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Fender Eric Johnson Stratocaster - 2-color Sunburst with Maple Fingerboard Reviews

5.0 stars based on 19 customer reviews
Questions about the Fender Eric Johnson Stratocaster - 2-color Sunburst with Maple Fingerboard?

Questions about the Fender Eric Johnson Stratocaster - 2-color Sunburst with Maple Fingerboard?

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Sweetwater Advice

  • Robert Williams

    This guitar is great right out of the case, nothing to improve on. With most instruments I'll change pickups or tuners or add switches to get it more in the way I think it should be. Here there's none of that needed, just strap it on and play. The body contours and neck carve make the guitar comfortable to hold with very playable with easy access to the upper frets. Staggered tuners eliminate the need for string trees or the non-vintage tone locking systems. Better tonewoods result in a more resonant, acoustically lively instrument. The bridge tone control is great for smoothing out overdrive pedals and distorted amps. Great option regardless of whether you're an EJ fan.

  • from California April 9, 2017

    Super Star Stratocaster

    I first purchased the olympic white EJ Strat during the first run.. It was by accident as I had gone to a local GC store back then to try out and buy a Fender amp. The salesman asked what guitar I wanted to use to try out the amp. I told him to surprise me. Boy howdy was I surprised, instantly falling for the neck feel. The looks were killer and then I plugged the Strat in and I was won over. I walked out with the EJ Strat and forgot all about the amp (plus my pocketbook said I had to wait) Seriously, the tone, the feel, the looks of the EJ Strat are nothing short of fantastic. I later bought the black and 2 tone sunburst because I loved the guitar so much. Mine came back then with the custom shop logo on the headstock. This was prior to the Custom Shop becoming what it is today. So I feel very fortunate to have acquired two of these great guitars. I have the pleasure of also having shown up at jams and having other guitars drool over my EJ Strats and want to play them: Seriously!!! I truly believe that if you like the feel of the neck which is not slim, but surely not too thick, you'll walk away with one. That said, I more recently bought a Robert Cray Strat after talking with SW Sales Rep at Sweetwater who told me if I liked the EJ Strat's I owned that I would surely like the RC Strat. He was absolutely right. I'm a huge fan of RC like EJ and Fender has hit out of the ballpark on both of these models.

  • from March 8, 2017


    The neck alone is great. The pickups are Very loud for a strat. I sometimes feel like I'm playing a Gibson. It simply rocks.

  • from sugar hill, GA December 2, 2014Music Background:

    love this guitar...

    I've owned dozens of nice strats over the last 25 years and this one by far is the best sounding of them all. I've seen other reviewer comments saying how loud and vibrant the guitar is unplugged - it really is. The pickups/wiring sound incredible. through a Fender style amp I can get that sparkling clean sound, and through a 50 watt Marshall combo it really sings. very happy with the customer svc from Sweetwater - when the guitar arrived it had a broken latch on the case - I contacted Brian Kerns at SW and had a new replacement case shipped to me within a week,

  • from Bryan, Texas August 24, 2014Music Background:
    Full time musician and music teacher.

    Owned Everything. This one is at the top.

    Simply put, the best strat I've ever played. I am a full time musician and I've been blessed to own every and any guitar I've ever wanted. This is at the top of the totem pole.

    It's the most playable, best sounding, most comfortable, best looking and most inspiring instrument I've ever owned. And if I listed the HUNDREDS of top shelf guitars I've owned and played you might find that statement hard to believe.

    Hands down the best guitar of any make or model that there is. If you want a metal guitar get something else. If you want an expressive instrument that oozes quality and can deliver on it's good looks then look no further.

  • from Rock Falls, IL July 17, 2014Music Background:
    Avid Collector/ Player for over 20 years.

    Very Happily Surprised !!!

    All I can say is WOW !!! I've been an avid collector/player for about 15 years and have had upwards of 150 guitars over such time.
    I've always had Les Paul's, PRS's, Wolfgangs, etc.. I tried adding a Strat to the collection 2 years ago when I bought a beautiful Select Series HSS. The guitar was nice but just didn't stand up to My Les Pauls, so I traded it for yet another Paul. Anyway, About a month ago I was looking at Strats again online when a friend came in my office and said, "If your gonna get a Strat, get a Strat " not the HSS. Super Strats ! So I came across this one on Sweetwaters site and upon doing some research, called my sales rep John Ptak and ordered her up in the sunburst finish ! When she arrived, I was blown away at how nice and vintage she looked when I opened the case, then i picked it up, OMG it had the neck of my favorite 50's Les Paul's nice and thick !! I don't know how Eric got the pickups to sound the way they do, but holy crap, they rock !!!
    This is one Fender that will remain in my collection for sure !!!
    Thanks John and everyone else at Sweetwater !! Fantastic Job !!

