Thoughts on fiberglass bodies?

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Dave Locher
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Joined: Thu Feb 02, 2012 2:56 pm

Thoughts on fiberglass bodies?

Post by Dave Locher »

I don't remember what I was looking for, but I accidentally came across these guys last week: http://www.guitarkitsusa.com/
I have worked with fiberglass before but never even considered it in guitar body construction.
Is it a viable way to go? Or is the learning curve so steep that it's better to stick with wood and call it good?

Dave Locher
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Joined: Thu Feb 02, 2012 2:56 pm

Re: Thoughts on fiberglass bodies?

Post by Dave Locher »

No one has any opinions about using fiberglass as a shell for a guitar body? I was just curious, but I'm surprised no one has any positive or negative experiences to share? Is this just taboo because everyone is so attached to wood?

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Barry Daniels
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Re: Thoughts on fiberglass bodies?

Post by Barry Daniels »

Its ugly and acoustically dead. I will stick with wood. Now carbon fiber...that is a different animal.
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Dave Locher
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Re: Thoughts on fiberglass bodies?

Post by Dave Locher »

Well, ugly is easy to fix. I have years and years of auto body experience and can work with fiberglass better than wood.

But it doesn't resonate well? I've never played one of the original Supro or National guitars and did not even know they were fiberglass until I stumbled on this repro site by accident. If the consensus is that it does not sound as good as wood I will happily forget I ever saw it.

Art Davila
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Re: Thoughts on fiberglass bodies?

Post by Art Davila »

Well if you can work with fiber glass you should also be able to do carbon fiber, right.

There is a carbon fiber guitar Rain song I think.
I saw one being played by a cafe performer.
He had a very nice sound.
But that is an acoustic and solid body carbon fiber would be pretty heavy,
so you would have to be chambered to keep it lighter.
I have a lot of experience on how "not" to do things.

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Paul Rhoney
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Re: Thoughts on fiberglass bodies?

Post by Paul Rhoney »

I have a 1964 Supro White Holiday, and I love it. I won't say it has anything like the same tone, resonance and sustain as my wood-bodied guitars (not worse or better necessarily, just different), but I love it for what it is.

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Johnathan Sibley
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Re: Thoughts on fiberglass bodies?

Post by Johnathan Sibley »

DO IT. If you don't like the way it sounds play with it/ experimentation is the root of innovation!

Warren May
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Re: Thoughts on fiberglass bodies?

Post by Warren May »

Are you thinking of buying one of their bodies or making your own? Looks like after you buy the hardware and neck it would be about the same cost as buying from someplace like Warmoth. They look pretty cool from the pictures. The wood center block was provided for the semi-hollow and would give you the resonance and the fiberglass shell probably wouldn't affect it too much in terms of tone, I would think. Plywood is used on a lot of upscale hollow bodies and I don't see that that this would be that much different since some think plywood should be "dead" tonally. Like Johnathan says, go for it! We'd all be interested in watching you build it for sure.

Samuel Hartpence
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Re: Thoughts on fiberglass bodies?

Post by Samuel Hartpence »

I had a friend in highschool who had an old Supro (I can't recall the model name), that he hot-rodded with some TV-Jones pickups, and that particular guitar was original and had no truss-rod, so it was a bit finicky because of that. If the guitar was kept in reasonable climatic conditions and was recently serviced, it was an incredible axe with mojo to spare. All of the issues on it were related to there being no truss-rod. If you put a decent neck on it, that construction method has a lot of advantages. They are easy to service and swap parts quickly because the entire back can be removed. They are very comfortable weight-wise, and this Supro sounded phenomenal (again with the TV-Jones Pickups).

It seems as though they are making quite the comeback as well. Jack White and Dan Auerbach play them (I'm sure many others do too). Those two particular players are quite skilled, but do not do the sonic range of the guitar that I knew justice.

Ian Chester
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Re: Thoughts on fiberglass bodies?

Post by Ian Chester »

I cant remember which one it was but somebody built a hollow fibreglass guitar for one of the challenges a few years ago, check the archives

Ian

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