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Strat vs. tele

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by rpt50, Aug 24, 2013.

  1. rpt50

    rpt50 TDPRI Member

    May 3, 2013
    2027 Gainsborough Dr
    Help me understand the difference between the strat and tele sound. I used to have a strat, and now I have a tele, but I have never owned both at the same time, so it's hard for me to compare.

    The issue: I got rid of my strat as the whammy bar bridge drove me crazy. I like to bend strings while others ring, and I could not stand how the ringing strings would go out of tune as the other note was bent. Even with a wood block glued in it still drove me nuts.

    Enter the tele. Overall, I love the guitar, and of course the are no issues as described above. However, I sometimes feel that I just can't get the sound I'm looking for. I never had this issue with the strat. It's very hard for me to describe because I don't have both guitars to compare directly, but for example, I just can't get a good sound when I play something like Voodoo Child.

    I guess what I need to know is if there is a way to get my tele to sound a little more like a strat. Thanks.
  2. chipbutty24

    chipbutty24 Friend of Leo's

    Oct 16, 2008
    Ontario, Canada
    Teles twang, strats quack or at least thats the conventional wisdom. What kind of Tele do you have. Maybe installing a middle pickup like the Nashville Tele would do the trick. Try messing with tone and vol knobs and pickup height.
  3. bangcaster

    bangcaster Tele-Meister

    May 16, 2008
    new rochelle, ny
    On your strat, just put all five springs on the block and take the trem bar off. Mine doesn't move at all like that.
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  5. ADK Teleman

    ADK Teleman Tele-Afflicted

    Sep 30, 2009
    A-Bay NY
    I understand where you are coming from. I have a Nashville Tele (one with a Strat middle pup) and it will get you there! It makes it great for gigging because I no longer have to bring a Strat and a Tele. The only bad thing with the Nashville Tele is that you sacrifice the Tele neck/bridge option.
  6. DrBanana

    DrBanana Tele-Holic

    Feb 22, 2011
    For me the Strat sound is all about the neck pup. The in between quack settings are alright but the neck does it for me in getting the Hendrix sound and outright funk.
    So I stuck Strat pup in my Telemaster and bang! - Strat funk and Tele bite in one guitar.
  7. regularslinky

    regularslinky Tele-Holic

    Jul 22, 2004
    If I'm reading the op correctly, the Strat is gone an he wants to make the Tele sound like a Strat. That's a tall order. Maybe you could replace the Tele neck pup with a Strat pup?

    Best solution is to get a Strat. Get a hard tail or block the trem.
  8. DrBanana

    DrBanana Tele-Holic

    Feb 22, 2011
    I couldn't do without the Tele neck/bridge option so wired my 3 pup MIM Tele; Bridge - Bridge/Middle - Neck/Bridge - Neck/Middle - Neck

    Did it with a Megaswitch and got the diagram off Phostenix's site

    It's good, but not as good as my Telemaster, gonna put a Strat neck pup in it one day
  9. What model Tele did you buy?

    Some have routing for Strat pickups in both neck and middle positions, and you can install Strat pickups there and get some of those sounds. But keep the stability.

    Some say the arrival of the "Nashville" Tele doomed the Hardtail Strat. Some say (some models of the) Tele IS today's Hardtail Strat.
  10. YoGeorge

    YoGeorge Tele-Holic

    Mar 16, 2003
    Sounds like you needed to block and/or deck the trem on the strat if you really wanted the strat. I got my first strat in 1968 and decked the trem. My most recent strat is an Eric Johnson that I bought last year; it came with the trem decked and 5 springs.

    As for the tele, you could get a stratty sounding neck pickup (twisted tele, Rio tallboy, etc.) to get you part of the way there. And add a middle pickup if you are missing the quack sounds. I find the quack sounds to be a bit cliched and don't use them so much.

  11. Robert H.

    Robert H. Friend of Leo's

    Jul 28, 2005
    N. Cal.
    Funny--my Strat and Tele sound almost the same when not plugged in. But with the amp, they really have different tones and different feels. The neck p/u sounds close, but the Tele is fuller and richer to me. But I don't think the bridge or middle Tele tones can duplicate the Strat tone that Hendrix or SRV or others got.
  12. cartier

    cartier Tele-Meister

    Oct 2, 2006
    Bloomfield, NJ
    I built a Nashville telecaster with Jason Lollars. It has a 5 way switch. The only difference is that I don't have the second tone control. It is a tone monster and you can pretty much do anything you want with this kind of telecaster!
  13. brianswindall

    brianswindall Tele-Afflicted

    A Stratocaster is just that. The Tele is a tele. Why not save a couple hundred bucks and go buy a CV Strat and have both! Vive la difference!
  14. xFallenx

    xFallenx Friend of Leo's

    Dec 15, 2012
    South Jersey
    You could just get a Strat neck pup and pop it in place of the Tele neck pup keeping the Tele bridge pup having the best of both worlds. Or get a Nashville style set up like suggested and keep you Tele neck pup and put in a toggle switch.
  15. JKjr

    JKjr Tele-Holic

    Aug 24, 2007
    raleigh nc
    I use teles and both hardtail and trem me they're all different animals. To many the strat trem IS the strat sound.
  16. Lobomov

    Lobomov Tele-Afflicted

    Jul 15, 2013
    Yeah you can do wonders with pups ... after playing Gibson for 15 years, I went back to fender choosing the tele for the same reason you did, namely not wanting the tremolo.

    While I quickly learned to love the feel of my Tele, the sounds where too meek for my taste, so I threw in a humbucker in the neck and a hot pup in the bridge. The hot pups don't Twang, so basically I feel like playing a mix of a gibson'esque (not quite gibson, still has more bite) neck and a power strat in the bridge. I'm very happy!

    Depends on where you miss the sound. If you like your bridge, then just plop a strat pup in the neck or go nashville if you want three pups.

    If you want something else, then throw in something hotter into the bridge and lose that twang .. and while your at it .. you can throw something fun in the neck as well.
  17. Edwin

    Edwin Banned

    Jun 23, 2010
    I have Teles and Strats and love them. I think they are a good design. Nothing else will do.
  18. Lobomov

    Lobomov Tele-Afflicted

    Jul 15, 2013
    Really .. what about a nice ES-type guitar ? :)
  19. Edwin

    Edwin Banned

    Jun 23, 2010
    Not in this life time.
  20. Toto'sDad

    Toto'sDad Telefied

    Jun 21, 2011
    You really need both, they are entirely different guitars. The Tele is the broadsword, the Strat is rapier. If you have another opinion, well you're wrong it's that simple. No, don't thank me just soak it up.

    The only problem with a Strat is that stupid tremolo. I tried decking the trem. Nah, that don't work. Then I set the Temolo where it will return to tune by giving it a good goose, like you would a fat woman. That works, but it's still a tremolo, out of fashion, and even Jeff Beck can't really make one sound right no matter what his groupies say, and Jeff, put some sleeves on.

    Then along comes Clapton with the best idea he's had since he decided not to mix it up with Hendrix on stage, THE BLOCK. If you carefully install about an eighth inch block between the spring side of the cavity, and the edge of the cavity, and another perfectly fit between the back of the tremolo block and the cavity, VIOLA! The perfect guitar. Of course you will need to wire it to suit you, but that's the easy part.
  21. Phelonious Ponk

    Phelonious Ponk Tele-Afflicted

    Oct 27, 2011
    charlotte, nc
    Get a hard-tailed Strat.

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