Brown's Canyon? Old Growth Redwood? Tele-bration? Why the silence?

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by loudfast, Apr 27, 2011.

  1. Sofaplayer

    Sofaplayer Tele-Meister

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    I've got mine from Thomann, it's an Old Growth. The invoice says Browns Canyon and mentions the trestle bridge. They obviously mixed that up. Still, it's a great, great guitar! I'm sure you will get an Old Growth, too but you really should stop worrying. This guitar is worth the money, the wood is very exclusive and you will never come across a Tele like this again. This one is really special, trestle bridge or not.
     
  2. savofenno

    savofenno Tele-Afflicted

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    To me it has a special meaning to have a classic guitar made of railroad bridge.:oops:
    I am a long-time railroad modeler, with American Trains as prototype. You know, that 1900-1955 steam and early 40`-50`s diesel thing., HO scale, brass.:cool:
     
  3. Sofaplayer

    Sofaplayer Tele-Meister

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    Well then, prepare to pay a ridiculous price on the used market for one of the few real Browns Canyon Teles, but it will be just the same guitar to look at, to play and in tone as the Old Growth.
     
  4. savofenno

    savofenno Tele-Afflicted

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    There`s a good chance i will be quite satisfied if i, most probably, get an OG Tele-Bration 60th Anniversary Tele.:cool:
     
  5. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    I wonder if Neil Young heard about the wood and got the good stuff first. :twisted: No offense guys, just a "funny" thought.

    ++

    It is rough watching you guys go through the life cycle of your passion for this model, and in some cases the extinguishing of that passion. Have not seen very much of this Lovestruck kinda behavior since the economy tanked and reading the thread start to finish, it makes me think of GuitarLust 1999 and makes me wish I was also in love like that. Sometimes.

    All this attention to the precise origins of this lightweight redwood has me bemused, though. Sure, any first growth, clear, straight grained lightweight wood gets my ears pricked up but these guitars are really gonna have to be handled with care. Denting and splitting are a real danger, so be gentle with them. These timbers were probably employed with no coatings at all and the natural substances in the wood have been offgassing into the California air for a very long time, by redwood's standards. Redwood is way less punky, a way better wood resource than wood from the cousin Sequoia but it is not a forever substance.

    But that's all about the sizzle and the spittle of the steak. Let's look past all the marketing stuff and look at some nut and bolt issues:

    1) I strongly suspect these custom "embossed" neck plates are made of yellow pot metal and not steel plate. This type of decorative neck plate is, to me, a liability because these can and do fail. Overtighten the neck screw and the corner of the plate may slough right off. Fender's got to put the best material they can find into each neck plate - surely the steel can be engraved at only some added expense;

    2) Even though this guitar has great tuners, pickups, etc. it is still stuck with the American Standard bridge (to my amazement). Mark's demo seems valid and genuine. The neck position is gorgeous, the middle position is cool, but the bridge position? Oops, again. Mark is clearly a talented and tasty player but that bridge does not sound "twangy" to me.

    ++

    What this means to me is the FMIC market logic is this:

    1) Back up and validate the American Standard bridge choice with these TeleBration models, for to use another bridge is to admit that all the many customers who buy the usual American Standards are getting short change;

    2) Keep the would be customers diverted and in the dark about other, less essential but sexier details about the special model and say next to nothing about the underlying specifications of the rest of the guitar;

    3) Just basically take the hopeless lovestruck cases (the guys with I heart Leo tattooed on their bicep) and milk them for all it is worth.


    You guys deserve better. Thanks for letting me lurk in on your cool thread, seriously. :cool:
     
  6. Sofaplayer

    Sofaplayer Tele-Meister

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    Now that's a critical point of view! But doesn't it all depend on what you're after? If you're looking for a super twangy heavy duty Punkrock axe that will withstand even hitting a biker over the head (read this in another thread and laughed my head off), don't buy the Old Growth. However if you're looking for a warmer and smoother kind of Tele sound that still has the Fender tone in spades, go and get it. If you don't like the bridge, change it. If the neck plate should ever fail, get a standard neck plate and keep the broken Old Growth plate in the case. But I don't see that happening unless you unscrew the neck regularly.

