Tele wood - ash, alder, poplar?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Gasp100, Feb 7, 2008.


  1. Gasp100

    Gasp100 Supporting Member

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    I'm starting a new Tele build and I've received some interesting offers for Tele body's. I also always watch ebay for stuff especially old Peavey guitars. I have had really good luck with my Peavey Predator strat partscaster (poplar body). It's definitely light weight, but it's VERY resonant plugged in or unplugged and just sounds great with the Dimazrio area's in there now.
    It seems I can get a Peavey Reactor for a decent price which I understand is just about the exact same guitar as the Predator in T style. The body is also poplar and I'm wondering if this might not be a good wood for a Tele. I do really like the thick, heavier dense wood on my Fender James Burton Tele (not sure if it's Alder or Ash or Swamp Ash) but it's woody feeling AND woody sounding. The offers on bodies for my project have been MIJ guitars, not sure of the wood type. Anyone know what they would probably have been made out of?
    Thoughts?
     
  2. SkydogFan81

    SkydogFan81 Member

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  3. HHB

    HHB Member

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    I like alder w/ a one piece maple neck, perfect combo of fat and twang IMO
     
  4. RJM/rydog2223

    RJM/rydog2223 Member

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    Another alder guy meself. It seems best of both worlds IMHO. Warm and twangy.
     
  5. justonwo

    justonwo Supporting Member

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    The alder Tele I had was a bit too dark for my tastes. I really enjoy the brightness and clarity of my ash Tele.
     
  6. TNO

    TNO Member

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    Poplar can be just a great, great wood for classic Fender tone.
     
  7. Seegs

    Seegs Member

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    +1 I had an alder tele and it was kind of a dog...swapping a maple boat neck in place of the thinner RW neck helped a bunch but it was missing the snap and sparkle that I get with ash...

    another nice alternative is pine...a bit rounder and softer but still sounds great...

    Chow,
    Seegs
     
  8. GregoryL

    GregoryL Supporting Member

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    Lightweight swamp ash - no debate in my mind.
     
  9. sickboy79

    sickboy79 Member

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    Generally, I prefer swap ash - but, I also think that alder is fantastic. I like them both for different reasons.
     
  10. Pete Galati

    Pete Galati Member

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    I imagine that MIJ Telecasters are made out of all sorts of different woods. My lat '80s MIJ seems to be made out of Basswood. I like that one quite a bit.

    A have a moderately light alder Tele body from GRguitars that's the most even toned body that I have. I generally have very good luck with alder when I can find one that's light weight enough. They end up being good guitars for humbuckers, and they're good for sitting back and playing unplugged.

    But I also have a very nice sounding Swamp Ash Tele.

    I think a lot has to do with matching up all the elements. Get the right neck, hardware, pickups, and wiring in a body, and you'll have a better chance of ending up with a good Tele.
     
  11. ghoti

    ghoti Member

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    For twang, ash is the way to go.

    The tele sound I like the best is either ash, or pine. Pine isn't that commonly used for electrics, for some reason...

    Alder works OK, but it's a little more "neutral" of a sound in my opinion. I'd rather have something that twangs a little more and gives me some bright edge to it so I can either make it razor-sharp or flatten it out some...and if I want darker I use another guitar...
     
  12. Gasp100

    Gasp100 Supporting Member

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    I just bought a Fender MIJ '53 reissue ash body from a fellow TGP'er. Callaham electronics, Fender '52 reissue pups. I'm looking forward to this one, it should be a good match (although I'm using a Maple with Rosewood Mighty Might neck :worried)
     
  13. digthosetubes

    digthosetubes Senior Member

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    +1 on that.
     
  14. Drew816

    Drew816 Member

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    Swamp Ash for me as well... I have a light weight K-Line swampie, rosewood neck, weighs just over 7 pounds and sustains forever, great tone, what's not to like?

    If you're looking for an existing body and trying to choose this becomes a bit more complicated; all kinds of stuff out there but more alder multi-piece bodies (or that's what was going on when I was looking!), occasional popular, northern ash and the seemingly less common swamp ash bodies. Heard great things about the Peavey Tele's, and Hamer T-51's are bad ass as well but now we're onto another subject. :)

    Good luck!:BEER
     
  15. digthosetubes

    digthosetubes Senior Member

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    Pine is a mighty soft wood.
     

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