date_range 2003

John Mayer’s 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 one guitar.

A photo from John Instagram story from around late 2018.

John himself used these guitars extensively since he received them sometime in late 2003 (he was first seen with the guitar in November at the Madison Square Garden, New York). It seems that although he allegedly has two of them, he does have a favorite one which comes into play way more often than the others. One of the guitars seems to have developed quite a scratch just below the pickguard on the bridge side, meaning that it was obviously used very extensively (see photo above)

John playing his Martin OM28JM in St. Louis on March 20, 2010. Photo by wdecora/Flickr

John playing his Martin OM28JM in St. Louis on March 20, 2010. Photo by wdecora on Flickr

The guitar features a body with a solid Engelmann spruce top and East Indian rosewood back and sides, mahogany neck, Sterling silver binding on the headstock and bridge edges, and Herringbone binding on the body. The fretboard features a custom triangle-shaped inlay on the 12th fret (apparently inspired by pilots triangle on wrist watches), and John’s signature engraved between the 19th and the 20th fret – which are the two things to look for when trying to identify the guitar.

If you’re curious about whether any of the 404 guitars are still available for purchase, the answer is – nope – they were all sold out within a couple of days. The good news is that since then Martin released a cheaper version of this guitar dubbed the OM-JM, which shares most of the specs with the Limited Edition, aside from the custom headstock/bridge inlays, and few other minor details.

The beautiful Martin OM-JM. This guitar currently sells at around $4,000, while the LE model goes for up to $10,000 used.

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