#1
Hi, I'm in the fortunate position that I've come into a little money, a decent amount actually. I've been playing on a washburn WI65 and Yamaha THR10 for a couple of years but would like to upgrade.

I used to be a full on rock guy, Slash/GnR through to metallica, but as I've got older (late forties now, eek!) my tastes have mellowed more to Bonamassa to Mayer.

So, should I go for the best strat I can find or LP? Which would best suit both styles?

fyi, I might upgrade the amp not long after and am looking at things with a headphone socket, THR100HD or Mark v:25, others?

Thanks,
David
#2
It might be a good idea if we had some sort of budget to work with. Otherwise your going to get recommendations for some pretty high end amps and guitars to get those sounds. It also depends on what Bonamassa you are going for. He has played LPs and Strats, but the mainstay has been a LP. I think he has even played a Marshall JCM 2000 at some point.
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#3
Hi, I think I might go as far as a CS strat at around two and half grand uk if I could convince myself it was worth it. Whilst I think I might be better off with it the equivalent CS LP is around £4K?

For amps I don't think I'd want to spend more than the mark V, which is about £1600? I like the fact that the THR100HD can blend amps, a la Bonamassa and I've been quite impressed with my THR10.

Cheers,
David
Last edited by Dangermouse1968 at Sep 23, 2016,
#4
^ I'd look at LSL Strats and Suhr as well if your budget is up to CS Strats
Bands:
Native State
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Gear:
PRS P245 Semi Hollow
Suhr Modern Guthrie Spec
Mayones Regius 7 Buckeye Burl
LSL CVS Studio Strat
Fender American Standard Tele
Faith Hi Gloss Venus

Mesa Lonestar Special
Bugera 333
Zilla 2x12 Fatboy
Line 6 PodHD500
#5
Isn't Bonamassa playing mainly old fender amps now? like tweeds and the like? Get yourself one of those and a nice 59 les paul and you will be smokin'
#6
Quote by tobin1634
Isn't Bonamassa playing mainly old fender amps now? like tweeds and the like? Get yourself one of those and a nice 59 les paul and you will be smokin'


As I understand it I think he blends a clean amp like that with a Marshally type amp, hence my interest in the THR100HD which is two amps that can be mixed.
#7
Not sure on pricing in the UK, but here a CS Strat costs about as much as a Les Paul Standard and a US Strat. That would be my preference over getting a CS variant if you're going for both Mayer and Bonamassa tones. They've both used Strats, but Bonamassa is known for humbucker sounds and mostly Les Pauls. On the other hand, Mayer has been using a PRS and a Duesenberg as well. The tones they're known for are a Strat and a Les Paul respectively nonetheless and you won't nail Belief or Slow Dancing without a Strat, for instance. Just as you won't nail The Ballad of John Henry without a Les Paul.

So if getting really close in tone is important, I'd get 2 quality guitars instead of one better one. FWIW, I don't think the CS Gibsons sound or play that much better than their Standard range does. For Strats, I can't help you with that, as I don't get along with them, but US Standard Fenders are workhorses also.

If you don't really need to nail the sound of both, I'd check out what you like best and get something as high quality as possible. Strats and Les Pauls are so different that we can't really help you there. If it were me, I'd get a Les Paul, but I know people that swear by their Strat as well.

A 335 might be cool as well, they've both played those. I wouldn't rule out a Telecaster either. It won't really nail either, but it'll be very close for Bonamassa (after all, what hasn't he used) and it'll do Mayer stuff fine.

For amps, I'd get something Fender-style for Mayer and you can get to Bonamassa with a good drive pedal. Bonamassa is more about cranking the amps than what amps he actually uses anyway in my opinion. He used Silver Jubilees for a long time, then went to the DSL's and now he's doing tweed Fenders I believe, so there's that.

