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Tele that sounds like a Les Paul with PAFs

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by Angierc, Jun 26, 2015.

  1. Angierc

    Angierc Tele-Meister

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    Hopefully this is not an evil post...

    I played Fenders for years and years - Strats and Tele's. For a long time my Partscaster was my favorite guitar - but as I aged I guess, my ear changed.

    But I still like the playability of the Tele - in particular I love Fender necks (with the standard 9.5 radius).

    So how do I build a Tele that sounds like a Les? What makes the difference?
    A Strat with humbuckers still sounds like a Strat and a Tele still sounds like a Tele.

    Could I do it with a Strat? Is it the bridge? The wood? The scale length (I have trouble believing this one)?
     
  2. Rich_S

    Rich_S Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    All of the above. There's WAY more to "Tele sound" than just the pickups. I have two guitars: a MIM Tele and a mutt with a Schecter PT body, maple MIM neck, and a pair of Duncan '59 humbuckers.

    I think the scale length and the through-body bridge are the major contributors to the Tele sound, once you remove pickups from the equation. Secondary contributors are the maple fingerboard, saddles, and body material.

    You could build a Tele with humbuckers, a mahogany body with maple cap, and a rosewood board and it would still have some of that Tele snap. I suppose you could also use a Gibson-scale conversion neck, tune-o-matic bridge, and stop tailpiece, but then you'll be losing the "feel" that you like.

    In my book, you can only go so far. I like the Tele feel and the ability to switch between two guitars that feel and play pretty much the same. I've done what I can to beef up the PT, but readily admit it does not sound like a Les Paul. It does, however, sound significantly different from my normal Tele, and in many ways the PT has become the most "me" guitar of all.

    There are some things you can do to make a Tele more Gibsonish. I'm an A5 kinda guy, but if you're looking for more Slash/Warren Haynes smooth/fat tone think about Alnico 2 magnets in your humbuckers: the Duncan Alnico Pro comes to mind, or the Custom Custom if you want something hotter. The middle position on a double-humbucker guitar is a huge part of what we think of as "Les Paul" tone, too; think Jimmy Page.

    A six-saddle bridge will soften the snap a bit, too.

    In summation, no, you can't build a Tele that sounds like a Les Paul, but if you value the Tele feel, then "close enough" can be close enough.
     
  3. I_build_my_own

    I_build_my_own Friend of Leo's

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    The closest you will probably get is if you take Les Paul plan build it with those material, make it a flat top and adjust the body shape to resemble a tele, adjust headstock to 6 inline and get the typical tele control plate and adjust a tele pickguard to your liking.
     
  4. '59_Standard

    '59_Standard Tele-Holic

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  5. JD0x0

    JD0x0 Poster Extraordinaire

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    my G&L ASAT Deluxe can hit the LP tones pretty easily. I mean it is essentially a 25.5'' scale LP with a maple bolt-on neck.

    Scale length has a small effect. Longer scale = brighter, more snap and 'twang' but IMO, it's a lot easier to make a longer scale guitar sound like a shorter scale guitar.
    I've gotten some pretty convincing PAF sounds out of single coils in strats and teles. It usually helps to have a higher wound pickup, for the extra mid content, and a smaller cap on the tone control helps, IMO.


    IDK, maybe i'm the odd man out, but the 'Les Paul sound' has always just sounded like a PAF humbucker equipped guitar, to me. I found, that most humbucker equipped guitars can hit that LP sound with minor EQ adjustments and proper playing technique. The longer scaled guitars have more 'snap' but it's pretty easy to dial that out with EQ, and get the softer LP sounds.

    I've had people mistake my single coil equipped tele for a Les Paul, in recordings, but to be fair, I have a 4 way switch, with series option which gives a huge fat woody tone that most people wouldn't expect from a tele and my single coils are very overwound, giving a more midrange-y sound closer to that of a P-90 or humbucker.

    Just my .02
     
  6. wildkat-bob

    wildkat-bob Tele-Afflicted

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    This one doesn't sound anything like a tele, it's closer to the Les Paul sound. It has Gibson 57 classic/classic+ pickups, Tone Pros t-o-m bridge and stop bar, and a 24' scale Jaguar neck, so it sounds close but not quite like a Les Paul, I'm sure if it had a 24 3/4" scale it would sound a lot more like one.
     

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  7. Angierc

    Angierc Tele-Meister

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    Can you point me to an example of that wiring?
     
  8. Angierc

    Angierc Tele-Meister

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    I have heard some people suggest tuning down a half step and using a Capo to overcome the higher tension of the strings on the longer neck.

    I'm thinking about trying a PAF in the neck and hot Broadcaster style tele pickup in the bridge with the above trick. I still think the hot tele bridge is awesome - there is nothing like it IMHO.
     
  9. Angierc

    Angierc Tele-Meister

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    Does it have the 9.5 radius neck?

    Really nice guitar - I was thinking about a similar warmoth build.
     
  10. wildkat-bob

    wildkat-bob Tele-Afflicted

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    yes it does.
     
  11. Zepfan

    Zepfan Doctor of Teleocity Gold Supporter

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    This along with a 4-way switch to get both pups in series will get you close.
     
  12. Angierc

    Angierc Tele-Meister

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    what model is that?
    Or did you build it?
     
  13. deltasnake

    deltasnake TDPRI Member

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    My mahogany body tele can get a Gibson sound, but it strikes me as being more SG like, though some LPs have all mahogany bodies. I think mahogany helps, but I think you can get more Gibson into the sound by the right choice of pickups and amp ImageUploadedByTDPRI1435384400.472187.jpg rather than the wood. Technically I would think a tele body would be a good start if one wanted to go for a more Gibson like sound.
     
  14. wildkat-bob

    wildkat-bob Tele-Afflicted

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    It's a custom made guitar, built by me and a friend of mine.
     
  15. Hopkins

    Hopkins Tele-Meister

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    You can get pretty close, really close actually, but unless you go with a 24.75" scale length you won't ever nail that LesPaul sound. That being said, if you built a 24.75" scale Tele, with PAF's in the traditional Les Paul position, even with Tele hardware I doubt anyone would be able to differentiate in a blind test.
     
  16. Muzikp

    Muzikp Friend of Leo's

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    One of these will get you there. 24.75 scale length with pups in LP positions, set neck and wired just like an LP. This one is actually pine and maple, but it's really really tight grain pine, not as light as you would think. Sounds just like an LP. I've made a few of these out of mahogany and maple as well, they all sound like LP's.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  17. Bagman67

    Bagman67 Tele-Meister

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    That's handsome work, James.

    - Ian
     
  18. Angierc

    Angierc Tele-Meister

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    Really, really nice. Do you have any sound bites?
     
  19. Muzikp

    Muzikp Friend of Leo's

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  20. dmoss74

    dmoss74 Tele-Holic

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    did you flip the neck pickup to tame some mud, or are you going for the whole 'peter green' thing?
     
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