Eric Johnson Owners Club

Wxman2000

Strat-Talker
Nov 23, 2017
130
Utah
It didn't bug me too much...pickups are one of those things that are easy enough to swap out. I did leave the original pickguard and set up alone to put away in the case, then I built up a new pickguard that's on the guitar now just incase I ever want everything exactly as it came stock. I tried everything to like the pickups and I played around a lot with the heights and EQ settings on my amp and still they just weren't for me.

Keep in mind, I also bought the EJ strat used, so it really didn't cost much more than my MIA that I got years ago...and I've swapped out the pups on that one too. Had it been 1800-2000 on it new, I probably would not have bought it after testing it out in a store.
 

macoshark

Senior Stratmaster
Aug 30, 2016
1,442
arizona
It didn't bug me too much...pickups are one of those things that are easy enough to swap out. I did leave the original pickguard and set up alone to put away in the case, then I built up a new pickguard that's on the guitar now just incase I ever want everything exactly as it came stock. I tried everything to like the pickups and I played around a lot with the heights and EQ settings on my amp and still they just weren't for me.

Keep in mind, I also bought the EJ strat used, so it really didn't cost much more than my MIA that I got years ago...and I've swapped out the pups on that one too. Had it been 1800-2000 on it new, I probably would not have bought it after testing it out in a store.
Right- I vowed not to buy before playing but did buy a strat here that worked out good. Those EJ Strats sound interesting.
 

Andrew Wasson

Senior Stratmaster
Nov 6, 2018
3,823
Vancouver, Canada
It didn't bug me too much...pickups are one of those things that are easy enough to swap out. I did leave the original pickguard and set up alone to put away in the case, then I built up a new pickguard that's on the guitar now just incase I ever want everything exactly as it came stock. I tried everything to like the pickups and I played around a lot with the heights and EQ settings on my amp and still they just weren't for me.

Keep in mind, I also bought the EJ strat used, so it really didn't cost much more than my MIA that I got years ago...and I've swapped out the pups on that one too. Had it been 1800-2000 on it new, I probably would not have bought it after testing it out in a store.

Good call on keeping the OEM pickups in a loaded pickguard. If you ever sell it, the buyer would probably want the OEM pickups. I know I would.

I’m a huge fan of the EJ pickups. Maybe it’s due to the bridge pickup, which I think has more personality than any Strat pickup I've played but I really dig them. I’ve got a couple of other Strats which have that classic Strat tone and slightly thin bridge pickup. The EJ set is a little ballsier. That said, I always wanted a Strat Plus so I’m totally open to the Lace setup. I may do up a set for one of my others.

Pickups aside, I absolutely love my EJ Strat. What a balanced and well designed guitar. I’m certain that if I bought an EJ Strat first, I'd have no want for another Strat, except maybe another in Sonic Blue, or Olympic White, or Red, or....
 

Fender Phil

Strat-Talker
Jul 22, 2015
299
Windsor Ontario Canada
I got this one for a used price a few months back. It’s a 2013, that pretty much was left on a wall hanger, on display, locally in the original owners home.

I cleaned her up, and keep her in the case when not getting played. The finish on the neck doesn’t like hangers, and reacts to the foam. Just about every time I play it, there is something that seems to impress me a little more. It just feels different, in a good way, and lighter. The finish easily gets scratched and lends itself to damage.

I love my Strats, and it is still a toss up for me between the Clapton, the Johnson, and my first Stratocaster, the 1983 two knobber Smith Era. All for different reasons.

This one came with the original bill of sale from the 12th Fret, here in Canada. It is the first Strat that I didn’t have to set up for my liking. It seems to be the way I like it. I see no need to venture into changing anything at this time. The trem bar has not yet been installed, and I am choosing to use the ashtray cover for the bridge. It still has all 5 springs in the back cavity.

I have several others set up for trem use. At this time, I want to learn as much as I can about the way everything has been set up by the 12th Fret. The sustain on this one amazes me. Natural overdrive of the single coils through several of my amps rivals humbucker equipped guitars, and the Clapton.

It is getting tougher to size down my collection of guitars. This one is in my top five. I have no single favourite, they have their individual strengths. I have lost track of how many guitars that I have. image.jpg image.jpg
 
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Fender Phil

Strat-Talker
Jul 22, 2015
299
Windsor Ontario Canada
Update on my EJ.

