Fender Eric Johnson Stratocaster Maple
Fender Eric Johnson Stratocaster Maple

Eric Johnson Stratocaster Maple, STC-Shaped Guitar from Fender in the Eric Johnson series.

King Loudness 01/26/2012

Fender Eric Johnson Stratocaster Maple : King Loudness's user review

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The Fender Eric Johnson Strat is a guitar that was designed between fusion guitar master Eric Johnson and Fender. Eric has long been known for his endless quest for tone and the late fities Strats that he has played for years are a focal point. For many years people aspired to get that classic EJ "violin" tone, and now with his signature model you can get that next step closer. It features an alder body, a quartersawn maple neck and fretboard with 21 frets, Kluson tuners, a vintage style tremolo unit with larger tremolo block and 5 springs per EJ's spec. The pickups are Fender made and were designed by Eric and Michael Braun to get the vintage and clear tones that work for the "violin" sound as heard in Cliffs of Dover. It's wired to a volume, dual tones (neck and bridge) and a 5 way switch. Built in the USA.


The design of this guitar is pretty ergonomic for sure. The body is extremely contoured just like the real old Strats, and it's also quite light. The quartersawn maple neck feels very nice. The one major issue I have with this guitar is the glossy neck finish which gets quite sticky and annoying, so much so that I have turned down buying one for that reason alone. If the finish was satin, it would possibly be the perfect non Custom Shop Strat. The upper fret access is quite nice though which is good, and the tones are just stellar from this instrument. It's very resonant unplugged, and when put through good tube amps it's really a thing of beauty.


The tones out of this ax are pretty amazing. The custom designed Fender pickups are just the perfect blend of that old world Strat tone brought into the modern context. They're extremely awesome and glassy sounding. Through a nice clean Fender like a Twin they just sing with bell like qualities. Whether you're doing jazzy chords, harmonic based passages or lead work a-la the master, the tones are right there delivering purity of sound through and through. Switching over to a drive sound brings this guitar to a whole other level. The punchiness of the pickups really comes through well and it's just awesome to use for blues, rock, or even some heavier tones if you want that bright sound. It's a pretty quiet instrument as well which is a nice plus.


All in all I think the Fender Eric Johnson Strat is awesome. People say it's probably the best non Custom Shop Fender made, and I'd have to agree. Other than the overly glossy neck, it's nearly perfect, and short of having a custom Suhr or Fender made, I'd argue that for the dollar you can't get better. The look is classic, the feel is very vintage, and the tones range from pristine to pretty raunchy and it does them all convincingly and with power. For about $1,900 new this guitar is a great deal and well worth looking into if you need a killer Strat.