The Eric Johnson signature Stratocaster® guitar features a light two-piece alder body with deep '57-style body contours and cavities; one-piece, vintage-tinted quartersawn plain maple neck (contours sanded very smooth) with light '57-style "V"-shape, 12" fingerboard radius and highly-polished frets; special Eric Johnson single-coil pickups with countersunk screws and a five-way switch; vintage tremolo with silver-painted block; '57-style string recess; no paint between the base plate and the block; five springs (no tremolo cover); master volume; neck and bridge tone controls; thin neck-cap with staggered machine heads; and '57-style parchment pickguard. Available with .010-.046 gauge strings and thin nitrocellulose lacquer finish.
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First Impression: The only downside is the pick-guard is so cheap and thin that it was warped upon taking this beautiful instrument out of the box - In 30 years of having guitars in my possession, I have yet to see a brand new guitar arrive with a warped pick-guard - so not sure what happened there guys....
After I got past this pick-guard issue, I will say this instrument is beautiful and very low weight compared to my stock 1991 American Standard Stratocaster. The tone is absolutely the best I have ever come across in my collection. The reason for this is the combination of the quality materials and the quality pickups they put in this model.
Tone: I will say that capturing EJ's tone is very possible if you have a few staple items along with the guitar. I ran a vibrolux reissue from 1995 (hand wired one) with TC electronics Chorus, Boss Digital Delay, Tube Driver and or EJ Fuzz Face and frankly speaking it dials in the "tone" exactly right out of the box. I spent 5 minutes and I was in the zone. I used to spend months on getting this tone (and failing to actually get it) and boom there it was in 5 minutes. It is so good it actually sounds like all the fantastic clean tones on Venus Isle and the dirty lead tones on tracks off that album as well (just to note an example).
Price: I think the cost was a little high even considering the incredible tone. The market for signatures went haywire a few years back somehow and I give Fender credit for trying to reel it back in but its just too far gone into the higher ranges for any signature models. However, the price point is just high enough to scare some away and low enough to make you really think deeply what you are getting in a guitar like this. I say "buy it now" but shop around - you should be able to do better than the MSRP by calling around and asking for the lowest price. I don't suggest buying online unless you must.
JamesPiacentino owns this item
I have always loved the look, feel, and sound of the Fender Stratocaster, but had trouble using one because of issues with the bridge pickup. It’s too shrill and lacks a tone control to roll off the high end. Well, Eric Johnson solved this problem. Not only is his bridge single-coil pickup wound hotter than a standard Strat, it features a tone control knob so that you can dial in the perfect amount of treble. The result is that the bridge and neck pickups are nicely balanced, and you can go back and forth between the two without needing to re-EQ your amp. The bridge pickup works well for blues, rock and even country. The other sounds that you expect from a Strat are there too. Plenty of quack in position two.
Bridge pickup aside, my favorite pickup position is five, the neck.
DesiSerna owns this item
The sound, of the EJ strat through my '57 Champ Reissue is so naturally delightful - whether it's clean or distorted; the range between bass and treble is very well balanced and the sustain is awesome. I also like that the pickups aren't so twangy and "tinty", but they do have great depth and clarity. The neck radius leads to faster playing and also feels quite firm; the shape contours to my hands very well. I like the wider string spacing at the bridge and the sunburst finish is very beautiful. This instrument is definitely in the flagship league within Fender's production line-up and built to last and improve in tone over the years. Eric Johnson knows what makes-up a good Stratocaster, and Fender was wise to defer to him to make this modern-day treasure. My recommendation with this guitar - get a good amp and a premium low capacity cable. Not implying that it needs a good amp to sound good, but that this instrument through tubes is like a diamond mounted on platinum.
I've been playing for near 20 years now; starting with electric for a few months and then moving to acoustic and finally classical during the last few years. Most of my tone was "organic" and founded on natural acoustic properties as I preferred an unrefined sound and this was main reason why I didn't play the electric guitar for so many years.
The Eric Johnson Fender is the guitar that transitioned me into electric; I never knew that an electric guitar could feel and sound so natural.
BristolShore1972 owns this item
I've been gigging steadily with my EJ since I bought it in 2005, and couldn't recommend a better choice for a fairly priced Strat with custom components.
