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Fender Artist Series Eric Johnson Stratocaster Electric Guitar  Black Maple Fretboard

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After years of painstaking research and design, the Fender Eric Johnson Stratocaster Electric Guitar has finally arrived. Designed with Eric by Custo...Click To Read More About This Product

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Black Maple Fretboard  
  • Black Maple Fretboard

    $1,899.99 Top Rated

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  • 2-Color Sunburst Maple Fretboard

    $1,899.99 Top Rated

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    { "name": "2-Color Sunburst Maple Fretboard", "status": "instock", "statusText": "In stock", "inventoryText": "In Stock & Ready To Ship", "inventoryKey": "in_stock", "price": 1899.99, "isOnSale": false, "easyPayOptions":"36,53,3100001,36 Month Equal Pay,05/31/2017,0% Interest for 36 Months*. 36 Equal Monthly Payments required. Valid through ,1899.99,false", "msrp": 1900.01, "salePrice": 1899.99, "listPrice": 1899.99, "isPriceDrop": false, "promos":["freeShipping","topRated","topSeller","flexibleFinancing","guarantee"], "warranty": true, "freeWarrantyAvail": true, "sku": "site1sku511311000063063", "displaySku": "511311 000063063", "serialized": false, "stickerUrl":"http://www.musiciansfriend.com/static/mf/stickers/top-rated.png", "stickerDesc":"Top Rated by All of You Musicians!", "stickerDisplayText":"Top Rated", "shipsFree":true, "condition": "New", "priceVisibility": "1", "scene7SetID": "MMGS7/511311000063063_MEDIA_SET", "currencySymbol": "$", "freeGiftWarning":false, "freeGiftWarningTips":"", "isShipsInternational": false, "pdpLoyaltyPoints":"15,200", "pdpLoyaltyPointsMultiplier":"1", "restrictionType":"", "restrictionError":"" }
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    { "name": "White Blonde Maple Fretboard", "status": "instock", "statusText": "In stock", "inventoryText": "In Stock & Ready To Ship", "inventoryKey": "in_stock", "price": 1899.99, "isOnSale": false, "easyPayOptions":"36,53,3100001,36 Month Equal Pay,05/31/2017,0% Interest for 36 Months*. 36 Equal Monthly Payments required. Valid through ,1899.99,false", "msrp": 1900.01, "salePrice": 1899.99, "listPrice": 1899.99, "isPriceDrop": false, "promos":["freeShipping","topRated","flexibleFinancing","guarantee"], "warranty": true, "freeWarrantyAvail": true, "sku": "site1sku511311000854063", "displaySku": "511311 000854063", "serialized": false, "stickerUrl":"http://www.musiciansfriend.com/static/mf/stickers/top-rated.png", "stickerDesc":"Top Rated by All of You Musicians!", "stickerDisplayText":"Top Rated", "shipsFree":true, "condition": "New", "priceVisibility": "1", "scene7SetID": "MMGS7/511311000854063_MEDIA_SET", "currencySymbol": "$", "freeGiftWarning":false, "freeGiftWarningTips":"", "isShipsInternational": false, "pdpLoyaltyPoints":"15,200", "pdpLoyaltyPointsMultiplier":"1", "restrictionType":"", "restrictionError":"" }

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OVERVIEW

Based on a '57 Strat with a maple fretboard.

After years of painstaking research and design, the Fender Eric Johnson Stratocaster Electric Guitar has finally arrived. Designed with Eric by Custom Shop guru Michael Frank-Braun, this beauty is based on a '57, and combines the best of vintage design with modern electronics technology.

The '57-style, 2-piece alder body has an ultrathin, Custom Shop-quality nitrocellulose lacquer finish that results in better resonance. Johnson opted for a one-piece, quartersawn maple neck with a 12" radius that's finished with a thin-skinned glossy lacquer and vintage tint. 19 prototype pickups were created before Johnson found the tone he was looking for. The Custom Shop-modified single coils use a new wire material and winding technique for the magnets giving them a unique, Eric Johnson-approved sound. Johnson and Braun also included one of Eric's most famous Strat modifications by wiring the tone controls to the neck and bridge pickups, instead of the standard neck/middle tone configuration of most Strats.

