About This Listing
For sale is a Fender John Mayer Stratocaster Neck in NEAR MINT condition. Frets appear nearly unplayed. This Strat was kept in it's case.
These are highly regarded as some of the best Stratocaster necks on the planet. These necks go fast when they come up for sale - they are dream-guitar necks and those who have played them get it. I recently read an ad for a used JM Strat and the writer said that it was the most perfect neck profile of any guitar.
The last few John Mayer necks in this condition sold within a few days of posting, and they don't come up too often.
The most important part of a guitar is the neck. No matter how good your tone is, it is the playing that makes the song sound good or bad, and there is no more important part for helping you play your best than the neck. The slightly taller Dunlop frets are remarkable and make bends easier, and improve the ability to use really good vibrato. This is because there is a little bit more room for subtleties in vibrato and note manipulation. The frets give the player the ability to put more soul behind notes and bends, like when you play a certain guitar that just brings out passion. It enables you to dig into the bends a little more and makes vibrato easier and more pronounced.
When playing chords or note runs, you can just lightly rest your finger on the string instead of pressing down like you would need to in a guitar with small or warn down frets. This makes playing fast much easier.
I play completely differently with these frets and this neck profile than with my other guitars. I would have never known a neck could have such an impact on my playing if I hadn't tried it. These necks bring out the funky, rythmic, listener-mesmerizing side of your playing. The neck profile is so nice that I personally prefer it to ANY USA Fender neck - thin or thick, and I have tried every Strat neck I could get my hands in and owned several dozen Strats personally over the years. (And all this is coming from a guy who usually personally prefers thin necks.) It is quite an experience to play.
These necks are so buttery they actually changed my playing and I ended up buying several John Mayer Stratocasters after that. (If you play differently on different guitars/different guitars bring out different playing in you, you know exactly what I mean.)
There are two components that matter most in a neck: the profile and the frets. Both are perfect and go together perfectly on this neck. The rosewood is nice and smooth/tight grained custom shop quality Rosewood.
The neck is in excellent condition, as the pictures show. The neck is straight as an arrow and plays like a dream. I may be posting some other parts from this guitar as well, including the body and the loaded pickguard with John Mayer Big Dipper pickups. If you are interested in more original parts from the same guitar, message me.
The John Mayer Stratocaster was discontinued in the last few years, never to be made again, as John Mayer and Fender cut ties, and he is no longer being endorsed by them. John Mayer Stratocaster parts are getting harder and harder to find. Ships internationally, just ask me for a quote if you are outside the US.
This item is sold As-Described
This item is sold As-Described and cannot be returned unless it arrives in a condition different from how it was described or photographed. Items must be returned in original, as-shipped condition with all original packaging.
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John Mayer’s Guitars, Amps, Effect and Accessories
Jump straight to the Chronological List
Short Summary of Mayer’s Equipment
John Mayer’s first serious electric guitar was a Fender Stratocaster Stevie Ray Vaughan Signature model, purchased sometime around He would use that guitar as his main until around At that point, he started using a variety of different Stratocasters, including another SRV Strat, a Fender Monterey Stratocaster, and a few different Custom Shop Strats, designed to his own specs.
In came the “Black one” – the Stratocaster that John designed together with the Fender Custom Shop, to feature his favorite specs and looks. This guitar was most famously used on the “Continuum” album and the following tour. During this same time, Mayer also started using a vintage early Stratocaster in sunburst, which eventually became his favorite guitar, and the one he still regularly uses nowadays.
In , John decided to switch camps, as he went from Fender to PRS. Together with Paul Reed Smith, he designed his first signature model, the Super Eagle, which he used extensively with the Grateful Dead. A few years later in , PRS introduced the second John Mayer signature guitar called the “Silver Sky”. This second model was based heavily on the Fender Stratocaster but featured significant design and spec changes.
Regarding amps, John went through a few different phases in his career. In the early days, he used Fender combos such as the ’65 Super Reverb and a blonde Vibro-King. In the mids he began using Two Rock amps almost exclusively. Lastly, more recently in , he began performing with few different PRS amps. He eventually settled on his own signature model, the PRS J-MOD
John also has a pretty big collection of acoustic guitars. His main acoustic guitar throughout the years has been a Martin OMJM – his own signature model from Martin. Next to this one, John had also used a DM3MD model, a limited-edition Dawe Matthews signature guitar, which apparently Mayer had used to record the entirety of the ‘Room for Squares’ album.
