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I received my Steelmaster last Thursday, I knew more or less what to expect for the finish, thanks to the photos, while Loic had said he still working on it... and although it was still far from what I found in the package! I gave several indications and photos of what I wanted and it’s exactly what I got! A guitar with an industrial steampunk look that would have survived to 3 atomic bombs... or the Woodstock 99 Nine Inch Nails concert (which is equivalent).

Regarding construction, one word says it all: "impressive"! Those who have already closely looked at a Jazzmaster or a Jaguar can understand: it’s full of contours, rounds and hollows all across these little beasts, not a single right angle, much more difficult than a strat or a tele... Well the result is perfect! I have 2 other Jazzmaster, so I know what I’m talkin’ about... Although there must be differences because I find this one a bit more comfortable indeed. When you know that it is his 1st Jazzmaster ever...

Well it’s really nice but how does it sounds? I should explain a few things to begin with: I wanted this guitar to keep the soul of a Jazzmaster while being different and going further. I wanted something fairly sharp, which cut thru the mix (with a healthy dose of treble so) but that does not sound "thin", without body... The purpose of all this is among others to use odd tunings and make complex arrangements with lots of fuzz without all this becomes porridge sound. The guitar sounds I had in mind mainly come from the noise scene, no wave and experimental (Marc Ribot, Sonic Youth, The Jesus Lizard, Unwound, etc.) as well as more mainstream things like PJ Harvey’s "To Bring You My Love" guitar sounds, or what you can hear on a lot of album of Tom Waits, and even some sounds from Tucson Arizona (Calexico)

And I wanted more than that. It’s been a while that I experiment with piezo sensors, tryin’ to amplify all the other sounds that can be done on a Jazzmaster (playing behind the bridge, hit the body or the hardware etc.) but without much success. Finally, even if it works on a sild wood guitar body, it is limited... This guitar gave me the opportunity to push this idea a little further... and when I mentioned it to Loïc, he was more than excited because he had already thought about doing something like that! He did it and did it well!

The result of all this? Exactly what I just described: a guitar with a fucking personality, providing new sounds (from the bizarre to the extreme through sounds recalling the sitar, dobro, sounds you would swear have put a flanger on and others that go beyond the earthly vocabulary) while being able to sound like a Jazzmaster (almost) normal, or even a Jaguar (as it seems it has stolen some genes from its little sister ..).


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