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Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups

What constitues the 'Boutique Tele' sound?

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by gtrwrks, Jul 16, 2013.

  1. gtrwrks

    gtrwrks Tele-Afflicted

    May 18, 2003
    Oklahoma City, OK
    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?

  2. waparker4

    waparker4 Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Nov 9, 2011
    Philadelphia, PA
    A boutique is a small, exclusive business selling customized goods or services. The "boutique sound" doesn't mean anything.

  3. refin

    refin Friend of Leo's

    Feb 24, 2005
    Florida Panhandle
    It's a tone that makes YOU smile and feel inspired to play.

  4. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Telefied Ad Free Member

    Advertising copy :rolleyes:

    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.

  5. Ed Boyd

    Ed Boyd Tele-Afflicted

    Mar 25, 2009
    It is a mindset that makes you happy to pay for something that you could get elsewhere for a lot less money. LOL!

  6. blowtorch

    blowtorch Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    May 2, 2003
    too much money spent

  7. Telenator

    Telenator Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

    Sep 19, 2005
    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.

  8. Don Mare

    Don Mare Tele-Afflicted

    Mar 22, 2003
    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 .

  9. Ed Boyd

    Ed Boyd Tele-Afflicted

    Mar 25, 2009
    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.

  10. Wrong-Note Rod

    Wrong-Note Rod Poster Extraordinaire

    Mar 4, 2009
    hype and marketing, mostly.

    "sound" is a product of a player's brain.

  11. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Telefied Ad Free Member

    ONE WINDY day two monks were arguing about a flapping banner.

    The first said, "I say the banner is moving, not the wind."

    The second said, "I say the wind is moving, not the banner.'

    A third monk passed by and said, "The wind is not moving. The
    banner is not moving. Your minds are moving."

  12. MrCairo46

    MrCairo46 Tele-Afflicted

    Half the watts and double the price!!! :)
    They also serve tea and cookies in their customer lounge!!!!

  13. suave eddie

    suave eddie Tele-Holic

    Feb 28, 2009
    Great White North

    I think it sounds "expensive".

  14. Casterblaster

    Casterblaster Tele-Meister

    Dec 21, 2010

    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.

  15. gtrwrks

    gtrwrks Tele-Afflicted

    May 18, 2003
    Oklahoma City, OK
    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: Jul 16, 2013

  16. Rob DiStefano

    Rob DiStefano Poster Extraordinaire Vendor Member

    Mar 3, 2003
    NJ via TX
    bs hyped marketing - this industry is full of it.

  17. Greg.Coal

    Greg.Coal Tele-Afflicted

    Aug 23, 2009
    The 2 position on a strat.


  18. adjason

    adjason Friend of Leo's

    Jan 9, 2010
    Anything that makes a tele sound good and not ear piercingly bright on the bridge pickup

  19. soulman969

    soulman969 Telefied Ad Free Member

    Mar 20, 2011
    Englewood, CO
    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.

  20. Teletubbi

    Teletubbi Tele-Holic

    Oct 10, 2012
    Dont you mean 'absurdly overpriced'? :D 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. :cool:

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