    The wood is kind of soft, that is true. And an oil finish is always vulnerable. So if you hit it hard, it will get relic'ed sooner than other Teles. But splitting? Maybe if you expose the guitar to constant and heavy changes in temperature and humidity. But then many other guitars would fail, too.

    You will have a hard time looking for any first growth wood with that kind of resonance.
     
  7. tonewoods

    tonewoods Former Member

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    Yeah, me too....

    I actually make my living procuring woods for instrument makers to do their magic with, and if Fender wanted to make one stinking trip to redwood country, they would find all kinds of old material to work with, from old water tanks to wine vats (now there's a good story to work with), to other bridges from the late 1800's, all with magic tonal qualities.... ;)

    The stuff is everywhere...

    Here's a Drop-Top Tom Anderson built for me 20 years ago, made from some lightweight old-growth curly redwood...
    Sounds great...

    [​IMG]


    No, that's a different animal...

    Those are the Sequoiadendron giganteum, the giant sequoia....
    Shorter and stubbier than the subject of this thread, the Sequoia sempervirens, or coastal redwood...

    I've only seen one piece of Sequoiadendron giganteum ever, and it was not something you'd want to build a guitar out of....
    Very soft to the fingernail, and brittle as hell...
    The body might shatter with one good blow...

    In fact, that's kinda what spared those trees...
    They shattered when they hit the ground, so the wood was not as commercially appealing as the coastal redwood...
     
  8. johnnytronics

    johnnytronics Tele-Holic

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    Okay, so it's here! Very lightweight, definitely under 7 lbs. Neck is a nice chunky "U". Body has character, grain and other markings. For all the folks who crave "thinskins" this is basically "no" skin! You can feel the grain, especially on the sides. Doesn't feel like machine made. So, nice neck, lightweight, virtually no finish. I'm not loving the American Standard bidgeplate and saddles, and in fact just ordered a Glendale with Intone brass saddles, but that's just my preference. Very articulate in the midrange. Me likey!
     
  9. tonewoods

    tonewoods Former Member

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    Pics?? :)
     
  10. johnnytronics

    johnnytronics Tele-Holic

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    Some quick iPhone shots, but you get the general idea
    IMG_0626.jpg

    IMG_0625.jpg

    IMG_0620.jpg

    IMG_0621.jpg
     
  11. tonewoods

    tonewoods Former Member

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    Thanks!!
     
  12. Rockbreaker

    Rockbreaker Tele-Holic

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    I love the grain on the shot from the back. Hey johnytronnics, that's a nice GOAT in your avatar photo, where was the pic taken? was that out here on L.I.? looks like one of the local beaches. Where in NYC are you? I grew up in Manhattan, Hell's Kitchen (44th. bet. 9th.&10th.) , 23rd in Chelsea and last place was Spring st. in SoHo Moved out in the early nineties. That's a beautiful guitar. Congrats.
     
  13. TucsonTele

    TucsonTele Tele-Meister

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    Agree with everything. The less twangy bridge pickup is to my liking as an alternative. The neckplate and the bridge can be changed and the originals put in the case. As for the denting, well, I don't beat my women either ....
     
  14. Jeff H

    Jeff H Tele-Meister

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    I have enough genuine old growth redwood for about 12 instruments. The tree came from So Oregon and sawn into two 32" by 55 " planks around 50 years ago. They were originally used for a very large table. I got these from the original maker of the table and have owned them for 10 years. While not creosoted or chemically treated and full of train oil and fuel, as were most bridge timbers, they are clean and dry.

    As to the Browns Canyon Trestle story... hype, and bait and switch come to mind. Why hype the story of 500 Brown Canyon guitars before you have actually slabbed out and profiled the blanks to get an actual number? The "story" smells of corporate "bs".... as in: too much story.

