Jay Turser JT-LT-Custom-Dlx

Monday, March 31, 2008| by Will Chen

Jay Turser was an early adopter of the bulk import/eBay resell business model. The company is known for offering quality instruments with fairly consistent quality standards at an affordable price.

This review focuses on the Chinese made JT-LT-Custom-Dlx which is modeled on the Tele Deluxe concept featuring a neck humbucking pickup with a traditional style single coil bridge pickup and standard three position switch/volume/tone wiring.

Cosmetically, the flawless double binding and gold hardware really add up to a guitar that looks much more expensive than it is. However, the finish is a little too orange to be called "Cherryburst" in my opinion. At a distance greater than about 10 to 15 feet the flamed maple laminate top can't be seen. Bummer! It would be a much more beautiful guitar if the finish was slightly more translucent.

The comfy, medium profiled maple neck is seated with medium sized frets and features a dark (rosewood?) "skunk stripe" down the back. The 13th fret was a little high on the treble side causing the high e string to fret out at the 12th fret. After leveling the frets and resetting the action and intonation, the guitar played beautifully. Fret ends were dressed perfect; couldn't find a single rough edge.

Tonally, the bridge pickup was shockingly good with a nice, stringy, open sound and the perfect amount of strident twang one would expect. Without thinking, I started chickin' pickin' and pulling off double stop bends. This guitar screams for tweedy grit and slapback delay and I was happy to oblige. While all single coils hum, the hum was manageable and not excessive as is the case with many cheap stock pickups. Backing off on the nicely voiced tone control cut the perfect amount of bite, leaving all the creamy mids in tact for some great Petty-ish tones. The middle position yielded a fuller sound as expected without any loss of the high end, while the neck position was voiced too dark for my tastes. Additionally, the output of the neck humbucker is a touch too hot to really complement the outstanding vintage voiced bridge pickup. That being said, I was able to get some convincing jazz tones using the neck pickup with the tone control slightly rolled back. Both the tone and volume knob are responsive across pretty much the whole spectrum. However, the guitar loses a touch of brightness when rolling back the volume knob.

I'm consistently surprised by the rising quality and affordability of instruments coming from China and the Jay Turser JT-LT-Custom-Dlx is no exception. This is one versatile instrument and with a minimal amount of work is an excellent player. While the finish isn't inspiring, it's also available in natural and sunburst.

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Filed Under: Jay Turser, Reviews