John Mayer’s Secret Amp Setup Revealed at Dead & Company’s The Sphere Residency

by Madonna

“File under ‘whatever it takes.’ If you happen to be walking through, you’ve got no choice but to hear it!” John Mayer is still using his tube amps at The Sphere – but you’ll never guess where he’s hiding them.

John Mayer has revealed the unconventional setup he’s using for Dead & Company’s residency at The Sphere, debunking rumors that he’s abandoned amps altogether.


The revelation sheds light on Mayer’s unusual amp placement, which would be nearly impossible to guess without access to The Sphere’s loading dock.


Mayer’s guitar gear is widely known for two main features: his PRS Silver Sky signature guitar and a collection of prized vintage tube amps.


Although he’s experimented with a Fractal in the past, his live setup has predominantly included various Fender and Dumble guitar amps along with a fully stocked pedalboard.

However, during Dead & Company’s tour last year, his onstage amp was mysteriously hidden behind a velvet curtain – and for the current The Sphere residency, the amps have been removed from the stage entirely.

This led Mayer’s gear fans to speculate that he had ditched amps and followed The Edge’s lead, who switched from traditional valve amps to Universal Audio amp simulators for U2’s The Sphere shows.

In an Instagram post, Mayer confirmed he was still using amps, but they were mic’d up behind the stage. While off-stage amps aren’t new, Mayer took it a step further.

The amps are secured in wooden shipping crates, hidden among road cases and cardboard PRS boxes deep in the venue’s loading area.

“File under ‘whatever it takes,’” Mayer reveals. “This shipping crate stashed behind some road cases in the loading dock of The Sphere houses a couple of my guitar amps that are mic’d up and being heard with the rest of Dead & Company.

“If you happen to be walking through, you’ve got no choice but to hear it!”

It’s unclear exactly what “whatever it takes” means – those amps are really tucked away back there – but some commenters have suggested it could relate to the venue itself.

The Sphere reportedly doesn’t allow for particularly loud stage volume, and since Mayer needs to drive his amps to achieve his desired tones, hiding them away seems to be the only solution.

Regardless, Mayer’s post demonstrates the amps in action in their new home, as he improvises through “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door.”

Visit Dead & Company’s website for a list of upcoming The Sphere residency dates.

This isn’t the only gear quirk Mayer has displayed during the group’s current shows. Recently, he was seen playing a Fender Stratocaster that Joe Bonamassa confirmed once belonged to Jeff Beck.


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