    Last summer I resawed about 2000 board feet of old growth pickle vats from central Calif near Fresno. 1 3/4 inch thick ..10-12" wide .. Black to dark brown in color. Bone dry, 100 % quarter sawn. The wood cost $1000.....
    Look ,and redwood is available.
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2011
  15. Sofaplayer

    Sofaplayer Tele-Meister

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    Somehow it doesn't surprise me that old growth redwood is available in redwood country. Strange enough, nobody but Fender uses it to build guitars. At least none of the big manufacturers or at least not to my knowledge.

    That bridge thing indeed is a failed marketing strategy. That doesn't change a thing for me. Love that redwood.
     
  16. savofenno

    savofenno Tele-Afflicted

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    I have a vague memory that there was some Rickenbacker model(s) using redwood bodies.:rolleyes:
    Whatever, my Tele-Bration 60th Anniversary Redwood Telecaster is on it´s way to me now. Not a long distance from Germany/Holland to me, so i guess i have it next wednesday or thursday,:neutral:
     
  17. whitecat

    whitecat Tele-Meister

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    Peavey's got some stuff in their lineup with curly redwood at the moment. Possibly just basses, I'm not 100% sure.

    Suhr have done redwood guitars but only on their 'exotic' range which means pretty limited availability and not something you can even easily special order.

    I'm sort of starting to get the picture (partly thanks to boris too) that redwood might be a really difficult wood to work with and make 'stable' in a guitar. That would explain the dearth of redwood guitars out there as well as the problems that Fender had. It also explains why some people here can state (as fact) that there is in fact lots of old growth redwood out there - there is - but it must be too much of a pain to be able to fashion into good guitars.

    Anyway, mine is here now finally. It's super light (6.5 lbs ish I would guesstimate) and it's loud (unplugged), so there's not a lot to complain about. The neck is nice - I've never played a Hot Rod neck before but I think I like it, it's not too slim but still feels pretty quick. As has been mentioned the "oil" finish is "barely there" - it almost doesn't seem like there's any lacquer at all, or that it's all already sunk into the wood. Grain looks cool, there's a few filled nail holes in mine too. It's a three-piece body by the looks of things but you can really only tell by looking at the 'top side' or right next to the control plate where there's a funky grain pattern that doesn't quite line up - the grain-matching on the top itself is decent in general where it matters. Would like to think that it came from a wine barrel, maybe, if not a rail bridge - but then it would have to be really old as wooden wine barrels in NorCal at any respectable producer have been invariably oak for quite some time (and they only get used twice before going on to serve other duties, sometimes as hard-liquor casks) :D

    Will get pics up in due time. Now to decide whether to execute the order for the Old Growth Pine...
     
  18. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    Congrats on your new guitar!

    +1 on working with redwood. I have a USACG Tele project that has been taking forever in large part because the figured redwood cap (69 Thinline type) is so fragile and has picked up tiny dents just during the finish process (which all the other wood bodies handle with ease). I've tried making items (not guitars) out of old wood, including salvage from kitchens, etc. and the 2 types of wood that seem most vulnerable are redwood and douglas fir. The natural "glue" in these types of woods is in short supply to start with, and over time more and more is lost and it seems problematic to try and restore the resilience. So the wood can be brittle. But in exchange the wood can be light and resonant. By comparison a lot of the wood types that seemed better preserved were also heavy.
     
  19. ukraider

    ukraider TDPRI Member

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    Initailly promoted as the Brown's Canyon Telecaster at the N2011 NAMM it now seems that fender's supplier did not either have enough wood to start with to make 500 guitars or quantity of wood they had was not of suifficient quality to make 500, so thay have had to source other 'old growth' redwood.

    For fender to say that the Brown's Canyon Guitar was never actually built here is a link to their own forum with pictures of the very same guitar.

    http://www.fender.com/community/forums/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=56513

    The neckplate on the Browns Canyon is far better in my opinion to the new Old Growth one, so if you happen to stumle acreoss a Brown Canyon model, buy it there and then as it will surely only raise in value.

    ukraider
     
  20. Sofaplayer

    Sofaplayer Tele-Meister

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    If you ever have the chance to look at / examine an Old Growth Redwood Tele, I'd appreciate a few comments about the wood. You seem to have a lot of experience with redwood and it would be interesting to hear your opinion about the wood quality of this fine guitar.
     
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