Getting Julian Lage's honky tele tone

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by OwenHu99, Jan 18, 2018.

  1. OwenHu99

    OwenHu99 TDPRI Member

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    I've been trying to get this extraordinary tone from my stock mim tele for ages. I know Julian is running a boutique tele into a tweed champ which has quite a different characteristic compared to my blues junior. But I've been obssessing over this tone... I hear it in my dreams! Possible pick up swap? Pedal? Amp? I'm going to get a set of 11's after these 10's break or wear down to get closer. Who needs to bend on the high e string anyway right?
     
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  2. beninma

    beninma Friend of Leo's

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    Do we know for sure he was using larger than normal strings?

    He’s playing with his fingers which softens the tone. I could see this actually being thinner strings to get that honk back. In any case I bet this is more strings and technique than anything.

    He does kind of have a little bit of a lo-if thing going on too doesn’t he?

    Maybe he’d tell you if you tried to contact him?

    I have a MIM Tele too, I did swap out my pickups for vintage style ones. I have Lollars and I’d say they do help get closer to this than the stock ones at least with the amps I’ve played with.

    Edit: I found an article about his guitars that claimed he had a Nash Telecaster. I set mine up to be like the Nash. They have a Lollar Special T in the bridge and Vintage T in the neck. I played a Nash before working on mine I think they might have a Treble bleed. A more recent article says he’s playing a 1954 Tele, good luck getting one of those!
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2018
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  3. LowCaster

    LowCaster Tele-Afflicted

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    His tele has a clear and bright open tone. So I'd expect any good vintage style pickups to do the job.

    When he is hitting harder or the bass strings, he gets the amp slightly saturating.

    For me it's just a tele, a good amp, and everything else is the player.

    I've seen clips of him playing Gibson, and he sounds quite the same... Not the same, but it's still him.

     
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  4. AJ Love

    AJ Love Friend of Leo's

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    Julian is using Ron Ellis pickups, which is a huge part of his sound on that Telecaster.
     
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  5. beninma

    beninma Friend of Leo's

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    There are a bunch of interviews where he says his 1954 Tele is completely stock other than being refinished. He talks about altering his technique to use the 1954 Tele + 1958 champ as a pair and that he considers that pair his instrument.

    AFAICT he's got the 1954 Tele on Arclight + Live in Los Angeles at the very least.

    The article I read about him having a Nash was from 2015. A lot of those articles also he mentioned he had a Danocaster prior to getting the 1954 Telecaster.

    Plenty of the articles he also talks about using a Strymon Flint for reverb on some tracks and in some venues, but not all. Sounds like that's about it for effects.
     
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  6. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    And there is a pedal board sitting in between the guitar and the amp. However, ime and imho it is very difficult to emulate another person’s tone exactly because we all have different ears. When presented with questions from Danny Gatton on certain specifics regarding playing and tone, Les Paul told Gatton that what he really needed to do was not to copy anyone else’s style or tone but to develop one’s own style and tone.
    I personally would like to hear that first cut without the pedal board involved. The sound is too processed for me.
     
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  7. AJ Love

    AJ Love Friend of Leo's

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    For a 1954 type tone I would recommend the Don Mare 4709 Bridge pickup & Don Mare 1954 neck pickup
     
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  8. Shnook

    Shnook Tele-Meister

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    Julian seems to be moving on from his Tele into a Tweed Champ days. The most recent footage I've seen of him has him with several different amps and a small pedalboard consisting of a Flint and a few JHS pedals.
     
  9. tonyj

    tonyj Tele-Afflicted

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    I would suggest that Julian is playing a Nachocaster guitar. No head decal is a good clue, and I know that he is known to play one ....... And yes, that could be Ron Ellis pickups.
     
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  10. Strum und Twang

    Strum und Twang Tele-Meister

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    I'm fairly certain I've seen interviews where he discusses using 12s with a wound 3rd... Ah yes - try here.
     
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  11. JD0x0

    JD0x0 Poster Extraordinaire

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    To me, for that sound, you just need mids. The champ has no tone stack to scoop mids, like the BJ, or most any other amp with a passive TMB tone stack. Those stacks passively cut large amounts of mids (and gain) in many cases.
    That sound to me, is the sound of the mids not being scooped. Flatter EQ, woodier warmer tone. Most of my amps with a tone stack bypass will take on a tone similar to this, when the stack is bypassed.

