#1
hey, i'm trying to figure out how to get a good bassy strat tone like he has a lot on continuum, like belief or vultures.


what i have in my head is:

strat (obviously)
texas special pups
perhaps a crate v18 amp (per my budget)
or some good clean tube amp.


do i seem to have it spot on, or do you have any suggestions?


and no, i'm not trying to be john mayer. i just like the tone and want to use it for my music.
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#2
Sounds pretty close to me. As long as you have a good ear for EQ, you'll get it pretty close with that setup.
#3
Should be good, I use a tubescreamer as well.
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#4
Should be fine if you can eq it .
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#5
your going to want an amp with more headroom. big amps do sound different than small amps. (even when there both running clean.) and you need the big amp sound for that. an old SF twin reverb would be great. my friend has one that is turned into a head and has a 2x12 closed back cab. it works great for john mayer type tones. esp. with a little bit of clean boost. this adds a small amount of compression and can tighten up that low end a bit, and round out the top. you could get the same effect with a good compression pedal set to a very small compression amount.
like said before, a tubescreamer is good. nearly any OD pedal will do. he doesnt use much dirt from pedals.
and texas specials are def. not what you want. i know he does own a strat with texas specials, but he doesnt use it much anymore. for continuum he was using strats with very low output pups. larger strings help too. good luck.
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#6
Well I've got a strat with Tex specials and I find it kinda hard to get his clean tone. Texas specials have a pretty high output and he uses low output pups. His signature guitar has pups with scooped mids, but scooping the mids on my amp doesn't seem to help. You'll have to go to a shop and try different setups.

You'll definitely need a tube amp.

I also have a tubescreamer with an 808 chip. It gets me closer, but it still sounds off. I don't know about you guys, but his tone sounds pretty compressed to me. I think he uses a Keeley compressor.
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Last edited by breadstick at Jan 8, 2010,
#7
He uses Dumble ODS, his Two Rock sig and Fender Bassman amps, those are probably way out of your budget. For guitars he uses a Strat, so that's not really hard. His pedalboard contains an Dunlop Buddy Guy sig wah, Keeley Katana, Keeley modded BD-2, Ibanez TS-808, Zendrive, Cornish G2, some tape delay, T-rex Replica, Way Huge Aqua Puss, EHX POG, EHX Micro Synth, some Univibe

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_NWBWHfcWx0U/ScwqTcLZGOI/AAAAAAAAAAk/Uf1J7ZDArSg/s1600-h/john-mayer-rack.jpg
http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_NWBWHfcWx0U/Scztu8GPh5I/AAAAAAAAAAs/5_wdNfm6WFQ/s1600-h/jmpedalboard.jpg

You'd get far with a good tube amp like a Fender or Vox, a Strat and a Tubescreamer though Maybe an EQ to finetune a bit.
Last edited by WtrPlyr at Jan 8, 2010,
#8
a friend of mine has a tone thats pretty close using a fender blue jr and boss ge-7 eq
i cant remember what guitar he used, but essentially he said to scoop the mids. the boss eq isnt my first choice, probably an mxr 10 band instead.

you can also get, last i checked, big dippers (the pups in his sig guitar) off ebay since some people take the guitars apart
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#9
Quote by WtrPlyr
He uses Dumble ODS, his Two Rock sig and Fender Bassman amps, those are probably way out of your budget. For guitars he uses a Strat, so that's not really hard. His pedalboard contains an Dunlop Buddy Guy sig wah, Keeley Katana, Keeley modded BD-2, Ibanez TS-808, Zendrive, Cornish G2, some tape delay, T-rex Replica, Way Huge Aqua Puss, EHX POG, EHX Micro Synth, some Univibe

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_NWBWHfcWx0U/ScwqTcLZGOI/AAAAAAAAAAk/Uf1J7ZDArSg/s1600-h/john-mayer-rack.jpg
http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_NWBWHfcWx0U/Scztu8GPh5I/AAAAAAAAAAs/5_wdNfm6WFQ/s1600-h/jmpedalboard.jpg


You'd get far with a good tube amp like a Fender or Vox, a Strat and a Tubescreamer though Maybe an EQ to finetune a bit.


Where did you get those?? It looks like the second picture was taken from the body of his guitar...

Basically John Mayer = Strat + low output mid scooped pickups (i.e. Big Dippers) + compressor + TS808 + some type of Fender amp (Super Reverb, Deluxe Reverb, Twin Reverb, any of those will do)

If you wanted to leave out the compressor you could because it doesn't have as drastic an effecct on the tone as the amp choice.

Two Rocks are basically clones of Dumbles, which are basically clones of old Fenders with either a ridiculous amount of headroom or a really smooth fusiony sounding gain channel. So a Fender will do. Actually early on in his career before he was endorsed by Two Rock, JM used a couple of Super Reverbs, a Supersonic, and a Bassman. The "Any Given Thursday" Concert DVD shows all the amps and there are no Two Rocks present.
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Last edited by VoodooCow229 at Jan 8, 2010,
#10
Your pickups are way off. He has his own Big Dipper pups; the closest to those you can buy without taking apart one of his custom strats is to get Custom Shop 69's.

Also, poster above me nailed it.
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#11
Quote by VoodooCow229
Where did you get those?? It looks like the second picture was taken from the body of his guitar...

