What do you consider "heavy" for a Tele?

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by hotrodkid, Jun 24, 2019.

  1. hotrodkid

    hotrodkid Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    951
    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2011
    Location:
    South Florida
    I know lighter woods are getting harder and harder to source, especially Alder unless you go CS. So where do you draw the line on weight when Tele shopping? And which body wood do you prefer?

    I'm at 8 lbs and prefer swamp Ash.
     
    black_doug, 8barlouie and FenderGuy53 like this.
  2. Wrighty

    Wrighty Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,324
    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2013
    Location:
    Essex UK
    On the limited trips I’ve made to buy a Tele, I never even considered the weight. I can only conclude that I either don’t much care or I never hit one of the extreme cases. Same for wood, not bothered, just go with what sounds good and plays good.
     
  3. Old Deaf Roadie

    Old Deaf Roadie Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    632
    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2017
    Location:
    Oregon
    I swung a 30 lb. brass sousaphone in high school. Telecasters aren't heavy.
     
  4. 8trackmind

    8trackmind Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    240
    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2018
    Location:
    Memphis, TN
    I like them under 8lbs for sure but don't like em under 7. Ends up all the Teles I have fall in between that target weight.
    My favorite is 7lbs 4oz which just feels perfect. (to me)
    Bigsby or b-bender changes the equation though.
     
    MilwMark and 8barlouie like this.
  5. Chiogtr4x

    Chiogtr4x Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    4,744
    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2007
    Location:
    Manassas Park, VA
    I never knew how light a Tele could be until ( years ago, now) I played a few 'parts guitars' put together by a luthier/repair friend that refretted my Martin.
    These guitars were Swamp ash, with super thin nitro finishes and were just shy of 7 lbs. Amazing players!

    I've owned 3 Import Teles ( 2 Fender, on Fernandes) and they have all been heavy- around 10 lbs. Just one now, and I play sitting down ( bad back)
     
  6. FenderGuy53

    FenderGuy53 Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    5,869
    Joined:
    May 14, 2008
    Location:
    Marion, NC
    In my earlier days, I cared more about color than I did about body wood or weight. Now, I know why guys call their electric guitars "axe's"!

    When I first strapped on the guitar in my avatar, I thought to myself, "Wow, this feels great"! The reason why is that it weighs under 8 pounds!

    I STILL prefer blondes and brown 'bursts, but nowadays, I also prefer bodies in the "under 8 pounds" category; however, there IS one caveat: No "neck dive syndrome" allowed!
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2019
  7. hemingway

    hemingway Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    5,478
    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2012
    Location:
    London, UK
    I don't get obsessed about it. I wouldn't think a guitar is heavy till it hits 9 lbs, and even then, I carry heavier shopping home several times a week. So who cares?
     
    hellopike and notmyusualuserid like this.
  8. JL_LI

    JL_LI Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    69
    Posts:
    2,317
    Joined:
    May 20, 2017
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    I never picked up a Telecaster I thought was light so that makes them all varying degrees of heavy. Held by the neck and swung like a club, a Tele can inflict some serious hurt. My SG could probably be blocked by a raised forearm and snap at the headstock. A Tele is just what it is. No sense complaining.
     
  9. DanDII

    DanDII Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    267
    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2015
    Location:
    Sinsinnasti
    I agree with 7-8 pounds. That is in my happy zone. My triple tele was over 9.5 pounds and was heavier than my solid body Washburn PI70 Pilsen. The body alone was 6 pounds 10 ounces! I did list the body weight in the ad tho. No surprises here.

    That triple T was parted within days of arrival. The neck is still in use on my '13 AMSTD tho.
     
    MilwMark likes this.
  10. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    67
    Posts:
    7,193
    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2017
    Location:
    Foat Wuth, Texas
    My #1 (avatar) weighs in at dead on eight pounds.....and I consider that my absolute "max" for gigging comfort. I wish it was closer to my 1960 Les Paul Jr, which almost sixty years ago must have been drying for ages, 'cause it must be close to 6-6.5 lbs. (I've never weighed it) But I can tolerate the Telecaster because it has such a perfect neck.
     
  11. notmyusualuserid

    notmyusualuserid Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,742
    Joined:
    May 3, 2016
    Location:
    In the South
    No bass guitarists among the weak-backed Tele players then? :)
     
    SAguitar, Bergy, hellopike and 3 others like this.
  12. 8barlouie

    8barlouie Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

    Age:
    60
    Posts:
    3,515
    Joined:
    May 9, 2015
    Location:
    Seekonk, MA
    Under eight but more than seven. More than 8lbs starts to feel heavy for my old bones. Under 7, and the likelihood increases that it will be top heavy. That’s a no goot.
     
    MilwMark likes this.
  13. igor5

    igor5 Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    230
    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2016
    Location:
    Chicago
    "What do you consider "heavy" for a Tele?"
    Short answer: 9lb and beyond.

    My favourite: 7 - 7.5 lb
     
    MilwMark, 8trackmind and hemingway like this.
  14. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Age:
    59
    Posts:
    15,705
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2010
    Location:
    Maine
    Hahaha I used to have and play P bass and J bass and even an Alembic. Loved fretless!

