Poplar Body might be...

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by FrontPU, Mar 10, 2019.

  1. FrontPU

    FrontPU Tele-Holic

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    ... one of the most underrated tone-wood species for instruments, I had thought that way forever. I really like Danelectro guitars and think one of the secrets of their unique (to me "magical") tone might be the use of poplar. But had no chance to try a tele/strat built with a poplar body till now.

    The chance suddenly came to me the day before yesterday thanks to the incredible bargain by our friend/ great pickup builder Rob Di Stefano, who crafted it, the poplar/rose tele (pics below), for the incredible bargain sale at classified page here.

    I bought the guitar Friday and could open the box Saturday (1day priority free shipping! lol), and now Sunday morning, I'm still playing it. Yes that's right, I couldn't stop, didn't sleep, had to keep playing it even unplugged all night.

    The guitar became my number 1, plugged (through fabulous Cavalier Fat Lion set) or unplugged, it's the number 1. If you also are interested in a poplar body, you shouldn't hesitate to try or own one! IMG_1921.jpg IMG_1916.jpg
     
  2. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Actually I'm doing a dano influenced scratch build and from my research, only the '54-'55 years were poplar bodies. They were the narrower shaped bodies with pickups under the pickguard.


    http://www.tdpri.com/threads/silver...tro-influenced-low-budget-lo-fi-build.925611/

    After that they were Masonite on poplar or pine frames. I agree with you on the poplar though. Poplar and basswood are the most inexpensive hardwoods around here. If Fender was located east of the Mississippi, poplar would have been the wood over alder, which botanically ( from what I've read, are cousins).
     
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  3. DougM

    DougM Friend of Leo's

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    If memory serves me right, I think that the MIM Fender Standard series in the 90's were made from Poplar, and I thought that they sounded great.
     
  4. adjason

    adjason Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    there were a few mid 90s American Fenders made of poplar...I thought it was a negative. Important thing is that you found a guitar that you really like
     
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  5. jimgchord

    jimgchord Tele-Holic

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    It shouldn't get a bad rap. If you look at the numbers side by side (janka hardness, modulus of rupture, modulus of elasticity) with alder, they are very comparable. The only real advantage alder has is in appearance, it's more suited to trans finishes.
     
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  6. archetype

    archetype Fiend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Right. Most 90s MIM models were multi-piece poplar with a veneer front and back. The Standard Strat and Tele, Jimmie Vaughn Tex Mex Strat, and James Burton Standard Tele are examples. They changed to alder starting in 2000.

    There's no measurable sonic difference between poplar and alder. The biggest factor is the individual chunk of wood you have: does it sound good or not?
     
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  7. FrontPU

    FrontPU Tele-Holic

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    I wish I had enough knowledge/experiences/ability to talk about the correlation between a certain wood species and its weight/density variations... And maybe better skills to write in english (which would be more important in my case). :p
    Sorry but I have to sleep a bit. Thank you all for leaving interesting comments, I'll read them all later more seriously. Have a great day!
     
  8. dragonfire709

    dragonfire709 TDPRI Member

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    Both my main 2 guitars are poplar and sound great. They are also both really light. I loves em.

    Here’s no. 1.

    19EB5B0B-DEA7-450C-A11A-C07EA6A9D440.jpeg
     
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  9. jman72

    jman72 Tele-Holic

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    My #1 has a basswood body (Ibanez JS1200) and I absolutely love it. I would use a poplar body in a second if I had one.
     
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  10. RodeoTex

    RodeoTex Poster Extraordinaire

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    I've always wondered about using poplar as a guitar body since it is the closest thing to tonewood that I can buy locally.
    I did this glue-up a couple of weeks ago and it's going to become a Strat within the next few minutes, but at 9.7 pounds it may turn out alittle heavy. We'll see.
    20190310_091000.jpg
     

    Attached Files:

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  11. Nickadermis

    Nickadermis Friend of Leo's

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    My new little Epi SG Vintage has a poplar body and I love it ! My next build might just be poplar. I forget what the neck wood is but the whole thing is light . Snappy and responsive.
     
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  12. Fiesta Red

    Fiesta Red Friend of Leo's

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    My #1 has a poplar body with an ash veneer...I’ve always wondered how much the type of wood contributes to my love of this instrument.
     
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  13. Sol1

    Sol1 TDPRI Member

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    Yep, if it's good for this beauty



    then it's good for every other guitar. I don't know why it's not more popular.
     
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  14. SPUDCASTER

    SPUDCASTER Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    I have two white poplar bodies that have good sustain properties.

    Both have very tight neck pockets. One sports an Allparts TRO-V neck, the other a Classic Player Baja neck.

    A luthier friend of mine claims. The tighter the neck pocket, the better sustain.
     
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  15. Milspec

    Milspec Friend of Leo's

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    Gerald Weber was a fan of poplar in speaker cabinets as well. As mentioned, the only drawback was the appearence wasn't as nice as alder.
     
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  16. schmee

    schmee Friend of Leo's

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    I suspect my '98 MIM Strat may be poplar. It's killer for sure.
     
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  17. sjtalon

    sjtalon Doctor of Teleocity

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    o_O
     
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  18. Treadplatedual

    Treadplatedual Tele-Meister

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    Poplar is wonderful!

    My TeLP is one piece poplar, but it's pretty heavy at 8 lbs 6 Oz.

    Sounds great though :)
     
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  19. SPUDCASTER

    SPUDCASTER Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    I have a '94 that has a 5 piece poplar body.

    It plays and sounds as good as most Strats I've ever played.
     
  20. schmee

    schmee Friend of Leo's

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    Yeah, I have a USA Clapton Alder Strat, and my 98 MIM upgraded to be a Clapton electronically. (both have Tex Mex pickups though). I prefer the MIM just slightly.
     
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