Can an ash body and maple neck REALLY make this much difference?

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by DHart, Feb 10, 2019.

  1. DHart

    DHart Friend of Leo's

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    My two most recent Teles are

    1) Fender Player alder, Tidepool finish, with rosewood fretboard - Dimarzio Twang King neck pickup

    2) Fender Special Edition ASH, Aged Cherry Burst finish, with maple fretboard - Cavalier Lion King neck pickup

    [​IMG]

    The difference in brightness and tonal sparkle between these two, when playing the neck pickups, is DRAMATIC.

    The electronics are the same, aside from the volume pot on the Player Tele is 930k and that in the Ash Tele is 460k.

    I was expecting the Lion King and the Twang King neck pickups to be relatively similar sounding.

    So, aside from the volume pots, the differences are:

    Alder/rosewood/Twang King/modern bridge saddles.

    VS.

    Ash/maple/Lion King/vintage bridge saddles


    I would have expected the 930k volume pot in the alder Tele to result in an even brighter tone than the ash Tele with the 460k volume pot - BUT, the Ash Tele is MUCH brighter and more sparkly than the alder Tele is.

    Can the maple neck, ash body, and brass saddles make THAT much tonal difference? Enough to completely negate the dramatic difference in the volume pot resistance?

    OR, is the Lion King a dramatically brighter pickup than a Twang King is?

    I'm really curious to hear your views on this.

    And, I think I'm just going to have to do a pickup swap between these two guitars to see if the difference is owing primarily to the two neck pickups.

    I will add that I have 11's on the alder Tele and the ash Tele still has the original Fender strings which are around 9.5 (MUCH lighter gauge).
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2019
  2. bftfender

    bftfender Friend of Leo's

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    my maple necks are snappy & brighter than the mahogany for sure,,,need em both
     
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  3. galaxiex

    galaxiex Tele-Holic

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    Come on, admit it...

    You jest like showin' off yer geetars, don'tcha? :D:D:D
     
  4. DHart

    DHart Friend of Leo's

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    Yeah, of course! :lol:

    But that's really not the reason for THIS thread! o_O

    The neck pickups on these two are dramatically different in brightness and sparkle - in a way contrary to the difference in their volume pot resistance!

    I'm baffled by it, really. And I'd like to figure out just WHAT the difference is.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2019
  5. DougM

    DougM Friend of Leo's

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    Some here may dispute the difference in woods affecting the sound, but I'm not one of them. To my ears, Ash and Maple are definitely brighter sounding than Alder and Rosewood. That doesn't mean, however, that one piece of Ash or Alder might sound brighter or darker than another piece of the same wood. But, even so, I've heard enough guitars in my lifetime to stand by my original opinion, that Ash and Maple ARE brighter sounding than Alder and Rosewood. But, unless you try the same pickups in each guitar, you'll never know the answer in your case.
     
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  6. Asmith

    Asmith Friend of Leo's

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    Id say the strings are making a big difference, what brand of strings are on the ash tele.
     
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  7. DHart

    DHart Friend of Leo's

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    Fender's factory strings are still on the ash Tele, which are probably 10's, but measure at more like 9.5, 11, 16, 24, etc.

    The alder guitar has D'Addario XL 11's, (11, 15, 19, 28, etc.) which feel MUCH heavier than those on the ash Tele.

    Would the lighter gauge strings be that much brighter sounding?
     
  8. tarheelbob

    tarheelbob Tele-Meister

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    Different pots, different string gauge, different string makes, different pickups, different bridge and different saddles, different body wood, different neck wood...

    I believe there are far too many variables here to just assume its the difference in the woods.

    - Bob
     
  9. Asmith

    Asmith Friend of Leo's

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    My bad i got confused haha. To be fair i always thought daddarios of being bright but i guess that depends on the age of them too but they look fresh in the pic im guessing its not been long since then. There's still some differences between the two guitars though like you said the bridges pickups and most importantly the colour! ;)

    Also one potentiometer change might not be a big deal factoring the total load including the tone pots in parallel. That 460k vs 930k goes to 240k vs 325k for a 500k tone pot or 160k vs 200k with a 250k tone pot.

    Also on cavalier pickups site it says

    The Lion King offers unfettered vintage tone for those wishing the aesthetic look of the Tele® covered neck pickup, with more treble on tap than a typical Tele neck pickup.

    Where as dimarzio says

    We didn't model the Twang King™ neck pickup after a specific original because, honestly, we never found one we were 100% happy with. We were aiming for big, clean lows and highs, and we wanted the pickup to be able to handle a very wide dynamic range.

    It sounds like the twang king aims for a balanced sound while the lion king goes for tele teble twang.
     
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  10. Asmith

    Asmith Friend of Leo's

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    Theres only one real way to tell though, swap the wiring around.
     
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  11. DHart

    DHart Friend of Leo's

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    So true, Bob... a LOT of variables, which makes analysis much more difficult.

    I think the first place I will go, is to swap neck pickups and see what the result of that is. It's kind of a PITA to do that, but there will be much to learn from it. Either the pickups DO account for the noteworthy difference - or they DON'T. :cool:
     
  12. Asmith

    Asmith Friend of Leo's

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    Check your pup heights and what not in the interest of science
     
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  13. DHart

    DHart Friend of Leo's

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    The tone pots are both No-Load, and in the No-Load position.

    Good call on checking the manufacturer's descriptions of the two pickups! Based on that alone, one could reasonably expect the Lion King to be the brighter of the two.
     
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  14. DHart

    DHart Friend of Leo's

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    I wouldn't be surprised if there is a slight bump in brightness from ash/maple vs alder/rosewood... but I wouldn't expect the difference to be quite obviously noticeable to the ears.

    And, you're right - I really need to swap pickups and see if there is a significant change as a result!
     
  15. TeleFunk Man

    TeleFunk Man Tele-Afflicted

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    Nice Teles. I'm curious to know if the pickup swap changes things?
     
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  16. DHart

    DHart Friend of Leo's

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    TeleFunk Man... I have a couple different Tele neck pickups that I'm going to swap into the alder Tele, to see how that changes things (Cavalier Lion King, Cavalier Lioness). My screw-driver and soldering iron will be smokin' tomorrow! :D
     
  17. Peregrino69

    Peregrino69 Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    Yap, you do. And strings. For comparison to be valid all other parts of the equation should be equal except the ones you are comparing. You will post the results, right? :)
     
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  18. notmyusualuserid

    notmyusualuserid Friend of Leo's

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    Here we go again.

    [​IMG]
     
  19. DHart

    DHart Friend of Leo's

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    Indeed I will, my friend! :)
     
  20. DHart

    DHart Friend of Leo's

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    Yep... Corgi go-round to the rescue! :lol: The fun-go-round never ends.
     
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