Does a rosewood Tele sound like a real Tele?

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by Telephonist, May 22, 2019.

  1. Telephonist

    Telephonist Tele-Meister

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    Hi,

    I'm about to build a telecaster. I am having a board of walnut laying around here, which I want to use for this built. Walnut is pretty unusual for telecasters, as is rosewood.

    So my question is, if I will get the real telecaster twang sound or will it end in something completely different.

    I think there are more guys out there that have rosewood telecaster (George Harrison model...) than a walnut telecaster. Can you please tell me how close your rosewood telecaster sounds to a more traditional swamp ash telecaster? Does it have the typical country twang or is it something completely different?

    Dan
     
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  2. hemingway

    hemingway Poster Extraordinaire

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    I'm not getting involved.
     
  3. rze99

    rze99 Poster Extraordinaire

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    I've got 60s style Teles with rosewood and 60s style pickups - not too hot. They twang like heck.

    Maple necked ones do too. All have traditional stamped bridge plates. I find brass saddles a little smoother but they still twang

    Secret is to not mess with the traditional recipe too much.

    Rosewood or maple. As soon as you put much hotter pickups you get progressively less twang. Pickups being too hot = less twang IME.
     
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  4. radiocaster

    radiocaster Friend of Leo's

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    Not sure I agree with this, as I had a CV with the hotter stock pickup that had a lot of twang, less high end but still very twangy. Not to say that some pickups might not ruin the twang.
     
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  5. El Marin

    El Marin Tele-Holic

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    My band mate has an all rosewood Tele fitted with Twang Kings. YES, it sounds like a real Tele. Is as different of two same teles from the same batch. Each has a own voice but they are Teles.

    He uses a Bassman 59 and two Tube Screamers.
     
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  6. Telephonist

    Telephonist Tele-Meister

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    @rze99 I don't just mean the fretboard, I mean the entire guitar
     
  7. Chunkocaster

    Chunkocaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    It will sound like a tele with slightly more rosewood tonez.
    George Harrison licks could happen randomly and involuntarily whilst playing it.
    Especially if teamed with leather flip flops, Bare footed or wearing linen shirts.
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2019
  8. Lonn

    Lonn Friend of Leo's

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    You'll be fine.
     
  9. otterhound

    otterhound Poster Extraordinaire

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    Build it and report your results here . By the way , what species of Walnut are you using ?
     
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  10. Jupiter

    Jupiter Telefied Silver Supporter

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    I think it will sound heavy.
     
  11. 3-Chord-Genius

    3-Chord-Genius Poster Extraordinaire

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    And dark.
     
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  12. tfarny

    tfarny Friend of Leo's

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    I once had a walnut body / RW neck (all RW) thinline tele. It was awesome and I can't remember why I sold it except the neck was a bit thin for my tastes. It sounded like a tele. Why wouldn't it? Are you suggesting that the wood the guitar is made from has some effect on the sound that comes out of the amplifier?
     
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  13. rze99

    rze99 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Apols - misread your post!
     
  14. joe_cpwe

    joe_cpwe Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    People on the internet drink kool-aid made from wood
     
  15. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    I’ve played a few, and though I think they look astoundingly cool, they don’t really thrill me, sonically.
    To be fair, I never played one on a gig, or owned one.
    The gig is the make or break test, for me.
     
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  16. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

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    .

    The Tele recipe:
    -Pickups
    -Pots & caps (controls darker or brighter pickup output, even when 'dimed')
    -Ergonomics, because they influence where you pick/strum the guitar, often putting your pick between the bridge pickup and the saddles for twang:
    >Location of the bridge saddles (where your hand naturally rests/hangs/picks)
    >Strap pins location (how the guitar hangs putting your hand to naturally rest/pick)
    >Thigh cutout (how the guitar sits)

    All the rest doesn't matter (but you will create a popcorn-inducing flame war about it).
    Choose your wood selection based on what you want the guitar to look like and how heavy you can stand with it through a gig. Weigh the hardware and the neck and see how much margin is left over for your body mass. An all walnut guitar may be too heavy. 7.5lbs total finished guitar weight seems to be the magical weight that Tele players see as top end or comfortable for most. You might go with a pine body and walnut cap. I have used walnut fretboards on maple necks.

    If you want to test, get a cheap strat (maybe a Harley Benton model), install Tele pickups and electronics, move the volume knob down to the tone pot hole to give you more space like a Tele, maybe block the trem, and you'll have a Tele tone. You can make a LP twang if you pick between the bridge pickup and the bridge saddles on the bridge pickup, improving your twang if you adjust the screw poles up for more of a P90/Tele output from a humbucker. Which reminds me, put a 4-way switch on your build plans (gives series humbucking option).

    Watch this BK video several times, noting where he picks and what knobs are twisted to cover the tones and styles of a hundred other players.



    .
     
  17. StoogeSurfer

    StoogeSurfer Tele-Afflicted

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    The fretboard IMHO is possibly the least significant factor in how your Tele will twang. My 62 Custom reissue, rosewood and beautiful, will slay the twang. Pay attention to the other stuff as mentioned.
     
  18. tvas22

    tvas22 TDPRI Member

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    I have a walnut body/roasted maple neck tele with Fender Nocaster pickups, and it sounds great. Sounds exactly as you'd expect a tele with those pickups to sound really.

    Although, yes, it is a little heavy.
     

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  19. PingGuo

    PingGuo Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    They still sound like telecasters... as long as you put tele style pickups in it.

    To get "completely different" you need different pickups and bridge and scale length. The shape of the body and the material are relatively insignificant compared to the pickups and bridge. (with pickups coming way before the bridge)

    The other contributor is scale length and number of frets (because the frets determine the position of the pups in relation to the neck and the distance between them).

    So, if it's a

    walnut tele
    with a tele bridge
    with tele pups
    and it's 25.5" scale

    It'll sound like a tele.

    if you build a guitar that's...

    walnut and tele shaped
    has a wrap around LP bridge
    has PAFs
    and is 24.75ish scale

    It'll sound like a Les Paul.

    But most importantly Don't worry about it, walnut is a great "tone wood"
     
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  20. PingGuo

    PingGuo Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    Beautiful!
     
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