Built by luthier John Soderlund in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, the T3 Africaster features an ash body with a top made of a hardwood called red bushwillow. The fretboard and body binding are Gabon ebony, the bridge is a TonePros Tune-o-matic-style, and electronics consist of a set of Kent Armstrong Texas Vintage Strat pickups and a typical Strat control complement.

Although I was surprised at the T3’s not-quite-tight pots and rough fret ends and nut corners, I was pleased to find that—as you’d expect—the Africaster avails a wide variety of quality tones great for everything from country (including a very Tele-like spunkiness in the bridge position) to funk, R&B, and a smorgasbord of rock sounds—including wonderfully corpulent tones from the neck pickup when paired with a nice fuzz pedal.

Test gear: Jaguar HC50 and Goodsell Valpreaux 21 amps, various pedals

Ratings

Pros:
Flexible, quality tonal palette. Unique aesthetics.

Cons:
Disappointing fretwork and setup. Pricy.

Street:
$2,549

Company
jgsguitars.com

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