What guitar does Mac Demarco use to create his iconic and instantly recognisable tone? Here’s a breakdown of Mac’s current guitar collection…
With a slew of incredible albums under his belt, the King of Bedroom Producers is not only an extremely accomplished guitarist but he is also known for playing extremely inexpensive guitars from brands like Squier and Teisco.
Part of Mac Demarco’s appeal, save for his immensely likeable personality, is his approach to not only recording but also song writing – the guy is utterly prolific and shows no signs of slowing down.
Case in point: the latest Mac Demarco album, One Wayne G, is a collection of 199 songs that spans over EIGHT HOURS. Yeah… Mac literally does not give a f**k about convention. And his ever-growing collection of guitars, his constant experimentation with genre and production techniques, as well as his love of old, thrift-store-acquired gear, is testament to this fact…
Mac Demarco Guitar Collection
As you can see below, Mac has acquired plenty of guitars over the years. This list is as comprehensive as we could make it, covering all the different types of guitars Mac Demarco has used throughout his career.
Is it 100% definitive? Impossible to say; Mac is a gear-head in the truest sense of the word, he loves guitars of all shapes and sizes, and vintage, analog recording gear and synths, so he’s probably adding new stuff in all the time.
But for now, these are the guitars that Mac most commonly uses either to record or in a live situation. And they’re about as varied as his albums too, covering everything from classic Strats right down to obscure, boutique brands like Teisco and Art & Lutherie.
Mac Demarco Guitars
- Mac DeMarco Mosrite Hybrid Guitar: This unique guitar blends the distinctive design and tone of a Mosrite with the playability of more traditional models. It offers a bright, cutting tone that’s ideal for rock and surf styles.
- Fender Mustang Electric Guitar: Known for its shorter scale and unique tremolo system, the Mustang offers a bright and punchy tone, suitable for grunge, punk, and indie rock genres.
- Fender Telecaster: Renowned for its bright, cutting tone, and twangy character, the Telecaster is ideal for country, rock, and blues. It’s well-loved for its simplistic design and versatility.
- Fender Stratocaster Electric Guitar: With three single-coil pickups, the Stratocaster offers a wide range of tones, from bright and sharp to warm and smooth, making it suitable for nearly any genre.
- Danelectro 59 DC Electric Guitar: Known for its distinctive “lipstick” pickups, it offers a bright, jangly tone that’s great for indie rock and country styles.
- Squier Stratocaster: A more affordable version of the Fender Stratocaster, the Squier retains most of the tonal qualities of its big brother, offering versatility across multiple genres.
- Fender Jaguar: Characterized by a short scale and unique circuitry, the Jaguar offers a variety of tones from warm and mellow to bright and cutting, making it a favorite among surf and indie rock players.
- 1973 Fender Mocha Brown Stratocaster: A vintage model with unique tonal characteristics, offering the classic Stratocaster versatility with a slightly more vintage, warm tone due to its age.
- Gibson SG Original: Known for its dual humbucker pickups and slim neck, the SG offers a thick, heavy tone that’s perfect for rock and blues genres.
- Teisco E-110: A vintage Japanese guitar known for its quirky design and bright, clear tone. It’s often used for retro-inspired rock and indie music.
- Fender American Professional Stratocaster HSS Shawbucker: This Stratocaster variant features a humbucker in the bridge position for a thicker, heavier tone, while retaining the classic Stratocaster versatility.
- Squier Standard HSS Stratocaster: This affordable Stratocaster variant also features a humbucker in the bridge position, giving it a thicker tone ideal for rock genres.
- Heit Electric Guitar: A vintage guitar known for its unique design and bright, clear tone. Often used for retro-inspired rock and indie music.
- Silvertone 1448: Known for its bright, cutting tone and unique amp-in-case design, this vintage model is popular among blues and rock players.
- Mosrite USA 65-SB: Known for its bright, surfy tone, slim neck, and unique tremolo system, this guitar is often used for surf rock and other retro styles.
- Univox Hi-Flier: Famous for its use in punk rock, this guitar offers a bright, biting tone and a lightweight design.
- Kay Acoustic Guitar: Known for their warm, rich tone and affordable price, Kay acoustic guitars are often used for folk and blues.
- Art & Lutherie Wild Cherry CW Acoustic Electric Guitar Flat Top: Offers a rich, balanced tone, with the added versatility of an electric-acoustic design.
