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View Full Version : So Pine as a 'Tonewood'. Fill me in.


DrBob
06-16-2008, 01:09 PM
Right, let me just start by saying that this thread is in no way a sneering attempt to denounce Pine but a genuine enquiry born out of curiosity.

So anyway I've seen a few threads here recently, particularly relating to Telecasters where the bodies have been made of often reclaimed Pine.

So what's the score?
When I started at College on my instrument building course they gave us lumps of Pine to play with whilst learning how to sharpen and set up our Planes and Chisels, to be discarded for the traditional Hardwoods like Ash, Alder, Mahogany, Rosewood, and Ebony to actually build the guitars with.

And as to using reclaimed Pine. Is it scarce in the U.S. ?
I ask because over here in England the Discount Furniture Barns are awash with Pine furniture and the wood looks very similar to the stuff that I'm seeing the guitars being made of.

I'm guessing that maybe there's maybe some kind of historic precedent to this ?

Dave Orban
06-16-2008, 01:11 PM
The first Tele was made of pine, if I recall correctly.

I've played several Pine-bodies teles, and they all sounded pretty damned good, to me... in addition to being VERY light.

I've got one in the works now, that I hope to complete by this weekend's gig... a full report, if I finish it up in time...

gkoelling
06-16-2008, 01:16 PM
Northern Pine, also called Sugar Pine, is most commonly used on guitar bodies. It's very light weight and resonant with more mids and rounder tones in the highs.

Some of the very early Tele style guitars were pine but Fender used it for a very short time.

The pine you see used in furniture is not the same variety.

DrBob
06-16-2008, 01:17 PM
OK cool, thanks for responding, the lightness is good news.

gkoelling
06-16-2008, 01:18 PM
OK cool, thanks for responding, the lightness is good news.

I still haven't weighed my pine Tele but the body itself was just 3 pounds, 3 ounces. It's a feather and sounds great.

dhdfoster
06-16-2008, 02:04 PM
How topical. Gretsch just announced they were reissuing their Roundup with the knotty pine top.

http://www.gretschguitars.com/repository/gretsch/images/G6130_xl.jpg

Dave Wakely
06-16-2008, 02:09 PM
Didn't some of the early (high end) Hofners also use pine - possibly from their coachbuilding/woodworking tradition?

Hopefully not something that used to be someone's kitchen cupboard ...

m@2
06-16-2008, 02:11 PM
Gretsch just announced they were reissuing their Roundup with the knotty pine top

OMG! i flippin love it! What a top! WHY DID YOU HAVE TO POST THAT??? You are killin me!

: )

vrdyer
06-16-2008, 02:15 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sYn8O25SA7M&feature=related

Arlo West plays pine

http://www.pinecaster.com/

dhdfoster
06-16-2008, 02:25 PM
OMG! i flippin love it! What a top! WHY DID YOU HAVE TO POST THAT??? You are killin me!

: )

Haha, yes, it's a beauty. Add the belt buckle tailpiece, G-brand, western inlays, and leather tooling on the sides, and they've left all subtlety in the dust. This was Gretsch's attempt at a cowboy guitar for Chet Atkins. I'm sure he looked at it and went "WTF?????" :)

mark norwine
06-16-2008, 02:29 PM
I've had 2 pine telecasters.

The second one was pretty darn good. The first one was AMAZING.

I wish that I had not sold either, but there's always some siren sweetly singing, now isn't there?

DrBob
06-16-2008, 02:57 PM
I've had 2 pine telecasters.

The second one was pretty darn good. The first one was AMAZING.

I wish that I had not sold either, but there's always some siren sweetly singing, now isn't there?

I'm liking your turn of phrase.

So, tonal comparisons then ?
In my head it's in the Swamp Ash ball park. But please do feel free to disabuse me of this notion.

