Dean Johnson comparison

A discussion of the blues for blues lovers and fans.

Dean Johnson comparison

Postby david » Thu Mar 04, 2004 7:53 pm

I finally had two resonators in one place at one time for a comparison!

My teacher had been impressed with my wood body Dean CE and was thinking of getting one. I told her Johnson had an instrument that looked very similar and was likely made in the same factory. The store where she teaches carries Johnson, and could get her one at cost.

It arrived yesterday, only shortly before my lesson. We did quite a bit of comparison.

Her Johnson has the humbucker style pickup, mine has a lipstick, otherwise, from a front on view they look very similar, same finish and everything.

The most obvious difference is that the Johnson has a substantially thinner body than the Dean. I was surprised by how much thinner.

The tonal difference and action were hard to compare because she still had the thin strings that came on it and had not set it up, but the Johnson was definitely more twangy and had much less bass "thump" to it. (I have also upgraded my cone and saddle--the Johnson biscuit and saddle looked very much like the one that came on my Dean.) The action on the Johnson was much lower (too low for my taste) but a set of heavier strings will probably help that.

The finish on the Johnson, though it looked identical from a distance, was much rougher, as if it didn't get the final sanding before being stained.

Overall, the Johnson appeared to be solid and was more playable and had a better sound than any of the Regal, Gretsch, etc. that I have seen. Of course, none of those were set up for slide and they were all spider bridge. I liked my Dean better, probably because of the "mine" factor, and I am used to it. There really wasn't much difference in the feel when holding them--except for the ultra-thin body.

I still hope to see a tricone some day, and hope I have my Dean there to compare.
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RE: Dean Johnson comparison

Postby allanlummox » Thu Mar 04, 2004 8:09 pm

Sounds much like the Johnson I had - I had assumed that the Deans were thin bodied as well.
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RE: Dean Johnson comparison

Postby rustyslide » Thu Mar 04, 2004 10:25 pm

I would have thought Deans would be thinner given the body type of the women featured in their ads and on their website. :P

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RE: Dean Johnson comparison

Postby ricochet » Fri Mar 05, 2004 3:11 am

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