John Mayer’s 2000s Fender Stratocaster Stevie Ray Vaughan Signature #2
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 that matter – a guitar that is not on this list, please be sure to get in touch.
Since this guitar looks suspiciously similar to John’s first SRV Signature model, it is important to point out that there are differences. First, the wood grain on this guitar is different from the one John had since 1996, especially around the area behind the bridge leading towards the strap button. Second, this guitar features a black pickguard (compared to tortoiseshell on the first one), and lastly, the second guitar does not have a sticker on the back of the headstock, which the old one of course has (more details on this in the 1996 Fender Stratocaster Stevie Ray Vaughan Signature page).
It, of course, makes sense that John would pick up another guitar to use on tour, and save his old Strat from stage abuse and any potential damage that might occur during live shows. He went the safe route and picked up what’s essentially the same exact guitar, allowing him to avoid getting used to new neck shape or pickup sound, that would obviously also influence and change the way his songs sound in a live setting.
For a final note it is worth mentioning that based on video evidence, this guitar was used at least to some extent on John’s second album ‘Heavier Things’, perhaps even in favor of John’s old SRV Strat. If you look at the footage from the studio sessions [John Mayer – Heavier Things Studio Sessions], at around 2:43 you’ll notice that the guitar he’s holding has no stickers on the back of the headstock.