What do you guys think of Poplar bodies?

Discussion in 'Squier Telecasters' started by Genghis Bomb, Jan 13, 2022.

  1. Ace38

    Ace38 Squier-holic

    Age:
    51
    Jul 19, 2016
    Tulsa, OK.
    The only real knock on poplar is that its not a "grainy" wood, so translucent finishes aren't that visually appealing from a wood figure standpoint. That said, the wood in an electric guitar has as much input on "tone" as the screws do, so as long as a guitar isnt balsa, the wood is fine.
     
    Eddd, Robb, Hugh and 3 others like this.
  2. radiotech

    radiotech Squier-Axpert

    Apr 23, 2014
    Freedonia
    upload_2022-1-14_7-39-23.gif

    HAHAHA, spectacular!
     
    Robb, Hugh, ZENITH59 and 1 other person like this.
  3. ZENITH59

    ZENITH59 Squier-Meister

    Age:
    47
    409
    Jul 11, 2021
    UK
    Wood plays a role when it comes to guitars (acoustic guitars even more so) but personally I pay more attention to the set up (rig) Im using - to me the strings / pickups / amp / speakers and cabinets / good quality cabling connectors / and clean power supply / are more important - but that's just me!
     
    Eddd, Robb and Hugh like this.
  4. DrewB

    DrewB Squier-Meister

    Age:
    53
    185
    Jan 3, 2020
    Independence, MO
    Yeah, Poplar sucks, so much so that the shredder I built for my best friend (professional guitar tech to the "big boys") is the most alive guitar he owns. He says everybody's reaction is the same when he puts it in their hands, something similar to, "holy cow, this thing's ALIVE!" I've made several guitars from Poplar and don't find it at all lacking.
     
    Bob the builder, Robb, Hugh and 3 others like this.
  5. Michael7

    Michael7 Dr. Squier

    Age:
    73
    Jan 12, 2010
    Virginia Beach, VA USA
    Some poplar has interesting figuring caused by minerals in the water supply. This is called "rainbow" poplar, since the variation can be multi-colored.

    I found this poplar board at a cabinet shop going out of business. I hope once I'm retired to use it on some guitar bodies. Probably will just plane it about 1/4" thick to us as a book-matched top face. It is wide enough for a Strat body and about 7' long. Fortunately, it barely has any green in the light areas and should look very nice once stained.


    2007-01-20 19.33.19.jpg
     
    Robb, Hugh, Ace38 and 2 others like this.
  6. Dinomikesr

    Dinomikesr Squier-Nut

    Age:
    59
    543
    Nov 25, 2019
    South-East
    Growing up in and associated with the wood business in the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s it was a ugly crap soft wood. Reading and studying information on building and what every guitar manufacturer used and why in the 80’s, 90, and 2000’s it wasn’t used even in the bottom basement models. However, today, suddenly, it is now fantastic and strong enough to support the tensions in the making of guitars. We are and have been, for a while, in a throw away society. It is what it is and always will be. Not drinking the Koolaid but hey, looks good on you.
     
    Hugh and Genghis Bomb like this.
  7. Genghis Bomb

    Genghis Bomb Squier Talker

    Age:
    42
    86
    Jul 6, 2021
    Newfoundland
    That looks great!

    See, I really disagree. I can tell when I am playing a Poplar body. Every guitar that I *should* have liked and didn't had a Poplar body. For example, I was shopping for a Squier Classic Vibe Telecaster, either a 50's or 60's. I had heard a lot of buzz about the 60's with the binding, and plugged it in, and loved the neck, and how the guitar felt on my lap...and then I turned the amp on. I just found the guitar lifeless and bland. Poplar body.

    I then was shopping for a couple of 50's CV Tele's. Played the Butterscotch and the Blonde, liked both. Pine bodies. Tried the FSR Purple one, found it lifeless and bland. Same amp. Poplar body. And I didn't *know* it had a Poplar body until after I played it.

    Squier Paranormal series, same thing. Loved the specs, loved the necks, found them all mostly lifeless and bland (all have Poplar bodies).

    I am sure that tonewood doens't mean a whole lot once you get to a certain quality of wood, but anyone trying to tell me that Poplar resonates the same way that Alder, Ash, or Mahogany does is full of it IMHO.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2022
    Hugh likes this.
  8. 5ofeight

    5ofeight Squier-holic

    Age:
    63
    Nov 14, 2016
    Glasgow
    I thought the classic vibes were nyatoh(sp) bodies, An Asian hardwood if memory serves me right.
     