    11's are not that much harder to play btw. I have arthritis and a connective tissue disease, and I don't really have problems with big bends. My hands are not large and strong, either. It just takes some getting used to compared to lighter strings.
     
  12. Spir4L

    Spir4L TDPRI Member

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    I am not sure which one is the tele above but as far as I know he owns two: one is a Danocaster (of the freakin' era if I am not wrong) with Ron Ellis mid/tall in the neck and 50B Broadcaster in the bridge, the other is a refin 54 Telecaster.
    In some videos I have seen, anyway, it looks like he is using a new Nocaster or 52 Reissue Tele.
    As for amps end effect, it should be just Strymon Flint direct to a 50's Fender Champ and a 50's Fender Vibrolux.
    As for the strings, from the d'addario site it seems he's using D'Addario EXL115BT XL.

    Also, in some songs he is tuned down 1 whole step and that may influence the sound.
     
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  13. NorthenLights

    NorthenLights TDPRI Member

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    I'll say the same thing as I did in the thread on his tone in the pedal section of this board. Most of that is in his technique. His set up is so simple that there is very little that alters the tone except his fingers. Nothing to hide behind. I'm afraid this means you will ned to hit the practice room. No amount of gear will ever get you the same result as some hours of practicing, even though we sometimes would like that short cut.

    Do you play alot of melody stuff on acoustic guitar? Julian has a very dynamic way of picking in this song that makes me think of acoustic players. Playing chord melody on acoustic demands a bit of another approach than on electric. You sort of need to play with the guitar, rather than just on it. I myself noticed a drastic increase in my ability to shape tone and getting my instruments to really sing after I began taking my acoustic playing beyond standard chord comping, even when going back to the electric. So my advice would be to really get in to acoustic for a while. Then you can start worrying about silly things as different flavours of 50's style pickups.
     
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  14. ladave

    ladave Tele-Holic

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    I had a tweed Blues Junior. I now have a 57 Champ reissue and Princeton Rev.

    A lot of what I hear in his videos is the Champ tone for sure.

    If you really want to get as close as possible to that tone, get the Champ, or 5F1?
     
  15. 1300 E Valencia

    1300 E Valencia Friend of Leo's

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    Fat strings for the win. He's using a pick and using it aggressively. Skinny strings would crap out, buzz, and wouldn't respond with those dynamics. Mids? it's the 8 inch speaker. In a tweed. With a 6V6.
     
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  16. King Creole

    King Creole Friend of Leo's

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    I love his sound. With a simple setup like his, even the kind of pick he uses (Blue Chip) will make a difference.
     
  17. Lobomov

    Lobomov Friend of Leo's

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    No .. there is an interview somewhere, where he clearly states that he didn't get the 54 tele in time for Archlight, so that on is the Danocaster.

    I'm not sure, but I also have a slight recollection of him mentioning his strings on the tele being 11s.

    But other than that it's just a cranked champion. I think if you stick a warm OD pedal to give just a tiny bit of more hair in from of your Blues Junior that you will get close.
     
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  18. sockgtr

    sockgtr Tele-Meister

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    He really is an extraordinary player!

    Taking the fingers out of the equation for the moment, it's a 50's style Tele into a Tweed Champ, 8" speaker. He fiddles with the guitar controls a bit as well. That's about it.

    I've also obsessed a bit about that tone. I'm afraid the way I play it'd be grind city all the time at the stage volumes I play. So I just enjoy his work and embrace the BF Princeton tone for my needs.
     
  19. OwenHu99

    OwenHu99 TDPRI Member

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    Yea haha, that's what I tried to avoid, having to get a 6000 bucks boutique tele. I'm pretty sure he uses 11s as he said in an article. I am certain that the thickness plays a huge part in tele tone from my experience having tried a ton of strings. Good shout about trying to contact him, Im gonna do that, hopefully he is as nice as he seems on videos :)
     
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  20. OwenHu99

    OwenHu99 TDPRI Member

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    Yes! I agree completely. I do practice a lot despite getting very hung up on gear quite often :) I have played and performed a bit of hybrid picking style acoustic guitar songs before, like acoustic works from Steve Howe. I do find it more difficult to play hybrid picked stuff on the electric due to inbalanced tone across the strings, but I am a huge admirer of Julian Lage's dynamics and accuracy on the guitar that it will definitely inspire me to keep on practicing until I become as good as him.
     
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