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Can an Alder Tele Cop Strat Sounds?

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by mbc220, Oct 28, 2020.

  1. mbc220

    mbc220 TDPRI Member

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    I've been trying to choose my first Fender guitar for a few months -- aiming to get myself something at the end of the year -- and I'm having trouble because stores around me don't have any of the American Original series available, which is where I've zeroed in. So I need some advice from those who'd know.

    Here's the deal: while I'm sure that ultimately it'd be great to have a Strat and a Tele, right now I don't have space in my apartment for both. I think I lean more toward Teles because they sound a little thicker and brasher. I have Gibson (and Epiphones) guitars right now, and I prefer that thicker base sound. BUT I want more of the highs and clarity that Fender single coils do. I also want something that's going to get me Sixties chimey/poppy tones more than I'm looking for pure twang--again, without sounding thin. I've tried two ash Teles (a '62 reissue, and the Mirror Tele), and while I recognize that they're great, they're not what I'm looking for. And I've tried some American Professional II Strats my local shop just got in, and I liked those, but they don't have the bite and immediate attack that the Teles do. I like that attack. I also tried a custom shop ash Strat, and I didn't like the tones as much. So I think I may not want an ash guitar.

    So would an American Original 60s Tele get me closer to the general neighborhood of Strat sounds when I want them, while still retaining that attack I like? Or does the attack come from ash?

    I like the sounds this guy's getting out of his: .
     
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  2. dconeill

    dconeill Tele-Afflicted

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    Short answer is no.

    Teles and Strats sound different, and they're not interchangeable. The bridges, most notably, and the pickups are substantially different on the two guitars.

    If you have to pick only one, then pick one, and realize that neither model is a substitute for the other.
     
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  3. mbc220

    mbc220 TDPRI Member

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    Right, I get that -- maybe my post was unclear. I'm asking if the AO 60s Tele can get *closer* than an ash Tele.
     
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  4. blue metalflake

    blue metalflake Doctor of Teleocity

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    I don’t think any difference will be discernible to the average ear.
    There’s lots of discussion on old threads re different body and fingerboard materials, but the main factor is the pick ups, bridge type & the player!
     
  5. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    You need to specify which Strat sounds you want from a Tele.

    First off, Strats and Teles both come in ash or alder without sounding like some other guitar.
    The wood has an influence you may or may not hear but they can sound indistinguishable too, particularly if the two sample guitars are the same weight.

    If you think of Strats for neck sound and Teles for bridge sound, best get a Tele with a Strat neck pickup, or mod a Tele that way.
    A few Tele neck pickups are designed to sound like Strat neck pickups which may be enough for you.

    No Strat 2 & 4 sounds in a Tele though, and no strat bridge sound either, but everybody seems to complain about Strat bridge sounds then put in some other pickup.

    A Strat neck pickup sound is pretty distinct and the body shape and bridge design are not very audible in that distinct a sound.
    Depends on what you play too though.

    Could be all you want is a Tele neck pickup with a nickel silver cover instead of the Leo era traditional brass that sounds more dark because the brass dulls the tone.
     
  6. loopfinding

    loopfinding Tele-Holic

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    Seconded - put a strat pickup in the neck. Then if that’s not enough, put a strat middle in. You lose bridge and bridge/middle, but it’s worth giving them up for a tele bridge IMHO. I put a strat neck in a jazzmaster at the 24th fret position and it wasn’t a strat, but it could definitely do convincing Hendrix-y sounds.

    I’d put more money on body shape and distribution of mass if we had to bet only on body composition than ash vs alder.
     
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  7. mbc220

    mbc220 TDPRI Member

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    Thanks! I've got two guitars, a Casino and an SG with P90s, that are both very midrangey. I'd like to get one that's got more top and bottom (and maybe upper mids) but that doesn't sound thin. As for tones, bright and punchy. Sort of an unusual reference tone, but the Internet seems to agree that George Harrison's guitars on "Octopus Garden" are Fenders, but disagrees whether it's a Strat or his rosewood Tele. Something in that zone.
     
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  8. Martocaster

    Martocaster TDPRI Member

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    I don’t think the body wood is an especially distinguishing feature between Strats and Teles, certainly not one that you’d hear the difference between when playing through an amp.
    I also think that a Strat sounds like a Strat and a Tele like a Tele, you’ve played some good ones, if they haven’t done it for you then I’m not really sure that any will. The differences between models tends to be more about the feel or the aesthetics or where they’re made.
    Maybe something like a Strat but with a much hotter bridge pickup would be more the thing you’re looking for?
     
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  9. fender4life

    fender4life Friend of Leo's

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    IMO, not unless there are certain changes. Rosewood board isn't gonna get u there. Teles and strat come with both and that doesn't make one sound more like the other. The biggest difference are the bridges in strats and teles. Strat trems have a very different dynamic than tele ashtrays and their both bolt on 25.5" scale fenders and will always be in the ballpark. But they will never sound exact or IMO even close because of the strat trem. But if you wanna get closer i would look at a tele with a modern 6 saddle bridge with bent steel saddles like a strat and also, and this is important, NON ferrous. (not magnetic material like steel) Because the steel bridge with the pickup mounted in it affects the pickup's magnetic field and causes in part what we hear as tele tone. Also consider a bridge pickup with no baseplate. That should get as close as you're gonna get, but my personal feeling on things like this is they never satisfy because they tend not so sound as good as either of the 2 guitars you are trying to change the one to. But those are the things that will get u closer if thats what u wanna do. If you have a tele with vintage style ashtray bridge, gotoh makes a modern brass bridge that fits, tho it has block saddles so i'd replace those with bent steel. You just want that non ferrous plate.
     
