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Eric Johnson Strat pickups

John Hurtt

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
19,042
How do you like the tone with the rig/music you play? If you want to experiment, it's pretty easy to wire up a new p/g and try different pickups. You can always go back.
 

stratlad

Member
Messages
517
Six Strings: You DO sound like a fan:

"They're great single coils because they're thick and warm and not too bright. They sustain very well and have an acceptable level of output to where you can get all the picking dynamics you want but at the same time, you can still hear lightly picked notes clearly."

I own an EJ and I like it but sometimes wonder about swapping pups too. Unlike you my ears hear them as fairly bright (not icepicky but very hi-fi and open) and not so thick and warm. I've owned an icepicky 73 strat, an Am. Deluxe Strat and still own a Strat Plus that has CS 54s in it. The guitar wood is clearly part of the equaltion but the EJ is way brighter than my Strat Plus with the CS 54s, which I USED to think were bright until I got the EJ.

I DO find that the EJ sounds better at higher volumes - it doesn't fart out but gets warmer - at lower volumes I find it on the thinner side.
 

TheCommish

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
153
What am I missing? Well - that's hard to say.

It's my first really good strat, and have been been playing it through a Dr Z Maz 38 combo. I've found that amp to be bright in a good way when set clean, but with OD pedals it gets REALLY bright and harsh (even with humbuckers) and since I don't have another strat to compare the EJ to, I just thought I'd put the question out there.

I did play a friend's 64 the other day and that seemed a bunch warmer, though I do not know what pickups he has on it. I have to say that my gut gut says the EJ is 'bright' and I guess I'm wondering if I'm missing 'warmth'.

Thanks for the responses, Gents.
 

benjammin420

Member
Messages
1,564
i like to use one Eq setting for clean, and a different setting for dirt. maybe your EJ doesnt have the tone you want, but it may also be the amp/settings.

when you tried youre friends guitar, did you use the same Dr Z Maz 38 combo? I would compare different strats thru the one amp, and then the EJ thru different amps.

though personally i believe you may just need to alter the eq.
for clean i like: presence 7, bass 7, high 7, mid 4/5. for dirty i put everything on 10
 

LReese

Member
Messages
2,155
Well - I did swap the middle out in my EJ for one of those Seymour Duncans to have all 3 pickups the same polarity. It sounds fine. To me it did help things - but I just don't like RWRP middles.

The original pickups are fine - It's just individual preference. They're bright, but not objectionably so.

I'm planning to remag the original middle to the opposite polarity if I can one of these days.

Maybe run your OD through a loop with something like a Boss GE-7 to roll off some of the highs. Or do the opposite - set your amp up to sound thick with OD and use the EQ to boost highs.
 
Last edited:

KazJY

Member
Messages
2,596
I love em - I bought a set off ebay for my first Strat, and I now have a RW EJ - I never think about swapping em out. If you are happy with em, accept it and be happy!
 

stratlad

Member
Messages
517
Six Strings: Thanks. I do tend to leave the tone pots open but that's partly because there is no tone pot on the middle pickup. The neck pickup actually is a bit darker. But I play very clean stuff through fender style amps - typically without OD and in that context the guitar is fairly bright at lower volumes. I do think that clarity helps though as you crank the volume.

See the other thread now on this Board about EJ Strats - several folks also find them very "hi fi" and plinky - though that's not always a bad thing - depends on what you are playing and how you set up your rig.
 

Tidewater Custom Shop

Performance Enhancing Guitarworks
Silver Supporting Member
Messages
5,691
I currently run Lollars (BF) in my CS, Fralins (H/SRV) in my Warmoth, DiMarzio (oldies) in a WIP build, and EJs in the Eric Johnson. Know what? They all have their merit, all kick a$$ in their own way, but I like the EJs best. In fact, I'm about to break up the Eric Johnson and sell the parts... except the loaded 'guard. That'll go into my next build.
 

re-animator

Senior Member
Messages
8,240
actually the neck pickup is supposed to sound like an early 50s strat, the middle is supposed to be early 60s esque, and the bridge is a little beefier with an alnico v magnet and more output.
 

alguit

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,838
Hmmmmm.....what some call "hi-fi" and "plinky" I would call balanced. This is always going to be a subjective area.

I used my EJ Strat tonight into an Eternity pedal and Tech 21 reverb pedal into a Budda Twinmaster. The guitar sounded full, throaty on the neck pickup and with a nice push from the bridge; the middle pickup had that nice snap and woodyiness that a good one gets. With the OD on, there was plenty of warm sustain.

Now, when I first got the guitar, I thought the neck pickup was lacking in bass response. Then I found that when playing at gigging levels it was giving me plenty of warmth, letting the cranked amp sound balanced, satisfied both with the neck and bridge pickup settings, something that I don't usually find with strats.
 

zenfreud

Member
Messages
1,129
Has anybody compared Eric Johnson pickups to Lollar Blonde pickups? From descriptions I've read about the EJ's, are the neck & middle pickups maybe a bit on the bright side, perhaps just a bit scooped? Or did i get that wrong? How does the EJ bridge pickup compare to the Lollar BF?

I've got Blondes in the middle and neck of my RW-board Strat and love them for clean tones, they've got delicate highs, just beautiful. But a small trade-off is that they're not as meaty in the mids as Lollar Blackfaces or Fender Tex-Mex pickups. Single-coils with more prominent mids can be nice for some od textures, they help push od boxes and/or the amp harder. I find Tex-Mex pickups quite dark though, I'm just bringing them up for comparison's sake.
 

Lespaulsignature 74

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
4,746
I went into Sam Ash (yes...I said Sam Ash) a couple of years ago just to TRY an Eric Johnson Strat and I was so blown away by the tone I bought it on the spot. I owned an American Std. Strat at the time and the Eric Johnson Strat just blew it away.....best ballanced Fender Strat pickups I've ever played. Maybe you should try playing it through an amp with more bottom than A Dr.Z Maz 38???
 

Killcrop

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
11,600
I find myself wanting a neck pickup with more warmth. The bridge sounds great especially when you are playing with some gain. Maybe I can back the pickup away form the strings a little.
 




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