John Mayer’s Guitars and Gear

Short Summary of John Mayer's Equipment

John Mayer’s first serious electric guitar was a Fender Stratocaster Stevie Ray Vaughan Signature model, purchased sometime around 1996. He would use that guitar as his main until around 2003. At that point, he started using a variety of different Stratocasters, including another SRV Strat, a Monterey Stratocaster, and a few different Custom Shop Strats, designed to his own specs.

In 2004 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 “Continuum” album and the following tour. During this same time, Mayer also started using a vintage early 1960 Stratocaster in sunburst, which eventually became his favorite guitar, and the one he still regularly uses nowadays.

John Mayer playing his black Fender Stratocaster at Ridgefield, WA 7.19.13. Photo by: Ashley Owens on Flickr

In 2015, 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 2018, 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 mid-2000s he began using Two Rock amps almost exclusively. Lastly, more recently in 2015, he began performing with few different PRS amps. He eventually settled on his own signature model, the PRS J-MOD 100.

John’s usual stage setup during the 2018 tour. Photo source: YouTube

John also has a pretty big collection of acoustic guitars. His main acoustic guitar throughout the years has been a 2002 Martin OM28-JM – 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

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John Mayer's Electric Guitars

1990s Squier Stratocaster


This was John’s first ever electric guitar, acquired and used most likely sometime between 1991 and 1993. 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 Mayer: Someday I’ll Fly] My first electric guitar was a Squier, so I’ve kind of […]

1990s Fender/Squier Stratocaster


John was first seen using this guitar sometime in the summer of 1994. At that time, he was playing in a band called ‘Another Roadside Attraction’ [John Mayer: Someday I’ll Fly – 3:35]. The guitar likely directly replaced the black Squier that John played prior to this. What’s particularly interesting about this guitar is that, based on the photos, in 1994 it had a maple neck, while later on in […]

1996 Fender SRV Stratocaster


John acquired this Stevie Ray Vaughan Signature Stratocaster in 1996, trading it for a Takamine 12-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 the Berklee College of Music in Boston. This one I bought from the money I […]

Novax Expression


This guitar was featured on the cover of John’s 2001 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 compared to a standard guitar. The principle on which this works is based on making […]

2000s Fender Stratocaster (Blue)


Circa October 2001, 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, 2001. 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 the looks of it, it seems to have been finished in Lake Placid blue, featuring […]

Rick Turner Model 1


John first used this guitar in 2003 to play ‘Bigger Than My Body’ live [John Mayer – Live, July 7, 2003] (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 2009, for a live rendition of the song ‘Half of My Heart’ from the Battle Studies album. […]

2003 Vinetto Legato


As far as one can tell, John only used this guitar once – at the PNC Arts Center on August 28, 2003, 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 mid-90s worked with Fender Custom Shop on relicing their bodies and necks from his own workshop. A couple of years after the deal between the […]

1960s Fender Stratocaster (Heavier Things)


This guitar was featured on the cover of John’s 2003 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 this album, please be sure to get in contact. The guitar is most likely an […]

2000s Fender Stratocaster Custom Shop (Stripe)


This guitar was most famously used in the music video for the song ‘Bigger Than My Body’ from the 2003 album, Heavier Things. It was subsequently used on various tour dates in late 2003. Embed from Getty Images The guitar appears to be finished in Inca silver, featuring a red stripe spanning from the area below the bridge all the way to the bottom edge of the body. It was likely […]

2000s Fender SRV Stratocaster


John was first seen using this Stevie Ray Signature Stratocaster in Australia 2003 [John Mayer – Live at Music Max in Australia, September 23, 2003], but it is likely that he owned the guitar for at least a few months back, and used it during the 2003 US tour. If you happen to find photos and/or videos from anywhere between late 2002 and late 2003 with John using this guitar, or for […]

Fender Monterey Stratocaster


John started using this guitar sometime towards late 2003. One of the earlier appearances of the guitar was on December 30, 2003, 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 2004 tour in support of the Heavier Things album, as well as on many different dates throughout the John Mayer […]

Fender Stratocaster (Charcoal Frost Metallic)