  • from Holcomb, MO August 23, 2013Music Background:

    Pure classic!

    I can't really say anything about this guitar that has not already been said on here I'm sure. Always loved the sound of the old late 50's stratocasters and this guitar captures all the little nuances of a great classic American made Fender guitar. I bought this one around 6 months ago and have been blown away by the sweet organic woody tone that just sings from this guitar. The body and neck resonates so strong it took me a bit to get used to the amount of vibration that rings through this thing while playing. Its a totally different feeling than all the other guitars I've owned over the years.
    The pickups are also awesome. Most guitars I've played or owned I never could get used to playing off the bridge pickup. They always had a really muddy tone that was like nails on a chalkboard to my ears. I can play in all 5 positions and they all sound sweet to my ears on this guitar. I couldn't be happier that I bought this guitar.

  • from Forest Hills, NY January 6, 2013

    One Stunning Strat

    For over 20 years I've been a loyal Gibson player. My collection includes a few LP’s, SG’s, and a J-45. I've never owned a Fender guitar. Throughout the years I've had my hands on many Tele’s and Strat’s but they never sat right with me.

    Recently, while browsing through a local shop I came across the 2-tone sunburst EJ Strat. It looked absolutely fantastic, so I played it. Once I got my hands on it, I was dumbfounded. This guitar played and sounded like a dream. I could not believe it. The neck is unreal. Since receiving this guitar I have been playing it non-stop. It’s impossible to put down.

    This was my first guitar purchase through Sweetwater – the reviews were great so I had to give them a shot. I could not have been happier – flawless guitar, fast and safe shipping, and amazing customer service.

    I would recommend this to guitar and Sweetwater to anyone without hesitation.

  • from Fairfax Station Virginia May 12, 2010Music Background:
    Pro Musician

    Awespme Guitar

    For over 45 years I have played the guitar. I own a Gibson LP Custom, Gibson L4 CES (Custom Shop), Gibson RD 77 Artist, and now the Fender EJ. I love them all but I must admit the RJ has blown me away. It is all that its advertised to be. I have played all the Strats and it is my opinion that the EJ is the best. I purchased the White Blonde to contrast with my sunburst Gibsons and Ash White Custom LP and the blend is fabulous and the sound is flat awesome. Welcome to the family EJ.

    Colonel (ret)
    TW Williams

  • from Pittsburgh, PA August 26, 2009Music Background:
    Working part time professional musician

    This sounds like frying bacon smells.

    This guitar sounds and plays exactly how I want it to. I do believe that 90% of your tone comes from your hands but this plank will get you that last 10%. My band was playing a festival and one of the sound company guys was on stage setting the mics and after he asked me to play a bit he yelled out to the guy mixing the front of the house to see if the guitar was loud enough and the FOH guy yelled back "Yeah, and it f#*@ing sounds great!" Enough said. My only very slight complaint is that I play with my action fairly high and occasionally the high E string will pop out of the nut slot as there is no string tree to retain it.

  • from Hillsboro, OR USA July 28, 2008Music Background:

    Such a lovely toy!

    This guitar is so beautiful in all appearance and sound. I got 2-tone sunburst one. Everything is absolutely perfect. I own Gibson LP standard with 60s neck and Fender American Deluxe QMT HSS, but I like EJ the most. I love the neck and body very much. It is very hard to put it down once you start playing it.

  • from Nashville, TN April 4, 2007Music Background:
    Pro Musician


    In short, the best strat I've ever played... I had a 50's tele re-issue that I thought was a pretty decent guitar and when I got the EJ home, it just blew away the tele. The tele is cool, but I have a new #1 axe.. and I've been playing that tele for the last 5 years too. The breath of this guitar is just amazing... I was able to play 5 different EJ's and selected the one that most suited me. Be aware, there ARE differences between individual guitars.. I played one with hotter pickups then the others.. One that just didn't have the same amount of resonance, another that just didn't play "quite" as good to my hands... etc.
    The thickly painted tele almost seemed more dead and dull sounding next to the clarity and sonic-width of this guitar...

    I'm not an EJ fan by any means, just don't really know his music much.. but this is a quality vintage style guitar, period.

  • from February 5, 2016

    Eric Johnson Strat

    Gorgeous guitar, wonderful sound; the neck will take some getting used to—more like a Gibson than a traditional Fender (12 inch radius).

  • from Denver October 5, 2015Music Background:
    Music Retail (At Sweetwater), Music Bed Production, Worship Leader

    Stop shopping around and buy it already.

    I have been one of your typical guitar players for the last 15 years. What I mean is I have tried and purchased everything from nearly every brand. As my tastes have changed so have my guitars. Most recently I have had several custom built G&L ASAT's, PRS Custom 24's, Gibson...etc. Most recently I have been playing worship music. All that said, this guitar has covered all of my current wants with tone and feel.

