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.

Get Bass of the Week in your inbox.

Don’t miss a Bass of the Week. Sign up for email alerts (every Monday).

Share your thoughts

  1. Wow. Really really nice.

  2. Base Price: $5884

  3. Louis

    What happens if it continues to rust? my 1976 Ford Econoline van was cheaper and it rusted pretty good.

  4. PhiDeck

    It is obvious how perforations reduce weight. Not so how they reduce feedback. Raises the resonant frequency?