To kick off the collection, the Big F are spotlighting Eric Johnson’s ‘Virginia’ Stratocaster, a 1954 Sunburst Stratocaster with an illustrious history. Johnson famously used his ‘Virginia’ Stratocaster on his acclaimed records Tones and Ah Via Musicom (featuring the iconic guitar track ‘Cliffs Of Dover’), with the guitar’s violin-like sustain, sassafras body, custom switching and unique set-up working in tandem to create one of the most coveted lead tones of the modern age.
Fender are only producing this model for a limited 12 month run in their Corona plant, while a more bespoke Custom Shop model is also available to purchase if you’ve got the spend. This Custom Shop model features identical specs and features to Johnson’s original guitar, including a six-saddle vintage synchronised tremolo, a two-piece offset seam sassafras body, lacquer finish and custom wiring, as wella s a GraphTech high E saddle, flattened fingerboard radius and jumbo frets. Hear it in action below.
Johnson discussed the process of reproducing the ‘Virginia’ Stratocaster in great detail, saying that “Fender and I talked about doing a reissue of my ’54 “Virginia” for the Stories Collection and I wanted to try it in Sassafras, like my original. When I got the prototype from Fender, it had the tone I had been looking for since my original guitar. It has a particular smooth sustained tone but as you turn it up, it has gain like a little violin.”
Head to Fender’s website to find out more about this model today.