Reverb Madness: Necks and Bodies

I’m not a Telecaster guy, but if I owned one I would want what are called “barncasters;” Teles cut out of salvaged wood, with all its imperfections and unique texture. [They get their name from the common practice of using pine wood salvaged from old barns.] I imagine that a tele made of pine would sound excellent, even if the pine was plywood as  some of these bodies clearly are. There’s a working-class mystique to the Tele, so making out of what’s considered junk wood and going so far as to use an old license plate for a pickguard really does work for it.

Another Fender thing I’m not into but could see myself making an exception for is the all-rosewood electric guitar. Rosewood is great for fingerboards, but it’s a heavy wood. Rosewood Teles were a thing in the late ’60s and early ’70s — George Harrison played one for the Beatles’ iconic final concert on Apple Corp.’s rooftop — and I briefly considered building an all-rosewood Stratocaster with parts from Warmoth back in the go-go ’90s when I had more dollars than sense. Looking at the elegant wood grain and comfy-looking contours [unlike most woods, you don’t have to seal and finish rosewood, leaving the wood raw, which feels better in your fretting hand than most guitar finishes] of this all-rosewood replacement neck, I can see why some players are willing to throw their backs out for an all-rosewood axe.

 

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