John first appeared with this guitar sometime after the release of Heavier Things album, circa late 2003. The guitar was likely a Fender Custom Shop master-built and served the purpose of a back-up guitar for the upcoming tour. If you happen to come across an interview where John mentioned these early Strats with stripe design, please be sure to get in touch. While the specs on the post-2004 models are relatively known, since they […]

2004 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 2004 [03/12/2004 John Mayer- YouTube], and therefore likely served purely just as of a touring guitar. By the looks of it, the guitar was based on an early 60s Stratocaster model. It features a rosewood fretboard on a maple […]

Fender Custom Shop Tele/Strat Hybrid


This guitar appeared sometime in mid-2004 [John Mayer at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre, April 15, 2004], 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 research. When I used to play Something’s Missing [from Heavier Things, 2004], I had this […]

2004 Fender Stratocaster (JM Strat Prototype)


This guitar was first seen sometime in July during the 2004 Summer Tour [John Mayer at Shoreline Amphitheater July 16, 2004]. 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 2005. According to the information over at Fender Reissue Shop website, John received two prototypes with serial numbers JM001 and JM002 […]

2004 Fender SRV “Number One” Tribute Strat


John acquired this guitar sometime in early to mid-2004, presumably right after it first became available. The guitar was introduced in January 2004 at the Winter NAMM, and since it was only produced in 100 pieces, it was sold at the authorized Fender dealers who were chosen on a lottery basis. The guitar was designed and built by John Cruz (who later worked on John’s BLK1), and was the exact replica of the Stratocaster […]

2004 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 2004 – with direct input from John, who also participated in some of the handworks. The guitar was delivered to Mayer in November 2004. I had just gotten of a tour, and was just starting the get crazies from the […]

Fender Stratocaster “Crashocaster”


John was first seen using this Strat in 2005 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 2000s. In 2004 he was commissioned by Fender to paint a total of fifty guitars with completely unique designs. John’s Strat was likely […]

1963/64 Fender Stratocaster


John acquired this guitar sometime prior to the Continuum album (mid to late 2005), 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 remained behind the scenes for the most part until just prior to […]

2005 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, 2005. 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 from Fender or John, it is likely that everything was taken over from the John […]

Fender Custom Shop John Cruz 1962 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 mustache), but he claims that he actually used the BLK1 to record ‘Gravity’, so it […]

2005 Gibson ES-335 Eric Clapton Crossroads


This guitar first appeared sometime during the John Mayer Trio era circa 2005, 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 2010 Crossroads festival, when John played a cover of Bill Withers’ ‘Ain’t No Sunshine’ (see video below) The Clapton/Cream 335 – the reissue of the 335 that he played in Cream. […]

2004 Fender Stratocaster “Crashocaster”


This guitar appeared on occasions towards late 2004, 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 guitars that Crash did for Fender, and John ended up buying one of them, but […]

Fender Gold Leaf Stratocaster


This guitar was first seen sometime in late 2006, 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 song on, and that’s got that incredible second position – what do they call it, […]

Fender Time Machine ’50s Thinline Telecaster


John was seen using this guitar occasionally towards late 2006. 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 mid-2000s, and by 2009 the model was discontinued. [Fender Custom Shop Retired Models] Embed from Getty Images

Fender Stratocaster (Cypress Mica)


This guitar was a limited edition of the John Mayer Signature Stratocaster released in 2007, featuring most of the specs present on the regular models with some minor differences. John himself used the guitar occasionally from early 2007. Embed from Getty Images As said, the guitar is pretty much just a regular JM Stratocaster featuring different finish and few minor design features. The color is officially listed as ‘Cypress Mica’, which […]

1961 Fender Stratocaster Hardtail


John acquired this guitar sometime in 2007, which is a presumption mostly based on the photos which seem to date back no further than mid-2007 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 1961 hard-tail Stratocaster, meaning that it doesn’t have a regular tremolo bridge, making the guitar lighter and […]

1959/60 Gibson Les Paul Junior


John was seen using this guitar on a few occasions in 2007, including the ABC-TV’s “Good Morning America” on July 20th, 2007. 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 double cutout body, cherry red finish, and a single P-90 pickup in the bridge position.

