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Thread: I love Eric Johnson strat wiring

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    Gear Ho Gearjoneser's Avatar
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    Thumbs up I love Eric Johnson strat wiring

    For almost two decades, I always used whatever wiring came with my American Fender strats, and usually just changed the pickups. I usually use them with the bridge/middle tone turned down to 8 and the neck always up.
    I always lived with the Fender flaw of having the middle pickup connected to the bridge tone, so the 2nd and 4th positions would also have the middle turned to 8.

    Then, along came my discovery of the Eric Johnson wiring diagram a few years ago. All you do is move the wires around on the 5 way switch, and you've got volume, neck tone, and bridge tone. The middle isn't effected by either tone control.
    How sensible is that??? That's the way a strat should have been wired to begin with.

    I've tried a couple others over the years, but didn't like blending bridge and neck like a lot of players use. I just like the standard switching, but the Eric Johnson wiring is ideal for me.

    So, what type of strat wiring are you using?

    Here's some decent pics I found of the mod.



    Last edited by Gearjoneser; 03-22-2012 at 12:15 AM.
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    Master of his Domain Agileguy_101's Avatar
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    Default Re: I love Eric Johnson strat wiring

    At the moment, I've got the EJ wiring (at least I believe) but with the special five way switch to give me neck+bridge in position 3. I wish I had the middle pickup alone, but I really like the N+B combo, especially since I'm tele-less for probably the next year or so.
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    Fuzzy. Guitars the guy who invented fire's Avatar
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    Default Re: I love Eric Johnson strat wiring

    Not to nit pik but EJ has his bottom tone control wired to both the middle and bridge pickups...

    The volume, neck tone, bridge tone with the middle wide open is what Jimmie Vaughan does...

    I used this wiring set up for a long time but have gone back to stock Strat wiring recently...both can be useful depending on your needs and what pickups you are using.
    If you just read a post by The Guy Who Invented Fire please understand that opinions change, mind sets change and as players our ears mature...not to mention our needs grow and change. With that in mind, today I may or may not agree with the post you just read!

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    Mojo's Minions
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    Default Re: I love Eric Johnson strat wiring

    I bought a Leo Fender-designed Music Man Sabre II back around 1979, and fell in love with that guitar's tone controls--Master Volume, with ACTIVE Treble and Bass.

    So, it was a natural progression for me to use Leo's Passive Treble and Bass (PTB) system on the G&L Legacy/Comanche/S-500 guitars. I really can't imagine using any other system. Fender's seem so limited in comparison.

    Leo was a pretty smart guy, and he came up with some pretty cool stuff at G&L.

    Bill
    When you've had budget guitars for a number of years, you may find that your old instrument is holding you back. A quality guitar can inspire you to write great songs, improve your understanding of the Gdim chord while in the Lydian Mode, cure the heartbreak of cystic acne--and help you find true love in the process.

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    Administrator Simon_F's Avatar
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    Default Re: I love Eric Johnson strat wiring

    I was advocating the very same wiring (master vol, neck tone, bridge tone) only yesterday......

    http://www.seymourduncan.com/forum/s...08&postcount=8

    I like it because I can roll the bridge tone back but not have it affect the middle/neck combination. And I'm fine using the middle pickup alone with no tone control.

    Three pickups with two tone controls is one of the more curious features of the Stratocaster design! Master volume and master tone like a Tele would have made perfect sense. But there was room on the drawing for an extra knob....

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    Sausage Gravy LReese's Avatar
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    Default Re: I love Eric Johnson strat wiring

    I typically don't like neck + bridge combos. Works for some people though.

    I've had really bad luck with the standard 5 way switches. I'll swap them out with 4-pole switches and wire them up middle and neck on the upper tone and the bridge on the lower tone. Combo positions I typically have the tone disabled, but I'll sometimes put the combos on the upper control or put a little extra resistance on the tone to brighten them up slightly.

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    Gear Ho Gearjoneser's Avatar
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    Default Re: I love Eric Johnson strat wiring

    Quote Originally Posted by Simon_F View Post
    Three pickups with two tone controls is one of the more curious features of the Stratocaster design! Master volume and master tone like a Tele would have made perfect sense. But there was room on the drawing for an extra knob....
    I'm glad they didn't opt for one volume and one tone. With what they had to work with, they should have wired it 'volume, neck/middle tone, bridge tone.
    That would have made the most sense. I never use the tone for the neck or middle though. I don't think many players do. For the bridge, it's essential.

    TGWIF - I'm not sure what the difference is between EJ and Jimmie Vaughan wiring, but the EJ wiring above is how I stated. I'm curious to know why you went back to stock wiring. Did you need the middle connected to a tone?
    Quote Originally Posted by ratherdashing View Post
    Do you think before you post, or do you just mash the keys and hope for the best?

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    LoveMachineologist jeremy's Avatar
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    Default Re: I love Eric Johnson strat wiring

    i like the middle pup off the tone control too. sometimes i run only one tone control thats on the bridge and neck pups, sometimes i have one for each.

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    Cat In The Hatministrator stevie_bees's Avatar
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    Default Re: I love Eric Johnson strat wiring

    I used to have my G&L Legacy wired with bridge tone/neck tone/no mid tone, but recently changed it to the PTB setup which I love.


