It was better but we were still losing a bit of mid punch so at that point I just widened the block - we added about an inch of width so it’s four to five inches wide and goes straight from the neck pocket to the strap button.”. Eric suggests it might: “It’s a little thicker on the bridge pickup,” he affirms, “especially at higher volumes. Bath These 5 Black Friday sales for musicians are amazing - save up to 70% on music gear, Last chance! The best of MusicRadar in your inbox And anyway, who’s going to argue with the ears of Eric Johnson? © Renowned tone-hound Eric was looking to create a lightweight instrument that offered a subtle but distinctively different voice to that of a conventional Strat. This is one of the secrets of EJ’s sound: for those chiming, open-voiced chords he looks for the cleanest, brightest output from the bridge pickup; while for his trademark ‘violin tone’ solos he winds this pot back for an almost ‘woman tone’ effect, adding a fuzz or Tube Driver and lashings of delay. Of course, on many Fenders this is now possible, but on something as vintage-vibed as this it's a rarity. There was a problem. All rights reserved. We try to steer clear of generalisations when it comes to tone - “Mahogany sounds like this, swamp ash like that,” etc - but there are certain truisms to how a guitar’s construction will affect its sound. But all agreed it gives the instrument a unique identity; it does do something to the tone and some of us got to really like the look. Thank you for signing up to Musicradar. #coloradomusician #guitarreview BA1 1UA. "Actually the backplates are removed from all my guitars because I think they sound better with them off," he says. The 10 best Stratocasters: our pick of the best Strat guitars. Subtle changes are afoot with playability, too. The EJ's cellulose -acquered neck is a touch bigger than the average Vintage Reissue Strat, with a chunky 'C' meets 'V' feel that's designed to be a comfortable palm-full and bring an ounce or two more tone to the guitar. Staggered height tuner posts obviate the need for friction-inducing string trees and make for a fuss-free look to the headstock. ‘A Strat is a Strat is a Strat,’ you might say. Johnson was inspired by his love of the Gibson ES-335 with its markedly more dynamic range when compared to … Matched alongside this reviewer’s own Custom Shop Strat and both fired up through our ubiquitous Blues Junior test amp, the EJ felt immediately lighter underfoot than the dark toned, rosewood boarded Relic. © "They used my favourite Stratocaster," Eric tells us. "All my Strats are wired this way," grins Johnson, "I've actually been doing it since the 1970s. JGT REVIEW: Fender Eric Johnson Signature Stratocaster Thinline After years of collaboration with one of today’s most respected guitarists, Fender has introduced the Eric Johnson Signature Stratocaster Thinline. CLA EchoSphere: Waves’ free Black Friday VST plugin is a slap delay and plate reverb from Chris Lord-Alge, Arturia responds to Behringer’s KeyStep MIDI keyboard lookalike Swing: “This is not fair competition”. Mated to this would be a quarter-sawn tinted maple neck with the smoothest transition between neck and headstock, armed with 21 medium-jumbo frets and with a modern, 12-inch fingerboard radius. Buyers' guides to all the best music gear, The best Black Friday plugin deals 2020: discounts on Waves, Native Instruments, Plugin Boutique, IK Multimedia and more, The best DAWs 2020: the best digital audio workstations for PC and Mac, Free music samples: download loops, hits and multis from SampleRadar, The 12 best audio interfaces 2020: top audio interfaces for music-making and production, 11 best laptops for music production 2020: portable computers for musicians, producers and DJs. With a new and unique design,this signature guitar is a marriage between a semi-hollow body and a traditional Stratocaster. Like so many Fenders these days it's almost a work of art, its fingerboard's edges having received the 'rolling' treatment that leaves it feeling smooth as silk, and its slightly larger frets perfectly set, dressed and polished. There was a problem. Flawless and featherweight build. Eric worked with the Custom Shop to develop pickups that sounded both warm and hot, with a distinct vintage vibe that retained every ounce of tone possible. Receive news and offers from our other brands? Johnson simply switched the tone pot from the middle pickup to the bridge, leaving the neck unit covered by its