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Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by omlove, May 7, 2019.
I played a Tele for 30 years before succumbing to Strat Fever six months ago. In my older age one of the things I like about the Strat is it has (this is probably the wrong word) a NEUTRAL tonality, very pure, clean, and resonant, that can be a great starting position for adding and manipulating sound. The Tele is anything but neutral. You wrestle with it and it's always asserting itself. Which is one of the reasons Teles are so great!
When I plug my Tele in after playing my Strats it always reminds me of a knife edge: cutting, bold, a bit raunchy, even when played clean. I'm glad to have both approaches in my arsenal.
(My first post after lurking for a year!)
^^^ That’s some of the best discussion I’ve read regarding the Strat and Tele. Welcome aboard!
Interesting thought is that, as music has evolved, many different guitar ‘sounds’ are acceptable in many genres. Take Country. If Shania Twain is country, then a Strat with a hint of overdrive is great for it. But, Buck Owens is really only ‘real’ on a Tele. The edges are blurred but as various types of music merge, the overall sounds used broaden and the kit needed to produce it becomes less specific. Only my opinion.
I would humbly suggest that a Tele can get closer to a Strat than a Strat can to a Tele...............
One of my strats has a push switch that adds the bridge pu when in position 4 and 5. Neck and bridge together are sorta Tele - like, but not quite!
Stratocasters are more versatile,but, this is a Telecaster forum...
A great Strat is a wonderful instrument. And so is a great Tele.
I'll take both, please.
You can play just about any style your heart desires.
Nowhere to hide on a Tele. Forces you to to work those fingers. Makes you more versatile.
My tele builds are versatile and I like it.
The way I play, I can't find a way to hide with any of my guitars!
To me a Strat is less versatile because it has its sounds that are great, but it doesn't have a great beefy rock sound on the bridge pickup. It can work fine for it, but a Tele does it better. A Les Paul has great beefy sounds, but less of the delicate pretty sounds that a strat does. A tele has a great bridge pickup rock sound, pretty single coil sound (less than strats) Twang for days, a great sound for jazz. Works with overdrive, perfectly clean. It's hard to say a type of sound it won't work well for.
The Strat has more sounds available but the Tele excels at a wider variety of music styles. Hard rock, blues, funk, country, indie, soul, jazz, pop, psychedelia...there are Tele players in all these genres. The only one it seems to not be used for much is heavy metal.
A Tele is versatile. It doesn't need to be the most versatile. Good enough for me.
The tele really can be taken anywhere. In terms of looks and sound it will always fit in.
It does, however, need a few mods to to Leo's original design (in my opinion) to truly reach it's versatility potential. Remember that the original tele didn't even have the classic neck + bridge position!
1) No brass cover on the neck pickup.
I tried it once to see if I liked going 100% vintage correct, but it robs a lot of treble and limits the neck pickup to a jazzy sound. Nickel-silver works well for me to keep some transparency.
2) Neck and bridge combo in parallel and series (4-way switch).
These two sounds complete a tele. The parallel sound that's been standard since the late 60s for 'cluck' and faux acoustic sounds, and the newer series sound that's every bit as useful for thicker jazz sounds or for squeezing some extra mid range grind from the amp.
3) No-load tone pot for extra treble when on 10, but otherwise same sound as before.
I love the simplicity, and the easy access to the controls. Truly a great guitar and the only one I couldn't live without.
Maybe, maybe because it was so accessible, cost effective and born at a time or at the cross roads of swing, country, blues, rock & pop that it got used the most thereby becoming the most versatile because that's what was used to paint the landscape..................
I do believe if you can't do it on a Telecaster it can't get done but that's just me
I, too, have had a strat-type w/ both HB and SC PUs and exotic switching, but if we're talking really beautiful tones, not just wide-ranging tones, I'd come down on the side of a good Tele. I've always been able to cover the bases on mine, and with pretty great sounds. The Tele's not my favorite guitar, but given the question, I think it is indeed the answer, IMO.
Exactly... designed by the man who started it all and also made very much like the early day Fenders tho with a modern touch...
Ash slab body
Hard rock maple neck w/ skunk stripe
Alnico pickups voiced specifically to sound like single coils (Leo didn't dig humbuckers)
String thru body design
Barrel type saddles
Nitro cellulose finish
Nickel plated split shaft tuners.
Chrome plated control plate and knobs - except early models
Switchcraft jack and CTS and/or Stackpole pots
Vintage size fret wire and radius (on II models)
Top notch fit and finish
Tolex or Tweed covered wooden case with fuzzy orange or red interior (others colours as well)
According to Guitar Player Magazine, once word was out that Leo was behind Music Man, many old time employees from the Pre-CBS Fender days came back onboard.
The Stingray guitar was Leo's reemergence on the scene so no doubt he was pulling out all the stops so to speak.
When upside down on your lap. Tele makes a table for Hungryman tv dinner.