• TGP is giving away a Strat, Tele, and Jazzmaster. Click Here for full details.
    Click Here to upgrade your account and enter today!

in a nutshell: what are the biggest difference when switching from a tele to a strat?

voorhiessa

Member
Messages
6,487
Ive played a squier tele thinline exclusively for the last 10 years. I'd like to finally get a new guitar, and was initially thinking of a solidbody tele, but suddenly I'm considering a strat. I've never owned one and havent played one in 20+ years. Because of COVID, i dont really have a chance to try one, so i'd be ordering. But since it would be a squier, not a huge investment.

Can someone give me the breakdown on the differences--feel, tone, etc. Thanks everyone!

PS: I'll probably chicken out and just get the tele, LOL
PSS: anyone interested in trading a squier for a squier, let me know. :)
 

squeally dan

Member
Messages
5,549
I think you couldn’t go wrong with either. Typically a Strat has a 5 way switch instead of a tele 3 way which will give you the two quack positions. I think some find strats to be more comfortable because of the contour.

I played a used Classic Vibe Squier Strat that really felt great.

Having said all that, I prefer teles. I use all 3 Positions on my teles but mainly stick with the neck position on a Strat.

To me, strats and teles do different things but both things are cool.
 
Messages
3,925
They share DNA. They sound different. Strats feel slinkier because the vibrato bridge adds some flex. Telecasters tend to sound more aggro, especially the Tele bridge sound.

Both have somewhat unique voices that either you dig, or you don’t, and that tends to be the discriminator because they’re both objectively sound designs, so the decision is about personal preferences. Do you prefer Tele sounds or Strat sounds?

Right now, I prefer Strat sounds to Tele, but in the past, it’s been the other way ‘round.
 

Sean

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
799
The body of a strat will hang differently on a strap.
The volume pot will be much closer. And the switch/tone pots will be in different places.
You'll have a tremolo.
Its not really that big of a deal unless you make it one.

The biggest difference is that a strat bridge pickup has a lot less beef than tele bridge pickup.
 

Bryan T

guitar owner
Double Platinum Member
Messages
19,985
Strats have that faux reverb sound from the springs vibrating. Not my thing, but some folks swear by it.

Body contours, control layout, quack sounds, weaker bridge pickup, ...
 

JosephZdyrski

Member
Messages
3,092
To a Strat??

Position of the volume knob is the big one imo. It can be annoyingly close to the strings for some.
 

jvin248

Member
Messages
5,038
.

That volume knob. Changes where you pick and thus the tone.

Be careful about skinny neck carves on Squier Strats. They shave the back shoulders while width and depth specs are the same.

If your tele has an accute angle on the sides of the fretboard it will be the same but if you have flats before the carve then look for another brand.

.
 

doublescale1

Suhr S-Classic, V60LP's, Soft V neck
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
5,729
Split the difference, get a Nashville Tele, the one with a strat middle pickup and a 5-way switch - all the Tele b*lls plus the strat quack in position 2&4. I made my own with the vintage voiced alnico EMG SA Tele & one Strat pickup, and the EMG mid-boost. Even more versatile than a 2XHumbucker guitar w/coil splits or taps or even series/parallel wiring.
 

squeally dan

Member
Messages
5,549
Split the difference, get a Nashville Tele, the one with a strat middle pickup and a 5-way switch - all the Tele b*lls plus the strat quack in position 2&4. I made my own with the vintage voiced alnico EMG SA Tele & one Strat pickup, and the EMG mid-boost. Even more versatile than a 2XHumbucker guitar w/coil splits or taps or even series/parallel wiring.
I had a James Burton tele that had this configuration and it really was a nice combo of a Strat tele. I’m not sure if their is a Squier version of this but their is a Mexican Nashville tele model.
 

doublescale1

Suhr S-Classic, V60LP's, Soft V neck
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
5,729
I had a James Burton tele that had this configuration and it really was a nice combo of a Strat tele. I’m not sure if their is a Squier version of this but their is a Mexican Nashville tele model.
The Burton Nashvilles' are very nice guitars and they are out there used - if you're patient and a good shopping detective you can find a real good value on a fun guitar to play.
 

