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 – The Super Rare Fender “Charley” Lipstick Stratocaster in the Style of SRV.

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 at that time ran Charley’s Guitar Shop.

Since Charley’s death in 1985, the store continued its business, and around 2003 started working on producing replicas of this guitar, 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, they 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 the Charley 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, and 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, one volume control, and a hard-tail bridge.


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J. C.
J. C.
1 year ago

FYI Charley wasn’t making replicas of the lipstick pickup guitar in 2003.

HE DIED IN 1985. So that’s IMPOSSIBLE.

You people really should get your facts straight before publishing stuff. I mean…does no one proofread these days? You just type it up, hit spellcheck, and send it out/publish it?

You really should know what youre talking about when writing an article about someone like Stevie, a musician thats well-known across the world.

4 years ago

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

4 years ago
Reply to  Dan Kopilovic

Hai Danko,
Just sent you some foto’s by email.


Marc Herman
Marc Herman
4 years ago
Reply to  René

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. [email protected]

4 years ago
Reply to  Marc Herman

Hi Marc, you van sent me SM e-mail to [email protected]

Best regards,