For many guitar players, a Trussart is probably not the guitar you’ll buy if you could only own one guitar – Not sure why that is the case, but it just is – Yet to enrich any collection, a Trussart Guitar can perhaps add more individuality and mojo, than many other guitars, as they are certainly distinctive – So check out this used James Trussart Holey Steelcaster, from 2016, with a ‘rust-o-matic’ distressed finished and the ‘Holey’ back – Complete with a deluxe C&G croco textured covered case – Note the lush teddy bear interior of the case – Also complete with the appropriate Trussart warranty card, plus certificate, that details some of the product spec/info – Due to the nature of the aged finish, it is hard to detect if it has acquired any slight additional grazes, or signs of use, since it was first purchased – It doesn’t appear to have, so effectively it is still in that ‘as new’ condition – Clean set of medium/jumbo frets – Re-strung and set-up with a set of 10’s and a sensible fluid playing action
There is no denying that James Trussart Guitars have created some individual character, with regards to their visual attributes – And certainly that rust-o-matic distressed finish, gives the guitar a unique style – However, looks alone is not a reason to buy any guitar, yet with that in mind, Trussart does not have to worry about the playing performance and tonal character of his guitars – I believe one of the greatest assets that Trussart possesses is the growing number of well known artists who have purchased his guitars – Note the word purchased, as Trussart does not give away his guitars, to our guitar hero’s, in exchange for some free publicity – A list of artists that have owned/played various Trussart Guitars includes, Billy Gibbons, Robert Cray, Tom Morello, Joe Perry, Metallica, Pearl Jam, Smashing Pumpkins, Keith Richards, Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, Raconteurs and many more
Visual Appearance :- Some will describe the character of this Steelcaster as different, idiosyncratic, cool, weird or simply unusual – Each guitar is individually aged, in this case, with a ‘rust-o-matic’ finish, with all the hardware aged accordingly – The Steelcaster features a hollow metal body with a Holey (perforated) back – This format helps to bring the guitar in at 8lbs, so certainly credible and maybe somewhat surprisingly lighter than many would expect – Trussart offers a Steelcaster, as featured here, as well as a Steelcaster Deluxe – The only difference between the 2 guitars is an f-hole on the Deluxe model – Maybe on a Fender Tele there is a difference between a ‘Thinline’ model with the F hole and a regular Tele, in that the former is more of a semi hollow model, whilst the latter features a solid body – But on a Trussart model it is just a simple case of aesthetics, with or without an F hole
Neck/Feel/Playability :- Spec’d with a 62 neck profile, that measures .819″ at the top nut end, then gently tapers to .879″ at the 12th fret – This rounded C profile is straight from Fender’s early 60’s golden era, so home territory for many guitar players – Not to fat, so it sits in that middle ground that possesses just enough meat to be comfortable, yet without hindering your playing experience – Now enrich the playing performance with a 9″ radius on a maple fingerboard, along with a set of 6105 medium jumbo frets, all of which allows for a well balanced fluid action and effortless string bending, without the choking that can be associated with a more traditional 7.25″ radius, as per many pure vintage spec’d guitars – To give you that instant ‘played in’ feel, the maple neck is spec’d with a thin satin finish, so all in all a very comfortable guitar to play – Note the maple neck is stained with a ‘tobacco red’ character – Set-up with a set of 10’s and a nice fluid playing action – Finally, note that the Steelcaster still features the traditional 25.5″ scale length, along with a 1 5/8″ nut width – The aged hardware includes a set of Tone Pro tuners with the ‘Kluson’ style slotted string post, whilst the bridge possesses a set of brass saddles – Note the strings sit in a slight ‘groove’ on each pair of the brass saddles, for improved string alignment – Knurled control knobs, plus a barrel style switch tip on the 3 way switch
Tonal qualities – A factory spec’d hand wound Arcane humbucking pick-up is chosen for the neck position to bring out the best from the Steelcaster – A warm sounding paf based humbucker, so very much a vintage flavoured model, that measures 7.45K – Normally the factory spec of such a model would feature a hand wound Arcane single coil T based pick-up – A previous owner changed this, so it is now spec’d with a hand wound Mojo single coil pick-up – Still very much from the black guard early 50’s Broadcaster era, with flat pole pieces, that kicks out just over 10K – The Broadcaster style pick-up competes with the humbucker, with no shortage of balls, growl, bite and attack and a well balanced selection of tones across both pick-ups, via the 3 way switch – Note, the tone pot has a push/pull feature, to offer a split coil option on the neck humbucker, so more of a ‘funky’ single coil voice, as/when required – Despite what you initial expectations maybe, the tone is not hard, brittle, nasty, clangy or sharp – On clean amp settings, the neck pick-up is warm enough, to even satisfy players who may possess chilled out jazz tendencies, with a delightful hollow woody vibe about it – Again on clean amp settings the bridge pick-up has a full bodied twang about it, musically warm and certainly not brash and with no shortage of body/depth/girth – On crunch or hi-gain amp settings the same applies with lush smooth tones from the neck pick-up, whilst classic crunchy Tele tones pour out from the bridge pick-up, that work well for both chord work or single note licks – From sweet and soft to hot and screamin’, this Trussart is loaded with character, very dynamic and responsive to your playing needs
Incidentally, there is no feedback issue with this instrument, even when cranked up with a hi-gain amp setting – Maybe it is hard to nail the Trussart’s exact tonal character, but it is certainly more vintage flavoured than that of a modern guitar – No way is it short of soul, passion and emotion – I don’t see it spending a lot of time, being played, on a clean amp setting, yet whilst it will handle a hi-gain overdriven amp setting, it somehow works best on a classic rock/blues overdriven amp setting, where you can still hear the guitar breathe, allowing its true character to shine through – Boogie style riffs, licks and tricks and this guitar is in tonal heaven
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Guitars4You is not another corporate high street guitar store - My selection of premium grade guitars is about quality not quantity. Every guitar has been selected, inspected and approved by me, with particular attention to the set-up and playing performance. Every sale, phone call, email and mail order transaction is handled by me. A journey that is now over 40 years old, has fuelled my knowledge, experience, love, devotion and passion for exceptionally fine guitars.