Can You Tell The Difference Between a Tele and a Strat

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by MikeyisB999, Sep 19, 2019.

  1. bcorig

    bcorig Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    COMPLETELY different sound. Took me 30 years to figure out the Tele is the way to go.
     
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  2. sothoth

    sothoth Tele-Holic Double Platinum Supporter

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    Who cares. The Strat sucks.
     
  3. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    EMG has a knob for that.

    Actually goes from Strat to Tele to PAF.
    You had to be there...
     
  4. MikeyisB999

    MikeyisB999 Tele-Meister

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    Indeed! :)

    Cheers buddy, really appreciate it.

    Now that is a very good idea!! :)
     
  5. Mojotron

    Mojotron Poster Extraordinaire

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    Sound is always relative to pickups and the bridge used - the differences are huge when used in a stage scenario. With stomp boxes and small amps an acoustic and a Tele are likely to sound the same over youtube... I make Tele's all the time that have Strat pickup layouts and sound identical to Strats. So, ignoring what can't really be evaluated from youtube: I think there are three huge differences between a Strat and a Tele that make then completely different guitars.

    1) The string spacing of the bridge: Now, if one does not play above the 5th fret, really there is no difference, but if one plays above the 5th fret a lot - the wider strat string spacing makes playing arpeggios and scales a whole different experience. The tighter string spacing of the Tele is perfect for more advanced playing because a player can use the same technique over a wider portion of the neck. This is similar to Gibson's spacing of LPs and SGs... however with a 25.5" scale, playing really technical scales, string skipping... requires an idiosyncratic approach that simply makes playing above the 5th fret on a Strat more work than it is on a Tele. Plus Tele's with the tighter string spacing and longer scale (which makes for a less muddy tone while increasing the differentiation between the neck and bridge pickup tone) is simply the best setup for a production guitar to play just about anything.

    2) The 3-saddle bridge: If one plays cleanly and there is no buzzing with the setup on the guitar's relief, nut-slot depths and saddle heights (kind of what one gets from a PLEK machine); then I always hear a huge difference in how the Tele's notes have a rapid rise-time will always have a very slow decay of the note when compared to a Strat. This is because with the 3-saddle bridge each saddle has more mass and absorbs less of the energy of the string as it is played: This then allows the string to vibrate over the pickup better and makes the (attenuating) sympathetic vibration of the body vibration smaller for higher frequencies on Teles vs. the Strat where tremolo springs and lower mass saddles bleed the energy of the strings when played. So, this makes the Tele notes sustain longer, and allows the Tele player to create a much wider spectrum on tones based on the player's skill at dampening and picking dynamics. Tele's rock, but they are also excellent for just about any style of music for this one reason - they are extremely versatile.

    3) The Tele's position using a strap is much better for using the whole neck: Try playing a scale above the 12th fret on a Strat, then switch to a Tele. The Tele makes if so much easier to play notes that are higher on the neck, and with the tighter string spacing, the difference is huge.

    The original Tele is still an amazing design. After nearly 7 decades of guitar design, the tele easily stands the test of time :)
     
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  6. Gabeezlebub

    Gabeezlebub TDPRI Member

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    I was surprised how similar the two sounded. My first guess was right, but I changed it halfway thru. Finally I had to admit I couldnt really tell for sure. I think the demo was rigged to make the guitars sound as similar as possible. Tele players set up their teles to sound like teles, and normally you would never have a tough time distinguishing the two. No true tele player wants his tele to sound anywhere near that of a strat. Otherwise, why would they buy a tele if both guitars sounded the same? I agree totally with Matmosphere.
     
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  7. POS Guitars

    POS Guitars Tele-Meister

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    Interestingly, I have used Arcane 50 Experience bridge and 42 Experience neck in a couple of builds for this very reason. Rob nailed this one.

     
  8. GuitarKid

    GuitarKid Tele-Holic

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    I was fooled because I'm a fool, apparently. But in my defense I heard it through crappy laptop speakers.

    When I'm playing my Tele and my Strats I can hear the differences quite clearly. On some occasions I have guessed correctly one or another in a recording. But I admit that many times they can sound very similar.

    The Tele and the Strat aren't so different in my opinion. I can clearly see how the Strat evolved from the Tele. It's quite obvious actually..

    The Strat has more of a springy thin jangly sound (even hardtails for some reason!). I suppose it has something to do with a) springs , b) all that plastic and c) the pickups design and that weird stagger.

    Early Tele pickups don't have any stagger, so you get a more even sound. That G string bite on a Strat is very pronounced. On the other hand, the Tele has a distinctive bark, a mid-range punch.

