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.

Equipped with noise reduction and noise gate modes, the Integrated Gate has a signal monitoring function that constantly monitors the input signal.

Read MoreShow less

Luthier Maegen Wells recalls the moment she fell in love with the archtop and how it changed her world.

The archtop guitar is one of the greatest loves of my life, and over time it’s become clear that our tale is perhaps an unlikely one. I showed up late to the archtop party, and it took a while to realize our pairing was atypical. I had no idea that I had fallen head-over-heels in love with everything about what’s commonly perceived as a “jazz guitar.” No clue whatsoever. And, to be honest, I kind of miss those days. But one can only hear the question, “Why do you want to build jazz guitars if you don’t play jazz?” so many times before starting to wonder what the hell everyone’s talking about.

Read MoreShow less

A modern take on Fullerton shapes and a blend of Fender and Gibson attributes strikes a sweet middle ground.

A stylish alternative to classic Fender profiles that delivers sonic versatility. Great playability.

Split-coil sounds are a little on the thin side. Be sure to place it on the stand carefully!


Fender Player Plus Meteora HH


After many decades of sticking with flagship body shapes, Fender spent the last several years getting more playful via their Parallel Universe collection. The Meteora, however, is one of the more significant departures from those vintage profiles. The offset, more-angular profile was created by Fender designer Josh Hurst and first saw light of day as part of the Parallel Universe Collection in 2018. Since then, it has headed in both upscale and affordable directions within the Fender lineup—reaching the heights of master-built Custom Shop quality in the hands of Ron Thorn, and now in this much more egalitarian guise as the Player Plus Meteora HH.

Read MoreShow less