Decisions, decisions-Suhr pro S1, vintage Hot Rod strat or Eric Johnson strat?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by whiskey_dust, Sep 3, 2008.

  1. whiskey_dust

    whiskey_dust Member

    Messages:
    35
    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2008
    I am in the market for a strat (my first decent one actually) and am looking for some opinions on the aforementioned models. I've been a les paul player for ages and feel the need for some 'tonal variation' (any excuse for a new guitar!).
    The pro series Suhr seems like a good deal at £800 used- the fenders i'm looking at are all £1200 new.
    What are the neck profiles like on the Suhrs or the Fenders? I'm a Gibson guy, and find their '60s profile neck to be pretty spot on for me.

    Thanks in advance
     
  2. JUSTJOB

    JUSTJOB Member

    Messages:
    2,409
    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2006
    Location:
    USA
    The Fender EJ's neck will be spot on for a Gibson guy, nice 12" radius with full neck that is a bigger than Gibbys 60's neck and just a tad smaller than their regular neck. From going from a Gibson this should be a very natural transition for the neck. The 62 Hot Rod also has a nice full neck, but does have a 9.5 radius, nonetheless, the neck also is nice. The Suhrs I believe have a slim C neck, and are not as full as the EJ or 62HR.
     
  3. Flinto2002

    Flinto2002 Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,030
    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2007
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Go with the Suhr. If you're a gibby guy you will find the bridge single coil position anemic and weak. If it were my money, Suhr all the way.
     
  4. duaneallen

    duaneallen Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,801
    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2006
    Location:
    OC/LA
    Suhr without question.
     
  5. cg

    cg Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    5,780
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2002
    Location:
    St Paul, MN
    It will come down to your personal preference. I have had more than a few Suhrs and other boutique Strats and an EJ Strat, but I am completely perfectly happy with my 62 Hot Rod. I found the frets on the EJ model too small, but that guitar was built and finished exceptionally well.
     
  6. MartinC

    MartinC Member

    Messages:
    2,597
    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2007
    Location:
    Sydney
    Rock solid quality with Suhr. Also, the neck finish on the Suhr is silky smooth. The least sticky neck I've ever played. I tried an EJ strat once and found the neck finish to be very sticky ... totally put me off the guitar. It's a personal preference thing though, so you might like sticky necks coming from the LP camp, and not like the non-stick, smooth feel of the Suhr.
     
  7. XKnight

    XKnight Member

    Messages:
    11,095
    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2007
    Location:
    Republic of Texas
    If you can get a Suhr for that much less than the Fenders then the Suhr seems like the best bet. Of course if you can play all three guitars first that would be the best course of action.
     
  8. whiskey_dust

    whiskey_dust Member

    Messages:
    35
    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2008
    Personally I prefer the aesthetic of the fenders over the Suhr. The Suhr is definitely a good deal at £800 (they are about £1300 new in the UK), and their reputation speaks for themselves. I'm going to try the Suhr this week and see what happens- maybe I'll just have to get one of each(!)
     
  9. Phil M

    Phil M Member

    Messages:
    10,575
    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2002
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    I also prefer the aesthetics of the Fender Strat over the Suhr Pros. Keep in mind that the Suhrs have a small body size compared to a Fender.

    As for feel, I MUCH prefer the '62 Hotrod to the Suhr if you can believe that. I custom ordered a Suhr Standard that I thought would yield a vintage/modern feel and it really didn't (my own fault). I've also picked up a Pro series which has a skinny neck and a pretty flat fretboard. I was immediately reminded of why I sold my custom Suhr so quickly.

    In a nutshell, the Suhrs are high quality guitars but if you want the classic strat feel, I'd go with the Fender over the Pro Series. The Suhr Classics might be closer to the Strat feel depending who spec'ed it out.
     
