The John Mayer Signature Strats may look similar to most other strats, but they do have some important differences. The neck is a more chunky “C” shape that most, which helps to give the guitar a fatter tone and better sustain. The guitars also boast John Mayer’s custom-spec “Big Dipper” pickups – which are exclusive to his guitar. The story goes that on his original SRV signature Strat, the pickups had been would incorrectly, resulting in a “scooped” (or lower) mid-range output. On an EQ curve, this would look like an inverted bell shape, where the mid-range frequencies dip down, hence the name “Big Dipper”.
There was quite a bit of controversy in 2010 as the Custom Shop worked on the 83 TBO models, as people wondered what kind of pickups were in THAT particular guitar. The spec sheet that came out only said “special pickups”, but after much pressure, Custom Shop marketing director Mike Eldred divulged that it too had Big Dipper spec pickups, only that they were wound by the Custom Shop.
Rebecca Dirks is On Location at Tinley Park, IL, where she goes onstage and checks out John Mayer’s current live setup with the help of legendary guitar tech Rene Martinez (Stevie Ray Vaughan, Prince, Mick Jones).
In this segment, Rene walks us through John’s amps (Dumble Steel Stringer, Two-Rock John Mayer Signature, and Fender Bassman), his cabinets (Alessandro 2x12s with Celestions), his effects (including Eventide TimeFactor, a Boss GE-7 Equalizer, an Ibanez TS-10 Tube Screamer Classic, a Roger Linn AdrenaLinn III Beat-Synced Filter Effects Processor, a Korg Toneworks G4 Rotary Speaker Simulator, a Klon Centaur Professional Overdrive, a small Analog Man Comprossor, an original Marshall Bluesbreaker, a Keeley Electronics Katana Clean Boost, a MXR M-108 10-band EQ, a Roger Linn AdrenaLinn Groove Filter FX-Amp Modeling-Drum Box Processor, a Roger Linn AdrenaLinn II Beat-Synched Filter Effects Processor, a Way Huge Aqua Puss Analog Delay, and an additional Eventide TimeFactor), which is anchored by a custom Bob Bradshaw switching system and controller. Rene even shows off some of Mayer’s 40 guitars he currently has on tour.
Fender recently reproduced John Mayer’s “The Black1” guitar in a limited quantity of 83 for sale.
The original Black1 was created in Fender’s custom shop for John Mayer in 2004. Inspired by the Fender’s Stevie Ray Vaughan Lenny tribute, John fell in love with the sound, which is attributed to the fact that the lacquer had stripped away from use.
John had his hand in the entire building of the guitar from start to finish, from sanding and painting, and had the staff that was assisting him in the build sign the inside of the guitar.
When it finally arrived to his New York apartment, John was initially disappointed with the sound. He went into desperate measures, clearing out his freezer and putting The Black1 inside overnight in hopes it would create something unique. Nothing happened until he opened it up and noticed a wire was not properly grounded. That unlocked the tone he was looking for.
I don’t have much of an ear, but I can only describe the sound of the black one as deep with a beautiful softness.
John Mayer is somewhat of a phenom in recent years, riding his bluesy guitar playing to superstardom. Along the way, Mayer has put together some great songs and an enviable tone.
I’ll readily admit that I’m not a fan of some of his more contemporary songs, although I really like “Gravity” and “Waiting For the World to Change.”
Regardless of what you think of his music, there is no denying the man can play guitar. He’s got the feel of a much older and wiser bluesman, but carries off the role of heartthrob, too.
John Mayer Black1 Limited Edition Custom Stratocaster. This is a slightly used 2010 Fender Limited Edition “The Black One” John Mayer Black1 Stratocaster. Limited to 500 guitars worldwide!
Comes with original Fender Incase Custom Shop Gigbag! This guitar is being produced by Fender as a limited edition run of 500! This guitar is modeled after John Mayer’s famous “The Black One” Strat that he uses on stage.
Only 500 of these guitars were built! This guitar has built up a ton of buzz, and available stock has quickly sold out within weeks of being released.These guitars have been very hard to find and only rarely pop up for sale.
This guitar has gently been played and is in fantastic condition. Comes with all original case candy!
Comes with Custom Incase Hard Gigbag. Guitar features gold hardware and gold neckplate, gold tuners with pearl tuner knobs, and the famous “Big Dipper” pickups.
John Mayer has an extensive guitar collection, it’s true, but his main guitar for years has been the Fender Stratocaster, in one variety or another. In fact, his first main guitar was a used SRV Signature Stratocaster that he purchased after saving enough money working at a gas station. That particular guitar went on to see many of his live performances, and was also the basis of his signature “Big Dipper” pickups (more on this in a minute).
In 2005, Fender introduced the John Mayer Signature Stratocaster, which is still in production to this day.
Back in issue 327 we spoke to John Mayer about a great many things, and in the course of our conversation he mentioned that Fender was working on a production replica of one of his favourite Strats, The Black One. You heard it here first, but now Fender has finally taken the wraps off the John Mayer Special Edition ‘Black1’ Stratocaster.
The guitar was widely used on his superb third solo album Continuum, and this limited edition series (just 500 will be made) seeks to emulate The Black One’s key features.
It has similar specs to his current (and fantastic) John Mayer signature model, with the same pickups, neck profile and electronics, but also features natty gold hardware and an exclusive incase gigbag that can be customised using modular accessory pouches and patches.
Welcome to Mayer Guitars, home of luthier Joseph Mayer. Based in Hauppauge, New York, I specialize in completely handmade custom electric and acoustic guitars, ukuleles, and stringed instrument repair.
Martin Guitars OMJM John Mayer
Martin Guitars OMJM – John Mayer signature guitar, OM- style, solid thomann engelman spruce top, solid Indian rosewood back & sides, ebony fretboard, Martin gold plus natural 1 pickup system, includes 533 Geib style case. Colour: Natural