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Adding weight to a tele.

Discussion in 'Finely Finished' started by Ed.D.R, Sep 7, 2011.

  1. Durtdog

    Durtdog Poster Extraordinaire

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    I hear those are heavy and loud.

    Someone should tell Dale about the Super Champ XD or the Mustang II, he could carry all his gear in one trip from the car. And no one needs more than 15 watts.
     
  2. Ed.D.R

    Ed.D.R Tele-Meister

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    Wouldnt that cause the same problems discused in the post by silverface.
     
  3. eMGee

    eMGee Friend of Leo's

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    Put it on the strap, not the guitar -- Brilliant!
     
  4. backporch guy

    backporch guy Tele-Afflicted

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    I don't think so. It would be about the same as shielding the cavities and pickguard with copper tape, only heavier.
     
  5. Silverface

    Silverface Poster Extraordinaire Platinum Supporter

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    Keep the weight OFF the guitar!

    Anything you do to load up the guitar will change the tone.

    As far as the tuners - what (exactly) do your existing tuners look like? If they are very similar to Klusons then they are probably knockoffs of some sort and there's no need to change them (unless they don't work very well). In that case I'd stick with weight only at the butt-end of the strap to get you your weight increase and help with balance.
     
  6. Mike Simpson

    Mike Simpson Doctor of Teleocity

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    What does your Tele weigh?

    I have 6.5 lb teles with fat maple necks that are not neck heavy.
     
  7. Ed.D.R

    Ed.D.R Tele-Meister

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    Sorry about the picture quality I have been doing all this on my phone.
    001.jpg

    002.jpg
     
  8. Ed.D.R

    Ed.D.R Tele-Meister

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    It weighs 2.6 kg which I think is 5 pounds and 11 ounces.
     
  9. Ed.D.R

    Ed.D.R Tele-Meister

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    And on the golf lead tape-100 inches of the stuff weighs 55 grams.
    Not gunna work when they stuff costs 8 pounds.
     
  10. Silverface

    Silverface Poster Extraordinaire Platinum Supporter

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    Those tuners are as light as Klusons - they are the ultra-budget version of "somewhat like Kluson" machines.

    I'd change them anyway. They're usually unreliable and wear out quickly, with a ton of backlash. I think I have a dozen or two in my "almost junk but usable for emergencies" bin. Usually all you'll need is a set of tuners (Kluson reissues) and possibly a set of conversion bushings ($6-7) to fit them in the holes. If for some weird reason the holes are too small get a tapered t-handle reamer (NOT a drill!) and open them up from the back.

    Those light tuners make me curious as to why the guitar is so neck heavy at <6#. I have a Japanese '69 Thinline reissue well under that weight that's balanced fine (with a huge Broadcaster-style neck) and a '54 Strat copy (dead stock except for the newer knobs/tips) that weighs 6# 3.75 oz that's not neck-heavy either.

    Is it a Fender? To me the top grain in the pic you posted of the bridge pickup cavity looks like a Chinese Pine body I have (not Paulownia, which weighs somewhere between pine and balsa). Some scoff at these ultralight woods (esecially Paulownia, which is found on the GFS <$50 finished bodies) but most of that seems to be "it's inexpensive - so it must suck" attitudes.

    Lighter bodies, in many cases (I've had 6 Chinese Pine ones go through here in the last 5 weeks) are so resonant you can "tap tune" them like an archtop in some ways (they emit a clear, ringing tone) - or just leave 'em alone, as they have a natural physical feedback system that can really goose sustain and make for a very complex, full tone.

    So - if it's that light I'm guessing it's a partscaster, but it might be helpful to know exactly WHAT it is (or at least where you got it). I would not add any weight to the body itself in this case - unless something is really "wrong" with the wood you're ahead in the tonal rat-race, so leave it alone. Just use strap weights via one of the methods mentioned.

