thinking about swapping necks on my Eric Johnson strat

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by skydawg, Aug 7, 2008.

  1. skydawg

    skydawg Member

    Messages:
    371
    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2007
    Location:
    Colorado
    I love the tone of my EJ strat but,i hate the neck.maybe bigger frets would help but it's just kind of a hard guitar to play,at least when it comes to serious bending.it's just a stiff player and if all i did was rhythm it wouldn't be an issue but i'm primarily a lead player.anyone else have the same problem with the EJ?i was thinking about selling it but the tone is so good,maybe a neck swap i should consider first?anyone done this to theirs?
     
  2. Gas-man

    Gas-man Unrepentant Massaganist

    Messages:
    18,653
    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2006
    Location:
    Dude Ranch Above The Sea
    I've played a few and found the same thing--stiff to bend.

    But I think maple boards are generally harder to bend on that rosewood, so it might just be me.

    Probably better to sell it than make it a partscaster.

    I recently went through the same can-un-drum with a 52RI.
     
  3. Jim Collins

    Jim Collins Member

    Messages:
    1,940
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2002
    Location:
    Pleasanton, CA
    Different strokes, I guess. If I could find a Telecaster that had the same shape neck, including radius, profile, and frets, as my EJ, it would be the perfect guitar.
     
  4. buddastrat

    buddastrat Member

    Messages:
    14,732
    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2005
    every EJ I played was the same way. I had a vintage style 7.25" radius strat with small frets and .011's it'd play slinkier than an EJ. It's just the nature of those guitars. You could put some .009's on it, but to me the EJ already has a thin, snappy tone and that would really accentuate that.

    Most of the tone of a guitar is in the neck. I swapped two CS strat necks around with an EJ, and the signature, snappy-poppy, "hi-fi" EJ tone followed where the EJ neck went, and of course it was stiff playing. The EJ body/pickups with a CS neck was a lot nicer and slinky to play on. It felt like a normal strat.
     
  5. 3 Mile Stone

    3 Mile Stone Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    5,713
    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2007
    Location:
    New Braunfels Texas
    Try a neck from a Deluxe Players Strat. It's not as thick and has the same 12" radius. Comes in rosewood. Great neck.
     
  6. Burst59

    Burst59 Member

    Messages:
    1,127
    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2007
    Location:
    The Great Moist NW
    I got rid of mine for that exact same reason. I also thought it was to thin sounding even with Fralins.
     
  7. mike@switchback

    mike@switchback Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,995
    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2003
    Location:
    PA
    Have you tried going to 3 trem springs with the traditional strat setup of having the trem float a bit? To me, that brings back some if not all of the "slinkyness" that is missing from the stock setup.
     
  8. skydawg

    skydawg Member

    Messages:
    371
    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2007
    Location:
    Colorado
    i did remove two springs but i haven't had it set up the way you suggested,perhaps i'll try that.gotta have the "slinkyness"
     
  9. SgtThump

    SgtThump Member

    Messages:
    7,049
    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2004
    Location:
    St Louis, Missouri
    Can someone explain how the neck itself affects the stiffness of the guitar? I mean, I understand scale length, string thickness, etc..., but the neck itself?
     
  10. Troubleman

    Troubleman Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    4,349
    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2006
    Location:
    Remulon V Beta Colony
    I put an SRV Strat neck on my EJ Strat. Best parts swap I've done in years. I eventually swapped out the EJ pups for Harmonic Design Vintage Plus (neck and middle) and S90 in the bridge. Now it's one of my fav Strats, stealing playing time from my Suhr Custom Classic...


    jb
     
  11. Gas-man

    Gas-man Unrepentant Massaganist

    Messages:
    18,653
    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2006
    Location:
    Dude Ranch Above The Sea
    It's not the "neck" as much as the fingerboard (people often say neck when they mean fingerboard) and how hard you have to work to bend strings.

    With maple fingerboards that have heavy poly finishes, some people find them more difficult to bend on and more sticky. I am one of those people.
     
  12. SgtThump

    SgtThump Member

    Messages:
    7,049
    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2004
    Location:
    St Louis, Missouri
    But the strings don't even touch the fingerboard, correct??? The radius makes a HUGE difference with the playability of a guitar, but this EJ strat has a 12" radius, which should make it EASIER to play than a 7.25" or 9.5" radius.

    By the way, I'm not arguing about it or anything. I've never played an EJ strat. Just trying to understand.
     
  13. billstets

    billstets Member

    Messages:
    892
    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2003
    Location:
    Boston area
    my EJ neck feels fine with 10s, but I have the trem floating with 4 springs, not screwed down tight with 5 springs. Big difference.
     
  14. Gas-man

    Gas-man Unrepentant Massaganist

    Messages:
    18,653
    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2006
    Location:
    Dude Ranch Above The Sea
    Your fingers do.

    Unless you have a scalloped Yngvie neck or something.

    That's where the friction comes from.
     
  15. skydawg

    skydawg Member

    Messages:
    371
    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2007
    Location:
    Colorado
    so the way to achieve what i'm looking for is less springs and have the trem set to float correct?i would be pretty happy if i didn't have to sell the guitar and could get that easier playability with the set up suggested.
     
  16. TimH

    TimH Member

    Messages:
    4,835
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2005
    Location:
    Toronto, ON, Canada
    if you love the tone I wouldn't remove that neck. The neck plays a HUGE part in the sound of your guitar. You may not like the results. Just a thought.
     
  17. buddastrat

    buddastrat Member

    Messages:
    14,732
    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2005

    Who knows.. It seems there's so many factors like break angle at the bridge, nut angle, tuners break angle, the 1/4 sawn cut, the thick finish, small frets. Probably every little thing adds a tiny bit, and all I know is, all the EJ's I've played have had a taut feel when using my normal strings on a strat. It gives those guitars a real snappy, hifi tone, like an acoustic. Even with three springs and the trem floating.

    I stuck a '69 CS strat neck on the EJ body using the same strings that came with the EJ, and tuned up to E, and it felt nice and slinky, even with a vintage radius and smaller frets.

    That snappy, bright tone and stiffer feel carried over to whatever body was matched up with the EJ neck. That, and a bunch of other experiments really showed me how much the neck influences the sound of a guitar, at least with a strat.
     
  18. popsongsmith

    popsongsmith Senior Member

    Messages:
    742
    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2007
    Location:
    W. Mass
    the EJ strat is the best example I've ever played of the whole not equaling the sum of it's parts. On paper, that guitar should be a home run. but, sadly...not. the 12 degree radius feels horrible, the finish on the neck feels sticky, and there is something distincly unpleasant about the tone. I would rather have a highway 1 strat than an EJ any day.
     
  19. buddastrat

    buddastrat Member

    Messages:
    14,732
    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2005
    I wanted to really, really like those strats. I'm such a strat nut and popsongsmith, I totally agree with you. On paper, it's everything I'd want, but after owning two and tried a few in stores, I didn't care for the feel or the tone as much as I thought I should. I kept thinking I was finding duds.

    I really love that neck shape, tho'. It's full without being fat, but I was never happy.
     
  20. skydawg

    skydawg Member

    Messages:
    371
    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2007
    Location:
    Colorado
    I personally love the tone,it's the playability that's the problem.but like i said if i was strictly a rhythm player i would have almost no issues with the guitar.
     

Share This Page