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Old January 27th, 2009, 02:59 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Mesquite casters…

Who’s got one (or more)? Of course, pics are always welcome.

I’m interested in getting one built for me, but I’ve got questions.

What tonal properties does mesquite have? How does it compare tonally to Alder? Ash? Mahogany?

(Note: I realize that the whole “tonal properties” question is debated here. If you are of the opinion that “tone is all in the fingers,” then you may want to skip this question. Of course, you can also choose to weigh in with your opinions on tone. Just please don’t hijack the thread.)

Related question (again, I suppose, depending upon one’s opinion about tone): What kind of pickup configuration do you have in your Mesquite caster? What pickups?

How many pieces to the body? Were you able to get a slab sizeable enough to make a 2 piece body?

Related to the previous question, if your Mesquite caster’s body is 3+ pieces, does anyone have a solid block of wood underneath the pickups? If so, do you notice any characteristics (such as sustain) that make that a preferable way to go?

How much does your Mesquite caster weigh?

Okay, that’s enough questions…for now, at least.

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Old January 27th, 2009, 03:29 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Well, Mesquite can be very heavy compared to the traditional woods....

I've seen it fiddleback before, which can be very attractive...

There's a place south of Tucson that mills planks that would make one-piece bodies...
Nice stuff....
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Old January 27th, 2009, 03:38 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I haven't personally played a Mesquite guitar, but the guys over at Cardinal Instruments use it on some of their creations:

www.cardinalinstruments.com



Some wood info on there and pics of the "Mesquite Madness" model in the gallery too. Very nice looking wood. Really nice & informative guys too. I'm still GAS'ing bad for a Coppertop West.
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Old January 27th, 2009, 04:40 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I built one Mesquite topped guitar (swamp ash body) years ago and to my ear the tap tone was similar to a rosewood, pretty bright. It's a dense wood.
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Old January 27th, 2009, 04:41 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Well, Mesquite can be very heavy compared to the traditional woods....
tonewoods
Thanks for the tip, but could you define “very heavy”? Heavier than my 9 lb. 2 oz. Mahogany Logan Custom Tele?


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I've seen it fiddleback before, which can be very attractive...
Yeah, my experience with Mesquite is that it is highly figured and really attractive.


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There's a place south of Tucson that mills planks that would make one-piece bodies...
Nice stuff....
Wow, planks for 1 piece bodies! What’s the name of this place? Have they got a website?
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Old January 27th, 2009, 05:28 PM   #6 (permalink)
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EunosFD, thanks for the tip about Cardinal guitars, and for the link to their website. Some pretty pics of unique, eye-catching guitars and interesting info.

I noticed that their brief tonal evaluation of Mesquite is that it has a “clear bell-like tone.” Does that track with anyone else’s experience?
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Old January 27th, 2009, 05:36 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I built one Mesquite topped guitar (swamp ash body) years ago and to my ear the tap tone was similar to a rosewood, pretty bright. It's a dense wood.
stephent2

What factors led you to opt for a Mesquite top on a swamp ash body as opposed to a solid Mesquite body?

So the tap tone of your build was pretty bright. How would you compare that to the description at Cardinal guitars about Mesquite tone being “clear bell-like”?
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Old January 27th, 2009, 06:36 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Wow, planks for 1 piece bodies! What’s the name of this place? Have they got a website?

Here ya go...

My friend and fellow woodfreak Richard Maul started this place 25 years ago...
He sold it awhile back, but they are still going strong...

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Old January 27th, 2009, 07:19 PM   #9 (permalink)
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What factors led you to opt for a Mesquite top on a swamp ash body as opposed to a solid Mesquite body?

So the tap tone of your build was pretty bright. How would you compare that to the description at Cardinal guitars about Mesquite tone being “clear bell-like”?
Weight was my main consideration beside the fact that all i had was stock that was suitable for tops and I would agree with that tonal characterization.

To get the sound of a tonewood I don't believe you need more than a top cap. I have no empirical proof to back up that statement.
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Old January 27th, 2009, 08:16 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Here ya go...

My friend and fellow woodfreak Richard Maul started this place 25 years ago...
He sold it awhile back, but they are still going strong...
tonewoods

Thanks again. I have sources for Mesquite down here in South Texas, but it never hurts to have another resource.
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Old January 27th, 2009, 08:27 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Weight was my main consideration beside the fact that all i had was stock that was suitable for tops and I would agree with that tonal characterization.

To get the sound of a tonewood I don't believe you need more than a top cap. I have no empirical proof to back up that statement.
stephent2
Interesting opinion. It does raise questions of what wood species might be complimentary to one another, in terms of resonance. Personally, I have never (to my knowledge) played a Tele or any other solid body with a top cap, so I would not presume to dispute your claim or even argue the point.
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Old January 27th, 2009, 08:36 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I've built a few guitars from mesquite over the last few years. The first was an all-mesquite Strat which was a little heavy but nothing too out of the ordinary.
Next I built an all-mesquite Tele. It weighed more than any Les Paul I've ever picked up.
After that I started using mesquite caps over alder. Much nicer. Here's one of 'em. I'll send more pictures as I find them if you want.
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Old January 27th, 2009, 08:51 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I've built a few guitars from mesquite over the last few years. The first was an all-mesquite Strat which was a little heavy but nothing too out of the ordinary.
Next I built an all-mesquite Tele. It weighed more than any Les Paul I've ever picked up.
RodeoTex
So about your all Mesquite Tele. Can you quantify that weight in lbs and oz? I have picked up a Paul or two, but that doesn't necessarily give me as specific an answer as I am looking for. Again, my point of reference is my all Mahogany Logan Custom Tele, which weighs in at 9 lbs. 2 oz.


