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Thread: New Fender "Stories" Guitars. First Up, Eric Johnson's "Virginia" '54 Strat

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    Forum Member OldStrummer's Avatar
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    New Fender "Stories" Guitars. First Up, Eric Johnson's "Virginia" '54 Strat

    Eric Johnson talks about the new Fender "Stories" series, and his '54 Stratocaster reissue. Two-piece sassafras wood, 12" radius V-shape neck, interesting bridge and saddle setup.


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    Forum Member ch willie's Avatar
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    Re: New Fender "Stories" Guitars. First Up, Eric Johnson's "Virginia" '54 Strat

    I love sassafras tea, but if I hadn't seen the pr about EJ's guitar, I could never have imagined sassafras as a tone wood. Intriguing.
    If we'd known we were going to be the Beatles, we'd have tried harder.--George Harrison

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    Forum Member redisburning's Avatar
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    Re: New Fender "Stories" Guitars. First Up, Eric Johnson's "Virginia" '54 Strat

    context: I own an EJ signature strat and have owned another in the past.

    the American one is interesting; it fixes one of the issues I have with the old regular one which was the plastic wire. I also think the spring tree is better than the staggered tuner for this style of guitar.

    however, and I know I havent touched one yet, but I would guess from the video pretty readily that the finish quality is not any better and the paint is one of those things that I remembered being really good from my first one, but then the reality of having owned it at a time before I had played tons of high end guitars skewed my memory. the paint is only OK; it's hardly the worst and yeah it's still nitro but I do think Fender could do a better job. there's also the matter of the overspray on the frets; if Fender has taken care of that the guitar goes from reasonably priced to screaming good deal even at 2500.

    the 57/62s are great pickups but definitely a sidegrade. same with the body wood and pickup wiring; it's just preference.

    Im not super thrilled with the custom shop one. I mean Im sure Lopez is a fantastic builder but making 50 master-builts only is kind of wack for THE guy associated with maple strats past 1980. Also they are $9,000 apparently, which is heinously out of line. Even at 7 that's questionable. Im sorry but as someone who plays/loves strats from the Page/Black/Suhr era there's no way I would buy a modern master built unless it was Ron Thorn. Make this a low production run team built, IMO. It astonishes me that Fender believes its single builder guitars are worth more than those built by Scott Lentz or Stefan Dapergolas using only very old growth wood, the proper nitro formula, etc. in a true cost-no-object build. 9k buys you into a cocobola Froggy Bottom or sinker redwood Goodall FFS

    finally Eric's tone in this is pretty great but making him play a Deluxe Reverb is something else. man travels with two twins, two 100 watt marshalls and a 100 watt two rock.

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    Re: New Fender "Stories" Guitars. First Up, Eric Johnson's "Virginia" '54 Strat

    Cool guitar, but they are going for $2.5K & that's too much for me

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    Re: New Fender "Stories" Guitars. First Up, Eric Johnson's "Virginia" '54 Strat

    EJ is such a pain in the ass tone guy I'm wondering why this guitar with this type of wood? You know, does it really have the goods? I have a sassafras tree in my back yard and it's a really crooked and kinked up tree. How did they find enough straight wood to put the bodies together?

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    Forum Member ch willie's Avatar
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    Re: New Fender "Stories" Guitars. First Up, Eric Johnson's "Virginia" '54 Strat

    Quote Originally Posted by mikesr1963 View Post
    EJ is such a pain in the ass tone guy I'm wondering why this guitar with this type of wood? You know, does it really have the goods? I have a sassafras tree in my back yard and it's a really crooked and kinked up tree. How did they find enough straight wood to put the bodies together?
    I've lived in Tennessee most of my life. We chop up sassafras root and boil it up for a good tea. I've never heard of anyone using the tree for building anything.
    If we'd known we were going to be the Beatles, we'd have tried harder.--George Harrison

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    Forum Member redisburning's Avatar
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    Re: New Fender "Stories" Guitars. First Up, Eric Johnson's "Virginia" '54 Strat

    Quote Originally Posted by mikesr1963 View Post
    EJ is such a pain in the ass tone guy I'm wondering why this guitar with this type of wood? You know, does it really have the goods? I have a sassafras tree in my back yard and it's a really crooked and kinked up tree. How did they find enough straight wood to put the bodies together?
    the real Virginia stratocaster is sassafras

    this is a really specific guitar though; it seems tailor made to fit in the typical EJ setup; an exceptionally bright clean tone (2x twins with JBLs, tc scf chorus) and an exceptionally dark drive tone (69 superlead but with all the treble rolled off AND an ep-3 taking some more top-end off). I think the original will be a MUCH better guitar for most people.

    Id consider a team built because it is a specialist instrument. my guess is they will make it for 1 year and then make a Gilmour strat or something or whore out the Monterey strat again (which would be go around number 3, though apparently the MIM one they made in 2017 is quite excellent)

    but then Eric is tied for number 1 all time for me and I don't mind owning a guitar like this just to have it. unfortunately they aren't making one at the level I'd buy it at. again for 9k I'd expect Ron Thorn to have made it himself and even then that'd be pretty outrageous. I think the only time Gibson's CC line got up that high was the JD Simo 335 (if you want to sell yours please pm me lol) and they didnt make Nashville 335s at the time. Even the Nicky and Sandy reissues were down in the 7k region and let's be real here it's a lot harder to find properly good les paul sized mahogany blanks than it is to find an acceptable sassafras, swamp ash or alder body blank.

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    Forum Member redisburning's Avatar
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    Re: New Fender "Stories" Guitars. First Up, Eric Johnson's "Virginia" '54 Strat

    Anyone here ordering one?

    I took a look over at TGP (which is a lolfest but w.ever they have a lot of people and everyone's buying everything) and there were several threads but no one copped up to having ordered one, production or CS.

    I still can't figure out who this guitar is for.

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