Eric Johnson Stratocaster....WOW!

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by VaughnC, Mar 1, 2006.

  1. VaughnC

    VaughnC Supporting Member

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    In my on going Strat-o-quest, today I received a sunburst EJ Strat, on approval, just to see what the hype was all about.

    First impressions: this friggin' thing is light as a feather and rings & sustains like a grand piano through my Bassman LTD at den volume. Puts the Fender Custom Shop guitars I've tried to shame :eek:. I'm far from an Eric Johnson stylist but, with its full & focused tone, IMO this Strat could be used for just about anything from Buddy Holley to SRV. Very dynamic in response....no wimpy Strat tones here. More to follow as I get some time under my strap with her :AOK .
     
  2. Killcrop

    Killcrop Supporting Member

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    Nice guitars. How does the burst look. The ones I've seen looked a little spray paintish. The Black kinda splatters too far into the amber.
    Real nice necks. Some people complain about it being sticky. That should go away pretty quick even if you don't remove it.
     
  3. esoteric pete

    esoteric pete Supporting Member

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    i had one for a few weeks at the store i work at. it was a killer. the burst was nice and vintage, and the neck was to die for! yes, a bit sticky, but nothing a little time and steel wool cant fix. IMO i think its the best strat fender has made in a while...
     
  4. Craig Walker

    Craig Walker WHO DAT!! Gold Supporting Member

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    I've got a sunburst EJ, and love it.

    Great guitar.
     
  5. Thwap

    Thwap Silver Supporting Member

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    I don't see myself questing for another strat. My EJ is by far the sweetest strat I've ever played. I thought at some point, I'd find something I wasn't quite satisfied with, but everytime I pick it up, I just love it. I'm generally a LP guy, but I really think this may be the best money I've ever invested in a guitar. Great bang for the buck.
     
  6. clothwiring

    clothwiring Supporting Member

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    I've never been a maple board fan, but between the EJ Strat and Cunetto Relic Strat...I've begun to be a convert. But then again they are both top notch guitars! IMO, I would say that the EJ is the best production guitar Fender is making. I'd really love to have one in Candy Apple Red.
     
  7. Don L

    Don L Member

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    I played one my buddy has, and it was a nice strat. The neck didn't feel all that comfy though...
     
  8. bluesman69

    bluesman69 Member

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    I've had my SB EJ for 7 months and it has lost none of it's appeal to me. It is without a doubt the best production Strat I have ever played. It even rivals my Custom Shop 60. Between my EJ, Clapton(vintage noiseless) and Mayer I have most of my Strat tones covered.
     
  9. Tone_Terrific

    Tone_Terrific Member

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    Weren't you recently praising the JV strat, too?
    Side by side, how do they compare?
     
  10. VaughnC

    VaughnC Supporting Member

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    While I also prefer rosewood fretboards, my Jimmie Vaughan & Eric Johnson Strats have changed my thinking on this. Neither one has that irritating ping that so many maple fingerboard Strats I've played in the past have had. However, while I'm having a bit of trouble adjusting to the flatness of the EJ's 12" fretboard radius, I don't think that will be a big deal considering the killer Strat tone(s) I'm hearing.

    The burst looks ok on mine Dave and there is actually some unexpected nice figuring in the alder.

    I did have to adjust the neck angle slightly on my EJ to get the high E string to properly line up with the fretboard edge. Strat necks seem to occasionally get knocked out of alignment in shipping and it was an easy fix.

    Neck is very glossy and consequently can feel a little sticky with a little sweat from your hands. Doesn't bother me though....and it should wear in nicely with the thin finish. Neck is nice & chunky but not the baseball bat of a Nocaster. Nice rolled fretboard edges for a broken-in feel.

    Medium jumbo fretwork is nicely done and polished....feels sorta slick like stainless steel frets.

    I haven't made any pickup adjustments as the settings sounded just right out of the box. I had to play with my JV Strat for a week or so to find the pickups' sweet spot.

    Compared to the Fender Custom Shop Strats I've owned and played, the EJ Strat is an excellent bang for the buck and sounds better than every one I've owned and/or played. But, my $500 JV Strat also does what it does very well....no complaints. However, the EJ Strat is on another level and, IMHO, is worth the $1k price difference. While their voicing is similar, the EJ Strat is much more alive, dynamic, and more refined than the JV....but the JV is no slouch. Both are great Strats in their own way.

    More to follow......
     