Fender SRV Lipstick Stratocaster


John was seen playing this guitar at the 2007 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 – likely requested to be made by John himself (if you happen to know for a fact that Fender actually sold these replicas apart […]

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 spec sheet – [John Mayer Signature Models Specs].

Fender Reverse Proto Stratocaster


This guitar was used by John during the 2005 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, 2007, which was eventually released as a live DVD album ‘Where the Light Is’ [Where The Light Is: John Mayer Live In Los Angeles] Embed from Getty Images What’s interesting about this guitar is that John’s Reverse Proto […]

1977 Gibson L-5


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 and it was used very rarely on any of the live gigs. One instance where the guitar was seen live was at the David Letterman show in 2008, where John played a cover of Frank Sinatra’s ‘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 block, a 22 fret neck with Indian rosewood fretboard, a Tune-O-Matic bridge with stop bar tailpiece, […]

Fender SRV Lenny Stratocaster


John received this guitar from the Fender Custom Shop sometime in 2008, 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 received as a gift on his 26th birthday from his wife Lenora (you can read more […]

Fender 'La Cabronita' Telecaster


John Mayer used this Telecaster since 2009 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 Custom Shop and it features blonde finish, maple neck with a 9.5-inch radius rosewood fretboard […]

Moog E-1


John used this guitar to record ‘War of My Life’ and ‘Assassin’ from the 2009 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 of groovy, long, sort of ethnic-sounding guitar parts I played on that guitar. [John Mayer […]

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 with sound chambers and Laminated maple top, Indian rosewood fretboard with a 12″ radius, Duesenberg Multibender tremolo […]

1952 Fender Telecaster


This guitar was first seen live during the Born and Raised World Tour in 2013, although based on John’s Periscope stream recorded in 2016, 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 to have it – at a considerable cost to get it out of this person’s hand – […]

1961 Gibson Les Paul/SG


John was first spotted playing this guitar at the Beacon Theatre on November 17, 2009 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 Images It took me 10 years to… no, more than 10 years, 15 years, to […]

Fender Jeff Beck Stratocaster 'Heartbreak Warfare'


John was first seen using this guitar following the release of fourth studio album ‘Battle Studies’ in 2009. 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 24-fret neck with what looks like a Wilkinson split roller nut, and three Fender Noiseless pickups. Based on this, the guitar appears to be a Jeff Beck […]

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 2010 in the Palace of Auburn Hills, where John used the guitar to play the song ‘Say’ [John Mayer – Say (Live at the Palace Feb.12, 2010)] According to the information on the Duesenberg website, the guitar features a maple neck with Indian rosewood fingerboard featuring 12″ radius (compared […]

Fender 'Minnie Mouse' Telecaster MIJ


John seems to have acquired this guitar during the Battle Studies tour in Japan in May 2010 and played it on at least one gig around that time. [John Mayer Perfectly Lonely Live in Japan, Tokyo JCB Hall 2010.5.13] The guitar is part of a limited Disney-themed line made and released only in Japan, and it featured a basswood body and a maple neck rosewood with 25.5″ scale length and 9.5″ radius (marked as 324mm and 250mm for […]

Ernie Ball Music Man 25th Anniversary


This guitar was seen during the 2010 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 one of the few to be finished in black (likely the case), or it only […]

Fender Rosewood Stratocaster 'Rosie'


Based on the photos, this guitar was first used sometime in early to mid-2011, 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 1960s model, and it styles the larger headstock and the logo design that was typical in that period. As far […]

Alembic Further Jerry Garcia Tribute


John was first seen using this guitar in 2013 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 one would assume that the guitar is solid-body, this is not the case. It basically […]

1990s Fender Strat Plus


John used this guitar occasionally during the Born and Raised world tour, most notably at the Crossroads Guitar Festival in 2013. 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 needle-bearing roller nut – which was used on this specific model until around 1993. The […]

Fender Nickel Plated Stratocaster


This is one of the more unique guitars of John’s. He started using it around 2014, 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 to be one-of-a-kind since it looks too shiny to be Inca Silver or really anything […]

Guild M75 Aristocrat


John used this guitar in 2014 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 1970. As far as the specs, the guitar features a chambered body with spruce top and mahogany back,  22 fret neck with rosewood fretboard, Guild floating Tune-O-Matic bridge, and a pair of Guild SB-1F single-coil pickups.

