Will super light guitars every be a thing?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by rolandk, Mar 29, 2020.

  1. eupbin

    eupbin Member

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    Wasn't there just a thread about people asking about guitar weights (not starting again!), but I think everyone has their "sweet spot (or lbs.). Less than 7 lbs on an electric just feels odd to me and love my 9.5 lb LP.
     
  2. Mike Duncan

    Mike Duncan Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

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    I always feel like I'm going to break a guitar that's too light.

    Literally just watched a video on YouTube about weight relief on a 9.4 pound R9. A repair guy actually drilled out a pound of wood on the Les Paul. Kinda wild to watch.

    I have a 9.6 PRS DGT that I wish weighed a little less.
     
  3. MaxTwang

    MaxTwang Member

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    Composite Acoustics made a reasonably priced carbon fiber solid body. Unfortunately I first heard about them just after they were closed out.

    re. heavy Les Pauls: I had a beautiful 8lb R8, unfortunately not the best sounding R8 I've owned. 8lbs 8oz to just under 9lb seems to be a sweet spot for me.
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2020
  4. Brad2

    Brad2 Member

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    Or you can buy a guitar like a Hofner shorty.

     
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  5. Ripthorn

    Ripthorn Member

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    I like lightweight guitars and have built several of my own designs of them in various shapes and fashions. All from wood. With really lightweight guitars I see a couple of concerns:

    1. Tradition. Yes, it's a real thing, and people will always gravitate towards traditional designs and construction techniques because that is what was used by those who inspire them.

    2. Quality perception. Again, mentioned before, but it's real. It takes experience for someone to get over that notion.

    3. Ergonomics. Typically a lightweight guitar will have most of the weight savings in the body. This can lead to neck dive, which will drive people away very quickly (unless subject to item 1, kind of like an SG :)). Also, many lightweight designs incorporate non-traditional design elements such as being headless, and not all implementations do the genre any favor. Some headless guitars require poor wrist angles, tuning torque, etc.

    4. Material choice. A hollowed out wood body is likely the easiest approach to get there, but there are now materials like carbon fiber, flaxwood, 3D printable plastics, etc. Each of these have their pro's and con's in terms of guitar construction. Some are more labor intensive or expensive or have more upfront labor/cost. Others may be inconsistent batch-to-batch.

    5. Hardware. Just like with the guitar itself, there is a perception that heavier is higher quality. But if one were to use aluminum, titanium, magnesium, etc. they could shave a decent amount of weight. The bridge and tuners are prime candidates here. Pickups also have an impact. Lace alumitones can save almost half a pound alone.

    Right now I am making a body that uses poplar, but in a Danelectro-esque construction. The body is exceptionally lightweight. I think that there is a time and place for them, but it's not just wood vs. other materials, it's a whole ideological approach.
     
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  6. sxcustom

    sxcustom Member

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    Strandberg. Very light and selling like hotcakes. All it takes is a new generation of players and a good design which is what you are seeing with strandberg.
     
  7. GreatSatan

    GreatSatan Member

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    i have two: tele & superstrat made out of paulonia wood.
    insanely light, the guitars still sound great, wouldn't trust playing them live or on the road as they're pretty fragile.
     
  8. sahhas

    sahhas Supporting Member

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    I’ve never understood why guitarists are so resistant to change/ modern materials, so much is made w/ carbon fiber/ etc, and super cars the same since it offers more strength w/ less weight... and yet guitarists are stuck in the 50s... oh well....

     
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  9. stevieboy

    stevieboy Clouds yell at me Silver Supporting Member

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    The advantages of carbon fiber have driven its adoption in the various products that use it.

    I don't need more strength and/or less weight in a guitar. Never broke one, and there are plenty available that are already lighter than I need. I don't think that means I'm stuck in or on, well, anything. If something comes along that sounds better to my ears or has some other advantage, then great.

