What is the advantage of a pine Telecaster?

joe.attaboy

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My pine partscaster has a great sound, very versatile, and it's very light. At my age, that's important.

And it looks bitchin'.

IMG_20220411_193633.jpg
 

El Tele Lobo

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They can be lightweight...though not always. There are different kinds of pine. How dried out it is plays a role too. I have a couple that are lightweight and very resonant. They feel almost alive against you...not as much as an acoustic or an archtop, but more than a typical electric. The grain patterns and knots can be very beautiful. God's handiwork, I like to say, with some shaping and finishing touches by man. I have many pictures of pine (and other) teles that I use as screensavers.
 

naneek

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pros- lightweight, good feel, good sound, looks nice
cons- soft wood can be difficult to work with, more prone to tear outs, and the surface can burr up if you overwork it while sanding or buffing.

after it is finished, it will get dents, dings, and scratches very easily. surface wear even from careful handling. but that is just part of the experience, and enjoyable when you get it comfortably broken in.

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my home built pine telecaster is very light, and I can balance it in the palm of my hand right at the neck plate. The feel you get when playing it is good, very strong responsive vibrations give you good tactile feedback.

It looks pretty cool. A construction worker salvaged some beams from an old barn and log cabin, and made this body on a cnc. He made at least 4 other bodies from this particular beam, most of them were 2 piece.

Mine is a single piece from the center of a big old ceiling beam. I count 24 growth rings. It's a little bit rough from the cnc process but I like it; it's a humble guitar. I only have $300 in it.

I used an amish furniture beeswax finish from indiana amish country. Just clear wax polish built up to a slick gloss finish. It aged nicely and developed a nice rich color. Feels great in your hands. Similar to mylands clear wax finish.

It sounds really nice with the duncan 59 blues humbucker in the neck position.

It had a crappy fake p90 in the bridge, but I'll let you know what it sounds like as a real telecaster soon. It's getting a seymour duncan antiquity 1950 fender champion lap steel pickup, similar to a broadcaster.

I'm currently taking it apart for the first time since I built it 11 years ago.

I had to ship it a while ago, and it took some damage from aggressively careless handling. The SKB case was destroyed, the electronics were rattled to death, but somehow the guitar survived. I'm taking the opportunity to invest in some upgrades, make a few alterations, and correct a few errors I made the first time around.
 
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chezdeluxe

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The advantage for leo was that it was cheap to source.
Leo made the early Esquires using the 3/4 inch pine he was already using for amp cabinets. The pine boards were sandwiched together to make a 1 1/2 inch thick body. That approach didn't last long at all.

I don't see any advantage to pine anymore than I see an advantage to ash, alder, mahogany, poplar, basswood or rosewood.
They all seem capable of being turned into nice sounding electric guitars.
 

Maguchi

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Jun 16, 2019
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Lalaland
I see some builders like Ron Kirn offering a pine Tele. I think that Leo started with pine before switching to Ash / Alder. How do they sound?
Pine guitars sound awesome. Very resonant and lightweight. However Leo Fender stopped using pine early on because pine is a soft wood and would dent and ding too easily. Also screw holes would strip out after awhile. I prefer swamp ash and alder.

Excerpt from page 11:
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AndrewG

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May 15, 2007
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Exeter, England
pros- lightweight, good feel, good sound, looks nice
cons- soft wood can be difficult to work with, more prone to tear outs, and the surface can burr up if you overwork it while sanding or buffing.

after it is finished, it will get dents, dings, and scratches very easily. surface wear even from careful handling. but that is just part of the experience, and enjoyable when you get it comfortably broken in.

View attachment 1034418
View attachment 1034419
my home built pine telecaster is very light, and I can balance it in the palm of my hand right at the neck plate. The feel you get when playing it is good, very strong responsive vibrations give you good tactile feedback.

It looks pretty cool. A construction worker salvaged some beams from an old barn and log cabin, and made this body on a cnc. He made at least 4 other bodies from this particular beam, most of them were 2 piece.

Mine is a single piece from the center of a big old ceiling beam. I count 24 growth rings. It's a little bit rough from the cnc process but I like it; it's a humble guitar. I only have $300 in it.

I used an amish furniture beeswax finish from indiana amish country. Just clear wax polish built up to a slick gloss finish. It aged nicely and developed a nice rich color. Feels great in your hands. Similar to mylands clear wax finish.

It sounds really nice with the duncan 59 blues humbucker in the neck position.

It had a crappy fake p90 in the bridge, but I'll let you know what it sounds like as a real telecaster soon. It's getting a seymour duncan antiquity 1950 fender champion lap steel pickup, similar to a broadcaster.

I'm currently taking it apart for the first time since I built it 11 years ago.

I had to ship it a while ago, and it took some damage from aggressively careless handling. The SKB case was destroyed, the electronics were rattled to death, but somehow the guitar survived. I'm taking the opportunity to invest in some upgrades, make a few alterations, and correct a few errors I made the first time around.
Nice looking neck on that.
 

AndrewG

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Exeter, England
Pine guitars sound awesome. Very resonant and lightweight. However Leo Fender stopped using pine early on because pine is a soft wood and would dent and ding too easily. Also screw holes would strip out after awhile. I prefer swamp ash and alder.

Excerpt from page 11:
View attachment 1034435 View attachment 1034440
Great reference work, but well past due for an update.
 

ChicknPickn

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Ole Virginny
There IS no advantage to a pine bodied Tele. Leo tried pine and ended up rejecting it. That says it all, IMO.
Hmmmm. I dunno. I mean, it's soft and all, but if you're a relic kinda guy, you'd like that. From working with white pine a bit, I can say it feels fragile compared to heavy ash, for sure. It'll dent if you look at it too hard. But it's lighter overall, and that can be an advantage to some. I've heard you can harden pine with, well, a hardener. I don't know what that would do to the wood's other qualities.

I tend to slink away from discussions about tone woods, but as another person wrote, it has fine resonance acoustically, and that carries into its plugged-in sound as well. You'll know only when you play one. :)
 




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