Question: How do I get John Mayer's tone?

MullisMan

Member
Messages
17
Let me try to be as specific as I can with that broad question. I love Mayer's tone from his live album Try! with the John Mayer trio, his cleans, his overdriven tones, and just some of the cool effects on certain songs. I'm not sure what amps Mayer used for this album, and I definitely don't have access to a Dumble or a Two Rock. What I do have access to, are a 65 Reissue Deluxe Reverb with an eminence Cannabis Rex speaker in it, and a stock Blues Jr. I play a MIM strat, all stock pickups, with a humbucker in the bridge position. I wondered if anybody knew exactly what his rig consisted of, and any tips that anyone has discovered to nail his tone. I know, I know, most of it comes from his fingers....but there should be a way to come close. All my gear is shown in my signature. One of the songs that I really admire the tone of is Something's Missing. Mayer's guitar really has the wet, chimey sound...or maybe i'm not explaining that correctly. Anyways if anyone knows the answer to any of these questions i'd really appreciate it.
 

madscientist

Member
Messages
2,214
For his TRY! tones, here's what I would do.

Keeley BD-2
Keeley TS808 (or any of the vintage sounding 808 clones)
a delay of some sort
Keeley Katana

all based off of a nice robust clean tone with plenty of mids (now, the trick here is the blues junior, which gets really boxy when you turn up the mids).

oh, and neck pickup or the #2 position (neck/middle)

that'll get you 75% there...the rest is hands, style, and expensive amps
 

Csapo

Double Platinum Member
Messages
2,248
So many variables. In addition to the TR, Dumble and god only knows how many pedals, two other things to consider. First and most important, as all will say, it is in his fingers and second underwound p/ups. The p/ups you can find on his JM Sig Strat.

Check out the 122+ pages in this thread and you may get some answers...

http://johnmayer.yuku.com/topic/1369/t/UPDATED-JOHN-S-GEAR-LIST-FROM-JOHN-HIMSELF.html

Also, hopefully you know that "Somethings Missing" is in a different tuning and JM rakes his pick quite a bit.
 

j_m_s

Member
Messages
2,023
well i read somewhere john more or less only used the katana and keeley 808 for the try tour

I love his tones!
 

orogeny

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
10,702
Let me try to be as specific as I can with that broad question. I love Mayer's tone from his live album Try! with the John Mayer trio, his cleans, his overdriven tones, and just some of the cool effects on certain songs. I'm not sure what amps Mayer used for this album, and I definitely don't have access to a Dumble or a Two Rock. What I do have access to, are a 65 Reissue Deluxe Reverb with an eminence Cannabis Rex speaker in it, and a stock Blues Jr. I play a MIM strat, all stock pickups, with a humbucker in the bridge position. I wondered if anybody knew exactly what his rig consisted of, and any tips that anyone has discovered to nail his tone. I know, I know, most of it comes from his fingers....but there should be a way to come close. All my gear is shown in my signature. One of the songs that I really admire the tone of is Something's Missing. Mayer's guitar really has the wet, chimey sound...or maybe i'm not explaining that correctly. Anyways if anyone knows the answer to any of these questions i'd really appreciate it.
I'd say you're most of the way there. . . because I have the same gear as you do (almost). Pickups can make a big diff. . . I like more passive style. . . which is basically what is in stock 85 MIJ strat. . . Looking at your pedals, I don't really see a clean/transparent sunthin' to get you that clean-with-hair that he pulls off so nicely. I have a Timmy (best), a Katana, and a Keeley BD2phat. . . . all do the job. . . I'd say THAT IS ALL YOU NEED. I'm tellin' ya. . . I am able to get there with my blues junior. . . .(selling the drri, actually b/c I think the BJ is more my style).
 

freak4liferu

Member
Messages
90
i think many of us could grab johnny's guitar from him plugged into his rig and not get "his" tone. He know's how to manipulate sounds with his fingers very well.
 

JamesO

Member
Messages
175
People will probably laugh at me, but I used the above posted picture to help me choose gear. I have the Keeley BD-2 and TS-808, T-Rex Replica, along with a strat with Lollar Blondes. I haven't been able to figure out how to set them to get the sounds from Try. I play through a Matchless Lightning replica I built. The TS-808 in particular sounds way too heavy for the sounds I heard on Try.

Based on a picture I have of the same pedal board, I set the pedals this way:

BD-2: Level @ 10 O'clock, Tone at 9 O'clock, Gain at 11 O'clock

into TS-808

TS-808: Level between 12 and 1 O'clock, Tone @ 9 O'clock, OD, no clue. Not pictured.

Do any of you guys have ideas on a level setting for the TS-808?

Into the Replica

Replica: Repeat @ 7 O'clock, Echo at 10 O'clock, Level @ 12 O'clock, Temp varies obviously with the song.

If I could get the intro sound from this Trio version of Belief, I'd be in heaven: http://youtube.com/watch?v=4KWCKaSJbrQ
 

nibus

Member
Messages
3,019
I just read this in Guitar Edge Magazine about EVH (Still applies to Mayer):

(George Lynch)
"I remember the first time I played Eddie's guitar, it was just like someone had built it in his backyard, and he was the only guy who could make it sing. Since then, I've played through his entire rig, and it just sounded like me playing through someone else's rig. I didn't sound anything like Eddie. It's not the gear, its the cat. It's the soul. It's the energy."

Chances are even if we owned our guitar idol's entire exact rig, we would still not sound like them. But its fun to try!!
 

WahmBoomAh

World Crass Guitarist
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
3,596
For his TRY! tones, here's what I would do.

Keeley BD-2
Keeley TS808 (or any of the vintage sounding 808 clones)
a delay of some sort
Keeley Katana

all based off of a nice robust clean tone with plenty of mids (now, the trick here is the blues junior, which gets really boxy when you turn up the mids).

oh, and neck pickup or the #2 position (neck/middle)

that'll get you 75% there...the rest is hands, style, and expensive amps
Don`t forget Steve and Pino
 

big mike

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
12,909
LOVE the tone on that album. It's stunning. Scooped mid pickups help. I think his hendrix guitar has the 69's. Those get me fairly close, though im not trying to cop him.

Just killer tone.

(I'll also ask the habitual JM thread trollers to keep in mind the new rules. Disagreement is fine...but how you do so is the ticket. ;) )
 

elambo

Member
Messages
2,363
I just read this in Guitar Edge Magazine about EVH (Still applies to Mayer):

(George Lynch)
"I remember the first time I played Eddie's guitar, it was just like someone had built it in his backyard, and he was the only guy who could make it sing. Since then, I've played through his entire rig, and it just sounded like me playing through someone else's rig. I didn't sound anything like Eddie. It's not the gear, its the cat. It's the soul. It's the energy."

Chances are even if we owned our guitar idol's entire exact rig, we would still not sound like them. But its fun to try!!
I love that!

Man vs. Machine and humans still win. I wouldn't want to know that anyone could sound that way just by using the right gear.
 

ed84246

Member
Messages
1,002
I think Mayer was using one for a while - I really like a G2D Cream Tone for those types of sounds - it's like a more organic sounding, lower gain tube screamer that doesn't pull the bass so much.
 




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