KBR
06-16-2008, 03:26 PM
I have had 4 Piners, all Tele and all were Great.
A good wood, for sure. Jaydawg makes em right/ and Don Mare or Jason Lollar pups, seal the deal!

gkoelling
06-16-2008, 04:55 PM
Sorry if you've already seen this but here's the butt end of my pine tele.


http://i46.photobucket.com/albums/f115/gjk318/Gear/IMG_0138.jpg

Dave Orban
06-16-2008, 04:56 PM
Sweet!

Gasp100
06-16-2008, 05:01 PM
I wanted to grab one of the 2 that were in the Emporium last week. One was a Jaydawg build and another was a GuitarMill partscaster. Both looked really nice and might still be available. If my MIJ 52RI doesn't cut the mustard and one of the two is still available, I might have to grab it.

Dana Olsen
06-16-2008, 05:03 PM
Nice butt (GRIN) . I've always liked the way the binding makes that guitar look, Greg - good job!

Thanks, Dana O.
Sorry if you've already seen this but here's the butt end of my pine tele.


http://i46.photobucket.com/albums/f115/gjk318/Gear/IMG_0138.jpg

Mike9
06-16-2008, 05:29 PM
I found a supplier for 8/4 Sugar Pine and wide enough for a two piece body. I have some 100+ year old wide Eastern White Pine I should check on I'm intrigued now myself.

bluesjuke
06-16-2008, 05:40 PM
[quote=Gasp100;4293126]I wanted to grab one of the 2 that were in the Emporium last week. One was a Jaydawg build .........[ quote]


I know the feeling I went back and forth on info on the jaydawg late and falling asleep decided I was going to Email him early when I got up.

Woke up too late and lost out.

BAN picked it up before I got home and I'll bet he's thrilled.
Very nice work done by jaydawg there.

gkoelling
06-16-2008, 05:43 PM
[quote=Gasp100;4293126]I wanted to grab one of the 2 that were in the Emporium last week. One was a Jaydawg build .........[ quote]


I know the feeling I went back and forth on info on the jaydawg late and falling asleep decided I was going to Email him early when I got up.

Woke up too late and lost out.

BAN picked it up before I got home and I'll bet he's thrilled.
Very nice work done by jaydawg there.

Jaydawg is making a pine Strat body for me right now. I am one self indulgent bastid.

gkoelling
06-16-2008, 05:46 PM
More pine goodness...



http://i46.photobucket.com/albums/f115/gjk318/Gear/IMG_0137.jpg
http://i46.photobucket.com/albums/f115/gjk318/Gear/IMG_0132.jpg

bluesjuke
06-16-2008, 05:54 PM
I heard that.
You're starting a Pine Collection there!

Can't wait to see that one.
Will it be Natural also?




Hey Kenny, Hope you don't mind that I quoted you in my signature!

KBR
06-16-2008, 06:22 PM
No, BluesJuke...

& it's the truth, I mean there is about a million Fast players to the 30 or so Cats that take their time.

I love playin slow during a medium shuffle, ala BB King or Jimi Von during the T Birds circa 1978-1983 period.
I have a Piner that sounds like JV on the 1st T Birds lp. and a Don Mare Bridge pup that gets me Albert Collins on the '69 Truckin lp/cd..all in the same axe
Neck WL Van Zandt True Vintage 5.6K strat pup
Bridge nice Don Mare flat pole Tele bridge pup...
I rteally want a 3 P90 Pine Hardtail Strat...If I can talk Jaydawg into it, and hide it from My Blues Wife, Jannie Ray.
(My 6th Guitar it would be)

OLD Style, is My Style.

CitizenCain
06-16-2008, 06:41 PM
Who made that body? It's gorgeous!

More pine goodness...



http://i46.photobucket.com/albums/f115/gjk318/Gear/IMG_0137.jpg
http://i46.photobucket.com/albums/f115/gjk318/Gear/IMG_0132.jpg

datguytim
06-16-2008, 07:03 PM
Yep - the 1st Teles were pine. My friend has a sick lookin' custom pine Tele style from a luthier he knows - I'm gonna A/B it with my Valley Arts Custom Pro Tele & if it's as good as he says it is, my Valley Arts Tele will be for sale in the Emporium on Thurs. nite!

