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Bass of the Week: James Trussart SteelCaster Bass

One of the most interesting booths we visited at the NAMM Show this year was James Trussart Custom Guitars. The L.A.-based luthier takes a different approach to building instruments and uses steel for his bodies, often giving them a rusted finish.

James Trussart Guitars Rust O Matic Roses SteelCaster Bass Full

“I’ve always liked the look and feel of old guitars, believing them to have a life beyond that of their creator,” says Trussart, “and I wanted to somehow emulate that effect of age and history on my own guitars. I wanted to make a guitar that came with a history and a slight element of neglect, of decay, so it had a personality of its own.”

This week we take a look at his Rust O Matic Roses SteelCaster bass. The bass features a hollow steel body with a perforated front and back to cut down on weight and eliminate feedback. Its pickguard and headcap are engraved with roses, and the whole body has been given a Rust O Matic finish. Trussart accomplishes this by leaving the bass’s body exposed to the elements to begin corroding, then stopping the process and finishing it with a clear satin coat.

While most of the bass is steel, the neck is maple and topped with a rosewood fingerboard. The pickups are a handwound P/J set by Arcane, Inc. It has an active 2-band preamp with treble and bass controls. The volume knob doubles as a pull switch to put the bass into passive mode. Trussart’s website describes the bass’s tone as “uniquely classic, fat and resonant.”

James Trussart Guitars Rust O Matic Roses SteelCaster Bass Photos:

James Trussart Guitars Rust O Matic Roses SteelCaster Bass Details:

Body:Hollow Steel Body with perforated front and back
Neck Shape:60’s Style
Nut Width:1-1/2″
Fingerboard Radius:10″
Pickups:Arcane Inc. Hand Wound P/J
Electronics:Custom Active Preamp
Weight:9.5 lbs

For more on this company and the SteelCaster bass, check out the James Trussart Custom Guitars website.