2006 James Trussart Steeldeville, Holey Front, Rusty #06 084

The Blue Book Says:

Instruments currently built in Los Angeles, CA. Previously built in Paris, France.
French luthier James Trussart was a custom electric guitar builder who began building in 1980, and rose to some notice during the 1980s in Paris (the “James Trussart Guitar Station” was the name of Trussart’s shop). Trussart has created instruments for both Eric Clapton and bassist Nathan East.
Trussart’s creations feature steel bodies, engraved metal tops and headstocks, for finishes: “Rust O Matic,” Patinas, and distressed paint. General designs are based on popular American designs such as the Telecaster, Stratocaster, and Les Paul. Trussart then adds his own twists and features to the model. Some models include the Steelcaster, Steel Deville, and Steel Top. Prices start between $4,000 and $5,000 plus options. For more information visit Trussart’s website or contact him directly.


James Trussart says:

The SteelDeville is a classic single cutaway design with a Hollow steel body and a wood neck that is both beautiful to look at and to play. The 24.5″ scale length and vintage components make this instrument feel like home the minute you lay your hands on it.

The SteelDeville features our exclusive hollow steel body and custom metal appointments, like the recessed steel head cap that is beautiful to look at and functional, by adding mass to the headstock it increases sustain. The steel body while also being the perfect medium to display the beautiful Trussart custom finishes and engravings also has tonal advantages. The Trussart SteelDeville tone is a uniquely classic, thick and resonant tone combined with an edge that cuts through. The construction of these instruments is only half of the story, the other half is the finish, every instrument comes with a history and a slight element of neglect, of decay, so it has a personality of it’s own.

The SteelDeville has found it’s way into the hands of many guitarists including Rich Robinson, Billy Corgan, Zakk Wylde, Richard Fortus, to name just a few.


  • Hollow Steel Body
  • Bolt-On Mahogany Neck with Recessed Steel Head Cap
  • Neck Shape- ’59 Standard, ’60 available upon request
  • Rosewood Fingerboard, Ebony is available as an option.
  • 24-3/4″ Scale
  • 1-5/8″ Wide Nut
  • 10″ Radius
  • Frets #6130 (Medium Jumbo)
  • Vintage Cream Ivoroid Fretboard Binding
  • Tune-O-Matic (TonePros®), Bigsby® Tremolos B7 is also available as an option.
  • Controls- 2 Volume, 2 Tone and a 3-Way Toggle switch. Custom Switching Options Are Also Available.
  • Arcane Inc. Humbuckers are Standard, Arcane Inc. P90, P90-H, Ultratron or TV Jones® Filtertron Classic, Powertron, or Magnatron are available as options.
  • Weight 8 to 9 Pounds Depending On Perforation, bridge and Pickups
  • Setup with Dunlop 10 to 46 gauge strings (other gauges available upon request)
  • Made In America
  • Lefty’s also available
  • Patent Pending
  • Includes a James Trussart signed Certificate of Authenticity
  • High quality G&G® Hard Case is included in the price of the instrument
  • Base Price: $5670

I say:

Finally! – I’ve managed to get my hand on a couple of Steelcasters, but I’ve always wanted a James Trussart Steeldeville!

The guitar is “unmarked” – the inverted commas are only because how can something that looks this industrial appear ‘unmarked’ – no marks, dents, scratches other than those that I believe to be part of the design and manufacture.

The neck is beautiful – it feels like a ’60’s Gibson style to me.  Unusually it’s made out of Koa – and I like it.  Small volute evident at the headstock.

Fretboard is a beautiful rosewood, wide flat unmarked frets are smooth as you like, and it plays like a dream.

The pickups are beautiful – thick “woody” tones from the neck and spiky agressive tones from the bridge.  The combined setting has that lovely “hollowed out” sound that we love.  You could understand people for expecting a rather brash sound from a steel body, I can’t stress how strongly this just oozes classic rock tone.

All electronics are original and crackle free.  One missing grub screw on the bass side of the bridge.  The G&G fitted case is in near perfect condition – just one ding on the lower bass bout edge – nothing major, but everything has to be mentioned at this price point.  Neck pocket has COA and unfilled warranty.