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How important is weight when buying a Tele?

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

  1. lammie200

    lammie200 Tele-Afflicted

    Jan 11, 2013
    San Francisco
    I just reworked my Tele partscaster with a 3lb. 3oz one piece ash body and a roasted quarter sawn chunky maple neck with an ebony fb and ss frets. I don't know how much it weighs but it is very light and I don't think that I will ever want to rework it again.
    telemnemonics likes this.
  2. rhcole

    rhcole TDPRI Member

    May 12, 2017
    Petaluma, CA
    There was another similar thread a few months ago.
    I lusted for a Les Paul as a young man until I got to play one. It was off the charts heavy and it broke the spell of attraction for me. That guitar might have weighed 11 or 12 lbs
    For years I played medium heavy guitars such as a 335, which can easiy weigh over 9 lbs. But as an older player I prefer lighter instruments. I play seated, so you would think it wouldn`t matter but it does. How a guitar sits in my lap and balances is now very important.

    But, my heavier guitars have more sustain and ring out better. Others clearly have different experiences but this is what I have observed.
  3. BopT

    BopT Tele-Afflicted

    Feb 6, 2011
    I figure weight in when I think about guitars.
    It is really fun to play lighter guitars. I had a Gibson explorer that weighed like 5.5lbs! I could carry that thing with me everywhere!
    telemnemonics likes this.
  4. TeleTown

    TeleTown Friend of Leo's

    Oct 10, 2010
    Twangers Medows USA
    I don't go by weight, I go by tone.
  5. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Telefied Ad Free Member

    What happens when you play a Stratocaster?

    I find, a Strat with its contours, comes in closer to the body core and this means the moment on those vertebral bodies is less and in theory the pain would be less than a Telecaster (no contouring) of the same weight. Your arms will also come in towards your body core - it changes the whole way playing feels (for me at least). The same song, played on the Strat is more about loafing and less about putting in deliberate effort. I've had people say it even sounds that way (observers, having heard the same guy play the same thing on both models).

    I think (especially at TDPRI) we assume that because old timers seem to be gravitating towards Telecasters, that that's because they find them easier to play. In actuality, if there's a difference I'm thinking the Tele is in fact the guitar requiring more work and the Strat requires less. I don't really want to tout another guitar model over my beloved Telecaster, but knowledge is power.
    t guitar floyd likes this.
  6. TimothyC

    TimothyC Tele-Afflicted

    May 12, 2016
    The lighter the better for me. My back can't handle much abuse anymore, so I try to keep it easy. All my guitars feel a bit chunky though, and they feel roughly the same weight.
  7. nosuch

    nosuch Friend of Leo's

    Apr 4, 2008
    I don't know if weight really translates into certain sounds. There are so many things to consider. A lightweight guitar is more comfortable to carry – but too light and it won't balance very well, which spoils the comfort. A neck heavy guitar drags down your left shoulder. I prefer a well balanced guitar with the weight distributed more evenly.
    telemnemonics likes this.
  8. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity

    Mar 2, 2010
    For me the pain when standing up straight is more in my neck and shoulder where the strap rides, due to arthritis in my neck, so comparing Strat and Tele now doesn't seem to make much difference. I guess some individuals might be more comfortable with the Strat contours bringing the guitar in closer to the center of gravity though.

    Oddly enough, despite my bony build, I find a Tele exceedingly comfortable, and even find my forearm comfortable against the fairly sharp edge of a 1/8" contour Tele body, even finding it more comfortable to not have the guitar more apt to slide around due to lack of grip and reference point on the Start contours.
    (I think an overly light guitar might be more uncomfortable as well because any neck dive makes me have to take on an additional task to keep the darn guitar in the correct position.)

    For these reasons I have a hard time understanding players complaints that the Tele body hurts their forearm and ribs. I find the certainty of the Tele staying in one place makes it easier to play, of makes me more confident. FWIW.

    The psychosoma is a mystery!
    Owenmoney and boris bubbanov like this.
  9. wyclif

    wyclif Tele-Afflicted

    Nov 29, 2011
    In the blackguard book, Nacho says that the average weight of the original Teles was around 7.3 lbs if I recall correctly. If you have the book (many on this forum do), you can double check me.

    I don't think weight is a matter of crucial importance, especially if you're not a gigging musician. Where weight starts to matter is when you're playing standing with the guitar strapped.

