Why cannot electric guitar be less heavy...

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by omlove, Apr 28, 2019.

  1. omlove

    omlove Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    137
    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2017
    Location:
    new york
    Recently went back to playing my acoustics. Man, I just cannot help pondering why electric guitars are so heavy.

    My lightest acoustic is a Waterloo L-00 copy weighing 3.4lb. My heaviest is a Rosewood B/S classical weighing 4lb. The Waterloo can be described as "feather like" when I pick up my strat, which weighs at 8.4lb....

    Years ago I discovered the "hollow body" and "thinline" stuff. I thought, "man, that's a good idea!" carve out some of the solid wood and make it lighter! Until I discovered an ES-335 can be heavier than my strat... Thanks to some online vendors who put out weight measurements. And in nowhere can I find an electric guitar under 4lb.

    Why? The pickups are made of metal. I got it. But otherwise? What if it is an acoustic guitar without soundhole plus two pickups? It seems nobody makes it...
     
  2. Brad Pittiful

    Brad Pittiful Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    17,539
    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2008
    Location:
    Philly Burbs
    wood is dense...whats the big deal of an 8 pound guitar...do you have some physical problem with a guitar heavier than 4 pounds

    you can always add a pickup to an acoustic guitar...ever watch nirvanas unplugged...kurt is plays an acoustic with a pick up and uses distortion...had a great sound coming from it
     
    Torren61 and Shuster like this.
  3. Shuster

    Shuster Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    5,330
    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2018
    Location:
    Bulverde Tx.
    Honestly, I love heavy guitars, the heavier the better! I'm a big guy, and a little 10lb guitar just doesn't seem heavy, I loath those light as feather can't even tell I have a guitar strapped on,, guitars!!
     
    Torren61, Greg_L and TigerG like this.
  4. alathIN

    alathIN Tele-Holic

    Age:
    54
    Posts:
    782
    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2017
    Location:
    Indiana
    I always liked the feel of heavier guitars, and light ones tend to want to nose dive headstock-first to the ground.
    But then again I am not a gigging musician carrying the dang thing on my shoulder for hours on end.
     
  5. Milspec

    Milspec Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    4,545
    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2016
    Location:
    Nebraska
    It sort of depends on if you play sitting down or standing up. Seated, it can weigh anything that it wants as even an 9 lb guitar would not be noticed. Standing up for hours with a strap pulling at your shoulder, that 9 lb guitar can get irritating. A hollow-body is the best of both worlds and still remains very light. You can also build a pine tele and be under 5 lbs quite easily.
     
  6. LeicaBoss

    LeicaBoss Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    685
    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2015
    Location:
    New Jersey
    The hardware, electronics, truss rod and plastics start with a certain weight. I wouldn't suggest a stupidly light neck... So getting to 4lbs is hard.

    A 6.5lb Les Paul? Check the ES Les Paul.
     
  7. Mike Eskimo

    Mike Eskimo Telefied Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    20,258
    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2008
    Location:
    Detroit
    7 lbs is my ideal.

    Especially for Tele.

    Acoustics ?

    I have owned a dozen or so vintage 30’s Nationals , plus a couple new ones.

    Between my buddy Larry and I who owns a bunch, we’ve owned a couple which weigh less than your average Tele - some in the 6.5 lb range.

    Not what most people would guess a “metal” guitar would weigh.

    Style O’s (Brothers in Arms cover guitar) can be particularly light.

    I would consider an 8 lb Les Paul with underwound/not hot pickups to be about my ultimate dream guitar though.
     
  8. WhatDoIKnow

    WhatDoIKnow Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    423
    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2012
    Location:
    Nebraska
    There are plenty of full hollow bodied electric guitars available. You still have the tuners, pickups, bridge, tailpiece and other electronics and accessories that add weight.
     
  9. schmee

    schmee Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    9,019
    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2003
    Location:
    northwest
    Metal is heavy, copper is heavy. Pickups and bridges weigh a lot... even on a hollow. Especially Humbuckers.
    This guitar weighs 6.8, Full hollow carved top
    [​IMG]
    An old (full hollow) Guild M75 Bluesbird may get you to 5.4-5.6 lbs I think.
    [​IMG]
    For less you'll probably have to go to something like this:
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2019
    brookdalebill and Torren61 like this.
  10. Hobs

    Hobs Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    210
    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2011
    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    A Parker Fly is only about 4 1/2 pounds. I had one for awhile. It was well made, had a great neck, and lots of well engineered features. I just couldn't bond with it, but it was definitely very light
     
    brookdalebill and Torren61 like this.
  11. WhatDoIKnow

    WhatDoIKnow Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    423
    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2012
    Location:
    Nebraska
    There is a 5 lbs 10 oz Brad Paisley Telecaster available on Sweetwater. Light electric guitars are out there. Some in non-traditional styles.
     
    Torren61 likes this.
  12. dan1952

    dan1952 Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    67
    Posts:
    4,379
    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2004
    Location:
    Anderson, IN
    Skunk Baxter has played sitting down for at least 30 years. And he still gets called...
     
    Torren61 likes this.
  13. kelnet

    kelnet Telefied Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    25,993
    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2008
    Location:
    Port Moody, BC
    I have found that different straps make a real difference.
     
  14. tele12

    tele12 Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    4,531
    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2006
    Location:
    NY
    The simplest answer is because for most electric players the weight of an electric guitar is acceptable.
    If most guitarists wanted 3 pound electric guitars the market would be flooded with 3 pound electric guitars.

    As someone mentioned earlier, a Parker Fly would be something for you to look at.
     
  15. G.Rotten

    G.Rotten Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,041
    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2010
    Location:
    CoolsVille
    2016-04-24 16.21.34.jpg View attachment 604582
    Sounds like you want a hollow body.

    This beautiful blonde (if I were to remove the vibrato) isn't much heavier than an acoustic. This Tele is light enough that my kid can hold it. Though technically it's more acoustic than electric. 20190317_153848.jpg
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2019
  16. bftfender

    bftfender Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    4,622
    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2017
    Location:
    York PA
    my straps are set..all my LP's-SG's-strats..ect ,all have the same length.same type strap for each model..barely notice i have a guitar around me..so balanced..but i play a lot everyday & my phone rings for work all day..walk around with em ..like heavy guitars for some reason..
     
  17. Bartholomew3

    Bartholomew3 Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,703
    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2010
    Location:
    Montreal
    I have a Les Paul Custom boat anchor from the early seventies - 13 pounds. Just kills me on gigs after all these years.
     
  18. Greg_L

    Greg_L Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    969
    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2018
    Location:
    Texas
    Likewise...except for the kills me part.

    I have a 78 LPC. It's 12.4 pounds, non-pancake, solid mahogany. It's heavy, and frankly, it's killer. With the right strap and wearing it at the right height (junk level), it doesn't feel heavy at all.
     
  19. telleutelleme

    telleutelleme Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    18,562
    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2010
    Location:
    Houston
    Because Balsa is not a tone wood.:)
     
  20. Obsessed

    Obsessed Telefied Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    23,101
    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2012
    Location:
    Montana
    My steel reso hasn't a thing electric on it, but weighs twice what those wimpy electrics weigh. Just sayin' :cool:
     
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.