Since it arrived back in 2018, John Mayer’s PRS Silver Sky signature guitar has been the recipient of very few functional tweaks.
Indeed, a suite of fresh colorways have been introduced over the years – and a maple fretboard version was thrown into the mix – but apart from that, the Silver Sky has remained largely faithful to its flagship spec sheet.
Until now, that is – John Mayer has been spotted playing a unique, newly spec’d model that turns some of the Silver Sky’s most fundamental appointments completely on their head.
Taking to the stage with the “Advanced Research Division” creation during Dead & Company’s recent farewell tour show, Mayer showcased what could be the Silver Sky 2.0, which features a hardtail design, revamped output jack section, fresh see-through finish, brass nut, and retainer bar on the headstock.
The prototype Silver Sky can be seen in action around the 19:30 mark in the video below.
The see-through finish alone would be enough to get guitar fans talking, not least because of Mayer’s well-documented affinity for modern block colorways and desire to steer the Silver Sky away from vintage themes.
But the translucent Moc Sand colorway is just part of a much bigger picture, with the guitar’s most eyebrow-raising appointment arriving in the form of a switch-loaded output jack.
As speculated by Instagram account John Mayer Gear, the switch itself looks to be a factory Alembic Blaster – or Strat-o-blaster – FET-based boost, a mod that can also be found built into the pickguard of Jerry Garcia’s Alligator Stratocaster.
In practice, the Alembic Blaster engages a higher output ceiling, letting users experiment with the volume knob without affecting the overall tone.
That Mayer may have drawn inspiration from Garcia’s guitars makes sense, especially after the Sob Rock star was captured playing a prototype replica of the late guitarist's Wolf model during a Dead & Company gig late last year.
The electronics department isn’t the only thing that Mayer has tweaked, though. A further nod to the Alligator can be found on the headstock, which has been fitted with a brass nut – replacing the original’s bone alternative – as well as a new-for-Silver Sky retainer bar.
Some more fundamental changes can be found, too. A convenient picture of the rear of the guitar shows a Silver Sky body that has no spring cavity for a tremolo system, meaning despite the presence of a standard PRS tremolo bridge, this Silver Sky is in fact a hardtail model.
Owing to the fact this particular Silver Sky derives from PRS’s Advanced Research Division, we don’t imagine it will be receiving a standard release, with the guitar likely set to remain as Mayer’s own one-off creation.
With that in mind, the body sticker on the guitar does confirm this particular example is still just a prototype, so we’d wager a few more Silver Sky iterations will be seeing some onstage action in the coming weeks.
Although Mayer is seemingly late to the game, the Silver Sky has turned out to be a pretty popular modding platform. Neal Schon, for example, turned his Nebula example into a Floyd Rose-equipped HSS shredding machine, while guitarist Jannik Köhler created the John DeLonge – a single-pickup version that paid homage to Tom DeLonge’s signature Strat.