What Should a Tele Weigh?

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by holndav, Feb 21, 2019.

  1. raysachs

    raysachs Friend of Leo's

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    I’m checking out a roadworn tele right now that’s pretty light. I love how it feels to pick it up and how it sounds playing. It’s got more unamplified resonance than any solid body I’ve played and that comes through the amp too. I don’t have any kind of scale where we’re staying, so I can’t tell you what it weighs, but it feels like it’s sub 7 pounds to me, based on the variety of guitars I’ve played in the lower 7 pound range. I picked up a Brad Paisley tele in a shop not long ago and nearly threw it across the room it was so light - felt like a piece of balsa wood. I actually didn’t like the feel of that - like it was barely there. Looking at Sweetwater’s listing for those, most of them are under six pounds, some by a fair amount. I’d say upper 6 to lower 7 pound range feels pretty ideal to me...
     
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  2. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

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    .

    Consensus I've observed from many forum threads: 7 to 7.5 lbs is acceptable. 8+ is too heavy. 6- is too light.

    Super light guitars 'feel cheap' so factories push higher priced models up in weight making buyers feel better about their purchase -- even if it's too heavy to play on a stage for hours. It feels solid and luxurious and must have more intrinsic value due to that weight.

    Meanwhile the factories build lighter guitars for the starter market.

    One angle is to find a low priced model and then upgrade controls and fretwork so it plays and sounds great.

    .
     
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  3. ricardo1912

    ricardo1912 Tele-Afflicted

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    I've had two heavy Teles. The first, a Lite Ash, was anything but and was well over 9lb. The other was my first Baja, which was 9.5lb. For someone who's back isn't the best, who plays long gigs and rehearses for 3hrs a week they were too much and had to go.

    I now have two Bajas, one at 7.5 and one at just 7lb. Plus a Cab that's just under 8.

    Amazing the difference that extra 1-1.5lb makes. Plus the lighter guitars make me move more while I play, which obviously has some amusement value.
     
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  4. FrontPU

    FrontPU Tele-Holic

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    My teles weigh like...
    1: rose (on roasted maple) / paulownia 5lb3oz
    2: maple / swamp-ash 6lb3oz
    3: rose (on roasted mape) / swamp-ash 7lb
     

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  5. viking

    viking Friend of Leo's

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    One of my Classic Vibes weighed 9.2 pounds when I finally weighed it properly. I never used it.
    As of this morning, I now have a Double Bound Candy Apple Red Telecaster, that weighs 7.2.

    Swapped the body out, and this could be a new favorite !

    I have one that is under 7 , around 8 they start to be too heavy, IMO.......If I only had one guitar, I probably wouldn't be so picky, but I have noticed that I never pick up the heavier ones...

    Les Paul's hang differently , I can tolerate up to 8.5 pounds, but prefer them lighter.

    You can do quite a lot to lower the weight.

    I lowered the weight on one Les Paul by using aluminum parts where possible ,tailpiece, bridge and studs. lighter knobs, pots, and removed pickguard and pu covers

    Also removed some wood in unseen areas, it's almost a pound lighter now.

    If you have modern tuners on your Tele, you can go to vintage tuners and loose 50/60 grams, even more if you use sealed lockers now

    Gotoh Stealth tuners weigh 11.9 grams per tuner. Some guys can shave off half of a pound just by changing tuners, say on a typical Les Paul with Grover lockers, the Fender ones are really heavy too.

    If you don't like the Muddy look with two plastic Amp knobs , plastic dome knobs are available, 2 knobs weigh 5 grams.

    The usual chromed brass dome knobs typically weigh between 46 and 60 grams per pair.

    Aluminum vintage 3 saddle bridge, neck plate and control plate are also available.

    A steel vintage bridge plate with cut sides weighs 60 grams, modern bridge, and other chromed brass 6 saddle types weigh more than double up on that.

    It all adds up, a 3 layer pg weighs up to 80 grams, a vintage single Bakelite guard can be 50 grams.
    Always wanted an Esquire ? Neck pickups weigh between 60 and 70 grams, LOL

    The forstner bit trick of drilling ( sensible) holes under the guard removes between 100 grams and a quarter pound ( 113.5 grams ) , it depends on how heavy the wood is.

