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How important is weight when buying a Tele?

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by fakeplastic, Apr 14, 2018.

  1. srvbluezz

    srvbluezz Tele-Meister

    May 25, 2006
    For me I played heavy guitars that sounded great and heavy guitars that sound dead...same goes with light guitars. It's how well the guitar rings out when unplugged...and how the neck interacts with the body.
  2. jason.clark

    jason.clark Tele-Meister

    Aug 10, 2015
    Lancaster, CA
    Weight is a huge factor for me in buying a guitar. If I have to wear a guitar for 3 hours at a time, I want it to be as light as possible. It never bothered me with my 7.5 pound Strat, but then I got a 9+ pound PRS 245 and it starts hurt after a while. The Tele I just built is 6.6 pounds and it's wonderful. It has more resonance and sustain than any other electric guitar I've ever owned. That's not necessarily a factor of it being light, but the result of being constructed from quality materials that work well together.
    nojazzhere likes this.
  3. LGOberean

    LGOberean Poster Extraordinaire

    May 31, 2008
    Corpus Christi, Texas
    Yeah, like I said, my first tele was mahogany, got it 10 years ago. Aside from occasionally playing electric guitars belonging to my brother or friends, I had little experience with electrics in general or solidbody electrics in particular. So I thought of tonewoods like my 40 years of experience playing acoustics had taught me: mahogany would give a warm fundamental tone. I wanted the tele spank and twang but I wanted warmth as well. I just didn't know going into it how versatile a tele could be. Yes, my mahogany is resonant and warm, and yes, it is heavy. I tend to believe as you, that particular pieces of wood, whatever the species, can vary in weight/density. I do think that solid mahogany in general is heavy, as is Northern ash, while swamp ash is generally lighter.

    Oh, and if you've been considering a mahogany tele, perhaps you'd like to see mine.

    My Logan Custom mahogany, 2008 - front.jpg My Logan Custom mahogany, 2008 - back.jpg

    Like I said, solid mahogany body, Birdseye maple neck & fretboard with amber tint, gold appointments, 3-ply B-W-B pickguard with a black cover for the P-90 neck pickup. Weighs 9 lbs. 2 oz.
  4. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Telefied Ad Free Member

    Nov 15, 2009
    Austin, Tx
    I prefer lighter guitars, so weight is important to me.
    Anything over 10 pounds usually doesn’t make the cut.
    Thankfully all my “working” guitars are light.
    My Les Pauls are both way too heavy, I rarely gig with them.
    My bass is heavy too, but it sounds and plays beautifully.
    Between 7-8 pounds is ideal, IMO.
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2018
    nojazzhere likes this.
  5. Amerman

    Amerman TDPRI Member

    Aug 23, 2017
    I rehearse for three hours straight every week, so a light guitar is a necessity. I won't play anything more than 3kg (6.6lbs), and it's taken me some time to find a 1-piece Ash body to build my Blackguard from to satisfy my weight limit. I also have some 5.5lb guitars in the works too, those had to use a slimmer 40mm body depth, no idea what that is in fractions of an inch.
    Lighter guitars are more resonant, which typically means less sustain but more tone. However i too think it's more about the individual pieces of wood than anything else that will determine the tone. You can't know till you build it, even if you can have some idea how it will turn out.
  6. Lonn

    Lonn Friend of Leo's

    Dec 13, 2007
    I've never considered weight when guitar shopping. Never even occurs to me unless a guitar is super light, that's a deal breaker.
    Chicago Matt likes this.
  7. Jules78

    Jules78 Tele-Holic

    Dec 12, 2016
    Northern VA
    Sometimes a good strap can make all the difference. The levys stretch strap is great for heavier guitars.
    INFANT likes this.
  8. Gene O.

    Gene O. Tele-Holic

    Sep 20, 2015
    NE, Ohio
    Guitar weight never occurred to me until I started reading about it on guitar forums. Without concerning myself about it (much) my solid body guitars all seem to be either 7.5 or 8.5 lbs (except for my LP, which weighs in at around 10 lbs), and that one extra pound means nothing to me. I used that LP for 20 years almost exclusively and only complained of an acing shoulder a couple times. Of course, I was a young man then.
  9. MilwMark

    MilwMark Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Apr 29, 2013
    near Arnold's
    Like @brookdalebill I prefer them 7-8lbs. I came to this kinda backwards. I had some that were heavier and some that were lighter. Both felt weird o me standing. A guitar that is in my preferred range sits well on the hip and shoulder, and isn't so light that it flops around when I do. I have two LPs in that range and 2 336s. It took a bit of searching but I found ones that sound and play great, and are in my preferred weight range.

    Body shape and style also matters. The LPs seem lighter even though they are heavier. Weird. I know this is about Teles but it transfers. Weird thing with Teles is, to me, heavy ones feel heavier than their weight and light ones feel lighter than their weight. I think because they don't balance as well, inherently, as LPs do for me.