Jackson 30th Anniversary Soloist


According to a post that John made on his Instagram profile, he received this guitar sometime in mid-2014 – however, it mostly remained behind the scenes until around a year later when John appeared with it during his 2015 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 layout. It features a bright pink color (which unsurprisingly caused some negative comments among the more […]

Fender Eric Clapton Signature Stratocaster


This is one of the two maple-neck Stratocasters that John played on a couple of occasions in 2014. 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. 2014 seems to have been a sort of a transition year for John, which eventually culminated with a huge announcement in October that year when Mayer revealed that […]



John used this guitar at Eric Clapton’s 70th Birthday Concert in May 2015. 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 Madison Square Garden. [John Mayer on Periscope – Gear Talk] Given that the guitar is […]

2015 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-2015. The guitar seems to have mainly been based around the McCarty 594, which was introduced only a couple of months prior to the two of them meeting to discuss a possible signature model after John’s departure from Fender. The guitar is very similar to the production version of the Super […]

2015 PRS Custom 22 Private Stock


This guitar was only seen briefly in one of John’s Periscope streams dating back to July 1, 2015 [John Mayer Guitar Lesson on Periscope 2015]. 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 inlays, which are not the usual “bird in flight”, but Celtic knots styled ones. Second is the […]

2015 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 you can see John holding what we assume is the Prototype number two since the […]

2015 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 finish can seem to appear darker under a different light. This PRS is first mentioned on […]

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 2015. The guitar features maple body and neck, Charvel Custom MF humbuckers in the neck and the bridge position, and a Charvel Custom MF single-coil in the middle, Sperzel locking tuners, and […]

PRS Silver Sky


John started using this guitar in early 2018. 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 of mine for years to design a guitar that includes some of my favorite vintage […]

John Mayer's Acoustic Guitars

Washburn Acoustic


In his Periscope stream on August 20th, 2015 [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 photos of John with it, or an interview where he happens to mention it, please […]

Takamine 12-string


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 12-string and that John traded it in 1996 for a Stevie Ray Vaughan Signature Stratocaster that became his main recording guitar on the first couple of albums.

Godin Multiac


John was seen using this guitar only on one video clip dating back to March 9, 2000 [John Mayer – Live from the Gothic Theatre, Denver, March 9, 2000]. The origin of the guitar and the time frame during which John used it are currently unknown.

Martin DM3MD


This guitar was used by John to record the entirety of the ‘Room for Squares’ album and during the 2001 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 ebony fretboard, and grained ivoroid body binding.

Martin 000-14 Cutaway Custom


This Martin was mostly used just for the 2001 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 higher frets more easily while playing live. Unfortunately, trying to figure out the exact model of […]

Martin OM28-V


By 2002 Mayer seems to have decided to start moving from a dreadnought sized guitars to OM/000 sized ones. For the first guitar, the choice fell on an OM28-V model, which is part of Martin’s Vintage Series line. This guitar was mostly seen just during the 2002 tour, and by 2003 it was replaced by Mayer’s own signature model. Martin OM28-V features a solid Sitka spruce top with solid East Indian rosewood back and […]

Martin HD-35


Seen on a few occasions in 2002, likely just a tour/temporary guitar. More research needed.

Martin OM-42


John was seen playing this guitar on occasion in early 2003, most notably at the 45th Annual Grammy Awards show on February 23rd. The guitar is one of Martin’s premium models with $5,000+ price tag, featuring Sitka spruce top, East Indian rosewood back and sides, Abalone rosette and the top inlay, and grained ivoroid body and headstock binding.