    Do what I do. Hold tight and pretend it's a plan!

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    Default Re: I love Eric Johnson strat wiring

    I like to set it up with neck and bridge tone and just run the middle pickup wide open. But honestly, I never mess with the neck tone (I leave it on 10). And the bridge tone setting is pretty much "set it and forget it". With that in mind, I could probably get by with just a single volume control pot and a fixed RC network for the neck and bridge pickups.

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    Default Re: I love Eric Johnson strat wiring

    My front control is for neck only, the rear tone pot is for bridge only, and the middle pickup is (obviously) wide open. With a 'Lil 59 in the bridge wired for auto-split it is a very versatile setup.
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    Ultimate Tone Slacker zenmindbeginner's Avatar
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    Default Re: I love Eric Johnson strat wiring

    I must admit that I wired up a strat the other day for master tone with a treble bleed and blender pot and I couldn't be happier. I got turned on to the blender through a Fralin loaded pickguard and I am hooked.

    Here's my rat's nest... very clean sounding and well shielded and grounded. I was playing right next to a CRT monitor all day yesterday and it is as quiet as some high gain humbuckers. The 2 and 4 positions were absolutely noise free.

    Don't laugh at my wiring. lolz.

    "Stumbled across a review of the Super V pickup on YouTubeand it’s frickin’ great!" - woodytone
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  13. #13
    Varg
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    Default Re: I love Eric Johnson strat wiring

    I dont need a tone control on ANY bridge pickup. In a strat I would have separate tones for middle and neck, that would do me. Some of my HH guitars with master tone have been rewired so the tone only affects the neck.
    I dont see any point in a bridge tone control.

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    Fuzzy. Guitars the guy who invented fire's Avatar
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    Default Re: I love Eric Johnson strat wiring

    Quote Originally Posted by Gearjoneser View Post
    TGWIF - I'm not sure what the difference is between EJ and Jimmie Vaughan wiring, but the EJ wiring above is how I stated. I'm curious to know why you went back to stock wiring. Did you need the middle connected to a tone?
    I went back and did some digging...Eric used to have the second tone wired to both the middle and bridge, now he's got the middle with no tone control, just like Jimmie Vaughan.

    I went back to stock just to try the bridge pickup in a stock setting again...stock Strat bridge pickups are a tad weak but if you put a tone control on them they get a little more loaded and even weaker in a way.

    I actually do use the middle pickup a lot these days and have considered pulling the tone control again...

    I dunno...the stock wiring is useful to me but I will admit it didn't used to be....

    I have been thinking about trying something else with it but the truth is I'm just lazy!!!
    Last edited by the guy who invented fire; 03-22-2012 at 06:04 PM.
    If you just read a post by The Guy Who Invented Fire please understand that opinions change, mind sets change and as players our ears mature...not to mention our needs grow and change. With that in mind, today I may or may not agree with the post you just read!

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    Default Re: I love Eric Johnson strat wiring

    Quote Originally Posted by zenmindbeginner View Post
    I must admit that I wired up a strat the other day for master tone with a treble bleed and blender pot and I couldn't be happier. I got turned on to the blender through a Fralin loaded pickguard and I am hooked.

    Here's my rat's nest... very clean sounding and well shielded and grounded. I was playing right next to a CRT monitor all day yesterday and it is as quiet as some high gain humbuckers. The 2 and 4 positions were absolutely noise free.

    Don't laugh at my wiring. lolz.

    dude what are you talking about? your wiring looks flawless. you should see some of the rats nests I have created!

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    Default Re: I love Eric Johnson strat wiring

    Quote Originally Posted by Varg View Post
    I dont need a tone control on ANY bridge pickup. In a strat I would have separate tones for middle and neck, that would do me. Some of my HH guitars with master tone have been rewired so the tone only affects the neck.
    I dont see any point in a bridge tone control.
    Because a Strat bridge single coil can be very harsh and thin sounding with the stock setup. Bleeding off some of the highs to ground via a tone control gives some perceived thickness and sounds much better.

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    Just A Minion ErikH's Avatar
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    I love the EJ wiring too. Change the tone cap to .1uf like in his based on the Fender wiring diagrams. It sounds really good that way.

    I like to make the volume pot 500k with 250k tone pots and a .1uf tone cap shared between both tone controls. A great setup IME/IMO.

  18. #18
    KISS Sock Puppet Aceman's Avatar
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    Default Re: I love Eric Johnson strat wiring

    I just never get the two tones thing...two volumes makes so much more sense....to me at least.

    That's a tasty little scheme though.
    Quote Originally Posted by Evan Skopp View Post
    Or Aceman's method, which also works in a pinch...

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    Toneologist Crane's Avatar
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    Default Re: I love Eric Johnson strat wiring

    all my strats have option for 1. all pups 2. neck + bridge
    and middle pup wide open

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    Ultimate Tone Slacker Gunny47's Avatar
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    Default Re: I love Eric Johnson strat wiring

    I personally like the {Master volume --> Master Tone --> Blend knob} setup. Blend knob. I like the bridge pickup with a little bit of the added neck for a little extra nasal flavor. Master tone and volume makes life easier; I usually have the tone rolled off quite a bit nowadays...
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