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Tele Semi Hollow Idea

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by JS321C, Feb 28, 2021.

  1. JS321C

    JS321C TDPRI Member

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    I want to give a Tele body more depth thereby giving it a more semi hollowish tone. One way I can see how to do this is by literally chopping off the bottom of a thinline and gluing a 'cap' onto the bottom with matching chambers or by drilling through the chambers of the original body only and again gluing a bottom cap. Is this insanity, stupid, or would it work....or all three? Thank you
     
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  2. dlew919

    dlew919 Doctor of Teleocity

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    What is it you want?
     
  3. drmordo

    drmordo Tele-Afflicted

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    If I was that intent on a semi-hollow tele, I'd just build a body from scratch.

    Luckily I'm not intent on having a semi Tele, because there are few things I suck at as bad as woodwork.
     
  4. PingGuo

    PingGuo Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    It's pretty out there!

    I think you'll end up hearing a chorus of "why not just build what you want from scratch?"

    The reason for this is the task of shaving off the back of the guitar and attaching a new and deeper back will certainly require most of the same tools and skills as building one from scratch would. So, if you can dream it... you can build it.

    As for the tone part of this... I don't mean to unleash the internet crazy on this one... but the change in the sound of the guitar would be questionable at best. If you have a thinline you don't like the sound of and are not looking for a build project the best bet is probably to just buy a new guitar. That said I'm personally a big fan of taking what could be a simple purchase and making it into a big build project!

    Hope this helps :)
     
  5. Deeve

    Deeve Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    I dunno - sounds kinda cool.
    As I understand the question, he's thinking of a deeper body - perhaps like the diff between an ES 335 and ES 175.
    And I'm down with that, even though I've got no idea what you'd wind up with after you add another inch or two to body depth.
    Let's see! :cool:
    Peace - Deeve
     
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  6. Gardo

    Gardo Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    How much depth would you need to add to make a noticeable difference in the sound ? You could use something like this and even blend it with the standard pickups to get a semi hollow sound
    830E36AB-B9ED-4CC4-A4D5-19B2A9046BF2.jpeg
     
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  7. Peegoo

    Peegoo Poster Extraordinaire

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    I built a thick chambered body from a sandwich of chestnut (the bread) and yellowheart (the cheese). Rather than use longer screws to attach the neck, I recessed the back of the body where the neck plate attaches to allow for easier access to the upper frets.

    It really didn't create a "semi-hollow" tone, but that was not my intent. I tend to think thinlines sound the way they do because of the pickups--not the air space in the body.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
     
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  8. Fenderdad1950

    Fenderdad1950 Tele-Afflicted

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    You can get a Warmoth chambered thinline body, prob in the 4-$500 range.
     
  9. blowtorch

    blowtorch Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Thinline (semi hollow) teles don't really have traditional tonal aspects of hollow/semi hollow guitars, I mean, they don't really have any of that big jazzbox sound.
    I was disappointed to learn this, and, I wish it wasn't true, but it is, in my experience
     
  10. Mxrk

    Mxrk Tele-Meister

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    Same, even though I remember having read that thinlines weren’t really semi-hollow before I got mine. Part of what excited me about the acoustasonic is that it’s seemed more like what I wanted a thinline to be able to sound like, in some ways.

    It’s interesting that they went thinner than a traditional tele with the acoustasonic when you’d think the additional airspace of a traditional thickness body would have seemed like a good baseline. I wonder what a thicker hybrid tele would bring to the table.
     
  11. Controller

    Controller Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Build it OP, you might create a masterpiece! The worst you can get is something that sounds like a Tele.
     
  12. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity

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    I have wanted the same thing for years. You literally can't find a deep Tele semihollow out there except maybe very expensive. I think through the process like you are all the time. How to cut it off cleanly though? I came to the conclusion that starting with a finished guitar is not going to end well.
    One thought I had was to buy two Tele Thinline aftermarket bodies. One left hand one right hand. Then join them and do the sanding and finish work. The problem is you'd have to get someone to make the left hand one without a neck pocket etc.

    I did find this years ago, IIRC it was expensive though, and not that thick a body. It's definitely a niche some builder should fulfill, Jazz players like Teles, you'd think they might like a thicker one.
    [​IMG]

    I compromised with this; it's an arch top hollow so deeper than a flat top at least:
    [​IMG]
     
  13. AJBaker

    AJBaker Friend of Leo's

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    Sounds a bit crazy, but give it a go!
     
  14. JS321C

    JS321C TDPRI Member

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    Thanks for the answers. To be more specific this is what I'm thinking, ordering a 'semi hollow' Tele mahogany body, a spruce top, and a 24.75 scale neck from Warmoth. With humbuckers and concentric pots to deal with tone. Then in a feverish sweat drill holes into the back of it where the hollowed out chambers are to in effect get a kind of ring like if someone were to take the back off a 335. Then carving a bottom with a bowlish chamber almost like an ovation but not as extreme to push any vibration back to the spruce and matching up with the original cavities of the Warmoth. I'm thinking to keep it around 2 inches in depth to retain sexiness. I'm trying to keep the whole guitar and hardware to around 2 G's.

    I'm also curious about the 720 mod, which to my mind would allow me to bury the humbuckers more in the wood while still retaining a correct distance to the strings.

    My ideal would be to get something similar to a Soloway guitar which in my opinion are unbelievable, amazing guitars, some kind of well kept secret, but more on the semi hollow end. As to tools I know I could do this but I don't have the equipment to build it from scratch. Any ideas on people that could I'm all ears. I don't expect to get a 'real semi hollow' sound as it were but if I could get close I'd be happy.

    So from a lutherie perspective is this feasible not so much will it drastically change the sound but will it structurally work? It seems to me gluing a bottom on wouldn't be much different from a top in terms of execution.

    And two any and all recommendations to a luthier who would be interested in this sort of thing would be greatly appreciated thank you
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2021
  15. johnnylaw

    johnnylaw Tele-Afflicted

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    The right Gretsch may scratch that itch for ya.
     
  16. Sea Devil

    Sea Devil Friend of Leo's

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    I made a fully hollow Tele. The body was routed from from my drawing. it's a great guitar; sounds much bigger than it is.

    6F02C6B6-3CD0-467F-8E8E-EE752E73DE36.jpeg
     
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  17. JS321C

    JS321C TDPRI Member

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    That is very nice.
     
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