Tele debate - with contours or without?

Discussion in 'The Small Company Luthiers' started by suhr_rodney, Jun 12, 2006.


Tele - body contours or not?

  1. MUST have countours

  2. Must NOT have countours

  3. I'll take it either way

Multiple votes are allowed.
Results are only viewable after voting.
  1. suhr_rodney

    suhr_rodney Supporting Member

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    Several modern builders offer their tele style guitars with tummy/arm cuts, whilst others tout the vintage slab body. I was particuarly surprised to see the Linof teles with contours given the pseudo-vintage vibe of those guitars. I realize it all comes down to personal preference. So what's yours?
     
  2. sanhozay

    sanhozay klon free since 2009 Silver Supporting Member

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    It really doesn't matter to me. The contour feels better under my hooter{s} but Tele's are nice and comfy regardless.
     
  3. Reeek

    Reeek Member

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    I have a Suhr Classic now with all the contours but on the T model I ordered a few weeks ago, I really wanted vintage spec'ing. I went with the slab body that has the 1/8" body edge radius even but I still chose to get Suhr's hand cut contour for the slightly better upper register access.

    Mine will look like this:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  4. bo13bo

    bo13bo Member

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    Although I chose contours, I don't really like the front arm contour. Just the belly cut on the back. It fits better under my manboobs when I sit down.

    I actually gave myself a bruise on my ribs at Cornerstone 2004. My band went and played the DIY stages and we played 7-8 shows in a matter of days. I used to think it was cool to play the guitar up really high (like Tom Morello) and I would wiggle about quite a bit. When we got home I kept thinking man my ribs hurt! Took off my shirt and there was a huge bruise the size of a small pancake.

    With the American Deluxe tele (has back contour) that doesn't seem to happen anymore. Although I don't do much wiggling about and I hang the guitar much lower too. It just feels better.
     
  5. Kappy

    Kappy Member

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    I don't find myself saying or thinking "Boy I wish this had contours!" when I'm playing my teles.
     
  6. stark

    stark Supporting Member

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    My 53' blackguard is just a simple slab of wood with a killer neck shape. I've yet to find a new production instrument that has such a complex tone. If I was trying to go for that I'd just do the no contours deal.

    Adam Stark
     
  7. fjs1962

    fjs1962 Silver Supporting Member

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    Tele's with contours don't bother me until I hang them on a strap. Then they just feel weird, not balanced right or something. I've gotten rid of a couple of otherwise killer contoured Teles because I never got comfortable with them on stage. Luckily I found a slab body Suhr Tele that is equally killer and hangs right ;)
     
  8. Timbre Wolf

    Timbre Wolf GoldMember Supporter Gold Supporting Member

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    I'm into comfort.

    I got my 1.5" one-piece pine body from Glendale Guitars, and had Dale do both contour cuts. Feels effin' ffffantastic!! I'll never know what tonal sacrifice I may have made, but I'm sure it was not significant.

    I know some like to feel their Tele bite back a bit. Sort of like the need for bitterness in coffee or beer. I'm taking the easy way out with my Tele (but make my brews strong and mean, please!).

    - T
     
  9. DWB1960

    DWB1960 Senior Member

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    No contours. Next you'll be wanting to know if slab strats are ok or *shudders* Les Pauls without the patented rib dent feature. :messedup
     
  10. suhr_rodney

    suhr_rodney Supporting Member

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    One of the best things about this forum is hearing different opinions. To me, tweaks to a 50 year old body design are as acceptable as specifying a neck carve, or a satin neck. Neither of which were available on the original Tele, but both of which make modern guitars more playable for me. Great comments so far. Keep 'em coming!
    :RoCkIn
     
  11. James

    James Member

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    I love the contours on my (Tele-ish) Valley Arts Larry Carlton signature model! Very comfortable! I'll take the curves, please! :)


    :RoCkIn


    James
     
  12. matte

    matte Senior Member

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    my body.
    comfy will always work for me. not looking to start a religion here so whatever's clever.
     
  13. smallbutmighty

    smallbutmighty Supporting Member

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    A year and a half ago (before my first tele) I would have said "must have contours". I thought Teles were too "planky"...like you should be building a deck out of them. Never wanted one. Then I got a killer deal on an American Standard and said "what the heck."

    It has become my favorite axe. I use it for everything, while my other axes look on. I keep thinking I need to swap out pickups or something, but straight off the shelf it sounds great.

    I always pictured myself hating the graceless slab body, but I got used to it very quickly and now I don't mind it a bit. If Fender offered it with cuts I'd give it a shot. For the life of me I can't figure out why they don't! I bet they would increase Tele sales in a heartbeat.

    A
     
  14. bluesdoc

    bluesdoc Gold Supporting Member Gold Supporting Member

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    I just don't play non-carve guitars well. It's harder physically and that takes a toll. In my tele hunt, I found a Warmoth body with carves and just ordered my dream neck from them. I hope it all works out. It WILL be comfortable to play though... :)

    jon
     
  15. MJR

    MJR Member

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    Keeping contours off a Tele body just to keep it 'authentic' just seems too silly to me.

    Comfort is the name of the game. And those Linoff guitars from the other thread look just about perfect to me.
     
  16. yeast2000

    yeast2000 Member

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    I keep asking myself if the contours really make guitars more comfortable to play? I guess so.., but I still wonder..
    Anyway, I just like Teles without contours.
     
  17. Timbre Wolf

    Timbre Wolf GoldMember Supporter Gold Supporting Member

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    Oh yes, they sure do... to me, that is!

    - T
     
  18. NuSkoolTone

    NuSkoolTone Member

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    Each of the main guitars most use (Strat, Tele, LP) have their own shape.
    If you start changing that body with contours, nicer upper fret access, at what point does it start to change that signature TONE?

    THIS is the question I would ask. I think suhr's solution for better upper fret access is cool, but I wouldn't take it further than that. Ditto for the improved heel some custom guys do on LP's and strats.

    I mean, if you take this far enough, why limit yourself to just clones? You're changing the guitar so much anyways....:YinYang
     
  19. KRosser

    KRosser Member

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    I don't find contours comfortable. I've never found Strats to be comfortable. Although I've played many superb sounding and feeling Teles that did have contours, especially Gerard Melancon's, I'm always more personally drawn to 'none'. Nothing dogmatic about it; that's just me.
     
  20. tonedaddy

    tonedaddy Member

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    I am here as you are here as you are me and we are
    And at what point do you think you could hear the change?

    I guarantee you won't hear it after the drummer starts.
    :D


    For me, every Tele has it's own personality.
    Some Teles want to be prim/proper respectable planks, others want to be curvy/slutty "don't ever take her home to meet Mama" contours.

    Both have their own time and place in the grand scheme of the universe.
    :)
     

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