This guitar offers tonal perfection thanks to the discerning ear of one of the best players to ever pick up an axe. And it's pleasing to the eye as well, with its large arm contour, '57-style pickguard and shallow pickup cavities, plus thin headstock with vintage staggered tuners that eliminate the need for a string tree. Unbelievable Custom Shop-like quality in a production axe. Includes case.

Check the drop-down menu to the right to select colors and/or other options.

FEATURES
  • '57-style, 2-piece alder body
  • Body cavities true to '57 specs
  • One-piece, quartersawn plain maple neck
  • Thinner, vintage-style headstock
  • 12" radius American Series-style frets
  • Staggered vintage machine heads eliminate string tree
  • Thin neck cap
  • Bone nut
  • Custom Shop-modified single-coil pickups
  • Master volume, neck tone, and bridge tone controls
  • Vintage tremolo with silver painted block
  • '57-style string recess
  • Thin nitrocellulose lacquer finish
  • Includes case
Reviews
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Review Snapshot

by PowerReviews
FenderArtist Series Eric Johnson Stratocaster Electric Guitar
 
4.8

(based on 128 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (108)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (12)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (7)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

92%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Good tone (12)
  • Fun to play (11)
  • Good feel (11)
  • Good pick up (9)
  • Solid electronics (8)

Cons

No Cons

Best Uses

  • Jamming (9)
  • Practicing (9)
  • Recording (5)
  • Small venues (4)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Experienced (10)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Makes the USA standard strat seem like a Squire

It's worth repeating that this is the nicest electric guitar I've ever played. It just feels good. It will make you want to play it more. It's hard for me to look at...Read complete review

It's worth repeating that this is the nicest electric guitar I've ever played. It just feels good. It will make you want to play it more. It's hard for me to look at it and not want to pick it up. Do yourself a favor and just play one. If you're a fan of stratocasters, chances are you'll want to add this to your collection.
As far as strats go it's pretty basic, but that's all I need. The tone knobs control the bridge and neck pickups, instead of one controlling the neck and one controlling the bridge and middle pickups. 21 frets, just like the old strats had. A thin lacquer finish, and vintage tuners make this look like an old 50s strat. It also comes in a super high end case that just screams quality.

The pickups are specially voiced to EJ's needs. I like them. They are punchy, but not too twangy. As expected, they sound really good clean but don't get muddy under distortion or fuzz.

The neck has a way more "Gibsonesque" feel. It's slightly thicker than a standard strat neck and has a flatter, 12'' radius. I really like it and it makes bending notes much easier. It's something I've always wanted on a strat neck.

This is my first experience with the vintage style tuners and I absolutely love them. I'm curious why they aren't on all Fender guitars. The end of the string stays inside the tuner so there's zero risk of having the string ends cut or poke you. Looks a lot cleaner too. They are precise and stay in tune perfectly.

The lack of string trees actually does a good job of keeping the tremolo from getting the guitar out of tune. You can use it way more than you can on a regular strat and it still stays in tune. Another nice touch, plus it makes the headstock look cleaner.
I wish there was an 11 rating. This is by far the most high quality, well made electric guitar I've ever played. You can tell the people at Fender really take their time with this and make sure everything is perfect. The guitar is flawless. The frets are highly polished and don't stick out past the fretboard. The finish is perfect and I love the look, feel, and smell of the thin nitrocellulose lacquer.

Eric Johnson is known to be a perfectionist and it's reflected in this guitar. I've got a lot of respect for an artist who actually takes the time to help construct a guitar he would actually play, not just stamp his name on it to make a quick buck. Kudos to EJ and Fender for building a world class instrument.
The going rate for one of these is a bit on the high side for a lot of people. I seriously lucked out and found one basically brand new at a great price. If I wouldn't have gotten such a smokin' deal on mine I would have pulled the trigger and payed full price. It's well worth it.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Good Guitar ...... but needs some mods

I've had 5 new EJ's in the last 4 years. I would get a new EJ ( RW or Maple) from MF and it would have either a flaw in the paint job or...Read complete review

I've had 5 new EJ's in the last 4 years. I would get a new EJ ( RW or Maple) from MF and it would have either a flaw in the paint job or in the electronics ( such as the selector switch not working in certain positions.). I would send them back and order another one in hopes of not being disappointed again.

