Johnson Stratocaster (Rosewood) – Review
as a companion to its maple necked cousin, this rosewood fingerboard
equipped Eric Johnson Artist Series Stratocaster brings to
play a myriad of features, painstakingly design by Eric himself
through experimentation and live use.
Stratocaster is based on a 1965 model with a 2- piece contoured
light alder body. Finished in thin-skin nitrocellulose lacquer,
several new colour options are available to this model including
the tropical turquoise version we are reviewing in this article.
standout feature is the bound rosewood fingerboard, which
is very unusual for a Stratocaster, usually reserved for models
such as the new Vintage Reissue Jazzmaster. Other features include the thinner than normal
headstock with an extra soft neck to headstock transition,
staggered vintage tuners with removes the need for string
tees, , a special 57 style tremolo block (with no paint between
the base and block) and no tremolo back plate.
for electronics, these are pretty much standard which the
exception of the custom designed pickups tested on the road
by Eric himself.
blonde vintage case with gold interior is also included, as
well as a woven strap, ash tray bridge
cover and a coil cord.
Unplugged the Strat sounds resonant and
vibrant, with an easy low action on the neck. Plug
it in to an amp and it comes alive with vintage Strat
tones with the bright bite on the bridge, fender quack on
positions 2 and 4 (think Dire Straits), almost Jazz on the
neck and a useful all-round sound in the middle.
deep contours allow for a very comfortable playing position
with no hard edges “digging in”. Add some overdrive and things
warm up and get dirty. The practically blocked tremolo and
lack of string tee makes for near perfect tuning stability
and I am sure adds extra sustain.
a high end instrument very capable and its quirky/unique features
make it different enough to add to your guitar arsenal even
if you already own a Stratocaster (Or two as in my case).
be honest I originally thought the lack of a tremolo backing
plate would bother me but so far I see no need to install
one. The only thing you might to consider is if to float the
tremolo (movement in both directions) or leave it flat against
the body which only allows upwards movement as is stock.
allows less tremolo action but helps tuning stability.
An excellent instrument, not to be overlooked.
and Photos By Ernest H Slade