Chronological list of Guitars, Amps, Effects, and Accessories used by John Mayer
s Squier Stratocaster
This was John’s first ever electric guitar, acquired and used most likely sometime between and Prior to this, John was using an acoustic guitar which was rented from a local guitar shop, although there might have been a couple of more acoustic guitars going through his hands before he eventually acquired this Squier. [John […]
s Fender/Squier Stratocaster
John was first seen using this guitar sometime in the summer of At that time, he was playing in a band called ‘Another Roadside Attraction’ [John Mayer: Someday I’ll Fly – ]. The guitar likely directly replaced the black Squier that John played prior to this. What’s particularly interesting about this guitar is that, […]
Fender SRV Stratocaster
John acquired this Stevie Ray Vaughan Signature Stratocaster in , trading it for a Takamine string acoustic and a Mesa Boogie distortion pedal, and paying the difference from the money he made working at a gas station. He used the guitar for bedroom practice in the early years, and during the two semesters spent at […]
This guitar was featured on the cover of John’s album ‘Room for Squares’. In the DVD commentary of ‘Any Given Thursday‘ he states that the guitar was used live for ‘Neon’, and in the studio on the song ‘Room for Squares’. As you may have noticed, the guitar features angled or fanned frets, which allows for better intonation when […]
s Fender Stratocaster (Blue)
Circa October , John picked up a dark blue Stratocaster and used it during the Room for Squares tour [John Mayer at the 3rd annual Voodoo Music Experience,October 27, photo by Gabe Palacio/ImageDirect]. This guitar was likely his primary guitar for ‘Something’s Missing’ during that tour since he would’ve had to tune it differently. From […]
Rick Turner Model 1
John first used this guitar in to play ‘Bigger Than My Body’ live [John Mayer – Live, July 7, ] (whether he actually used the guitar during the studio sessions is uncertain, but likely). He continued using it on and off from that point on, and it was again picked up again in , […]
As far as one can tell, John only used this guitar once – at the PNC Arts Center on August 28, , in New Jersey [Singer-Songwriter John Mayer at the PNC Arts Center, Credit: Myrna Suarez] The guitar was built by Vince Cunetto, who in the mids worked with Fender Custom Shop on relicing their bodies […]
s Fender Stratocaster (Heavier Things)
This guitar was featured on the cover of John’s album ‘Heavier Things‘. It is possible that the guitar was used to some extent during the studio sessions, although there doesn’t appear to be any official word on it from John. If you happen to come across an interview where there’s gear mentioned in relation to […]
s Fender Stratocaster Custom Shop (Stripe)
This guitar was most famously used in the music video for the song ‘Bigger Than My Body’ from the album, Heavier Things. It was subsequently used on various tour dates in late Embed from Getty Images The guitar appears to be finished in Inca silver, featuring a red stripe spanning from the area below […]
s Fender SRV Stratocaster
John was first seen using this Stevie Ray Signature Stratocaster in Australia [John Mayer – Live at Music Max in Australia, September 23, ], but it is likely that he owned the guitar for at least a few months back, and used it during the US tour. If you happen to find photos and/or videos […]
Fender Monterey Stratocaster
John started using this guitar sometime towards late One of the earlier appearances of the guitar was on December 30, , on Late Night With Conan O’Brien, when John played a set with Buddy Guy and Double Trouble. The guitar was subsequently used on the 46th Annual Grammy Awards show on February 6th, various dates throughout the tour in […]
Fender Stratocaster (Charcoal Frost Metallic)
John first appeared with this guitar sometime after the release of the Heavier Things album, circa late The guitar was likely a Fender Custom Shop master-built and served the purpose of a back-up guitar for the tour. If you happen to come across an interview where John mentioned these early Strats with stripe design, please be sure to […]
Fender Stratocaster (Burgundy Mist)
This guitar is pretty much a mystery, although it is likely that it came out of the Fender Custom Shop on John’s order. It was used extensively during the Heavier Things tour in [03/12/ John Mayer- YouTube], and therefore likely served purely just as of a touring guitar. By the looks of it, the guitar was […]
Fender Custom Shop Tele/Strat Hybrid
This guitar appeared sometime in mid [John Mayer at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre, April 15, ], although it is possible that John already had it for a few months prior. As far as one can tell, it was only used for live performances for the song ‘Something’s Missing’, although this is not definitive and still needs further […]
Fender Stratocaster (JM Strat Prototype)
This guitar was first seen sometime in July during the Summer Tour. Based on a few sources, it is highly likely that this guitar was a prototype of sorts for John’s upcoming Artist series from Fender, which became publicly available a year later, in July Embed from Getty Images According to the information over at Fender […]
Fender SRV “Number One” Tribute Strat
John acquired this guitar sometime in early to mid, presumably right after it first became available. The guitar was introduced in January at the Winter NAMM, and since it was only produced in pieces, it was sold at the authorized Fender dealers who were chosen on a lottery basis. The guitar was designed and built by […]
Fender Black One Stratocaster
This is perhaps the guitar that John is most often associated with, at least during his most popular years. It was built by Fender Custom Shop master-builder John Cruz in Corona, California in late – with direct input from John, who also participated in some of the handworks. The guitar was delivered to Mayer in November I […]
Fender Stratocaster “Crashocaster”
John was first seen using this Strat in during the John Mayer Trio tour. The guitar was built by the Fender Custom Shop and painted by John Crash Matos – a graffiti artist who became known in the guitar world after painting a few of Eric Clapton’s Strats in the early s. In he was commissioned by Fender […]
/64 Fender Stratocaster
John acquired this guitar sometime prior to the Continuum album, and used it on at least one song during the studio sessions (see quote below), but at the time of writing this, it is unknown which one in particular (if you happen to have any information regarding this, please be sure to get in contact). From then on, the guitar […]
Fender “Try” Stratocaster Custom Shop
This guitar was primarily used during the John Mayer Trio era, more precisely, around the period following the release of the band’s live album Try! on November 22, The Strat was most likely a custom order from John, built by Fender Custom Shop. Embed from Getty Images As far as the specs – although there doesn’t seem to be any official word […]
Fender Custom Shop John Cruz Relic Stratocaster
Mayer started using this guitar during the Trio era to play the song ‘Gravity’ live. As far as studio usage, there are photos of Mayer playing this exact guitar in the studio during the recording of Continuum (one of those photos was posted on John’s Instagram account – of him smoking a cigarette and sporting a fake […]