  10. whiskey_dust

    whiskey_dust Member

    Messages:
    35
    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2008
    ^That's pretty much what I was thinking- it's just I'd be getting a really good deal on the Suhr, but if it doesn't suit me then I'll pass. As I've said, I'm a bit of a novice when it comes to strats, having been a Gibson player for the longest time- guess it'll be a case of trying as much as possible to see what clicks.
     
  11. mike@switchback

    mike@switchback Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,996
    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2003
    Location:
    PA
    That's what I did - bought one of each here at TGP. An S1 and an EJ. The Suhr build quality is top-notch, of course. Fretwork in particular. The neck feels great. I don't like super-thin necks, the slim C on the S1 is slim without being too slim. And the light satin finish feels great. The pickups (SSV and V60LP) are GREAT. The 510TS trem has a nice smooth feel. But as has been mentioned, the the Pro Series body is smaller than a strat, and has harder edges. I also don't like the master volume, master tone arrangement. I'm not a fan of Sperzels either.

    The EJ. Awesome light 2-piece alder body (you can see the wood even through the black nitro finish. Also great pickups, but a very different vibe than the Suhr. More 50's than 60's. Vintage trem stays in tune great after a setup. Love the staggered Klusons and bone nut. The most common complaint is of course that the neck is covered in lots of orangey lacquer. Frets feel small. Guitar is stiff.

    In the honeymoon phase, I was Suhr all the way. I loved the look of the EJ but it was a battle to play whereas the Suhr is just butter. But for some reason I kept picking up the EJ. In the end, I really wanted the vintage feel and styling, and knowing that I would end up making some tweaks with either guitar, I sold the Suhr and kept the EJ.

    If I kept the Suhr, I would have bought a new pickguard and rewired it with standard vol-tone-tone strat controls

    Instead I kept the EJ and stripped the neck (and without all the lacquer, the frets have more useable height...) and changed the plastic. I'm not a fan of the 'aged yellow' color pup covers and knobs/switches. So I put on a white guard and some Fatboy bakelite-style bits. Tuned to Eb with 10's helps the stiffness a bit. I may add a string tree, because there's a loud harmonic that comes off the B string from behind the nut.

    In the end, I'm very, very happy with the EJ. I might also wire up an HSS guard with Suhr pickups since that's what I'll miss most about the Suhr.
     
  12. Phil M

    Phil M Member

    Messages:
    10,575
    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2002
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    Whisky dust, I'm mostly a LP player too, so I thought the Suhr was going to be a nice mix of things that I liked about Fenders and Gibsons. It wasn't (to me, but I know lots of guys love them).

    While I like the EJ, I REALLY like the Vintage Hotrod. The best advice I can think of is to go with the one you like, not the best deal. To me, the Suhr Pro Series is not much like a Strat OR a LP. It's something different.
     
  13. whiskey_dust

    whiskey_dust Member

    Messages:
    35
    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2008
    ^The best "deal" shouldn't be about money, but about getting the guitar that's right for the player (though money talks as they say) . I'll reserve judgement on the Suhr until I play it this week, I definitely prefer the look of the Fenders- especially the hot rod series. The only thing is I probably have to make a quick decision on the Suhr- the guy selling it is actually playing a gig in my city, otherwise he's at the other end of the country.
     
  14. Phil M

    Phil M Member

    Messages:
    10,575
    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2002
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    Sorry, I didn't realize you hadn't played the Suhr yet. You might love it! It took me years, but I have found what I like about S style bolt neck guitars and my custom Suhr didn't have it and neither did the Pro Series that I tried. My Nash '60s S has it, and so does the Fender '62 AVHR. YMMV.

    None of this is a slam on Suhr because they build very high quality instruments. I should've played one before ordering but I didn't get the opportunity. Live and learn.
     
  15. whiskey_dust

    whiskey_dust Member

    Messages:
    35
    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2008
    Cheers for the input. Hopefully I'll have a new guitar day in the next few weeks- be it Suhr or Fender. Its options open at the minute
     

Share This Page