    Hugh likes this.
  9. Guitarmageddon

    Guitarmageddon Squier-Axpert

    Age:
    45
    Sep 27, 2014
    Canada
    I don't think body wood has anything to do with sound on an electric guitar, ever....so yeah, I don't agree....

    'lifeless and bland' is only because the setup and pickup height was not tweaked just right
     
    Eddd, arblemob, brians and 5 others like this.
  10. Ace38

    Ace38 Squier-holic

    Age:
    51
    Jul 19, 2016
    Tulsa, OK.
    Fender will love hearing the American Standard was not even a bottom basement model. https://www.strat-talk.com/threads/poplar-body-american-standard-strat.529513/
     
  11. BarnyardShark1979

    BarnyardShark1979 Squier-Nut

    Age:
    42
    652
    Jul 9, 2020
    Baltimore Maryland
    Beat me to it! Though I was gonna go with If it was a bad wood then it probably wouldn't be so poplar.
     
    Robb, Hugh, AcrylicSuperman and 2 others like this.
  12. Genghis Bomb

    Genghis Bomb Squier Talker

    Age:
    42
    86
    Jul 6, 2021
    Newfoundland
    I mean, it's Poplar because it's cheap. I can't imagine anyone choosing it if given the choice for the same price. If so, Fender would be using it in their US models, since it's so cheap.
     
    Hugh and BarnyardShark1979 like this.
  13. archetype

    archetype Squier-holic Silver Supporting Member

    Oct 24, 2017
    Western NY, USA
    You may be just insane, here. :rolleyes:

    I don't know the size of your sample set of poplar-bodied guitars you've evaluated identically, but if it was less than the statistically-significant threshold of 25 you've failed to find out that it's the individual chunk of wood, not the species, that has a set of tonal charactistics.

    In a time of economic distress I sold off all of my guitars except my '98 Fender James Burton Standard Telecaster. It's sunburst on ash veneer on a multi-piece poplar core. I didn't keep it because it was bland, lifeless, choking, very soft, prone to dents and dings, and the other things you attribute to poplar. I've still got it and, if strapped again, it will be the guitar I keep.

     
    DrewB, Bob the builder, Hugh and 2 others like this.
  14. Genghis Bomb

    Genghis Bomb Squier Talker

    Age:
    42
    86
    Jul 6, 2021
    Newfoundland
    T
    The Ash veneer might be doing a lot more of the heavy lifting than you realize though. Like I said, just about *every* guitar I *should* have liked on paper and didn't had Poplar bodies. Seems pretty definitive to me. But like I said, maybe i'm just nuts!
     
    Hugh likes this.
  15. 4406Pack

    4406Pack Squier-Meister

    Age:
    56
    319
    Jan 12, 2021
    80127
    1D276D15-7757-46CE-A820-7E66270BBD6F.png My Cv tele deluxe is a Poplar Body and she Sings with great Tone and sustain
     
  16. Genghis Bomb

    Genghis Bomb Squier Talker

    Age:
    42
    86
    Jul 6, 2021
    Newfoundland
    That's great! Like I said, every Poplar guitar I played had specs otherwise that I love, and I didn't like the guitar, so there is definitely something about the Poplar that is affected the sound.
     
    Hugh likes this.
  17. LOSTVENTURE

    LOSTVENTURE Squier-holic

    My first nice guitar was the Fender Mustang that I got in 1964. I played that for years before I found out that the body was poplar. To be honest, it was just as tonefull as the mahogny/maple LP Custon that replaced it.
     
    Eddd, Robb, Hugh and 1 other person like this.
  18. techowiz

    techowiz Squier-holic

    Aug 21, 2014
    new york
    They're not very "poplar" , but I like 'em!
     
    radiotech likes this.
  19. Archtops

    Archtops Squier-Nut

    675
    Jun 6, 2021
    SoCal
    When it comes to the density of particular wood, high density means the strength is high. Density is measured as specific gravity. In poplar wood, the specific gravity is 0.42 which is higher than all the softwoods and some hardwoods. This is one reason to indicate that poplar is a strong wood. Poplar is considered a hardwood.
    Density 0.42
    Compressive strength 5540psi
    Bending strength 10100psi
    Stiffness 1.58Mpsi
    Hardness 540 lbs.
     
    Robb, Hugh, AcrylicSuperman and 2 others like this.
  20. archetype

    archetype Squier-holic Silver Supporting Member

    Oct 24, 2017
    Western NY, USA
    That 16 thousandths of an inch of Ash front and back of a solid body makes a difference?

    Tone veneer! :D
     
    beagle, Robb, Hugh and 1 other person like this.