Blackguard weight variance and tone

Discussion in 'Vintage Tele Discussion Forum (pre-1974)' started by Luca, Nov 8, 2019.

  1. Luca

    Luca Tele-Meister

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    I’ve been reading a bit of old Tele literature these days, and to my surprise I found that a few of them were quite heavyweights (over 8lbs).
    And a few early Broadcasters over 9lbs!

    In today’s trend of going lightweight, I was wondering how these old beasts sound instead.

    Have you ever had the chance to play or hear a heavier-than-average blackguard?

    Do any of the well known or celebrity used serials belong to this category?
     
    Greggorios and Fretting out like this.
  2. Fretting out

    Fretting out Tele-Afflicted

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    I know a couple years ago a tdpri member had Roy Buchanan’s Nancy and took measurements I think it’s weight also

    maybe he’s around and will chime in

    I think Nancy was in the 8 pound range
     
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  3. bterry

    bterry Tele-Meister

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    The average weight of a Telecaster is 8lbs. Technically that is a medium-weight guitar.

    My 1950 Broadcaster was 8.3 lbs, my 1952 Esquire was 7.8 lbs and my 1954 Esquire was 6 3/4lbs. The old ashtray covers weigh about 3 oz, alone.

    Of the 30 or so blackguards I’ve played, the range was between 6 3/4 and 9.5lbs, with most examples falling in the 7 to 8lbs range.

    The modern trend in light guitars has more to do with their comfort than their tone, light guitars can sound great or terrible and heavy guitars can sound great or terrible.
     
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  4. tonyj

    tonyj Tele-Afflicted

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    I have a 1986 Fender Fuji Gen 'Micawber' MIJ which weighs in at 10lbs 5oz. It is a fine guitar and has great tone. Playing it poses no problems related to weight although I have never played it for very long sessions. Not sure what else to add to this, other than to say the guitar is in excellent shape and looks really good for a guitar that's is over thirty years old.
     
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  5. corliss1

    corliss1 Friend of Leo's

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    Weight has no correlation with tone.
     
  6. Telekaster

    Telekaster Tele-Meister

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    This whole weight thing got kinda crazy. There are so many people think lightweight=great sound. I remember the '70s, I was pretty much the only one who played a Strat. All my guitar playing friends played Les Pauls and they were looking for the heaviest one. They all told me I should look for a heavier Strat that will sound much better.
    Today it can't be light enough for many people. I have a Blackguard that is 6lbs 6oz, a great sounding Tele. My CS MB '56 Tele is 7.5lbs, sounds great as well.
    Anything between 7 - 8 pounds is quite normal for a Strat or Tele from the 50's or 60's.
     
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  7. Masterbuilt

    Masterbuilt Tele-Holic

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    This Broadcaster is a heavyweight one. Watch this.....

     
  8. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    The density...weight if you will...of the body, bridge, but, etc all have an effect. All other things equal, a heavy body will have a sharper attack, better articulation and longer sustain. A light body will have a softer attack, more resonance, and less sustain...and will have a less articulate note separation. Greater differences in weight will exhibit these different responses to a greater degree. This physical fact is why Gibson invented the semi-hollow body thin line series of guitars. Compare a hollow ES-330 to a semi-hollow Es-335.
    those who understand this, feel it, and hear it. They choose their guitar on the basis of these differences....maybe they choose different guitars for different Sonics. Some rare people want a heavy solid body for the differences that such a guitar has compared to a lightweight of the same design.
     
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  9. Greggorios

    Greggorios Friend of Leo's

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    Most Telecasters I've ever played were 8lbs or more. I've never found weight alone to be a huge factor in tone but I'll admit that I take a pretty "holistic" view of guitars/instruments. The overall character of an instrument's sound is greater than the sum of it's individual parts. I try another guitar before I start thinking about swapping parts.
     
  10. Charlodius

    Charlodius Tele-Meister

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    My 52 is right around 7 lbs.
     
  11. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    The heaviest guitar I have owned was a Les Paul Recording.....dense mahogany sandwiched with a maple laminate.....pancake bodies they call them. You could sit that guitar in a stand...not connected to an amp....hit the low E and walk away. Come back 30 or 45 sends later and that string would still be vibrating. It is the difference between the density of the string and whatever the string is attached to...body, bridge...that determines sustain. a Fender from the ‘70’s with dense northern ash has much different response than does a swamp ash body.
     
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  12. Bulldoggio

    Bulldoggio Tele-Meister

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    I have a friend who has two broadcasters. One is really heavy and kind of a dog, really, the other is really light and a truly magnificent guitar.
     
  13. rangercaster

    rangercaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    There are huge variances in weight, tone, pickups, neck profile etc ... Keep in mind everything was handmade ... No CNC cut wood or machine wound pickups ...
     
  14. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Heavy guitars will make sloppy players run away....articulation reveals technique, ime.
     
  15. deytookerjaabs

    deytookerjaabs Friend of Leo's

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    I played a '53 that was probably 8.5lbs or so at a place in Birmingham AL a few years back. Great guitar, didn't notice the weight except for the fact I force my mind to think about it these days what with all the attention paid to that detail.


    Certainly weight is a factor. When I "ran the racks" a year ago I ended up with a Baja that came out to a bit over 8lbs (but didn't seem heavy to me). It was about the same weight as the Muddy Waters one I used to have and for being two teles they couldn't sound much further apart! I returned the Baja when the finish started falling off after a couple days of playing, lol.
     
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  16. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    The difference in body woods,bridge density and such are not to be judged when amplified, imho and ime, unless both guitars have exactly the same electronics, are set up especially with consideration to the relationship of pickups to string..... and are run through the same amplification. . These differences are best judged with the guitar unplugged when the electronics and set-ups are not exactly the same. Come to think about it, if the pickups are too close to the strings, all!bets are of as to accurately judging what guitars do even when unamplified. Those magnets can kill an otherwise great guitar if they are too close to the strings. I have spent about 20 seconds adjusting pickups and revealed to owners that they have NOT been making music.
     
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  17. Adam Wolfaardt

    Adam Wolfaardt Tele-Meister

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    Sounds like the broadcasters neck pickup is cut. That's not how it's supposed to sound
     
  18. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    In what way does it not function as it should in your opinion? The neck pickup alone on these guitars is a very bassy tone due to the large cap that is in its circuit. This circuit was changed circa 1953 to have a tone control in place of the blend, but the bassy neck thing was maintained until 1967.
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2019
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  19. Adam Wolfaardt

    Adam Wolfaardt Tele-Meister

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    He didn't play the neck pickup alone without the cap unfortunately so I can't be 100% sure but there was a massive volume drop when he went to the neck pickup. The best way to check if a pickup is cut is to turn the tone down. If there's a big volume drop it means the pickups is cut. Since there's a 0.1uf capacitor connected to the pickup which amounts to a tone turned down to zero and there's a huge volume drop, I assume the pickups is cut
     
  20. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    there is no tone control on a Broadcaster. The back knob is a blend control. Lack of treble might make one th8nk that output has been decreased. fwiw, that demonstration is a waste of time.
     
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