    Both sound like 25.5 inch scale length Fenders which are not offset and do not have that huge string length like a Jazzmaster. On both Tele and Strat the neck and bridge pickups are at the same location, have similar sizes, and the strings go through at the same spot in the body. There's a little difference in angle of the bridge pickup but that's almost irrelevant compared to the fact that the Tele has a huge metal resonator as the bridge assembly.

    Tele sounds fatter on the treble strings too, even acoustically.

    Strats sound softer and have more dynamics I suppose, and their upper frequency bite can be more thin and piercing.

    Tele is like the old italian Mama who's fat and screams and curses, and Strat is her pretty slim daughter (but she's still the daughter of the fat cursing Mama, so she has her genes).
     
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  9. simoncroft

    simoncroft Tele-Meister

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    What a boring b****! I sat though the sound test and filled in a little form I created on my note pad. Then the tedious little so-and-so waffled so much at the end about the fact his Strat needs a refret, I gave up. Yes, I can tell them apart, doubly so if one of them is loaded with Lace Sensors. If I'd have known that at the start, I wouldn't have bothered. :mad:

    I have two Strats, one with CS pickups and one with Lace Sensors. They sound nothing like each other. I also have a Tele. It sounds fairly close to a 'conventional' Strat in some respects but of course I can tell them apart. More focused bridge tone on the Tele and darker, jazzier sound to the neck. I think we all know that.

    Oh why did I just allow myself to become 'click bait'? :(
     
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  10. vintageampz

    vintageampz TDPRI Member

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    I can't even tell what the hell they are saying! Is that some sort of Eastern European language, maybe Polish or Ukranian? If you can't tell the difference in sound between a Strat and a Tele, then you should be playing a Tuba.
     
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  11. bblooz

    bblooz TDPRI Member

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    This would be a better comparison with a strat with standard single-coils vs. the lace sensors. My two cents..........
     
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  12. mmannaxx

    mmannaxx TDPRI Member

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    I guessed correctly. They were close in several comparisons but in the overdrive I felt that the Tele had more “meat” to it. I have both guitars and I prefer the Tele because the sounder is thicker but still no muddy like you sometimes get with humbuckers.
     
  13. grooveiron

    grooveiron Tele-Holic

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    Which Strat?
    Which Tele?
    I have 2 strats—they sound quite different from each other. My Tele sounds unlike either, but the neck pickup on one strat is pretty close the the tele's neck.
     
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  14. rolandson

    rolandson Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    This surprised me.

    I only listened to the clean portion, simply because I don't use pedals, so anything the pedals would bring to the comparison would be lost on me.

    And...

    I correctly deduced that guitar one was the Strat. Not because of the way it sounded, but because of the way the bridge pickup on guitar two sounded.

    I suspected as much after the neck pickup part, something in the flavor was noticeable. And it was confirmed following the bridge part. There was an element that I'll describe as "Twang" that is inconsistent with what I am accustomed to with Strats.

    That I didn't hear a distinct difference in depth and richness is what I found surprising.

    My first Strat was a hardtail. My recollection of it is, no doubt clouded with romanticism, that it had a very deep - rich resonance, almost to the point of being "dark". I have always attributed this to the strings passing through the body, as opposed to passing through a steel block suspended by springs.

    I expected the Tele to have that flavor...a greater depth and richness than the Strat, which I expected to be identifiable by the "bell tones" Strats are noted for.

    So...I no longer lust after a hardtail. @MikeyisB999 you have saved me some money.
     
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  15. MikeyisB999

    MikeyisB999 Tele-Meister

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    Wasn't rigged at all. I'm not trying to trick or sell anything, was all for a bit of fun.

    You may like this then. :)



    hahaha... glad to hear it! :)
     
  16. bblumentritt

    bblumentritt Tele-Afflicted Platinum Supporter

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    Can You Tell The Difference Between a Tele and a Strat ?

    Yes.
     
  17. Cysquatch

    Cysquatch Tele-Holic

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    You know, now that you say that, it makes a lot of sense as to why I like teles so much more. I love my strat, but my tele responds just right and it's gotta be my heavy right hand really making the difference there. Also makes sense why a decent chunk of punk guys went and still go for the tele.
     
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  18. Marquee Moon

    Marquee Moon Tele-Holic

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    yup! like joe strummer for instance! They are really stable guitars. This is just my opinion, but tele's also sound more pleasing to my ear when you hit the open strings than other guitars.
     
  19. Gabeezlebub

    Gabeezlebub TDPRI Member

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    In line with your comments vintageampz, I liked the humor in including two similar looking testers. Were these guys identical twins or did the guy somehow dub himself in twice, like Haley Mills? I spent as much time trying to distinguish the difference between the presenters as the guitars!!!!!! VERY funny. Lol!!!!
     
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  20. LowCaster

    LowCaster Tele-Afflicted

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    I can’t tell the difference between the two guys!
     
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