    The EJ does the worship thing very well. It will allow you to stack overdrives and still maintain that bite and clarity. I have found humbuckers have a harder time doing this with pedals. Also, the feel is great. Having played Gibsons and PRS for a long time, the 12" radius with the bigger frets really feels at home. The V neck is very soft and not at all hard to get used to. I personally enjoy a slightly thicker neck so this is a great fit for me. Fit and finish are great as well as set up right out of the box (thanks Sweetwater). I have been able to pull John Mayer, Eric Johnson, and Elevation Worship all out of this axe!

    I truly do not believe any guitar is perfect and it's mostly down to taste. I ended up setting the bridge to 3 springs and floating so I could get some trem movement. Also, the laquer while looks (and smells) awesome, it does get sticky on humid days. It's not a huge concern as I know it will wear in nicely.

    Overall, I would highly recommend this guitar for anyone who loves single coils and touch responsive overdrive. The versatility is there and you will find you may not touch your other guitars for a very long time. If you needed someone to give you the push to make the purchase I say DO IT!

  • from Monticello, IL March 31, 2012Music Background:
    30+ year hobbyist

    Very Nice Guiar

    I played a lot of strats before buying this guitar. The only one that I felt played as well as this one was the '62 reissue strat (did not play a custom strat --looked into it but $3000+! Have a Martin D18 GE that cost $3000. Not my best decision ever.) Anyway, this is a great guitar. The neck action is excellent. I wasn't sure I would like the thicker neck but it plays very nicely. A little sticky but I'll get that worn away. I like the sound. I've read reviews that suggest that this guitar doesn't sound like a strat...OK, whatever. Play one and see what you think. Personally I want a guitar that plays well. Pickups are replaceable. I won't be changing these. Thanks EJ!

  • from Houston, TX April 10, 2015

    Almost perfect

    The guitar is a dream to play. Such incredible workmanship and attention to detail. Truly one of the most comfortable guitars I own. My disappointment came when I noticed I had to make too many changes to my amps and pedals to get a good sound. The pickups are a lot more low output than I anticipated. Most of my guitars are single coil, so it's not like my gear is set up for humbuckers or anything, but this one just seems to get lost. I'm now in the process of purchasing a good booster pedal to add to my rig to help compensate for the output loss. If that doesn't solve it I guess the EJ strat will be reserved for recording or rehearsals only. That would be a real shame.

  • from Spokane, WA August 1, 2005

    OK I bought it!

    This is now my number 1 guitar. Custom shop quality without the pricetag. Excellent workmanship. Stunning to look at. Sounds awesome, well balanced tonally - love the pickups. Plays excellent. Everything works well. Wasn't sure I'd like the V neck profile but it felt familiar from the get-go. Love the lack of string tree(s) as this leaves one less place for the strings to hangup and go out of tune. Well thought out and made guitar. Eric Johnson, I'd say you designed a guitar player's guitar. I've drolled for years over the custom shop 50's and 60's reissues and with this guitar I get a 1957 based strat with new features while still very much retaining the vintage vibe. Highly recommended. You have to see it and play it to appreciate it fully (duh). Drop dead sexy!

  • from Michigan August 1, 2005

    e j strat

    I own an Am Std strat, PRS, Gibson. Played an EJ strat. Sweet. Played it with a Clapton model. Two Erics, no waiting. The EJ blew the EC away (unless it was just a bad EC and since I'm now waiting on my 3rd set of Vintage Noiseless pickups (defective), that is possible). I didn't want to put the EJ down. The only question I had is the location of the truss rod adjustment. What do you have to do, remove the pick guard to adjust it? And quality. Don't know why you have to spend more money to get good quality from Fender and Gibson. The PRS I bought from Sweetwater was spot on out of the box. Other than that, I'll have to sell my Am Std and get the Eric Johnson. Now, do I want the candy apple red or the two tone....

  • from Michigan August 1, 2005

    EJ bridges, falling down...

    I guess I should have bought that first EJ I reviewed earlier. It was perfect. I prefereed it to my Am Std or the Clapton Strat I played. But,I played two other EJs at Guitar Center recently. They both had defective bridges. One was totally missalligned. The other had a crooked screw and the high E string was almost off the fretboard. Unacceptable. I can't believe Fender let these two out of the plant. PRS would have cut them in half. I wonder if the perfectionist Mr. Johnson is aware of the quality issues with his "signature" axe? No wonder the Fender website has no "contact us" option. Come on, Fender. When even a US made "artist" strat is hit and miss, it's time to hire some QC guys. Fix it, Fender!

  • from Spoakne, WA June 1, 2005

    Nice one!

    I played this model at the local shop. This is a well thought out strat. It feels solid and playable and sounds great. Has the cosmetic appointments of a 50's model (strat that is). It really resonated with me and now I must have one.

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