The Unobtainium Tele

Recently a customer asked me if I thought pine sounds good as a body wood.  I do think it sounds good and many have built bodies from pine.  In fact, I think Leo built the first Broadcasters from pine.  Anyway, I built a Tele from the lowest regarded pine in the world as a test.  When people come by I ask them to try it out and they play it a little, they ask what it is made out of and I tell them Unobtainium!  Then they play it again, say it sounds good, plays well, feels light and then ask what it’s really made from and I tell them the truth.  It is made out of yellow pine 2×8’s from Lowe’s for the main body and what Lowe’s calls Radiata shelf pine for the 1/2″ cap.  It has Bill Lawrence Keystone pickups in it, an LP style switch, a hard maple Aperio neck with an ebony fingerboard and 6100 Stainless Steel frets- and it sounds great.  And it doesn’t have the ice pick scream that most Tele’s have which is a highly welcomed characteristic.  It is just right.  Now, it could be that 2×8’s from Home Depot have a different or better tone but a customer will have to order one from me to find out!  All joking aside, pine is a great tone wood.  One of my scheduled projects will be pine with P90’s.  I remember a time when basswood was frowned upon as unacceptable tone wood for bodies, then Satriani and Vai came along…

If you want to see a beautiful Ponderosa Pine Tele check out the Cowgirl Tele on this blog.