Can two MIM Telecaster's be made to sound the same?

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by Digiplay, Apr 3, 2020.

  1. Digiplay

    Digiplay Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    638
    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2019
    Location:
    Birmingham, Alabama
    Please FORGIVE my novice question everyone!



    So here we go..................................................................................



    I'll be using a 2015 Ash Nashville Deluxe, and a 2014 Ash Road Worn as my two MIM guitars, and for an apples versus apples comparison, I'll leave the middle pu on the Nashville out of the equation.


    If both Ash body guitars weigh 99.9% the same, if both have maple fretboards, the same strings, and the Nashville has the stock Tex-Mex pickups, the stock 6 saddle bridge, the stock 5-way switch, and the Road Worn has '51 Custom Shop Nocaster pu's, the stock 3 saddle Fender bridge with Callaham brass saddles, and the stock 3-way switch


    and................................................................................................



    I put some '51 Custom Shop Nocaster pu's, a stock Fender bridge with the same Callaham brass saddles on the Nashville, and I setup both guitars with the same action, same pickup height



    Will they sound basically the same?



    Please note I'm not saying 100% the same, because I can't even go back the next day and record a better take guitar track, using the same guitar, and make it sound 100% the same tone-wise :)
     
    tah1962 likes this.
  2. adjason

    adjason Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    4,917
    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2010
    Location:
    virginia
    I'd say if you just do just a pickup swap (and keep them the same height) you'd be 90% of the way there- but really why do you want two that sound the same? I've found that almost all pickups and guitars sound differently but there is not really a better or worse often
     
  3. Digiplay

    Digiplay Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    638
    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2019
    Location:
    Birmingham, Alabama
    Because I LOVE the way the Road Worn sounds, but I LOVE the 3 pickup concept/versatility, the Nashville gives the RW a run for its money, and if can make the Nashville sound as close as possible to the RW, then I'll sell the RW and put some money temporarily in my wallet :)


    As far as the new Nocaster's not sounding 100% like the ones in the RW, then I could take them out of the RW, and put them in the Nashville.


    Will doing that make the two guitars sound closer in sound?
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2020
  4. Jakedog

    Jakedog Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    17,904
    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2003
    Location:
    The North Coast
    The short answer, is that no two guitars are ever going to sound exactly the same. Even if they’re made out of the same stuff and have the same pickups. You can get real close, but never identical.

    That’s a good thing. You have two guitars, they should sound at least a little different.

    All of my guitars sound very different from each other. Which means they all make me play a little differently, and inspire me in different ways to find different things. I always sound like me, but my style undergoes subtle changes depending on which one I’m playing.
     
  5. 8trackmind

    8trackmind Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,202
    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2018
    Location:
    Dark side of the moon
    No. You can get them about 85% the same.
    I've never been able to get two guitars any closer than that.
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2020
    Speedfish likes this.
  6. Digiplay

    Digiplay Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    638
    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2019
    Location:
    Birmingham, Alabama
    So far, not the answers I would have guessed :)
     
    Dismalhead likes this.
  7. Ricky D.

    Ricky D. Doctor of Teleocity

    Age:
    69
    Posts:
    10,501
    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2006
    Location:
    Raleigh, North Carolina
    You won't know until you try. Pickups will get you most of the way. The necks can make some difference.

    Your pots have a +/-10% production tolerance. Put one at the high end and the other at the low end, you could have one volume pot at 275K vs. the other at 225K. That's a difference you can hear. Tone caps are +/-20%, so you could have anything from .040 to .060 for a nominal .050 cap. You could notice that, too. Chances are you'll have electronics that are closer to their nominal values, so I think you'll get awful close.
     
    Matthias likes this.
  8. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

    Age:
    60
    Posts:
    20,403
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2010
    Location:
    Maine
    I'd bet based on your details that they will be pretty darn close, but you will still notice differences that nobody else will catch because they are not playing them.
    Maybe they won't be close to the same though, this is only based on your description!

    It also depends on what you mean by the same.
    You could probably adapt technique to make them indistinguishable, but if this is more of a cork sniffing concept of the same, then probably not.

