Stevie Ray Vaughan's Guitar called "Main"
Custom Hamiltone Lurktamer built by James Hamilton of Buffalo, NY,
received as gift from Billy Gibbons in 1984
"Main" was the custom Hamiltone Lurktamer Strat-style guitar, built by James Hamilton of Buffalo, NY. The guitar was given to Stevie as a gift from Billy Gibbons in 1984. It has a highly figured, book-matched reddish top, bound on all edges. The body is slightly thicker and slightly heavier than a Strat, with little contouring.
"Main" featured a neck-through-body design, unlike any other guitar Stevie owned. This resulted in the pickups actually being mounted on the neck, itself. The neck shape is similar to that of a Gibson Super 400, and was practically the same width as Number One.
It has an ebony fretboard, with "Stevie Ray Vaughan" inlaid in pearl across it. Pickups are active EMG with an onboard preamp. The guitar has a jangly, jazzy tone that was beefed-up by the active onboard electronics. Stevie regularly used Main on stage for "Couldn't Stand the Weather" and "Cold Shot."
Information and comments pulled from archived TexasFlood mailing list digests.
Hamiltone Strat copy, used on CSTW on the Japan 1985 video.
I think this one was called "The Main Strat." It was a neck-through model with a five-piece maple top and cream binding. Stevie's name was inlayed on the (ebony?) fretboard. It had a white pickguard with EMG(?) single coils. I think it had a longer fretboard, so Stevie didn't have to tune down a half-step the way he normally did. There is a gorgeous picture of this in a summer 1994 Guitar World special issue, Guitar Legends: Blues Power (with Stevie on the cover).
Jack Klosterman, who use to maintain of the excellent Texas Flood FAQ, sent the following email to James Hamilton:
A year ago or so I received a nice letter from Mr. Hamilton regarding the Stevie Ray Vaughan FAQ website.
I belong to the TexasFlood mailing list which is dedicated to spreading the word about Stevie Ray Vaughan and I hope you can clear up a question whch has come up about the original SRV Hamiltone "Main".
I am of the understanding that all of Stevie's guitars are locked away and are under the control of Jimmie Vaughan. The other day I was at GUITAR CENTER in Hollywood, CA and in the front window is a SRV Hamiltone with pictures of Stevie. Do you know if this is the "actual" Hamiltone used by Stevie? They say that it is.
Was there more than one guitar made with Stevie's name across the fretboard? Is it possible for the public to buy a "SRV Hamiltone" reproduction that looks like the original with his name on it?
I am hoping that Mr. Hamilton can clear this up for us.
Thanks for you help.
He got the following reply:
The Hamiltone at Guitar Center is a prototype (no pickguard, only two knobs, thinner body) and never belonged to SRV (they have been told this, but keep advertising it as Stevie's) I assume that J.Vaughan has the Original. The SRV Hamiltone is available, Custom Order but is very expensive ($5000.00). There have been about 20 made with most of them in Japan. Jim builds about 2-3 a year upon request.
P.S. I have been trying to get Jim to build a bolt on model but no luck yet. (I am think we could sell them for half the price, or less)