Now at Guitar Center, you can save almost $400 on a Fender Eric Johnson Thinline Stratocaster. This signature model was the first of its kind for the brand and now it’s much more affordable. It has the same features as Johnson’s solid body model — a nitrocellulose lacquer finish, a custom quartersawn ‘57 Soft V one-piece maple neck, three Eric Johnson single-coil pickups, a vintage-style synchronized tremolo bridge, and staggered tuning machines — but features a Thinline contoured semi-hollow alder body, a first for the legendary guitar brand.
Known for virtuoso technique and highly musical performances, Johnson won the 1990 Grammy for Best Rock Instrumental Performance for “Cliffs of Dover” from the platinum album Ah Via Musicom. He has released 10 solo albums, performed on five live albums and made guest appearances on recordings with Chet Atkins, John McLaughlin, Adrian Legg and Mike Stern, among others. Though Johnson is a longtime Strat player, he also played a semi-hollow body Gibson ES-335.
His signature Thinline Stratocaster — released in 2018 — blends those two iconic instruments. “I’ve always just dug 335s, and I think the semi-hollow body adds a little resonation to the guitar,” he told us. “So I just thought it would be something fresh and unique to bring to the Strat that hasn’t been really done that much yet. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for 20 years.”
According to Johnson, Fender lovers will immediately gravitate toward’s the guitar’s sound. “It’s still a Fender and it still sounds like a Fender, but it puts a little different slant on the tone of it — it breathes a little bit more. It seems to excite the wood to be more responsive than a solid body,” he said. “When you play it through the amp, it has a little bit where it resonates back into the sound after you pick the note. So you do feel it.”
While supplies last, the two-tone sunburst model is 20 percent off at Guitar Center (and it has free shipping). If you’re looking to add a new guitar to your arsenal, this is a great opportunity.