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Eric Johnson Strat...

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by Ahr Bee, Jan 14, 2017.

  1. Ahr Bee

    Ahr Bee New Member!

    Jan 14, 2017
    hello Strat Talk!

    I've had the urge for a strat for a while, pretty much got my heart set on an Eric Johnson model but nowhere near me (that I know if) has one that I could play first

    what other strat models are closest to the EJ neck?

    I played the American Standard, the American Elite and the Eric Clapton artist series, the Elite was my least favourite of those 3

    I see people say sometimes they didnt like the EJ neck, wondering what it is that is love or hate about it?
  2. Thrup'ny Bit

    Thrup'ny Bit Grand Master Curmudgeon Strat-Talk Supporter

    May 21, 2010
    Sheffield, UK
    The only person that knows if you will get on with any particular neck is you. Every one is slightly different, so to be sure you have to try lots of guitars, which is a real hardship. :D
  3. Ahr Bee

    Ahr Bee New Member!

    Jan 14, 2017
    life can be a struggle sometimes :D

    I played some Custom Shop models when I was at the shop too, the most expensive one was probably my least favourite, it was £4k...although I migt not have given the attention it required as I had no intention of buying it!

    I guess I'll just have to take a chance if i can't find an EJ to play tho!

    I have Ibanez 'shredders'..., LP copies, nylon/steel them all but never had a strat, hoping I either like it straight away or adapt!...
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2017
  4. Murphcaster

    Murphcaster Strat-O-Master

    Oct 17, 2013
    West Virginia
    The biggest gripe I hear about the neck is the stickiness/tackiness as a result of the lacquer. That's an easy fix though if that turns out to be an issue.

    Regarding the neck profile, it is kinda chunky but not overwhelmingly so. It's a very soft V shape at the nut that seems to gradually turn into a C the farther you move up. Really comfortable.

    I played one a few years back and the thing I disliked about it was, ironically, what everyone else praises it for. The 12" fingerboard radius. I like playing a fretboard with more curve in it. That's just me though and I may be in the minority in that regard.

    I've often heard by EJ Strat owners that they're one of the best guitars Fender makes. While that's certainly subjective, they do seem to be quite popular. Best of luck.
    jofish likes this.
  5. Ahr Bee

    Ahr Bee New Member!

    Jan 14, 2017
    Scotland Ibanez and classical guitar have really flat necks -I think 14 on the Ibanez and even flatter on the classical which doesn't bother me so hopefully that's a plus! :)

    out of curiosity, and it may be hard to explain but what do you prefer about the curvier fretboards?

    also would it be fair to say the Eric Claption and American Standards neck is chunkier than the American Elite? as i say I noticed a difference between those models but not 100% sure what
  6. David Garner

    David Garner Senior Stratmaster

    It will also play out over time. I didn't do anything to mine and it isn't sticky at all.

    It's a 2009, and it took about a year, so if you're impatient, probably steel wool is the best route.
    Ahr Bee likes this.
  7. Textele

    Textele Senior Stratmaster Strat-Talk Supporter

    Oct 10, 2009
    Whatever you decide make sure and play an EJ first or buy from a retailer with an excellent return policy.

    They are, by most accounts, wonderfully made guitars. And IMO they are all that and more! But different than really any other production Strat, spec-wise.

    I had one for a short time. On paper the specs spelled out what I thought would be the perfect Strat for me.

    After it was in hand I found out it definitely was not the case. The neck was not my cup of tea. And the guitar was set up very well but felt very stiff compared to my American Standard. I also damaged my Ulnar nerve (left elbow) a few years back and it almost immediately started to re-aggravate that area.

    Good luck and happy hunting to you!
    Electgumbo, jofish and Ahr Bee like this.
  8. Murphcaster

    Murphcaster Strat-O-Master

    Oct 17, 2013
    West Virginia
    My playing style lends itself to playing barre chords with my thumb over the top of the fretboard (Hendrix, Frusciante, SRV, etc) which makes lovely chord embellishments much easier. While it's certainly possible to do this on a 12" radius board, I find it much more comfortable on boards that have more of a radius curve, and I'm all about comfort.

    The Clapton neck is definitely chunkier than an Am Elite. The Am Standard and Am Elite would be closer in comparison but still have a different feel. The Am Standard has the modern C with very little shoulder (at least the ones I've played) while the Am Elite morphs into a D shape that has a little more shoulder to it. Personally, the Am Elite seemed to fill/fit in my hands better than the Am Standard. Both are considered to have necks that fall in the thin-medium range. The EC, imo, would fit into the "chunky" range.
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2017
    Ahr Bee likes this.
  9. Sonny

    Sonny .. The smiles returning to the faces ..

