Fender srv

Number One (also known as Vaughan’s ‘First Wife’) was a ’62/’63 Fender Stratocaster used by Vaughan for most of his career; it was “rebuilt more times than a custom Chevy.” Vaughan always claimed it was a 1959 model, since that date was written on the back of the pick-ups; Rene Martinez, who maintained the guitar since 1980, saw the year 1963 stamped in the body and 1962 on the neck. The guitar was given to him by the owner of Ray Henning’s Heart of Texas music shop in Austin, Texas in 1973, it was his main performing instrument and companion. Vaughan used the guitar on all four of his studio albums and on Family Style.

“Number One” had a neck relief of .012″ at the 7th and 9th frets, and leveled out through the remainder of the fingerboard. The fingerboard radius when new would have been 7.25 inches as were all pre CBS curved fingerboard Fenders but SRV’s guitar ended up after many refrets and sanding of the fingerboard as 10″ and used Dunlop 6100 fretwire. String height was measured to be 5/64″ on the high E string and 7/64″ on the low E string. Each string had 3 full winds for the best angle at the bone nut.

Neck [edit]

The original neck has a fairly thick D shaped profile. It was not as sometimes stated a “D” width nut (D width was 178 inch – the standard width was B which is 158 – SRV’s guitar had a standard B width of nominally 158). The nut width letter was stamped on the end of the neck on Fender guitars from March 1962. It had a curved rosewood fingerboard and was refretted so often that, after a while, it could not be refretted anymore. Martinez replaced it with the neck from “Red” (see below); this neck was destroyed when a piece of stage rigging fell on it. After Vaughan’s death, the original neck was reinstalled on Number One, and both are now in the possession of Jimmie Vaughan.

Fender signature model [edit]

A Stevie Ray Vaughan signature Stratocaster, based on “Number One”

Vaughan collaborated with Fender for an Artist Signature model, based on Number One; already in the works at the time of Vaughan’s death, his brother Jimmie asked for the process to be sped up and the guitar became available in 1992. To achieve the sound Vaughan wanted, builder Larry Brooks put 600 windings on the pickups. Besides adding to the number of windings, the polarity of the middle pickup was reversed to eliminate hum. The signature Strat has an alder body with a maple neck and pau ferro fingerboard, and comes equipped with .010-.046 strings (lighter than Vaughan’s); it was praised by Guitar Player for its neck and “juicy tone”: “the SRV is one of the coolest Strats we’ve ever played.”

Leave a Reply