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Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by holndav, Feb 21, 2019.
My American Original 50's Tele weighs in at 6.5 pounds.
Funny how things change due to the internet. When I first started buying guitars in the early 80’s one of the selling points was for a sales guy to grab a guitar off the rack and comment on how heavy it was. I bought a 73 Tele Custom that had had a bunch of stock parts replaced with brass because ‘the heavier the better.’ I never weighed it but it was probably the heaviest guitar I’ve ever owned. It or my 74 Les Paul Standard.
So now that everyone is getting older I guess it’s all about the lighter guitars these days. Hey, whatever works best for you. Especially if you have physical issues. If not, then go with the tone over the weight. My current Tele weighs 8lbs and it’s killer and sounds way better than the 6.5 and 7.2 Tele’s I’ve sold in recent years. I’m nearly 50 and in decent shape. Standing for 2 hours or so playing my 8lb Tele is a zero issue for me. I wouldn’t let internet opinion about what is or isn’t the ‘right weight’ choose your guitar for you.
In the early 80's I was in my early 0's so I never gave weight a second thought. I also never gave any thought to hauling around a 60's Fender Twin. Up until just a few years ago I wouldn't settle for anything less than a 2X12 combo. But then I finally gave in and now play a 1X12 combo
And than God for the Internet so that I found that you could buy light guitars.
About 10 years ago I owned a 52 hot rod telecaster that was close to 9 pounds. It didn't really bother me until I played the odd gig that was a saturday afternoon matinee 3 to 7 then a night show 9 to 1. About halfway through the night the back would really be feeling it and I wouldn't be moving around quite as much.
If Vince Gill's new '51 Nocaster weighs much more than 6 pounds, I'd be surprised.
And I've played it. He still owes me $4 for the strings I put on it. If you see him, let me know.
The bridge pickup came in at 6.5kDCR. Sounded GREAT!!! Especially Through the AC15.
I recently bought a Tele copy: weight 6.5 lb. Added 1lb of weight to the control cavity using lead flashing. Why? ... you ask.
Well, the light body caused slight neck dive and a change in the centre of gravity.
I did not find the neck dive such an issue (even the friction of a strap seemed to overcome this). The change in centre of gravity I found to be a bigger issue (this does not get mentioned much).
With a light body, the centre of gravity goes toward the neck (hence neck dive), but this also makes the guitar shift rearward when hanging on the strap. This for me creates an uncomfortable feel with the guitar resting on me nearer the upper bout rather than at the waist of the body.
So the extra 1lb gave me a far more comfortable guitar to play.
My Warmoth partscaster is about 6lb. It's my lightest guitar but is well balanced so it's great to play. My heaviest is my SG at 9lbs (ever so slightly heavier than my P bass). That's my limit though - any heavier and I feel it.
I’ve never owned a tele but when it comes to strats I aim for 7 lb guitars.
I have a semi-hollow (with a short center block so actually more hollow than a 335) custom tele. Probably cheating but it's about 5 pounds, might even be under.
Ebony board, bone nut, P90's.
PS: I don't believe in the "heavy = sustain/tone" argument like I did when I was young and starting out. All my guitars are lightweight (I have a 5 something pound strat too) and they all have killer tone and tons of sustain. I get that some people don't like the weight distribution and resulting ergonomics of very light guitars and that's fine as a criteria against them. Never the tone/sustain thing though, because I can prove that a bunch of blah blah blah anytime. For me, I don't have issues with the weight distribution and it's nice having the ability to move around as if I don't have a guitar weighing me down or causing me problems. I have one heavy strat (also with killer tone) and it's tiring to prance around with it for long periods of time. I'm a 64 year old that just got out of a year of fighting cancer so that's more of a factor than it used to be ... but really I always felt this way even back in my young days after I figured out that my mates 6 pound guitar had great tone and sustain but didn't weigh 9 pounds.
To each their own I say. I have too little time for arguing the point, there's great sounds and music that needs to be created. Arguing is a waste of time. I'll talk about my experiences no problem but most people don't want to be told what they should be thinking.