Gibson ES Eric Clapton Crossroads
This guitar first appeared sometime during the John Mayer Trio era circa , which corresponds with the time when the guitar became available for purchase from the Gibson Custom Shop. From then on it was used on numerous occasions, most famously during the Crossroads festival, when John played a cover of Bill Withers’ ‘Ain’t No Sunshine’ (see video […]
Fender Stratocaster “Crashocaster”
This guitar appeared on occasions towards late , more precisely during a couple of gigs that John played with Sheryl Crow. Embed from Getty Images The Stratocaster was obviously something that John Crash Matos had laid his fingers on, but the exact details behind the guitar are unfortunately unknown. It is possible that this is one of the fifty […]
Fender Gold Leaf Stratocaster
This guitar was first seen sometime in late , following the release of the album ‘Continuum’. It was specifically used during the studio sessions for the song ‘Vultures’, and on most of the occasions when the song was played live. So for Vultures , I have to play the gold-leaf Strat. That’s what I wrote the […]
Fender Time Machine ’50s Thinline Telecaster
John was seen using this guitar occasionally towards late Although very little is known about the guitar, from the looks of it appears to be a Custom Shop Thinline Telecaster. Fender apparently released a limited run of these guitars sometime in the mids, and by the model was discontinued. [Fender Custom Shop Retired Models] […]
Fender Stratocaster (Cypress Mica)
This guitar was a limited edition of the John Mayer Signature Stratocaster released in , featuring most of the specs present on the regular models with some minor differences. John himself used the guitar occasionally from early Embed from Getty Images As said, the guitar is pretty much just a regular JM Stratocaster featuring […]
Fender Stratocaster Hardtail
John acquired this guitar sometime in , which is a presumption mostly based on the photos which seem to date back no further than mid and the 38th Annual New Orleans Jazz Festival. Embed from Getty Images According to a Periscope live stream that John did recently [John Mayer on Periscope – Gear Talk] the guitar is a […]
/60 Gibson Les Paul Junior
John was seen using this guitar on a few occasions in , including the ABC-TV’s “Good Morning America” on July 20th, Unfortunately, the specifics and the origin of the guitar are currently unknown. Based on the photos, the guitar appears to be vintage, most likely dating back to the late 50s. It features a […]
Fender SRV Lipstick Stratocaster
John was seen playing this guitar at the Crossroads Guitar Festival in Bridgeview, Illinois, as well as on PBS’s Austin City Limits recorded that same year. Although initially suspected by many, the guitar is not from the limited line built by Charley’s Guitar Shop, but Fender’s own replica, made by their Custom Shop team of Master Builders. […]
Fender Stratocaster "Continuum"
This is a guitar that was occasionally used during the Continuum tour. It is most likely just a regular John Mayer Signature Stratocaster with a custom finish, featuring the word “Continuum” written in sequence on top of the body, excluding the pickguard. For the specifics behind the electronics and woods used on the guitar, refer to official […]
Fender Reverse Proto Stratocaster
This guitar was used by John during the John Mayer Trio tour. It was also used on some later dates, including Mayer’s performance at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles, California on December 8, , which was eventually released as a live DVD album ‘Where the Light Is’ [Where The Light Is: John Mayer Live In Los […]
This guitar was most famously used on Where The Light Is DVD, mostly just on the footage recorded of John playing outside on Mulholland Drive. From then on, the L-5 was seen occasionally on John’s social media profiles but was rarely used during concerts. One instance where the guitar was seen live was at the David Letterman show in […]
Guild Starfire IV ST
John used this guitar on the ‘Where The Light’ Is DVD/album to play the song ‘Come When I Call’. The guitar is finished in dark sunburst, and from the looks of it appears to be brand new. Given that this is true (and it’s not an older model), the guitar features a semi-hollow body with solid spruce center […]
Fender SRV Lenny Stratocaster
John received this guitar from the Fender Custom Shop sometime in , as was shown in the bonus interview featured on the Where The Light Is DVD. As far as one can tell from the photos and the video available, he never used this Stratocaster live. The guitar is a replica of a Stratocaster that Stevie Ray Vaughan […]
Fender 'La Cabronita' Telecaster
John Mayer used this Telecaster since on live performances of ‘Perfectly Lonely’, and since he often chooses to use the same exact guitar he originally used during the studio sessions (gold-lead Strat on ‘Vultures’ for example), the guitar was most likely used to record the song as well. The guitar was built by the Fender […]
John used this guitar to record ‘War of My Life’ and ‘Assassin’ from the album ‘Battle Studies’. This is sort of like a guitar synth in a way. It has constantly-sustaining pickups that just keep the strings ringing. I used this on War of My Life and I used it on the Assassin. Those sort […]
Duesenberg Double Cat
John used this guitar on the Battle Studies album to record the song ‘Wildfire’. Following John’s preference to always use the exact same guitar that he recorded the song with, the Duesenberg was also seen on most of the live performances of the song. According to the info on Duesenberg’s website, the guitar features an alder body […]
This guitar was first seen live during the Born and Raised World Tour in , although based on John’s Periscope stream recorded in , he had owned the Tele for quite a while: This is a bit of a different Tele in a sense that it’s not traditionally bright and sort of twangy. That’s why I had […]
Gibson Les Paul/SG
John was first spotted playing this guitar at the Beacon Theatre on November 17, in New York City. Although used rarely at first, the guitar became John’s favorite axe by the time he recorded ‘Battle Studies’, and he ended up using it to record the song ‘Edge of Desire’ from that album. Embed from Getty […]
Fender Jeff Beck Stratocaster 'Heartbreak Warfare'
John was first seen using this guitar following the release of fourth studio album ‘Battle Studies’ in The guitar was used exclusively for the song ‘Heartbreak Warfare’” which features quite extensive use of the tremolo. The main distinctive features on this guitar are the fret neck with what looks like a Wilkinson split roller nut, and […]
Duesenberg Mike Campbell Signature
This guitar seems to have been used occasionally on a couple of gigs with Keith Urban’s on the song ‘Til Summer Comes Around’. It was subsequently seen in in the Palace of Auburn Hills, where John used the guitar to play the song ‘Say’ [John Mayer – Say (Live at the Palace Feb, )] According to the information on the […]
Fender 'Minnie Mouse' Telecaster MIJ
