Telecasters and Les Paul Sound Alike...

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by Gretev1, Mar 21, 2020.

  1. Thinline casket

    Thinline casket TDPRI Member

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    This is interesting. I don't disagree with what anyone has said. But I remember, just out of high school, I had a 63 jaguar, and a guy I knew had an LP. I went to jam with his band. At some point, we switched guitars. After one song, we both had this strange look on our faces. We immediately switched back. It wasn't the tone. We were playing each others licks! Maybe it was fretboard radius....

    So, sure they can sound alike. But I think if you get used to one thing, maybe there's something to THAT. I have also noticed that I play a D-28 nut differently than my 1 3/4. Interesting stuff.
     
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  2. sothoth

    sothoth Tele-Holic Double Platinum Supporter

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    I recently fell in love with the Les Paul Traditional which has a thicker neck profile and a non-weight relieved body. It’s a heavy beast and the higher frets aren’t that easy to access. I didn’t like it at first because as a telecaster guy I felt the thicker neck was uncomfortable, the weight was unwieldy, and the overall playability was just weird feeling and now at all what I was used to. However once I started playing it more I realized that, for whatever reason, it really started to work A LOT better for me. I think it’s something about the stability created with the fatter neck and heavy body. It really feels like I can strum hard and heavy and the guitar doesn’t budge. The tone is better than the SG I have and better than the LP Std I used to have. I experimented with different pickups and found a few that I like a lot better than the Gibson stock pickups. Overall it’s easy to get similar tone from the LP and now I have to say I’m quite pleased with it and have been playing it exclusively. I bought 2 more actually :)

    As far as getting Tele tone, I think it’s pickup dependent and amp dependent but I’m not feeling like I can’t find my tone after the switch. I’m just feeling like it’s more comfortable for me to play the new rig and with some experimentation I have it dialed in. I don’t really buy the “you can’t get this sound with that guitar” kind of thinking. I think most platforms can get you most tones and the LP and telecaster are both amazing and can check a lot of the same boxes.
     
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  3. Crobbins

    Crobbins Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Whoa Tele

    Whoa Tele Friend of Leo's

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    A 4 way switch makes a tele more les paulesque in my experience.
     
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  5. Matthias

    Matthias Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    I put some epiphone humbuckers in a Squier Tele Custom II (swapped out the p90s/pickguard for a bit). That did have quite an LP tone to it! The HBs sounded better in the Squier than the Dot they came out of too.
     
  6. AJBaker

    AJBaker Friend of Leo's

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    Good low output PAF style pickups are bright, but to me they will always sound more compressed that a Tele, and won't have the same 'sparkle' in the high end. The Les Paul has a lot more low end and won't really twang I the low strings. They feel and sound softer, probably also because of the shorter scale length.

    That being said, a good Les Paul can cover a lot of ground quite convincingly.
     
  7. mkdaws32

    mkdaws32 Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    That’s why I don’t need an LP.
     
  8. ndcaster

    ndcaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    man that guy can play

    love the Django

    it sure can sound like a fat tele, but not a 60s tele
     
  9. trev333

    trev333 Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Well, they are both guitars, I suppose...:rolleyes::D
     
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  10. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Knobs + where and how you pick



    .
     
  11. 39martind18

    39martind18 Tele-Holic

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    You have described my tonal quest to a "T." "Your" sound could be radically different than mine, but getting mine, with variations, has entailed the use of semi and hollow body guitars and mini humbucker pickups. My Nashville Power Tele and double bound partscaster provide some tonal variation, but it's still "me."
     
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  12. Fendereedo

    Fendereedo Poster Extraordinaire

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    LOL! I agree, my Jazzmaster, or Jag look way cooler through a fuzz, trouble is I only have a wah pedal left. Damn, I need a fuzz pedal now!!
     
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  13. 2HBStrat

    2HBStrat Tele-Meister

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    No, I've never confused the sound of a Les Paul with the sound of a Tele, but...I have heard that the original Tele bridge pickups were different...hotter.... more P-90 like...so maybe, on the old ones...could be, I guess!
     