I have done a fair amount of playing with it, then done some direct comparison with some of my other favourite Stratocasters and amps.

They all have their strengths and similarities.

I decided to install the wiggle stick and see what that is all about. It can interfere with the ashtray cover when you swing it out of the way. It messes with the tuning. Swing it back into playing position, and it comes back into tune. All that is repeatable and consistant

5 springs is not for me. I pulled 2, and immediately had to do some tuning. I was trying to avoid a full intrusive set up, because the EJ is quite appealing as mine was set up as received. I saw no real positives revealing themselves to me. Even that mojo uniqueness to the sound quality was shrinking. I put the springs back in, and had to tune the EJ again. Things were back to the desirable normal, that I have become accustomed to. I removed the bar and put it back in the bag, then in the case.

I like the feel of the ash tray cover and am keeping it on for now.

I am spoiled by how my Jeff Beck, and American Deluxe HSS two point, floating trems feel, work, stay in tune, and overall contribute to the tone they generate.

I also have a Highway 1, set up very nice floating, slightly more effort, but contributing nicely to the tone it generates.

At this time, I am going to continue appreciating the EJ as is.
The next step is to try a lighter gauge of strings, and see what that does. I am going to reinstall the used EJ strings on another known Stratocaster and see what the strings feel like on it. I want to see if that slight"stiffness" feel is still there, and what the tone is like. I might as well know.
 
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Andrew Wasson

Senior Stratmaster
Nov 6, 2018
3,823
Vancouver, Canada
Update on my EJ.

I have done a fair amount of playing with it, then done some direct comparison with some of my other favourite Stratocasters and amps.

They all have their strengths and similarities.

I decided to install the wiggle stick and see what that is all about. It can interfere with the ashtray cover when you swing it out of the way. It messes with the tuning. Swing it back into playing position, and it comes back into tune. All that is repeatable and consistant

5 springs is not for me. I pulled 2, and immediately had to do some tuning. I was trying to avoid a full intrusive set up, because the EJ is quite appealing as mine was set up as received. I saw no real positives revealing themselves to me. Even that mojo uniqueness to the sound quality was shrinking. I put the springs back in, and had to tune the EJ again. Things were back to the desirable normal, that I have become accustomed to. I removed the bar and put it back in the bag, then in the case.

I like the feel of the ash tray cover and am keeping it on for now.

I am spoiled by how my Jeff Beck, and American Deluxe HSS two point, floating trems feel, work, stay in tune, and overall contribute to the tone they generate.

I also have a Highway 1, set up very nice floating, slightly more effort, but contributing nicely to the tone it generates.

At this time, I am going to continue appreciating the EJ as is.
The next step is to try a lighter gauge of strings, and see what that does. I am going to reinstall the used EJ strings on another known Stratocaster and see what the strings feel like on it. I want to see if that slight"stiffness" feel is still there, and what the tone is like. I might as well know.

That tuning thing is odd. I don’t use the ashtray cover on mine. I have it set for floating like my others with 3 springs and I don’t have any issues with tuning so I guess it must be the cover that’s interfering somehow. I’ve never had the cover on mine so I don’t know how it would do that. It’s a pretty fantastic guitar.
 

Fender Phil

Strat-Talker
Jul 22, 2015
299
Windsor Ontario Canada
About a month ago, I decided to give floating the trem another try.

In the past I removed two springs, adjusted the spring tension, and just didn’t like the still too stiff, overall feel.

I found three of my lighter gauge, black Fender springs. I still have the same .010 gauge strings on it, and made a minor adjustment to the spring tension.

That resolved the stiff feel issue, and bends became that familiar experience that I have with other Stratocaster guitars that I have well set up to float. It stays in tune, even if I heavily dive bomb. Additionally, I sense no loss in tone, or sustain. The guitar still does those things well. I prefer that feel and playability. I don’t miss that overly stiff feeling while bending strings, or using the wiggle stick. There was no need for lubricants, or other crutches.

I am now satisfied, with the overall performance, and general feel of my EJ.
image.jpg image.jpg
 

Chipss36

Strat-O-Master
Oct 1, 2018
871
Texas
I have a half breed. ? Ej body, srv neck, Virgil Arlo 1954 pickups…
This guitar has two fender certifications of authenticity.

the plastics will be changed to 1954 styrene type, once they get here.
customs just released the package.

It’s all my favorite strat stuff, on one strat.
 

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