Nuclearfishin
06-16-2008, 07:51 PM
For the ultimate pine guitar, check out the guitar Bob Taylor built using shipping pallets. He was trying to prove a point that a great sounding guitar could be built by a great builder no matter what wood was availble. He used a couple shipping pallets and some weathered oak to build the guitar (nails and all) and it sounded awesome. Check out the pics below. Let your ears decide what you like, not tradition. You can make a great sounding guitar with any wood.

http://www.laguitarsales.com/pages/3157/Taylor_Custom_Shop_Pallet.htm

BAN
06-16-2008, 10:58 PM
[quote=Gasp100;4293126]I wanted to grab one of the 2 that were in the Emporium last week. One was a Jaydawg build .........[ quote]

I know the feeling I went back and forth on info on the jaydawg late and falling asleep decided I was going to Email him early when I got up.

Woke up too late and lost out.

BAN picked it up before I got home and I'll bet he's thrilled.
Very nice work done by jaydawg there.

Oh yes, I am indeed thrilled.

I will say without reservation that this guitar has the best tone of any electric guitar I've owned. Really. I know that comparing teles to strats to les pauls isn't exactly apples to apples, but I'm doing it anyway and I stand by my assessment.

Right now, I have a killer R8, a phenomenal EJ Strat, and a surprisingly badass Highway 1 Texas Tele in the house and this one from jaydawg does "it" for me the way the others don't.

I'm digging the pine for sure.

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q141/BANPics/Broadcaster/IMG_0080.jpg
http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q141/BANPics/Broadcaster/IMG_0081.jpg

aram
06-16-2008, 11:03 PM
Here's my Rick Kelly Pine Tele.

The pine was from beams of a building on the Bowery here in NYC that was being remodeled.

The wood was cut when Abe Lincoln was president.

It has a very thin coat of laquer on it.

In terms of sound, I'd say it sounds softer and not as ballsy (but in a good way) than my ash tele.

I use them both for different occasions.

I definitely recommend adding one to you collection!


http://i76.photobucket.com/albums/j10/abajakian/IMG_0958.jpg

http://i76.photobucket.com/albums/j10/abajakian/IMG_0954.jpg

http://i76.photobucket.com/albums/j10/abajakian/IMG_0951.jpg

el greco
06-17-2008, 01:17 AM
Are pine & agathis the same wood?

mark norwine
06-17-2008, 05:49 AM
I'm liking your turn of phrase.

Well......it would seem to me that anyone from Surrey would, by some sort of law, be required to like a paraphrase from EC, right? :banana

So, tonal comparisons then ? In my head it's in the Swamp Ash ball park. But please do feel free to disabuse me of this notion.
How can I begin to describe? Who was it who once said that "talking about tone is akin to dancing about architecture"??

That said, both pieces were "very telecaster".....all the tonalities remained. Yet they were "airy-er".....a bit "brighter" (in a good way)....and had a resonance that found its way to the amp magnificently.

And they were LIGHT!!

As stated...#2 was a nice piece. But my first one was just surreal. Every great attribute all in one guitar. I still can't believe I sold it. What was I thinking?

Pine does dent easily, and my guitars got banged up because if it. So if "looking great" is important to you, pine might not be your wood.

But if tone is your quest....go for it!

mn

gkoelling
06-17-2008, 06:20 AM
Who made that body? It's gorgeous!

Thanks, Guitar Mill put this one together. I have an ash body in sonic blue they did that also turned out great.

Are pine & agathis the same wood?

No, I believe agathis is in the same family as mahogany.

CitizenCain
06-17-2008, 04:51 PM
I'll have to check out Guitar Mill, looks like they can deliver the goods!

Re: agathis, it actually is in the conifer family with pine and other cone-producing trees. According to Wikipedia, it's actually a very ancient line, common in the Jurassic period, now limited to some southern climes.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agathis