    I've always liked that Teles usually weigh much less than a Les Paul.
    robinsong likes this.
  10. Chick-N-Picker

    Chick-N-Picker Tele-Afflicted

    Apr 26, 2015
    North Carolina
    Pretty recently a mim classic 50's tele popped up in my area for sale. I was going to make an offer but he said it weighed very close to 10 pounds. That's just too much for a telecaster.
    BopT likes this.
  11. viking

    viking Friend of Leo's

    Jan 23, 2007
    Anything much over 8.5/9 pounds and its a no-no
    I could easily play a guitar that was heavier , if I only had the one
    When you have several to choose from , the heavier ones just doesnt get used as much , thats my observation
    I also dont like Teles or Strats that weighs less than 7 pounds , it feels weird , and they tend to get neck heavy
    jason.clark likes this.
  12. chemobrain

    chemobrain Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

    Nov 5, 2016
    oakland ca.
    The last Tele that I bought is so beautiful, I walked up to it picked it up and thought holy moose berry bushes this thing weighs a tone, yikes!
    Then I played it. the tone the sustain the attack, everything sad it's worth it's weight in in gold and only hand to pay in silver. A great Levin wide padded leather strap and a chair seems to deal well with the 9.85 lps.
    my go to guitar is a Fender hot rodded fender mini-strat
  13. lammie200

    lammie200 Tele-Afflicted

    Jan 11, 2013
    San Francisco
    That is not to say that a lightweight guitar cannot have decent tone and sustain. The Tele that I just assembled sounds better and sustains as well, if not better, than the heavier iteration that I changed it from. Lighter weight guitars tend to have drier woods, thus somewhat pre-aged, so to speak.
    t guitar floyd and TeleTown like this.
  14. moosie

    moosie Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Jul 18, 2010
    Western Connecticut
    I like a light, stiff Tele. Weight is not the arbiter of tone. But hand me two great sounding guitars, I'll usually prefer the lighter one. I like the way they vibrate. They feel alive.
    t guitar floyd likes this.
  15. TeleTown

    TeleTown Friend of Leo's

    Oct 10, 2010
    Twangers Medows USA
    Agreed! I ve got lite, very lite and 4 heavy weights, All 11 sustain pretty damn good! That's my #1 thing while im out kicking tires for one. Looks is the last on my list. When weight becomes a physical issue, well ill just sit my old butt down and keep on pickin. Problem solved.
    Owenmoney likes this.
  16. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity

    Mar 2, 2010
    Interesting how this thread has avoided the white elephant of wood species.

    My weight preferences are for comfort and balance, and I do not specifically attribute weight to tone and response. Fortunately my preferred weight range does not seem to influence tone and response.

    However, I have found that a heavy ash body commonly needs a darker pickup to sound right, where I've never had a heavy ash body that made a good sounding guitar with a lower wind brighter bridge pickup.
    Neck pickups are not as troublesome with ice picky tone.

    I wonder how many players who expressed a preference for heavy Teles use the popular hotter overwound Tele bridge pickups that are popular today.

    And how many who prefer a heavy (say over 8.5 lbs) Tele also prefer a bright low wind bridge pickup in the mid 6k range.
    IME the latter is never a good combo, though I have not for example played a heavy pine bodied Tele.

    Of course this falls in the internet myth arena!
  17. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Telefied Ad Free Member

    I might have been tempted to ride over there, and check it out through a decent amp. Sometimes, sometimes the 9 pounders sound so cool. And if it was in fact ten pounds then you could pass on it. 9 is pretty close to 10 and 9 pounds and maybe a few ounces can sound great on a record.
  18. Geo

    Geo Friend of Leo's

    Mar 17, 2003
    Hendersonville, TN
    Aside from what your back likes the lighter side is better for resale. "Oh I'll never sell this Tele."
    Yeah right.
  19. FredDairy

    FredDairy Friend of Leo's

    Mar 25, 2007
    It's funny some of you "older" guys saying you need a light under 7lb Telecaster. What do older bassists do? Or older non-Telecaster players do? I wonder what 90 year old Les Paul's Les Paul Custom weighed?

    Weight of guitars only became a big deal when the internet happened. Because that's the one measurable thing we can point out with out touching or hearing the actual guitar.
    swany likes this.
  20. FenderGuy53

    FenderGuy53 Poster Extraordinaire

    May 14, 2008
    Marion, NC
    You've opened the proverbial "can of worms"; that said, I'll answer you this way:

    Weight is important as you want it to be. If it feels comfortable to YOU, and it sounds good to YOU, then that's all that really matters.
    Blue4Now likes this.
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