Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups

Johnson Strat copy

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by BB, Mar 10, 2013.

  1. BB

    BB Friend of Leo's

    May 17, 2003
    Great Pacific NW
    I picked up a poor, neglected Johnson strat copy from a pawn shop a couple of days ago. The had it marked down from $79 to $39. I made a stupid offer of $10 and he said yes!

    The majority of these cheap Johnson strat copies I've seen have all had one of two headstock shapes.....both ugly! This one has a 'real' strat headstocj shape.

    Got it cleaned up and restrung. I must say, I'm pretty surprised how well it plays. The neck is very comfortable and it plays and intonates very well. I have yet to open it up and check out the pups and electronics, but as is, it doesn't sound too bad at all. Bluesy neck pup and it's quite stratty in the notch positions.

    I bought it with the intention of giving it away to someone in need. I do not need another guitar and already have my lifetime strat....but this darn piece of crap is so much fun to play, I just may hang on to it for a while.

    I love it when a cheap guitar surprises and sounds and plays much better than it should. It already crossed my mind to change out the pickups, pots, switch, etc......and I may do that when I give it away, but for now I'll leave it as is and enjoy it for what it is.

  2. voodoostation

    voodoostation Tele-Afflicted

    May 10, 2007
    Midlothian, Va
    Those little diamonds in the rough are nice surprises.

  3. BB

    BB Friend of Leo's

    May 17, 2003
    Great Pacific NW
    $10 of fun!

    OK....since you asked, here are a few pics of the $10 wonder! Like I said, the playability of this cheapo is a real treat....I still have a few stickers to remove, but at least the spider and skull are gone!

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Mar 11, 2013

  4. plymman

    plymman Tele-Meister

    Dec 6, 2011
    plymouth uk
    I've never heard of Johnson so I've no idea on quality but it looks really nice, $10 is a steal for a working guitar no matter what the brand is. I could do with that kind of luck!

  5. bcarter_1

    bcarter_1 Tele-Holic

    Feb 27, 2011
    Salt Lake City, Utah

  6. BB

    BB Friend of Leo's

    May 17, 2003
    Great Pacific NW
    As far as Johnson guitars, the ones I've seen are certainly not what I would consider a 'quality' guitar. I usually run across a handful (99.9% strats) of these in my pawn shop sweeps. The local vintage guitar shop carries a dozen or so Johnson acoustics for starter packages. He did have a solid top one that cost a bit more and actually seemed to a decent guitar, but the majority of the used Johnson line I've come upon are low level, beginner type.....this one is no exception!

  7. TeleDrifter

    TeleDrifter Tele-Afflicted

    Oct 13, 2007
    Phoenix, AZ, USA
    Bought a Johnson Strat at Goodwill $15.00 but with a very Vox looking headstock. Things stays in tune with the bridge blocked, a really fat round neck, sounds good plays good & is very light...A beater/keeper..

  8. BB

    BB Friend of Leo's

    May 17, 2003
    Great Pacific NW
    Cool teledrifter! The Vox headstock description is a good one. Those are what I usually see around here....and occasionally, the one that has some wierd cuts in it.

    still have yet to pull the pckuguard and check out the pups, pots, switch and wiring, but at least the pups are hum cancelling in the 2 & 4 position.

    The neck on this one has some real beef to it also. The radius is at least 12" and probably more like 16", so it plays nice and bends are real easy.

    One of the tuners was so loose, it was darn near ready to fall off. Luckly, I had one that matched in my parts box. Even though the tuners are pure junk, it has so far stayed in tune very well. I have a sealed set from a Squier I could put on it, but that would then lead me to upgrade the pups and electronics....which would lead to keeping it.....

    I just gave my grandson a Squier other two grandsons play the piano and cello, (plus I have alread given each of them guitars) and my 5 year old grandaughter is waiting for me to find her 'a pink Hello Kitty' guitar, so I guess I'll find someone else in need and go from there.

  9. zimbo

    zimbo Friend of Leo's

    Jan 15, 2007
    Rochester, NY
    Guitars for troops in Aghanistan is a good place to donate a guitar. I sent them a nice PRS copy a while back but unfortunately I was never contacted by the person who got it. I kind of expected an email.

  10. BB

    BB Friend of Leo's

    May 17, 2003
    Great Pacific NW
    Hey, thank you for that info Zimbo! I have donated parts to those wonderful people who put together guitars for vets, so I love the concept. I will check it out for sure.

  11. Muddslide

    Muddslide Tele-Afflicted

    Jun 28, 2008
    Gypsy Caravan
    I could be wrong, but I think the Johnson instruments are branded as "Vintage" in the UK.

    I used to own a Johnson brand metal-bodied resonator ukulele and I know the exact identical model was for sale in the UK with the name "Vintage" on the headstock.

  12. Octave Doctor

    Octave Doctor Tele-Afflicted

    Mar 10, 2009
    Morgantown, WV.
    I bought a Johnson acoustic at a yard sale for a slide guitar, since it had maple back and sides. It was finished in black so I assumed plywood--scraped some of the paint off around the soundhole, it's got a solid top.

  13. rockmaster

    rockmaster TDPRI Member

    Mar 25, 2013
    Delaware, USA
    I had one of those, someone turned it in to Goodwill, I got it for $30 and it played great, I sold it to a guy and he still plays it to this day.

  14. user34603

    user34603 TDPRI Member

    Dec 5, 2016
    Richmond VA
    My pal sold me one for Maybe $100 and it is like new.... 1 tiny dent and that is it. 'Johnson EMG' is on the pickups' covers and satin silver tuners and bridge assembly (solid saddles). It needed a setup and a small jumper wire to make the front tone knob control the bridge pickup. So you have a tone control for each pickup individually and 2 tone knobs on position 2,4. It makes sense. The neck fits the body pocket perfectly and the workmanship and finish are at least like a Squier. Tuners are marginal, but work OK. Pickups are second rate, but do have pretty good B+M , which is where we spend a lot of time. Mine looks just like the burst one above. At $100 in like new shape and a setup adjustment and the tiny jumper installed, it's a decent Strat and easily good enough for 'open mic' or local party performances. I'd rate it like a lower quality Jay Turser (a good Turser is quite nice). Grab a Johnson if pristine and $100 or less. It's not crummy, just mediocre tuner buttons that are tulip style and too close together ...and strictly OK pickups.

  15. harold h

    harold h Tele-Afflicted

    Feb 15, 2004
    In that recent Black Oak Arkansas DVD the lead guitarist is playing a
    Johnson strat copy at rehearsal.

    The ones with the EMG pickups are great guitars.

IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.