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Strat weight?

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by groaner, Mar 13, 2018.

  1. groaner

    groaner Strat-Talker

    May 6, 2017
    I have a PRS and a Strat. My Seat weighs close to 8.5 lb.s and my PRS weighs close to 7 lb.s
    Its very noticeable wearing and playing them.

    Since I have learned a bit about Billy Gibbons that he hollows out his guitars and plays very light strings this has made me question what I thought I knew about guitars.. I thought a heavier guitar would have better tone and sustain, thats what I thought.
    After considering the sounds that Gibbons, and Hendrix I think I have been wrong.

    I bought my Strat in new condition but didnt give the weight any thought when I bought it.

    Whats your opinion on guitar weights, does it matter one way or the other?
    Namelyguitar likes this.
  2. Triple Jim

    Triple Jim Senior Stratmaster

    Feb 27, 2018
    North Central NC
    It matters a little, but my headless far-east Steinberger doesn't suffer from bad tone or lack of sustain. Any difference in sustain if there really is any noticeable amount could easily be corrected with a small adjustment to a compressor.
    Namelyguitar likes this.
  3. usul1978

    usul1978 Guitar bricolo Strat-Talk Supporter

    Dec 9, 2015
    I like them between 3,250 and 3,5 kg. There are some many factors, it's hard to really judge the tonal difference of the weight only...but I wouldn't go under or above these numbers in my case.
    Silvercrow likes this.
  4. Guitar0621

    Guitar0621 Strat-Talker

    May 24, 2017
    7lbs is light; 8+ is heavy.
  5. Cerb

    Cerb Senior Stratmaster

    Jan 22, 2016
    In my head, when I think about it, it's not as simple as that. The sustain depends largely on how the guitar resonates and that in turn is dependent on a lot of things, too many and too obscure to quantify. In short, a guitar is the sum of its parts. Which tones and overtones are allowed to keep ringing and which are dampened once a string is plucked.
    Namelyguitar likes this.
  6. Namelyguitar

    Namelyguitar Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    Jun 3, 2009
    Mobile Bay
    A weight of about 8 lbs. or less is more comfy when wearing a strap.

    Sitting down, I don't notice the extra heft of my Telecaster at 8 lbs. 14 oz.

    When first grabbing one out of the case or from the Hercules stand, it matters not.

    If sustain is magic, some guitars have more magic than others. Sustain is not always wanted, depending on the genre or song.
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2018
  7. Silvercrow

    Silvercrow Senior Stratmaster

    Nov 6, 2014
    Bucks County, Pa.
    Freddy Traveres (of Fender fame-may have spelled his last name incorrectly) was known to have said/ believed that the denser and heavier the wood, the more sustain. He was quoted as saying if you could put strings and pickups on a telephone pole, you'd have the greatest guitar ever!

    Les Paul apparently believed the same thing- wanting to fashion a guitar from solid maple, but the weight being a preclusion to playing, he settled on a maple cap...

    Personally, I don't buy the heavier / denser = more sustain / resonance thing. My SG (ironically a Mr. Les Paul reject) weighs 6 pounds and low change. It has sustain for days and is very resonant.

    I agree with @Cerb - more to it, more complex than simply adding weight. JMHO.

    Cerb likes this.
  8. Tone Guru

    Tone Guru Senior Stratmaster

    Dec 13, 2011
    Music City TN
    I have a preference for lighter guitars, possibly for similar reasons to Gibbons.

    "Better" tone is purely subjective.
    T Guitar Floyd likes this.
  9. DickBanks

    DickBanks Strat-Talker

    May 2, 2017
    Olathe, KS
    Strats can be light. Les Pauls should be heavy. There it is.
  10. Fuzzpop

    Fuzzpop Ryan-Ola Silver Member

    Aug 14, 2012
    Washington, D.C.
    Unless the thing is a boat anchor, I'm not really concerned with guitar weight. I don't really buy into the heavier guitar = more sustain thing either. Like others have said, there are SO many factors that play into tone that I don't think you can narrow it down to one thing causing something like sustain.
  11. AlexJCRandall

    AlexJCRandall Senior Stratmaster

    Sep 11, 2012
    Billy Gibbons plays through a huge parametric digital rack eq that takes whatever guitar he plays and gives it the same tonal curve as his 59 burst. Unless you have this $20k bit of equipment your tone will be affected by serious weight relief.

    Note that everyone has different tonal likes - you might actually like the tone shift that super-light weight gives. However if you're a more vintage tone buff then extreme weight removal tends to take it away from what the guitar style typically is.
  12. fezz parka

    fezz parka Duke of DILLIGAF Strat-Talk Supporter

    Apr 21, 2011
    Right behind you...

    He was a steel player. Them things are heavy. If you've ever watched the beginning of a Warner Bros. Cartoon, you've heard him play.

    My Strats all weigh around 8 pounds. The block is the culprit.

    My Pine Tele weighs 5 pounds. I can't tell I'm wearing it!
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2018
    Silvercrow likes this.
  13. Thrup'ny Bit

    Thrup'ny Bit Grand Master Curmudgeon Strat-Talk Supporter

    May 21, 2010
    Sheffield, UK
    By my brilliant judgement (or pure luck) all my Strats have weighed within a gnat's crotchet of 7½ lbs.

    I never even thought of weighing them until the interwebs decided that weight was a thing...
    fezz parka likes this.
  14. ProSonicLive

    ProSonicLive Senior Stratmaster

    Sep 4, 2016
    i play the one that sounds and plays good.
  15. Thrup'ny Bit

    Thrup'ny Bit Grand Master Curmudgeon Strat-Talk Supporter

    May 21, 2010
    Sheffield, UK
    I buy the ones that sound and play good.
    ProSonicLive likes this.
  16. SachaPlusDeluxe

    SachaPlusDeluxe Strat-Talker

    Definitely more complex than more weight = more sustain. I have a 6lb partscaster which has a shed load of sustain, as does my 7.6lb custom shop. Both really resonant. Also have a 10lb LP which is resonant as hell unplugged although you can't feel it as much but there is a defiinitive honk to the unplugged sound. I also have a 9lb Tele Custom deluxe partscaster which is really resonant and has a lot of sustain.

    BUT I've had a 9lb Jaguar Modern Player which didn't have a lot of sustain and was rather dead sounding. Not bad sounding just not a lot of life there.

    Strangely I also have an 11lb plexi Strat which sounds awesome and doesn't lack sustain BUT it doesn't react to how loud the amp is, the lighter the guitar the more I find it reacts to very loud playing, gig levels.