  11. Gary Shetler

    Gary Shetler Guest

    I've had my sunburst EJ strat for a couple of months, now, and I'm still a very happy camper :)

    +1 - 12" radius fretboard
    +1 - jumbo frets
    +1 - bridge pickup - not a "thin icepick" in sight!
    +1 - bridge pickup tone control
    +1 - overall fit and finish

    It's easily the best "production" strat that I've ever played, and the perfect sidekick for my southern swamp ash '56 Closet Classic.
     
  12. Jim Collins

    Jim Collins Member

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    My EJ is the guitar that changed my thinking about Strats. I've owned several Strats, but this is the first that fights with my beloved Teles for playing time.
     
  13. pjrhd28

    pjrhd28 Silver Supporting Member

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    I started looking for a Strat right after New Years. Only recent guitars, no vintage. Played only made in the USA and was sticking with Fender (although I am now looking for a Suhr or Anderson strat type guitar-but not to replace waht I wound up buying).

    Read a lot about all of the different Strats and played quite a few, both new and used. I was ready to pull the trigger on a 60 NOS CS at Guitar Center but the salesman kept bugging me about the Eric Johnson (which I had not played- I just assumed it wouldn't be what I wanted. ). I finally had him get it down and took it for a spin.

    Wow.

    Light as a feather, and the middle pickup just snarls. That midde pickup also puts a lot of snarl and pop in the 2 and 4 positions. The more I play it, the more I like it. When I first grabbed the neck, I thought the neck was too big-- but as I played it, it just got more and more comfortable.

    Set up perfect straight from the factory- the salesman said they'd only had it for a week or two.

    The CS was much warmer and smoother so I can't say one or the other was better- its just that the playability and the snarl-isious-nous of the EJ turned out to be more what I was looking for.

    Anyway, if you're looking for a Strat, give the EJ a shot. By the way, with all the Guitar Center bashing that goes on here, I just want to stay that my experience was pretty good. Good selection, good price (man, I hate sales tax). And the sales guy talked me into a guitar about $600 less than the one I thought I was going to buy.
     
  14. buddastrat

    buddastrat Member

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    That's funny. I kept my 69 relic over the EJ because the EJ was too smooth. It was softer sounding. Didn't have the punchiness and woodieness of my 69. But it was smooth and deep, and had that piano clean tone to it. It's the third one I compared to the 69. The first two were not even close. Too thin sounding with NO bottom end, very twangy.

    EJ has a smokin' neck. I just can't get over the thick, orange finish on it. It's beyond vintage tinted. It'd take years to wear through it. The body's finish is thin which is real nice. I ended up keeping my CS strat over the couple EJ's I tried. They are a smooth guitar though!
     
  15. Play by Tone

    Play by Tone Member

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    I can't believe how much I enjoy using the middle pickup on my EJ. It really is just a great guitar.
     
  16. Thelonius

    Thelonius Member

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    I've had mine since christmas and it is still my favorite guitar.
     
  17. Grant Ferstat

    Grant Ferstat Some guy in obscure bands in a far away place... Silver Supporting Member

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    Couldn't agree more-best production Fender strat since I don't know when!
    I've played two of them now & everything just seems to work in a symbiotic sort of way that's hard to find in a new off the shelf guitar.
     
  18. VaughnC

    VaughnC Supporting Member

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    Good point.....off the shelf guitar and nothing "needs" replaced :AOK. Mine doesn't even have nut pinch. I have my trem set up to float and it returns to pitch every time. Plug & play, like they say ;)!
     
  19. clothwiring

    clothwiring Supporting Member

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    I replaced the trem block in one of my other strats so that it was the same as the Eric Johnson (seeing as the EJ is so good, I figure worse case I'd switch back). Call me crazy, but it did improve the trem stability and gave a bit more depth to the tone of the thing. Tone I can understand, but the trem stability I don't. Nice upgrade though for the guitar I put it in because it had a piece of junk in there before.
     
  20. tonemandan

    tonemandan Member

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    I finally had the opportunity to play one the other day. Why no dealer in my town chooses to carry one is beyond me. They seem to be pretty good sellers....anyway....I was more than impressed. It's hands down the best production strat I've played. Every little change EJ made on it seems to have improved it. My only complaint is the colors. Yech! I guess my tastes don't follow the mainstream in guitar colors. Sunburst will probably be the one I end up with. I'm looking seriously for one now. Great guitar.

    Dan
     

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