Fender Stevie Ray Vaughn (SRV) Guitar

Fender Stevie Ray Vaughn (SRV) Guitar

Home > All GuitarsFender


This Guitar Is Available As A Fabulous Fake

Number One (also known as Vaughan's 'First Wife') was a Fender Stratocaster used by Vaughan for most of his career. It was originally claimed to be a 1959 model, but when making the Fender Stevie Ray Vaughan Number One Tribute Stratocaster, the Fender Custom Shop discovered the body was dated 1963. Therefore, it can rightly be called a 1963 Stratocaster. After purchasing the instrument in 1973 from Ray Henning's Heart of Texas music shop in Austin, Texas, it was his main performing instrument and companion. Vaughan made heavy use of the guitar on all five of his studio albums and on 'Family Style' - an album recorded with his brother Jimmie shortly before his death in 1990.

Soon after he got the guitar, Vaughan tried to change the guitar over to a 'left-handed' tremolo to imitate one of his idols, Jimi Hendrix. Because the quality of his 'transformation' was so poor, he went to a truck stop to find something to cover the giant hole he chopped in the body, hence the "CUSTOM" sticker across the bottom of the bridge. He also found some large, prismatic stickers to spell his initials "SRV" on and applied those to the guitar for a little extra flash. His use of the stickers make Number One one of the most recognizable guitars in the history of modern music.

"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 is 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.

Stevie wasn't picky on string brand, but was well known for using GHS Nickel Rockers of heavy gauge, partly for tone and partly because his fretting and strumming were so strong he often snapped strings while playing. He changed around gauges often, depending on the condition of his fingers, but always favored the following gauges:

1st string: .013"
2nd string: .015"
3rd string: .019"
4th string: .028"
5th string: .038"
6th string: .058"

Because he broke vibrato arms often and the threads were difficult to remove, Stevie's roadie, Byron Barr, had his father make custom vibrato arms made of stainless steel and added a small wad of cotton at the bottom of the block hole to prevent stripping and ease removal of broken bars. Because Vaughan didn't like the floating bridge, it was set flush with the body, to eliminate the sharp edge where the string contacts the metal. He used 5 springs on the vibrato system tightened almost all the way.

Number One is currently in the possession of Jimmie Vaughan, Stevie Ray's brother (After Stevie's death, Rene Martinez put the original neck back on Number One and presented it to the Vaughan family), although there were rumors that Number One had been buried with Stevie in Dallas. There are also rumours the guitar has been sold to the owner of the SAE Institute, a world wide company that educates people for sound related jobs in both live and recorded music and film.

Stevie collaborated with Fender for an Artist Signature model before his untimely death in 1990. His favorite old battered 1963 Strat served as a basis for the Stevie Ray Vaughan Signature model Stratocaster, first introduced in 1992.

The Fender Custom Shop produced a faithful representation of Number One as a part of the Tribute series in 2004. This limited-edition Tribute Stratocaster guitar was made in a global run of only 100 instruments.