    I don't play that much acoustic, I have heard of carbon fiber ones and seen one or two, but haven't played one. Weight is not much of an issue with acoustics though. Carbon fiber might possibly have some advantages over wood in an acoustic guitar, but I can't imagine that being lighter is one of them.
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2020
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  10. HoboMan

    HoboMan Silver Supporting Member

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    They even made/make chambered Les Pauls that weigh under 8 lbs. Not the most popular.
    I personally prefer light guitars.
     
  11. sahhas

    sahhas Supporting Member

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    The problem is “sounds better” is a subjective point. Everything has a resonant frequency,?its just that people seem to prefer wood

     
  12. Tony Done

    Tony Done Member

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    Fashions evolve, so light weight might become the "in" thing, like heavy guitars were a while back. I've come to appreciate light weight more and more as I get older; I think it is more psychological than physical, heavy just bugs me now. I'm very much in favour of experimenting with novel materials and designs in both electric and acoustic guitars.
     
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  13. poppunk

    poppunk Member

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    At some point when the guitar gets too light it doesn't stay in place enough when I'm playing a show (I'm pretty active).

    What would a "super light" guitar weight be like?
     
  14. easyed

    easyed Silver Supporting Member

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    See my avatar? Fender developed the Thinline Tele because it became hard to source lightweight ash for the body and players were complaining about the weight of the solid ash body. I love my thinline (it's a wonderfully built partscaster to '68 Thinline spec). My brother had a Charvel Tele with a hard-rock maple body. It probably weighed 12 pounds. It had nearly twice the sustain as my Thinline

    IME denser body woods deliver more sustain than less dense woods. A solid maple-bodied guitar will deliver tons of sustain.

    I've owned a carbon fiber (Rainsong) 12 string. It was not much, if any, lighter than the Framus or Fender 12-strings I'd played. I had occasion to play it at an evening event; I tuned it at home. The temperature at the event was about 50 and the humidity was 100% (foggy). I took it out of the case and checked the tuning - still spot on, then played it for a couple of hours and it never went out of tune. Back at home, it was still in tune.

    I've also had a Parker Fly. Loved the light weight, but hated the upper bout poking in my ribs. Despite the fact that it was a 2 humbucker guitar, it didn't come close to the tone I got from a good quality LP copy with Rio Grande Texas/BBQ pickups.

    I like my electric guitars in the 7-lb range. Acoustic guitars weigh what they will, but they are usually lighter than electric guitars
     
  15. woof*

    woof* Member

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    That’s bizarre
    I have a paulonia strat that weighs 5lbs.
    I do take it out in the road all the time.
    It’s not fragile at all.
    Be grateful you don’t tour with a violin...that’s fragile.
     
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  16. stevieboy

    stevieboy Clouds yell at me Silver Supporting Member

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    Sure, but I don't see why that's a problem.
     
  17. Eugene Wallace

    Eugene Wallace Member

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    superlight guitars are almost a certainty for the future.
    superlight now = superlight tone.
    I don't much fancy the tone of carbon fibre.

    With so many people simply unable to hear the tone of a guitar now, wood-wise...and the existence of emulators which would make the most discerning sound engineers satisfied, it's only a matter of time before your superlight 2.3 pound guitar that you can buy for $24.99 will come complete with a rotary knob that will provide you with the ten most desirable guitar tones.
    It's probably already out there.

    For me? naah...emulator schemulator, The less electronic wizadry between me and the speaker, the better.

    strat/tele/gibson style ( wooden) guitars through marshall or fender, no emulation needed.

    Why play at all? the best emulation you can buy is called a 'cd'..just put it in the cd player and you're the greatest player in the world.
     
  18. Tony Done

    Tony Done Member

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    My Paulownia strat weighs about 5 1/2lb, and it is my favourite guitar. It is plenty strong enough, but I guess very easily dinged.
     
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  19. Yamaha 350

    Yamaha 350 Member

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    My point was these were made out of something besides wood and guitar players were having none of it. o_O:rolleyes:
     
  20. Ron Kirn

    Ron Kirn Gold Supporting Member Vendor

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    :rolleyes:
     
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