John Mayer signs fan’s Klon Centaur onstage and marks his specific settings

John Mayer playing live and a picture of a Klon Centaur
(Image credit: Timothy Hiatt/Getty Images / Raul Nieto/Instagram)

John Mayer undeniably has one of the smoothest electric guitar sounds in modern music – one that’s headed up by his PRS Silver Sky signature guitar, and lauded for its lush lead tones and sultry rhythms.

Though Mayer’s overall rig is no secret – there’s an entire Instagram page dedicated to his gear, after all – one lucky Mayer fan ended up receiving one very specific tone secret from the man himself.

In footage captured by an attendee at Mayer’s concert at Toronto’s Scotiabank Arena on May 3, Mayer took the time towards the end of the show to sign some fan items, which included a pickguard and a Klon Centaur overdrive pedal.

After being handed a Klon Centaur by an individual named Raul Nieto, Mayer returned to his own pedalboard to consult his individual settings, before dialing in the knobs to the correct position and signing the chassis. 

He also kindly marked where the settings were – “I’ve put the settings on there!” Mayer shouts to Nieto – just so the pedal’s owner wouldn’t forget.

We’re not quite sure we’d have trusted ourselves holding a Klon Centaur for the entirety of a John Mayer concert while situated near the front row, so kudos to Nieto for braving it and getting his just rewards.

Later, Nieto posted a shot of his Klon, which showcased the settings behind Mayer’s secret sonic sauce. While gain and output were both set to the 11 o’clock mark, treble was dialed up slightly higher to around 1 o’clock.

For those of you lucky enough to own a Klon Centaur – or even a worthy Klon clone – you might want to take note.

Nieto also posted a snap of his new pride and joy alongside the rest of his Mayer-inspired rig, which comprises the Sob Rock star’s favorite Electro-Harmonix Q-Tron, a JHS Pedals Bonsai – used for Mayer’s Tube Screamer tone – and a modded, humbucker-equipped PRS SE Silver Sky.

As we said before, Mayer’s rig is the subject of intense speculation and scrutiny from the gear community. Last year, YouTube channel Justin’s Gear Corner dissected, inspected and presented the effects pedals Mayer had chosen for his Dead & Company tour.

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Matt Owen

Matt is a Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.