The Pros: I was spooked at first by the chunky neck and 12" radius but soon came to prefer it over all others. I will never own another thin/fast-necked guitar or a tighter radius no matter the brand. The pickups are all so very different and offer a wide variety of tones compared to many Strats with flush poles (although I wish the D string pole in the middle pickup was shorter). The light Alder produces great sustain and volume, even unplugged, and cause the out-of-phase positions to yield an exceptional woody "quack".
The Cons: I love the yellowish stain on the neck, but it takes quite awhile to work off the back. It is sticky and hard to break in, and makes you wish you had bought a used one. Even after eight years I need to spray String-Ease on the back of the neck for humid summer night jobs. Also, the absence of at least one string tree for the E and B strings was a bad decision. The high E string will jump out of the nut if you are accentuating it with a fair amount of pressure. And as with all Strats, the vibrato (whammy) bar stripped out of the block almost instantly (but nothing a little piece of napkin from the bar won't cure).
I've owned a vintage '76 Strat, a Jap, a Mexican, and a Cort model, and this one is head and shoulders above them all. A fabulous guitar that is a real pleasure to play all night. It sounds great clean, and has a nasty dirty bite with over drive (I use a Mesa Electradyne and '72 Deluxe Reverb). As with all Strats, it absolutely won't imitate a Gibson's tone, but if you are in the market for a single coil tone machine, you better snag one of these before they shoot up another thousand bucks, which is what they could easily sell for.
Ruke1 owns this item
I bought my 06' EJ used for a nice price. Prior to seeing and playing this guitar I knew nothing of it, but was instantly convinced that it was an above average Strat. In spite of some of the blemishes on the Candy Red finish I first noticed the figure of the one piece quarter sawn maple neck and the contour of the 10" radius, bends to the 3rd were very easy along with the playability. I also noticed the great sustain and volume that flowed over the entire guitar without being plugged in. When I did plug up I was very impressed in the quality and range of tones, in particular the neck and middle pick ups and their warmth of tone. As far as intonation and tuning/ tremelo issues; there are none! The tremolo can be worked fairly well and retain proper tune, after sitting in the case for months it will still be in tune when pulled out. The quality is in the details of this instrument and after reading about the design process between Eric and Fender it was apparent there are many. My opinion is that this is a custom shop item at well below the cost of one. And as a plus, this certain piece, (# EJ08105), is a particular phenom as the other EJ's I have played just don't quite shine through as this one does. Sometimes you just get a certain one with spectacular grain of wood and parts that come together to make a distinguished guitar; and what a one to be the first Strat I have ever owned. My advice if you are looking is to spend at least a half hour playing one and if you are not totally, completely stoked by it then move on to another and try it. You will find an Eric Johnson Signature Stratocaster that does just that!
Stratophile owns this item
Recommended by my guitar pusher, Allan Östergaard at Bjoernholt Music, DK. Has never disappointed - a perfect match! Easy playable and what a sound! Brings me just a tiny little bit closer to my hottest dreams of guitar playing! ;-)
Well..,- anyway: Six of five stars- at least! :-)
PerBoegh owns this item
Despite the rather high asking price, the EJ is probably the closest thing that you can get that has the quality and appointments of the classic 57 Stratocaster w/o shelling out big, big, bucks.
I saw a Blond/Maple EJ in my local music store about four years ago and just had to have it! Unfortunately, that first example turned out to have some major QC issues but I stuck it out with my dealer and my second example is perfect! Stunningly beautiful, great wood selection and finish.
My EJ weighs maybe an ounce over 7 lbs and I love the wide flat neck. The Nitro, see-through-blond, finish is fragile and will age quickly but that's OK. I like the fact that there re no string trees and the staggered tuners are neat and quick to use. The guitars sustain and sound unplugged is outstanding. The PUs and controls are wired to EJ's specs and I like having the tone controls where they'll do some good.
I bought mine never having heard Eric Johnson and he's still not my favorite guitarist but I am impressed with his EJ Sig Strat, so if you're wanting a light weight Strat, with classic appointments, a 1/4 sawn neck and pups that will cover a lot of ground, check this one out. My only beef is with the rather high price but then gain, I bought one! and truth be told, if I could afford another one, I'd own two!