    Aug 9, 2009
    Ballerup Denmark
    NOOOO don't ruin your neck with steel wool ... I had the sticky problem with my Knopfler strat and solved it with a bottle of wax ... If you're interested I'll find the name for you ..
    jpmist and Linc Gray like this.
  10. David Garner

    David Garner Senior Stratmaster

    I didn't, FWIW. But 0000 steel wool won't ruin the neck by any means.

    LOSTVENTURE Strat-O-Master

    Jun 15, 2007
    The necks on the new "Professional" line are really close to what you would see on the EJ. Try to find one of those and see what you think.
  12. jofish

    jofish Strat-O-Master

    Aug 28, 2015
    Hull, UK
    Interesting you should mention that as I had the exact same experience. Thought the EJ I had a year or two back would be perfect for me but while it was a really nice guitar, there was a certain "stiffness" to the neck that I couldn't get over.

    Part of me regrets selling it as it was a great sounding guitar, but there was something about it that I couldn't quite get on with.

    Was yours a RW neck one too? In another thread around here about bound-neck Strats somebody mentioned that the binding meant that the fretboard edges couldn't be rolled and maybe that's what causes this perceived "stiffness".

    Anyway for the OP, definitely worth getting your hands on one to try for yourself
  13. Electgumbo

    Electgumbo Lost Planet Airman Strat-Talk Supporter

    Dec 26, 2010
    Scott La.
    I had a early model years ago. As @Textele stated... on paper it should be darn near the perfect Strat. But it wasn't. It had th sticky neck and overall didn't play as well as my other Strats. Sold it and moved on.
  14. AndSomeone

    AndSomeone Strat-Talker

    Jan 2, 2018
    Santa Monica
    I am in the same position as you, I’m on the hunt for a new Strat and the EJ is on my list to try (but more so leaning to the AV 59) just on paper for both as for me to no shop around me has them in store. I do absolutely hate hate getting a guitar without trying and feeling. But if the return policy is good just order and try just don’t scratch it ha ha.

    As for neck on EJ what I’ve heard is some say it’s close to a Les Paul 60 vintage spec neck.
  15. Murphcaster

    Murphcaster Strat-O-Master

    Oct 17, 2013
    West Virginia
    I'm gonna say it's close to Fender's '57 Soft V spec since that's what it comes with

    Paperback Rocker likes this.
  16. onscenenow

    onscenenow New Member!

    Jul 29, 2015
    Hollister, California
    Just thought I would throw in my own EJ Strat story. I'm a Les Paul guy and the other night I was playing in church when the number one E string broke in a critical lead in the first song and I still had 3 more songs to play. Being a four piece band with only one guitar I grabbed an EJ that was sitting in a stand nearby and plugged it into my amp and continued to play. First thing I noticed was the drop in volume between the Burstbucker Pro humbuckers and the single coils (about half) and I was in no position to get to the amp controls to turn it up but I made do. The second thing I noticed was the way it played. I liked the neck and it felt solid and comfortable in my hand, similar to my Les Paul. The owner had set the action extremely low which I didn't mind but what surprised me was how well it played up and down the entire neck without any string buzz whatsoever. I wish I could set the strings that low on my own Strat. Yes, I do own a Strat as well but I prefer the LP as my primary ride. Except for the volume difference the EJ was a dream to play. You probably won't get me away from my LP but the EJ was a very nice guitar and I did prefer its play-ability to my own Strat, although the Duncan PUPs on mine don't have as much volume loss as the EJ did.
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2018
  17. Sinner1980

    Sinner1980 Strat-Talker

    May 5, 2010
    Hong Kong
    For me the neck profile is probably the most important feature on any guitar and also a very, VERY personal one. I have developed a preference for chunky necks(quite big hands) with a vintage radius (feels better for playing chords).

    I've tried the EJ strats and think they are stellar guitars. The flat radius is not for me though plus, call me crazy, I don't like to purchase signature models.

    I suggest the good ol' 'try before you buy' formula.
  18. Stratoskater

    Stratoskater Senior Stratmaster

    Feb 8, 2011
    Raleigh NC
    My EJ’s are the best Strats I’ve ever owned and I’ve owned near 20 of them. Plus the neck is very close to my Les Paul so changing between them is easy. IMG_0651.jpg IMG_0696.jpg
  19. Micgtr71

    Micgtr71 Strat-Talk Member

    Mar 20, 2014
    New York
    I love the neck on my Eric Johnson as well. The radius, the thickness, everything. I am not sure if I like it more or as much as the neck on my 2010 mim. That neck is unlike any other I have tried. It’s thinner, rounder, and the radius is more rounded which I can’t figure out if I prefer, or am just used to. The EJ is fairly new to me so time will tell.
  20. Dilemma

    Dilemma Strat-Talk Member

    Aug 23, 2017
    My EJ neck was a sticky mess. Couldn’t offload it fast enough. No one to blame but myself on this one.