Right out of the box every guitar I received would not stay in tune when doing a 1/2 step or whole step bend usually on the b or G strings anywhere on the neck. Even after the strings had been worn in there was serious tuning instability. Don't even think about using the Tremelo. Even slight use of the tremelo knocked all 6 out of tune. Usually sharp.

This was the case for all 5 EJ's Ive had.

Finally, after the last EJ, I ordered and installed an LSR roller nut and a Callaham Vintage S bridge and tuning issues decreased by at least 95 %. Most of the tuning instability was in the NUT. All five EJ's had poorly cut nuts back at the factory.

the reason I got a Callaham trem bridge was the EJ trem arm was sloppy in the threaded hole in the block. It was a matter of time before the block threads for the trem arm would strip out. The new bridge cost me 145.00 plus shipping. The LSR nut and install cost me 200.00.

NOW I have an excellent guitar. The neck is great, pickups are great, 2 tone sunburst body is nice. Now I can look forward to picking up this guitar and playing it.

After these mods this guitar is up there with the customs strat. It's strat tone is excellent and its sustain is good. These mods had no negative effect on the sounds of the guitar. At first I was hesitant to change anything on the guitar due to fear of ruining the EJ sound it should have.

For those players out there that have experienced these same issues, take heart. Its a good guitar. You just have to add some quality parts to it and it turns into an EXCELLENT guitar to be proud of. I recommend this guitar to a friend even though it needs a new nut and tremolo bridge.

Reviewed by 128 customers

Displaying reviews 1-10

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(9 of 10 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

EJ Strat?Worth the Setup

By TMoore

from Texas

See all my reviews

Comments about Fender Artist Series Eric Johnson Stratocaster Electric Guitar:

Bought mine here in 07. Didn't like it for awhile?sticky neck, buzzed like a power plant?then decided to dive in and make it right. All strats require setup, even the great ones, and that means more than intonation. Quality on this model is top notch, wood is superior, details perfect. It's worth the extra trouble, that's why all strats players fiddle with them... the dial-in options are endless. Yes, even expensive strats buzz when new. Why? B/c they leave the fix options to you. Why? B/c some people get hostile if you add shielding b/c they say it affects tone?-they'd rather use a pedal or rack unit to dial it out. Your choice. I added the $13 shield plate under the guard, plus $13 worth of shield tape to all cavities. Now it is dead quiet, zero hum, and no pickguard static. All pro strat players do it that I've read about. You notice Eric's strats don't hum. It didn't come from the factory that way, guys.The neck back is sticky. Buff it with 0000 steel wool. The neck becomes VERY fast and you can't see any marks. Many pro Fender players sand the neck back completely. Use at least .10's, leave the action high & tune to Eflat makes a HUGE difference on this strat. Unplugged the body vibrates and resonates, the sustain is great and notes ring like bells. This is the best new, maple-neck strat I've owned in 36 yrs of playing Fenders.

(9 of 9 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Makes the USA standard strat seem like a Squire

By Matt Rupe

from Ohio

Comments about Fender Artist Series Eric Johnson Stratocaster Electric Guitar:

It's worth repeating that this is the nicest electric guitar I've ever played. It just feels good. It will make you want to play it more. It's hard for me to look at it and not want to pick it up. Do yourself a favor and just play one. If you're a fan of stratocasters, chances are you'll want to add this to your collection.
As far as strats go it's pretty basic, but that's all I need. The tone knobs control the bridge and neck pickups, instead of one controlling the neck and one controlling the bridge and middle pickups. 21 frets, just like the old strats had. A thin lacquer finish, and vintage tuners make this look like an old 50s strat. It also comes in a super high end case that just screams quality.

The pickups are specially voiced to EJ's needs. I like them. They are punchy, but not too twangy. As expected, they sound really good clean but don't get muddy under distortion or fuzz.

