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MF MD HG Fall Clearance Event 09-21-16
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Fender Artist Series Eric Johnson Stratocaster Electric Guitar Black Maple Fretboard (Open Box)
Ships Internationally
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Product# 511311
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 125 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (108)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (10)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (6)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

100%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Fun to play (9)
  • Good feel (9)
  • Good tone (9)
  • Good pick up (7)
  • Solid electronics (6)

Cons

No Cons

Best Uses

  • Jamming (6)
  • Practicing (6)
  • Recording (4)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Experienced (8)

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 125 customers

Displaying reviews 1-10

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(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

If you're looking for a strat, this is a great choice.

By Chord The Seeker

from Sarasota, FL

About Me Experienced

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Fun To Play
  • Good Feel
  • Good Pick Up
  • Good Tone
  • Very Lightweight

Cons

  • I still can't play like Eric Johnson :)

Best Uses

  • Jamming
  • Practicing
  • Recording
  • Small Venues

Comments about Fender Artist Series Eric Johnson Stratocaster Electric Guitar:

Full Headers Printable View

I researched strats for a long time before finally pulling the trigger and buying one. Everything I found out from my research was pointing toward the Eric Johnson model as the right choice for me. I was concerned about buying an EJ strat because my guitar teacher told me he bought and returned one because the neck was extremely sticky due to all of the lacquer on it. I read posts on a lot of online forums about others' having the same problem, but I also read that many owners said that the stickiness wears off after a couple of months of playing. I am happy to report that in my case the neck did show up very sticky, but is smooth as silk now after only playing it for a couple of weeks. The guitar is much lighter in weight than I had expected, which is perfect for me since I travel for a living and literally have to carry the guitar around on my back everywhere I go. The guitar looks, sounds, and feels great. It arrived at the house fairly well set up except for some string buzz, but a setup should cure that. I would definitely recommend this guitar to any potential strat buyer.

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(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
3.0

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

By Mike from Montana

from Billings MT

About Me Experienced

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.

Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

(0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Better than advertised

By Steve

from Mount Laurel NJ

About Me Novice

Verified Buyer

Pros

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

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Jamming
    • Practicing
    • Rock Concerts

    Comments about Fender Artist Series Eric Johnson Stratocaster Electric Guitar:

    Beautiful guitar. Close to perfect.

    Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    Best Strat I Have Ever Played

    By BrianJ

    from Wesley Chapel Florida

    About Me Experienced

    Ask me a question

    Pros

    • Acoustically Alive
    • Beautiful Nitro Finish
    • Good Feel
    • Good Tone

    Cons

    • None

    Best Uses

    • Jamming
    • Practicing
    • Recording
    • Showing OFF

    Comments about Fender Artist Series Eric Johnson Stratocaster Electric Guitar:

    Ive played strats for 16 years and have never heard a more alive and vibrant guitar .I can feel the attention to detail .I keep the bridge decked since I don't use the tremolo .im not sure if I can go back to my other guitars now.anyway if you have the opportunity to get a ej strat don't hesitate .one day these guitars will be what all other strats will be compared to .and musicians friend is always the best .2nd guitar i have bought this year and I get nothing but the best service ,thats why I buy from them

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    (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    Custom Shop Quality and Value

    By DMR Guitar

    from NW Chicago Suburbs

    About Me Experienced

    Pros

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

    Cons

    • no cons

    Best Uses

    • Any Genre
    • Nailing A Certain Sound

    Comments about Fender Artist Series Eric Johnson Stratocaster Electric Guitar:

    So what is Eric Johnson's tone? Got me, he is all over the map, as is this guitar. If you want a specific tone and are willing to experiment a little to nail that sound, this is the tool to use!
    Interesting Strat in all the right ways..... I bought the 2-tone "brownie." Unexpected light weight for starters, very light :-)
    Special features which make this a real keeper. 12" radius neck with a tinted maple finger board that features a fair amount of flaming, staggered vintage tuners (no string tree required, why doesn't Fender use these as standard?). Nitro-cellulous paint lets the wood breath better and makes this guitar very acoustic (unplugged). Unique custom pick-ups are spot-on for a huge variety of tones, plus there is an unusual electrical set-up which works quite nicely..... Separate tone pots for the neck and bridge pups, but the middle pup is wide open (no tone pot). This feature really helps to redefine the #2 and #4 positions for additional sonic variety.
    What else? Oh, gee, the case is one of a kind, what a stunner, you have to see it to believe it (inside and outside). The guitar accessories include a historic "ash tray cover." Neat! This EJ Signature Strat is basically a guitar with "custom shop" quality & features, which holds it's own (and then some) versus my Fender '52 RI Tele.
    Yep, this is an expensive guitar, guilty as charged. However, for what you get, this is actually a bit of a bargain and will become a "forever" guitar and a huge enabling tool. I really encourage everyone who reads this to at least try one.

    Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    nicest Strat I've ever played

    By Morlock

    from Worcester Ma

    About Me Experienced

    Pros

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

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Jamming
      • Practicing
      • Recording

      Comments about Fender Artist Series Eric Johnson Stratocaster Electric Guitar:

      Excellent sound, great feel and a super quick delivery with free shipping.

      My main concern was the set-up on a mail order instrument. Good news, it arrived perfectly set up and almost in tune.

      Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

      (3 of 3 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!

      Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

      (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Amazing

      By Peter Vincent

      from Rogue River, OR

      About Me Novice

      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.

      Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

      (2 of 2 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

      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

      Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

      (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Follow Up

      By Mudguts

      from New York

      About Me Experienced

      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.

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