What does make a tele twang?

May 16th, 2003, 05:34 AM
Hi everybody,

Next to the pups what does actually contribute most to the twang of a tele? Is it the body wood? Ash more than alder?
Maple fretboard?
I'm well aware that it's a combination of factors but what's your idea?
I have this cheap Squier with SD vintage bridge and Alnico 2 pro neck and it sounds nice and clean but not too twangy so it must be the wood or construction.

May 16th, 2003, 07:57 AM
:wink: MAGIC!!!!!!!!!!!

May 16th, 2003, 08:47 AM
:wink: MAGIC!!!!!!!!!!!

:shock: I can't fnd that part number on the Fender blueprint :D

May 16th, 2003, 09:18 AM
Ho...it depends on ones idea of a twangy sound....technique plays a major role in my book....most skilled country players sound twangy...but most country players use a pick& fingers technique....given the fingers play most of the weak count notes with a heavy dynamic, syncopation is normally present...its often referred to as twang....players involved with other styles that doesn't employ a claw style don't sound as *twangy* even though they might be using the same equipment as a standard country player....any pickup can have a twangy sound if thats what the player is going for....it depends on the logistics of the p-up, normally located in the bridge position...and the pickin' technique employed to coax the sound from the instrument....a good example for a twangy, syncopated sound is a fiddle...ever hear one that didn't sound twangy?...thats because fiddlers use a syncopated sawing action ...they fit the retoric within the sawing action.....anyway, thats my opinion on the matter...BTW, the SD ALN 2 pro is a fine, fine p-up....in its way maybe the best aftermarket available for telecaster guitar...it has an excellent tonal personality, does justice to a traditional tone very well...Duncan did their homework when they produced that baby....later, spyder

May 16th, 2003, 09:36 AM
I have two Teles--one with a rosewood fredboard, one with a maple neck. Both twang like nobody's business.

The vintage three-piece bridge (brass saddles on mine) makes a big difference.

You need clean, fresh strings.

You have to have the sound you want inside your head.

May 16th, 2003, 09:59 AM
I am convinced that the plate under the bridge pickup, and the actual bridge plate have a lot to do with the twang, as well...

You can almost get a strat to twang if you put a plate under the bridge pickup... but then you don't have that big bridgeplate...

May 16th, 2003, 11:00 AM
Good points everyone!
Thanks Spyder for the quick country picking lesson. It's true that when you really pick a string, that is pull it with your thumb or finger and let it go, it twangs like hell. But I was more thinking at the sort twang Roy Buchanan had.
And yes, the Alnico 2 neck pup is a very sweet and warm one and a good combination with the brightness of the vintage. I might as well try some Harminic Design once since many people rave on them around here.
I'll probably put a three brass barrels bridge anyway on my next (and real) tele project.


May 16th, 2003, 11:14 AM
This probably sounds like blasphemy, but....

Teles might twang the best, but I believe that you can make just about any decent electric twang with the right amp and technique.

Uh oh, am I in trouble now?

bruce t
May 16th, 2003, 01:49 PM
Hey, try that three barrel bridge on your Squier! It should fit (most years, especially the strings-through-body ones) and it'll make a huge twang difference over a modern style bridge. The angle of the bridge pickup is also key. I started out with a couple of Schecter PT models in the mid-eighties, never could get those humbuckings to twang, even in a coil-split setting. You've got to have that slant, the bridge plate, and preferably an old-fashioned three saddle bridge. Just my experience.... :) Cheers, bt

May 16th, 2003, 03:08 PM
To me twang is a fresh bottom e string on a Telecaster picked through a good tube amp almost breaking into distortion. Think Gatton's "Funky Mama".

May 18th, 2003, 05:24 PM
yo fabien,,,i have the same axe as you,,a sd jerry donahue in the bridge, and the same neck pup,,i got a bone nut on it and it sounds excellent,,,the grind of the original teles i think in the lower registers comes about by the natural / original axe design, but i think you cant discount the use of effects back then or even today,,,yep id like mine to growl a little more and im on a mission to try and get it out of mine. the only thing still original is the pots, caps, and bridge...i think im going to try a .047@400v to get there. good luck,,dano

Mike Better
May 18th, 2003, 07:16 PM
It's all in the technique.. hell, I can make my Les Paul twang.. also, the amp needs to be able to handle a popped E string without breaking up.. compression usually helps..


May 19th, 2003, 01:02 AM
I tend to think that Twang is a relative term. For example: lets say Don Rich played a song on a Les Paul; everyone would say how twangy that song sounded. They could say how Don Rich even made a Les Paul sound twangy. This may be a true statement, but what If he now played the exact same song ,with the same technique using a Telecaster? I firmly believe that we would hear a difference and might conclude that the tele sounded even twangier. I don't feel that twang is all in the technique. Technique plays a part in twang, but so does the guitar you are playing. Generally speaking , the physical attributes of Teles (independant of technique), inherently make them twangier than most other guitars. This is one of the very reasons I love Teles. I want more twang than a Strat or a Les Paul has to offer. (even if I was talented enough to coax it out of a Strat or Les Paul) Thanks for letting me offer a differing opinon!!!

biker joe
May 19th, 2003, 02:47 AM
There has got to be something there more than technique. I'm still baffled by how different a strat and tele can sound. Teles definately have a twang that strats can mimic but can't really do as well. There is just this something with the tele bridge pickup. Maybe that plate thing...

May 19th, 2003, 04:28 AM
The tele isn't my main axe and I like a warm tone with quite some bass so I played the tele with the current setting on my amp before posting but fiddling with the tone pots removing bass and adding some trebble does bring the twang but then I loose a bit of that warm tone I like :evil:
Oh well, you can't win them all can you? :roll:

Big Tony
May 19th, 2003, 04:52 AM
I believe twang is mainly a combination of the Telecaster bridge pup, the bottom plate of that pup, and the vintage Telecaster bridge plate w. the 3 barrels. Playing technique can enhance the twang, and so can choice of wood, but I think the twang of a Telecaster is mostly in the bridge & bridge pup.

just my 20 cents/YMMV/JMHO... :D

May 19th, 2003, 04:55 AM
Hey, try that three barrel bridge on your Squier! It should fit (most years, especially the strings-through-body ones)

Wichever way I look at it, I can hardly believe it. Screws and string holes are reversed between vintage 3 barrel bridge and 6 pieces AM standard style bridge. Ok I can dowell the old screwholes and drill new ones but allining the string holes of the bridge to the ones on the body there's no way the pup cavity will still fit!
Enlighten me please!

A bone nut as dano1910 suggest will certainly improve tone even if not for the twang.
Actually there are not many quality parts on a Squier. When you think about it the strap buttons and pickguard screws are the only parts you don't need to replace :D .
But of course I knew that up front and that makes it a perfect cheap and riskfree experiment guitar.