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Telecasters and Les Paul Sound Alike...

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

  1. BignJames

    BignJames TDPRI Member

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    I've got a Korean Tele w/set neck and Duncan's (pearly gates and 'lil '59) that I think was MADE to mimic a LP.
     
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  2. rsclosson

    rsclosson Tele-Afflicted

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    In my teenage years, back in the '60s, I walked away from a pre CBS Strat offer ($150.00) because I wanted a Les Paul. I lauged at Teles because I thought they were a "country" guitar. Of course my mind opened and I love country now. It didn't connect with me that a fellow guitarist got amazing sounds with a Tele and a Super Beatle amp. I finally became a convert later in life and now my CV 50s is a prize guitar regardless of what style I am playing.
     
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  3. Gretev1

    Gretev1 Tele-Meister

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    you are absolutely right and I completely agree. A Les Paul can not achieve that crazy Telecaster twang while a Telecaster can not achieve that mid honk of a burst
    I actually think that Stratocasters and Les Pauls are as far apart as can get. That smooth Strat neck sound is unattainable on a les paul. Virtually every tone on either guitars are completely different. And yes, that country twang and spank of a Tele is also unattainable on a les paul HOWEVER the two guitars do share a tonal characteristic. Namely, if you crank them in the bridge position and play them hard they both have that tone that is hard to describe but similar. To me it sounds like „cracking a thick piece of wood“. It‘s kind of a honk with strong mids while the highs shimmer through...
     
  4. NeckP90

    NeckP90 Tele-Meister

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    Yes, you may be right. The inbetween sounds on a Strat can't be duplicated on any two pickup guitar I've ever heard?
     
  5. Fiesta Red

    Fiesta Red Poster Extraordinaire

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    I think there’s something that many of us—especially experienced players who’ve figured out how to get the sound in their head—do subconsciously when playing a different type of guitar (LP vs Tele vs Strat vs whatever).

    We adapt our technique to try to get our “Signature” tone—the sound in our head.

    I know what sound/tone I want out of my guitar. A different guitar is going to have different sound/tone qualities, but a big part of my tone (or any of us) is in the way I play.

    I’ve related that with one of my bands the other guitarist and I would do the stage trick where we’d change rigs (guitar, effects and amps) in the middle of the song. We had massively different rigs (his was brighter and more distorted, mine was fatter and punchier), and we didn’t sound exactly the same with the different setup, but the technique we used—the way we played—made each of us sound basically like ourselves.

    When I pick up a different guitar, I’ll find myself slightly adjusting my technique to try to get “That Sound” that I get from my favorite guitar(s).
     
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  6. jayroc1

    jayroc1 Tele-Meister

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    Danny Gatton played a LP
     
  7. Tim G

    Tim G Tele-Meister

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    Back when I used to play in a band, I was going through a lot of different guitars. We taped a lot of the shows we did. I know on tape I use several Telecasters, several ES-335s, a SG or 2, G&L SC2, G&L SC3, a Les Paul or 2, and probably some others. These tapes were done about 20 yrs ago. Found them the other day and wondered what kind of guitar did I use to get that sound,. The only answer I could come up with was electric. They all sounded the same.
     
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  8. Telenator

    Telenator Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    The best examples I can think of are the guitar solos in Hotel California (one Les Paul, One Tele) and Stairway to Heaven, played on a Telecaster.
     
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  9. bo

    bo Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Alike? No. But if you roll off the tone a bit on a Tele you can certainly sub for a LP if you had to.
     
  10. Jay Jernigan

    Jay Jernigan Tele-Afflicted

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    Only the best Les Pauls can do that, son; only the best.
     
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  11. hectors-bell

    hectors-bell Tele-Meister

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    Great topic! Though I can’t speak from experience, it’s my understanding that those early PAFs
    Were voiced much brighter (tele like) than the big bottom ones of today. That to me is very clear in this video. I have 5 teles and one LP, the LP sounds like NONE of my teles, so much that I’ve come an inch away from selling my LP so many times in the last few years but can’t seem to part with it. Almost 20 years with it and is definitely a part of me now.
    Any way it’s an R8 that is pretty dark in character, this time around instead of selling it I’ve decided to do an experimental over haul with some
    Custom PAFs that are most similar to the originals, namely Seths or lollars.. another step I’ve always been curious about is coil tapping,
    Thus bringing me toward the lollars though my wallet i$n’t quite ready.
    so long story medium length, I’d say it depends on the pups.
    Ps, GOD DAM I WISH I COULD PLAY LIKE HIM!
     
  12. fivewattworld

    fivewattworld TDPRI Member

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    Ok, here's the best case for AI being involved I've seen lately. I've been spending a lot of time thinking about this over the last two years. I switched to Strandberg Salens (tele-like but that's a debate for another string) and dropped a Lindy Fralin blade in the bridge. Lindy custom wound it specifically to nudge it toward being "my burst" guitar.

    But how did the email notification know ANY of this?!? Or are we ALL just thinking about this.

    To the debate I'll add Pete Thorns eloquent ramble on the subject from a few years ago (also a good unintentional "Ramble On" lesson buried in there.

