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Eric Johnson with 2017 Fender Eric Johnson Signature Stratocaster Thinline.

Bringing to life the vision of one of the most respected guitarists in the world, the Eric Johnson Signature Stratocaster Thinline is the perfect marriage between a semi-hollow body and a traditional Stratocaster. Johnson is famous in guitar circles for questing for his ideal tone— liquid and articulate, it perfectly complements the playing style that earned his place in the modern guitar pantheon. In 2015, he approached us to co-design a lightweight, resonant instrument that combines the tones of his favorite semi-hollowbody guitars and his Stratocaster. Two years later, Fender hit the formula for tonal nirvana with the Eric Johnson Signature Stratocaster Thinline.

Fender finished the custom-chambered body with nitrocellulose lacquer, allowing the wood to “breathe” with character. The three single-coil Stratocaster pickups were specially voiced to meet Johnson’s specifications, and are mounted to the semi-hollow, two-piece alder body with countersunk screws for even more vibration transfer. The comfortable “’57 Soft V”-shaped quartersawn maple neck bears a 12”-radius maple fingerboard and 21 medium-jumbo frets for enhanced playability.

Other custom features include a vintage-style tremolo with silver-painted block, ’57-style string recesses, thin headstock with vintage-style staggered tuning machines, ’57-style parchment pickguard and “ashtray” bridge cover.

An R&D tour de force, the Eric Johnson Stratocaster Thinline is the first semi-hollow Strat that combines custom chambers with a traditional Stratocaster arm and body contours.

Australian Musician’s Greg Phillips and Rob Walker were honoured to be present at an exclusive breakfast with Eric Johnson, in which we had the opportunity to chat with the man himself about the guitar’s development. Eric told us that some of the prototype tweaks along the way included things like the kind of wood used and the amount of wood used for the chambers inside. He also informed us that he uses the the same amps, pedals and strings that he would on his solid body Strat and he’s been using the guitar for almost the whole duration of his current shows. Plus he expressed interest in returning to Australia to tour, suggesting he’s overdue downunder.

In this video, Senior Product Manager Alan Abassi chats to Australian Musician editor Greg Phillips about the guitar at the Fender booth at NAMM 2018

Eric Johnson Stratocaster® Thinline: Launching February 20, 2018 –  AUD $3599

Eric with international media
AM’s Rob Walker and Greg Phillips at the Eric Johnson breakfast


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