RGB

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
6,117
My "Big Block Tele" is a pretty good example as well! Surprisingly nice guitar for an MIM...added a set of Texas Specials (left the center pup stock) and a new control plate with a push pull tone pot that gives me the neck/bridge combo. Quacks pretty well for a tele! :)

 

pirateflynn

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,783
I think the Strat's weak bridge pickup is overstated. Some sound fine as they are and it has otherwise been dealt with by base plates and winding technics, etc. The type of bridge might make some difference in girth, too. An alder body will have more midrange presence than lightweight ash, in my experience.
I agree the vibrato adds a little bounce and air but should sound thick enough with the right pickup. Remember some Teles have their own issue with the bridge pickup being difficult to tame so they all require a little finesse. Overall you should dig a Strat.

edited to say vibrato instead of tremolo. ;)
 
Last edited:

Coiled

Member
Messages
715
Strat: If you could only have one guitar, I’d definitely recommend the Strat over a Tele.
* more versatile than a Tele
* Offers vibrato (whammy bar)
* three pickups vs two. More pickup selections to chose from.
* Less aggressive, rounder tone more suited to rock. Less bright than a Tele
* The floating bridge offers a different less “tight” feel and feels more forgiving. Can be blocked to be similar to a Tele.

Tele:

* simple design works well. No fuss like you might have with a floating bridge.
* amazing if you are a finger picker. If I’m finger picking, I grab a Tele.
* guitar feel is tighter as if the strings are a slightly higher gauge. (Again great for finger picking)
* Has a bright sparkly tone a step above a Strat. Has some Twang to it as well.
* tuning is easier with the fixed bridge, better for beginners. Set it and forget it, can stay in case for months perfectly in tune. All of my Strats need a little fine tuning after being put a way for a while.
* personally, I like the look of a Tele better.
* great for blues, country, and a lot of rock but not as versatile as a Strat.

These are just my opinions after owning both for many years. I love them both. If I had to choose one, easy choice for me I’d got with a Strat. But, the Tele is my second favorite. Start with a Strat, add a Tele and if you gotta have double coils grab a Les Paul last. Your all set for life !
 

shallbe

Deputy Plankspanker
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
11,575
Personally, I think it is a whole different PLAYING approach.

The typical strength of a Tele is the bridge pickup. The signature sound of the guitar.

The typical strength of a Strat is the neck pickup. The big signature sound.

You really need to work the tone control on a Tele, typically. Not so much on a Strat.

There are other amazing tones in both guitars that exist only there---the quack 2 and 4 sounds of the Strat and the hollow R&B tone of both Tele pickups on.

And they feel MUCH different on your body.

I'm a Tele guy much more than a Strat player, but i appreciate both.
 

scelerat

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
3,028
They're more similar to one another than either is to a typical humbucker guitar such as a Les Paul.

Strats have a vibrato so unless you're screwing it down to the body, essentially making it a hardtail, you have there what I think is the biggest practical difference when it comes to playability and approach for certain techniques, especially string bending. For instance, while it is possible to do precise pedal-steel-like bends on a strat, it requires more practice to get right because you have to subtly bend everything to compensate for the moving bridge. The tele hard tail simply makes that kind of technique easier.

Strats have smoother contours and tend to be more comfortable to a lot of people than teles.

The classic tele pickups are darker and louder than strat pickups in the bridge, and mellower in the neck position. Teles give you the neck + bridge combo which usually isn't available in a strat, which in turn has the neck+mid and mid+bridge positions not available on the tele. Those middle positions have some similarity but they're not the same. Strats in general have more trebly or thinner sounding pickups. Again, typically: you can do all sorts of things to make this more or less true.

Typical tele controls are simpler because there are fewer pickups. That can either be a bad thing (fewer tonal options) or a good thing (fewer things to go wrong/fuss with, especially when playing live).

With so many pickup and setup options, mostly it's an aesthetic choice. Either guitar can get sounds very close to the other.
 




Trending Topics

Top