New tele recommendation for Jazz tones

mcrombaldi

TDPRI Member
Joined
Jan 28, 2022
Posts
7
Age
31
Location
Brazil
Hi guys! How are you all doing?

I'm new here, and aspiring for a new tele and been wanting to get some orientation from you guys.

I play jazz. Already own one ES-175 and another semi-hollow Gretsch. Already have a great MIA Fender Strat.

But my main objective here is to have a versatile guitar, to play jazz (old standards) and also some more modern jazz and blues.

So. I need a Tele with warmer tones, more jazzy. I've been messing around the fender website, and really dug the American Performer, with humbucker on the neck.

What do you guys have to say about this model? Or, if you guys have any other recommendation I'd appreciate - maybe older models. Just keep in mind I want warmer tones.

Thank you all! :)
 

72_Custom

Tele-Meister
Joined
Aug 11, 2007
Posts
211
Location
Pittsburgh
I second that. You can get a good jazz sound with a traditional tele single coil neck pickup that's alnico 2 or 3. Tim Lerch gets some really great tones from a Charlie Christian pickups in the neck of his teles.

A PAF-style humbucker is definitely not a bad way to go, don't get me wrong, I just don't think it's "necessary".
 

JL_LI

Poster Extraordinaire
Joined
May 20, 2017
Posts
8,844
Age
72
Location
Long Island, NY
Used, I’d find an American Elite. I have N4 Noiseless pickups in my avatar Telecaster and love the jazz tones from the pickups is series. New, I’d look for an American Ultra. The pickups sound pretty similar to me but I like the Elite color choices more. Or I’d find a Telecaster that you like the feel of and replace the pickups with N4 with either a four way or an S1 switch for series.
 

drmordo

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Jun 27, 2019
Posts
2,343
Age
48
Location
Tampa, FL
One thing you could do is get a Tele you like to play, then put a standard Strat-sized single coil pickguard on it. Then you can swap in Lace Sensors until you find the one you like the most.

I did that and put in the Lace version of the Charlie Christian PU - sounds great.

Esquireish.jpg
 

8bitlooper

TDPRI Member
Joined
Jul 3, 2021
Posts
33
Age
50
Location
Virginia
One of the greatest things about tele’s is just how customizable they are and can be. I agree with the others who say that a standard pickup config works great, but I’ve also been using my Femenella Jason Loughlin for really great ’jazzy’ stuff from Redd style western swing to Tim Lerch/Ted Greene kind of chordal things, and of course some really nice country bite when needed. Even does a nice Bickert-ish tone. Now if I only had a fraction of the talent of players I just mentioned. In any case, it’s a fun guitar:

 

Attachments

  • 080167DB-E7BD-4E42-9293-670C2233C092.jpeg
    080167DB-E7BD-4E42-9293-670C2233C092.jpeg
    173.2 KB · Views: 65

LGOberean

Doctor of Teleocity
Joined
May 31, 2008
Posts
13,363
Age
68
Location
Corpus Christi, Texas
Hi guys! How are you all doing?

I'm new here, and aspiring for a new tele and been wanting to get some orientation from you guys.

I play jazz. Already own one ES-175 and another semi-hollow Gretsch. Already have a great MIA Fender Strat.

But my main objective here is to have a versatile guitar, to play jazz (old standards) and also some more modern jazz and blues.

So. I need a Tele with warmer tones, more jazzy. I've been messing around the fender website, and really dug the American Performer, with humbucker on the neck.

What do you guys have to say about this model? Or, if you guys have any other recommendation I'd appreciate - maybe older models. Just keep in mind I want warmer tones.

Thank you all! :)

I agree that you can get good jazz tones from a vintage style tele neck pickup.

I also thought of Tim Lerch right away, but it should be noted that on his guitars he typically uses heavier gauge strings (13s, IIRC) and tunes down a half step. And then too he uses those Lollar Charlie Christians.

