Roy and Bill Lawrence
I agree with what Ron said about Roys' tone, in that it's mainly in the hands and the heart!! Most folks loved Roys' 1977 Live in Japan LP and most folks assumed it was Nancy on that LP, but Nancy was home under the bed!! A guy named Chuck Mandes from Nashville told me he bought the guitar on the cover of that Live in Japan LP directly from Roy and I recall him telling me it was a '51 Tele.I always felt that the tone that Roy got on that record was as great as any recording he ever did with Nancy.I've always believed that a good portion of Roys' "sweet" tone came from the fairly high-action he'd run on his guitars so that there was little on no fret-buzz and you could bend notes right across the neck without the note fretting out. I don't think Roy ran super heavy strings, but I honestly believe that the high action helped a lot with his tone.Maybe it had to do with his starting out on pedal steel when he was a kid. If you listen to James Burton or Albert Lee you can tell that their action is very low, but that's "their sound" and it works for them. There was a period where Roy put a penny under the D&G string saddle to raise up the action even higher which really works. I've never thought that Nancy was any better or worse than most of the cool '53 Telecasters, but in Roys' hands, any guitar would sound good! Roy was gifted with perfect pitch and an uncanny ability to play a song after only hearing it one time.Even if he made a mistake or two, he'd cover them up so well and so fast that we'd absolutely miss it. Scott "the Cat" Anderson who sang for Roy from 1982 thru 1984 used to tell me that after shows they'd be in some hotel room somewhere and Scott used to ask Roy to play certain songs or specific solos in songs and without blinking an eye he'd play these incredible pieces. Scott said one night he asked Roy to play Francis' Beechers' solo in Bill Haleys Rock Around the Clock, and Roy played it note for note on the first attempt.It used to blow Scotts' mind, because none of us "regular" players can do that......there apparantly was some sort of gift or "connection" between Roy and his guitar.
Also, even back in June '71 Roy had Strats in his apartment as there are photos of Roy with these guitars. People were shocked in 1980 when Roy started playing a Strat, but Roy was a true Fender-guy for sure!!