Maple body

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by HarpJim, Jan 20, 2009.

  1. HarpJim

    HarpJim Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    507
    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2008
    Location:
    Canada
    I've been browsing in the forum for infos about the kind of wood I could use for a body and wondered why maple don't earn much favor. Is it because of his weight? His tonal qualities?
     
  2. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    50,078
    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2007
    Location:
    New Orleans, LA + in the
    One would think a maple body would run pretty heavy, but I have an ash T body, rear control but otherwise solid, with a 1/2 inch thick maple cap and it is 4 pounds 4 ounces. That's right, the cap is a full 1/2 inch thick.

    I have to be concerned as I build this, that it will be fairly bright. I'm planning on using a GE Smith sized bridge plate, but in brass, and I'm planning to use a retrotron in the oversized neck pickup rout.

    Leo Fender successfully used soft maple as a body wood on many many early G + L guitars. But it is generally paint grade wood, not usually pretty.

    I just think if you use a solid piece of Northern or Hard Maple, you are increasing the likelihood you will not like the end result. Sometimes it is all about percentages - and to the extent it isn't percentages it is perceptions. Accepted wisdom is; solid rock maple body = issues.
     
  3. benbo

    benbo Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    55
    Posts:
    1,035
    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2003
    Location:
    Hampton, Va
    I would also think it would be a very very bright guitar
     
  4. benbo

    benbo Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    55
    Posts:
    1,035
    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2003
    Location:
    Hampton, Va
    I have a question now as well, not trying to hijack this thread but: What type of pine is normally used for pine Tele's?

    Sorry for the interruption but it was a question I have been meaning to ask for a long time.:oops:
     
  5. Jack Wells

    Jack Wells Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    18,423
    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2003
    Location:
    Albuquerque, USA
    Well.......... you've got your hard maple and your soft maple. Hard maple is heavier. Rickenbackers are made of maple. The semi-hollows are 1 1/2 in. thick. Solid bodies such as the 620 are only 1 1/4 in. thick.

    I built a Telecaster style maple semi-hollow with three chambers like the Warmoth bodies. It weighs 7 lb. 8.2 oz.

    The 1 1/2 in. thick body blank weighed 6 lbs. before routing the chambers. After routing the chambers, it weighed 3 3/4 lbs. The chambers removed ~ 2 1/4 lbs. So .......... if you add 2 1/4 lbs. to the total guitar weight, it would weigh ~ 9 3/4 lbs. if it was a solid body.

    ......[​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2009
  6. Nick JD

    Nick JD Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    17,552
    Joined:
    May 12, 2007
    Location:
    Queensland, Australia
    What species of maple? Big Leaf is like pine. A light hunk of sugar maple would be lighter than some ash.
     
  7. Tuxedo

    Tuxedo Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    522
    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2008
    Location:
    Texas
    You could opt to make the body thinner than normal, and route out as much as you could.
     
  8. Colt W. Knight

    Colt W. Knight Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    18,871
    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2007
    Location:
    Tucson, AZ
    My very first post on this forum was exactly the question you are posing.

    What do you think about a maple body?

    The concensus seems to me was that maple would produce a heavy and shrill/bright sounding guitar.

    The thread turned me off from building my maple tele then, but I am now planning on building one, semi hollow, big radius, lipstick pickups, and maybe a tailpiece style bridge setup.
     
  9. milkshape

    milkshape Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    652
    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2006
    Location:
    New England
    This one is solid maple, I don't notice the weight and I don't think it sounds shrill. The thickness is better than 1.5 but less than 1.75. At one point it looked like my avatar. I use poplar now because it is easy to get and cheap where I live. I think Ash and Alder are the standards if you can get 'em I'd go for those.
     
  10. mrothacker

    mrothacker Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    401
    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2008
    Location:
    Asheville
    What jwells said !
     
  11. Telenator

    Telenator Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

    Posts:
    13,101
    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2005
    Location:
    Vermont
    While there is no guarantee that a solid maple guitar will be heavy and bright sounding, there is enough information circulating that points in this direction. Of course, a maple ES335 doesn't sound bright, and if you were to put different pickups in a semi-hollow Rickenbacker it wouldn't sound sound as bright.

    Personally, I love the sound of this guitar. It's very full and rich sounding. Very similar to a Les Paul actually which I didn't expect when I finished building it.

    You just never know what a piece os wood is going to offer up. But I think it's safe to say that, where maple is concerned, a solid body guitar will probably be brighter than most other guitars. Chamber it, and a whole new set of frequencies make themselves obvious.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2009
    mistermikev likes this.
  12. Jack Wells

    Jack Wells Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    18,423
    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2003
    Location:
    Albuquerque, USA
    Telenator............ I've always been impressed with your Rickenbacker copy. I think I saved pictures of the jig you used to do the cutaway behind the bridge.
     
  13. WoodyTone

    WoodyTone TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    37
    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2009
    Location:
    NJ
    I'm not as expert as many of the guys here, but I have owned (sold it) a maple guitar. It sounded good, but it was a one-trick pony -- meaning there wasn't much breadth or depth or whatever to the sound. As I recall, it was bright, almost compressed-sounding, but articulate.
     
  14. Tom S

    Tom S Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,386
    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2005
    I'm very curious. Where can this data be found?
     
  15. Telenator

    Telenator Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

    Posts:
    13,101
    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2005
    Location:
    Vermont
    Nice.

    The "data" can be found by asking people who have experience with maple guitars. While I am firmly in the camp of "you don't really know what it's going to sound like until it's all together," I suppose my conviction wavers a bit where maple guitars are concerned. And I think most people will agree that maple guitars are typically bright and that making them semi-hollow like an ES335 or a Rick will tame the cut a bit.

    Of course if you just want to contest the use of the word "data" all I can say is UNCLE. My use of gramar isn't always the best. In this case I am using "data" much the same as I would use the word "information."
     
    Zepfan likes this.
  16. Telenator

    Telenator Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

    Posts:
    13,101
    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2005
    Location:
    Vermont
    Thanks man. You know I dig your guitar projects as well. Making the jig and cutting that bevel was perhaps the most difficult part of building my Rickenrockers. Well, almost as difficult as the wood binding in the cateyes! :lol:
     
  17. Tom S

    Tom S Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,386
    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2005
    I see. Not data. Thanks.
     
    Peltogyne likes this.
  18. Telenator

    Telenator Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

    Posts:
    13,101
    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2005
    Location:
    Vermont
    Whatever. I thought we were dicussing guitars. I suppose we could start another thread on grammar. Or would that be "vocabulary?" :D
     
  19. Tom S

    Tom S Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,386
    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2005
    It's because we are discussing solid-body electric guitars that it is important to draw distinctions between facts and folklore, anecdotes, hearsay, myth, what have you. For me and a few others on this forum, that's an important distinction. Data implies a body of facts or statistical info, which in this case doesn't exist.

    This is not a condemnation of you for misspeaking, in fact it has nothing to do with you personally. It's simply about providing accurate information, or at least a balanced viewpoint to those who visit these forums who have limited or no experience. I'm sorry if you don't agree, but don't take it personally.
     
    Peltogyne and mistermikev like this.
  20. Guitartom_ca

    Guitartom_ca Tele-Holic

    Age:
    44
    Posts:
    767
    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2007
    Location:
    Canada
    the 1st tele i build was from maple. I think it sounds awesome. the pickups are SD 5/2. there is a pic and soundclips HERE
     
    mistermikev likes this.
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.


  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.