     
  13. chris m.

    chris m. Poster Extraordinaire

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    It just so happens that last night I played a whole bunch of my guitars through my Rivera Fender SuperChamp, with the mid knob pulled out, on the clean channel, for an amp sound somewhere between Deluxe Reverb and Tweed. Certainly for lead bridge pickup tone I was able to dial in a surprising amount of overlap among ALL of the guitars, though this took slight adjustments to the knobs on the guitars as well as the knobs on the amp. I could still hear slight differences associated with each guitar's pickups and character, but I was actually surprised at how good, and how similar, I could get them all to sound. This includes:

    - Tele with Cavalier Huge Lion bridge pup
    - Les Paul Trad Pro with coil taps
    - cheap Les Paul Jr. copy with cheap P90 dogear
    - Player Jazzmaster w/ hotter P90-esque pickups
    - DeArmond Guild M75T with Dynasonic 2k pickups
    - Ibanez RGAT62 with fairly hot DiMarzio A5 pickups
    - Ibanez AS153 335 style guitar with SM58 humbuckers
    - Partscaster Strat with David Gilmour DG20 EMG active pickup set and SPC/EXG controls
    - MIM Strat with HSS pickups replaced by me, A5 DiMarzio (Fred, I think) in the bridge.

    This was all part of an exercise to try and decide which one or two I might sell as being the least
    desirable for me out of this collection. My conclusion was they all sound good and all work for me.
    The LP and the M75T are somewhat on the bubble just because they are heavy. So if I had to sell something one of them might have to go. The MIM Strat could go, too, because it is fairly redundant.

    I like the hotter pickup in the Tele because lighter wind Tele bridge pickups are just a bit too ice-picky
    for my tastes...although with knob adjustments this can be dialed back. I just never really want quite that much upper treble so prefer something with more girth instead.

    The P90 and the P90-esque pickups really had a special bark to them that none of the others quite matched, but they also were just a touch woolier in the mids, too.

    The PAF-ish pickups-- 57 Classics in the LP and SM58s in the Ibanez were very similar to the P90s in many ways, but had slightly more clarity in certain frequencies but with a little loss of the unique bark.

    The Dynasonic 2ks are kind of half way between a P90 and a single coil-- more clarity but with nice girth and bark.

    The hotter DiMarzios could get close to PAFs if I just backed down the volume knob on the guitar and also reduced the gain a little on the amp. But slightly less nuanced tonal palette.

    But all these differences were noticeable but not dramatic, IMO. The beefier single coils I tend to favor really had a ton of overlap with the other pickups. Something like Fender OV would probably be further out on the bell curve.

    Greatest deal ever is my cheap AXL LP Jr. With tweaking of volume and tone knob this guitar gets an amazing variety of tones, is super light, super simple, and super fun. Sure the frets could use a polish and the fingerboard needs an oiling but out of the box it has been amazingly great.

    Found this photo on EBay of one identical to mine. The P90 is allegedly alnico--

    upload_2020-3-27_8-21-24.png
     
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  14. OneWatt

    OneWatt TDPRI Member

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    Indeed ... when I hear kids crank up their distortion boxes, it makes me wonder why they even care what guitar they're clutching.

    Love it. Well put. ;)
     
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  15. Leo Paul

    Leo Paul TDPRI Member

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    I play clean, nothing but, through through Fender amps at moderate volume levels, never any overdrive or distortion. At the same amp settings, my American Ultra Tele and my Les Paul Traditional Pro II definitely do not sound the same, not even remotely alike.
     
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  16. Impala

    Impala Tele-Meister

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    Original Les Pauls were meant to sound jangly; the best PAFs have a clear output and aren't overtly hot. If you analize it, a humbucker is very similar tonally to a P-90 pickup. I believe they wanted to keep the basic tone of the P-90 but do away with the noise. That being said I believe Teles and Les Pauls are different animals; with Telecasters being more versatile; running all the way from Country and chicken picking styles through Jazz such as Jimmy Bryant to heavy Rock such as early Led Zeppelin.
     
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  17. chris m.

    chris m. Poster Extraordinaire

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    With the magic of EQ and post-processing you can probably get almost any guitar to sound like any other....nowadays people record a bone dry signal and then re-amp and re-EQ like crazy.

    Similarly, with the incredible range of adjustment built into modelers like Helix and Kemper you can probably tweak your signal to compensate for almost any guitar you might plug into the front end.

    But if you are plugging your guitar straight into your amp in order to play live then the right guitar/amp combination for your needs will make it easier to quickly dial in the sound you are looking for. A few well chosen pedals can make it even easier, usually.
     
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  18. Paulie_Boy

    Paulie_Boy Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    I agree. That's why sloppy players can't live without it. Driving your amp is one thing, but distortion stomp boxes are typically nothing more than crutches used to cover-up poor technique. We've all known guitar owners that wouldn't dare plug-in without it. I hate it, but your body, your choice.
     
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  19. viking

    viking Friend of Leo's

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    PAFs were meant to sound like P90s , without the hum.
    If you want to , a Les Paul can twang , and a Tele can scream like a Les Paul.
    Im not a country fan , it's probably the genre I dislike the most
    Still , that's what I hear
    People spend all kinds of big bux on special pu's
    So many could benefit from just getting a humble EQ pedal.
     
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  20. sothoth

    sothoth Tele-Holic Platinum Supporter

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    Well I don’t think the point was that they two guitars sound identical. To me, and as a few other astute posters have pointed out, the original broadcaster pickups were hotter and more throaty sounding (slightly P90 ish) than a lot are today, and the very early PAFs were sweeter and more articulate than a lot are today. They probably had more similarity at that point. I think there are cases where modern versions are like that still.

    I don’t think anyone was saying that a discerning ear couldn’t differentiate because they’re so similar, just that there are cases of sonic overlap.

    Both guitars still have their own unique tone.
     
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