How much does a guitar weight excluding the body?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by bugsbunny, Feb 26, 2015.

  1. bugsbunny

    bugsbunny Member

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    I plan to build a light weight guitar from Warmoth or other material supplier. The nice thing about Warmoth site is that they provide the weight of the body wood. Now the question is that how much do other parts weigh together? Assuming a maple neck + 2 humbucker and the standard stuff.

    Thanks!
     
  2. gkoelling

    gkoelling Member

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    I'm not exactly sure what you're building but an accurate measure for Teles is to add 3lbs to the body weight for a finished guitar.

    Other guitars/configurations will be different due to hardware differences.

    Have fun and post the results.
     
  3. Ron Kirn

    Ron Kirn Gold Supporting Member

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    without a body, it's not a guitar... it's just "stuff"...

    and if you have become influenced by the misconstrued notion that light weight = superior resonance... you are about to make a mistake.

    Ron Kirn
     
  4. Jimi D

    Jimi D Member

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    Is there a way to tell if a body will be resonant before you build the guitar (presuming you have the cut wood in hand)? or is it a matter of synchronicity, where all the parts have to be present before you can hear how it rings?
     
  5. gkoelling

    gkoelling Member

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    This is true. There are light and heavy guitars that sound great, as well as light and heavy guitars that are duds. Weight alone is not an indicator of good tone.
     
  6. bootsypratt

    bootsypratt Member

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    It is an indicator of a sore shoulder.
     
  7. jamester

    jamester Silver Supporting Member

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    He asked a nuts-n-bolts question, and didn't mention anything in his post about resonance or tone.

    OP - I go with between three to four extra pounds, depending on hardware and pickups. For a tele, using a vintage bridge, tuners and single-coils will yeild a guitar way lighter than one using a modern bridge, tuners and humbuckers. A noticeable difference, so give consideration to that along with the body weight.
     
  8. Ron Kirn

    Ron Kirn Gold Supporting Member

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    This word "resonant" is being thrown about today much like "Wood breathing" or Nitrocellulose lacquer was a few years ago.

    The physical properties that make a body vibrate (resonate) are diametrically opposed to the properties that make a guitar sustain a note.

    You cannot have both ultimate sustain, and ultimate “resonance”. (wrong word, but easier to understand for most) There must be a compromise accommodating the advantages and disadvantages of both.

    Why?? Because energy is necessary to make the body vibrate, AND to keep the string vibrating at an amplitude sufficient enough to produce a useable sound… known as the sustain.. the only source for the energy required for either function, is the vibrating string.

    If the wood is sapping off energy to make it vibrate, that energy is gone… it was converted into another function, thus sustain suffers… if you isolate the string, so that the energy cannot pass through the terminations, the nut and bridge, the guitar will sustain longer, but since the amalgam of components making up the guitar can no longer influence the sound, it becomes somewhat austere, more mundane, kind a blah… unless ya play through a stack of Marshalls, Remember the Shredders of the 80’s… massive bridges and nuts… we don’t wanna go there again…

    Resonance is frequency specific,, by that I mean, if ya bonk a hunk of wood, and it “rings”, that ring has a primary frequency… let’s say it’s 440 Hz, one we all recognize as A.

    Didja know that ALL Matter has a resonant frequency… it’s just that most exists outside the audio spectral range that our hearing detects.

    therefore if the body rings at 440 and, at the overtones, more intensely than other frequencies, every time ya play in A, the guitar is gonna sound hotter on those sympathetic frequencies.

    what ya want is a piece of wood that conducts sound well, and evenly.. and making that determination is more an art than a technique…

    To share the absurdity of bonking a board to determine if it will make a sonic marvel. . . as you shape the wood, that frequency that it produced will move up the scale, getting higher and higher.. it’s only after the body is shaped, sanded, painted and had all the “stuff” attached would bonking indicate the real frequency at which it would resonate,, but with all the hardware etc, attached, it cannot do do as it did when naked.

    Personally I listen to the wood as I’m shaping it, the sound a router bit makes as it cuts, the sound of it as it’s being sanded, all give a hint of what lays ahead.


    and to help appreciate how ultimate “resonance” is NOT something to be sought.. Resonating guitar bodies for the first 20 years of the electric guitar’s life, beginning in 1930, compelled guitarists to confine the amp in a different room, to prevent the feedback that such extreme resonance yields.

    It wasn’t until a young brilliant guitarist that had a grasp of the Physics involved created “The Log” in an attempt to remove all resonance, did the electric guitar really come to life as a serious instrument.

    For those that may not know, it was Les Paul that created that “Log”…

    Despite those that pontificate to the contrary, there is no way to accurately predict what a guitar will sound like, until the first notes are played.

    There ARE some specific species of wood that tend to yield quasi predictable results.. those are the few you commonly see luthiers and manufacturers use. They have been tried and true for the previous almost 100 years, and consistently “rise to the top” when some begin to explore different types of wood or materials.