Nice guitar, I'd be tempted to find a sister with a tele pickup and bridge setup, same half block hollowbody.
I concur on the weight thing. Not that a heavy guitar is bad, but I think the concept that heavy=loud, or heavy=sustain, etc is wrong in practice. I think lighter guitars are more responsive.
My thinline knock off weighs 1 lb lighter than my Fenders. It could stand to be lighter, for a little more feedback. I think the maker was just looking to shed weight, not concerned about some beneficial feedback.
You make a good point about resonance. That hollow tele custom can sustain for years because you can (with practice) hold it at the feedback precipice for as long as you want. Same with my 5 something pound paulownia strat (which is a solid body of course, but light as a feather) ... resonance is it's own modulation device. From a harmonic perspective, an airy haunting tone is what I like to build almost all my sounds on ... lightweight guitars are much more responsive, to me, or for me. I don't saturate my sound in distortion, although I can if it's what I seek. I like amps on the point of breakup, where you can tease them in and out of the danger zone. I love that walk the tightrope feel where you dip in and out of where the feedback is lurking like a crocodile at the waters edge.
My favorite tele was a Fender FSR HH in sea foam pearl. But, at 8+ lbs, it was too heavy...so...sold it. I am finding that I like a guitar that is 7-7 1/4 lbs.
Also found that I could lighten my Fender tele and strat by quite a bit.
My standard tele was 7 lbs 10 oz. Replaced the neck plate with bushings, saved 2 oz. Then, replaced the brass/chrome control knobs with plastics, saved another 2 oz. So...that guitar is now 7 lbs 6 oz.
Strat was 7 lbs 12 oz (twin P90 HB pickups are heavier than SC's). Replaced the back plate with bushings, then, got an aluminum trem block. That guitar is now 7 lbs 4 oz....a joy to play. [if I were to change the P90 HB's to SSS...it would be under 7 lbs]
Next guitar will be 7 lbs even, or just under. Might go semi-hollow.
American pro tele alder 11 p
69 Thinline original mahagony 7,2 p
paulownia partscaster 6,6 p. incl. neck dive
I don’t like them too lite or too heavy.
To me 7-8lb is Goldilocks territory for any guitar.
@kbold - I agree the balance. I rarely live playing a guitar over 7lbs. But, under 8 lbs and balance/center of gravity really matters.
I recently got an AO 60s Tele. In the hand and in the strap it seems really lite. Weighs 7lb 13.8 oz according to the store. That’s not heavy by any means. But it felt lighter than the 7lb 4oz AV 50s Tele I traded. Weird.
Part of the reason I don’t like them under 7lb is they rarely balance right on me. So I end up “feeling” them more the whole time. 7-8lb and they just sit right.
Though I will say, I only obsess about these things when outside a normal Playing scenario. Once I’m rehearsing or at a show, I never notice (unless it’s too light and fighting the strap).
My bandmate had played the same 70s Strat for 20 years. He’s plenty animated on stage with it. 12lb 4oz. Never gave it a second thought.
I weighed my Telecasters for the first time today.
HW1 - 7.6
HW1 - 8.0
Classic 50s - 8.2
Beforehand I might have guessed that the Classic 50s was heaviest, although when playing I don't perceive any huge difference in weight between the three of them.
Fender American Vintage Hot Rod '52 Telecaster (2007) | MIA | 6 lbs 13.8 oz
Fender Classic Series '50s Telecaster (2018) | MIM | 7 lbs 0.6 oz
Fender Hybrid '60s Telecaster (2019) | MIJ | 7 lbs 9.8 oz
1-piece Swamp Ash
Vint Modern Neck
Various alum parts
Ivoroid tuner buttons
6 1/4 lbs
Oops ~ pic below
It really is a personal preference thing, I like my tele to weigh less than my women. If you cant pick them up and swing them around without putting your back out I leave them on the shelf.
I do tend to gravitate more towards the lighter ones.
Bathroom scale saith my '01 American series white blonde over ash/maple board tele weighs 8.9 lbs.
Wide straps help.