The neck has a way more "Gibsonesque" feel. It's slightly thicker than a standard strat neck and has a flatter, 12'' radius. I really like it and it makes bending notes much easier. It's something I've always wanted on a strat neck.

This is my first experience with the vintage style tuners and I absolutely love them. I'm curious why they aren't on all Fender guitars. The end of the string stays inside the tuner so there's zero risk of having the string ends cut or poke you. Looks a lot cleaner too. They are precise and stay in tune perfectly.

The lack of string trees actually does a good job of keeping the tremolo from getting the guitar out of tune. You can use it way more than you can on a regular strat and it still stays in tune. Another nice touch, plus it makes the headstock look cleaner.
I wish there was an 11 rating. This is by far the most high quality, well made electric guitar I've ever played. You can tell the people at Fender really take their time with this and make sure everything is perfect. The guitar is flawless. The frets are highly polished and don't stick out past the fretboard. The finish is perfect and I love the look, feel, and smell of the thin nitrocellulose lacquer.

Eric Johnson is known to be a perfectionist and it's reflected in this guitar. I've got a lot of respect for an artist who actually takes the time to help construct a guitar he would actually play, not just stamp his name on it to make a quick buck. Kudos to EJ and Fender for building a world class instrument.
The going rate for one of these is a bit on the high side for a lot of people. I seriously lucked out and found one basically brand new at a great price. If I wouldn't have gotten such a smokin' deal on mine I would have pulled the trigger and payed full price. It's well worth it.

(6 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Eric Johnson 2 tone sunburst Stratocaster

By Mike from Montana

from Billings MT

See all my reviews

Comments about Fender Artist Series Eric Johnson Stratocaster Electric Guitar:

Enough said already. It's a great guitar. Go out and buy one. Take care of this beauty and it will take care of you.
you can check out the features on the fender or MF website. I just received this EJ from MF yesterday. I sent my previous EJ 2 tone back because there was an overspray of paint on the front of the body. Both guitars that I have received were set up properly. I checked the intonation, string height and pick up height of both guitars I received were correct. Of course the sound and looks of the 2 tone models are the best I've seen and heard for the signature models that fender puts out. I have a fender twin pro tube I bought from MF five years ago and this guitar and amp were made for each other. I will be purchasing the fender blues deville reissue soon to add to my amp collection. I prefer blues only. This will probably be my last strat I will ever buy. If it gets lost, broke or stolen I will purchasing another EJ 2 tone SB.
Maple 12" radius neck is great. They nailed the spray tint color on this neck. Very close to a 57 strat style. The 2 tone body shows the wood grain perfectly. Tuners are good. EJ pickups are excellent. I would not replace them for any other style of pickup. With the EJ's I've had I have had to dive into why my strings go out of tune when using the tremelo . I don't dive bomb. I've learned alot about this guitar in my research about why strings go out of tune when using the trem. This is a common issue with alot of strats. Most of the time it's the way the nut is cut at the factory. Most of time it's the low E,A and D strings that go sharp. Problable binding in the nut. I use Nut Sauce and this reduces this problem so I know the binding is at the nut. At lease 80% of the binding issue is at the nut. I've set up the tremelo per the fender web site also. Using 4 springs instead of the normal 3 springs in a triangle. This helps bring the E,A and D strings back to pitch when using the tremelo arm. Will probably install calaham saddles only because they really are better saddles because they provide one less friction point for the strings.
The value of any guitar is very subjective. I got this EJ for less money due to a sale last month. Both prices are high relative to 5 or 6 years ago. The price of the sig models are within my reach but the custom shops are not. Frankly I've checked into the materials used in the CS strats and I can't find any real difference between the sig models and the cs models. I guess the reason you pay more for a CS is it is supposed to be made by hand from a master builder. Big Deal !!

(5 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Amazing Guitar!