    Ron Kirn
     
  9. Ron Kirn

    Ron Kirn Gold Supporting Member

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    I'm curious, when you're with a group of friends, do you insist that, as the evening wears on, everyone continue the initial topic that was first mentioned when ya all arrived?

    rk
     
  10. jamester

    jamester Silver Supporting Member

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    Haha not at all, but yours was the second response, so the night was still young. ;-)

    Just surprised that as someone who builds guitars, you would be able to give an experienced answer, but instead you gave a warning over something that was not even part of the question...
     
  11. lumco

    lumco Most of the roads I travel are muddy Gold Supporting Member

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    consider the source..
     
  12. Jimi D

    Jimi D Member

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    Thanks for the response Ron... It's interesting to me though my prejudices regarding the kind of guitars I gravitate to were formed many, many years ago... My personal preference seems to be that the louder and "ringier" an electric guitar seems "unplugged", the happier I'll be with it's tone when I plug it in (presuming decent pickups and amp, of course)... Given the choice, my old back tends to prefer lighter guitars too, but the one guitar I own today that's over 9lbs I keep because it just chimes like Big Ben when I strum it acoustically, and it sounds huge plugged into an amp... For sustain, I tend to walk over to the amp (part of why I like to use an amp stand for my combos, and a slant cab for my 4x12 halfstack - get the speakers aimed at my guitar!)
     
  13. Ron Kirn

    Ron Kirn Gold Supporting Member

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    Yeah, me too... sometimes someone will request a guitar or a feature that I was prejudiced against years ago and I still cringe... even though I know the guitar was then and still remains a superb instrument..

    I'll often pickup on a topic and address the underlying, and often not immediately obvious "question"?

    More times than not, a weight issue is a veiled quest for "resonance", I addressed that component.

    Nope I'm not psychic.. I can be wrong... but in this case, if the OP wasn't referencing resonance, I know there are enough others that will be enticed to see what is being said, and I hope my comment, at least causes some to ponder the supposition.


    r
     
  14. ballhawk

    ballhawk Supporting Member

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    I'm curious as to how Ron verified that the 80's shredders had massive nuts.... and bridges. 'Feelthy" French postcards? ;)
     
  15. friend33

    friend33 Silver Supporting Member

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    Hmmm..."Massive Nuts". Good name for a rock band. I will pass this on to Dave Barry immediately...
     
  16. K-Line

    K-Line Gold Supporting Member

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    My rule of thumb....
    Tele add 3 to 3.2lbs.
    Strat add 3.5 to 3.75lbs with a steel full block trem. Hardtail about the same as a tele.

    If the wood is right, following a process that is tried and true, she will sing! If the wood is too wet, then it will suffer.
     
  17. Boris Bubbanov

    Boris Bubbanov Member

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    What?

    One of the most important things a seasoned builder can do here is to break people's mistaken attitudes about the inherent superiority of light bodies. I don't see how people who know better can just stand on the sidelines and let people spend vast sums building guitars no better than far cheaper ones, and stand by while people build guitars that don't balance. A guitar that refuses to balance is a far more miserable experience IMO than a guitar weighing another 10 ounces.

    The question isn't "neutral" once you see the same mistake made too many times. It is preposterous to assume someone who knows very little will assemble an average or heavier than average guitar. Building a very light potentially "fizzy" guitar is like a kid falling, trying to learn to ride a bike. This is what people routinely do. And you can see it in the way the O.P.'s question is framed. Even when the O.P. knows better, the question will give those readers with little experience the wrong impression.

    You gotta think about EVERYONE who reads this thread. Most of the guys posting "get it". You gotta decide if you care what happens to the guy who is learning and is too timid to sign up and post, I think.
     
  18. jamester

    jamester Silver Supporting Member

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    Don't "what?" me, Boris! (I'm saying this lightheartedly, btw)

    I explained myself quite clearly. It's fine if someone wants to make assumptions about a poster's potential ignorance on the matter and respond accordingly, but the bottom-line is that it was a nuts-and-bolts question which had nothing to do with the tonal superiority or inferiority of guitar weight. If you want to lecture that's fine, but answer the guy's question while you're at it. That was my point; Ron's a builder so he could give a very experienced answer, as well as the experienced lecture.

    FTR I agree 100% with Ron's post. But it's possible that the OP already knows there is no inherent superiority to a lighter guitar, and wants to build one anyway. There's nothing wrong with wanting a light guitar, everyone has their reasons for wanting what they want...
     
  19. Ron Kirn

    Ron Kirn Gold Supporting Member

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    Actually, I thought I answered it quite well... but, then, I have been around far too many "high end" Politicians over the years, guess answering the question that wasn't asked has become second nature.

    r
     
  20. K-Line

    K-Line Gold Supporting Member

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    :roll
     

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