Basically John Mayer = Strat + low output mid scooped pickups (i.e. Big Dippers) + compressor + TS808 + some type of Fender amp (Super Reverb, Deluxe Reverb, Twin Reverb, any of those will do)

If you wanted to leave out the compressor you could because it doesn't have as drastic an effecct on the tone as the amp choice.

Two Rocks are basically clones of Dumbles, which are basically clones of old Fenders with either a ridiculous amount of headroom or a really smooth fusiony sounding gain channel. So a Fender will do. Actually early on in his career before he was endorsed by Two Rock, JM used a couple of Super Reverbs, a Supersonic, and a Bassman. The "Any Given Thursday" Concert DVD shows all the amps and there are no Two Rocks present.

He posted them on his twitter couple of months back.

EDIT: to the guy above, there's a dude who makes sort of clones of the Big Dippers, let me find them.

EDIT2: Here you go http://www.torresengineering.com/bustpi.html
Last edited by WtrPlyr at Jan 8, 2010,
#13
Quote by papersun87
Scoop everything.

So scoop the mids, highs, and lows?
Ok....
*achieves thin tone*
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#14
He uses fender big dipper P/ups, which have a mid scoop naturally with the way they're wired. talk o some boutique pick up makers if you really like that tone, someone like CourdroyEW owuld probabbly do you a set similar.
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#17
Strat, preferably with custom shop 69 pickups for best Mayer tone
Hot Rod Deluxe (John used to play one onstage--his setting are all over the net)
MXR Dyna Comp
Ibanez TS-9

That, my friend, is all you need to sound like Mayer.

I list all of my signal chain, settings, and give some examples of my tone in this youtube video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7RsyGTb1h2Y

Sorry the quality is so totally shit, but you get the gist. Especially on Belief, Vultures, and Slow Dancing in a Burning Room.

I list the pickup selections for each song, pedal order, pedal settings, and which to use on what song. Simply my budget take on recreating the tone, but damn does it sound good in person.
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#18
So after reading all the above statements just wanted to add a few things. Been trying to nail his tone for the past few weeks, so here are my observations. Would post clips but recording equipments down now( I've also nailed the Comfortably Numb solo sound, I can die happy).

First- you will definitely need something with an in between selection with single coils, but not necessarily a strat. I get extremely close with my Ibanez S470 running a neck coil and middle coil together

Other than those little additions I pretty much agree with whats been said.
Second- don't necessarily agree with the earlier comment about the compressor being optional. I'm pretty certain he uses his keeley compressor almost all the time. You especially notice this when he starts getting up around the 10th fret and up how his notes still pop out, even on the highest three strings. That is the result of a compressor. You can especially hear this on Slow Dancing in a Burning Room and Gravity from Where the Light Is.

Third- The man plays a little dirtier than extremely clean if that makes any sense. Like a previous poster said, either use a clean boost, or like I am doing, run a tubescreamer or similar device(Boss Bd-2 for me) with both the volume and gain knobs at about 10 oclock and tweak from there. Its hard to describe what just this little bit of gain does to your sound, but it really helps.

Lastly, when he kicks on whatever pedal he does for most solos, I'm willing to bet he kicks on another with similar settings as above. I say this because even his solos don't use tremendous amounts of gain (approximately gain at 12ish o'clock on my BD-2 alone). Notice how even when he plays two notes together, whether accidentally live or on purpose, there is only a very slight crunch to the notes, no real distortion between them.
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#19
Wow, ledroses23, I like your guitar.

I love my Strat but I always find myself wanting a second guitar...either a hollowbody or telecaster.
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#20
Firstly, let me start off by saying Clay Pots is the man.
Secondly, the pickups that sound great for his style are the Klein S-5 set.

Here is the best demo of them I could find on youtube, no its not me lol. They sound amazing.
#21
Quote by VoodooCow229

Two Rocks are basically clones of Dumbles, which are basically clones of old Fenders with either a ridiculous amount of headroom or a really smooth fusiony sounding gain channel. So a Fender will do. Actually early on in his career before he was endorsed by Two Rock, JM used a couple of Super Reverbs, a Supersonic, and a Bassman. The "Any Given Thursday" Concert DVD shows all the amps and there are no Two Rocks present.


A Dumble is voiced nothing like a Fender. While the circuits are similar, they sound completely different. Dumbles have huge (and loose) bottom ends, lots of mid range and a kind of subdued treble with lots of harmonics and sustain, even clean. No Fender will do that in my experience. If you're going for his early tone, a Fender will work. But anything after he got a bit of success and money will be much harder to replicate.
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#22
Thought I'd bump this with some new stuff

Keeley Katana, MXR 10-Band EQ, Way Huge Aqua Puss, Korg G4 Rotary Simulator, old Echoplex, Adrenalinn I and II, Cornish Duplex (SS3 and G2??), original Marshall Bluesbreaker, 2 Ibanez TS10s, EHX POG, and EHX Micro Synth, Boss DD3, MXR Carbon Copy, Buddy Guy Sig Dunlop Wah


I can see a Klon, some Cornish and a Univibe


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#23
The nearest I've achieved to his tone, is by bossting my amp with a tubescreamer, into quite crunchy territory, and then backing off the guitar volume. That why you get the dynamics of an overdriven sound, but without the grit. Works really well IMO.
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#24
Quote by papersun87


I actually just meant the mids and use a pickup with scooped mids as well. Just to clarify.

I got it, just messin' with you :P
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