By Guitarpicker

from Morrilton, AR

About Me Experienced

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Beautiful instrument
  • Great Strat Tone
  • Plays great

Cons

  • None

Best Uses

  • Any

Comments about Fender Artist Series Eric Johnson Stratocaster Electric Guitar:

Got one of these in white blonde and it's absolutely beautiful! I love the tinted maple neck and the finish on the body is superb. I'm a huge fan of the nitro finish and it's sure to get better with age. At first the neck was sticky and stiff. Wipe it with string lube/cleaner and remove two tremolo springs. In a few weeks she'll play like butter! The pickups are brilliant and colorful. You can dial in everything from country twang to straty quack to rock to big bluesy tones. You can truly play anything with this guitar! Thank you Fender and Eric Johnson for an awesome guitar!

(5 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Buy this guitar!

By jeff cabanting

from Kona Hawaii

Comments about Fender Artist Series Eric Johnson Stratocaster Electric Guitar:

I have played an Standard American Strat for 8 years and the years of performing by the ocean took it's toll on the tone. Literally rusted almost all the inner workings of my guitar. I needed a replacement Strat ASAP and tried out a couple American Strats (specials/highway one/standard) and then tried out the EJ and was sold instantly! What tone and sustain! Thank you Fender and EJ for making this Strat of this caliber affordable to own!

(4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Amazing

By Peter Vincent

from Rogue River, OR

About Me Novice

See all my reviews

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Fun To Play
  • Good Feel
  • Good Pick Up
  • Good Tone
  • Killer Tones
  • Solid Electronics

Cons

  • None

Best Uses

  • Jamming
  • Practicing

Comments about Fender Artist Series Eric Johnson Stratocaster Electric Guitar:

One of the best fenders I own and I have several from custom shop ltd to American deluxe. The tones from this guitar are unlike any other. It must be the pickups. They are full and bright but with great bottom end. Love the soft v neck shape and flat fretboard. Just one of the best fender has for the price of an American deluxe. I'm blown away like anyone who owns one of these.

(4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

EJ Strat is worth everry penny!

By Bob the Strat Player

from Springfield, MA

About Me Professional Musician

See all my reviews

Ask me a question

Pros

  • Fun To Play
  • Good Feel
  • Good Pick Up
  • Good Tone
  • Highly Resonant
  • Solid Electronics

Cons

  • Neck Alignment
  • Poor Finish On Back

Best Uses

  • Rock And Blues

Comments about Fender Artist Series Eric Johnson Stratocaster Electric Guitar:

Purchased my Sunburst EJ Strat in January. The tone, vibrancy and resonance are amazing (I own 6 Strats and this the best), both unplugged and amplified. I love the soft V neck profile and vintage tint. Guitar tunes easily and stays in tune, period. Two issues: From the factory the guitar came with the first string alarmingly close to the edge of the fingerboard. I loosened the 4 neck bolts and did a "chiropractic" adjustment and was able to move the neck just enough to get that first string a couple more
millimeters away from the fingerboard edge. The other concern is the finish on the back of the guitar...looks like sloppy spraying of the finish coat. Fortunately the front of the guitar is perfect. I cannot put this guitar down, it is that wonderful and fun to play. I highly recommend you at least try one and if you are a serious Strat player, this is THE Strat to consider

(4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Follow Up

By Mudguts

from New York

About Me Experienced

See all my reviews

Ask me a question

Pros

  • Fun To Play
  • Good Feel
  • Good Pick Up
  • Good Tone
  • Solid Electronics

Cons

    Best Uses

      Comments about Fender Artist Series Eric Johnson Stratocaster Electric Guitar:

      I would like to follow up on my previous review, I said I was disappointed with the pick guard it turns out that this was the one they used in the '50s so it is traditional though I did change it out to a '57 Tortoise (it looks great). Also I would like to expand on the pickups, they are fantastic! The neck pickup is my favorite of the bunch it is fashioned after a '54 strat pickup with alnico 3 magnets the pickups in this guitar howl! I have been playing through a Fender '57 Deluxe 12 watt amp and I absolutely love it. Also I put in Pick Up Pocket Putty pickuppocketputty.com and it really brought this guitar to life! I put this in a Les Paul I have and it did the same. I love this Stratocaster.