- Sigma Guitars DR-41: Sigma guitars are known for their affordability and quality. The DR-41, in particular, offers a rich, warm tone with a solid spruce top and rosewood back and sides. It’s ideal for fingerpicking and strumming.
- National 1155E: This is a vintage acoustic-electric resonator guitar known for its distinctive, metallic tone often used in blues and country music.
- Taylor 110CE: A part of Taylor’s 100 series, this cutaway dreadnought offers a bright, balanced tone with the versatility of an electric-acoustic design. It’s suitable for a wide range of genres.
- Fender American Professional Stratocaster: This is an evolution of the classic Stratocaster design. Known for its versatility, the American Professional Stratocaster features V-Mod single-coil pickups for a high-output, nuanced tone suitable for a variety of genres.
What Guitar is Mac DeMarco Holding in 2?
The guitar Mac is posing with for the album cover for his second album, 2, is a vintage Japanese Teisco guitar. This guitar, more than any other, was integral in helping Mac solidify his “sound” which he refers to as “jizz jazz”.
Here’s a brief overview of Teisco, the Japanese guitar company.
Teisco was a Japanese company that manufactured affordable guitars from the late 1940s until 1969. These guitars were exported worldwide but were particularly popular in the United States and Canada. And you can still pick them up today second-hand.
- Design and Build: Teisco guitars are known for their distinctive, often unconventional designs. They feature a variety of shapes and colors that were bold and innovative for their time. Many models have multiple pickups – often as many as four – and separate switches for each, providing a wide range of tonal options. The body of the most popular models is typically solid wood, often with a sunburst finish, and the fingerboard is usually rosewood.
- Pickups and Hardware: One of the defining characteristics of many Teisco guitars is their “gold foil” pickups, so named because of the gold-colored material visible through little windows in the pickup covers. These pickups have a unique, warm, and clear tone that’s been described as “microphonic,” picking up the vibrations of the strings but also the resonant qualities of the guitar’s body. The hardware, like the vibrato systems and bridges, while not as high-quality as some contemporaneous American-made guitars, have a quirky charm and contribute to the unique Teisco sound.
- Playability and Sound: Teisco guitars are generally considered to have a decent playability, with a comfortable neck and a good action. The sound is where these guitars truly shine, though. Those gold foil pickups provide a distinctive, vintage tone that’s been described as jangly and clear, perfect for surf, rockabilly, and indie rock styles.
- Legacy: While Teisco guitars were originally seen as beginner or budget instruments, they’ve since become collector’s items, prized for their unique aesthetics and tone. Artists like Mac DeMarco and Ry Cooder have used Teisco guitars, contributing to a resurgence of interest in these unique instruments.
What Guitar Does Mac DeMarco Use in Salad Days?
As noted above, Mac DeMarco is well known for using a vintage Japanese Teisco guitar for many of his recordings and performances, and that includes during the period when he recorded the album “Salad Days.”
The Teisco has a unique, somewhat jangly tone that contributes to DeMarco’s signature laid-back sound. It’s notable for its hollow metal pickguard, individual pickup switches, and vibrato system.
However, it’s also worth noting that DeMarco, like many artists, uses a variety of guitar models from a range of brands in the studio to achieve the sound he’s looking for on a given track. In addition to his Teisco, he’s been known to use Fender guitars and a variety of other brands as well.
What Guitar Does Mac Demarco Use Most?
Mac DeMarco is known for his unique and diverse guitar choices, but the instrument he’s most associated with is a modified vintage Japanese Teisco guitar.
This Teisco electric guitar is somewhat rare and not a mainstream choice, but it perfectly complements DeMarco’s distinctive “jizz jazz” style. The guitar is notable for its hollow metal pickguard, individual pickup switches, and a vibrato system. It has a unique sound that is slightly different from most traditional electric guitars, contributing to DeMarco’s distinct sound.
In addition to the Teisco, he has also a massive fan of the Fender Stratocaster and now has his own Fender custom model. Mac has also played a 1992 Squier Telecaster as well, one he picked up from Japan apparently. And if you’re on a budget, going the Squier route for your Strat is well worth it – you’ll pay WAY less (around $300/ and still get that classic Tele sound.
RichardRichard has been playing guitar for over a decade and is a huge fan of metal, doom, sludge, and rock music in general – though mostly metal. Having played in bands and worked in studios since the early 2000s, Richard is a massive music production geek, a fan of minimalist recording techniques, and he really likes old-school guitars.
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