    Removing a pound is easy, if not always cheap, on most guitars
     
  6. Tele Fan

    Tele Fan Friend of Leo's

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    I try to keep guitars at 7 lbs and under. I've got a pinched nerve in my neck from all the years of picking and I'll do just about anything to keep from setting that stupid thing off.
     
  7. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    uh oh, posting problems are back...
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2019
  8. KC

    KC Friend of Leo's

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    my '69 Thinline RI weighs in at right around 6 lbs and it's a gift on a four-set night. sounds solid, too.
     
  9. Fendereedo

    Fendereedo Friend of Leo's

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    My 50s classic weighs in at 7.5.
     
  10. L.A. Mike

    L.A. Mike Tele-Afflicted

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    The first time I ever considered "guitar weight" was after reading about it on a forum a few years ago.
    Weight never mattered that much to me, playability and tone were more important.
    I have found I don't like the way a 6 or 7 lb electric guitar feels hanging on a strap. Something odd about it.
    I'm more concerned about amp weight now that I'm old. Moving my Mesa Mark I or my Super Reverb is hard now.
    Need to start lifting weights while I watch Jeopardy I guess.
     
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  11. rangercaster

    rangercaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    Personal preference is the rule ...
     
  12. Matthew2

    Matthew2 TDPRI Member

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    My CV Tele is 8.3lbs, I wouldn't want anything heavier than that. Preferably less.
     
  13. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    That's really like asking "what's the right size shoe?".
    For years in my 20s I played a partscaster I made an oak body for and it was the perfect weight.
    Now it's too durn heavy.
    In addition to my back and neck problems, my right shoulder is messed up and it's painful to reach for a coffee cup in the cupboard.
    My most played guitars are around 6.75lbs.
    One Tele is more like 7.25lbs and feels less comfortable to handle.

    If you consider that some of us are in pain before we even pick up a guitar, you might note that we choose the weight based on our physical needs, not on some idealized guitar physics.

    All that said, I've found that in most cases, very heavy hardwood solidbodies tend to influence the amplified sound toward thinner and brighter.
    Perfect for dark muddy pickups but not as good for bright clear pickups.
     
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  14. Greggorios

    Greggorios Tele-Afflicted

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    Agreed and overall weight alone isn't the whole deal. Balance sitting or standing is a big factor for me. Anything in the 6-7.5lbs seems good to me with 6.5lbs about just right.
     
  15. Macrogats

    Macrogats Friend of Leo's

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    I’m loving it. Now I want one! I’ve sort of tried to build my own - it’s electric atm. Gonna keep experimenting with it, but might try another one.

    Thanks for posting that.
     
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  16. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    My ASAT Special is 4kg on the nose. (Googles.) 8lbs 13oz
     
  17. srvbluezz

    srvbluezz Tele-Holic

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    My asat classic weighs about 7.5 lbs
    Js1000 7.0 lbs
    Telecaster plus v2 10 lbs
    [​IMG]
     
  18. imwjl

    imwjl Poster Extraordinaire

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    My Dave's/Wildwood FSR '68 Thin Skin Thinline is 6 pounds. If I recall, my 52 AVRI and Highway One were 2 to maybe 3 pounds more. The Thin Skin has always felt most right and I'm sure it's because I played acoustic before electric. I swapped pickups the between different Telecasters and didn't think there was much tone difference.


    [​IMG]
     
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  19. OzShadow

    OzShadow Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    I have a recent MIM that is about 9lbs. Plays great but you feel the weight. I like to browse Sweetwater regularly. They always have at least 4 sets of photos for available American guitars and they provide the weight on each. Always interesting to browse.

    Right now they have two Original 50's Telecasters. One is 7 lb 10 oz and the other is 9lb. They allow that much variation in $1800+ guitars.
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2019
    NewKid likes this.
  20. NewKid

    NewKid Tele-Holic

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    My Road Worn 50s Tele is 7.2 lbs. and that feels great to me. My other guitars, including my number one Tele are 8 lbs. and since I play sitting doesn’t affect my back.

    I am obsessed with weight because the Custom Shop Fenders are all in the 7 lbs. range and I don’t think I will buy one of those any time soon. Especially since my affordable guitars sound and play great. Even the fatties.
     
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