I suggest this amp way too often, but it's because it's a great amp: try out a Mesa Lone Star. Wonderful cleans and it has a drive channel that could do Bonamassa-style gain easily. A Fender Deluxe Reverb with something like a Fulltone OCD (or another good drive pedal) would work well too. A Blues Deluxe might be an option as well. A Suhr Badger or Budda Superdrive might be cool too.
#8
If you want felxibility, get an HSS Strat. If you have the budget look into Suhr and Xotic guitars, which are premium build strat type guitars. A other great guitar is the HSS Silhouette Special from Musicman - it's super light and the neck plays like a dream. an HSS will give you the Humbucker in the Bridge and the much needed single coil neck pickup.

The Mesa Lonestar amp is amazing - I onw the Lonestar Special 1x12 - it's perfect for anything blues or blues rock.
#9
Quote by Dangermouse1968
As I understand it I think he blends a clean amp like that with a Marshally type amp, hence my interest in the THR100HD which is two amps that can be mixed.


He is actually just using straight tweeds now. He hardly used the Marshall/ODS setup anymore.


Also when he went overseas most of the time he was just plugged into a DSL.
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#10
So if getting really close in tone is important, I'd get 2 quality guitars instead of one better one.


Even though I can think of some very flexible axes & amps, they do come with downside of Jack of all trades, master of none. They could get you veeeeeerrry close to those tones, but might not nail 'em.

With £2.5k, the safety play is spend 40-50% on the amp, then split the remainder between a humbucker guitar and a singlecoil guitar. Fine tune the tones with stomp boxes.

I mean, it isn't what I would probably do, but that's the surest way.
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#11
I might be inclined to go a slightly different route. a MIM with Meyer style pickups , the Bonamassa Epiphone Les Paul and a really good amp and a couple of good fx pedals.

Meyer's setup is really expensive and hard to nail on a budget but you can mimick his tone for a reasonable price. Joe use a bunch of god aweful expensive vintage gear so again trying to duplicate can be cost prohibitive. I'd be looking for an amp that has great cleans and perhaps a marshally drive channel. a Klon style Klone pedal (there are a bunch of these) and go from there.
#12
i haven't tried any custom shops but some uk shops have deals on at the moment- coda has some deals, and guitar village had (but i think their boss gone mad sale is over).
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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
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#13
Quote by dannyalcatraz
Even though I can think of some very flexible axes & amps, they do come with downside of Jack of all trades, master of none. They could get you veeeeeerrry close to those tones, but might not nail 'em.

With £2.5k, the safety play is spend 40-50% on the amp, then split the remainder between a humbucker guitar and a singlecoil guitar. Fine tune the tones with stomp boxes.

I mean, it isn't what I would probably do, but that's the surest way.


For sure. I mean, I love Mayer, but I don't like Strats. My Tele serves me fine for Mayer stuff. My Mayones can handle it as well in my opinion. I'm not about nailing the same tone though. I also thought he meant 2.5k for a guitar and around 1.6k for an amp, but I might have misunderstood. :P

I mean, neither Mayer nor Bonamassa invented the wheel with their set-ups. They're both very traditional in the sense that they like old amps turned up. Plug any guitar into it and it'll do fine, I think. Bonamassa sounds amazing on Strats as well and one of my favourite Mayer tones is when he's playing on the big Gibson jazz guitars. For both, it's more about playing style than the actual gear, even though they both have stellar setups.
#14
If it's £2.5k for just guitars...

Buying something new and off the shelf, probably any 2 of the 3 options below:

1) a HB or P90 equipped Reverend.

2) a HB or P90 equipped Fret-King with the Vari-Coil system.

3) one of the better HB or P90 equipped Godins (depending on the other guitar chosen) and having the H.D.R. system.