    PS - I would not use non-encapsulated lead under any circumstances. That's why I suggest an ankle weight or two and nothing on the guitar; also, if you use a -3" (or wider) strap try a narrower one, or one of the vintage-style straps with thin leather and a sliding shoulder pad. The guitar won't be heavier, but will *feel* heavier.

    Another thing we don't know is your age. From experience I can tell you that decades of playing Les Pauls, an ES1275 and heavy basses took a heavy toll on my back, where now (except for my vintage guitars) I try to find the lightest possible guitars I can (not an easy feat to cover all bases when you play B-bender.). If you're in your 20's or early 30's the weight of a Les Paul may seem fine now, but in 20-30 years you'll be kicking yourself and looking for guitars weighing no more than 7 pounds!

    Interesting thread - it'd help to know more specific details about the guitar, though; pictures, brand, model, parts sources if a partscaster etc.
     
  11. surfoverb

    surfoverb Doctor of Teleocity

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    sell it and buy one of the other 1,000,000,000,000 Teles out there.
     
  12. Ed.D.R

    Ed.D.R Tele-Meister

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    Yet another fantastic response thanks.
    Some inisight on the guitar-I would never buy such a light guitar in a shop unless it was a complete steal.
    The reason I have this was that someone living a few miles away from me was selling it on ebay, it was badly advitised so wasn`t going to get much publisty so I easily won the bid for 35 quid.
    The owner said that the headstock logo had come of (typical) but said the guitar was made by johnson.
    http://www.johnsongtr.com/products.html
    There is some sticker residue left from the logo that matches the logo on johnson guitar`s so I am asume it was one, even thought I could`nt find any infomation online about them even making a tele.

    I am going to email them to find out when they made the tele or if they did at all.
    As for me I am 15 going 16 played guitar for 8 years and am about 5 9.
     
  13. Silverface

    Silverface Poster Extraordinaire Platinum Supporter

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    OK, great info!

    Johnson is an import brand sold by various dealers (including some mostly-boutique shops like Truetone Music in Santa Monica CA). They make student to intermediate-grade instruments...the intermediate stuff I've encountered is at least the level of Standard Teles and Strats (made in Mexico).

    The good part is that the basic platform is usually fine (body/neck) and you can "hop it up" with inexpensive (and believe me, I understand the relative level of "inexpensive" when you're 15...I have a 16 year old son) parts without worrying about resale/collector's value.

    Meaning you can do ANYTHING you want!

    Knowing the brand and neck dive issue I'm almost certain the body is Paulownia. So, based on what you might be able to afford over the next year or so here's what I'd recommend:

    1. Solve the weight and balance issue with one or two ankle weights as previously discussed - but ONLY if the thing is seriously neck-heavy. One thing I didn't mention - if you use a strap with a smooth underside (literally all the inexpensive woven straps have a sheet of some sort of flexible plastic that goes on your shoulder) - don't! Get rid of it. Almost every guitar will seem neck heavy with those straps. A $10 cheapo leather strap is 500% better.
    2. If your tuners are slipping or take a partial turn to catch, replace them as soon as you can. Guitar Fetish sells a $25 Kluson copy that's far better than the ones on your guitar.
    3. Bridge/saddles and nut - if you can easily get the nut off and it's hollow, it's just plastic. Replacing it with bone takes time, techs charge more than you can afford...but there is SO much info on the 'net that a $10 (I realize I'm quoting American prices - sorry, I don't have a converter handy and I'm trying offline) nut blank, a coping saw and/or grinder, sandpaper and files are a cheap way to improve tone. As far as the bridge, it's hard to tell without seeing it but most come with a flat plate with a lip in the back where the strings load. Most better Teles load strings into ferrules in the rear and holes through the body, but in the late 50's they were made this way and work fine. However, you might want to invest in better saddles (the cheaper ones are what is called "pot metal", and are tone killers). Long subject - feel free to email me and I'll try to help you find a source - a pic of the bridge would help.
    4. Pickups - stock pickups at this price-point are a "crapshoot" (meaning one might be a tone monster and the one next to it sounds like it's under a pillow!). There are TONS of inexpensive, very good replacement pickups on the market - again, email and I'll try to give you an hand. But as an example, I picked up a set of Tele pickups on eBay a little over a year ago for $20; paid $20 each for some Gretsch Filtertron humbucking copies; and I also just picked off a set of P-90's for $18.83 shipped! I am an absolute freak about good tone - I can't listen to good players for more than a few minutes if their sound sucks...so I had reservations all 3 times and was bowled over with the results. I play with a mix of amateurs, local semi-pros and pros when they're off the road, and everyone is shocked by the sound quality and value for the dollar.

