US music retail giant Guitar Center have somehow managed to unite the fretted avengers for their 2019 Crossroads collection, curating select models from Gibson, Martin, PRS and Fender to celebrate the legacy of three seminal blues shredders.
The collection features a range of replications of famous guitars used by John Mayer, Carlos Santana and Eric Clapton over their illustrious careers, with a large portion of the proceeds going towards Clapton's Crossroads Centre in Antigua to assist in substance abuse rehabilitation. While you'll have to take a trip to the States to grab one of these incredible guitars, we still reckon it's probably worth it if you're a super fan. Check out each model below.
One of the most notable inclusions in the collection is the Fender Custom Shop Eric Clapton Blind Faith Telecaster, built by none other than Todd Krause. This one replicates a distinctively modified Telecaster favoured by Clapton in his Blind Faith days, and features a Brownie-style Stratocaster neck bolted onto a sunburst Telecaster body.
Gibson are also tipping their hat to Clapton with the launch of the Gibson Custom Eric Clapton 1964 Firebird I, modeled on the Firebird favoured by the British bluesman throughout his tenure in Cream and Blind Faith. Each Eric Clapton 1964 Firebird I guitar is fitted with a recently developed Alnico V Firebird pickup to replicate the hot output of the original, and features a backplate signed by Clapton himself.
There's also an exclusive Martin 000-42EC Crossroads Ziricote included in the collection, which adds a number of enhancements to the original 000-42 shape. This guitar, based on Clapton's own acoustic of choice, features a 000-14 fret body, Sitka Spruce Vintage Tone System top (VTS is an artificial aging process) and Ziricote back and sides. The guitar also includes a titanium truss-rod which combines the light weight of a 1930’s instrument with the adjustability of modern technology.
In addition to acknowledging Clapton, Martin and Guitar Center are also celebrating John Mayer's contributions to guitar with the Martin 00-42SC John Mayer Crossroads, adding a number of updates to the original Stage Coach shape to offer something special to the 2019 Crossroads collection. This one boasts a lavish sunburst finish, cocobolo back and sides and a certificate of authenticity signed by Mayer and Martin.
Last, but certainly not least, Guitar Center are highlighting seminal blues fusion guitarist and famed Rob Thomas associate with the Paul Reed Smith Private Stock Carlos Santana Crossroads model. This one actually replicates one of the instruments built by Smith for Santana way back in the early '80s, with specifications include a pre-’85 body shape and headstock (with eagle inlay), 24 1/4” scale, 24-fret Brazilian Rosewood fretboard, bird inlays, HFS and Santana humbuckers, and twin mini-switches for coil tapping. Only six of these instruments will be made and each will come with a certificate of authenticity signed by Carlos Santana.
Check out the collection in its entirety at Guitar Center.