Used, I'd look for a HH or HSS Parker or some of the small maker products I know.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

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Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
Last edited by dannyalcatraz at Sep 23, 2016,
#15
Just so happens JB: Live at the Greek Theater is airing on my local PBS station as I write this post. I've seen a few of his performances, but I'm seeing him do something I don't ever recall him doing- playing a goldtop LP with P90s...
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

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Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#16
I like the fretkings i have, but if he has £2.5k I think he can do a *lot* better. Even if splitting the budget to get multiple guitars. I mean you should be able to get two AVRI Fenders for that kind of money. MIJ Tokai (at least the cheaper ones) would be well under that kind of money as well for two of them (you could probably get 3-4 for £2.5k).
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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?
#17
For 2.5K, you could get something custom built, but you have to know what you want to do that, of course.

They're not for everyone, but I'd highly suggest a Mayones Regius or Legend. Stellar guitars. The Regius is HH with coil taps and the Legend can be anything you want AFAIK that isn't a P90 (and even that might be possible through their custom shop).
#18
Quote by Dave_Mc
I like the fretkings i have, but if he has £2.5k I think he can do a *lot* better. Even if splitting the budget to get multiple guitars. I mean you should be able to get two AVRI Fenders for that kind of money. MIJ Tokai (at least the cheaper ones) would be well under that kind of money as well for two of them (you could probably get 3-4 for £2.5k).


Maybe, maybe not.

My personal experience with FK has been very positive, bed on their Black and (discontinued) Blue label lines. The Green and STVDIO lines look impressive.

Don't get me wrong- I know there is "better" stuff to be had.. Stevens UK customs look nice, but he only seems to do Tele variants. MacPhersons are sweet. Brian Moores, Veilette, etc.

But I know the guitars I recommended are tonally flexible and up to the task. They're pro quality. You CAN spend more, but you don't have to.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#19
If you have the money a US strat and a gibson studio is what I have and I can play freakin everything I want.
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#20
2500 quid should land you a use gibson les paul standard and a used American strat.
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#21
^ Yeah you easily should be able to manage that. With a bit of luck and being easy on colour choice etc., if you held out for a deal you could probably nearly get both of those new for that kind of money.

Quote by dannyalcatraz
Maybe, maybe not.

My personal experience with FK has been very positive, bed on their Black and (discontinued) Blue label lines. The Green and STVDIO lines look impressive.

Don't get me wrong- I know there is "better" stuff to be had.. Stevens UK customs look nice, but he only seems to do Tele variants. MacPhersons are sweet. Brian Moores, Veilette, etc.

But I know the guitars I recommended are tonally flexible and up to the task. They're pro quality. You CAN spend more, but you don't have to.


Yeah. As I said, I like the ones I have, but IMO even the cheaper MIJ Tokais have the edge on them (to me they feel like a league up in quality), and they're not *that* dear (they start at around £600-£700 these days). Granted, the specs aren't the same so it does depend on what you want and the older blue labels definitely have some nice hardware etc.. But yeah, that's my opinion. It also doesn't help that the prices can be all over the place- back before the blue labels were discontinued you could get new ones on Ebay (from dealers) starting at around £300, maybe even a bit less if you were lucky, and yet other dealers were selling at full price (often £600-£700). Obviously it's a much nicer guitar if you get it for £300, lol.
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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?
#22
Still, your overall insight remains valid: those Japanese brands make some killer LPclones for nice prices. I've come thiiiiis close to buying Tokais and Bacchus guitars.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#23
thanks

And definitely you make a very good point about not necessarily having to spend £2.5k if you think something cheaper is just as good. I totally agree that just because you *can* spend £2.5k doesn't mean you *must* (and which some shops conveniently seem to think!).

Problem I find with some guitar shops is if you don't tell them you have a big budget, they won't let you try the dear stuff... but if you do that they then steer you towards the dear stuff and won't let you try the cheap stuff To counteract that I normally say my budget is flexible (which is true) but then they think i'm a timewaster
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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?
Last edited by Dave_Mc at Sep 26, 2016,
#24
Good point about salesmen.

What I do is let them know I know my stuff with talking $$$. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#25
Quote by dannyalcatraz
Good point about salesmen.