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  14. arlum

    arlum Tele-Meister Gold Supporter

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    To me a Telecaster type guitar with two humbuckers can sound virtually identical to a Les Paul depending on body wood choices, etc. With both being single cut body styles I find the remaining difference being the Les Paul's "glued in" neck vs. the Telecasters bolt on. I own more Telecasters than Les Pauls and prefer Telecasters over Les Pauls but I truly do believe that the Les Pauls "glued in" neck somehow results in more sustain when both types are played perfectly clean. Add any gain and everything goes out the window but, played clean, a Les Paul sustains it's notes a bit longer and the notes sound a bit "rounder" compared to the Telecasters stronger note definition. My #1 guitar is actually a combination of Telecaster and Les Paul with a deep '57 Stratocaster belly carve thrown in. A Melancon Custom T. From the front the body shape it is pure Telecaster. The neck is bolt on with a flat, (not angled), neck pocket. The neck scale length is Fenders 25.5" and the the back of the neck feels like a Telecaster. The fingerboard radius splits the difference at 10". The head stock is small and slim like a Tele and features six tuners on the top side. The pickups are Les Paul P.A.F type and the body is mahogany with a "burl" maple top, (Flat. Not carved). A three way switch gives me humbuckers in series or parallel or split for single coil tone.
    This thread attracted me because it was comparing my two favorite guitar models. I can't agree with the idea that, in their traditional builds, they sound alike. Not at all. Single coil vs. P.A.F. . Ashtray vs. Tune-O-Matic bridge. Ash or Alder vs. mahogany body wood with a maple top. "Bolt on" vs. "Glued in" neck. Flat vs. angled neck pocket. They're certainly the two best guitar builds ever, (Except for pure comfort while playing where I believe the Stratocaster owns it. That belly carve and balanced weight ratio between neck and body are the Stratocasters unmatched high points). My #1 combines all three. Three killer guitars. Each with their own highs and less highs, (no lows to mention).
     
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  15. Gretev1

    Gretev1 TDPRI Member

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    Sounds like an awesome guitar you have there! I agree that for whatever reason the Les Paul objectively sustains longer than either a Tele or a Strat. I know that much. There‘s just something about a Tele and a Les Paul especially with a small amount of gain they tend to audibly „crack“ when played hard in the high end. It sounds like someone is cracking wood. It‘s awkward to describe sounds but that‘s what they sound like when played hard and a Strat for example does not have this sound. A Strat is waaay smoother sounding. And yes, a Les Paul can never achieve that twangy, bright, shrill Tele spank. But when played loud they do have a similarity to my ear that other guitars do not. Obviously they are not interchangeably for every purpose.
     
  16. TokyoPortrait

    TokyoPortrait Tele-Afflicted

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    Hi.

    I get what you’re saying.

    But, if I were to try and build an argument for this, before I even got to the bit where there are so many variables involved, from intention, through gear and back to perception, I would start with the notion, caveat even, that one person’s “sounds similar” may well be another’s “not even close.”

    But still, I get what you’re saying. At the moment I’m imagining different guitars, in a fundamental sense and removed from the other variables, as parallel hand drawn lines down a sheet of paper, with the length of line representing everything possible for that guitar. Some lines are longer, some are shorter. Any two lines may veer away from each other at some point, or come closer together, some lines might almost touch or even intersect. The LP and the Tele are drawn side by side about centre, with other electric guitars either side, moving away as they become more dissimilar.

    But yeah, basically a bunch of wriggly wiggly lines, where they’re all kinda the same, but all kinda not, where everything seems clear, but nothing is certain.

    Pax/
    Dean
     
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  17. Jackroadkill

    Jackroadkill Tele-Meister

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    The Toanz must be kept in the upper bout.
     
  18. AJBaker

    AJBaker Friend of Leo's

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    You're not wrong!
    I know you're joking, but at the end of the day there's something to it.
    The same player will find a way to sound similar playing different guitars.
    Tone is in the head.
     
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  19. jimgchord

    jimgchord Tele-Afflicted

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    Short scale never sounds the same as long scale to my ears
     
  20. DHart

    DHart Friend of Leo's

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    I always enjoy watching Greg Koch play, but to my ears, that LP doesn't sound anything like a Tele.

    My Les Pauls and Teles have never sounded "the same". Always more articulate tonal richness and clarity, and detailed sparkle with the Teles.

    In part, perhaps, because I play clean, where the difference between single-coil pickups and humbuckers is really quite apparent.

    Just my experience, that's all. :)
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2020
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