John Mayer’s 2003 Martin OM-28JM Limited Edition

access_time First seen circa 2003

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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access_time 2001

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.

access_time 2012

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 […]

access_time 2009

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 […]

access_time 2001

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 […]

access_time 2012

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 […]

access_time 2018

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.

access_time 2003

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.

access_time 2002

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 […]

access_time 1990

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 […]

access_time 2000

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.

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