    I think there is a bit of unfair machoism in the "why should weight matter?" comments. But then I really don't like guitars under 7lbs. I once accidentally bought one under 6lbs (before I asked about such matters) and sold it as fast as I could. And it is true, when I get myself back in condition, If feel the guitar less, regardless of weight.
  10. RodeoTex

    RodeoTex Poster Extraordinaire

    Sep 14, 2005
    Nueces Strip
    I have a CV Tele that weighs in at just 5.3 pounds (after changing it to a GFS body).
    It actually sounds pretty thin and lifeless, not like a Tele much at all. Even the neck pickup is a bit too bright.
    I didn't spend any time playing the CV before changing the body so I can't really attribute the poor sound to the lighter body for sure but I strongly suspect it.
    With the original body it weighed 8.2 pounds.
    It's nice to look at but ultimately a wall hanger.
  11. hdvades

    hdvades Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

    Mar 6, 2016
    Hudson Valley, NY
    Standing on bare concrete is one of the worst thing in the world next to laying on it. Do yourself a favor and get a rubber mat; a proper cushioning one at that. Your body will thank you.
    nojazzhere likes this.
  12. Flaneur

    Flaneur Friend of Leo's

    May 24, 2010
    Key factors, with my main gigging guitars, are that they each have fat, comfy necks and killer pickups. Fret size and shape is also a factor. The fact that one of the instruments weighs six pounds something and the other seven and a half, just makes them easier to live with.
    nojazzhere likes this.
  13. Frank'n'censed

    Frank'n'censed Doctor of Teleocity

    Mar 27, 2011
    Parts Unknown
    ”How important is weight when buying a Tele?”

    Take a load off Fanny, take a load for free
    Take a load off Fanny, and you put the load right on me
    BigDaddyLH and Pickcity like this.
  14. Pickcity

    Pickcity Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

    Oct 12, 2017
    Atlanta, Ga.
    My Tele is pretty light (Ash) and it resonates and growls like nobody's business. The weight was not the deciding factor when I bought it, but it was a factor and I considered it icing on the cake. And as already stated, 3-4 hours in a night makes it a consideration. It is nice to have a little weight relief.
  15. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Friend of Leo's

    Feb 3, 2017
    Foat Wuth, Texas
    That's gorgeous, LGO....and I LOVE P-90s.....but I'm afraid over 9lbs would be a deal breaker for me. My ash bodied Tele, with the mahogany neck, is dead-on 8lbs. (BTW, with the original maple neck it was still right at 8 lbs.) I live with it because it sounds so good, but I'd prefer a pound or so lighter. But that Logan sure looks SWEET!!!!
    LGOberean likes this.
  16. golfnut

    golfnut Friend of Leo's

    Jan 15, 2008
    For me weight is just part of whats comfortable for me. For some it might be a guitar under 7 pounds for other an 8 pound guitar. For me, I like my tele's or strats to be around 7.5 pounds. My strat is 7.4, my Nocaster is 7.5 and my 52 RI tele is 7.7. My favorite guitar is the heaviest one as far as tone goes.
    Whenever I pick up a tele in the 6 pound range it just doesn't feel right to me. If weight were the only factor I'd rather play an 8-9 pound tele than a 6.5 pound. Of course if the lighter one sounded better than I'd rather play that one. To me the most important feature in a guitar is the neck. I can't stand small or slim necks and would be tempted to pick a guitar with less tone that had the bigger neck. Nocaster U is my favorite. All 3 of my guitars have that profile although my Nocaster is the chunkiest.
  17. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Friend of Leo's

    Feb 3, 2017
    Foat Wuth, Texas
    I only have one bass, haven't played bass in a band in a few years. It's a 1993 Korean Fender Squier P-bass with a maple board, stock, that sounds great, especially with flatwounds. It is actually plywood and VERY light for a bass. You might play it and be critical, but for what I go for, it's very appropriate. I deliberately "dumb down" on bass, trying to emulate "simpler" bassists like Duck Dunn or Nick Seymour.
    brookdalebill likes this.
  18. Chicago Matt

    Chicago Matt Friend of Leo's

    Aug 23, 2014
    ^^^ same here. It might be coincidence but the guitars I've kept over the years because I love the way they sound have never been the lighter ones.
  19. INFANT

    INFANT Tele-Holic

    Apr 12, 2011
    Stoney Creek, Ontario
    It's funny that 3lbs can make a difference to how my body feels the morning after a 4 hour gig. I have achilles tendonitis and sciatica problems. My current #1 is a 6lb 3oz '72 Thinline RI and my #1a is a LP Melody Maker that weighs in slightly under 7lbs. I can use I either of these guitars and wake up with very little pain in my ankles and legs Last week I used my ES137 (10lbs) and I could barely walk the next morning. The same goes for my '75 Tele (9.5 lbs)...if I gig with it, I pay for it the next day. As for the tone of my lighter guitars, if they didn't sound good, I would have gotten rid of them by now.
  20. Middleman

    Middleman Friend of Leo's

    Aug 29, 2007
    MV, CA
    Weight doesn't matter because if it did, someone would argue it doesn't.

    I prefer lighter telecasters and strats. But as I said, it doesn't matter except that someone may think it does.
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