John seems to have acquired this guitar during the Battle Studies tour in Japan in May and played it on at least one gig around that time. [John Mayer Perfectly Lonely Live in Japan, Tokyo JCB Hall ] The guitar is part of a limited Disney-themed line made and released only in Japan, and it featured […]
Ernie Ball Music Man 25th Anniversary
This guitar was seen during the Battle Studies World Tour on various dates primarily on gigs played in Australia and Japan. From the photos available the guitar appears to be black, but it seems that all of the 25th Anniversary models were produced in dark red. John’s guitar was then either a custom-made model and […]
Fender Rosewood Stratocaster 'Rosie'
Based on the photos, this guitar was first used sometime in early to mid, as John was first seen using it during the Tiger Jam All Star Benefit Concert in April that year. The guitar was built by the Fender Custom Shop, and it features all-rosewood body and neck. It is based on a late s model, and it styles […]
Alembic Further Jerry Garcia Tribute
John was first seen using this guitar in while playing a cover of Grateful Dead song ‘Friend of the Devil’. This is, of course, no coincidence, since the guitar was modeled after one of Alembic’s earliest guitar models known as ‘Wolf’, played by Grateful Dead co-founder and lead guitarist – Jerry Garcia. Although just by looking at it […]
s Fender Strat Plus
John used this guitar occasionally during the Born and Raised world tour, most notably at the Crossroads Guitar Festival in From the looks of it, the guitar appears to be an early 90s Strat Plus. The most obvious giveaway is the three Gold Lace Sensor pickups (famously used by Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, and Buddy Guy) and the Fender/Wilkinson […]
Fender Nickel Plated Stratocaster
This is one of the more unique guitars of John’s. He started using it around , and it appears to be a 50s style model with a maple neck and a visible truss rod on the headstock – meaning that the guitar is not based exclusively on the vintage specs. The finish on the guitar seems […]
Guild M75 Aristocrat
John used this guitar in on the John Mayer Trio mini-reunion on Late Night with Seth Meyers. This was trio’s first TV performance in five years, and they played the song ‘After Midnight’, originally by J. J. Cale and later covered by Eric Clapton in As far as the specs, the guitar features a chambered body with spruce top and mahogany back, 22 […]
Jackson 30th Anniversary Soloist
According to a post that John made on his Instagram profile, he received this guitar sometime in mid – however, it mostly remained behind the scenes until around a year later when John appeared with it during his Grammy’s performance with Ed Sheeran. John’s Jackson seems to be a Custom Shop 30th Anniversary model, based on the pickups and the control knobs […]
Fender Eric Clapton Signature Stratocaster
This is one of the two maple-neck Stratocasters that John played on a couple of occasions in Prior to acquiring these two maple-neck Strats, John almost exclusively used rosewood Strats, aside from a couple of odd ones – like the Custom Shop Reverse Proto Stratocaster. seems to have been a sort of a transition year for […]
John used this guitar at Eric Clapton’s 70th Birthday Concert in May According to one of his recent Periscope streams, this is the first PRS guitar that he ever got his hands on. This is the first PRS guitar that I played, and I went holy moly! I played that at the Clapton birthday show at the […]
PRS Super Eagle (Prototype #1)
This is the first prototype of the PRS Super Eagle model, which Mayer designed working closely with Paul Reed Smith in mid The guitar seems to have mainly been based around the McCarty , which was introduced only a couple of months prior to the two of them meeting to discuss a possible signature model after […]
PRS Custom 22 Private Stock
This guitar was only seen briefly in one of John’s Periscope streams dating back to July 1, [John Mayer Guitar Lesson on Periscope ]. Based purely on the looks, the guitar appears to be a Custom 22 model, but there are few things on it that don’t exactly fit the description. The first is the […]
PRS Super Eagle (Prototype #2)
This guitar is the one that John eventually settled up with after trying out the first prototype from Paul Reed Smith. In its essence the guitar is identical to the prototype number three, aside from the sticker on the back that simply reads “2”, and the amount of the brown paint used to get the sunburst effect. In the interview below […]
PRS Super Eagle (Prototype #3)
This is the third and (to our knowledge) the final prototype of the PRS Super Eagle, which is essentially the official John Mayer Signature model. To our understanding, this guitar is identical to the Prototype #2 except that is seems to feature a somewhat darker grade of brown on the edges. This should be taken lightly, as […]
Charvel Guthrie Govan Signature Model
This guitar is probably one of the lesser known ones since you’d be unlikely to have known of it unless you regularly tune in John’s Periscope streams. It seems that he only used this guitar during a stream dating back to late The guitar features maple body and neck, Charvel Custom MF humbuckers in the neck […]
PRS Silver Sky
John started using this guitar in early It has been developed as a close collaboration between Mayer and Paul Reed Smith, the main goal being designing an instrument that would be a future of the classic design, taking inspiration mainly from early 60s Strat models which John is known to favor. It’s been a dream […]
In his Periscope stream on August 20th, [John Mayer on Periscope – Gear Talk] John mentioned that his first guitar was a Washburn acoustic and that the guitar is still with his family. Unfortunately, this is the only piece of info available on this guitar, so if you happen to come across some old […]
This was the guitar that John had very early on, prior to becoming a recording artist. Unfortunately, the guitar is pretty much a mystery and everything that is known about it is that it was a string and that John traded it in for a Stevie Ray Vaughan Signature Stratocaster that became his main recording […]
John was seen using this guitar only on one video clip dating back to March 9, [John Mayer – Live from the Gothic Theatre, Denver, March 9, ]. The origin of the guitar and the time frame during which John used it are currently unknown.
This guitar was used by John to record the entirety of the ‘Room for Squares’ album and during the tour. The guitar is a limited edition Dave Matthews signature model from Martin. According to the official specs, it features a 14 fret dreadnought body with solid spruce top and solid East Indian rosewood back and sides, solid mahogany neck with […]
Martin Cutaway Custom
This Martin was mostly used just for the Room for Squares tour, it being one of only two Martins that John was seen playing around that time (the DM3MD being the other one). It was likely picked up just due to fact that it was a cutaway guitar, and allowed John to reach the […]
By Mayer seems to have decided to start moving from a dreadnought sized guitars to OM/ sized ones. For the first guitar, the choice fell on an OMV model, which is part of Martin’s Vintage Series line. This guitar was mostly seen just during the tour, and by it was replaced by Mayer’s own signature […]
Seen on a few occasions in , likely just a tour/temporary guitar. More research needed.
