Question about higher end Stratocasters value for the buck from a non Strat guy

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Lkdog, Mar 15, 2020.

  1. Lkdog

    Lkdog Silver Supporting Member

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    What do you guys think of Eric Johnson Strats?
    In particular the rosewood board ones?

    12" radius. Nitro. Med Jumbo frets (I think). Vintage vibe.
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2020
  2. OotMagroot

    OotMagroot Supporting Member

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    I've never owned a $4000 Custom Shop Strat, but I have had what would now be considered the American Original series and down (American Deluxe, American Standard, high-end Mexican, Mexican Deluxe, etc.).

    I'm about at the point now where I can just take the Mexican Players series, add the Fender Deluxe locking tuners and American string trees, make sure the little black screw is in the trem hole (if it's not pop-in) and I'm good to go. The features such as rolled edges and whatnot are nice to have, but not worth paying hundreds more, IMO.

    Just like PRS SE. I own an older PRSi and this PRS SE I'm playing now - while not as good feeling and with arguably shoddier hardware - still plays great and sounds great to my ears. Getting something that is marginally better in my mind is not worth thousands more.
     
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  3. Lkdog

    Lkdog Silver Supporting Member

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    OK, put the Callaham vintage narrow trem on.
    Well made unit.
    Really does make a difference in terms of the string spacing.
    Not sure if there is any difference in tone.
    Will need to play it a little more......
     
  4. Lkdog

    Lkdog Silver Supporting Member

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    Update. It's a very good piece of gear. Works flawlessly. Makes using high E string notes and bends easier.
    Sounds the same to my ears.
     
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  5. frank4001

    frank4001 Member

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    Great, glad it worked out for you.
     
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  6. Joe Perry

    Joe Perry Gold Supporting Member

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    Glad it worked out for you. It's one of my three favorite strat mod/upgrades. The other two being S/S frets and some form of the Illitch/Suhr silent coil system.
     
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  7. Lkdog

    Lkdog Silver Supporting Member

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    The KWS keeps surprising me in a good way. Best guitar for the money I have ever had.

    In my Strat education journey and also being stuck and going crazy working at home under COVID shelter order- I did end up finding a used Eric Johnson Stratocaster to try out.
    Figured it would indicate if a supposed step up in levels would be noticeable without dropping a lot of money on a CS.
    First impressions are is that it is really a freaking nice guitar. Its a little more refined than the KWS.
    Little better build quality. Very similar specs overall and vintage pickups. Great neck. 12" radius, med jumbo frets, .870 > .975.

    Sounds and feels very old school which I like.
    More later on this.
     
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  8. Joe Perry

    Joe Perry Gold Supporting Member

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    Best of luck with it! Ya, like you said, everything is just a step above. The nitro paint, quarter sawn neck and hardware. I think those AVRI bridges are really good. If it wasn't for the arm wobble (I know, inherent in the design to be vintage correct), they'd almost be right up there in terms of quality with the Callaham. It's the attention to detail.

    IMO, the EJ and older 62 Hot rod are nipping at newer CS guitars heels. Back in the mid 90's CS heyday, you got a lot nicer woods on the Cunnetto era Relics. Flame and Birdseye maple necks, light bodies etc and they weren't that much more and production guitars considering what you got.

    Do you have a preference of maple or RW fretboard? I really like the RW EJ colors but don't know how I'd be long term with the bound neck?
     
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  9. Lkdog

    Lkdog Silver Supporting Member

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    Here is shot of it. I prefer rosewood. The bound neck would look better if the binding was tinted IMO. I am not a huge fan of it, but its fine. I really like this turquoise blue color.
    I looked at some 62 Hotrods. They looked great with the vintage appts and 9.5" thicker neck.
    It dawned on me the EJ had a lot of what the 62 Hotrods had with the nitro and vintage trem, decent woods, but then you add the 12" radius. med jumbo frets, and beefier neck. I am finding out the 12" radius is a game changer for me with a Strat.
    The EJ Strats are a pretty good value used it seems.

    The pickups are supposed to be slightly tweaked on the Rosewood models.


    They sound good to me.
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2020
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  10. Joe Perry

    Joe Perry Gold Supporting Member

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    That looks great! ( The pic didn't show yesterday). I like the 3TSB but I don't think you see as many of them.
     
  11. Lkdog

    Lkdog Silver Supporting Member

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    I think the 3tsb look great but only come with the maple fretboard.
    I could be wrong.
     
  12. Joe Perry

    Joe Perry Gold Supporting Member

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    I'm not 100% positive either about the RW ones. The still shot/preview for the EJ video you linked above shows a RW board in 3TSB but I can't find them listed anywhere. Maybe they were nixed?

    I know a while back Wildwood guitars did a run of maple necks in 3TSB.
     
  13. Lkdog

    Lkdog Silver Supporting Member

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    I think in that video that still was when he grabbed his old 62 Strat he said he tried to model for the new Rosewood versions.
     
  14. Joe Perry

    Joe Perry Gold Supporting Member

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    Sorry, you are correct! It's been a while since I watched that video. I thought it was offered in 3TSB as well.
     

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