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Two nearly identical AmPro Teles that sound quite different (+ NGD)

Tritone

Member
Messages
1,117
Pics first. Sorry for the bad lighting, it was 6 am and the sun was just above the horizon.



Yesterday I picked up a "Fender Lightweight Ash American Professional Telecaster" in Honey Blonde (on the left in the pic). I already have an ash American Pro telecaster I picked up a couple months ago to compare it to. I don't know if "lightweight ash" is a different species than regular ash or not, or just refers to the weight of the body, but otherwise the guitars are spec'd nearly identically. The only differences are the neck shape is supposedly "Modern 'C to D'" on the Lightweight Ash and "Deep C" on the standard AmPro (though blind I doubt I could tell you which neck is which!) and the Lightweight Ash is about 1/2 lb lighter than the Butterscotch Tele which weighs in at 7.5 lbs. As far as I know, they have the same hardware, electronics, pickups, tuners, etc. The Lightweight Ash was born in 2018 (though I bought it new) while the standard AmPro is from early 2020.

Both guitars play basically the same, with the pickups adjusted very nearly identically and the action nearly identical, but I am surprised at just how different these Teles sound. I can actually hear the differences unplugged but even more so through an amp. The Butterscotch Tele, comparatively, has a more rounded top end, a very assertive midrange, and more oomph in the low end. The Honey Blonde Tele has way more sparkle and a scooped midrange. In short, the Butterscotch sounds a bit more like a 50s Broadcaster with the requisite overwound A2 or A3 bridge pickup while the Honey sounds like a 60s Tele with heaps of twang and sparkle.

Anyone else had this kind of experience?
 

Jabby92

Member
Messages
3,967
Yeah, I am a firm believer now that everything 'counts' when it comes to tone. I am not familiar enough with each of these models/specs but my guess is its a combination of the wood and electronics. Everything will create a bit of inconsistency at times it seems. I used to think the pickups were the final authority on tone, and it may be about 90% of it, but I think everything adds to it.

I have a 2018 MIJ ash Tele, also very light (its like 6.9 pounds) and the midrange was noticeably more honky on it. It has A3 pickups. It sounds perfect through a Fender or Mesa amp with more scooped mids. On the other hand I have another older light weight ash Stratocaster with all A5 magnets and its very bright and scooped. I contribute this more to the A5 pickups though which are typically more scooped in the mids to begin with, however the wood does seem to add a warmth particularly with the bridge pickup that adds a good balance to the tone. It does not have the tone knob wired to the bridge pickup and surprisingly it is not too thin or harsh like other Strats I have played. I don't know if its the wood or just the pickup being more balanced, but I've never felt the need to wire a tone knob to it. It just sounds amazing.

So yeah, I think every guitar is unique this way.. which is why its fun to buy/sell til you find your favourite(s).
 

CapnRex

Member
Messages
1,829
When we’re talking about a wooden instrument, there’s no 2 perfectly identical ones. That’s why they used those wooden balls in Minority Report, if you’ve seen it.

Also you said the pickups have different magnets? That will make a difference.
 

derekd

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
45,458
Congrats on the NGD x2.

I've never owned two of the same guitar at the same time so I've not experienced what you're talking about.
 

Woowoo

Member
Messages
808
When I bought my American Professional telecaster in Olympic White, I compared it to another one they had in Seafoam Green. Both alder, same model, same production year, similar weight, yet they sounded very different.

This is one of the reasons I don't buy online these days, unless I'm looking for something that cannot be found in the shops, or in my country.
 

Paul Conway

Member
Messages
5,795
When I bought my American Professional telecaster in Olympic White, I compared it to another one they had in Seafoam Green. Both alder, same model, same production year, similar weight, yet they sounded very different.

This is one of the reasons I don't buy online these days, unless I'm looking for something that cannot be found in the shops, or in my country.
Not to mention the difference in neck profiles. I tried six, I think - mine had the thickest neck and was the only one with twang on the low E. Which was a proper p#sser, as mine is the white but I really wanted the grey one..
 

Tritone

Member
Messages
1,117
When we’re talking about a wooden instrument, there’s no 2 perfectly identical ones. That’s why they used those wooden balls in Minority Report, if you’ve seen it.

Also you said the pickups have different magnets? That will make a difference.
They have the same pickups (V-Mod) as far as I know, but if I didn't know and was asked to guess, I'd say they were totally different. They sound really different!

Usually when it is a dramatic difference, it is the pickups.
Should both be V-Mods in this case.

Congrats on the NGD x2.

I've never owned two of the same guitar at the same time so I've not experienced what you're talking about.
Thanks. Neither have I until now. I also have a semi-hollow Tele with Filter'trons and honestly the Honey Blonde Tele sounds closer to that than to its fraternal twin!
 

jamester

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
7,414
I have two Dot RI 335's that are the same in every way except color, yet they are night and day tone-wise.
 




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