see, thank you! i really am trying to nail (at least in my bedroom setup with your suggestions :)) without the emg’s. using amp mid on full (probably the stupidest choice), boosting the mids on logic, thinking of getting an ge-7 for mid boost…
        of course i’m talking about a bedroom setup with limited volume and maybe not the greatest equipments for my amp (cub 12r, mxr comp mini, green russian, bd-2, crayon, ce-2 rt-20, etc..), so yeah, if it was possible to get the tones with a budget of $2500-3000 (guitars, amps, aaaaallll the pedals and recording stuff), mr gilmour, (or you!) would’ve done it probably :)
        thanks for taking the time to answer, i’ll get my hands on the emg’s of course, but in the mean time, i’ll stick to what i have and try to improve my playing… not worry about the tones and stuff and definitely not buy any more pedals :)) i haven’t been jamming to tracks for 2 straight hours for like 5-6 months.
        btw, thank you for all your info on your site. you’re really one of my heroes! i think i’ve read everything on your site, including thousands of comments :)
        cheers from Turkey!

        • Bjorn says:

          Thanks for the kind words Emre! Doesn’t matter what kind of gear you have. Certainly it makes it easier the closer you get to David’s gear but what matters is that you know your gear and how to use it. I’ve always tried to stress the importance of this rather than buying a bunch of fancy stuff. Please check out this feature for some tips on getting great tones in a small bedroom.

  12. Bob says:

    Have you ever felt a Fullerton neck, either on an original one or a Gilmour custom shop reissue? How does the neck feel compared to a modern c; deciding between the two profiles for my custom shop strat. Cheers!

    • Bjorn says:

      Pointless for me to try to describe that as it is very subjective and a matter of taste. Try different necks and decide which one you like. Doesn’t really matter what I or David is using if you don’t like it :)

    • Sindre says:

      You can get one of these necks from Musickraft. They offer the 57´ V- Profile.
      They say this about it:
      “This is such a classic profile, and if you have ever had the pleasure of trying a neck like this, you’ll be hooked! Highly sought after, comfortable soft V that is simply legendary.”

  13. Tim Munsey says:

    I’m curious as to how David had the pick-up cavities deepend while the Floyd were on tour in Australia back in 1988.

    Any ideas?


  14. Do we know if he used era correct fret sizes? Or if he used larger sized frets?

    • Bjorn says:

      As far as I know, these necks are stock and not refretted.

      • Emerald Thief says:

        Hi, always great info on this site, thank you.
        Despite being ‘57 reissues it is stated the stock necks on these guitars were a C profile, instead of the era-correct V profile, and it doesn’t look like they used small vintage fret-wire on the close-up auction pics either. Did these 57 reissues not actually match true 50’s vintage specifications? Were they possibly ‘80s C profiles with med jumbo frets?

        • Bjorn says:

          According to the specs I’ve read, they had a 50s C neck contour with a 7.25″ radius. The frets were also vintage sized although I’m not sure whether they’re actually vintage specs or what we now call narrow/tall, which are slightly bigger.

  15. Branko says:

    Hi bjorn. Could you tell me delay settings (TDSOTM, WYWH, WALL) for flashback 2?

  16. Sam says:

    Hello Bjorn
    Do you know what bridge and saddles he used after her removed Dive Bomber Tremolo?
    Thoese dive bom he does in pulse are incredible. Almost sounds like he has a floyd rose!
    Any thoughts?

  17. Hadriel says:

    Great text, I would like to know the height of the strings relative to the frets, because bending a 7.25 arm can’t be done using low action … but it looks like it does

    • Bjorn says:

      Low action isn’t really a problem if you allow a very slight curve on the neck and that the string height follow the curve. If you have a dead flat 7.25 neck and don’t measure the bass and treble strings individually you’ll have a hard time doing those bends. I have my strings as low as possible but with enough relief to avoid buzz.

      • Hadriel says:

        What curve are you referring to? To relieve the Truss rod or adjust the strings following the radius of the neck? Even making the individual adjustment as low as possible, within a radius of 7.25 those strings are no less than 1.8mm. below that, they lock in the bends, and it looks like his action is much lower than that radius allows? Is that ray still original or has it already been modified?

        • Bjorn says:

          Sorry for the late reply. As I said, I don’t have any issues with bending on a 7.25″ neck. You need to relieve the truss slightly. Not much but just enough to have a slight curve. If you measure the strings on the 17th fret, I recommend that the bass strings are about 5/64 and the treble strings about 4/64.

  18. Krisztián says:

    oi! where is the battery compartment? thx.

  19. Jorge Rodriguez says:

    Hello! If you look closely at the Volume knob, you can see a blue marker arrow on the number 8. I have a replica of the Red Strat and I am guessing that David played the rhythm parts on 8 and cranked the volume knob up to ten for the solos (plus the Muff). I tried it on Time: Volume knob on 8, bridge and middle pickups and overdrive for rhythm. For the solo, volume at 10, bridge pickup and the Muff. The red Strat is my favorite. Congrats to the lucky buyer Muulva1. Hope to see more of the Red Strat

  20. Sindre says:

    If anyone been waiting for Phil Taylor´s book about the black Strat to come back in print, they are now avaliable on Amazon again in paperback (editions unknown)
    Has gone for over $100 on the second hand market

    • Ryan says:

      Good thing I checked the comments! Even though it’s paperback, I had to order it. It says the paperback is the Fourth Edition too. So we’ll see when it arrives. Thanks for the heads up!

