Simple Beauty The John Mayer OMJM Special Signature Edition
Source: Sounding Board Newsletter Vol 20 - Jan. 2006
OMJM John Mayer
Back in 2002, John Mayer burst onto the national music scene with hits like “No Such Thing” and “Your Body is a Wonderland.” The following year, when Martin introduced the OM-28JM John Mayer Signature Edition, people who had heard of John Mayer – and even those who hadn’t – were enchanted by the guitar. Its quick neck, ultra-responsive Engelmann spruce top, silver-color line inlays and accents at the bridge and headstock, and unique fingerboard inlay proved as popular as the musician who designed it. The sizeable edition of 404 instruments sold out completely.
Fast-forward to the present. The release of Mayer’s “Heavier Things” album in late 2003 resulted in two more hit singles, “Bigger than My Body” and “Daughters,” the second of which won Grammys for “Song of the Year” and “Best Male Pop Vocal of the Year.” Touring in 2004 took him to Australia, Europe, Canada and across the United States and included a memorable performance at the Crossroads Guitar Festival.
In 2005 he joined forces with bassist Pino Palladino and drummer Steve Jordan to create the John Mayer Trio, playing electric blues in a series of sold-out shows: the two-night stand at the House of Blues in Chicago was recorded for “The John Mayer Trio Live in Concert,” an album released in November. He also took time out to perform at benefit concerts for Hurricane Katrina relief in Atlanta and New York.
In light of John Mayer ’s expanding reputation and fan base, the number of OM-28JM John Mayer Signature Edition guitars produced began to look awfully small. So, C. F. Martin & Co. asked John Mayer if he would create a second namesake guitar, one with many of the same attributes as his first, but one that would be more affordable and more widely available in the tradition of the wildly popular Martin 000-28EC Eric Clapton. He would and he did: The OMJM John Mayer Special Edition.
Like its predecessor, the OMJM John Mayer Special Edition features a top of Engelmann spruce and back and sides of East Indian rosewood for warm, rich tone. Scalloped “Hybrid” bracing enhances the full timbre of this tonewood combination. Body appointments are also similar, with a Style 45 rosette featuring a center ring of colorful paua shell, bold herringbone around the top, black/white back purfling around the back, grained ivoroid binding throughout, an HD Style zigzag back strip and a traditional OM teardrop polished and beveled tor toise-color pickguard.
The Spanish cedar neck with diamond volute is carved with playing comfort in mind, combining 1-11/16" width and low profile shape for easy fretting. The East Indian rosewood headplate sports Martin’s Old Style decal in silver rather than the familiar gold (another nod to the OM-28JM John Mayer Signature Edition) and nickel Gotoh opengeared tuners with butterbean knobs. The black African ebony fingerboard highlights 1/8” mother of pearl position markers at the 5th, 7th (two), 9th, 15th and 17th frets, a unique 12th fret position marker of two dots flanking a slotted square, and John Mayer’s signature inlaid in mother of pearl between the 19th and 20th frets.
Style 45 white bridge pins and endpin are inlaid with abalone dots. The black African ebony bridge is fitted with a compensated TUSQ saddle, which combines with the factory-installed Martin Gold Plus Natural electronics for accurate, natural amplified sound. Adding to the beauty of this instrument is the flawless finish; vintage toner on the top, polished gloss nitrocellulose lacquer on the body and polished gloss on the headplate.
To provide a touch of his personal style to the OMJM John Mayer Special Edition guitar, John Mayer has created a unique art deco-inspired monogram, which is embroidered on the special vintage Geib style hardshell case. Each guitar in this open series bears an interior label imprinted with the signatures of John Mayer and Martin Chairman C. F. Martin IV, and individually numbered in sequence.
The Martin OMJM John Mayer Special Edition guitar will be available soon from authorized C. F. Martin dealers and distributors worldwide, listed on this website.