NAMM 2017: So, it's official.
PRS has taken the wraps off its already unwrapped-by-the-internet John Mayer amp collaboration.
As we thought, this second PRS/Mayer co-design is a 100W single channel affair, powered by 6L6 power tubes. For full details of the set-up and features, read on...
PRS John Mayer J-MOD 100 amplifier press release: After more than a year of close collaboration, PRS Guitars and John Mayer are proud to announce the addition of the J-MOD 100 amplifier to PRS's amplifier lineup.
The J-MOD 100 amplifier was intimately designed by Paul Reed Smith, Doug Sewell, and John Mayer to not only handle Mayer's live work with Dead & Company, but to also move seamlessly into recording and performing his solo material. With a thoughtful control platform, impeccable build, and high-quality components, the J-MOD 100 is a fully-realized, high-end piece of audio gear for players who want the purest and most expressive musical experience.
Interesting, complex animals
"I think amplifiers are such interesting, complex animals. The J-MOD 100 is the result of a lot of searching...what is my sound? What are the elements of all these amps I own that should be chosen to go together in one amp and have this really distinct voice? What we ended up with is a really open and expressive amplifier that I feel is a real evolution and a step forward in guitar amps." - John Mayer
The J-MOD 100 (100 watt) amplifier is a single channel amp featuring a switchable gain stage and effects loop. The amp's tone stack features a beautiful, spread out tone that is at once huge and clear. When the gain stage is kicked in, the amp gets rich in harmonics and delivers a bit more bite. The versatility provide by this setup allows the J-MOD 100 to deliver a huge variety of sounds whether using singlecoils or humbuckers.
"Working with John Mayer has been a rewarding experience. His knowledge and no compromise attitude have led us to innovate and produce a beautiful sounding amp that delivers on versatility, construction, and professional tone" said Paul Reed Smith, of PRS Guitars. "It's John's and PRS's goal that the products we collaborate on satisfy musicians who are looking for the best new gear from a sound, technical and aesthetic standpoint, whether their use is on stage, in the studio, practice room or in the comforts of their home."
Additional tone-sculpting features on the J-MOD 100 include volume, tone, treble, mid, bass, and a bright switch, which adds more high-end, and a presence control that boosts the high-end in the power amp section of the amplifier, providing a livelier, more complex tone. There is no reverb built into the J-MOD 100, but an effects loop was requested by Mayer for his reverb tanks. The amp's effects loop (and gain boost) is controlled by the footswitch, so players can use any reverb or effects unit desired with this amp. Easy adjustment of Gain Stage Volume and Output, plus Presence and Master controls provide a pallet of endless versatility.
The J-MOD 100 amp features four 6L6 power tubes and four 12AX7/ECC83S preamp tubes plus five separate boards, all with over-sized traces for tonal integrity. Each board is dedicated to a particular part of the circuit: preamp section, power section, front panel controls, bias jacks, and the effects loop. Not only is this an elegant way to build with fewer long wires extending across a larger board, it is also a more robust way to build as there is not a single, large board that needs to flex during transport. The amp is hand-wired at PRS in Maryland, USA with a truly artistic level of craftsmanship. The J-MOD 100 also features a "laydown-style" power transformer for build integrity.
The J-MOD 100 is the second PRS/Mayer product collaboration, the first being the Limited Edition Private Stock Super Eagle electric guitar, which debuted in the spring of 2016 and embodies the PRS Private Stock culture of meticulous craftsmanship as well as Mayer's keen eye for playability, tone and detail.