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Fender launches David Gilmour Black Strat

After years of waiting, it's arriving

David Gilmour's iconic 'Black Strat' Fender Stratocaster has been integral to numerous Pink Floyd songs. And after nearly two years of rumours, Fender has just confirmed it will be released as a signature model on 22 September 2008.

The Black Strat has featured on numerous Pink Floyd albums such as Dark Side Of The Moon, Wish You Were Here and The Wall. It has also played a major part in David Gilmour's solo projects including, notably, his 2006 Number 1 album On An Island.

Says Gilmour, "I told Fender that it was just an ordinary Strat that I bought at (New York guitar shop) Manny's, but I must say they've done a great job of recreating it."

As usual with this type of replica, Fender has worked with Gilmour, plus his long-standing guitar technician Phil Taylor, on ensuring accuracy. Gilmour's guitar tone – and it's this guitar that is behind his archetypal sound - was recently voted the greatest ever by Guitarist magazine.

Guitarist editor Mick Taylor says: "Around 2.37 into Pink Floyd's 1979 cut Comfortably Numb, David Gilmour hits a handful of notes that cement his symbiosis with the Fender Stratocaster.

"This guitar has been a while in the making, but it's great to see him join Strat masters including Eric Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Hank Marvin with his name atop a Signature Series guitar."

Attention to detail

The Black Strat features the same maple neck, black pickguard, shortened tremolo arm and custom electronics as Gilmour's original. It comes in a custom black case (made by G&G) with a centre pocket, plush green lining and 'Fender Custom Shop David Gilmour Model' embroidery.

"I told Fender that it was just an ordinary Strat that I bought at Manny's, but I must say they've done a great job of recreating it." David Gilmour

You also get a copy of The Black Strat, the book written by guitar tech Phil Taylor which traces the history of the guitar (originally bought from Manny's Music in New York in May 1970), plus GHS David Gilmour Signature strings. You even get an Evidence Audio guitar cable (Gilmour's preferred brand), a deluxe Fender guitar strap and a David Gilmour plectrum.

Two models, affordable prices?

The Gilmour Black Strat comes in two versions:

The Relic
This replicates the Black Strat as it is today with aged parts and worn paint, plus all the wear and tear of David's heavily used 30-year-old guitar – with no backplate. (Editor's note: the spec details say "30-year-old", when it's obviously nearer 40.)

The New Old Stock model
This replicates the Black Strat as it is now – but with all-new parts, 'new' paint finish and an additional white plastic backplate. The NOS model will be cheaper.

It's in retail outlets from 22 September 2008, but prices are yet to be confirmed.

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