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Rosewood Tele body

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by Rick-kcmo, Jul 20, 2014.

  1. Rick-kcmo

    Rick-kcmo TDPRI Member

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    Hi. I just received the body pictured from Warmoth. Obviously amazing looking. Thinking of either light satin lacquer clearcoat or tung oil. I have done some reading since buying it and it seems like the opinions of what rosewood bodies sound like are all over the place. Warmoth says it is warm. OK, makes sense. Rosewood fretboards are pretty warm sounding. However other places maintain it is very forward and bright. Tapping it indicates a fairly high resonant frequency, higher than a black Korina I'm working on. This is non-chambered, weighs a ton, and am matching it with a solid rosewood neck. I love the look but have a swamp ash and really don't want another bright tele. Obviously I can choose pickups to try to compliment, but I haven't touched the body (OK, I rubbed spit on a corner to see how it will look) and can still return it. I know all woods vary, but I'm looking for the general character. I had the Don Grosh alder strats once and they all sounded different but none sounded like ash or mahogany, you know? Thanks.
     

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  2. BUILTACASTER

    BUILTACASTER TDPRI Member

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    If you can break even or make a dollar if you don't like the sound then build it. You've already got a neck and a body so the hard part's over. Throw it together and see. I'm sure an all rosewood Tele will sell quickly and for a nice price even if you hate it.
     
  3. Telenator

    Telenator Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    Gorgeous body. Rosewood will often give you very tight lows and bright highs, depending on how well you match the pickups to the wood.

    In my experience, a rosewood body makes a greater contribution to a guitar's sound than most other woods, and can be more difficult to bring into balance.

    I take a different approach to this than others. I don't get "this idea" stuck in my head of what I want the guitar to sound like. Instead, I try to find a pickup set that best reveals a guitar's real potential and brings out the best tone available.

    I always start with a generic set of Fender pickups to asses the guitars tendencies and potential. From there, I decide what it needs more of, or less of, and choose a new set of pickups that will potentially deliver the goods.

    Rosewood is tricky, but the potential for a unique sound with killer tone is definitely there. Plan on trying a couple sets of pickups. Start simple.
     
  4. jorbjorb

    jorbjorb Tele-Meister

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    Curious to hear how this would sound......
     
  5. Superrock

    Superrock Tele-Meister

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    I have an old schecter one piece brazilian rosewood tele shape guitar with strat routes and the tappable schecter strat assembly on an aluminum guard... I think the tone compared to four others with the same electronics can be characterized by big warm bottom and bloom on the highs, especially overdriven sounds... The funny thing is, i suspect the aluminum guard attenuates the highs, at least john suhr is certain of that, more than the rosewood does... I will say it sounds like none of the others, where they are closer in flavor...But they have brass guards.... ;)
     
  6. cormorant

    cormorant Tele-Meister

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    Well my previous partscaster was solid rosewood and it had quite a warm sound although the highs were clear as well, though not ice-picky or anything. (Tonerider vintage plus pups) I was convinced this was at least in part due to the body wood. For the next build I transferred the very same pickups into a 1 piece swamp ash body. Hate to say I can't tell the difference. It's still the same amp, same pickups, same clunky old me playing, and it all sounds the same. Both guitars sounded very good, I am very impressed with these pickups and the amp is just a little Vox Pathfinder 15r but they are generally well thought of.

    Having said that, that rosewood body is gorgeous. I'm sure the choice of pickup will be much more important for you than the wood.
     
  7. Blue Bill

    Blue Bill Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    Wow, that is beautiful. I used the Behlen tung-oil from Stew-Mac on a maple neck. 4-5 wipe-on coats dried after a few days to a nice semi-gloss. That's gonna look awesome with a rosewood neck. Black pick guard?
     
  8. foxyguitars

    foxyguitars TDPRI Member

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    hi Op, I have a solid rosewood ( schecter ) strat body that is 30yrs+ old and weights a ton as well. sounds like most describe: defined, beam like focused highs but shifted lower in frequency ( ie , no high highs - icepick, more like high mids) , blooming sound, tight lows. Great wood to record with or get heard through the band ! enjoy !
     
  9. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    Beautiful!
    Heavy on the covet, father! (George Carlin joke)
     
  10. Rick-kcmo

    Rick-kcmo TDPRI Member

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    Remiss in checking

    Hey guys - thanks for all the thoughts. Yeah, I'm in love with the wood. I think the key will be the pickups as many have suggested. I have several tele sets and I will try a few to give me some idea of what I need. I have some Bare Knuckles Flat 52's, Lollar Special T's, Fraling Blues Specials and a few other odds and ends. If it is bright, I think maybe the Bare Knuckles Flat 50's might work. Supposed to be very big bodied in sound, if that makes sense.

    Right now I'm still torn between some form of Tung Oil and lacquer. I don't want a gloss finish. I think the Tung Oil will dampen it a little, which could be good. Or not.

    At any rate, thanks again for the thoughts. Yeah, I'm just in love with the wood. It "talks" to me.
     
  11. Rick-kcmo

    Rick-kcmo TDPRI Member

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    To Telenator

    I like your statement about letting the guitar determine how it best sounds. I'm totally open to that. I have a swamp ash, alder, and semi-hollow, as well as a black korina chambered. I just want a good sound. Kind of like the look of the guitar. I've seen many rosewoods stained. This one doesn't want to be. Like that makes sense.
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2014
  12. Rick-kcmo

    Rick-kcmo TDPRI Member

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    Black pickguard

    Yes, although I hate to cover any of it....:)
     
  13. Rick-kcmo

    Rick-kcmo TDPRI Member

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    George Carlin

    Is that the bit where he says save the bus fare to go downtown and commit a mortal sin - you already did it by thinking it? Miss him.
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2014
  14. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    It's from the same era, in the bit, he is in the confessional booth, enumerating his sins to the priest.
    Carlin ends the confession with "Heavy on the covet, father".
     
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