John Mayer’s 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, made by their Custom Shop team of Master Builders. These guitars seem to be extremely rare, and only a few have ever popped up online. One such can be seen here – Bill Gaphardt’s DW Strat Page.

John playing the SRV ‘Lipstick’ Stratocaster at the Austin City Limits in 2007. Photo source: YouTube

The Original Lipstick SRV Strat

The guitar is, of course, a replica of the original “Lipstick” Stratocaster played by Stevie Ray Vaughan in the 1980s. That guitar was made by Charley Wirz, who runs Charley’s Guitar Shop.

Apparently, Charley started making replicas the SRV guitar around 2003, working with direct input from Rene Martinez, who worked as Stevie’s guitar tech (of course, prior to joining Mayer to do the same job for him). Initially, he planned to make 100 guitars, but according to rumors, Fender stepped in and the production stopped at 33 [reliable source needed].

Although he was never seen playing one, it is suspected that John also owns one of Charley’s replicas. Since Rene Martinez worked on a number of those replicas himself, and he now happens to be working for John, who again happens to be a fan of Stevie Ray Vaughan, that would be very likely.

Fender’s Lipstick Strat

Fender’s Lipstick Stratocaster obviously takes most of its design from a standard Stratocaster model. The neck is most likely maple, with a rosewood fretboard. The headstock is early 60s style, small in size, interestingly, with a transition-style logo. 

The pickups in the guitar are based on the vintage Danelectro pickups, most likely Seymour Duncan’s Lipstick Tubes.

The guitar also has only one tone knob compared to Stratocaster’s two, and one volume control, and a hard-tail bridge.

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René

I’ve got the same custom shop Fender, bought it in 2008, here in Amsterdam area. Nice guitar.

Marc Herman
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Marc Herman

Rene, would you be interested in selling your Fender Custom Shop “Charley” Stratocaster ? I have serious interest. Thank you, Marc Herman in Toronto, Intario, Canada. marcherman@rogers.com

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