Why is the custom shop Relic Journeyman selecting lightwieght woods

Discussion in 'Fender Custom Shop Tele Forum' started by Irondog, Jul 27, 2019.

  1. Irondog

    Irondog TDPRI Member

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    I did a little Google searching, trying to figure it out. not much help.

    It appears that it's multiple reasons. And I'm assuming they're very good reasons.

    Can anyone run down the top 3-5 reasons .

    This guitar has "2 pieces of alder selected for low weight" for example.

    Somewhat clear to me that I definitely prefer lightweight guitars for playing for long periods of time.

    However I had a 13 pound Les Paul that was the biggest most powerful sounding guitar I've ever owned, massive sustain. Massive low back pain. it had to go. But boy do I remember that sound.

    So how does that weight balance with tone, I have just pulled the trigger on a 63 custom shop relic journeyman telecaster 6 lbs. 13 oz. of alder. I'm afraid it won't sustain???? (not really;))

    question number 2, I also wonder why the threaded barrel saddles were invented it looks like they just found some threaded stock laying around and decided they should probably use it to save money? Because they were a startup company at that time.?

    [​IMG]
    double binding wow
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    nitrocellulose lacquer wow
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    threaded barrel saddles :eek:


    I have a feeling lightweight low density wood might open up the harmonic complexities, perhaps.
    Thanks for all the knowledge on this website.
     
  2. Dismalhead

    Dismalhead Poster Extraordinaire

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    I'd guess it's 'cause the people who can afford a custom shop Tele are mostly old geezers like me that get screwed up backs from strapping on a moderately heavy guitar.

    I traded all my boat anchors a few years back and replaced them with lightweights. If there's a loss in sustain, IMO it's negligible.
     
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  3. NothingGoatboat

    NothingGoatboat Tele-Meister

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    A lot of people, myself included, view weight of a guitar more integral to the tone that the type of wood. Lightweight usually sounds better to me.
     
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  4. Nick Fanis

    Nick Fanis Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    Guitars don't "sustain".
    Amps and effects do.
    You want sustain?
    Play the violin.

    :)
     
  5. Irondog

    Irondog TDPRI Member

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    Hey I resemble that comment, :). So I guess the general feeling so far is that hand selecting mature pieces of premium wood by an expert Custom Shop Luthier maintains all of the fantastic tones, and sustain,
    with a fantastically light guitar. Yay!

    But the number one driver is a lightweight guitar for all geezers who have a lot of money.
    that's me.


    this will absolutely be the lightest guitar I've ever owned.
    I'm excited to play a light guitar.
    I played several hollow bodies in the past, in an attempt to get a lightweight guitar, and they just seemed to always get somewhat muddy, as soon as you turn up the gain the least little bit. some bands certainly master that tonal aspect of a hollow body.
    it doesn't seem to be for me.never purchased one.

    hopefully this one is a grand slam homerun.
     
  6. DHart

    DHart Friend of Leo's

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    Its a beauty, that's for sure! Congrats.
     
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  7. stefanhotrod

    stefanhotrod Tele-Meister

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    DCDD1125-0007-4E4F-BF3C-780B211B9EF5.jpeg
     
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  8. viking

    viking Friend of Leo's

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    Sure is pretty !
    It doesn't matter that much to me , when a Tele gets up around 8 pounds, I think it's heavy. Maybe because most of mine are in the low 7s , I don't know.
    7.3-7.5 pounds is fine by me.
    I have some under 7 pounds , but I don't notice it making a difference ,from low 7s , compared to 8 pounds versus 7.3.
    Never noticed a difference in tone.
     
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  9. EsquireBoy

    EsquireBoy Tele-Meister

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    First of all, congrats on your new guitar, she looks really stunning! I do love Customs, and the colour and finish on this one look just right.

    In my experience you can find good resonating instruments among both heavier and lightweight guitars, as well as dogs...
    So here is my opinion: find one that you bond with, and if the weight is a concern (it really is for me due to an old shoulder injury) you are only limiting your options.

    As for threaded saddles, I like them very much because I know each string will stay where I want it to be, even when bending or picking up close to the saddle.
    My CS journeyman came with smooth steel saddles and I happily replaced them with threaded steel ones from Glendale (the « groovy sixties »).
     
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  10. Chunkocaster

    Chunkocaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    Maybe they think they sound better, I've seen them doing the tap test when selecting custom shop bodies. At least they do when the cameras are rolling.

    That is a great looking tele. As much as I like the finish that neck looks really nice.
     
