So, what is it about teles...

TKOjams

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...that it's totally accepable for them to be crafted from lesser quality, and soft woods like Pine? Using wood with huge knots, deep gouges, even bullet holes, ect.
Ive seen some teles built from wood that in my opinion was basicly, firewood and people fawn all over them. (I'm not judging, just scratching my head.)

I'm thinking of building a tele, and I do love wood with character but I could never bring myself to use some of the stuff I've seen used.

What is it that I'm not getting here? :hmm: Is it just a Tele, thing?
 

poro78

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I guess Tele's just a one step from a Diddley bow to an electric guitar ;)
 

Steven

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QUOTE: "What is it that I'm not getting here? :hmm: Is it just a Tele, thing?"


Since when (in about the last 1/2 century) has it been acceptable to use lesser grade cheap wood on American Standard Telecasters ?
My familiarity is with the American Standard Telecasters. I always thought the woods used were a decent quality Alder, or Ash. Ages ago, in the very beginning, they used Pine, but stopped and switched to Ash (again very early on), but to my knowledge, no pine or cheap wood lately (on the American Standard models). Specifically what recent make of Telecaster are you speaking of that uses a cheap wood ? I don't know of better quality tele's that have been made from lousy quality wood going back to the (perhaps mid) 60's when the bodies were Ash. However any lesser quality guitar, and some good quality guitars use softer woods (guitars of all styles, this isn't limited to the first Telecasters).

IOW- They briefly used pine, but quickly switched to Ash, and than started using Alder and Ash on the American Standards.
 

BrianM

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I think the use of pine goes back to the prototypes Leo first made, from what I understand he used pine because it was dirt cheap.
 

So What

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Teles are tools. Invented and produced by a mfgr who had not been in the guitar business before. Very utilitarian. The Tele caught a lot of criticism in the beginning for being visually unappealing.

LP's were made to be more cosmetically appealing, by an existing guitar mfgr, who had years of experience in the guitar business.

Over time, people came to appreciate the simplicity of the Tele, and to put the LP on a pedestal. Especially since they (LP's) went unproduced for 8 years.

my 2 cents....
 

knuckles123

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The story goes that Leo orginally used the pine that they had around for amps. 3/4", which is wht the first tele bodies were 1 1/2" thick. They are now 1 3/4" standard.
 

TKOjams

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Since when (in about the last 1/2 century) has it been acceptable to use ANY grade cheap wood on American Standard Telecasters ?
My familiarity is with the American Standard Telecasters. I always thought the woods used were a decent quality Alder, or Ash. Ages ago, in the very beginning, they used Pine, but stopped and switched to Ash (again very early on), but to my knowledge, no pine or cheap wood lately (on the American Standard models). Specifically what recent make of Telecaster are you speaking of that uses a cheap wood ? I don't know of better quality tele's that have been made from lousy quality wood going back to the early 70's, and even late 60's when the bodies were Ash. However any lesser quality guitar, and some good quality guitars use softer woods (guitars of all styles, this isn't limited to Telecasters).

IOW- They briefly used pine, but quickly switched to Ash, and than started using Alder and Ash on the American Standards.
I'm not talking about Fender factory built instruments. I talking about luthire, or home built teles. Sorry for the confusion.
 

j.six

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Teles are tools.
I'd say that all guitars (or any musical instrument for that matter) are tools. some may be different from others, but they're all used to convey an idea one way or another.

Sully
 

'59_Standard

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QUOTE: "What is it that I'm not getting here? :hmm: Is it just a Tele, thing?"


Since when (in about the last 1/2 century) has it been acceptable to use lesser grade cheap wood on American Standard Telecasters ?
My familiarity is with the American Standard Telecasters. I always thought the woods used were a decent quality Alder, or Ash. Ages ago, in the very beginning, they used Pine, but stopped and switched to Ash (again very early on), but to my knowledge, no pine or cheap wood lately (on the American Standard models). Specifically what recent make of Telecaster are you speaking of that uses a cheap wood ? I don't know of better quality tele's that have been made from lousy quality wood going back to the (perhaps mid) 60's when the bodies were Ash. However any lesser quality guitar, and some good quality guitars use softer woods (guitars of all styles, this isn't limited to the first Telecasters).

IOW- They briefly used pine, but quickly switched to Ash, and than started using Alder and Ash on the American Standards.
Fender used it again - its hip to be some Pine. :D Closet Classic
 

So What

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I'd say that all guitars (or any musical instrument for that matter) are tools. some may be different from others, but they're all used to convey an idea one way or another.

Sully

I agree.

My point was that the Tele was designed to be a tool, plain and simple.

Other guitars, like LP's, were built with consideration for cosmetics, as well as the intended use.

.
 

Ekphrastic

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Teles have more of a connection with country music. Hence, the rustic look, in the eyes of some, may be keeping with the country ethos.
 

emoney

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It's a "takes all kinds" world, G, that we live in.

As a matter of fact, there's a lesson to be learned here for aspiring business owners in the practice of luthierre. While this may be a slight digression, the lesson is there;

Eons ago (ok, maybe not eons in the literal sense, but I am getting older) I started my young adult life (some would argue the use of the term "adult") as a radio DJ. After spending a few months on the air on a small AM station, I was offered a job by a person that owned several stations, to do the evening, 6pm-12midnight shift on the rock formatted one. About 6 months into this gig, the owner called me in and said "I'm moving you to afternoons on the Country FM station." Immediately, I countered with, "But I know nothing about Country music and my numbers are doing pretty good on the 105.5, why move me?" At this point, he had already walked out of the room and my pleas fell on deaf ears. To shorten this story, when the 1st month Arbitron book came out, I had climbed by a significant amount over what I was doing before on the previous station. The owner came in knowing I would be confused and told me this;
"On the rock-n-roll format, you were getting into a habit of playing the music that YOU liked. Well, the problem is, if you broke the listening audience into 10% groups, that means that only 10% of the people are going to agree with you, while 90% will disagree. However, on country, you had no favorites and played ALL the playlist (we got to choose everything outside the top 50 at that time), and by doing that, you appeal to more of the listening audience".

It was a lesson I've taken with me through every career I've had and always will. If we really like something, we might need to stop whatever that is, because 9 out 10 folks won't agree with us.
 

michaelinokc

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I'd say that all guitars (or any musical instrument for that matter) are tools. some may be different from others, but they're all used to convey an idea one way or another.

Sully
They definitely are tools. I'll throw my old screwdriver (Tele) in the toolbox without a second thought, but my cordless drill (Les Paul) gets put back in the case. :naughty:
 

randelli

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Arlo West made me want to build mine:

[ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tfsa5VxJp58[/ame]
 

patsanger

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It takes all kinds - maybe the wood was from a lightning struck tree? who knows. People love how different woods look - I love spalted maple - but it is a horrible wood to use for instruments as it is basically rotten.... but it looks cool to me...
 

scimitar

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When I first realised people were building Teles from pine I couldn't believe it, certainly in the UK pine is the cheapest wood there is so the idea of making a guitar from it seemed bizarre... and now I'm building one of my own, not sure why really but it seemed like a good idea at the time:D That said I'm not fond of the rustic finish, mine will be black.
 

randelli

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I was very selective with the pine I used - even went to Lowe's..... Mine is a three ply as I did not want a seam in the middle to warp later. The top and back are 2 pieces and the middle is 3 pieces.

 


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