Hey guys,

I'm having a dilemma right now.

I love strats, especially the sound. I own a Fender American Vintage (AV) 56 Stratocaster which I bought somewhere early 2015. It's been my main guitar.
A couple month back I went to an auction and there was a beautiful Fender Eric Johnson (EJ) strat for sale. The people there didn't know what it was, or what it was worth so I decided to make an offer below worth and I got it. I bought it with the intention to resale later for much higher and make a couple hundred.

Now this guitar actually REALLY sounds well and REALLY plays well. On top of it all it's new, still in plastic, unplayed, from 2008. Whenever I play the EJ I think, "wow, this is a really great guitar, one of the best. Sounds better than my AV". When I proceed to pick up my AV I go,"Wait a minute, this one sounds really good aswell"

The AV has beautiful cleans. The EJ has really clear overdrive sounds whereas the AV is more muddy.

I have to sell one. I can't decide. I'm also a little stubborn to let go of things I worked so hard for, the AV.

What are your thoughts on Eric Johnson strats in general and also vs other strats? (or if you have played them, AV series)
well the strat that sounds and plays better for you is the one to keep (although I'd keep them both). EJ strats are well known for being very high quality guitars and are often recommended for those who can't afford Custom Shop. it has a 12" radius rather than 7.25 or 9.5 which most strats use. personally I'd keep the EJ but that's me and may not be what works best for you.
Without double checking on the specs, I'm guessing the difference in tone you're hearing is probably due to the difference in pickups. The 56, I'm guessing, is probably loaded with pickups quite true to a vintage pickup, whereas the EJ Strat has pickups based on his pickups which are wound a bit hotter to deal with more driven sounds.

I'd probably go with the EJ.
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Keep them both.
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two different beasts. as said, keep them both if at all possible.

or make a few bucks and flip the EJ. but know doing so that you'll never get another for that price (most likely) and that once she's gone, she's gone.

i'd keep the AV in every scenario based on your post.
Quote by gregs1020
i'd keep the AV in every scenario based on your post.

Agreed. If, with both in hand, you can't figure out which is the better sounding instrument (or it's really close), and one has significant sentimental value, that's the one to keep. "Mint" and "worth a lot more than I paid for it" are two things that don't do you any good if you keep the guitar so it sounds like the EJ is worth more to you dead than alive, even if it is a great strat. It's a purely monetary decision, while the AV sounds like an emotional one. You can always buy another great strat, they make more every day, but you can't count on getting your 'old friend' back.

Plus if your major gripe with the AV is that it sometimes sounds muddy, some attention to the electronics/pickups may sort you out.
Pickups can completely revitalize a guitar.
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