Whats the lightest Tele?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by chrisjnyc, Jul 9, 2018.

  1. EarleG

    EarleG ® Silver Supporting Member

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    Fender had a Telecaster model - Empress (wood) Telebration model that are extremely light
    and probably at or close to 6 lbs. Think these were made in 2012.

     
  2. Mpcoluv

    Mpcoluv Supporting Member

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    I’m in the pine tele camp. I have a partscaster made with a Rosser Telemaster body that is very light. Sounds great!
     
  3. PartoftheDark

    PartoftheDark Member

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    Paulownia/empress is crazy light especially if you go with a basic oil finish. It honestly can't get much lighter than that unless you start trimming down the hardware/pickups. I suppose you could add weight relief to it, but it's already a really light and soft wood and there wouldn't be much left for structure.
     
  4. K-Line

    K-Line Vendor

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    Paulownia. Just make sure to get hardwood inserts for bridge mount screws and strap pegs. That wood is crazy soft and threads holes strip very easily.
     
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  5. Ron Kirn

    Ron Kirn Gold Supporting Member

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    it ya think lightweight is the guitar panacea .. best way to resolve that issue . . . change your mind... you'll probably wind up with a better sounding guitar and it costs ya nothing....

    rk
     
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  6. James824

    James824 Member

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    I purchased one of the first Thin Skin Teles ever made.
    3 pc body, 6.14lbs.
     
  7. 71strat

    71strat Member

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    Master Builder Yuri Shishkov made the lightest Tele/Strats.

    He made a Fender Closet Classic Series..... Featherlight.

    Paulownia x 1/4 Sawn... Aircraft Grade Spruce Neck Core, and Rosewood Board.

    Weighs LESS the 5lbs. Use steel/brass inserts in all critical places.

    Adirondak Red Spruce has the Spruce.

    Ask for 1/4 Sawn, and Artist+ Grade.

    Aircraft Spruce must be 1/4 Sawn, less than 1 inch fall away in 12 inches, and at least 6 lines per inch. Some very small knots are acceptable ( Not for a neck though ) and measured, and cant exceed a specific total combined size of the knots..

    Above company will sell you a blank that has 000 fall away, and 20+ Lines Per Inch for around $60. The neck Yuri used has 14 lines per inch. This was also a $9000 guitar

    These people have the best Red Spruce money can buy. NO Neck Dive with Paulownia, and Spruce.

    http://www.adirondackspruce.com/guitar-wood/
     
  8. Fuchsaudio

    Fuchsaudio Member

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    I built a 100 year old pine Tele, 5-lbs fully assembled. That’s with a swimming pool rout titanium Petillo bridge, Zexcoil Strat and Tele pickups. My other pine Tele is solid, 200 year old torrified wood, not routed, Zexcoil P-90 neck, Zexcoil Bridge pickup and Babicz bridge, 6.6 lbs. pine is cool, light and pretty, but has a softer attack than Alder or Swamp Ash. My buddy Jim from Nikita guitars does all kinds of woods and routs. He’s made bodies in the 3-Ish range in many woods.

    Another thing to keep in mind is torrified wood. My 200 year old Tele lost a full third of its weight from Torrification ! I got a slab of pine, 200 years old, 24 lbs. after baking, it was 18 lbs. then the two bodies were cut. This is actual UPS shipping weights before and after torrification.
     
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  9. Rotten

    Rotten Silver Supporting Member

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    In my experience, thin lines are not necessarily lighter. In fact, I think Fender, G&L, others made thinlines so that they could use heavier pieces of wood.
     
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  10. C-4

    C-4 Member

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    Light weight Teles are fine, but one needs to listen to the resonance, tone, and sustain in any guitar. My experience has been that one cannot tell a great sounding or sustaining guitar simply by the weight or wood being used. All factors should be considered to find what you desire. ymmv :)
     
  11. Boris Bubbanov

    Boris Bubbanov Member

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    I'd say, you have to ask for a light ASAT. Because normally, they run in the high 7s to mid 8 pounds.

    Ash is a remarkable wood, for how much variation in weight/density there can be. But G + L normally doesn't concentrate on making real light guitars. In fact, some people familiar with the brand feel their instruments have tended to be a little heavier than other company's products. My ASAT Classic (one ash, one alder) are right about 8 pounds apiece, and the alder one is even tummy cut in the back.
     
