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Old 12-17-2012, 03:35 PM   #1
Matt.Guitar
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Alternative to Eric Johnson Strat

Hi,
I've been heavily GAS'ing for an EJ Strat and tried one the other day and absolutely loved it.
I've always disliked the neck joint on stratocasters (being an ibanez player mostly) but as I've gotten older my tastes have changed and I can sacrifice a bit of playing discomfort for the beautiful tone of the strat.

The only problem with the EJ Strat is the price tag - ouch!
Used I can pick one up for about £1100-£1400 but this still hurts.

I was wondering if anyone here knows of another Strat model that is very similar to the EJ?
The main feature I love about the EJ is the large radius fingerboard - I need that in a guitar - can't stand round fingerboards!
Steel block is also important to me

Thanks very much!
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Old 12-17-2012, 04:33 PM   #2
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Well, what's your budget?

I know the Deluxe Player's Strat has a wider radius, I think they're both 12" fretboards. That's a significantly less expensive guitar, and you can get pickups to sound closer if you feel the need. The main part of his sound, really, is the Tube Driver; get that, and guitar matters a good deal less.

I don't know how important it is to you, but I don't think the Deluxe Player's comes in any of the same finishes- but hey, it's all about feel, right?
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Old 12-17-2012, 04:43 PM   #3
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Thanks a lot for the help.
The deluxe definitely looks like a good guitar for me.
I'll try one out in the shop.
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Old 12-17-2012, 05:19 PM   #4
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a couple of shops still have the (japanese made) tokai gs100 for around the £400 mark. I think it has the bigger radius and has a gotoh/wilkinson vs100 (which i think has a steel block, though it's a more modern type of trem).

might be worth a try. i haven't tried that model but i have tried a fair few japanese tokais and i like them a lot.
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Old 12-17-2012, 07:38 PM   #5
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Depending on your budget, you might be able to find a G&L, Godin, Fret-King, or even a luthier's version of a Strat that you'd like.
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Old 12-17-2012, 08:14 PM   #6
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^ that too.

did he actually mention how much he could easily stretch to? I mean I love the MIJ tokais, but they're killer for around the £400 mark. If you can spend £1200, you can probably get "better".
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Old 12-17-2012, 09:16 PM   #7
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I was waiting in a doctor's office today, surfing the G&L site...*droooooool *

Even some of the fancy-schmancy models top out under $1800USD, so you might be able to find what you want at a slightly less painful price than the EJ Strat.



Of course, EJ will be able to tell: he has heard the tones generated by the letters you typed in this thread, and when you plug in your new G&L (if that's what you buy), he will shed a tear, which will fall to the ground. That tear's strike will generate a C#.
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Old 12-18-2012, 10:23 AM   #8
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I was going to suggest a Deluxe Strat as well. The neck joint has a rouned heel for better upper fret access, it has a steel block, a 2 point trem system thats smooth as butter and the radius is COMPOUND. Its 9.5 up the the 7th fret I think then it flattens out to 12-14 and has big frets.

Check one out!

Last edited by Axe Murderer : 12-18-2012 at 10:25 AM.
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Old 12-18-2012, 11:32 AM   #9
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Hey guys,
Thanks a lot for all the great info.
Sorry I forgot my budget - anything up to £1000
Could go a little more but it'd hurt.

Trying to buy a head and cab at the same time...ouch.

I tried an EJ strat through a H+K tubemeister 36 into a Marshall JCM800 1960 cab (not sure which speakers were in it) but OMG I was in tonal heaven for the first time ever. I was suprised how much I liked the tubemeister as I don't normally like H+K but this was a badass amp and I'll be getting one soon...

Deluxe strat is looking good.
I really want the Nitro finish though - I love the way it ages, and with the thinness of it on the EJ I think the guitar sings better too.

Might just have to save a little bit longer and 'make do' with my axis supersport (great axe )
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Old 12-18-2012, 02:49 PM   #10
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the american reissues are nitro, i think. but at current prices you might be pushing it to find one at £1000.

some of the japanese stuff hass nitro... but i haven't seen any of the nitro tokai fender copies available for sale in the UK.
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Old 12-18-2012, 04:01 PM   #11
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Dude, do yourself a favor and just save up and get what you really want.
If you settle, you will be happy for a short while, then you will start lusting after the axe you really wanted in the first place all over again.

Save and get the EJ.
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Old 12-18-2012, 05:03 PM   #12
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Yea. Buy yourself a cheap Mexican strat. Use that to hold you over for a little while. Maybe a few years if you need. And just save save save. Nothing will compare to the EJ strat if thats what you want
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Old 12-18-2012, 05:17 PM   #13
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i'd agree to a certain extent. the only problem with that logic is if you're not careful you're never happy (and/or put up with something terrible to tide you over until you can afford that "perfect" item, when a decent upgrade you can afford now might be a better idea).

I mean... why be happy with the EJ? Why not a custom shop? Why be happy with a custom shop? You need a masterbuilt. Custom shop? What you really need is a pre-CBS.

Etc. etc. etc.

Don't get me wrong- to a certain extent I do agree. But it is worth pointing out, as well, where that logic leads.
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Old 12-18-2012, 05:22 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave_Mc
i'd agree to a certain extent. the only problem with that logic is if you're not careful you're never happy (and/or put up with something terrible to tide you over until you can afford that "perfect" item, when a decent upgrade you can afford now might be a better idea).

I mean... why be happy with the EJ? Why not a custom shop? Why be happy with a custom shop? You need a masterbuilt. Custom shop? What you really need is a pre-CBS.

Etc. etc. etc.

Don't get me wrong- to a certain extent I do agree. But it is worth pointing out, as well, where that logic leads.


GAS is a terrible disease..
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Old 12-18-2012, 05:26 PM   #15
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yeah
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Old 12-18-2012, 08:06 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Dave_Mc
the american reissues are nitro, i think. but at current prices you might be pushing it to find one at £1000.

some of the japanese stuff hass nitro... but i haven't seen any of the nitro tokai fender copies available for sale in the UK.


very few have an actual nitro finish unless you go custom shop. i believe the Highway 1's had a very thin nitro coat but weren't actually totally finished with nitro. one of the custom sop builders from fender has stated repeatedly that nitro finishes aren't a big deal sound wise.
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Old 12-18-2012, 08:34 PM   #17
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oh yeah i doubt you'd hear any difference between a (well applied, thin) poly finish and nitro. and a lot of the "nitro" finishes are nitro top coats over poly.

nitro vs poly is more about feel for me.

i think only the american reissues are nitro in the standard, non-custom shop, range. as you said, i think the H1s used to be, but weren't they discontinued?
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Old 12-19-2012, 08:15 AM   #18
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I'm pretty sure the thickness of the finish is a tonal factor, but not so much the material whether it be nitro, urethane etc.
I just like the way the nitro ages, and the thin coat on the EJ is up my street.

Thanks for all the good responses - really helpful stuff.

I'm not gonna bother with the Mexican strat idea - I'll just save a bit longer, do a few more gigs, bit more teaching perhaps. Sell my GT10, some other bits and bobs.

Cheers
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