Bottom Feeder: Jay Turser Stiletté Futuré
The body and knee rest of this 2001 Jay Turser Stiletté Futuré are screwed to a flat aluminum back.

A radical-looking guitar with a not-so-radical sound.

Sometimes you see a picture of a guitar and are intrigued by its looks. Such was the case when I saw this on eBay a few months ago. It’s a 2001 Jay Turser Stiletté Futuré model. These were only made for about three years.

You can tell someone wanted to design a futuristic guitar here—but then got distracted by reality.

In person, the Stiletté Futuré has an unusual 3D look that pictures don’t do justice to. You can tell someone wanted to design a futuristic guitar here—but then got distracted by reality. It features two Strat-type single-coil pickups, a humbucker in the bridge position, an upside-down headstock/tuner configuration, a rosewood fretboard, and scallop fretboard markers. But the most unusual aspect is the silver-colored flat aluminum back. A black plastic housing and knee rest sits atop the aluminum, creating visual contrast.

You might think that the Stiletté Futuré, with its aluminum and plastic parts, is a light guitar—but you’d be wrong.

You might think that, with its sparse aluminum and plastic body, this guitar would be pretty lightweight. You’d think wrong—it weighs in at just under eight pounds. It’s not the heaviest guitar I’ve ever held, but it’s not nice and light like, say, an aluminum-bodied James Trussart guitar.

I was the only bidder on the auction and won the guitar for the starting price of $150 (plus $18 shipping). “It’s just an okay deal,” I reasoned after checking around. “There’s not much demand for these.” It arrived needing new strings and a serious setup. The action was very high, the neck was out of whack, the wiring was funky, and the pickups needed shimming to get them closer to the strings. Luckily, I could do all that work myself.

Despite its striking 3D looks, the Stiletté Futuré doesn’t have a strong sonic personality.

Bottom Feeder Tip # 689: Learn as much as you can about guitar setups by watching a good tech in action. I’ve had several over the years who would let me watch as they performed their tricks of the trade. You can acquire a lot of knowledge this way, but the key is not to be distracting. Ask pertinent questions, but don’t yammer on. Let the tech concentrate on the job, and always be ready to help by handing a tool or volunteering to clean up.

So how does the Stiletté Futuré sound? Not quite as cool as it looks. Its tone is kind of pedestrian, without much personality. I’ll probably keep it for a while just because it looks cool. Some guitars are like that.

PQ You can tell someone wanted to design a futuristic guitar here—but then got distracted by reality.

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