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Monday, December 3, 2012

James Trussart Steel Deville Gator Engraved Rusty Holey, ... (Review)

Reviewed By: Jac Harrison
Purchased from: Manufacturer
Street Price: $4,914.00 USD with case + shipping 

James Trussart Custom Guitars is a manufacturer of handcrafted, custom boutique electric guitars by master luthier James Trussart, in Los Angeles, CA. 

This Steel Deville Gator Engraved Rusty Holey model at 24-3/4" scale length has a'59 standard 12" radius rosewood neck dressed with a bound rosewood fingerboard separated by traditional dot inlays with a bone nut in a rusted hollow steel body.

Nickel Tune-O-Matic bridge with Bigsby tremolo, nickel machine heads, (2)volume (2) push/pull tone knobs

Matching set of (3) Arcane Inc / Trussart Humbucker (2) 500k CTS pots (2) 500k CTS push/pull pots.


Amp used:
Tone King Imperial

Selector position 1: Just Neck 
Warm and full, very 1969 vintage PAF  -- almost chambered fat LP with some extra middle and top end sparkle. 

Selector position 2: Middle
A thinned out, harmonically boosted neck with increased sustain and volume.

Selector position 3:  Just Bridge 
A full throttle vintage PAF lead in a chambered LP body.

Neck Coil-Tapped: 
Full, fat, vintage chambered Strat with a slight decrease in volume.  

Bridge Coil-Tapped:  
Thin but has more warmth than twang -- SRV Strat like with all knobs on 7. 

With the 3 pickup combination and the coil tap on the neck and bridge -- you can dial in almost any sound you are looking to achieve.

Action, Fit & Finish: 
The finish is beautiful and crazy --her body looks like an old rusted cheese grater. The action was low without any fret buzz and the intonation was dead on. 

Reliability & Durability: 
The guitar seems to be well made. It is solid through and through. There was no hum or crackles from the electronics; all knobs and hardware installed snug and proper.  

This is one of the most insane guitars I have ever seen. She has that junk yard, dirty old beat up look that you might want. I am personally not one to buy a reliced guitar as I would want to relic it myself by playing her -- but I would in this case. 

The design of her body is just amazing. This is a true hollow body -- but made from steel and has an almost cheese grater look with the many small holes in her allowing you to see right through her body. One of the most amazing parts of her look was you didn't see anything out of place. No wires, screws, or shims, nothing was showing --  and as someone who has built a few guitars I can tell you that just shows the level of craftsmanship that went into this build. But a guitar that normally looks this good plays like crap. Not in this case.  

With her Frampton style (3) humbucker setup with a coil tap on the neck and bridge, I was able to dial in everything from a smooth jazz, rock, hard rock, blues, country... and well, you get the point. The coolest part was that her steel body did reflect her tone -- but not like I expected at all. I really thought that this would sound like a dobro (steel guitar) and I had my amber glass slide ready to go -- but she played and sounded like a vintage 3 PAF LP style guitar with a slightly metallic boost that gave her a rounded out sound and added a new layer to her tonality. 

This guitar was like nothing else I have ever played and now that I have I want her sound. It's like James Trussart took an LP and added the much needed salt giving this girl some flavor.   

What I would change: 
I would use a Tusq nut vs the bone but that is just preference and she is 100% out of the box perfect.   

My advice:
You need to play this to understand what you have missed out on -- but I do warn you, you will want one once you have.

Buy the guitar in this review

James Trussart Custom Guitars
1307 Allesandro Street
Los Angeles, CA 90026

Posted 12/2012