John was seen playing this guitar on occasion in early , most notably at the 45th Annual Grammy Awards show on February 23rd. The guitar is one of Martin’s premium models with $5,+ price tag, featuring Sitka spruce top, East Indian rosewood back and sides, Abalone rosette and the top inlay, and grained ivoroid body and headstock […]
Martin OMJM Limited Edition
This guitar was introduced in late as the first official John Mayer Signature model from Martin. The model was produced as a limited run of instruments, with the #4 and #43 allegedly going to Mayer [source needed]. In the interview with Martin guitar at the NAMM show, John does mention that he still has the […]
Martin ECHF Bellezza Nera
This guitar was seen in the music video for the song ‘Half of My Heart’ from the album, ‘Battle Studies’, and on a home video that John recorded in Japan in [John Mayer – Half of My Heart (Tokyo Acoustic Version)] Unfortunately, we couldn’t find out if the guitar was used on the studio […]
This is the second guitar that John designed working with together Martin, introduced initially at NAMM According to John’s own words, the idea behind the guitar was to create a smaller and a more portable guitar. The guitar features a style body with an Adirondack spruce top and Cocobolo back and sides (notice that all the prior Martins […]
National Style-O Resonator string
John used this guitar on the rare occasions when playing the song ‘Walt Grace’s Submarine Test, January ’ live (something he initially avoided doing but does more often in recent years). This National seems to be a custom made guitar since it looks to be fairly new, and features a string neck – which seems to be […]
Martin D JM
Martin released this guitar in early , as the first dreadnought size John Mayer signature model. It was produced in a limited run of only 45 guitars, and it featured Engelmann Spruce top with Guatemalan Rosewood back and sides, and Abalone top and rosette inlays. At the time of the release, the Martin D JM sold for $14,
This seems to be the amp that John used in the earlier part of the Room for Squares tour, based on the footage from ‘Your Body is a Wonderland’ video (photo below), and on some live footage recorded in It is possible however that the amp was not always used by him (see photo below, […]
Fender ’65 Super Reverb Reissue
Used during the later part of the Room for Squares tour starting from The amp can be seen during the concert in Birmingham, Alabama which was released as a live CD and DVD titled ‘Any Given Thursday’, and on the music video for the song ‘Why Georgia’ – which also shows some backstage footage, as […]
This is the amp that was often seen next to the Super Reverb on stage during the Room for Squares tour circa It is unknown whether John actually used this amp since it could’ve been used by the guitarist standing to his right (if you happen to know who exactly played guitar with John around […]
Two Rock Custom Reverb
John started using Two Rock amps sometimes prior to the summer tour (if you know of a specific date when he started using them, please leave a comment below) and continued using them as his main amps over the next few years. In specifically, he was mostly seen using a single or two Two […]
Two Rock Combo
John was seen using the amp during a televised gig played on June 19, (video below). Based on the footage, the amp could be a K&M Jade model (which was in production around that time according to A List of Two-Rock Production Models from the K&M-Era) but it’s really really hard to tell anything […]
Fender Vibro-King Limited Edition
John was seen using this amp on occasions in / alongside a Two Rock Custom Reverb. Based on the photos, the amp that John used was a limited edition which was available only during the NAMM show, with Western Hand Tooled Tolex, and a matching cabinet (for reference and photos, see Fender Vibro King Cowboy Tolex […]
Fender Hot Rod Deluxe
This guitar amp was seen sitting behind John onstage during The Andre Agassi Charitable Foundation’s Show at MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada on October 2, (photo below). Given that the amp is mic-ed up, and positioned right behind John, it seems most likely that it was used by him (as opposed to someone else […]
Fender Deluxe Reverb Amp
According to a Periscope stream that John did in , this amp was built by Chris Flemming from the Fender Custom Shop. Chris apparently had help from Alexander “Howard” Dumble of Dumble Amplifiers. John mentioned using the amp while playing American Pie on David Letterman, and on tons of other stuff (although he doesn’t go […]
Fender Dual Professional
This amp became a part of John’s usual stage setup from around the same time he began using the PRS J-MOD amp – his own signature model from PRS introduces in early Usually, with Dead & Company, he would have the Fender Dual Professional sitting between two J-MODs, and a Victoria Reverberato unit sitting on top […]
This has been John’s main amp since circa , when it first became available, both with Dead & Company and on his solo gigs. He’d usually have two amps sitting on stage, with a Fender Duo Professional sitting in between them, and a Victoria Reverberato Reverb/Tremolo unit sitting on top of it.
Fender '65 Princeton Reverb
John has used this amp occasionally on stage with Dead & Company, circa To which purpose he used such a small amp for stage performance is unknown, but could perhaps be that he simply liked the reverb on the amp. Embed from Getty Images
Way Huge Aqua Puss Analog Delay
This is one of the key pedals in John’s arsenal, at least based on how often it was seen on his pedalboard. It seems to be him main go-to delay, so any time there’s a delay effect in his signal chain, it is most likely an Aqua Puss. There however doesn’t seem to be any […]
Boss BD-2 (Keeley mod)
Used by Mayer most notably during the trio era (circa ). The BD-2 that John used was modified by Robert Keeley altering the sound significantly from the stock model. Among others, the mod includes changing several of BD-2s inside components and adding a PHAT switch which activates a lower frequency booster for a somewhat bassier […]
Dunlop DC-Brick Multi-Power Supply
Used as the main power supply for John’s pedalboard during the trio era ().
Keeley Katana Boost
This pedal has been a part of almost every single pedalboard that John had set up. Most notably, it was seen on his Trio era board (photo below), and on the photos taken of his pedalboard in the more recent Dead & Company tours. If you feel like your guitar just won’t cut it in […]
Real McCoy Picture Wah (RMC3)
John used this Wah pedal during the John Mayer Trio era circa RMC’s current catalog seems to be somewhat confusing, so it’s unclear what exact model he was using (if you happen to be familiar with RMC Wahs, leave a comment below). Above is a photo of an RMC3 Picture Wah that looks identical […]
T-Rex Replica Delay
Seen on John pedalboard during the Trio tour ().
Boss TU-2 Tuner
Obviously not really an effect, but still worth pointing out is that John used a Boss TU-2 tuner on his Trio-era () pedalboard. Many people want to replicate that exact sound and go for the same exact pedals that Mayer had at that time, so it doesn’t hurt to have it listed here.
Ibanez TS Tube Screamer
The Tube Screamer TS overdrive pedal was seen on John’s pedalboard on a number of occasions – for example, during the Periscope stream during which he talked about gear in detail. Also worth mentioning, the pedal was seen on photos taken during the Trio years, circa /07 – meaning that it was likely used […]
This pedal was seen during what’s titled on YouTube as “Soundcheck Walmart Interview” filmed in , and in the video from John’s own channel titled “John Mayer – John Mayer “In Repair:” One Song, One Day (Video)”. According to the latter, the Pog pedal was used on the song In Repair from the Continuum album.
Eventide TimeFactory Delay
This pedal was seen during PremierGuitar’s Rig Rundown interview with John’s guitar tech, Rene Martinez. At the time of the interview (late ), John had two of these pedals running, both set to “VintageDelay” setting.