    I never wanted two guitars to sound the same but I've wished lifeless guitars could be brought to life and sound more like my favorites.
     
  9. Digiplay

    Digiplay Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    638
    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2019
    Location:
    Birmingham, Alabama

    Hi Ricky!

    Well, that's at least somewhat of a glimmer of hope :)


    When other's have said that it's hard to get two guitars to sound the same, it got me thinking that if one's favorite guitar can be dramatically changed sound-wise by changing pickups, that means the guitar won't sound 100% close to the way it sounded originally either, so it sounds (pardon the pun) like pickup's have the most drastic effect on a guitar.


    Do you follow my long-winded logic? :)
     
  10. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

    Age:
    60
    Posts:
    20,403
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2010
    Location:
    Maine
    If it was me I'd rout the RW for a middle pickup.
     
    Obsessed, PigBoy, Jakedog and 2 others like this.
  11. Digiplay

    Digiplay Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    638
    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2019
    Location:
    Birmingham, Alabama
    Hello to you as well telemnemonics!


    I only want them to sound the same so I can sell the Road Worn, and I can take that money and buy a guitar that sounds NOTHING like a Telecaster :)
     
    telemnemonics likes this.
  12. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

    Age:
    60
    Posts:
    20,403
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2010
    Location:
    Maine
    If the application of logic could get us all the awesome toanz we seek, the aftermarket parts industry would be sunk!
     
    Loaded Goat likes this.
  13. DHart

    DHart Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    4,734
    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2012
    Location:
    Scottsdale, AZ USA
    Good chance they will sound fairly similar. Identical? Quite unlikely.

    And, there remains some possibility that one guitar will sound significantly darker (or brighter) than the other.

    You'll never know until to do the deed.
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2020
  14. Digiplay

    Digiplay Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    638
    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2019
    Location:
    Birmingham, Alabama

    You don't know how many times I've thought of doing that :)

    As an aside, I have also thought of routing the RW to be able to install a Humbucker in the neck.


    But I don't feel comfortable doing the routing, and I have NO idea what it would cost to have it routed.
     
    telemnemonics likes this.
  15. Digiplay

    Digiplay Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    638
    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2019
    Location:
    Birmingham, Alabama

    At least pickup swapping is fairly easy D, so it seems you're right about not knowing until I try it :)
     
  16. Dismalhead

    Dismalhead Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    56
    Posts:
    7,219
    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2014
    Location:
    Sacramento, California
    I'll be they'll sound very similar.

    I had a guitar teacher that had two identical Parts Strats built so he could take them on tour. Every part was the same down to the paint. After getting used to them he could tell the difference based on weight and feel, but no one else would have ever known which was which. I'm guessing there may be very minor differences in your case, since the base models aren't identical.
     
  17. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

    Age:
    60
    Posts:
    20,403
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2010
    Location:
    Maine
    If you can do the wiring and just drop off the body ready to rout, it's like a 15 minute job and should be I'd think $25 for a tech that has routing templates already. It would take me more like an hour because I'd have to make the template first.
    Disassembly wiring and assembly is more labor that routing one Strat pup rout and drilling the wire holes.
     
  18. DHart

    DHart Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    4,734
    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2012
    Location:
    Scottsdale, AZ USA
    Any half-decent luthier can rout your Road Worn for a mid-position humbucker in about 15 minutes, for not a lot of money. If you choose to go that route - no big deal!!!
     
    telemnemonics likes this.
  19. Digiplay

    Digiplay Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    638
    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2019
    Location:
    Birmingham, Alabama
    PS

    As I am a admittedly novice beginner as far as guitar (the Tele is my favorite guitar so far), do you think having a middle pickup will affect my playing style?

    But as I'm asking/typing this question, there have been, and still are, a lot of great Strat players that the middle pickup hasn't seemed to have affected them negatively :)
     
  20. 3-Chord-Genius

    3-Chord-Genius Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    6,794
    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2015
    Location:
    Winchester, VA
    My opinion is as follows: I've had five stratocasters, and they all sounded alike. Now, somebody who is more nitpicky than myself could probably play them all side by side and hear differences, but to me they all sound like stratocasters.
     
    Paulie_Boy likes this.
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.


  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.