What I do is let them know I know my stuff with talking $$$. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.


advantage of being an old man, I rarely get any crap from any of the stores here they just assume I have money . of course being a regular in a couple places doesn't hurt. GC often pulls stuff down that is new and asks if I want to try it when I come in.
#26
Old man?

monwobobbo, while we were running errands, I took my Mom to lunch at Sweet Tomatoes last Friday. I didn't find out until I got home that thy had given us BOTH the senior discount.

I make 49 next month. Still, if I shave, I'm usually taken for a good decade younger than I am.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#27
Quote by dannyalcatraz
Old man?

monwobobbo, while we were running errands, I took my Mom to lunch at Sweet Tomatoes last Friday. I didn't find out until I got home that thy had given us BOTH the senior discount.

I make 49 next month. Still, if I shave, I'm usually taken for a good decade younger than I am.


I am 26 and i finally stopped getting carded for cigarettes or dip. lol.
WTLT 2014 GG&A

Quote by andersondb7
alright "king of the guitar forum"


Quote by trashedlostfdup
nope i am "GOD of the guitar forum" i think that fits me better.


Quote by andersondb7
youre just being a jerk man.



****** NEW NEW NEW!
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2017-02-21 How to Hot-Rod the Hell of your Stratocaster for $50! (Tuesday 2017-2-21)
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#28
I usually just say what I'm looking for and that I have whatever budget I have and I'm looking for what I can get price/performance. By now, they know me where I go, so they know I don't care about the name on the headstock and I usually have more budget than I'm going to spend and they let me do as I please. Still, most salesmen aren't fond of you trying their entire Custom Shop section when looking for something higher end, as I found out recently.

I'm very lucky to have a store near that doesn't care about what something costs for you to try. I was coming in for an acoustic with a budget of a 1000 and they suggested some cheaper stuff as well give me something slightly above budget to see wether I was willing to save up a bit more. And when I had the big budget, they let me pick anything from the wall, practically.

Also, a beard is massive in the age prediction thing. I remember being asked if I was still under 26 when I was 19 and being 23 now, the age people put me on probably hasn't gone down.
#29
Quote by dannyalcatraz
Good point about salesmen.

What I do is let them know I know my stuff with talking $$$. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.


yeah. I always fancy (and I could well be imagining this, but i don't think so) that they want you to know your stuff a bit, but not too much. If you're clueless it's extra bother for them if they have to explain everything (plus you're unlikely to buy the really expensive stuff), but if you know a fair bit it's less easy to take advantage of you and sell you crap

They generally want you to know enough to want the expensive stuff, but not enough to accurately appraise it and maybe decide it's not worth the extra cash.

Quote by I K0nijn I
(a) Still, most salesmen aren't fond of you trying their entire Custom Shop section when looking for something higher end, as I found out recently.

(b) I'm very lucky to have a store near that doesn't care about what something costs for you to try. I was coming in for an acoustic with a budget of a 1000 and they suggested some cheaper stuff as well give me something slightly above budget to see wether I was willing to save up a bit more. And when I had the big budget, they let me pick anything from the wall, practically.


(a) Yeah. I find that a bit annoying- the shops here don't even have a big custom shop section, but if I were spending that much I'd kind of want to try everything in that section, to be sure it was what I wanted. I'm not spending that amount of money without being sure (or as sure as you can possibly be, trying something in a shop). If you ask me they're being unreasonable expecting you to spend that amount of money without letting you try whatever you want. Unless they have you pegged as a timewaster... which I'd argue is something of a self-fulfilling prophecy. If they don't let me try what I want I'm not buying, that's not the same as being a timewaster at all.

(b) Yeah. That being said, I actually do think most of the salespeople thought I was serious. In one of the shops, for example, the salesperson asked what my budget was, and I said the usual, "It's flexible..." (which is true), and he did go and get me, unasked, a much dearer guitar than we'd previously been trying.

At times I kind of don't quite understand what's going on.
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
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?
#30
I always give my absolute top budget and what I'd like to spend ideally. Also the things I've ruled out already.

