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Tele vs Strat Tone Differences (other than the obvious)

wildshoetwt

Member
Messages
831
If you have the same wood, same fingerboard/neck woodtype, same pickups, etc.

What would the difference between a telecaster and a stratocaster sound like?
 

Stacatto

Member
Messages
557
Contours, potential heavy weight of Tele, simplicity and variety of Tele sounds, variety of sounds available with SSS, and HSS config. on Strat.

Definitely get at least one of each...

 

chervokas

Member
Messages
6,839
If you have the same wood, same fingerboard/neck woodtype, same pickups, etc.

What would the difference between a telecaster and a stratocaster sound like?
They're very different guitars in terms of the bridge and pickups which has a vast impact on the sound more responsible for the differences between the two guitars than wood. Here's how I would describe the characteristic differences, assuming your talking about both guitars with standard, vintage style pickup configurations:

A strat, by virtue of it's floating bridge, and less massive body (thanks to all the routing and contouring), seems generally to have a lighter weight sound with a distinctive "rubbery" kind of timbre and less sustain and bottom. They can be jangley, chimey, glassy, in most pickup positions. I has a very peculiar and unique pickup arrangement with interesting possibilities for out of phase and other distinctive tones in the 2 & 4 positions. The tone of a Strat neck pickup--which is round and woody--is a beautiful thing. The sound of a strat bridge pickup can often be useless bright, thin and lightweight. Strats tend to be extremely playable, especially IMHO with a nice V-neck.

A Tele, particularly one with the traditional 3 saddle bridge, tends to have more sustain and bottom. By virtue of the microphonic nature of the whole bridge pickup/bridge plate mounting scheme and the three saddle bridge (which can be a bitch to intonate), Teles tend to produce rich ringing high overtones. The bridge pickup of course is famous for the bright, country twang but it can also sometimes err on the side of ice picky treble. The neck pickup can be warm and jazz or dark muffled and next to useless so choose your Tele and Tele pickups wisely. Some people seem to feel that the closer the Tele neck is to the old, early 50s, baseball bat, wide necks, the more solid, midrange and full the Tele tone will be. I haven't done enough neck swapping to know that but certainly the best Tele I ever played--a Greenwich Village Custom black guard replica--had a baseball bat neck and sounded freaking fantastic!
 

wildshoetwt

Member
Messages
831
I ask this because I own 2 strats

I was considering an experiment on one of them, with a Blue/Silver/RED/RED Lace Sensor pickups like the Tele Plus's (not a huge Johnny Greenwood fan, but I like his tone, and I like Jason Simon's tone as well, and he uses a tele plus)...

Also I was considering putting a single coil tele bridge pickup in my lifeless bridge position in one of my strats, I need a good TWANG, and my current neck pickup is probably a 10/10, my middle is probably a 8.5/10 but my bridge pickup i'd have to rate at like 4/10, it's worthless...


My intuition tells me neither of these adventures would probably turn out well, so right now they are just ideas


My intuition
 

chervokas

Member
Messages
6,839
I ask this because I own 2 strats

I was considering an experiment on one of them, with a Blue/Silver/RED/RED Lace Sensor pickups like the Tele Plus's (not a huge Johnny Greenwood fan, but I like his tone, and I like Jason Simon's tone as well, and he uses a tele plus)...

Also I was considering putting a single coil tele bridge pickup in my lifeless bridge position in one of my strats, I need a good TWANG, and my current neck pickup is probably a 10/10, my middle is probably a 8.5/10 but my bridge pickup i'd have to rate at like 4/10, it's worthless...


My intuition tells me neither of these adventures would probably turn out well, so right now they are just ideas


My intuition
I have a weird 48th St custom shop Strat Tele hybrid built in the 1980s as a house guitar for a recording studio in NYC. It's actually a great player and a unique guitar--strat body and neck, tele routing and pickups, floyd rose. Very of it's time. But even with the Tele bridge pickup in there it doesn't really twang like my Tele. Mind you the Tele bridge set up--which includes a heavy weight mounting plate, is much more useful than a lot of Strat bridge pickups. But the same pickup moved to my Tele twangs for real. I think the old school three saddle bridge (mounted on a splanky resonant body) is as much responsible for the characteristic Tele twang as the pickup itself. I don't even think the Fender modern 6 saddle bridges really twang that much.
 

walterw

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
39,550
If you have the same wood, same fingerboard/neck woodtype, same pickups, etc.
since that's by definition impossible, the best baseline comparison is between a regular strat and a hardtail strat.

