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Help with choice of wood

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by yelemusic, Apr 20, 2018.

  1. yelemusic

    yelemusic TDPRI Member

    60
    Oct 21, 2012
    Hi folks,
    so I have decided to get myself a Tele thinline body made (for me to finish. Can't build on my own due to lack of space, tools and knowledge) and was thinking about either Honduras Mahogany body with rosewood top, or alternatively Spanish Walnut body, again with rosewood top.

    The Rosewood top is a must, because I was always dreaming of a nice piece of rosewood in the shape of a guitar :) And if it was for looks only, I'd definitely go with the walnut body.

    I'm fairly certain that both combinations would be on the darker side tonally speaking, which I'm totally fine with, owning a couple of rather spanky Teles already. So a beautiful dark looking and sounding Jazz-Tele would be something I'd rather like :)

    Which combination would you prefer though? And why?

    I love the looks of Walnut, but if Mahogany is the better choice, I'd happily go with that too.

    Also, I sourced a nice roasted maple neck, which I'm planning to use for this guitar. It looks gorgeous too, and I'm sure it would go well with either wood combination :)


    Looking forward to your replies!

    Thanks!
     

  2. LocoTex

    LocoTex Tele-Holic

    Age:
    63
    967
    Jan 16, 2018
    Waxahachie, TX.
    Walnut sounds interesting....
     

  3. LocoTex

    LocoTex Tele-Holic

    Age:
    63
    967
    Jan 16, 2018
    Waxahachie, TX.

  4. yelemusic

    yelemusic TDPRI Member

    60
    Oct 21, 2012
    Indeed :) Isn't it gorgeous?
     

  5. DrASATele

    DrASATele Poster Extraordinaire

    Jul 6, 2012
    North of Boston
    I just did Maple on (white)Walnut it is glorious . . . IMG_E5813.JPG IMG_E5828.JPG I should be stringing this up tomorrow.
     

  6. ftbtx

    ftbtx Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter


  7. PingGuo

    PingGuo Tele-Holic Ad Free Member

    608
    May 19, 2014
    North FL
    I think Walnut is a great choice!

    It's beautiful
     

  8. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    66
    Feb 3, 2017
    Foat Wuth, Texas
    No one's stepped in yet about the "tonal" properties of certain woods. While I believe the type of wood can (?) help determine characteristics of acoustic guitars, I think it's to a MUCH lesser extent with electrics. My Tele, with an ash body, is relatively dark....due to my deliberate choices of pick-ups. I know some very knowledgeable and honorable people here will argue that point, but I think GENERALLY you choose the wood for appearance, (and Walnut or Mahogany/Rosewood are both beautiful) and pick-ups for sound qualities. IMHO......but please let us know your final choice.
     
    Tapatio, jamieorc and Peltogyne like this.

  9. yelemusic

    yelemusic TDPRI Member

    60
    Oct 21, 2012
    It’s beautiful, but how does it fare soundwise? I’ve read people calling it less complex sounding compared to Mahogany, lifeless, even dull. Mahogany is probably more of a safe bet, so probably I need to be convinced Walnut sounds as great as it looks :)
     

  10. yelemusic

    yelemusic TDPRI Member

    60
    Oct 21, 2012
    Has anyone ever combined walnut with a rosewood top?
     

  11. ftbtx

    ftbtx Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    I think mine sounds great unplugged and jacked in. I chose Fralin P-92 (under wound) in the neck and his split blade Tele bridge in "blues" output.
    It is my only thinline, so I can't compare it to others.
     

  12. PingGuo

    PingGuo Tele-Holic Ad Free Member

    608
    May 19, 2014
    North FL
    They all sound within 10% of each-other and it's not consistent within a species... So, you're really just rolling the dice on it...

    I say pick the one that you find most attractive and once you've payed for it and built it convince yourself it's what you wanted all along. That process works well for most guitarists.
     
    loopy reed, nojazzhere and DavidV like this.

  13. yelemusic

    yelemusic TDPRI Member

    60
    Oct 21, 2012
    That’s probably really good advice :) One shouldn’t overthink things )
    Either way, I’ll make sure I’ll pick a nice slab of wood :)
    What PU do you think would complement the wood? I was first thinking maybe get humbuckers in there, but thinking about it now, that might actually sound too dark, given the already darker wood...
    Or am I completely mistaken in thinking these woods will be on the darker end of the spectrum?
     

  14. PingGuo

    PingGuo Tele-Holic Ad Free Member

    608
    May 19, 2014
    North FL
    pick the pickups that get the sound you most often find yourself swooning over. Then just anticipate that the wood and all the other stuff will contribute to it with just a little flavor.

    if you want a tele, put tele pups in there, if you want it to sound kind like a prs put PRS pups in it. If you want it to sound like a strat put strat pups in it...

    If you're torn between two humbuckers pick the one that's most associated with the sound you like the most.
     

  15. fatcat

    fatcat Friend of Leo's

    Jul 6, 2010
    Very Deep South
    That's beautiful on the verge of obscene.
     
    telemnemonics and nojazzhere like this.

  16. jimgchord

    jimgchord Tele-Meister

    Age:
    45
    430
    Apr 3, 2018
    victor,ny
    It's an electric,pick a piece that is most stable, and beautiful. Hardware and electronics are the areas where you'll percieve the most difference.
     
    nojazzhere and PingGuo like this.

  17. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

    Age:
    72
    May 1, 2003
    Jacksonville, FL
    well... I wouldn't let the rumored tonal character of the woods influence ya in any way.... get what looks good.... with the woods you've selected you'll be fine... and.. is this kinda what you're looking for?

    rk

    DSC_4897.jpg DSC_4906.jpg DSC_4907.jpg
     

  18. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

    Mar 17, 2003
    Lubbock, TX
    The density of the wood has an effect on the sound. Of course, opting for what to some effect is a semihollowbody compared to a solidbody....even of the same wood....is a major choice that plays a big part in determining the sound of the guitar.
    IMHO and ime, what anyone who wants a custom built guitar needs to be able to answer a few basic questions...
    What response to the pick attack are you looking for....slow or quick? What sustain? What resonance?.....and those two aspects are different things. Are you looking for bright harmonic content? If you can get those th8ngs integrated into the body, neck, bridge, etc; then you can find pickups to do whatever they do to compliment the guitar you have built. If you don’t get certain aspects done with the acoustic response of the guitar, pickups might not save it for you.
    Ommv.....but that is how I see/hear it.
     

  19. TRexF16

    TRexF16 Friend of Leo's

    Apr 4, 2011
    Tucson
    There are very many question marks in that reply.
    So should the OP, In your opinion, choose the walnut or mahogany?
    That was his question.

    Ducking back into my hole,
    Rex

    P.S. I'm with Mr. Kirn. Pick the pretty one.
     

  20. Amerman

    Amerman TDPRI Member

    81
    Aug 23, 2017
    Underwater
    This. As long as it's in the right weight range, and can hold a screw, you can make it sound good.

    Both Mahogany and Walnut err on the heavy side. Of the two it's been my experience that 'Mahogany' (noting that this could mean any number of related and unrelated species, whereas i'm referring specifically to swietenia Macrophylla) is the more resonant, but again it's about the individual piece of wood. With a thinline, I wouldn't even worry and i'd just get the nicest looking piece.

    My vote is for a 2-piece bookmatched Black Walnut.
     

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