I have one tele with a P-90 neck pickup in it, paired with a vintage style tele single coil bridge. But out of my five teles, the neck pickup in each of them works for jazz, or what passes for jazz when I play it. My favorite tele neck pickups are DiMarzio Twang King and Bill Lawrence Keystone. And if I even bother to roll off some of the Tone, it's a quarter of a turn at most. Even when playing jazz standards on the neck pickup, I want some of the snap and sparkle that tele pickups give. FWIW, all my teles are tuned to standard pitch and strung with 10s (D'Addario EXL110S).
 

loopfinding

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Jun 19, 2011
Posts
4,641
Location
europe endless
Neck HB on a solid guitar with a 25.5” scale doesn’t really cop that great of jazz tones IMO (Bickert is a great player but the tone is just “okay”). I think nature of the guitar lends itself better to faking the honkier SC archtop sound. A CC pickup can sound very good and proper. P90 is not a bad choice either.

But stock pickup with some thick flats is fine as well. You could try a stacked HB (aka noiseless) for a little thicker than stock sound.

I also have a 175 style lam top and go back and forth on whether to swap the tele neck pup to CC, P90, or firebird. For me personally, I think given the fact that I already have an archtop and generally don’t fly to gigs, maybe the tele should just stay a tele. But I think outside of chasing a jazz tone, a CC or a firebird sounds good in general in a tele for what it is.
 
Last edited:

Maguchi

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Jun 16, 2019
Posts
2,172
Location
Lalaland
Hi guys! How are you all doing?

I'm new here, and aspiring for a new tele and been wanting to get some orientation from you guys.

I play jazz. Already own one ES-175 and another semi-hollow Gretsch. Already have a great MIA Fender Strat.

But my main objective here is to have a versatile guitar, to play jazz (old standards) and also some more modern jazz and blues.

So. I need a Tele with warmer tones, more jazzy. I've been messing around the fender website, and really dug the American Performer, with humbucker on the neck.

What do you guys have to say about this model? Or, if you guys have any other recommendation I'd appreciate - maybe older models. Just keep in mind I want warmer tones.

Thank you all! :)
Yeah, the American Performer with an HB in the neck is a great choice for versatility and I would recommend it. Great jazz sound and blues sound as well. I bought a 2019 with the idea that I might change out the pickups to something more boutique. But the stock pickups sound so good that I have kept them and played the h*ll out of that guitar over the last 3 years. The only thing I did was replace the 3 way switch with a 4 way switch that puts the neck and bridge in series for a second lead sound. Mine has a maple fretboard, but if you can find one with a rosewood fretboard that would be even cooler for a blues/jazz type look.
Fndr AmPerfHbSB.jpg
 
Last edited:

mcrombaldi

TDPRI Member
Joined
Jan 28, 2022
Posts
7
Age
31
Location
Brazil
Guys, thank you for all your considerations.

I know and agree that a tele should and will remain a tele. My objective is not to immitate or get reeaaallly close to an archtop, otherwise I'd be looking for somethin else.

But what I really liked about the American Performer is the push-pull pot that allows you to get a single-coil in the neck humbucker.
Because even though I really want more jazz tones, it is good to have the single-coil sound on the neck for some specific situations, and I think it ads more versatility.

Yeah, the American Performer with an HB in the neck is a great choice for versatility and I would recommend it. Great jazz sound and blues sound as well. I bought a 2019 with the idea that I might change out the pickups to something more boutique. But the stock pickups sound so good that I have kept them and played the h*ll out of that guitar over the last 3 years. The only thing I did was replace the 3 way switch with a 4 way switch that puts the neck and bridge in series for a second lead sound. Mine has a maple fretboard, but if you can find one with a rosewood fretboard that would be even cooler for a blues/jazz type look. View attachment 945933

Thanks Maguchi! Nice to know you have it for 3 years and still dig it! I really think I'm gonna get one with the rosewood.

I apologize if this is blasphemy - but when you say "Jazz tones" I go right to "Neck humbucker"

Just throwing that out there....
:twisted::twisted:

What do you guys think, about the thinlines? Think it makes great difference in tone? What about wood? Alder or ash?

I really think that in the end, as you guys said. Thick flat strings and tone controle rolled back makes much more difference than wood.
 

Maguchi

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Jun 16, 2019
Posts
2,172
Location
Lalaland
What do you guys think, about the thinlines? Think it makes great difference in tone? What about wood? Alder or ash?
I bought a 2019 MiM Fender Deluxe Telecaster Thinline made of alder wood with a pau ferro fretboard. To be honest, I didn't like it much and got rid of it shortly after I bought it. The neck dive was a bit much, every time I took my hand off the neck It would tilt downwards, and the tone was just not there at all. I could've tried to change pickups, but was just not impressed by that guitar. YMMV
 




Top