Poplar Body might be...

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by FrontPU, Mar 10, 2019.

  1. Cheshiergrin

    Cheshiergrin Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    603
    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2013
    Location:
    Not there anymore
    I have had a few 90's poplar bodied strats and never thought any less of the sonic properties, I still have one (5 piece body) and it is the brightest sounding strat I have.
     
  2. t guitar floyd

    t guitar floyd Tele-Holic

    Age:
    72
    Posts:
    938
    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2016
    Location:
    sw US
    Shhh! You guys are in big trouble if the "Tonewood Police" see this post. :twisted:
     
  3. fender4life

    fender4life Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,249
    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2011
    Location:
    los angeles
    There's a guy around here thats a sort of local legend. He's played the same bar for many years and when he's there the place is always standing room only He's easily on par with the best blues/blues rock guys i have ever seen including SRV. I used to go there and see him play all the time and he owned an array of vintage fender gear including amps and guitars. His live rig is a 50s bassman and deluxe using the bassman for cleans and deluxe for dirt with a clean boost. He mostly uses a strat but also pulls out old gibsons for certain things, mainly the oldest of blues stuff he plays. His #1 was a original 50s strat that he'd play most of the nite. Total vintage gear freak.

    Then one day i walk in to see him playing what looks like a new blue strat. Turns out to be a poplar MIM. I talked to him about it and he said he just happened to pick it up and was floored by the sound and bought it. From that time forward every time i'd go see him he always was using that strat and i never saw him bring the old one again He wasn't afraid to bring the old one, he used to for years. He just loved the sound of that poplar MIM ! Thats a pretty impressive recommendation if i ever heard one, and if you saw this guy perform you'd feel the same. Anyone who's that good and that picky about gear is worth listening to when he says something is good. That made me want to get a poplar model but i never got around to it.
     
    FrontPU and guitarbuilder like this.
  4. LocoTex

    LocoTex Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    64
    Posts:
    1,491
    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2018
    Location:
    Waxahachie, TX.
    I had a poplar Strat for a while in the 90's. It wasn't much to look at, 7 piece body, but it did sound good.
     
  5. Tim S

    Tim S Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    681
    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2008
    Location:
    Upstate NY
    alder.png
     
  6. LunarSlingShot

    LunarSlingShot Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    355
    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2018
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    My telecaster is poplar and I love it. Really resonant but lightweight.
     
  7. SecretSquirrel

    SecretSquirrel Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    2,519
    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2015
    Location:
    PNW USA
    I just spent the morning hand-sanding a poplar tele body! Also added a forearm contour. It's an agreeable wood and I expect it will make a fine baritone tele.
     
  8. archetype

    archetype Fiend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    3,388
    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2005
    Location:
    Williamsville NY
    Thanks. That's bizarre. I've not seen evidence of an alder Standard before the 2000 model year. I'm not inclined to believe a single instance, given Fender's recordkeeping. For example, that's a 1996/1997 serial number.
     
  9. Tim S

    Tim S Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    681
    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2008
    Location:
    Upstate NY
    I’m afraid you’re off on the serial number/year correlation.

    I bought it new by placing an order, waited for it to arrive and watched the dealer open the shipping box — in 1998. It wasn’t NOS. (Gelb Music in Redwood City moved too much gear back then to have NOS)
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2019
  10. sjtalon

    sjtalon Doctor of Teleocity

    Posts:
    10,484
    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2006
    Location:
    Upper Peninsula of Michigan
    I believe the way it went was yes, Poplar bodies, and the SUNBURST was the only one with the veneer, as that color choice was one you could see the grain.

    It was a higher retail than the others as well;

    (532)* Brown Sunburst add $50.00,
     
    LocoTex likes this.
  11. Fenderdad1950

    Fenderdad1950 Tele-Meister

    Age:
    68
    Posts:
    337
    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2019
    Location:
    Albuquerque
    Maybe poplar wood has good karma:rolleyes:
     
    FrontPU likes this.
  12. archetype

    archetype Fiend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    3,388
    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2005
    Location:
    Williamsville NY
    The Fender serial number is 96/97, but your purchase trumps that. MIM Signature models were notorious for having serial ranges used beyond their year of manufacturer, but apparently the Standards did too.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2019
  13. archetype

    archetype Fiend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    3,388
    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2005
    Location:
    Williamsville NY
    They all had veneer, front and back, even the solid colors. The veneer wasn't for looks on the solid colors, it was to hide the multiple glue joints and eliminate a lot of fill and finshing steps. The sunburst and white blondes got an ash veneer for looks. Here's mine...

     
    Crobbins likes this.
  14. sjtalon

    sjtalon Doctor of Teleocity

    Posts:
    10,484
    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2006
    Location:
    Upper Peninsula of Michigan
    I'm not believing that. Why would they spend the money on a body (putting veneer on it) that would have a color where you're not going to make out what's underneath anyway.

    I have a '95 Std. Arctic white.....no veneer.

    Also I bought a '92 to re-sell that the guy had stripped.............it had been black...............NO veneer.

    And why would they add $50 bucks to one model ?

    .02 and such as.
     
  15. fender4life

    fender4life Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,249
    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2011
    Location:
    los angeles
    Probably because glue joints will show thru the finish as it cures and sinks in. So you'd have these 7 or 8 dead straight lines which would not only look bad but make it obvious it's a 7 or 8 piece body. On my poly finished strats and teles with solid colors you can even see the grain lines due to the finish curing and shrinking in.
     
  16. LocoTex

    LocoTex Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    64
    Posts:
    1,491
    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2018
    Location:
    Waxahachie, TX.
    Mine was 7 pieces, and you could tell it easily. Solid black with no veneer. It was only the Brown Sunburst.
     
  17. FrontPU

    FrontPU Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    695
    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2008
    Location:
    nyc
    Wow, :rolleyes: you guys make this so INFORMATIVE!!!o_O
    Regarding myself still new to the world of this wonderful tonewood poplar (though have played some really nice vintage Danelectros for years), I'd need to spend more time with my new #1 tele this weekend reading your posts again and again.;)
    Thanks you guys!!! :)
     
  18. Fendereedo

    Fendereedo Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    53
    Posts:
    4,108
    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2014
    Location:
    UK
    Poplar is pretty decent wood in my view, gets undeserved bad publicity. I personally think it's a whole lot better than basswood, which is just a little too soft, but ymmv.
     
    telemnemonics likes this.
  19. rangercaster

    rangercaster Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    5,069
    Joined:
    May 8, 2008
    Location:
    portland, or
    Poplar is as good as any other choice ... Remember that Leo didn't choose wood with tone in mind ... He was looking at price and manufacturing costs ... That's why he used car paint ... If mahogany was cheaper than Ash or pine at the time, teles would be made of mahogany...
     
  20. Gary in Boston

    Gary in Boston Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,078
    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2003
    Location:
    WALTHAM MA
    I have built furniture with poplar. It's straight, stable, easy to work with and light weight. It does, however have that greenish / yellow / white color that's not a good base for stains but great for paint.

    It's not soft, in fact it holds a furniture edge quite well so what's the problem with bodies made of it? Perhaps some luthiers can chime in on this ?

    Gary
     
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.