This seems to be John’s favorite distortion pedal, and he uses it on his solo stuff, and while touring with Dead & Company. Right now it’s the Klon Centaur. It’s the kindest, most satisfying distortion – it’s the best ‘loud’ I’ve heard. And I’ve always used a Marshall Bluesbreaker from the early nineties. It’s great… I mean […]
Ibanez TS Tube Screamer Classic
This pedal was spotted on John’s pedalboard during the Dead & Company tour (circa ). If you happen to come across an interview where John talks about this version of the Tube Screamer and why he decided to use it, please be sure to leave a comment below.
This effects unit became a part of John’s usual stage setup from around mid, or around the time he began touring with Dead & Company (if you find any footage of him using the unit before this time period, please do send a message). According to the official spec sheet, the reverb circuit is based on […]
Neunaber Wet Reverb
John used this pedal on the song Love on the Weekend from the album The Search for Everything. You can see him talking about the pedal in the video below.
Ernie Ball Electric Guitar Strings
On electric guitars John seems to alternate between 10s and 11s, depending on the guitar itself. For instance, in an interview with MusicRadar John stated that his Black Strat handles 11s well, while some other guitar just becomes too stiff to play: But that one [The Black One] just has a little extra slack; like […]
Ernie Ball Acoustic Earthwood Medium Light Strings
According to Ernie Ball’s website, John uses Ernie Ball Earthwood Medium Light Strings ( – ) on his acoustic guitars. There might be some variations on this, however, and he could use different gauges on different guitars (further research needed).
Dunlop Tortex mm Picks
John was seen using the Dunlop mm Greens during the ‘Room for Squares’ era (see John Mayer – Why Georgia (Live) for reference)
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Grammy award winner John Mayer teamed with Fender to create his must-have signature instrument.
The John Mayer Stratocaster guitar features an alder body, satin urethane-finished maple neck with a slightly larger C shape, "-radius African rosewood fingerboard with Dunlop frets, and buffed headstock with vintage-style ´50s decal and string tree placed slightly farther from the nut.
Other features include three "Big Dipper" single-coil pickups with special scooped mid-range voicing wound to Mayer´s specs, American vintage synchronized tremolo with five springs, and Fender/Gotoh vintage-style tuners.
Incase gig bag included.
Thick C-Shape Neck, Vintage Hardware, Five Tremolo Springs installed at Factory, Per the Artists Request, the Back Tremolo Cover Plate is Not Installed nor Included with the Guitar, String Tree is Farther from the Nut, 3 Big Dipper Single-Coil Strat Pickups with Special "Scooped" Mid-range Voicing to Meet John Mayers Specifcations, 50s Spaghetti Logo Decal, Satin Urethane Finish on Back of Neck, Gloss Finish on the Face of the Headstock.
Includes Chrome Bridge Cover (bridge cover tailpiece), " ( cm) (fretboard radius), Nickel/Chrome (hardware), INCASE Gig Bag , Strap, Cable (included accessories), Maple (neck material), Custom 4 Bolt Neckplate (neck plate), Thick "C" Shape (neck shape), S/S/S (pickup configuration), " Hex (Allen) Wrench (saddle height adjustment wrench), American Vintage Tremolo Arm (straplock), Synthetic Bone (string nut), Fender USA R NPS, ( Gauges) (strings)
John Mayer Explains the Heat Around His Cool New PRS Silver Sky Guitar
When pop virtuoso John Mayer and master guitar builder Paul Reed Smith unveiled their new PRS Silver Sky in March, the online message boards erupted with the white-hot intensity of Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano. While many guitarists were excited by the six-string creation, others were, eh, shall we say…less enthused.
“Nothing to see here,” groused one irate Tweet, “it’s just a Fender Stratocaster with a PRS neck and headstock.”
“It’s a goddamn betrayal of two great guitar companies,” thundered a host of other Facebook trolls.
And this was before anyone had a chance to play or hear one.
Mayer, who clearly enjoys the role of provocateur, was amused by the ruckus—but not surprised. “Traditionally, the guitar world hasn’t embraced or tolerated evolution all that well,” he says with a dry, knowing laugh. “The initial response to the Silver Sky was pretty negative because people tend to resist anything new. However, being a social media target, I have experience that allows me to really understand the mechanics of disapproval. I’m perfectly tuned to withstand that friction period of people saying they don’t like something.
“Truth is, I don’t think guitarists are really saying they don’t like the Silver Sky. They’re just reacting. I’ve seen the lifespan of people’s negative reactions enough to understand what it means. What most people are really asking is, ‘What is this? What are you trying to do?’ You just need to get through the period that people register their confusion and dissent.
“Of course, there are going to be people who will never embrace it, and that’s fine. But it’s been interesting to watch players adapt to it. I think there is a desire for guitarists to hold something that’s a bit evolved.”
On some level, it’s hard to see what the fuss is all about. The guitar is a well-crafted gem and a fine addition to the PRS line. As Guitar World proclaimed in a recent review of the instrument [July ], “For aficionados of the classic three singlecoil pickup solidbody guitar design, this is truly one of the finest examples ever produced.”
Granted, the Silver Sky may look like a Fender Stratocaster, but with its “reverse” PRS trademark headstock shape, vintage-style tuners with PRS’s locking design, a ” scale length bolt-on maple neck, fretboard radius and a distinctive trio of special PRS JM single-coil pickups, the instrument is undeniably its own unique rock-and-roll animal. Its mid-range clarity also makes it quite different from any Fender instrument we’ve played.
“We went with a Stratocaster-style body because it is just an excellent shape for an electric guitar, and it’s one that I’ve come to know really, really well. It’s part of my history. No one is ever going to look at a picture of Jimi Hendrix playing a Stratocaster and go, ‘Yuck.’ It’s undeniably classic. But, ultimately, I’m not interested in rehashing classics, I’m interested in pushing things forward.”
And perhaps that is where the confusion and the excitement over the Silver Sky stems from. Is it a variation on an old classic with some new features, or is it a new guitar with some classic design elements?
“Think of it this way: I want to take a point of view and adjust it,” Mayer responds. “And that’s the new sport—feeling your mind change. That’s what we do on Instagram every day. You may laugh and say, ‘Look at those giant sneakers!’ And then a week later, you’re wearing them.”