      (4 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

       
      4.0

      great classic strat

      By tLhWTXoM5

      from Undisclosed

      Comments about Fender Artist Series Eric Johnson Stratocaster Electric Guitar:

      I had been looking to pick one of these up for a while and I've finally got one. After playing around with it for a week I've got a lot of good things to say about it and a couple not so good. First of all the guitar looks amazing. From the tinted quarter sawn maple neck to the 2 tone burst with nice wood grain and vintage looking aged pup covers and knobs, this thing just looks like a 57' strat. This is by far the best playing strat neck I have ever experienced. The 12" fretboard radius and soft v - soft c neck makes it play very well. The frets were super smooth and polished right from the factory(as should any guitar that costs this much). The pickups have a nice vintage strat sound with the bridge pickup being a bit hotter. It's hard to compare them to the other popular strat pickups but I think they sound great. Now on to the things I don't like. Now some of these things are just based on the fact that at the core, this is a vintage strat. The single ply pickguard has the same negative aspects that a single ply 8 hole pickguard will have. It will warp(between the bridge and bridge pickup, it will cause static. These two issues are easily resolved with some know how. Cover the bottom of the pickguard with some copper foil(static is gone), and use thin double sided tape to hold down the pickguard where it lifts or warps...there problem solved. The problem is, some people don't want to or feel like they should have to do these sorts of things to a $2000 guitar, and I agree. The second thing I don't like is the fact that the Fender decal on the headstock is applied on top of the lacqer finish so it just looks and feels like a sticker on the headstock. I suspect that this is how Fender applied the decal in the 50's as to be period correct? Maybe, but it's a practice that shouldn't be used anymore in my opinion. If you scratch or pick at it, I suspect that it will peel or flake off. But when you think about it, do you pick at your Fender decal? The only thing that bothers me about it is if you look at it in the right light it just looks so much like a sticker, which just looks cheap...Again this is a very minor complaint for what is otherwise a fantastic guitar and easily the best strat I've ever played.

      (3 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

       
      3.0

      Good Guitar ...... but needs some mods

      By Mike from Montana

      from Billings MT

      About Me Experienced

      See all my reviews

      Verified Reviewer

      Pros

      • Fun To Play
      • Good Feel
      • Good Tone
      • Quality body and neck

      Cons

      • Poorly made nut and tremolo system
      • Poor Quality Craftsmanship

      Best Uses

      • Jamming
      • Practicing
      • Recording
      • Small Venues

      Comments about Fender Artist Series Eric Johnson Stratocaster Electric Guitar:

      I've had 5 new EJ's in the last 4 years. I would get a new EJ ( RW or Maple) from MF and it would have either a flaw in the paint job or in the electronics ( such as the selector switch not working in certain positions.). I would send them back and order another one in hopes of not being disappointed again.

      Right out of the box every guitar I received would not stay in tune when doing a 1/2 step or whole step bend usually on the b or G strings anywhere on the neck. Even after the strings had been worn in there was serious tuning instability. Don't even think about using the Tremelo. Even slight use of the tremelo knocked all 6 out of tune. Usually sharp.

      This was the case for all 5 EJ's Ive had.

      Finally, after the last EJ, I ordered and installed an LSR roller nut and a Callaham Vintage S bridge and tuning issues decreased by at least 95 %. Most of the tuning instability was in the NUT. All five EJ's had poorly cut nuts back at the factory.

      the reason I got a Callaham trem bridge was the EJ trem arm was sloppy in the threaded hole in the block. It was a matter of time before the block threads for the trem arm would strip out. The new bridge cost me 145.00 plus shipping. The LSR nut and install cost me 200.00.

      NOW I have an excellent guitar. The neck is great, pickups are great, 2 tone sunburst body is nice. Now I can look forward to picking up this guitar and playing it.

      After these mods this guitar is up there with the customs strat. It's strat tone is excellent and its sustain is good. These mods had no negative effect on the sounds of the guitar. At first I was hesitant to change anything on the guitar due to fear of ruining the EJ sound it should have.

      For those players out there that have experienced these same issues, take heart. Its a good guitar. You just have to add some quality parts to it and it turns into an EXCELLENT guitar to be proud of. I recommend this guitar to a friend even though it needs a new nut and tremolo bridge.

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