Is Johnson a good guitar brand? Are Johnson guitars made in China? What are the different kinds of guitars that Johnson manufactures? How many options from Johnson guitars can you choose from? Do Johnson guitars sound good? Are Johnson guitars durable? The guitar brand may be a little bit new for most guitar players, which is why the questions mentioned above are usually raised regarding Johnson guitars, as many are still unfamiliar with the quality of their guitars and how good they are.
Honestly, there are really two guitar brands that have the same “Johnson” name; one is based in China, and the other is based in the USA. For this article, we will determine the differences between the two Johnson companies and how good these two different guitar brands are.
For the first Johnson guitar brand, the company is based in China, and all the guitars that they offer in the market are manufactured in the same country. The brand was created in 1993 and has been an excellent option for those guitar players who are looking for cheap guitars but are high quality and can be used as practice gear or for live and recording performances.
Johnson guitars are known to produce some entry-level acoustic and electric guitars, folk instruments, and amplifiers, but they are really more popular with their resonators. For almost 20 years of making guitars, they have already established a vast collection of entry-level guitars that student and gigging musicians can choose from.
The next Johnson guitar brand is a famous company that was established in the USA in 1986. Its headquarters is located in Yuma, Arizona, and they have been making solid and semi-acoustic body guitars and bass guitars. The company’s owner is named Rick Johnson. One of the reasons why they are so popular in the music industry is they are one of the guitar manufacturers who are making electric guitars based on military weapon and aircraft designs.
Remember that the Johnson guitar brands from the USA and China are not affiliated with each other, as the two guitar brands can sometimes be a little confusing.
Johnson Guitars (China)
Johnson Del Mar (JS-800)
The Johnson Del Mar, which is also known as the JS-800is the brand’s copy of the famous electric guitar, Fender Stratocaster. The guitar has a solid Alder body, which is really impressive for the price, as you rarely see electric guitars that have an Alder body in this range. It also has a one-piece Maple neck and a Rosewood fingerboard.
The electronics for this electric guitar are passive, so you won’t need any batteries to power it up. It is equipped with three single-coil pickups and has a five-way selector switch to let the guitar player choose the guitar tone he prefers when playing. Lastly, it has die-cast tuning machines and chrome hardware.
Johnson Solara (JS-900)
If you are looking for a Gibson Les Paul copy guitar that you can use for practicing or even performing, then the Johnson Solara is an excellent option that you should look into. The guitar has an arched Maple top and a solid Mahogany body, which gives its impressive sustain and resonance.
The guitar has a set-in Mahogany neck and a bound Rosewood fretboard. It also has a Tune-O-Matic bridge which helps in sustaining the guitar’s intonation. Its tuning heads are all die-cast chrome, and it also comes with a floating pickguard similar to what you see on a Gibson Les Paul. Its position markers have a parallelogram shape.
Lastly, the guitar is equipped with two humbucker pickups that do really sound good. It has a three-way pickup switch, so you can choose your preferred guitar voicing, but either option is really great to listen to.
Johnson Del Sol (JT-800)
The Johnson Del Sol or known simply as the JT-800 is the guitar brand’s version of the Fender Telecaster. The Del Sol has a classic look similar to those you can see on mostly those 1960s electric guitars. The guitar has a solid Alder body and a beefy one-piece Maple neck, which greatly improves the tone of the guitar. Its fretboard is made of Rosewood, one of the most widely used tonewoods for making fretboards.
The guitar is equipped with two single-coil pickups designed by EMG, which is pretty impressive. The neck pickup is a lipstick pickup, while the bridge pickup is a slanted pickup, which is typical for a Tele guitar. The pickups produce a thick and buttery sound which are the things that you would really expect to hear on a Telecaster guitar. The guitar also has a three-way pickup switch and a tone knob, allowing the guitar player to choose its preferred Tele tone.
Johnson Grooveyard (JS-500)
The Johnson Grooveyard is a semi-hollow body electric guitar that has similar aesthetics to the famous Gibson Guitar, ES-335. The looks of this guitar have a classic vibe, just like those guitars in the 1960s. The guitar has hollow body wings, which give its maximum tone, and has a double-cutaway design. It has an impressive lightweight body considering that it is a slightly big guitar.
The guitar has a maple top, back and sides and has a set Maple guitar neck. It is equipped with two humbucker pickups that sound like those classic guitars in the 60s, especially if you play it with some crunchy tones. It also has a Tune-O-Matic bridge which helps for better intonation.
JM-998 Style-O Metal Body Resonator
The JM-998 Resonator is the brand’s flagship guitar and the best Resonator that it has ever produced. The guitar is designed based on those pre-World War 2 guitars, giving it a very antique look. The guitar’s body is made of high-grade European Bell Brass and is nickel-plated.
The guitar has a Honduras Mahogany neck which is joined to the guitar’s body on its 14th fret. It has a 9.5-inch aluminum resonator and a diamond cover plate. Its bridge is made of hard Maple and has Mother-of-Pearl dots for its position markers. The guitar has an impeccable tone and impressive projection.
Johnson Guitars (USA)
Assault, Exotic, and Jet Series
The Johnson guitar brand based in the USA is really known for its unique and creative designs in making electric guitars. The Assault Series are electric guitars that have their designs based on assault rifles, machine guns, and modern military weapons. Their Jet Series is also based on the designs of military aircraft, which is really impressive to look at. One of the famous guitar players that have used an AK-47 guitar design made by Johnson is Alice Cooper’s guitarist, Kane Roberts.
The brand’s Exotic Series is known for its highly creative designs, such as a shark, a dragon and an Egyptian icon. Even with their unique designs, these electric guitars also sound really good and are very comfortable to play with. These guitars are also durable.
So, is Johnson a good guitar brand? Both Johnson guitar brands are impressive for what they are advertised as. For the Johnson brand that is based in China, its guitars are really excellent options for those who are looking for entry-level and mid-level guitars, while the Johnson guitars that are made in the USA are really impressive for their rare designs and exceptional sound quality.