What's the deal with the Eric Johnson Strat

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by jzucker, Aug 21, 2005.


  1. jzucker

    jzucker Supporting Member

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    Anyone play one? I know Gil Ayan was getting one? He sold me an incredible Strat to make way for it so I assume the thing is killer.
     
  2. Ogre

    Ogre Member

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    I wouldn't say it's killer. It's good, but I have played a number of Custom Shop strats that were more to my liking. I have a 1980 Tokai strat that does "it" for me. Go play one Jack, and see what you think.
     
  3. jzucker

    jzucker Supporting Member

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    This is Cleveland. They won't get one around here.:(
     
  4. HHB

    HHB Member

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    the necks have quite a bit of finish on them, I played one and my GAS passed, several others played the same guitar and felt the same way. I didnt plug it in but the overlt tinted and finished neck put me off ( sticky nitro bigtime, I have a McInturff nitro finish so I'm spoilded LOL )
     
  5. buddastrat

    buddastrat Member

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    Hey Jzucker, they had one in a store in Avon. It was nice but I agree with HHB. I didn't like the heavy finish, orange tinted neck. I was able to get that for a great price but passed. I've played some custom shop stuff that I preferred for tone too.
     
  6. lv

    lv Supporting Member

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    I think they are great guitars for the money. The build quality is on par with the various custom shop pieces I've owned, though as mentioned the finish on the neck is a little thick. Stew Mac makes a kit to turn the glossy finish into more of a satin Finish - I would have done this if I had kept the guitar. The neck is big - as big as some Gibson Historics I've owned, and while it is supposed to have a soft V, mine was a very subtle V which filled out to a C up higher on the neck. I think I was more expecting something like the 10/56. The frets are wide, but low.

    Mine was very light at 7lbs 3 ounces. Tonally, it sounds like a nice Alder/Maple strat should, and mine did not have any lack of low end as some have said. Very resonant and acoustically loud guitar. It is a little brighter than some other strats I've owned, but the tone control worked well to compensate. Overdriven tones were nice and thick, and this was the first guitar I've ever used the middle pickup by itself. Overall, a very toneful guitar.

    After Fender changed the delivery date on me 3 times, and the dealer I ordered it from screwing me over on a related deal, I ended up ordering something else from a different dealer, but took delivery of the EJ anyway. Had I not ordered something else, I would have kept it.
     
  7. buddastrat

    buddastrat Member

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    LouV, nice descrition. I'm one of the guys that said I didn't like the lack of low end. I had an opportunity to buy two different ones and passed as the light alder often does not give enough low end. I have a real '66 (rosewood) and a '69 (maple) relic here. Both EJ's compared to these guitars sounded much plinkier and thin compared to these. I compared acoustically and plugged. Those two EJ's were very thin sounding and I think that's why they end up putting heavier wound strings on them to help give a little more tone.

    In my experience, alder/maple can often sound thin.
    But every piece of wood will differ. Had I played the one you spoke of, I might've wanted it.
     
  8. frank62

    frank62 Member

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    will the day come when eveyone has their own sig strat? if you have a strat isn't it "your strat"? does it sound different when someone else plays it? my father owned a gun shop and winchester made dozens of commerative 1894 lever actions. they were all pretty much the same. that is the gun would only shoot as good as the man firing it.
     
  9. paulg

    paulg Supporting Member

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    I think they are real nice. I've put togeather a few clones that are more to my liking. So, I'll pass on buying one. If your in the market for a 50's type Strat, you shoud definitly try it out.
     
  10. jzucker

    jzucker Supporting Member

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    So let me guess...You have a 10-top PRS, right? :D
     
  11. frank62

    frank62 Member

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    not hardly. i use a tacocaster with a wd neck. a no name guitar for a no name player. my point is the sig thing is redundant. do you really care what johnson or the 50 other fender sig players use? i have a buddy who has the coolest sig strat i have ever seen. it has a body made from an "old wood" toilet seat with a strat neck. he calls it the commodocaster. sure has that signature sound.
     
  12. Unburst

    Unburst Member

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    Is it his #1 or #2?
     
