John Mayer Strat - Good, Bad or Ugly?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by guitarplayer, Aug 3, 2008.

  1. guitarplayer

    guitarplayer Member

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    First, let me say I'm not the kind of guy who jumps blindly on the proverbial "bandwagon" whenever something or someone comes along who is popular. That said, I've been impressed with Mayer's playing as of late. I picked up one of the Mayer signature strats recently and was also impressed with the guitar. I liked the playability and tone very much. In fact, I like the "big dipper" pickups more than most stock strats I've played - the tone is very bluesy and "vintage" sounding to me. I'm just curious what others think of the signature strat compared to the other US strats available in the same price range.
     
  2. Csapo

    Csapo Gold Supporting Member

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    I've had other Strats and I'm now down to these 3 JM Sigs plus a K-Line. (Just sold a Nash.)

    Love the neck and the p/ups on the Mayer...

    [​IMG]
     
  3. guitarplayer

    guitarplayer Member

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    Wow! You are a true fan! Beautiful guitars! I haven't seen many of the racing stripe finishes. How would you describe the neck and playability?
     
  4. big mike

    big mike Moderator - EL34 Emeritas Staff Member

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    I like them. The dippers don't work for *me* in my rig, but through a blackface style amp, they're hard to beat.

    Nice specs all the way around.
     
  5. gregory49

    gregory49 Member

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    the first JM i played I plugged in to an AC30. TONE to the BONE. Clear, spanky, bell like strat tone. Its a bright pickup just to let you know in advance as bright as the CS69 i would say. One of these days I want to grab the gold one with the racing strip.
     
  6. dognmoon

    dognmoon Supporting Member

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    At one time or another I owned a shoreline gold/ burgundy one as well as the Cypress Mica (green) one. I LOVED those guitars. They stayed with me collectively for a couple of years. The only reason I don't have one still is because I'm a complete tool with hungry eyes for new gear and the Mayers got swallowed up in the swirling vortex of gear flipping ignorance. But they're most definitely a desert island guitar.
     
  7. boldaslove1977

    boldaslove1977 Silver Supporting Member

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    i love mine. it's actually the strat that got me into strats.
     
  8. blueslover

    blueslover Member

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    I have never played a bad Mayer strat but I picked mine out of about five or six. It's got the nicest matched and figured alder body I have seen on a JM (I have the sunburst). It also has a really fat neck, I love how it tapers and gets really fat (not all are this big). Mine is about the same size as the HR62 strat necks down by the 12th fret but it's smaller around the nut which is awesome. It fits me like a glove. I also love the satin finish, and frets. The pickups are my favorite ever, they aren't really low-output but they do great vintage stuff though. My favorite production fender by far. I don't even miss not having nitro on this one, it resonates very well!
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2009
  9. shark_bite

    shark_bite Member

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    They're pretty good, but I almost never play mine. That's partly because it's a Strat, and partly because it's a JM Strat. I really don't want to sound like him - my playing style used to be pretty similar, and there are still traces of it -- I feel like every time I put that guitar on I'm inviting a comparison, and regardless of who I'm being compared to I prefer not to have that happen.

    That said, it's a pretty good guitar nonetheless, but I usually make it a point to play every one I get the chance to play and honestly every single one I play feels different to me. Played one in particular yesterday that felt like it had a neck that was 1.5x thicker than mine.

    One of these days I'll probably start using it more, but right now I'm all about the Teles.
     
  10. johnh

    johnh Silver Supporting Member

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    Definitely ugly though.
     
  11. drod2045

    drod2045 Member

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    shoreline gold here - its my #1
     
  12. Simto

    Simto Member

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    I have the Cypress Mica one, and it's insane, probably the most versitile guitar i've ever tried/own.. it's really a guitar you can play anything on. I think the bridge pickup can almost sound like a humbucker with the tone knob turned a bit down, and just by switching to the neck pcikup you get a classic strat tone.
    The neck is almost the best part about the guitar, very comfortable and great feeling neck.
    Very bright? i don't think they are too bright compared to Texas Specials which are way more twangy (i have them in my main guitar)
    The finish is amazing! very deep, sparkling colour, i love it.

    it's not my main guitar but it's 1,5 :)
     
  13. TimCz

    TimCz Member

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    What pickups would you say are the closest match out there to the mayer pickups? Im building a partsocaster and would love a set...
     
  14. shark_bite

    shark_bite Member

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    The closest match would probably be the Texas Specials, but they really don't sound anything like the Big Dippers. Way harsher and much more "hi, I'm going to rip off SRV now" to my ears. You'd really need that mid scoop, so an EQ of some sort would probably be necessary somewhere early in the signal path.

    Big Dippers are Big Dippers, that's probably why they're so expensive on ebay.
     
  15. blueslover

    blueslover Member

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    I would say any vintage fender pup if dialed in right can get close. Remember that this whole "scooped mids" thing is mostly marketing hype. Mid-scooped only means that it is underwound. So I would say a good bet would be CS69's or 54's, while these sets won't be as versatile (i.e. the badass bridge) they are def in the ballpark.

    Btw, I disagree that the texas specials are the closet.
     
  16. shark_bite

    shark_bite Member

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    Maybe you're right on the Texas Specials - I haven't played a TON of Fender's different pickups. BUT - the CS69s won't even get you remotely close to you the Dippers. I say that from personal experience, having just unloaded a CP 60s Strat. I wanted to like that guitar, I really did, but those pickups had way too much edge. Nothing at all like my Mayer, which has a way softer attack. I have to wonder if the 57/62s might even be a better bet.
     
  17. big mike

    big mike Moderator - EL34 Emeritas Staff Member

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    I bet the Lollar blackface would come close, I had a bridge one, and that seemed similar at least comparing to the bridge...be worth a shot at anyrate, but that's likely what I'd try.
     
  18. codyj84

    codyj84 Member

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    I don't think that Texas Specials are close at all....

    I had Curtis Novak (www.curtisnovak.com) wind me a set of strat pups to sound like Mayers. He NAILED the tone to the wall. Give him a shout... tell him I sent ya and you're lookin for pups like mine.

    cody
     
  19. shark_bite

    shark_bite Member

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    I should probably clarify my Texas Special comment further - JM came up playing a SRV Strat with Texas Specials. That was definitely a starting point for the JM Sig Strat. I think the neck pickups on both are similar enough, and to a lesser extent, the middle. They're definitely not the same pickup, and if you're looking to nail his tone, I don't think you're going to get very close with TS pickups. Rumor has it his came from the factory wound all weird and that gave them a different voicing. I don't know if I believe that (actually, I don't), but I'd imagine taking the vintage vibe from a set of 57/62s or CS69s and injecting them with a little more blues mojo from the TX Specials would be a decent approximation of what they did with the Big Dippers, but there's probably a good reason they're not selling the pickups separately - there'd be a lot less demand a guitar they're currently not having too much difficulty selling. They certainly couldn't sell the pickups for $450 like they're going for on ebay now.
     
  20. Tomo

    Tomo Member

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    John Mayer strat.... first Fender strat that I don't need to change anything!

    Great pickups too. It's not underwound? It's pretty hot... not same as TS.. (I have those).

    Now I really like to get the charcoal frost/silver stripe..

    Tomo
     

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