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I Built a Particle Board Telecaster (and Compared it to Swamp Ash!)

Discussion in 'Other T-Types and Partscasters' started by Cody_J, Jan 25, 2021.

  1. Cody_J

    Cody_J Tele-Meister

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    Hey everybody! Just like the title says, I build a telecaster body out of subfloor-grade OSB particle board. It basically gives you splinters if you look at it for too long! Haha. However, I wanted to make a video comparing the worst possible excuse for a "wood" body to what most of us would consider a quality tonewood -- a swamp ash body by MJT.

    I have always enjoyed the debates people get into about whether wood matters on a solid body electric guitar. I thought I would attempt to make the most unbiased video within my means to test to question for myself. Every piece of hardware moved from the OSB to the swamp ash in the exact same position, within 1/64 of an inch. Each track was recorded DI into the same input without touching the knobs after they were initially set.

    The OSB body was a blast to build, and I recorded the whole process. I will likely put together a video of that build later!

     
  2. strat a various

    strat a various Friend of Leo's

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    "Swamp Ash" is the name of my Zydeco/Evil Dead mashup band.
     
  3. Cody_J

    Cody_J Tele-Meister

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    Very specific. I dig it. Haha.
     
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  4. decibel

    decibel Tele-Meister

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    That particle board one sounds slightly brighter, but just as good. Nice job.
     
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  5. Dereksys38

    Dereksys38 Tele-Meister

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    My ears aren't too discerning, but I can't hear much difference between either. I'd of course prefer the swamp ash for looks, but it goes to show it's how little the wood can matter on an electric. Great video, fantastic editing!
     
  6. SuprHtr

    SuprHtr Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    Well done!
     
  7. Cody_J

    Cody_J Tele-Meister

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    Thanks everyone! This was the result of being stuck in the house too long these past few months! Haha. It was a lot of fun to build, but I don't think the OSB tele will make it into the regular rotation.
     
  8. TeleUpNorth

    TeleUpNorth Tele-Meister

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    I really enjoyed this, and a good approach with using all the same parts on the bodies. I don’t know that I’d discernibly say either is better. I hear subtle differences in attack, tonal qualities, and maybe some clarity. Neither is necessarily better, they just sound different.
    I own one of the MIJ Bullet guitars. It’s a ply body, but resonates and sounds fabulous. Has always been my argument with those that have to have solid wood or one piece bodies. Not saying that’s a bad thing, just that they can both sound good.
    Also, great playing! Thanks.
     
  9. Jakedog

    Jakedog Telefied Ad Free Member

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    That was cool. The difference, as I suspected it would be, is negligible at best. At first I thought the chipboard was a little brighter and sparklier. After listening a couple more times, I don’t think it is. I think the ash is a little more present in the mids and low mids. Kind of chewy in the middle. That makes the highs seem a little less present, and I mean the barest hair. But I think that’s an auditory illusion. I think the highs and lows are about equal.

    At any rate, I wouldn’t call either one a *better* sounding guitar than the other. They’re just different. And not by much at all. They’re extremely close.

    Nice job, man.
     
  10. Cody_J

    Cody_J Tele-Meister

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    I do have to say that the MJT swamp ash body is definitely a looker! I'm extremely happy with the quality of their work.
     
  11. That Cal Webway

    That Cal Webway Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Excellent!! And thank you for all clean examples.
    Not any real difference, I love it I love it!!


    I'm just curious, was there a little bit of compression in that plug-in program you used?
    .
     
  12. Cody_J

    Cody_J Tele-Meister

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    Thank you! I definitely debated doing a blind A-B style video, but I ultimately went with this format instead. I didn't want to give the impression that I was trying to "fool" anyone into anything, but rather just give people a straightforward comparison and let them decide for themselves!
     
  13. decibel

    decibel Tele-Meister

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    BTW, not to derail your thread, but what type of thumb pick is that? I've been trying to learn that style and think I need a new one. The one I have has much too long a picking area, so it keeps digging too far into the strings. I'd like one with a shorter pick. Yours looks to be short from what I can see.
     
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  14. Steerforth

    Steerforth Friend of Leo's

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    The pieces in that particle board look like Alder.

    That’s probably why it sounds so good. :lol:
     
  15. TwangToInfinity

    TwangToInfinity Tele-Afflicted

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    that puts a smile on my face thank you!

    hey i like your playing! very nice
     
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  16. DugT

    DugT Tele-Afflicted

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    I'm curious about the difference the the weight of the two guitars. I've always been a tonewood denier but maybe neck and/or body density make an audible difference. I would like to hear a comparison between a guitar made of Balsa and one of Gold, for example. Instead of gold I'd settle for a dense wood or even particle board.
     
  17. Cody_J

    Cody_J Tele-Meister

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    Not at all! The thumbpicks I used are Fred Kelly Bumble Bees. I've been using them for years, and they are definitely worth the money in my opinion.
     
  18. ronzhd

    ronzhd Tele-Holic Ad Free Member

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    Great job, I've alway thought that the "tone wood" argument has no merit, now I am convinced.
     
  19. Cody_J

    Cody_J Tele-Meister

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    Sure thing. The OSB body was slightly heavier than the swamp ash, but only by about .4lbs. I should have included that in the description! Also, I'm hardly a woodworker, so the similarity in weight was merely a coincidence. I could not have planned that! Haha.
     
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  20. LWS66

    LWS66 TDPRI Member

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    I think it’s the strand orientation and adhesive holding it all together! Now everyone will be running to Lowe’s and riffling through the 4x8 sheets looking for the ideal tone wood!!! Not!!!o_O
     
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