    So - hopefully we can work through you're weight/balance issue, and there are some economical upgrades. I see more "budget" brands on stage now than any time in history as the "quality gap" closes!

    Hope that helps, and let me know if I can help you weed through the possible upgrades.

    Jim
     
  14. Ripthorn

    Ripthorn Friend of Leo's

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    If you search for AxeMasters on ebay, they have an anti-neck dive contraption. I didn't look into it at all, just noticed they had one. That might be worth a look.
     
  15. backporch guy

    backporch guy Tele-Afflicted

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    No, you will not be able to add 2 lbs of lead tape to your guitar. As someone else pointed you will be changing the balance, in effect changing the "swingweight" of the guitar to make it feel heavier. In reading other responses, I think the idea of velcro exercise weights on the strap would be the best way to add substantial weight without drilling holes, epoxying lead weights, etc.
     
  16. Fret Wilkes

    Fret Wilkes Friend of Leo's

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    :lol:
     
  17. Ed.D.R

    Ed.D.R Tele-Meister

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  18. Ed.D.R

    Ed.D.R Tele-Meister

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    As a short term answer before I get some weights in a few weeks I have made this.
    003.jpg

    Just some kitchen weights with some duct tape around them, SORTED
     
  19. Ed.D.R

    Ed.D.R Tele-Meister

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    WOW, an even bigger thank you for all that infomation, I am glad its not some awfull copy I have then and its an established brand.
    Personally I prefer buying a cheaper guitar that is workable and upgrading rather then buyinga guitar with all the right stuff that you have to end up paying extra for the brand name but thats just me so this advivce is super!

    1.Yeah I have been digging for a few years now TGI straps but they have the slippy imitation leather on the underside so its either go to be the first thing I replace or I may wack out the sowing kit.
    2.Put new strings on today so I have yet to get a good idea of the quality of them so far so good and there isnt the annoying "lag" to them.
    3.Nut is defintly plastic so Il have a look online no how to go about making another one- can you reccomend any particular threads or tutorials.
    Some photos-tell me if you need any more.
    004.jpg

    082.jpg

    085.jpg

    086.jpg


    4.As for pickups, I found something I had never encountered before, the bridge and neck sound crap on their own end of. But together they sound the nuts! However I dont want to be limited to one sound so they will need replacing.
     
  20. bubba105

    bubba105 Tele-Meister

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    1) Get a large paperclip, undo it so you have one loop at each end
    2) Attach guitar to your body in usual manner
    3) Attach one end of paperclip to strap, at button
    4) Attach fishing weights, first large, 6 oz (170 grams) then tweak when you get close to desired weight
    5) Get a cheap pot, or , if you're a daring type, use one of the Mrs. pots
    6) Get a piece of scrap wood.
    7) Route a 1/4 inch (.635 cm) rectangular hole a little less than the width of your strap, length, up to you. This one is on you bro.
    8) Melt the lead & pour it into the hole made in the scrap wood, size of which you have chosen. If you mess up the Mrs. kitchen leave me out of it
    9) Have the shoe maker or someone with heavy thread sew the lead into the inside of your strap using a piece of leather or heavy cloth to hold it tightly in place.
    10) Have fun
     
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