Quick Hit: JGS T3 Africaster Review

An exotic-wood T-style with a bevy of nice tones courtesy of Kent Armstrong pickups.

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


Flexible, quality tonal palette. Unique aesthetics.

Disappointing fretwork and setup. Pricy.







My years-long search for the “right” Bigsby-outfitted box finally paid off. Now how do I make this sumbitch work in my band?

Considering the amount of time I’ve spent (here and elsewhere) talking about and lusting after Gretsch hollowbody guitars, it’s taken me a remarkably long time to end up with a big Bigsby-outfitted box I truly love. High-end Gretsches are pricey enough that, for a long time, I just couldn’t swing it. Years ago I had an Electromatic for a while, and it looked and played lovely, but didn’t have the open, blooming acoustic resonance I hoped for. A while later, I reviewed the stellar Players Edition Broadkaster semi-hollow, and it was so great in so many ways that I set my sights on it, eventually got one, and adore it to this day. Yet the full-hollowbody lust remained.

Read MoreShow less

See a sampling of picks used by famous guitarists over the years.

Marty Stuart

Submit your own artist pick collections to rebecca@premierguitar.com for inclusion in a future gallery.

How does a legacy artist stay on top of his game? The pianist, hit singer-songwriter, producer, and composer talks about the importance of musical growth and positive affirmation; his love for angular melodicism; playing jazz, pop, classical, bluegrass, jam, and soundtrack music; and collaborating with his favorite guitarists, including Pat Metheny and Jerry Garcia.

Read MoreShow less