  10. Danb541

    Danb541 Tele-Afflicted

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    There will be no noticeable difference. The settings on your amp and the knobs and switches on the guitar change the sound of an electric guitar, not the wood it's made of.
     
  11. Danb541

    Danb541 Tele-Afflicted

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    Are trying to sound like an alder or ash strat? Just kidding...o_O
     
  12. Sconnie

    Sconnie Tele-Afflicted

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    Before this thread gets out of hand with the tonewood "debate"...

    Both of those guitars in the video are painted, so if it weren't for the title, would you be asking this same question? What I'm trying to get at is basically everything else matters in the sound of the guitar before the wood might. I choose fretboard material based on look and feel, not sound (cause either way there is 3x as much maple in the neck than in the fretboard.)

    My advice: Teles and strats are different. Don't compromise or you'll dilute whichever one you choose. Strats and Teles are both made with a wide variety of woods, and all permutations have good and bad exhibits. Play a bunch of them, don't ask any questions about them, just play them. When you find the right one, you'll know, and all those marketing details won't matter!

    YMMV
     
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  13. dlaroe

    dlaroe Tele-Meister

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    To expand on the "it's the pickups and switches" theme...

    Get what feels good in your hands, you can get either closer to the other with electronics and metal bits screwed to the wood and pickups.

    The one Strat trait that isn't easily reproducible is the vibrato, even blocked I think it contributes to the Strat sound.

    I don't remember who said it but I agree; when I play my Strat it sounds like a Strat, but when I play my Tele it sounds like me.
     
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  14. archetype

    archetype Fiend of Leo's

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    Others have explained it, exhaustively, but I won't let that stop me. :rolleyes:

    The species of wood isn't as much of a determinant as the individual chunk of wood you have.

    You can make a Strat sound kinda Tele-like, and a Tele kinda Strat-like, but neither can approximate the other's sound and tonal variations.

    If you want a Tele that can do Strat-like things, a Baja 50s or American Standard with Twisted Tele neck pickup, Broadcaster bridge pickup, and S1 switching will get you 2 Strat-like sounds. The tone of the neck pickup sits between Tele and Strat, leaning toward the Strat neck tone. The S1 switching will get you in the neighborhood of position 4 on a Strat. None of this truely cops the Strat tonal equivalent.

    You need a Strat and a Tele.
     
  15. Nick Fanis

    Nick Fanis Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    The type of wood used plays a minimal role in the overall electric guitar's sound so the short answer to your question is "no".
     
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  16. raysachs

    raysachs Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    If you like a Tele's bridge sound more than you like a strat neck sound AND you don't care much about the strat 2 and 4 sounds, go for a tele. But the strat has more sounds that are unique to the strat than the tele does, so if the 1 and/or the 2 & 4 sounds on a strat matter more to you than the bridge sound on a tele, go for the strat. I'd say a tele is a little closer to what you already have, although definitely different. But a strat is more different. So you may want to go for a strat first to get more of a variety, and then add a tele down the road if you still want to...

    The only teles I've ever played that tried to approximate any strat sounds were the Nashville and the Baja. Both fine teles, but not close to strats. You really need to just choose one and figure you may want to add the other later...
     
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  17. mbc220

    mbc220 TDPRI Member

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    Thanks. I like 1, 3 and 5 on the Strat but can live without the in between positions. I like the Tele bridge and Strat neck equally, but I think I’m leaning Strat specifically because it is different. The SG feels kind of like a Gibson Tele in terms of how it inspires me to play.
     
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  18. raysachs

    raysachs Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I have an SG with P90s too (although no Casino) and it kind of fills the role of tele’s I’ve had in the past and other P90 guitars I’ve had as well. It’s kind of the best of a lot of worlds. I’m a strat guy through and through - I love teles, but when there’s a strat and a tele hanging next to each other, I reach for the strat 99% of the time. I do love the 2 and 4 sounds on a strat though - a LOT. My teles have all been sold off after too much neglect. The P90s give me something just different enough that I play it reasonably often.

    Good luck,

    -Ray
     
  19. ping-ping-clicka

    ping-ping-clicka Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    Is the question do I have the talent and enough mirrors to pull it off?
    Or should I buy one, make friends with it and the buy the other?
    Jimmy Vaughn at my house has his strat-thing really going on but has been filmed using a Telecaster. I ask myself why is that?
     
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  20. Telecaster88

    Telecaster88 Tele-Holic

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    I'm mainly a Tele player, but one of my Strats has a push button that engages the bridge pup in positions 4 and 5. So in 4 with the switch engaged you get all three pups on at once, which to me is kinda neither here nor there BUT position 5 with the bridge added will get you something *sorta* close to a Tele middle tone. For what's its worth.
     
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