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After that I started using mesquite caps over alder. Much nicer. Here's one of 'em. I'll send more pictures as I find them if you want.
RodeoTex
Oh, I most definitely WANT.

I'm being called away to supper for now, but I'll be back to pick up where I left off on this.
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Old January 28th, 2009, 12:03 AM   #14 (permalink)
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This is my mesquite bodied telecaster. It is by far my go to axe. the tone is similar to ash. It can be a bit bright. It has a three piece body with the center piece being about an inch wider than the bridge. It has great sutain. the downside is, it is very heavy, just under 12 lbs.
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Old January 28th, 2009, 09:02 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Hey LGO, here's an old family shot. Sorry this was way back before I had an accurate scale to weigh them.
The TeleType must have been 12.5-13 pounds. Just way too heavy to be practical. The Strat was probably 9-9.5. The one in the center rear was a carved top mesquite cap over maple, probably about 10 pounds.
Right rear is a purpleheart, also way heavy at at least 12 pounds.
The mesquite caps seem way more practical when glued on alder. I can't say the sound is too different from just solid alder or ash.

All mesquite is different though, just like all woods. You may be able to find some light weight stuff. I don't think you are going to hear anything out of the ordinary which could be attributed to the wood.
Good luck to ya.

OH- BTW, I wouldn't suggest using mesquite for the fretboard. The fiber of the wood doesn't seem to grip the fret tang very well. I never had any problems with it but didn't feel confident that they were going to hold well.

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Old January 28th, 2009, 10:11 AM   #16 (permalink)
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This is my mesquite bodied telecaster. It is by far my go to axe. the tone is similar to ash. It can be a bit bright. It has a three piece body with the center piece being about an inch wider than the bridge. It has great sutain. the downside is, it is very heavy, just under 12 lbs.
sprokett
sprokett, I love that Tele, everything about it, from the Maple neck to the emblem (decal) of the state of Texas/flag. Can you tell me more about it? What kind of pups?
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Old January 28th, 2009, 10:24 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Agree. That's one SCHWEET looking Tele.
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Old January 29th, 2009, 12:23 AM   #18 (permalink)
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sprokett, I love that Tele, everything about it, from the Maple neck to the emblem (decal) of the state of Texas/flag. Can you tell me more about it? What kind of pups?
First, I'll apologize for not being quick to respond. I'm on otr driver and don't get to be here as often as I'd like. Now about the mesquitocaster, That is my first build and still my favorite. The native texan emblem was hand painted. Its a Texas thing. The pickups are currently hot rails by seymour duncan. That will probably change though, I will probably either have some single coils wound or replace them with G&L mfd pickups. Most single coils aren't hot enough for my liking, but I have found that humbuckers just don't have that edge that I like. (personal preference) The neck was rescued from an early 90's mim tele, as was the 6 barrel saddle toploader bridge. It has solid bottom end, the trebles can be a bit hard to tame at times. Future mods include new pickups and brass saddles whenever I can find the individual style saddles to fit it. About the artwork, each guitar that I put together for myself gets something painted on it to symbolize something important to me. This one is a tribute to my grandfather. who shared his love for music with me. He was always encouraging me to keep playing. He was a native texan also and very proud of it. Feel free to pm if you have other questions.

XinTx, welcome aboard and thank you. I know you'll find lots of great people and info here.
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Old January 29th, 2009, 12:29 AM   #19 (permalink)
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sprokett, I love that Tele, everything about it, from the Maple neck to the emblem (decal) of the state of Texas/flag. Can you tell me more about it? What kind of pups?
First, I'll apologize for not being quick to respond. I'm on otr driver and don't get to be here as often as I'd like. Now about the mesquitocaster, That is my first build and still my favorite. The native texan emblem was hand painted. Its a Texas thing. The pickups are currently hot rails by seymour duncan. That will probably change though, I will probably either have some single coils wound or replace them with G&L mfd pickups. Most single coils aren't hot enough for my liking, but I have found that humbuckers just don't have that edge that I like. (personal preference) The neck was rescued from an early 90's mim tele, as was the 6 barrel saddle toploader bridge. It has solid bottom end, the trebles can be a bit hard to tame at times. Future mods include new pickups and brass saddles whenever I can find the individual style saddles to fit it. About the artwork, each guitar that I put together for myself gets something painted on it to symbolize something important to me. This one is a tribute to my grandfather. who shared his love for music with me. He was always encouraging me to keep playing. He was a native texan also and very proud of it. Feel free to pm if you have other questions.
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Old January 29th, 2009, 01:37 PM   #20 (permalink)
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First, I'll apologize for not being quick to respond. I'm on otr driver and don't get to be here as often as I'd like.
sprokett
No apology necessary, especially not from a guy who's balancing working for a living and playing/talking about Teles. I used to be a truck driver myself, drove a bulk oil tanker, delivering various oil products (gear oil, hydraulic fluid, etc.) all over South Texas to refineries, oil rigs, machine shops, etc. Worked when I had to, played when I could (every chance I got).


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The native texan emblem was hand painted. Its a Texas thing.
sprokett
I understand completely. I too am a native citizen of the Lone Star State. BTW, I started a thread a little while back about Texans on TDPRI. I'd sure like to have you chime in there. The URL is: http://www.tdpri.com/forum/bad-dog-c...ans-tdpri.html


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The pickups are currently hot rails by seymour duncan. That will probably change though, I will probably either have some single coils wound or replace them with G&L mfd pickups. Most single coils aren't hot enough for my liking, but I have found that humbuckers just don't have that edge that I like. (personal preference)
Some like it hot. I've played some G&L ASATs, and those MFD pups are definitely hotter than the pups on most any Tele I've played. My mahogany Tele is a Logan Custom, and has a vintage style pup in the bridge, but a P-90 in the neck, which definitely gives me a hotter sound when I want it.
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