Jeff Beck Strat vs. Eric Johnson Strat...opinions please

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Badger71, Dec 3, 2005.

  1. Badger71

    Badger71 Member

    Oct 3, 2004
    San Diego
    I'm coming down with some GAS here. For some reason I'm jonesing for a strat. The two I am interested in are the Jeff Beck or Eric Johnson. From the spec sheets, I like the non-string tree head stock on both. I like the radius of the Johnson, but the LRC nut intrigues me along with the "silent" pick ups on the Beck. But the supposed vintage sound and finish of the Johnson intrique me also. I can't afford both...hell, I can't afford either one right now until I parleigh/save some scratch. But I am looking for opinions on both of these instruments. Locally, I can get my hands on the EJ at Buffalo Bros., but the only Beck is a custom shop up at Wild West Guitars....out of my price range! Anybody play these instruments or own both that could give their thoughts on the construction quality, sound, and feel of these instruments? I'd greatly appreciate it.:)
  2. tillerusa

    tillerusa Member

    Nov 3, 2004
    Annapolis, MD
    There's lots of stuff on the EJ strat here on TGP. I've played a number of them and have liked them all. They're very consistent production-wise and offer great features you can't get on another production strat.

    As far as comparisons go, I prefer the pups on the EJ to the noiseless on the JB, although as far as noiseless go they sound very good and are a definite step up from the Lace-Sensors.

    I have an LSR nut on one of my strats and I am very happy with it. It stays in tune great and I like the crisp sound it gives to open strings, but it still doesn't offer the tuning stability of a floyd-rose. For me it's not a must have feature (though it is nice) and neither is it something to avoid.

    Finish wise I do not like the EJ 2-tone burst. To me it looks lifeless and bland. The other colors are very nice. IMHO, of course.

    Also, the JB has the two-post trem which I don't particularly care for while the EJ has the 6-screw trem with the traditional saddles and a steel-block which I tend to like (but I'm not a big trem-user).

    There was also recently a thread here about Fender using dye on a JB rosewood fingerboard. That might not bother some but it strikes me as deceptive and could be a deal breaker.

    For my money I'd go with the EJ, unless you really want the noiseless pups and rosewood board, but the best thing to do is play them both.
  3. tfunster

    tfunster Silver Supporting Member

    Jul 15, 2005
    I'm, in the same boat as you. I got the worse GAS for the Eric Johnson strat. I've never played the JB so can't say anything about that.

    All I know is that the EJ's neck was made for my hands. I happen to like chunkier necks. The only one I ever played was at GC. It was lightweight, and had a perfect setup--- no fret buzz, strings played and bended effortlessly and the pickups sounded great.
    I don't have the money for one right now, but maybe after selling some of my organs on ebay I can buy it.

    Overall, it was one of the few guitars I've played at a store where I was like: "this will be mine, oh yes it will" Hope this helps
  4. royd

    royd Member

    Jan 29, 2004
    Santa Barbara, CA
    another + for the EJ.

    I played one the other day and it was one of the nicest Fedners I've ever played of any age.
  5. Rama

    Rama Member

    Jan 4, 2005
    I love EJ strats - I have two of them.

    Another thing to consider...the EJ has wider string spacing at the bridge. That's seldom mentioned when discussing AM Std type strats vs vintage type, but it's a big part of what makes a strat feel like a strat to me...

    ...sorta like when Kramer painted over those lines on the highway...all that room feels luxurious..especially pickless.
  6. ToneKing

    ToneKing Member

    Nov 27, 2003
    Another vote for the EJ strat, the attention to detail on the ones that I have played was excellent.
  7. ducmike

    ducmike Silver Supporting Member

    Jul 25, 2004
    San Marcos, TX
    Another vote for the EJ. The only thing I like better on the Beck is the neck shape and the rosewood. My EJ is the lightest strat I have owned, and every Beck I have picked up feels like the heaviest strat I have held. If you like chunkier necks get the EJ. I might have to move mine because of that, though I'm really trying to get used to it because the super tone and it just has the Mojo.
  8. Mark Kane

    Mark Kane Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 4, 2002
    Fort Pierce
    Tonally and feel wise they are worlds apart IMO. I like both of them a lot. The EJ is all about vintage feel and tone. Sounds great at low volumes, high volumes and in between. The JB sounds great cranked for that modern strat tone but sounds dull and flat to me at lower volumes compared to the EJ. Both great guitars but quite different.
  9. Craig Walker

    Craig Walker "Anger, fear, aggression. The Bark Side are they" Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2002
    Long Beach, Miss.
    The EJ was the first strat to grab me. I'm lovin' it. :cool:

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