  13. jzucker

    jzucker Supporting Member

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    Who said anything about the sig thing being important? It just happens to be the name of the guitar. What's the difference if it's EJ or WD? The point is it's a lacquer finished, light weight, alder body with 12" radius maple neck, big frets, larger than standard neck size. Exactly what I'd order if I were to buy the parts.

    I've put several WD necks on guitars btw and don't care for the 11" radius, the poly finish or the thin dimensions. I've also had extremely mixed luck buying individual parts. Guitars are wood and there's no guarantee of what a couple pieces of bolted together wood will sound like when you get done. It's a crap shoot.

    If I buy the parts from warmoth and get it finished in nitro, there's no guarantee it'll sound any good and it'd cost me over $1000 with the parts I want to use. At least you can try the EJ guitar out beforehand (in theory and if you don't live in Cleveland).
     
  14. frank62

    frank62 Member

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    allright i see. if a certain sig strat has exactly what you may be looking for in a guitar and you have the chance to play it before you put it together, then by all means. fender does not have any better parts than aftermarket suppliers. as for my strat. it is a mexican body that has been stripped and refinished with thin nitro, an old fender bridge with the steel block, a 9.5 radius slab board, jumbo frets, and some fender pickups that are so old i can't tell what they are. total cost about 300. i just don't see the point in paying insane money for what is from it's inception a parts guitar. to me this is the beauty of "fenders". don't like the neck, pups, parts, etc. easy fix for anybody. you don't have to be john shur to put together a killer strat.
     
  15. stark

    stark Supporting Member

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    I played one yesterday. It sounded fantastic. Way better than the 50th anniversary masterbuilt strat that I compared it to. I would take some steel wool to the neck and break in that finish. The big frets were not that tall but felt good. Great guitar for the money. Did look a bit cheesy and new.

    Adam Stark
     
  16. jzucker

    jzucker Supporting Member

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    I agree. However, I've played few WD or warmoth guitars that were great. You can't tell what a guitar is going to sound like by the description on the parts' websites. Again, if you're willing to do a crap shoot you can sometimes get lucky. A friend of mine put together a $1000 parts guitar that sounded like crap when he was done but it was all stuff that looked great in print in the catalog. At least if you play a finished instrument you know what it's going to sound like.
     
  17. AD

    AD Supporting Member

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    I played one at a dealer yesterday - I thought it was a pretty good strat - a little brighter than I'm used to, good pups, the neck is a little wacky with a V at the first frets and then rounds up around the 8th fret or so (?) - very comfy neck though. I like the finish on the maple necks so that wasn't a problem for me. I bonded pretty fast with it but I can't see it replace my Tyler.
     
  18. John Bell

    John Bell Member

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    Very lightweight.Body contours are the most comfortable I've ever experienced.

    The frets are dressed down way too far making it a bit difficult to play.The finish is sticky on the neck.Acoustically it was not as springy sounding as a typical trem strat.It reminded me of the tone of a hardtail.Probably a good thing.And they put the signature on the back plate instead of the head stock which is also nice.Is it worth the price tag?IMO definately not,but then very little is worth the new price tag in my book.
     
  19. MikeP

    MikeP Member

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    Whoa you must shop at some kind of discount house or are super lucky on ebay ;)

    I have built a bunch of guitars & a nitro finish alone costs a few $$ Steel block trem? Callaham $100
    Any decent neck is going to be over 140, body closer to 200
    tuners, pots, pick guard etc, pickups etc 300 would be very lucky indeed.

    John Suhr does not charge insane money for his high quality work & while it may be true as you said,

    ""you don't have to be john shur to put together a killer strat. ""

    To get a fine instrument of that calibre you would have to at least be his equal. If you were his equal I bet you would sell all you want at 300 each right? ;)
     
  20. wichita

    wichita Supporting Member

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    Well as a person Eric is such a great guy that he was the one who asked Fender not to put his name on the headstock.
    He wanted people to be able to remove his name all together if they wanted to do so.
    I didn't like the one that I played all that much but I am more into the stuff that Lentz does and Lentz does some special things for me....
    Im sure that the Fender is exactly what EJ wanted though.
     

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