Lightweight Tele Style Guitar need as backup. With or without F holes or chambered, but light. In the $500 or less range.

nipsyco

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Hi all,
Great forums here. I'm a full time, touring guitarist from NYC. My main guitar is Green G&L ASAT Tele (USA) that I've had for 25 years +. On my 2nd neck on that one. It's Swamp Ash, really heavy, but sounds amazing! My backup is also an G&L ASAT, but custom made with 3 single coils and a tremolo. That is also heavy. I want to back up the Green G&L ASAT with a much lighter weight, chambered, F Hole or just a lighter weight Tele style guitar. I loved the USA G&L Bluesboy with the F Hole under the finish (or maybe it's just chambered), but I don't have an "in" anymore at G&L and the company now seems impossible to deal with. Maybe their Tribute with the F Hole might work? It's a backup so I didn't want to spend $1000 or more. $500 more or less. I also don't really want to mod it. I want to set it up and play it. I don't play super loud on stage, I usually tour with an AC 15 or 1 x 12" AC 30 (90's tube model) or a lot of Blues Festivals have the reissue Fender Deluxe or similar. It can get loud...lol, but in general I'm not playing balls out JCM 800 stack volume. If I can go to a local shop and try one or two that you have recommended, that would be great. Your expert opinion is greatly appreciated.
Thanks,
Michael Louis
Brooklyn, NY
P.S. Here's a live clip of James "Worm" Wormworth (Conan O' Brien's Basic Cable Band) - Drums, Ken Rich (Grand Street Recording Studios) - Bass & Myself making a couple of Freddie King classics very funky in St. Barts. I'm using my Red ASAT with the single coils and whammy. I brought it to St. Bats in my suitcase with the neck off the body and put it back together when we got there.
 

djh22

Tele-Afflicted
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I am impressed and pleased with the Paranormal Cabronita Thinline that I got earlier in the year. The Classic Vibe Tele is also nice. Retail now is $400 - $450
 

Chiogtr4x

Doctor of Teleocity
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Mar 29, 2007
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Manassas Park, VA
Hi all,
Great forums here. I'm a full time, touring guitarist from NYC. My main guitar is Green G&L ASAT Tele (USA) that I've had for 25 years +. On my 2nd neck on that one. It's Swamp Ash, really heavy, but sounds amazing! My backup is also an G&L ASAT, but custom made with 3 single coils and a tremolo. That is also heavy. I want to back up the Green G&L ASAT with a much lighter weight, chambered, F Hole or just a lighter weight Tele style guitar. I loved the USA G&L Bluesboy with the F Hole under the finish (or maybe it's just chambered), but I don't have an "in" anymore at G&L and the company now seems impossible to deal with. Maybe their Tribute with the F Hole might work? It's a backup so I didn't want to spend $1000 or more. $500 more or less. I also don't really want to mod it. I want to set it up and play it. I don't play super loud on stage, I usually tour with an AC 15 or 1 x 12" AC 30 (90's tube model) or a lot of Blues Festivals have the reissue Fender Deluxe or similar. It can get loud...lol, but in general I'm not playing balls out JCM 800 stack volume. If I can go to a local shop and try one or two that you have recommended, that would be great. Your expert opinion is greatly appreciated.
Thanks,
Michael Louis
Brooklyn, NY
P.S. Here's a live clip of James "Worm" Wormworth (Conan O' Brien's Basic Cable Band) - Drums, Ken Rich (Grand Street Recording Studios) - Bass & Myself making a couple of Freddie King classics very funky in St. Barts. I'm using my Red ASAT with the single coils and whammy. I brought it to St. Bats in my suitcase with the neck off the body and put it back together when we got there.


This Squier '69-style Telecaster Thinline is now my only Tele...
(I now just keep 1 of any guitar style I like- space/$$),

...as my last one was not getting played anymore. ( it was too heavy and I'm too heavy!)

Fun, fantastic player! ( got it November)
6 lb.4oz., very comfy neck & frets, and the pickup positions, sound like a Tele!

Good warm blues tone (but not woofy) neck pickup, twangy on the bridge, and balanced R&B tone with both ON. Not too hot.
I always wanted this style Thinline ( Mahogany body/single coils) and I know this is a budget model, but it's good!
 

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ponycar

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In my opinion it is impossible to determine which production guitars are going to have a specific weight. I'd get a body that is under 4 lbs., then source a neck. If you're not comfortable doing the build, give a friend who knows how, your best sad face.
$500 is not easy to do unless you are experienced finding parts and are willing to spend the time, but then again I refuse to buy cheap necks.
There are many on the forum who would contend that it would not be hard at all. Perhaps someone will volunteer to do it for you for fun. I don't have anything over 7 lbs.
 

Telenator

Doctor of Teleocity
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Sep 19, 2005
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14,704
Location
Vermont
You absolutely MUST play a light guitar while standing and using a strap before you buy!

Light guitars are very prone to neck-dive and can be very annoying to play.

PLAY BEFORE YOU PAY!
 

KokoTele

Doctor of Teleocity
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albany, ny [not chicago]
For those of you who don't know Michael, he's a total badass performer. (Hi, Michael! This is Eric Gleason from Albany.)

The only way you're going to reliably find a lightweight guitar in that price range is to shop the thinlines. They typically come in under 7 pounds, depending on which model you get and what hardware it has.

The solidbody models in that price range tend to be heavier because the factories use the really lightweight premium wood for their more expensive models. And ash tends to be heavier than alder. If you can find a pine or poplar-bodied model, that would be really light.

Sometimes you do get lucky on a solidbody in that range, though. My Baja tele is ash and about 7 1/2 pounds.
 

schmee

Telefied
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northwest
A Thinline is a bit differnt sounding than a normal Tele. So keep that in mind. There are plenty of options of those out there.
otherwise, get a Basswood body Tele, Japan made would be one source. Or buy a body and make a parts caster, but you dont want to do that I guess. There are some nice , not expensive bodies on ebay, finished and ready to build. The seller specifies weights.
 
Last edited:

cousinpaul

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Jun 19, 2009
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Nashville TN
I recently played a Schecter PT Special with a light ash body. Heck of a nice tele! Maybe you can find a used one.
 

Beebe

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Atlanta
Perhaps someone will volunteer to do it for you for fun.

Here's one.

I'd start with the Tone Bomb Knotty Pine Universal Route Body

 

schmee

Telefied
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The Harley Benton and Michael Dolsey are super light weight. Here's my Michael Dolsey, they came in different configurations, not just P90's and not all arch topped like mine. I'm guessing it's about 6 lbs, maybe less.
 

RetiredUnit1

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Jun 18, 2022
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SoCal
I'm just here for the music! :)

I got my used 78 American Deluxe with one piece swamp ash body and lollar vintage pickups on eBay for $700. You didn't say if you wanted to buy new or used. It weighs 7.8 pounds.... Super sweet sound with those lollars... Picture of it in my profile. Very wide padded leather strap makes it feel like it's 2 pounds....

Well, the song is over, it's a Friday night, I have to feed the pets and then it's time to rock. Have a great one!!!
 

user name

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USA
A pine bodied tele would also make a very light option. Usually pretty cheap too.
 




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