Strat body weight

Discussion in 'Non-Fender S-Type Guitar Forum' started by spellcaster, Mar 27, 2016.

  1. spellcaster

    spellcaster Strat-O-Master

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    I've got a partscaster Strat that's outrageously heavy. I'm planning to lighten it up through hardware changes, but I suspect the long-term solution is to rebody it. I'm not conversant with the weight range for unloaded Strat bodies, but I'd like to hear your thoughts on what range most Strat-styles weigh in at.
     
  2. =KARMA=

    =KARMA= Senior Stratmaster Gold Supporting Member

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    An unloaded Strat body that weighs around 4lbs should give you a finished guitar that weighs in about 7.5lbs,.....give or take.
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2016
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  3. fumbler

    fumbler PhD-Stratology

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    Yep. A body (wood only, no hardware) weighing 4 pounds or less makes for a light strat. Anything over, say, 4.5 pounds starts to get heavy. I'd stay under 4.25.

    Musikraft, USACG and Warmoth list the weight of their bodies for sale. Very useful.
     
  4. banjaxed

    banjaxed Senior Stratmaster

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    If you are looking for a light weight guitar try using a body made from paulownia.
    I built one a couple of years ago and although the wood is quite soft it can be
    protected with a few coats of tung oil finished with a few coats of tru oil. The finished
    guitar weighs just over 5 pounds and is very easy on the back, sounds good too.
     
  5. heltershelton

    heltershelton Vivamus libero Vivamus duris Silver Member

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    i dont know about you guys but i really like heavy guitars. i think my rehab has at least a pound of grime on it.
     
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  6. Miotch

    Miotch Senior Stratmaster

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    Don't know the weight of any of my bodies without complete assembly. My finished instruments weight from 6.1 to 8.9 pounds. Although there is a noticeable difference between the lightest and heaviest, I never noticed the heavier one being any more difficult to play over a four-set night.

    Now my lightest one is a Warmoth chambered body. You might look at one of those when you are perusing. They are proud of them: I paid dearly for it. I wasn't looking for a chambered body, it was just how the showcase body I wanted was already made.
     
  7. stratman in va

    stratman in va Most Honored Senior Member

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    I think I have a parts Tele made of that wood. It started as a Stadium brand, and I have made a lot of changes to it. It is very light.

    I have not weighed any of my guitars, but by feel I can tell which ones just feel better. I recently got a Squier Bullet, in sunburst, that I think is basswood. It has full thickness body, not too light, not too heavy. It is a little heavier than the Tele copy I just mentioned.

    I have a parts Strat that is mostly made of an old Harmony Strat copy. It is a little heavy, and it is pretty much a plywood body with a cap. All in all, it sounds and plays fine.

    I had a pretty nice Squier 51 for a time, but it was a little heavy, and the pickups were OK, but not great.
     
  8. LRS!

    LRS! Strat-O-Master

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    I understand you wish for a lighter strat body. To my ears, light strats sound different than heavier ones. Not better or worse, but I like the snappier tone of lighter models better for funky rhythm stuff, while the darker tone of heavier ones seems to do better for power chords. Maybe it's just me? Anyway, if I were you, I'd get a light swamp ash strat body e.g. from Warmoth. Or a guitar builder / luthier in your area might be able to help you!
    Cheers,
    Chris
     
  9. Greybottoms

    Greybottoms Strat-Talk Member

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    I mostly play electric guitar from a standing position, so I personally love light guitars. I went from a neck-thru Schecter (heavy guitar) to an alder Squier CV 50s to building my own strat that will be even lighter. Should be around 7lbs even when finished which, while not as light as paulownia, will be the lightest electric guitar I've ever owned, and I'm really looking forward to it!

    Spellcaster, I'm not sure what "rebody" means so maybe you've already got this in minbd, but if you're skilled with woodworking (or know someone who is) maybe you could route out the pickup cavity underneath the pickguard more in order to bring the weight down some?
     
  10. Boris Bubbanov

    Boris Bubbanov Most Honored Senior Member

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    As in, over 8 pounds 8 ounces?

    That's actually pretty unusual, I think. I bought 30 of these and probably picked through 75 of them, and I never noticed any that were heavy enough to get me to even notice. They averaged, I would say, 7 pounds. Soft, often very punky "basswood" bodies quite a bit thinner than the average USA Strat body.