    Sadly nobody told me the trades would destroy my back before I was old enough to retire.
    At 59 I cannot haul 1/4 of my previous capacity, can't even stay upright eight hours a day.

    So as a "weak backed Tele player" I grab my well under 7lb Tele or Strat most often.
    Over 7lbs is just painful, on top of being in pain 24 hours a day. Too damn much pain.
    Pain is exhausting too, and working with a 7lb strap across my shoulder is extra tiring.

    Seems you can get down to like 5lbs with a soft paulownia body, but I really don't like neck dive, or imbalanced guitars.
    Never got along with an SG on a strap either.
    I guess eventually I'll only be able to play in a sitting position, but my hands are pretty beat up too, and my neck is bad enough that I really can't expect to be very physically functional in ten years unless I get some vertebrae fused.

    While it seems boomer age players are a big part of the guitar buying market, and age leads to back problems, I wonder how many young sturdy players think they need light weight guitars just because old guys with weak backs prefer them?
     
    Fuelish likes this.
  15. viking

    viking Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    53
    Posts:
    3,851
    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2007
    Location:
    Denmark
    I prefer a Tele between 7 and 7.5 pounds. That is not hard to find/buy/assemble.
    I have done serious weight reduction on both Teles and Les Pauls. In many of my searches online , threads from Bass forums came up.
    They vary just as much as guitars in weight , and it is even more common that they worry about it , it seems....
     
    MilwMark likes this.
  16. SolidSteak

    SolidSteak Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,785
    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2016
    Location:
    USA
    I was just thinking that myself... my favorite 4-string probably weighs almost as much as 2 telecasters!
     
  17. Fuelish

    Fuelish Tele-Meister

    Age:
    61
    Posts:
    103
    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2018
    Location:
    foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains, east TN
    My Thinline is a lil over 8 lbs, heavier than I expected , but.....my Epi LP weighs at least a pound more, so ….it ain't too bad. Love the guitar, was just expecting a lil lighter, but….it's doable
     
  18. LGOberean

    LGOberean Doctor of Teleocity

    Age:
    65
    Posts:
    10,060
    Joined:
    May 31, 2008
    Location:
    Corpus Christi, Texas
    I was kinda tickled and also a little embarrassed by igor5's "short answer." It brought home the fact that my heaviest tele exceeds his upper limit...and the fact that I don't do "short answer" very well. :oops:

    I have played FMIC teles when test driving amps, but I haven't considered buying FMIC since 2008, when I got my first custom made tele. I have four Logan Custom teles now, with a fifth one on the way. So I can only judge this by my own teles.

    My heaviest is my first, my "hog" (word play intended here). I requested a solid mahogany body. I wanted the warmth of the look, and the perceived warmth of tone. How much it weighed wasn't really even a consideration at the time. This one weighs 9 lbs. 2 oz. Eleven years ago, I'd play a set with this hog slung over my shoulder, no problem. But I rarely gig standing up anymore, since a heart attack and subsequent quadruple bypass surgery almost five years ago, so the weight isn't that much of an issue.
    My Logan Custom mahogany, 2008 - in case.jpg

    Kind of a side note here, but I did recently gig with my Logan Custom Challenger standing up. Not a tele style body, but my second heaviest guitar: weighs an ounce shy of 8 lbs. The occasion was a special flag raising ceremony at an area seniors community, so the whole gig had me on my feet for no longer than the length of one set at a regular gig. So I can still do it, if need be, for short periods, anyway.
    05-21-2019 - Challenger at flag raising ceremony.jpg

    The lightest one of the four I currently have in my possession (more on that in a second) is my Logan Custom "Firecaster," a tele made from salvaged lumber (Long Leaf Pine and Douglas Fir) from our house fire in 2010. The body core was made from the Doug Fir, and is chambered, the top is from planks of LLP.
    My Logan Custom Firecaster 02.jpg My Logan Custom Firecaster 03.jpg

    Okay, now the new lightest tele I have is my Firecaster II. As I indicated, I don't yet have it in hand, but the build is done and Bob Logan should be shipping out to me today. I didn't have any more of the Doug Fir, but plenty of Long Leaf Pine planks, so the top and back veneers are made of that same LLP as before, with the chambered body core on this one being basswood, with the edges stained dark walnut. This guitar weighs 5 lbs. 12 oz.
    06-20-2019 - Firecaster II - 3.jpg 06-20-2019 - Firecaster II - 4.jpg
     
  19. Texicaster

    Texicaster Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    297
    Joined:
    May 9, 2018
    Location:
    Arizona
    Weight not as important as balance.

    I just bought a Wildwood Thinskin "black guard" they weighs ~7.8lbs which is a whole pound more than my '58 BUT is so well balanced it doesn't feel heavy at all!

    I had a Baja that was about the same but felt very heavy.....

    TEX
     
    2 Headed Goat likes this.
  20. Skydog1010

    Skydog1010 Tele-Meister

    Age:
    65
    Posts:
    277
    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2019
    Location:
    North Carolina
    Anything over 8 pounds
     
    8trackmind 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.