2003 Martin OM-28JM Limited Edition


This guitar was introduced in late 2003 as the first official John Mayer Signature model from Martin. The model was produced as a limited run of 404 instruments, with the #4 and #43 allegedly going to Mayer [source needed]. In the interview with Martin guitar at the 2014 NAMM show, John does mention that he still has the same two OM-28JMs, so that does somewhat confirm the theory that there’s more than just […]

Martin 000-ECHF Bellezza Nera


This guitar was seen in the music video for the song ‘Half of My Heart’ from the 2009 album, ‘Battle Studies’, and on a home video that John recorded in Japan in 2010. [John Mayer – Half of My Heart (Tokyo Acoustic Version)] Unfortunately, we couldn’t find out if the guitar was used on the studio sessions. The Martin 000-ECHF, nicknamed Bellezza Nera (meaning Black Beauty in Italian), is an Eric Clapton signature guitar […]

Martin 00-45SC


This is the second guitar that John designed working with together Martin, introduced initially at NAMM 2012. 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 00-style body with an Adirondack spruce top and Cocobolo back and sides (notice that all the prior Martins that John played had East Indian rosewood back and sides), and a select hardwood neck with ebony […]

National Style-O Resonator 12-string


John used this guitar on the rare occasions when playing the song ‘Walt Grace’s Submarine Test, January 1967’ 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 12-string neck – which seems to be very rare on these guitars. Next to that, the guitar is also equipped with a sound […]

Martin D-45 JM


Martin released this guitar in early 2018, 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-45 JM sold for $14,999.00.

John Mayer's Amps

Fender Vibro-King


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 2001. It is possible however that the amp was not always used by him (see photo below, the amp is used by the person on the left).

Fender ’65 Super Reverb Reissue


Used during the later part of the Room for Squares tour starting from 2002. 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 well as on some 2003 gigs (see photos from Elton John AIDS Foundation’s 11th Annual Oscar […]

Fender Tonemaster


This is the amp that was often seen next to the Super Reverb on stage during the Room for Squares tour circa 2002. 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 this time, please get in touch).

Two Rock Custom Reverb


John started using Two Rock amps sometimes prior to the 2004 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 2004 specifically, he was mostly seen using a single or two Two Rock Custom Reverb heads, sometimes with the cabinets rotated backward, and sometimes with a Fender […]

Two Rock Combo


John was seen using the amp during a televised gig played on June 19, 2004 (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 for sure. If you have knowledge of these early Two Rock combo amps and happen […]

2004 Fender Vibro-King Limited Edition


John was seen using this amp on occasions in 2004/2005 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 2004 NAMM show, with Western Hand Tooled Tolex, and a matching cabinet (for reference and photos, see 2004 Fender Vibro King Cowboy Tolex Amplifier). Embed from Getty Images If you happen to come across an interview in which […]

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, 2004 (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 in the band). However, this seems to be the only occasion during which the amp was […]

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 100 amp – his own signature model from PRS introduces in early 2017.  Usually, with Dead & Company, he would have the Fender Dual Professional sitting between two J-MODs, and a Victoria Reverberato unit sitting on top of it.



This has been John’s main amp since circa 2017, 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 2017. 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

John Mayer's Effects

Klon Centaur


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 for all the new, little boutiquey clean boosts [puts on persnickety voice], like a boost-drive… […]

Victoria Reverberato


This effects unit became a part of John’s usual stage setup from around mid-2016, 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 ’65 Blackface Twin reverb, while the vibrato circuit is derived from a ’63 Brownface Concert. […]

John Mayer's Strings

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 a little leeway. Some guitars you’ll put 0.011s on, and it’s like [makes abrupt noise] […]

Ernie Ball Acoustic 2146 Earthwood Medium Light Strings 


According to Ernie Ball’s website, John uses Ernie Ball 2146 Earthwood Medium Light Strings (.012 – .054) on his acoustic guitars. There might be some variations on this, however, and he could use different gauges on different guitars (further research needed).

John Mayer's Accessories

Dunlop Tortex .88mm Picks


John was seen using the Dunlop 0.88mm Greens during the ‘Room for Squares’ era (see John Mayer – Why Georgia (Live) for reference)

External Links

linkJohn Mayer on Instagram Forums (John Mayer fan forums)