Saturday, January 17, 2009

1990's Johnson Fender Stratocaster Copy

I picked up this guitar in August of 2008 and it has a market value of $40.00. It's a newer Johnson Stratocaster (Strat) electric guitar with beautiful deep red or maroon transparent finish. The finish on this guitar has to be one of the best I've ever seen. The pickup configuration is S-S-S (single, single, single) with 1 volume and 2 tone controls. It came with it's original tremelo with whammy bar, which seems to be rare for any guitar. I'm not sure what wood is used for the body of this Johnson guitar, but this is by far the heaviest Strat I've ever played. As far as I can tell, this guitar is all original and complete except for having the neck painted white. Just a few nicks and scratches and the guitar sounds great. Only negative is the mark at the first fret which I think was used to hold the guitar while the neck was painted (now why anyone would drill a hole in the fretboard to paint the neck is beyond me).

Johnson guitars were founded in 1993 so we know this guitar was built sometime after that date. Based on what I know of the headstock design, they used something different on their earlier models, this matches what they use today. You can find out more about Johnson Guitars at their website; I don't think they build this model today, but they can still be readily found.

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Rodolfo said...

I've had this guitar since early 06. I got it as my first electric guitar.
My mother called the store and said she need a "so so" guitar, not bad quality cheap and not too expensive and so this is what they sent along with 15 watts amp of the same brand.
I must say that I find this guitar to be surprisingly comfortable to play compared to other "so so" guitars... Like for instance Squier guitars, which I must say are actually very very uncomfortable to play, almost painful.
Even when compared to other guitars like Epiphones, Ibanez, even a classic Fender Stratocaster I think this particular Johnson stays within those comfort levels, in my opinion.
The only major negative things I found about this guitar were:
1.) the B tuning peg got messed up soon after I started using the guitar, it was kind of loose compared to the rest, so in order to tune the B string you had to "know the trick" otherwise it would end up slightly out of perfect tune. I ended up replacing all tuning pegs, everything is better now.
2.) This is MAJOR problem, even nowadays. There is a cricket sound whenever I select the positions 1,3 and 5 on the pick up selecter, it's very low when playing clean but when using a pedal with distortion it becomes way too loud, its unbearable. This cricket like sound has been ruining my guitar session for a while now, I think it started a year after I got the instrument... Or maybe it was there all along? I don't even know anymore. I've tried everything to stop it, I've asked everyone and I've done everything I could think of to stop it but nothing worked. Brand new cables seemed to lessen its intensity a bit they didn't make disappear completely. I was so desperate that I actually got soda cans and cut them into metal sheets, peeled the inside for conductivity and along with aluminum paper attempted to build a faradays cage around the electronics of the guitar. This reduced the sound by ridiculously small percentage, considering my expectations and the amount of work and time I put on it. Probably 20or 30%? besides that it only made the interior of my guitar look like Robocop and the pickguard a little "bulky" if you look closely.
By any chance has this sort of "malfunction" happened to you? Do you have any idea how to fix it without actually just buying new electronics (which I've considered but it's expensive to get new pick ups specially if they are for an already cheap guitar and I
kind love my old malfunctioning first guitar sigh*) ?
Besides these problems the guitar looks good, feels really good and comfortable and it does the job a lot better than I would have expected from a guitar of this
price. In fact I've had people used to play higher range guitars play my guitar and they always say that they "kinda like it"... And as I said before the guitar performs better than you would expect for such a cheap intrument, which sometimes makes me wonder if perhaps this brand isn't as "cheap" as I thought it was. Where I live this brand is completely unknown so based on that it must be fairly new and cheap.

By the way your Johnson looks really good, wonderful color. Haha when I look at yours I think "mmmh I haven't taken enough care of mine, look how that thing shines " .

Anonymous said...

Johnson makes Axl and Squier guitars. The Squier se Strats that have the CXS prefix serial number, full 45mm thick solid wood bodies. Agathis with 3 pickup route not swimming pool route.

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