An easy modification for the DIY guitarist! The Eric Johnson Stratocaster Wiring Mod – used by Jimmie Vaughn and Eric Johnson!
How Easy is it?
Moving a single jumper wire from one lug on the 5-way switch has been (by far) the cheapest, easiest mod yet. All it takes is some simple work with a soldering iron. The simplicity of this qualifies this mod to make this the best easy strat wiring mod. Honestly, all that one is doing is moving wires from one lug of the 5-way switch to an adjacent lug. This opens up the tone of the instrument to another degree, to be sure. You will not be sorry you undertook this simple task!
The Right Tools for the Job
Before we start, let’s do this job right. It may be an old adage, but the truth of the matter is that the guitar you hold in your hands is capable of so many tones. You will not really need to have a whole plethora, yet I said plethora, of other guitars. A Stratocaster is, in my opinion, one of the most versatile tone machines out there. One can put a brass plate on the underside of the bridge pickup to get a Telecaster tone, and the neck pickup can emulate a Les Paul’s tone quite well.
If you do any modifications of your guitar, any at all, please read the post below in order to get the right tools for the job. You don’t want to mess up your wiring and then have to open up the pickguard repeatedly in order to fix a bad connection.
Wiring Mod Tone
If you are like me, you are always looking for a way to enhance your tone. True 90% of tone is in your fingers, yet having gear that allows your nuances to shine through is essential, IMHO.
It’s amazing that in both the Jimmy Vaughn and Eric Johnson Fender Stratocasters one can find this simple wiring trick! Such ingenuity is hard to come by in this age of looking for vintage, overpriced gear. The guitar you already have in your hands is good enough, son!
Diagram for the Wiring Mod
First, take a look and compare this diagram for an American Standard Strat and this diagram for a Jimmie Vaughn/Eric Johnson Strat from Fender. I have the photos of the diagrams below this post for your perusal. Pay attention to the 5-way switch, that’s where the de-soldering and re-soldering will be taking place.
This wiring connection on the 5-way switch which removes the Middle pickup from your 2nd tone knob. This leaves the Middle pickup unfettered from any interference from said tone knob. No-load at all! Simply look at the switch and move the wires from one place to the next. Repeat until your Stratocaster is wired according to the Eric Johnson Strat.
Upgrade and *then* the Wiring Mod
To upgrade your electronics before doing this mod, get this 50’s Wiring Harness today! From what I understand, the Eric Johnson Stratocaster has a similar wiring setup. Position 3 now is true rock, and 2 and 4 have more quack! Glassy all around!
Try this yourself! You’ll find that the results are amazing, no matter which pickups you have in your guitar!