  21. Robert says:

    i think you’re just above the happiest man on earth…
    Please… Post video of the red strat anywhere… Just say where… and I’ll be instantly in front of them to watch them…
    congratulations on your victorious auction.

    • Muulva1 says:

      Hi all. We are waiting for the guitar to be delivered. it should be received this week. As soon as we get it, I will post close ups of it. Also, please post any and all questions or comments. I will be more than happy to answer any and all of them. Thanks again!!

      • Bjorn says:

        Sounds great! Thanks! If you wish to share your pics here, please send to post*gilmourish.com and I’ll sort it out with a gallery :) – Bjorn

        • Muulva1 says:

          Hi. One other thing that I just noticed. In your description, you say that the Candy Apple red Strat is a 1983 V 57. According all the paper work, including the masking tape on the side of the guitar case that was supposedly written by Phil Taylor calls it a 1984 Strat, not 1983. Also the Christies catalogue calls it a 1984. I am not sure if I am reading the description right. Thanks

          • Bjorn says:

            Yes, I’ve seen that. As you mention, the catalog says 1984. My guess is that they’ve labeled it that because the guitar was bought in 1984. However, they bought in January and in the UK, so I’m guessing that the actual production at Fullerton is 1983. If you look at the history of these early 80s reissues, the CAR Strats were produced from 1983, while some sunbursts started to appear late 1982. Anyway, I’m rewriting the feature as we speak, so I’ll try to look into it some more.

  22. Phil Robinson says:

    Hello there,

    Firstly, congratulations on the purchase of the guitar that started my obsession with David Gilmour’s/Pink Floyd’s Music

    For a fret dress – the ONLY place I’d take *that* guitar is Charlie Chandler in Hampton Wick, SW London


    I think the best place where you can bring the guitar is Charlie Chandler guitar experience based in London. They restored the Black Strat too.

  24. Crimson says:

    I think that David does not own the Bill Lewis Guitar anymore. Seems like John Shanks has his fingers on it these days.


    • Bjorn says:

      That’s not David’s guitar. If you compare them, David’s doesn’t have the laquer wear and, his got toggle switches for the pickups. I guess this ad says that it’s a similar guitar. Not THE guitar. A bit misleading perhaps.

  25. Paul Duggan says:

    These days, when switching between these, the Black and the Gretsches, does David make adjustments to his pedals for EQ or volume variation? Or does he just let the guitars character come through his pedal setup?
    It would surprise me if the clean boost TD settings (for example) worked as well with the EMGs as the pickups in the Black.

    • Bjorn says:

      He tweaks his pedals all the time but I think that’s more a matter of adjusting to mood, venue and the dynamics of the band. He choose guitars for certain sounds so the pedals will fit well. Notice also that he rarely use high gain pedals with humbuckers and Teles but rather with Strats. The EMGs aren’t that much hotter than the vintage pickups in the Black Strat. He’s also using different compressor pedals, often combined, to balance and compensate.

  26. Simon Craddock says:

    Hi, do you know how he used the exp and spc controls. I’ve seen theres a little marker on the volume which I think would indicate his preferred volume level. I’m interested because when I turn mine up it starts getting a bit hissy when using hi gain

    • Bjorn says:

      It all depends on what pedals you use and what sort of boost you need for specific songs. He rarely cranked them so it’s minor adjustments to enhace the sustain or adding a bit of sparkle and it seemed to change every night depending on the venue and how his guitar sounded that night. If you turn them up past 4-5 there will be more noise as you’re boosting a certain frequency range. Make minor adjustments and listen if they’re actually needed. You don’t have to boost if your tones is already on spot :)

  27. Aaron Black says:

    Do we know the fretboard radius? I have an MIJ Strat from the mid-80s that’s a 50s reissue but has a 12″ fretboard radius. Just curious if the C-shaped neck came with a flatter fretboard.

  28. Matt says:

    Hi Bjorn,

    Do you know how David toggled the 5-way/7-way pickup configuration on the EMG-SA equipped guitars, and what sort of switch/button/toggle he used? I notice that particularly during the pulse tour/album, he uses bridge only, bridge & neck, and all three pickups together at various points, but I can’t seem to find any evidence of a switch or control on the guitar to flip between 5-way and 7-way pickup configurations.

    Many Thanks,


    • Bjorn says:

      Apparantly these 83 reissues came with 3-way switcher. I haven’t seen anything on David replcing that with a 5 way but he might have. What people used to do back in the days was that they found a sweetspot between each position which actually combined the pickups as a 5 way but I have no idea if David replaced it or how he did it. If you listen to Division Bell it sounds like he’s using a neck/middle combo on stuff like Coming Back to Life which might indicate that he replaced the stock 3 way with a 5 way. As far as I know he used the red on that track.

  29. Antonio says:

    How many springs does he use ? In which configuration?

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