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Old July 16th, 2013, 12:43 PM   #1 (permalink)
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What constitues the 'Boutique Tele' sound?

Although I'm very happy with the pickups I've been using, as a complete tweaker-junky I'm often surfing for something new, et al.

Recently I found this on one maker's website:

This unique formula for neck and bridge pickups is Tele perfection. Hand wound pickups made exclusively for the "boutique Tele" sound.

What are your thoughts on what constitutes the 'boutique Tele' sound?

This post is not intended to incite riot or any flame wars. I'm a tone chasing Tele loving guitarist - and when I come across a quote like the above, I wonder: "What is that? Why don't I already know about it? How do I find out?"

I realize that sound/tone is in the ear of the beholder. And as it's proven to me on a near nightly basis, any given stage you walk onto, your 'perfectly honed tone' might NOT be what it was on the last stage you played on.

Your thoughts?

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Old July 16th, 2013, 12:48 PM   #2 (permalink)
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A boutique is a small, exclusive business selling customized goods or services. The "boutique sound" doesn't mean anything.
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Old July 16th, 2013, 12:49 PM   #3 (permalink)
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It's a tone that makes YOU smile and feel inspired to play.
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Old July 16th, 2013, 12:57 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Advertising copy

That's not saying the pickups you're looking at don't sound good, but it's hard to describe sound in words, isn't it? To describe the pickups well enough to distinguish their sound from other pickups.
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Old July 16th, 2013, 12:59 PM   #5 (permalink)
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It is a mindset that makes you happy to pay for something that you could get elsewhere for a lot less money. LOL!
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Old July 16th, 2013, 01:00 PM   #6 (permalink)
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too much money spent
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Old July 16th, 2013, 01:19 PM   #7 (permalink)
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ditto: Ad Copy

Unfortunately, a certain amount of descriptive terms are necessary to ignite one's interest. Then it comes down to backing up the claims once the pickups are installed. Ya gotta start somewhere.
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Old July 16th, 2013, 01:41 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Some boutiques specialize in hand-made pickups and other truly one-of-a-kind pickups.
...The word "boutique" is French for "shop".
... In the strictest sense of the word, boutique would be one-of-a-kind but more generally speaking, some makers can be referred to as boutiques if they specialize in particular styles of pickups. Recently, the term "boutique" has started being applied to normally-mass-market pickups that are either niche or produced in intentionally small numbers and sometimes at higher prices. This may be referred to as boutique manufacturing.
as for the "boutique" tone, it normally applies to 50's vintage, but it can also be progressive, calibrated, or even modernized. more less its something not really sold at chain stores or not often offered as OEM on new instruments from larger manufactures .
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Old July 16th, 2013, 02:17 PM   #9 (permalink)
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That would be my expectation from the term. Funny thing when I was reading a a catalog from a major online retailer. I saw my Wampler compressor pedal listed in the catalog with the label heading "Boutique". It is a little pricey but it appears to be a manufactured piece and a lot of people sell them and they are on a lot of boards. LOL!

Not what I would consider "Boutique". But it is my favorite pedal.
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Old July 16th, 2013, 02:26 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gtrwrks View Post

What are your thoughts on what constitutes the 'boutique Tele' sound?
hype and marketing, mostly.

"sound" is a product of a player's brain.
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Old July 16th, 2013, 02:29 PM   #11 (permalink)
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"sound" is a product of a player's brain.
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Old July 16th, 2013, 02:34 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Half the watts and double the price!!! :-)
They also serve tea and cookies in their customer lounge!!!!
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Old July 16th, 2013, 02:36 PM   #13 (permalink)
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What are your thoughts on what constitutes the 'boutique Tele' sound?

I think it sounds "expensive".
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Old July 16th, 2013, 02:44 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Advertising copy
+1

Googled the phrase to find the pup maker in question. I've read some good things, but never tried them.

Tempted to offer an opinion about the merits of most "boutique" pups... will leave it alone and just wish the OP good luck on the quest for tone.
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Old July 16th, 2013, 04:32 PM   #15 (permalink)
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To each and all posting here: Thanks for your replies.

I'm not actually concerned with what 'it' sounds like - I just wanted to spur conversation. I'm not a newby nor overly ignorant.

Sometimes it seems as if the current market is saturated with 'me too' builders... That said, I'm thrilled that we pickers have such a fat crop to choose from. I'm 48. When I was 16 we didn't have these choices available to us.

I've listened to a number of YouTube videos this morn featuring guitars/pickups from today's notable makers as well as a number I'd never heard of. What I found was a lot of hip players generating great sounds - brand independent.

Last edited by gtrwrks; July 16th, 2013 at 09:12 PM.
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Old July 16th, 2013, 08:48 PM   #16 (permalink)
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bs hyped marketing - this industry is full of it.
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Old July 16th, 2013, 10:48 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Old July 16th, 2013, 11:07 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Anything that makes a tele sound good and not ear piercingly bright on the bridge pickup
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Old July 17th, 2013, 01:06 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by waparker4 View Post
A boutique is a small, exclusive business selling customized goods or services. The "boutique sound" doesn't mean anything.
Amen. If anyone can come up with a singular description for exactly what that sound is and how to recognize it I'd like to know but I recognize the term is used pretty frequently. I have pickups made by folks who I consider run a "boutique" type shop but they don't all sound the same.
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Old July 17th, 2013, 01:37 AM   #20 (permalink)
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I think it sounds "expensive".
Dont you mean 'absurdly overpriced'? As in overpriced to the point you are sure only you will posses the promised sounds of nirvana. And sure enough after melting the visa and anxiously awaiting delivery the pickups are installed and at the first touch you swoon in delight. Your senses are shaken from the subtle first breath as delicate as a soft caress to the raging bull attack with the slightest suggestion from your fingertips. This is boutique pickup TONE.
As you catch your breath and slowly recover you realize this can only go one way. Your tone is now Golden and must be protected. You lock the guitar away before the tone bandits discover your treasure.
A shaft of moonlight shines down into your basement studio as you double bolt the door. You light candles and sigh smugly. All is well in the temple of tone.
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