own tone control but the middle wired wide open. Along with Fender he has created the perfect guitar for lovers of vintage Strats who want something extra. So we continued the block back to the strap button like on a 335. Anyone familiar with Eric Johnson will know that, apart from his magical touch on the guitar, he strives for the perfect tone. Please refresh the page and try again. All these sounds are ideal for rhythm and riffs, sparkling clean leads and of course Johnson's legendary chord voicings layered with dreamy effects. What Strat player hasn't wished that pesky bridge pickup could sometimes be tamed? Eric Johnson is a charming and intelligent man, and a sophisticated guitarist capable of playing almost anything extraordinarily well. Who is the best online guitar personality of 2020? But the most important weapon in the guitar's arsenal is its pickups and wiring. We check over 130 million products every day for the best prices, The model is based on Johnson's favourite 1957 sunburst with maple neck. Visit our corporate site. Fender’s Stories Collection Eric Johnson 1954 “Virginia” Stratocaster is an impressive guitar for players, collectors and anyone else who wants to get as close as possible to the Stratocaster that Eric Johnson used to create game-changing music more than three decades ago. Due to his desire for a string-tree-free headstock, one millimetre or so has been skimmed from its front surface and staggered Gotoh tuners fitted. Receive news and offers from our other brands? The bridge single coil features a tone pot but otherwise it’s all standard Strat fare with one master volume, two tones and a five-way selector controlling the trio of pickups. But we liked what it seemed to do when compared to our regular vintage style model. We can’t fault fit or finish so perhaps the question should be, does Eric favour this instrument over his all-solid signature models? "It was my idea to stagger the tuners, then Michael Braun at Fender made it work by skimming the face of the peghead to increase string angle over the nut.". All rights reserved. Now, whether or not the semi-hollow build provides enough of a sonic difference from, say, last issue’s excellent American Original models, only a personal audition will reveal. Fender Eric Johnson Thinline Stratocaster deals, We check over 130 million products every day for the best prices. After testing several prototypes Eric settled on a newly sculpted ‘soft V’ neck, said to evoke the perfect meeting of vintage and modern. Not a fan of the tricky-to-negotiate Strat back-plate with its fiddly string-loading holes, Johnson decided it would be omitted from his signature guitar. With Fender itself as his co-conspirator this is the Texan virtuoso’s third tweak of his favourite musical tool, and one that led to the company’s first semi-hollow Stratocaster with full body contouring and vintage vibrato system. Other personal features include a parchment-coloured, single-ply scratchplate, an authentic vibrato block - "It's closer to those used in the 1950s and 1960s; the holes are smaller and the string doesn't go in as deep" - and a discreet neck-plate bearing the guitarist's initials and the figure of Kokopelli, a Native American character symbolising the 'mischievous minstrel'. But it's not all hyper-fat lead; Eric also loves sparkling bridge, classic Texan neck and spanky middle pickup tones, as well as those 'vocal' sounds so ably served by positions two and four. MusicRadar is part of Future plc, an international media group and leading digital publisher. What represents the Holy Grail to one guitar star means little or nothing to anyone but the artist's most diehard fans. Think of Eric’s sounds and they are never ferocious, just big, fat and controlled, and that’s clearly what he was going for here. MusicRadar is part of Future plc, an international media group and leading digital publisher. Buyers' guides to all the best music gear, 11 best studio headphones 2020: recommended headphones for music production, 11 best laptops for music production 2020: portable computers for musicians, producers and DJs, The best studio monitors 2020: 10 affordable to high-end studio speakers for musicians and producers, The 12 best audio interfaces 2020: top audio interfaces for music-making and production, Free music samples: download loops, hits and multis from SampleRadar. Crank up the wick, though, and it really does take on a different nature, blossoming with sweet, juicy fatness.