PS: I did make one mod to my EJ when I installed A Callaham bridge and block. The guitar didn't absolutely NEED that mod but I like the results. Guitarists can never leave anything alone, can they? : )
mymindsok owns this item
This is an overall great guitar. It sounds good and it plays nicely, with its hybrid neck making it a very special instrument which is comfortable all the way! Another thing that differs this line of Strats from the others is the Eric Johnson -unique- singlecoil pickups that comes with it; you can only get those by buying this guitar! These are voiced in a way that makes the guitar perfect for the styles of music which i mostly play - Jazz and folk(the guitar comes with really responsive tone controllers, so you can dial it in to a beautiful mellow-sounding for jazz, and so on). The pickups are not as twangy as the ones in your typical Fender Tele or Strat, but again, because of this you won't get the crispy sound of SRV or Hendrix, which many think of when they see a Fender Stratocaster.
The Eric Johnson Stratocaster is a really good all-around guitar with features that makes it a reliable partner on stage and in the studio, but still you might want to have another guitar as well, to cover up for what this guitar can't do; a guitar is never perfect, even if you want one to be just that. :-)
JagEmperor owns this item
I love this strat. Sunburst and maple. The neck was a little bigger than what I was used too but after a hour or two it was perfect. The thing I like the most about this guitar is that it vibrates all the way through the body. I like to play it with no amplifier because of the way it sounds and feels. All in all you can't go wrong with this gem it embodies all that Leo was trying to achieve.
rafone owns this item
I bought my wife an Affinity Strat Pack after she said she wanted to learn how to play. That got me back to playing after 20+ years off. The Affinity Strat has a thin neck and small fingerboard that wasn't working right for my large paws. The Eric Johnson Strat fits my hands very well. The tones I can get are incredible. Word to the wise: buy a good shielded cable because the pick-ups are very noisy and will pick up a lot of interference. Don't abuse the tremolo very much because the guitar will go out of tune. All in all a well made great sounding instrument.
TunaCan owns this item
|Model Name:||Eric Johnson Stratocaster®, Maple Fingerboard, 2-Color Sunburst|
|Body Finish:||Nitrocellulose Lacquer|
|Neck Material:||1-Piece Quartersawn Maple|
|Neck Finish:||Nitrocellulose Lacquer|
|Neck Shape:||Soft "V"|
|Scale Length:||25.5" (648 mm)|
|Fingerboard Radius:||12" (305 mm)|
|Number of Frets:||21|
|Fret Size:||Medium Jumbo|
|String Nut:||Synthetic Bone|
|Nut Width:||1.650" (42 mm)|
|Position Inlays:||Black Dot|
|Truss Rod Nut:||Vintage-Style Slotted|
|Neck Plate:||4-Bolt Custom|
|Bridge Pickup:||Specially Voiced Eric Johnson Single-Coil with Countersunk Mounting Screws|
|Middle Pickup:||Specially Voiced Eric Johnson Single-Coil with Countersunk Mounting Screws|
|Neck Pickup:||Specially Voiced Eric Johnson Single-Coil with Countersunk Mounting Screws|
|Controls:||Master Volume, Tone 1. (Neck Pickup), Tone 2. (Bridge Pickup)|
|Pickup Switching:||5-Position Blade: Position 1. Bridge Pickup, Position 2. Bridge and Middle Pickup, Position 3. Middle Pickup, Position 4. Middle and Neck Pickup, Position 5. Neck Pickup|
|Bridge:||6-Saddle American Vintage Synchronized Tremolo|
|Bridge Cover:||Includes Chrome Bridge Cover|
|Tremolo Arm Handle:||American Vintage|
|Tuning Machines:||Vintage-Style Staggered|
|Control Knobs:||Parchment Plastic|
|Strings:||Fender® USA 250R, NPS, (.010-.046 Gauges)|
|Unique Features:||12" Radius Fingerboard, Countersunk Holes in Pickguard for Pickup Mounting Screws, Height Staggered Vintage Style Tuners which Eliminate the Need for String Trees, Vintage Tremolo with Silver Painted Block and '57 Style String Recess (No Paint Between Base Plate and Block), 5 Tremolo Springs and No Back Tremolo Cover Plate|
|Included Accessories:||Deluxe Blonde Hardshell Case with Black Ends (Black Interior), Strap, Cable, "Ash Tray" Bridge Cover|
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