the trem strat, due to the hollow bridge area combined with the steel block and resonating springs, will tend to have a more "acoustic" character that responds well to SRV-style strumming. it will tend to have a lovely, clear chime to the neck pickup at the price of a thinner, biting bridge pickup.

the hardtail strat will tend to have a fatter, warmer tone with less of the acoustic character. this can translate to a stronger, beefier bridge pickup at the price of a less "bell-like" neck pickup.

my tele sports a strat pickup in the neck, and while the sound is really close, the "envelope" (ADSR if you will) is not quite the same.
 

stratlad

Member
Messages
517
Wildshoetwt: I had that same idea of slapping a tele bridge pickup in a strat but the shapes are so different it would be an ugly operation I think. So now I have an EJ Strat (which BTW can get tele-like tones) and a modded MIM tele.
 

Crash-VR

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
5,192
tele sounds better.

example A:
I hardly know what to say. I love Eric Clapton, definitely one of my favorites and his tone these days is FAT and THICK and just AMAZING... But it this clip Jeff Becks playing and tone is just head and shoulders more impressive that EC's... I wish he played more like that these day's, those two seem to have traded places...
 

Chriske

Member
Messages
80
I hardly know what to say. I love Eric Clapton, definitely one of my favorites and his tone these days is FAT and THICK and just AMAZING... But it this clip Jeff Becks playing and tone is just head and shoulders more impressive that EC's... I wish he played more like that these day's, those two seem to have traded places...
100% correct. Check this one
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VEEfDdJyxPY
here's your fat sounding EC, holding his own perfectly well against Joe Bonamassa's Les Paul.
 

Gas-man

Unrepentant Massaganist
Messages
18,605
For certain rhythm things I think a Strat sits better in the live mix than a Tele.

Something about the pronounced midrange.

Btw, not a good "Tele" example there with Beck since he's using two humbugglers.
 

wildshoetwt

Member
Messages
831


This is the tone that has me up in arms...and gassing badly

Sounds like a strat in 3rd position or a LP, but I know it's a tele plus.


To make things worse he runs stereo through an Orange AD140 and a Fender Twin...
 

sahhas

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
18,244
this question has been on my mind:

1. originally in the 50s, the tele was 1st (well i guess the broadcaster...), then came the strat, were the pu's essentially the same, ie: the same wiring/output, etc? i've always been curious about that...

for some reason since leo was really about the idea of "factory production" was the strat pu, just like the tele pus, just modified to go on pickguard?

2. WHAT IS UP W/ the smaller metal neck pu in a tele? is it different, how/why? are there any classic recordings w/ a neck pu in a tele?

i guess when i think tele i think the twang of country or cleanish rock tones....just curious....
 

jimmyj

Member
Messages
5,562
2. WHAT IS UP W/ the smaller metal neck pu in a tele? is it different, how/why? are there any classic recordings w/ a neck pu in a tele?
Well, I've been looking at this thread again and here's some more thoughts.

Although teles and strats both vary from guitar to guitar (I've had both of them range from dull and thumpy to bright and thin with the ideal being in between those extremes), I've had 3 pickup teles and compared them with strats and the teles seem more focused and crisp.

The tele neck pickup still has a single coil sound like a strat neck pickup but it's smoother and rounder. One pickup maker says the cover gives it "veiled highs". There is some confusion because vintage wiring has a capacitor hooked to the first position so it sounds very deep and boomy consequently a lot of players think a tele neck pickup sounds like that. Through clean amp it's a great pseudo-jazz tone.

Two examples of tele neck tone.

Roy Buchanan and small Fender combo


Clapton tele and Marshall-note his switch in the middle position which is the neck pickup alone with vintage wiring. He plays a good example at about 2:30-3:30
 

phoenix 7

Senior Member
Messages
25,730
are there any classic recordings w/ a neck pu in a tele?

i guess when i think tele i think the twang of country or cleanish rock tones....just curious....

Check out ZZ Top, "Bell Bottom Blues."

A good Tele does a lot more than twang. Through a cranked amp or OD pedal that bridge pickup can have balls and seriously rock.
 

Gas-man

Unrepentant Massaganist
Messages
18,605
this question has been on my mind:

1. originally in the 50s, the tele was 1st (well i guess the broadcaster...), then came the strat, were the pu's essentially the same, ie: the same wiring/output, etc? i've always been curious about that.......
No. The pickups are completely different. Broadcaster were high output, brass plate, etc.


Wooden Ships by CSN is considered a great example of the woody neck pup in a Tele.
 

wildshoetwt

Member
Messages
831
So basically this thread proves I do want a tele plus, but without having to pay for the mods to get a tele plus, or for the "johnny greenwood" factor...

I am considering just going the HSS strat route
 




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