When I recently got my Mayones, I played basically everything they had. I played guitars that were more than what I paid and guitars that were a bit over half what I paid. It was when I noticed I wanted to play the Mayones again every time I picked up something different that I was really sure that would be the one I'd be leaving with. Behold, a month later and I haven't played my SG or Fender for any serious time.
#31
Quote by dannyalcatraz
Old man?

monwobobbo, while we were running errands, I took my Mom to lunch at Sweet Tomatoes last Friday. I didn't find out until I got home that thy had given us BOTH the senior discount.

I make 49 next month. Still, if I shave, I'm usually taken for a good decade younger than I am.


I'm 55 and if I dyed my hair I could pass for much younger but I don't. hmmm..... no one is giving me senior discounts (yet) but AARP keeps sending me stuff..
#32
Wear your grey with pride! You earned those!

Never dyed, never will.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#33
Quote by dannyalcatraz
Wear your grey with pride! You earned those!

Never dyed, never will.


well some say the mrs had a fair bit to do with the grey . I did dye my hair a few years back when I was looking for a job. it's tough for older people to find jobs these days so I didn't want to give my age away right off the bat. honestly I don't care if it turns snow white tomorrow as long as it stays on my head. still have full head of hair and I want it to stay that way for as long as possible.
#34
Quote by dannyalcatraz
Wear your grey with pride! You earned those!

Never dyed, never will.


I'd call that "natural aging".
And hey, some people pay tons of money for artificial relicing !
I have the luck that salesmen in my local musicstore seem to be guitarnerds and suggest what's the best bang for buck that fits into your budget in their opinion instead of trying to sell you overpriced stuff.
Sometimes making you spend less than what you were planning to.
Up until now, everything they suggested to me had stellar reviews when I looked for opinions on the internet.
Last edited by juvion at Sep 29, 2016,
#35
In covering Mayer to Bonamassa, you have plenty of options. Personally, I think if you're trying to "nail" one's tone more than the other, I would say it's probably better to lean toward Mayer in this case because you're going to have many more options in the way you want to get into the tonal area of Bonamassa.

First, I would invest in a good tube amp that can produce the style of cleans you want. For me, that's usually a single channel amp (or a single channel of an amp) that can do a nice, low/mid gain bluesy lead tone when my guitar volume is on full, but then when the volume is backed off on the guitar I can get a nice, sparkly clean tone. For this, I recommend looking to something other than the modelling amp you mentioned. Fortunately, this is something a lot of amps are going to do fairly well, so from there it's kind of up to what fits your taste and/or perhaps more of the Mayer side you want to cover tonally.

Because you probably can't crank a tube amp full blast whenever you damn well please like Bonamassa can (which is really the key to his tone) I think the best thing you can do is to find a nice, organic drive pedal to boost your amp, especially if you're running your amp as I mentioned above. For this, I favor a "blues drive" type of pedal moreso than a Tubescreamer design, generally because they don't have as much of a mid-spike (and I run high mids on my amp to begin with) and they are usually able to produce a nice amount of "cranked amp"-like gain, which is what you want for a heavy Blues/Rock tone. I have been using an MI Audio Blues Pro for this purpose over the last few years and I'd suggest their Super Blues Pro, which is the newer model, and has even more tonal options.

As for guitars, I think the real question is do you want one guitar or two? Since it seems you're going to be able to spend a good amount of money on this, I think I would go for two quality guitars over one super high end guitar (ok, unless maybe you get a Suhr). The Fender American Special Strat should do a nice job for the Mayer tones and also a pretty nice job with some of the gainier tones you might want for Bonamassa stuff thanks to the Texas Special pickups. Then, I would look into something in the Les Paul mold for your second guitar, and not necessarily just Gibson. I think the most important thing to look for in an LP purchase would be a good set of vintage-voiced pickups, which again are one of the more significant parts of Joe's tone.
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