Trying to do something new with the electric guitar is extremely difficult. It’s one of the few inventions that the creators got right at the very beginning.
Well, they either did or didn’t get it right. It might just seem that way because we have a difficult time seeing it any other way. But I’ll be the first to say those original guitars sure did support what musicians were doing. But it’s a real chicken-egg thing. Did a Rickenbacker guitar sound good because the Beatles used it, or did the Beatles use it because it sounded good?
So what were you and Paul Reed Smith aiming for? What did you need that you didn’t already have?
The answer is…nothing. If you take my five favorite guitars, I’m covered. But I wanted to do two things:
First, I wanted to make a guitar that did away with the concept of “the magic guitar.” You know, the idea that you could play 10 different guitars of the same model, but only one would be magic. I want all Silver Sky guitars to be great. I want them all to be magic. I don’t suspect I will ever really have a Number One Silver Sky, because all of them will be good. I wanted to eliminate that idea that one has magic wood and the other doesn’t. The thinking was to build a well-designed instrument that would be consistent, no matter which one you played.
The second goal is, I want to have my own little plot of land to develop and build on. I tried to do something like this with Fender, but I couldn’t create enough enthusiasm within the company for my vision. I’m not hurt by that. No one is obligated to be enthused about an idea of mine.
So, you see your relationship with PRS going beyond creating a signature guitar.
I want to be clear, I wasn’t looking to create a signature model. I want to go a step deeper into the genetic code of things. I’m looking to create a series of instruments that represent my point of view—and have a little desk next to Paul where I can bring some of my ideas to life that, over the years, will tell a story.
The best analogy I can give you without it being too self-aggrandizing is the relationship Air Jordan has with Nike. Air Jordan is still Nike, but it’s its own brand. I don’t want the Silver Sky to be a signature guitar; I want it to become other people’s signature guitar. My hope is to eventually take my name entirely out of the equation.
I can appreciate that. It’s weird for a serious guitar player to play someone else’s signature guitar. I mean, no offense, but I don’t want to play John Mayer’s guitar. I want to play my guitar.
Yeah, that’s correct. That’s why I didn’t put my name on the front of the guitar—it’s on the neck plate. Of any signature instrument, this one feels the most like the name has been removed. It’s almost like Van Halen’s EVH brand. I was sensitive to that even when I was working with Fender. I believe I was the first artist at Fender to put my signature on the back of the headstock. I’d rather have people think of my PRS guitar as a Silver Sky, not a John Mayer signature model.
Where did the name come from?
I don’t remember. I think it might’ve been a broken piece of a song idea. I liked it because it sounded like a secret operation: Project Silver Sky. I sort of imagined a congressional hearing being assembled to find out more about this “clandestine Silver Sky venture.” I also felt it was in keeping with Paul Reed Smith’s bird nomenclature.
In another way, it reminded me of things like the Broadcaster, the Telecaster and the Stratocaster—you get this sort of air and sky vibration from the name.
I’ve heard a lot of people try to characterize the sound of the Silver Sky. How would you describe it?
I’ve made a lot of records and played a lot of guitar, and it’s important to me to evolve. My tastes have changed, and one thing that started fatiguing my ear was the out-of-phase quack. And look, I’m responsible for a lot of people using that fourth-position pickup sound. “Slow Dancing in a Burning Room” is the official song for checking out that out-of-phase thing, but at this point it’s almost unusable for me. I just got tired of it.
I started getting into the clarity of tone, like the stark beauty of a middle pickup or the sparkle of a nicely tuned bridge pickup. So, the point is, on this guitar, I’ve tried to add that clarity even to the out-of-phase pickup positions. You still can get that sound on my PRS, but without all those harmonic overtones that are so sonically heavy handed. The pickups don’t have that gumminess. Every position has a certain directness that excites me.
On a typical Strat, your bridge pickup would have a certain clarity, and so would your neck pickup, but as soon as you moved to the fourth or second position, you’d lose volume, because you’re literally out of phase. I was looking for something a little more refined, stronger and clearer.
I mean, if you were to play Jimi Hendrix’s “Little Wing” on a Silver Sky versus a Stratocaster, you might choose the sound of a Strat. But I’m not thinking about “Little Wing” anymore. I’m thinking about the future of recorded music, the future of guitar and the future of songwriting.
Most modern recordings are more direct and less watery and ambient. I can see how this guitar would fit with that.
Yeah, there are a lot fewer tracks, and everything is getting more room and more space. To your point about recording, when I’m playing on people’s sessions these days, I don’t usually bring an amp, I record all my guitars through my Akai MPC. Why? Well, because that’s what the rest of the music is suggesting. When everyone is using virtual instruments and virtual effects, there’s no oxygen.
Those frequencies are so well cordoned off, a Bassman amp with three mics put on it literally will not fit inside the song. There’s a lot of resistance to that from producers. My guitar parts are getting on three times more records these days than when I came in with my guitar amp and a couple pedals and mics. It wasn’t fitting the lexicon, so I had to really look at that and ask, “Is the old way of doing things really honoring the electric guitar?”
Pick your favorite guitarists from the Sixties and ask yourself, if they were around today at the age they were in the Sixties, would they have embraced new technology? Damn right, they would’ve! You’re damn right Jimi Hendrix would have been unplugging from a Marshall and holding the guitar cable in his hand, looking around the room going, “Where can I plug this into?”
Let’s talk about design. Although you’ve made some substantial revisions on the Silver Sky, this is still essentially a Stratstyle guitar.
If you ask someone to draw a guitar, nine out of 10 people are going to draw a Stratocaster. So, when it came time to work with Paul, it was like, I just thought it would be an easier path to get people to understand that this is a Strat-based body, more than, “Hey, you’re gonna love this new shape… um, someday. This thing that looks like a starfish, or this thing that looks like a lizard’s dick—you’re gonna love it.”
There are design guidelines. I don’t set them. You don’t set them. The world just sets them. And sorry, I don’t deal in anything other than what is in keeping with the unchangeable truths of the shape of the electric guitar. But I do want to explore what is changeable.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll probably say it again. We need to find a thoughtful balance between honoring the history of the electric guitar, but not to the point of cutting off the future of the electric guitar. I do feel like the industry has taken a bit of a hit for focusing too much on the past.
