When I opened the case, I experienced something that has never happened to me before. I was transported through a long-forgotten memory to middle school, to the moment I first laid eyes on a high end, brand new Strat. I have owned a few great guitars. But I opened this guitar and I was a kid again, just in awe of this thing from the moment I laid eyes on it. A brand new Strat is a magical thing and buying new from Sweetwater was the best choice I could have made.
A few less poetic points: Buying was simple, guitar was out of stock when I bought it but my rep communicated with me well and it came back in stock within a couple of business days. It came not just set up properly but in tune too! Thankful that Sweetwater inspected it before sending to insure that everything was working perfectly right out of the box for me. And the finish is just exactly like the photos I was sent ahead of time. The guitar itself is light, feels great in my hands, sustains for DAYS, the pickups are even and full-sounding and ring out really sweetly, and the fretwork is immaculate.
I had a budget of $4,000 to find my dream Strat and I spent three months searching. For me, the Eric Johnson Strat beat out a ton of quality guitars from custom shops all over the US. It was just my lucky day that it happened to come in well within my budget.