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

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

  1. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

    Feb 24, 2007
    New Orleans, LA + in the
    If you really want to know, I will tell you.

    But you're not going to like what you read.

    The differences are these (perhaps in order):

    Bridge design, saddle design. Neck construction type, neck section, type of truss rod perhaps. The nature of the pickup chosen. Chance.

    We instinctively choose pickups to be paired with other pickups and so you naturally need a differently voiced neck pickup to complement a T style single coil bridge pickup as opposed to a PAF. All these wiring choices you're making, first have to be to make the existing guitar more functional as a whole or you could (I wouldn't) sacrifice the function of one guitar to try to make it more similar to another. So these will innately tend to diverge in tone in this way.

    All the other stuff with the ash or alder, maple or rosewood is more or less happenstance. In other words you can find examples that meet the various Stereotypes of the wood species but the next ash body or maple neck won't clearly demonstrate adherence to this supposed pattern.
  2. jimgchord

    jimgchord Tele-Afflicted

    Apr 3, 2018
    Except that the electronics aren't the sane
  3. jim777

    jim777 Tele-Meister

    Mar 16, 2004
    South New Jersey
    If all those difference didn't add up to actually sounding different I don't know how I'd explain the next guitar to the Mrs. :)
  4. DHart

    DHart Friend of Leo's

    Oct 12, 2012
    Scottsdale, AZ USA
    Hi Boris... yes indeed every difference contributes in some small way to why the guitars are so different in brightness of tone. Initially, I thought the maple/ash Tele was much brighter than the rosewood/alder Tele primarily (though probably not entirely) due to the differences in woods.

    You may not have read through this thread to know, but I found that the pickups themselves were primarily responsible for the tone difference, with the guitars themselves playing something of a lesser role.

    I had installed a relatively dark-toned pickup (Twang King) in a relatively dark-toned guitar (rosewood/alder), and the result was sort of a 'doubly' dark tone. A fairly dramatic result which fell far short of the sparkly brightness that I like to hear. The result was dark enough that even a 930k volume pot and no-load tone pot couldn't compensate adequately, for my liking.

    When I installed the comparatively bright Cavalier Lioness pickup in the rosewood/alder guitar, I was able to achieve the degree of brightness that I wanted, with a 350k volume pot.

    Here it is now... and it sounds great!

    Last edited: Feb 15, 2019
    Richie-string likes this.
  5. Crawldaddy

    Crawldaddy Tele-Holic

    Dec 12, 2006
    Bridge pickup is a Fralin Blues Special, the Twang King is very dark by comparison, too much contrast between the two.

    The capacitor in series lifts the muddiness and allows the two pickups to have better tonal balance.
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