The internet caught wind of these John Mayer models a while ago, and to the surprise of no one, they ain’t cheap, with the OM-JM priced at $3,999, and the judiciously more ostentatious OM-45 a second mortgage job at $18,499. But Martin has some good news for those of us with more modest budgets in the shape of an all-mahogany D-15E dreadnought and the all-sapele SC-10E-02.
Let’s look at this SC-10E-02 first, because for all the argent and aluminium spent on the design of the OM-45, this SC-10E-02 remains one of the most radical – and successful – instruments in the Martin lineup, offering a playability and feel that is more what you might expect from an electric guitar, with its Sure Align neck system freeing up the top end of the fingerboard that is largely inaccessible in most non-cutaway strummers.
With its offset body shape and that cutaway, the SC-10E-02 is certainly a conversation starter. Here we’ve got sapele all over on top, back and sides, inside of which is braced by Martin’s Tone Tension X bracing pattern.
The High-Performance Taper neck is made from select hardwood – which typically means Martin can switch up the materials depending on availability and quality, and is topped with an eco-friendly Richlite fingerboard.
We are big fans of Martin’s SC-13E so it will be interesting how this more affordable sapele version compares. Martin says the tone is “ warm, yet crisp”. This sapele model is similarly equipped with a Fishman MX-T pickup and preamp system, and it is priced $999.
The D-15E is a 14-fret dreadnought with an Indian plantation mahogany top, sapele on the back and sides. There is non-scalloped X pattern bracing, a select hardwood High-Performance Taper neck, Martin E1 electronics, and a katalox fingerboard with Diamond and Squares Short inlays. It is priced $1,299.
Now for the Mayer signature models. Feel-wise, both 20th anniversary models should be familiar. There is the same 42.9 nut width, the Standard Taper mahogany necks and 25.4” scale.
Both come in Gray Sunburst. The OM-45, however, has all kinds of finery bestowed upon it, with the aluminium border of the original Mayer models now silver and extended to the ebony pickguard.
Mayer has signed the label on the inside, and the inlays on the ebony fingerboard are a little more ornate, and there was clearly a little more abalone budget for the purfling.
The OM-45 has satin-nickel Waverly tuners, the OMJM’s tuners are open-gear nickel.The back and sides of the OM-45 are made from Guatamalan rosewood, with the anniversary OMJM using Indian rosewood.
These acoustics are all available now, with the Mayer anniversary models only being produced in 2023. See Martin for more details.