  11. Vibrolux59

    Vibrolux59 TDPRI Member

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    As a geezer with a long history of back trouble. I've spent the last 15 years experimenting with lighter weight guitars. Alder doesn't vary as much in weight as Ash does. I have an Ash Strat body that weighs 2lbs 2 oz. when that body arrived I thought they had sent an empty box. It's always been extremely resonant but a little too soft tonally and not so focused. I finally added some weight by way of a heavy neck plate, full sheet aluminum shielding behind the pickguard, and a brass trem block it made a big difference tonally and for balance. I've had several lightweight Teles, I kept the Alder one (best sounding Tele I have) and two Ash bodied guitars, one lighter than the other, the heavier of the two being more focussed and out front. The Pauwina<sp) body was a dog, it's in the attic. But the Ash bodied guitars are resonant, tend to be warmer and have a more acoustic guitar feel to me. My roadworn Strat is the lightest Alder body guitar I've played and it's the best balanced sounding Strat I have. I have an 11+ pound LP that's a killer guitar but doesn't get played very often because my 8 1/2 pound Les Paul sounds fine. My opinion after these experiences is that mid-weight guitars rule and Alder on the lighter side is probably the best for Fender guitars.
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2019
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  12. rogb

    rogb Tele-Afflicted

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    Maybe you need a different guitar? My LP build sustains acoustically, you can hear it clearly, and I believe my own ears. In fact some notes bloom, just like they do through the amp.

    I made it a specific task when assembling the "working" parts of the guitar to promote and help sustain and string vibration transference along the mechanical string load path.

    Hot hide glue (sets like glass) in a tight properly fitting neck joint, locking tuners without wraps that stretch, carefully fitted (more hot hide) nut with fitted slots, Faber locking bridge and tailpiece into substantial steel inserts. Everything, say, a budget Epiphone isn't.

    Also vintage thickness maple cap on mahogany body and "girthy" 1-piece mahogany neck (highest quality woods) make this a "sustain machine". Through an amp, even clean it is crazy:lol:
     
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  13. Nick Fanis

    Nick Fanis Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    Oh we DO have a violin player among us.:lol:

    Kidding aside your meme is very insulting.
    But wait it would have been insulting if I actually have a rat's, you know what, about your opinion,which I definitely don't.

    :D
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2019
  14. Nick Fanis

    Nick Fanis Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    I never understood the obsession with "sustain" when playing guitar..

    Who cares about it when you can create it with effects and amps?

    Not to mention that there many genres of music,jazz comes to mind,Where you DON'T want "sustain" but a clear fast decaying note.

    ANY guitar will "sustain" if you know how to use your amp and effects.
     
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  15. rogb

    rogb Tele-Afflicted

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    If I want the short clear note used for jazz, or a long slow decaying note like a violin or sax, I can do it. No need to rely on effects, I have the correct tool, a properly assembled and considered instrument, practice, and a pair of hands.
    Or I can buy a plywood 339, and switch on a Big Muff, I tried that and it works too.
    It's just that your statement is so dismissive and actually incorrect.
     
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  16. rze99

    rze99 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Sorry I’m only interested in the guitar. That Is absolutely beautiful!
     
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  17. Matthias

    Matthias Tele-Afflicted

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    Nut, fret material, bridge, tremolo, saddles, pickups, pickup height, picking style, string gauge vs scale length, general set-up, fretting hand technique and probably even tuners before body wood and weight for sustain. IMHO. Lots of reasons that LP might sound bigger and fuller. The best thing about Gibsons is their neck angle and (when set up well) bridge string break angle form a decent string tension on an easy to play, hard to fret out, neck. If you get the pickups in the sweet spot, they will sustain forever even on bends. Much harder to set that up on a trad Fender-style instrument, but doable. But the pickups are crucial. Sustain might be better with them higher as they produce more amp gain and might sound a little more compressed in some respects (or just louder!). But too high and the magnets will dampen the string vibration. So lots of variable. I doubt weight makes a difference on what I’ve read where people have tested woods, but of course open minded to it making some sort of difference...
     
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  18. Fretting out

    Fretting out Tele-Holic

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    Now days people associate a light weight guitar with quality, there’s a lot less “light” pieces and the pieces need to be sorted through. With these factors it becomes a premium option.

    Kind of funny that in the 70s to early 80s everyone thought putting lots of heavy brass on their instruments would give them an ultimate “TONE” ;)
     
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  19. viking

    viking Friend of Leo's

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    I'm not interested in ultra light guitars , but some want them.
    I can't hear a tone difference in anything wood related , so it's all about comfort for me , and most others I guess ?
    The discussion about sustain have always left me wondering what people are on about.
    On an electric guitar I can stand , sit , bend over my amp and get all the sustain anyone can possibly need.....also at really low volume.
    Hey , maybe I found the real reason why some of us still use those heavy , old amps with real speakers in them....and maybe why we take them out and away from the basement , and turn them up ?
     
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  20. Irondog

    Irondog TDPRI Member

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    thanks cant wait, arrives july31, the captain and chapters have a video called the best telecaster's we've ever played.
    50s and 60s relics, with the ultrathin lacquer got me hooked on the relic rabbit hole. Seems to be general unanimous agreement a vintage custom shop relic is a notch above.
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