    I guess I wouldn't have bought 30 if I didn't have a taste for those pickups. :^)
     
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  11. gibsonsmu

    gibsonsmu Senior Stratmaster

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    I try for around 7 lbs or so. As mentioned Warmoth and others give the weights - a 3 lb 10 oz body is the lightest in alder I have been able to find. Swamp ash can be lighter than that
     
  12. Boris Bubbanov

    Boris Bubbanov Most Honored Senior Member

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    What kind of trem block have you got? Zinc (mazac), or perhaps Brass? High quality steel is actually much lighter. If your trem block is already steel or under 8 ounces, yep, rebody with USACG. For maximum weight reduction without ending up with a "fizzy" guitar, I suggest light ash. Ash as a guitar body wood species is so weird. Can be outrageously heavily or quite light. If you're going to this much trouble, look for something under 3 pounds 13 ounces. This is called "swamp" or "pop" ash but that's a lumbermen's term - they use a couple different species and subspecies interchangeably, based on density of the stock.
     
  13. stratman in va

    stratman in va Most Honored Senior Member

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    I never weighed it, but was heavier than my VM Tele as I recall. This 51 was a 2005 model I think. It looked great, played good too. The neck was pretty nice too. I just did not bond with it.

    Now I have almost all 'burst guitars, or black ones in my electrics!
     
  14. ryunker

    ryunker Senior Stratmaster

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    All of my guitars are quite heavy, my custom strat with a warmoth walnut body, hard tail weighs in @12.56 lbs. where as my epiphone G400 (SG) weighs in close to ten.

    I have found the lighter the guitar, the neck seems to fall. I do love my strat, aside from its quite heavy. I believe there has to be a happy medium, but I don't know what that is.
     
  15. fumbler

    fumbler PhD-Stratology

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    I wanted to add that strats are MOSTLY immune from neck-dive. The loooong top horn gets the front strap button WAY forward; around the 12th fret on a strat. Compare that to the location of the strap button on a notoriously neck-diving SG.

    But, yeah, a super-light strat body and a fat neck with a 70's big headstock and maybe heavy locking tuners could still make a strat neck-heavy.
     
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  16. Ahnlaashock

    Ahnlaashock Senior Stratmaster

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    Let me introduce the "Boat Anchor"!
    Weighing in right at 12 pounds, you need a guitar bearer to carry it when not in use.
    Great thick body, three piece Gibson style neck wide enough to make an emergency landing on if needed. Backup guitar for a musician who has passed. It is the Samick 1110 Square Edged Superstrat. Second most expensive guitar Samick made that year.
    So you want a big ole thick ash body, and a 24 fret baseball bat neck with a 12 to 16 variable radius board, and three pickups, be ready to carry it.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    This is and always has been a gig ready guitar. The 24 fret neck and the three pickup configuration means there is little room between the pickups, and I end up having them interfere eventually. Because of that and the weight, it is a case queen. That picture shows the condition I got it in, and that is wear from being gigged and practiced on in the picture. It was not a case queen in its former home.
    The guitar is a tone monster, more comparable to something like an SG than a strat. I play sitting down mostly so the weight is not that hard on me.
     
  17. pblanton

    pblanton Strat-Talker

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    I have always been a fan of Lotus guitars but they usually don't receive the love they deserve in their former lives and can be picked up in pawnshops cheap because they are almost always in some state of disrepair.

    If you ever see one, buy it! No... better yet, call me.
     
  18. hamerfan

    hamerfan Strat-Talker

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    My take is the softer the wood, the harder the finish. I used tru oil on maple necks and rosewood back, but would use PU on poplar and paulowina. Most others like alder and mahogany can go away with nitro lacquer imo.
     
  19. perttime

    perttime Strat-O-Master

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    The unfinished strat bodies at guitarbuild.co.uk seem to average a little under 2 kg, depending on wood, spec, and the specific piece of wood.
     
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  20. Mr Jagsquire

    Mr Jagsquire Strat-Talker

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    In hindsight I should have bought my body from them (still might buy another one someday): The body I bought is 2.3kg on it's own, plus I used an Allparts 'fat' neck which is 1" deep 1st to 12th fret, so probably doesn't help with the weight.

    The finished guitar weighs 4.2Kg which is 9lbs 4oz which makes it heavier than my Epiphone Les Paul, and makes it my heaviest guitar. My JV Strat is 3.3Kg which is 7lbs 7oz with the same/very similar parts fitted (including the small extra weight of an Eric Clapton mid boost PCB and 9 volt battery).

    I've got used to the new Strat's weight, helped by using a 3" wide strap, but slightly annoying that I was aiming for a lighter weight as the advertised body weight was 2Kg, but I didn't weigh it until I'd done some drilling on it, so too late to return.