  12. Boris Bubbanov

    Boris Bubbanov Member

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    I agree. The best examples of this are the ash bodied MIM '72 Thinlines. Not quite so much on the MIM '69 Thinlines. Almost a garbage dump, where heavy wood that'd otherwise be tossed in the burn barrel get processed into a '72 Thinline body. Might've been seven years ago now, but I checked out a '72 MIM Thinline in a CG and the guitar was well over 9 pounds. Despite all the thinlining. now, I would not reject a 9 + pound Tele out of hand, but it seems quite weird to have a T style that's both hefty and a thinline.
     
  13. joelster

    joelster Silver Supporting Member

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    Yeah, I played one of those Paisleys. Super light. Poulonia I think.

    My Sugar pine tele is pretty light but not too light. I don't want a guitar to feel like it's made of balsa wood.
     
  14. Carbohydrates

    Carbohydrates Member

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    This was the origin of the Thinline, yeah.

    And definitely pay attention to the neck! A lightweight, 6 lb guitar with a big Nocaster-style neck will dive like an SG, no lie.
     
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  15. Boris Bubbanov

    Boris Bubbanov Member

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    Agree.

    In fact, I would use a very hard, catalyzed finish on paulownia because the wood is so susceptible to dents. A hard shell is basically imperative. Already likely to be a serious neck diver, adding chambering or thinlining would produce a miserable guitar. Like, a gust of wind could blow it out of your grasp. I seriously doubt if it would be structurally sound over time.

    Paulownia is always light. Plain ole light, to super light - sometimes not much more substantial than balsa.

    Meanwhile, a blanket recommendation of ash or pine as a light weight body wood, is incorrect. Pine differs by species, and also by example, from quite light to incredibly heavy. I've got old pieces of pine that are so heavy, you might assume you were handling boards of walnut or hard maple. Ash is somewhat the same, except that ash species are more similar to one another and the variation depends on where the tree grew and also what part of the log was sourced. But in summary, alder tends to be a middlin' wood, while pine and ash can be equal in weight to alder, but quite often is either much lighter or much heavier.
     
  16. Fishyfishfish

    Fishyfishfish Member

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    Fender Brad Paisley model
     
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  17. cutaway

    cutaway Supporting Member

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  18. dazco

    dazco Member

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    As has probably been said, to get one that light in traditional woods would be near impossible. Wood even of the same species varies from piece to piece but usually not that much. Ash and alder will only VERY rarely be that light. You'd have to go with something like pawlonia (sp?) to guarantee that light a tele. And the tone will be very different with a different wood like that AND because of the weight. Generally going that light, which is super light, i find the tone suffers in that theres no girth or punch behind the note, and i also fnd rolling the volume off the gitar for clean tones never seems to work well with super light guitars. You might get lucky or you migtht like it, but if i were to wager i'd bet you would much more likely find the tone lacking. I'd look for something closer to 7 Lbs, plus thats gonna be much easier to find without going to some non traditional wood who's tone might also not be great.

    I'm not telling you theres no chance of a 6 lb tele sounding good, but from my experience with very light guitars as a general rule that what i find. I now stay away from super lights because for me at least every one i've owned has been like that.
     
  19. Fuchsaudio

    Fuchsaudio Member

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    I built a "Chibson" LP Junior kit, just for fun. $ 75.00 on E-bay with free shipping. I upgraded the tuners, pickup, bridge and wiring. It's a shade less than 4 lbs. It's a goof, as when I hand it to people, they cannot believe it weighs near nothing ! After a neck shaping and good setup, a vintage TV yellow paint job (my painter friend said it sucked up paint like a sponge), and a head stock decal, it passes for an old beat-up real G-guitar and it sounds great. Yes, a bit neck heavy, but a fun guitar i can leave in my trunk, in a gig bag and totally not care...the checking, dents and such simply add character. The Fralin noiseless 90 pickup cost more than the whole guitar, as did the machines and bridge...! lol.
     
  20. SC FiveNineFour

    SC FiveNineFour Member

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    I'm plenty familiar with G&L and I have seen many ASAT models well below 7 pounds. They're not that difficult to find, no matter which woods are used.
     

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