John Mayer Stratocaster review by Fender

logo Ultimate Guitar
  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 10
  • Features: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 10 Gem
  • Users' score: 8.4 (191 votes)
Fender: John Mayer Stratocaster

Purchased from: L&M

Sound — 10
Amazing, there's not alot else that has to be said. Something special was made in the new Big Dipper pickups. They are the most amazing and unique sounding pickups Fender has ever developed. They allow for very powerful bass lines but keep plenty of room for the treble to truly Shine. Obviously you have to be a J. Mayer fan to buy this guitar and I am so I play a lot of his stuff, but I also play plenty of jazz, modern and classic rock, blues and even some country and this guitar take it all in stride with beautiful pure clean tones and full velvety smooth dirty tones.

Overall Impression — 10
The JM Strat truly allows me a lot of versatility and allows me to play vertually any style I want. From blues to country to even classical it'll do the job without any problem (I know classical might be a stretch, but you get my point). I've been playing since 2002, so yes I am relitivly new to guitar in comparison to some people, but in the last couple years I've gained a fair amount of experiance with music and I do know what I'm talking about. Some of my other guitars are an SRV Stratocaster, a PRS McCarty Custom 22, and an American Deluxe Telecaster. I primarily play through a Fender '59 bassman and I record through a Digi002 system. The John Mayer Stratocaster just competes with it all and does it with ease. If it were lost or stolen, heads would roll quite quickly until I got it back. Its a guitar that I would expect to grow with me for the rest of my life. The only thing it really can be compared to is the SRV Artist Series Strat, but the only similarities are the tuners, the frets and the fact that the Big Dipper pickups are variations of Texas Specials but it still truly has its own sound. The John Mayer Artist Series Strat is an all around must have for anyone who wants versatility and that pure and unique J. Mayer sound.

Reliability & Durability — 10
It's a Strat, we all know how durable they are, (i.e. SRV's Number 1) and this one is no exception. The hardware is all solid and ready for a beating. All the nuts and screws are tight and ready to go. I could easily make this guitar my solo guitar and this finish is flawless, and ready to last for many many years.

Action, Fit & Finish — 10
The is set perfectly for me. Its high to allow for super-bends but low enough to allow for complicated chording. The mix between the rosewood finderbored and jumbo frets feels great. This is easily the best factory set up guitar I have ever played. This finish is gorgeous too. The shoreline gold shines brilliantly and the custon red recing stripe accents it and ties everything together to make it a very apealing and uniquie guitar.

Features — 10
Grammy winner John Mayer has teamed up with Fender for this must-have signature guitar. Its alder body is a wonderland, and the satin urethane-finish maple neck has a slightly larger C-shape topped by a buffed headstock with a Vintage '50s decal. The African rosewood fingerboard has a 9.5" radius and Dunlop 6105 frets. Other features include three new "Big Dipper" single-coil pickups with a special "scooped" mid-range voicing wound to Mayer's exacting specs, an American Vintage synchronized tremolo with five tremolo springs (the uninstalled back plate is in the case), Fender/Gotoh vintage-style tuning keys and a three-ply brown shell pickguard.

19 comments sorted by best / new / date

    I love this guitar. I've had it for a year, and I'm planning on keeping it for many many more.
    Just wanted to chime in with my 2 cents worth. I just picked up the JM Strat yesterday and I could not be more pleased with my choice. First off I am not a JM fan or anything like that, when I first picked it up I didn't even know it was a JM, I just liked the way it looked. (Sunburst) When I first started playing it I really liked the sound of the pickups, very nice tones in all 5 positions. I did notice that the action from the 12th fret down seemed a little high but I just figured I would lower it to fit my style of play, That's what we do, make it our own. After doing some research on the JM I found that Fender intended the setup to be that way, so you could get bigger bends. Not really my cup of tea but also no big deal. I love the neck on this guitar way better than my EJ strat that I have, Very silky. Now that I lowered the action to my liking, this is probably the best strat I have ever played and I have owned a few of them, AM. MIJ and MIM. The quality is definately there and this one is a keeper no matter who's signature is on the headstock.
    Fenderstrt4ever wrote: Japan Doesn't have the technology to make something worthy of JM's signature, I also think it say's on the headstock, Made in_.
    Japan doesn't have the technology????? are you a complete friggen retard??? my god I hate to say it becausre I love American but Japan build everything better then Americans,... thier work ethic is miles above ours and so is the quality of anything they make including guitars,... I own a real 1962 Strat that my father bought in 1963 and left me,... I LOVE it because it was his but in all honesty I have lots of guitars that were MIM or MIJ that play, sound & feel better,.. don't get me wrong it plays & sounds amazing but if be objective and don't think that it's a real 1962 strat worth a ton of $$$ then you can do a real A/B comparison and see the truth or at least my truth/opinion.
    your husband is lucky, I've wanted one of these since they came out, but still just stuck with your average production American strat. What color?
    Japan Doesn't have the technology to make something worthy of JM's signature, I also think it say's on the headstock, Made in_.
    I have a quick question????? I just purchased one of these for my husband for hid 30th birthday. However one of my friends (whom I thought knew a lot about guitars) asked if it was USA or Japan made. I was under the impression that all JM signatures were made in the States. Am I correct in this assumption? Please respond Many thanks
    I would love to have this JM strat...Defenately the next on my wall!!!
    Hi guys, I bought a JM strat in America over the summer of 08. Yes this 'deadend' sound sometimes occurs HOWEVER it is not as serious as it sounds, this is the BEST guitar i have ever played and I have been playing for 10 years, please do not let this sway you to not buy one. Any John Mayer Fans will definitley never regret it. HM
    I have the big dippers in my strat, they sound real good for my bluesy style(much better than am. std.), but not as good as I was expecting from all the hype. Eventually I'll sell them and get some boutique vintage pickups.
    Hi folks, yesterday I was on "". Somebody posted a review about the "John Mayer Strat". As he wrote: "I like the guitar and workmanship but be aware that if you want to do a lot of bending of notes above the 12th fret the vintage neck design on this guitar does not allow this. The note goes into a deadened sound. My repairman confirmed that this is a symptom of vintage necks!" My question is: Have you observed the same problems! I would really appreciate to get an answer in this case because I want to buy me this strat. Thank you in advance. with regards Corazon4956
    Hi folks, yesterday I spent several minutes on "musician's friend", where a review was posted about the John Mayer Signature Strat. Somebody, obviously a musician, criticized the problems which may occur if you try to play bendings above the 12th fret. He stated that the note would go into a deadened sound. His repairman confirmed that this is a symptom of vintage necks. I would like to get your point-of-view in this case. Thank you in advance. with regards Bernd
    want one... but don't have 1000 to spend on a guitar at the moment... but when i do this guitar will make an excellent addition to my ibanez & gibson collection. so i'm really looking forward to getting it now.
    Guitar is god like, i am very new, and played about every guitar in the guitar store looking for that special one. no matter how many i played on i always came bak to this one, the price was the other factor. i just said screw it and i bought it. if u want a good quality guitar, well built and sounding get this, awesome tonal variety, and i do not believ u can get these pups anywhere 'cept from ebay.
    I tried this John Myer strat @ Guitar Center yesterday and while the pickups were great sounding everything else SUCKED the action was so high it was in orbit, the neck felt like crap and overall it's just another example of how a consumer based nation can prop up a crappy product, slap a stars name on it and sell it for an outrageous price,.... when I was a kid in the late 80's in N.Y.C. I could walk into a pawn shop and find 60's & 70's strats for between $300 - $600 now they go for $15,000 - $100,000 & up it's just unbelievable.