#1
I was wondering what the essentials for John Mayer Tone would be. Do I need to have his pickups to acheive that sort of tone? Everything from the

Stratocasters
Pickups
Amps
Pedals

I was hoping to keep the budget excluding the strat around 1000$

Thanks!
#2
I think his tone is pretty much generic strat through Fender Deville or some other kind of chimey clean amp. So pretty much mid level Mexi Strat, maybe refit with other pickups if you don't get it off the bat, something like Lace Sensors.
#3
Yeah, a huge part of his tone I know comes from his finger style and the fact that he can play the hell out of a guitar. So definitely don't focus too hard on gear. Sometimes real nice and clean and maybe an EHX soul food for a little grit and chime with some analog delay occasionally. Should get you set up pretty nice to start playing a lot of his stuff.
#4
IIRC he has two rocks and dumbles. that is a big part. i haven't ever played a dumble, but i did have the privilage of plugging into a two rock, and DAMN!

he recently left fender AFIK, i think he went up to PRS.

up to a while ago you could get his pickup set for not a bad price, but i think they went up a little bit in price.

i think (i could be mistaken) he has some form of active component on the strat. i think the pickups were big dippers.

i could be wrong, because i haven't looked up his stuff for a long time.

but a MIM strat with the right pickups into a decent fender tube amp will get you close enough for a budget.
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#5
Basically, Fender Strat & Teles plus a clean amp form the base is of his tone for much of his stuff over time, but there is more to him than just that if you dig deeeeep:

http://equipboard.com/pros/john-mayer

But aeven though he's mostly using PRS right now and has some exotic amps, etc., again, a good clean amp and a Stratclone or Teleclone will get you most of what you want.
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#6
Mayer's basic tone is simple; a strat and a good clean amp.
I've seen him show up at an unannounced club date with nothing more and he definitely sounded like himself.

He has signature Two Rocks, of course, and can afford anything else he needs, but if you're looking to capture what he does for $1000 or less, you really don't need to get fancy.
#7
I've tried copying his tone going the Fender amp route and I just couldn't do it. Every time I plugged in to a Two-Rock or watched a youtube video of one John's tone just jumped out. If that's out of your price range it doesn't hurt to try other things...I always felt I was closer (taking into consideration how I play as well) when I dialed in an AC30 the way I liked it.

I know, I know.

Jangly sounding Strats and good overdrives/Klones are a given.
#8
Ya gotta have a good BluesFace! Tone is in the face...

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#9
really does depend on how close you feel you need to be. there are more than one lengthy threads on getting his tone on The Gear Page but they all involve answers way beyond your budget.

using his pickups will help. i don't think they are sold seperately from his sig guitar though. if not then check the specs and find some that are close. the amps as mentioned can be a bit of an issue. a good clean amp is the ticket. pedals well he uses a Klon so you'll have to invest in one of the many Klones out there or an EH Soul Food if you do that on the cheap.

oh and the blues face is essential but i think he fakes it cuz anyone that is banging Katy Perry and was banging Jenifer Aniston can't really have the blues.
Last edited by monwobobbo at Jun 25, 2015,
#10
^^ (arby) LOL

Quote by dspellman
Mayer's basic tone is simple; a strat and a good clean amp.


that's what i'd have thought
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#11
I looked up a gear rundown a while back, until fairly recently he ran almost all Fender amps, several guitars but mostly strats and a hell of a pedal board setup.

The pedal board had some serious switching going on, so he could preset several different combinations of a dozen different pedals. I can only remember a couple, but I know he used a TS 9 tube screamer (maybe TS 808) and a Marshall Bluesbreaker Overdrive. Noticed that right off because I use a Bluesbreaker. Several other pedals too, but you can get in the ballpark with a good Fender amp and a tube screamer. Some other amps do a pretty good Fender clean too, I'm not sure, the Peavey Classic 50 will do it that's about the only one I'm really familiar with. The amps I've seen him using onstage are Fender Bassman or Showman, Super Reverb and an older blonde Fender I couldn't ID but it looked big enough to be a 6x12 cabinet. All of his early videos I've seen show various Fender amps though.

Basically, most Fender amps above the 18 watt Princeton and a tube screamer, you'll be pretty close, for a basic rig that will get in the ball park. You don't have his fingers, so don't expect to duplicate it. I can get pretty close with my Super Reverb, strat and the Bluesbreaker overdrive.
Hmmm...I wonder what this button does...
#12


Hopefully that picture uploads. I'm a forum scrub for sure.

I have a Fender DP Strat, Noiseless PU, Blues JR III Amp, BD-2 Blues Driver (No mod)

That's a relatively inexpensive set of equipment.

This tone setting, when played JM finger style is pretty on point, with the strat volume at 7ish for the chords or if you want to pick and chop them like he does, and 9-10 for the solos.

BD Driver settings, all at 10

Blues JR settings,
Volume 7 1/2 which puts it slightly at breakup with the above strat volume knobs
Treble 6,
Bass 4,
Mids 5 (I know he plays with midscooped pick ups and typically has a low mid sound, but for my strat it works)
Master 4 1/2
Reverb 2

Might not be perfect but it'll get you close enough to hook up with whatever chick you want on a budget.
#13
^ that's a slightly unfortunate way you phrased that last sentence
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#14
Haha Dave, you're probably right. I think also, and I've watched tons of live versions of Gravity, that the key to remember is that he never really plays it the same way twice. Using fingers is really the key to the tone, not so much in the skill, because it's obviously going to take a lot of years to duplicate that, but more so in the fact that it's what gives his soft tone on loud amps.

I've tried a lot of ways to play his tunes with a pick and even with soft tortex .60's it still has too much bite.

I'm a huge fan of his but also believe (as much as he does) in getting outside of the pentatonic boxes and just play it how you feel and at your skill level. The album (Continuum) version being the simplest all the way up to his live stuff.

I'd consider myself an intermediate guitar player on my best days and just adding a little minor run during the solo adds a dynamic effect to it.

There are some cool YouTube vids on his style and he also gives his own look on playing on youtube as well.
#18
Quote by Cathbard
A cheapish way into his Dumble tone would be an RM100 with two or three of these loaded into it:
http://www.jadedfaithmods.com/od-2.html.

Or this Dumble clone

Ceriatone OTS 20watter for $567
http://ceriatoneusa.com/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=100
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