It was pretty gutsy to move away from the six-in-a-line Fender-style headstock.
We always knew the headstock had to be different than a Fender headstock, and we wanted it to be different than a Fender headstock. But we were so conditioned to the idea that a Strat-shaped body had to have that six-in-a-line headstock, it took us a while to understand there were other options.
In the beginning, we brought the guitar to the best industrial designers in the world, and they did a deep dive on every headstock and they came back to us with what they thought the Silver Sky headstocks should look like, and they were all laughable. Not because these guys did a bad job, but they didn’t understand that there is some sort of rule that exists inside of the guitar-making world where you can’t just reinvent something overnight. You just can’t. It’s held into place by a certain hard-and-fast rule, almost like the physics of design. There are design physics, like there is a calculus to guitar building. You can’t just go, “And this body’s different.” Nobody would buy it, and I wouldn’t want to play it. Whatever we came up with had to be good enough that I would want to play it.
What made John Mayer’s early-Sixties Stratocaster sound so singularly awesome? It was a worthy question for Paul Reed Smith, one of our most thoughtful guitar builders. In an epic two-year journey filled with lows and highs, he and Mayer worked their fingers to the bone to solve each and every mystery, culminating in the Silver Sky.
“While we were designing the guitar, John and I were aware of cynicism on the Internet regarding the instrument,” Smith says. “That was no fun. However, we were confident we were making a great guitar and that we’d eventually win in the court of public opinion.
“What was fun was finally watching all the negative comments turn to positive when John live streamed his demo of the Silver Sky. The response was crazy. We were getting a thousand likes a minute. Not an hour. Not 10 minutes. A minute. Sixty thousand likes an hour.”
Over the last few months, Smith and Mayer have been working hard to convert skeptics into believers with their new guitar. Happily, the job has gotten easier. As the positive reviews started rolling in from just about every guitar magazine and blog, it became clear the Silver Sky was not just another Fender clone as many had suspected, but something fresh, innovative and needed. Yes, six months later, it appears the tide has turned, and on an appropriately sunny afternoon Smith tells us how it happened.
What was it like collaborating with John?
I enjoyed working with John, like I enjoy working with people like Carlos Santana, David Grissom and Mark Tremonti. They’re highly intelligent musicians that know what they’re doing. If you look up Jimi Hendrix on Wikipedia, the first thing it says is he was a musician, which is broader than just a guitarist. I love that. I absolutely adore that they call Hendrix a musician on Wikipedia. These guys are musicians, and they know what they’re doing. I never met a musician at a high level that didn’t know what he/she was doing.
What surprised you about this project?
Many things. Initially, we thought we were going to use some stock PRS parts, but John pushed us to reconsider everything, and we ended up retooling the entire instrument. We retooled the bridge saddles, the string spacing, the bridge plate, the block, the tremolo arm. This is not a standard PRS guitar. We even retooled the knobs. I’m a player, and for years I’ve struggled with Strat knobs for a variety of reasons, and I don’t struggle with the Silver Sky knobs at all.
People have been raving about the feel of the neck.
The neck shape was based on John’s ’64 Fender Strat, which was something that hadn’t been tooled in 50 years. I know what a ‘63 and a ‘64 neck feel like, and that feels exactly like one. That got me. When I held the first prototype, I literally welled up.
Modern trends have been toward flatter neckboard radiuses. Some new-school players have criticized the Silver Sky’s rounded inch radius as difficult for soloing.
That’s just strange to me. Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Ritchie Blackmore didn’t seem to have any problem with a radius. John does a pretty good job. Some will say there is an inherent problem with buzzing, but if your neck is dead straight and your frets are level, there’s no problem.
I feel the most unique aspect of the guitar is the sound of its pickups.
Building the pickups was our toughest war. John wanted us to get close to the sound of his favorite guitar, which is the ’64 Strat. The reason people love that era is the signal-to-noise ratio is better than a Fifties Strat. On those early ones, the noise from the pickup is almost as loud as the string, but by ’63 the string was louder than the noise.
But we discovered there were other reasons those ’63 and ’64 pickups sounded the way they did. Every single pickup we studied from that period sounded different, and we figured out why. They are all broken to varying degrees, and, ironically, that’s what makes many of them sound so sweet.
If they are all different—and broken—how did you get the particular sound John was looking for?
I was standing on the stage at Verizon Center in D.C. at his sound check, and he had his old Strat and an early Silver Sky prototype out. He had been complaining that something wasn’t quite right. So, he brought us up on the stage and played both guitars back-to-back. It was immediately apparent to me that the pickups in his Strat had probably 6dB less high end and 6dB more bass than our guitar. I was shocked, because I’d used the same magnets, I’d used the same wire, I had used the same turns, the bobbins were the same size, the pickup covers were made of the same material, and yet there was a 12dB difference.
He said, “This isn’t gonna work.” I said, “The only way I can figure this out is if you give me your guitar for one day.” My wife was with me, and we put it in the back of the Prius, and we drove back to the office and hoped we didn’t get rear-ended!
I have a machine that we use to test pickups and it gives us a readout of how they sound without having to even plug them in. I put it on the machine and I got a printout, and my jaw dropped. And I went, Huh? I immediately jumped on the phone with some of my electrical engineers, because I had one day to do approximately two months of work.
One of my engineers gave me the idea of what was going on, and another genius in Los Angeles told me what to do to fix the problem, and he was right. I can tell you, the problem wasn’t a particularly well-known or well-understood phenomenon, and I got schooled. With that mystery solved, I put the guitar over my back and shipped it FedEx back to John and he had it back the next day.
Was the solution something you reproduce in all production models?
On old guitars, pickups could be a crapshoot. The JM pickups will not be a crapshoot. All the winders are computerized and the engineering has been done.
Are the treble, bass and middle JM pickups all the same?
Yes. We didn’t wind any of them differently. The same model works in all three positions.
Are they going to be made available apart from the guitar?
Well, let me think about it. No. Hmmm… Let me think about it again. No. Let me think one more time. No, no and no. [laughs] We worked too hard on it to put it in someone else’s guitar!
Guitar neck mayer john
.John Mayer's Pro Guitar Tip #6: \
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