Eric Johnson Strat Pickups

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by s.r.v., Aug 11, 2008.

  1. s.r.v.

    s.r.v. Member

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    Hey guys,

    So I'm going to be building a partscaster over the next few months, and everything has been decided except for one thing. Pickups. Basically, my two most important pickups are neck and bridge. I rarely use the middle, or any combos with the middle. For the neck pickup, I'd want it to sound like "Manhattan", where to me its the middle ground between warm and chimey. Here's and example of his using the neck pickups:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XRFaf4k6cZg

    For the bridge I would want that famous 200lbs violin tone he is so well known for as seen in this video: (the distorted lead tone)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T8P8WwzDeCI
    It has some bite in the top end, which I like, but it still maintains a nice, not overly sharp sound in the lower registers too.

    What I've been looking at:
    Tonerider Pure Vintage pickups
    Rockmonkeyguitars pickups
    BG-Pups vintage 60's
    Bareknuckle apaches

    My price range is hopefully under $300, preferably under $200-250. I'll shell out the dough if its worth it ;)

    Here's how his pup's are described:
    http://www.guitarplayer.com/article/fender-eric-johnson/Jul-05/11252

    So, TGP, I turn to you to lead me into pickup heaven. What would you recommend, if you bothered to read all that :D
     
  2. KazJY

    KazJY Member

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    Boy. "Pickup Heaven" is a pairing of words that I don't take lightly.

    That being said, I have the EJ pickups in my MIJ Strat, and I love em. (I even love the bridge pickup for the first time in my life). I bought the whole wired harness in a pickguard for just over $300 on the bay.

    I haven't tried any of the others, but thought I'd chime in on the EJ's.

    Good luck. Let us know what you settle on!
     
  3. mike@switchback

    mike@switchback Supporting Member

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    I'd also recommend hitting up eBay for the EJs. IMO, they will deliver those tones if the rest of the rig is up to the task.
     
  4. s.r.v.

    s.r.v. Member

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    I'd prefer not to use ebay
     
  5. eVITAERC

    eVITAERC Member

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    The bridge sounds very P-90ish to me. Maybe try a Fralin SP42 or 43?
     
  6. qwer

    qwer Member

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    His signature guitar's body & neck also contributes to his tone. Not only the pickups
     
  7. Kelly

    Kelly Member

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    Fralin Vintage Hots in neck and middle, SP43 in bridge.
     
  8. s.r.v.

    s.r.v. Member

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  9. donostia13

    donostia13 Member

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    I have 2006 EJ pups in my American Std Strat. I really dig the bridge and the tone control option. The middle pup is the best I've ever heard; it's a snarling beast which demands exclusive playing time--really, the only straight single-coil middle position I've actually loved. The neck is muddy, though that's probably my setup. I'd like it a bit punchier.

    Violin tone is an alchemical mix of technique, gear, note choice, strings, etc, etc, hell even the material your pick is made from.

    Just remember to be yourself...'cause you'll never be Eric Johnson.
    I've tried... ;)
     
  10. Polynitro

    Polynitro Member

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    Just buy a '57 Strat and take the pickups out and put them in your partscaster.
     
  11. jony2

    jony2 Member

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    I really really think alot of that tone is in the amplifiers and not the pickups.

    Just get any set of vintage output Strat pickups from a good maker like Seymour Duncan and then work on the rest of the signal chain.
     
  12. RvChevron

    RvChevron Member

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    The pickups account for 20% or likely less, of his tone you mentioned.

    Pair of TRs or DRs, couple of echoplexes and a tc chorus makes for a big part of his clean tones.

    The cranked up plexi (with the treble and sometimes presence controls turned all the way down), the speakers, plus a TS or TDriver makes for the majority of his lead tone. Mind you he uses the tube driver to attenuate his signal instead of boosting it. Doesn,t make a whole lot of sense i know.

    If you don't quite have his amps and pedals setup, having just the pickups will still be very very far from his sounds. Of course his picking and fretting techniques count.

    I have both the HS-2 and the neck and bridge pickups of his sig strat.

    I found that the pedals and amps make for much bigger a difference than the pickups.
     
  13. Troubleman

    Troubleman Silver Supporting Member

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    Call the guys at Harmonic Design and beg/bug 'em to build you a pre-wired pick guard assembly with Strat Vintage Plus pickups, master volume, master tone, and "mid control". As much as I loved the pickups in my EJ Strat, I replaced the whole thing with a Harmonic Design set-up. I had them add an S90 (strat-sized P90) to the bridge. I am WAY happy with the set-up. It'll cover anything from SRV pushed mids, to EJ singing tone, to Nile Rodgers scratch-funk. No lie.

    Peace,

    jb
     
  14. muddy

    muddy Member

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    all that aside, get the ej pups because you like the way THEY sound, & not the man because realistically, he'd pretty much sound that way no matter what pups he used. i was very surprised at how much i liked 'em in my ej, & there's be no reason REALLY for me to ever change 'em. not in that guitar. would i use 'em if i had a strat built for me? probably not. but they sound great in that axe.


    ml
     

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