Tone difference between Tele & SG with same pickups?

Discussion in 'Other T-Types and Partscasters' started by wabashslim, Jun 18, 2021.

  1. wabashslim

    wabashslim Friend of Leo's

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    So how different would a Warmoth ash-body, maple-on-maple fat-neck Tele with PAF-type p'ups sound from an SG type with the same pickups?

    Lord help me, I'm looking at my router and thinking bad thoughts right now...
     
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  2. Danb541

    Danb541 Friend of Leo's

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    Not much difference IMHO. Any differences would more than likely be attributed to pickup height and other variables, wiring and like the scale length difference will causing different string tension which will change things. I've swapped the same pickups in to different guitars many times, not a big tonal difference really.
     
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  3. Chester P Squier

    Chester P Squier Tele-Holic

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    I'm thinking the shape of the sound in time would be affected by the difference between a bolt-on neck versus a set and glued neck.

    That is, the attack and decay, with or without a little bit of swell or something.
     
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  4. guitar_paul1

    guitar_paul1 Tele-Meister

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    I put tele pickups in a danelectro many years ago (1969 -- karma forgive me!)and it didn't sound so good.
    I didn't learn for a long time that pickup placement has a huge effect.

    Before you rout, make a little jig so you can suspend the pickup above the string and listen as you move it back and forth.
     
  5. wabashslim

    wabashslim Friend of Leo's

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    My only humbucker guitar right now is an Ibanez AF75 jazzbox with Duncan 59 & JBs. Great guitar, but I've got a pair of Pearly Gates languishing in a drawer. Meanwhile I've got 2 Teles, thinking of putting the Twang Kings in my 52RI and routing the Warmoth for 'buckers. Already got the Tele-bucker bridge. It's a one-way mangling I know but I'd really like another humbucker guitar without actually getting another guitar. Just got rid of 3 last week - space problems. I just don't want to end up with a guitar that sounds like mismatched blech.
     
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  6. wabashslim

    wabashslim Friend of Leo's

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    I began working on something like that years ago, never finished it. It's just a couple rails attached at both ends that sat above the guitar top and the pickups just laid on them. In my experiments it seemed like the magnetic fields of the existing pickups interfered with the trial pickups.

    Great minds think alike!
     
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  7. guitar_paul1

    guitar_paul1 Tele-Meister

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    Agreed. You have to have a blank top with no pickups in it to really hear what's what.
     
  8. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Poster Extraordinaire

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    In theory the shorter SG scale should have more partials and the longer Fender scale should be biased towards the fundamental. All other things held the same, which of course they aren't.

    The other factor is if the pickups are not in the same position relative to the scale (ie if the pole piece of one is at the 24th fret and the other is at the 23rd) you will get a difference in partials. I know where a humbucker is located on a SG, not sure on the fender.

    And while I have no idea what it is, the difference between ash and mahogany has to make some difference - density, stiffness, speed of sound, dampening.
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2021
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  9. Zepfan

    Zepfan Doctor of Teleocity Gold Supporter

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    Scale length will make a difference and contrary to what some think, wood type will also be a factor along with bridge type/string angle and string through vs. stop tail.
     
  10. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    IME generally pickups wont change a guitars character entirely. At least with popular pickups, something extreme is another thing. There is some change in tone, but it wont make your favorite Strat do Les Paul... or vice versa.
    I've put P90's, Mini's, HB's, and more in Strats. It's not huge. I've put all of those and Strat Single coils in LP's , not a huge change either. I've put various types in a Gretsch Streamliner... very little change. I've put nearly every pickup known to man :)lol:) in a Gibson L6s all Maple guitar and it was still bright and sterile as hell!
     
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  11. dougstrum

    dougstrum Friend of Leo's

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    Router and bad thoughts~better use a jig and hang on:eek:

    Hard to really know how a particular combination of materials and parts will sound;:confused: it all has an effect on the final tone. That said humbuckers have a very different character than single coils. The pickups you choose will have the biggest impact on how your guitar will sound.
    In the last few years I have found neck humbucker with a single coil at the bridge is a mighty versatile setup;)
     
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  12. vhilts1

    vhilts1 Tele-Holic

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    IME

    ....bolt on vs set neck provides some difference

    .....as others have mentioned your scale lengths will change....that will make difference too...
     
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  13. JL_LI

    JL_LI Poster Extraordinaire

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    I stills sound like me on all my guitars. Single coil, noiseless, HB, Filter-Tron, I still sound like me. I think that may have as much to do with the finger styles I use as anything else. Choose a comfortable neck profile. Choose a scale length. Choose a control layout. Personally, I never use humbuckers except blended so individual volume controls is important. Play music. That’s what guitars are for. I thought every new guitar I got had magic, or maybe mojo. Magic is learned. I learned it practicing.
     
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  14. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Poster Extraordinaire

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    One of the things that I've been doing a lot lately is taking audio spectrums when I change a part. I have not done it (yet) with two solid body guitars, but I have a perfect candidate (I built two les pauls, one of them is chambered, one is solid. They have the same pups, electronics and woods - side by side we hear a very slight difference. The analyzer would (maybe) let me see what it is).

    Here is one example however, here are two different humbucking pickups in the same guitar, same amp and electronics. In both cases its the same note (A2) but you can see that the partials are quite different. The waveforms agree with what we think we hear - the Porter is a little "lusher" and "more complex", the Righteous was brighter.

    Anyway, you could do something similar if you had both guitars


    Jag-neck-1.jpg
     
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  15. wabashslim

    wabashslim Friend of Leo's

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    My main concern is - will all these differences counter the factors that make a good humbucker what it should be - fat, round & sweet? I'm most concerned about the wood - mahogany really seems to be the co-conspirator in producing that sound; ash & maple are usually considered bright or even "scoopy" and in my own building experience that's true.

    I recently disassembled a Strat that had 3 Hot Rails neck pickups in it. All were splittable and made for some good sounds in all positions. Since I had Warmoth rout for Strat-sized N-M pickups in this Tele body I just might install these HRs in it and put my unused Quarter Pounder in the bridge. That way - an adventure I can return from unscathed but wiser.
     
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  16. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Poster Extraordinaire

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    My personal feeling is that wood has such a small impact on the tone of an electric guitar that I never worry about it. I mostly use mahogany for my bodies, I've never used ash or alder. I use a lot of humbuckers and there are very big differences between pups (as my little graph above shows). You have a lot of options - you could make your body out of mahogany, you could put a short scale conversion neck on it.
     
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  17. DjimiWrey

    DjimiWrey Tele-Holic

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    totally agree with the wood types and resonance...
    even between some telecasters.
    especially thinlines vs. standard
    so the thinner sg with mahogany will sound different (to some)
    but everything matters to some degree. neck wood and thickness, set vs. bolt, saddles, etc
     
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  18. TwoBear

    TwoBear Tele-Afflicted

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    When I’ve cut my own bodies and made my own guitars like that, I would string them up and do as you were saying, holding and moving the pick up and I would also look for the false harmonics like where the 24th fret would be, same if there was a middle pick up , All the way back to the lead pick up area, where you still get false harmonics like Jeff Beck or Rory Gallagher.
     
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  19. Wayne Alexander

    Wayne Alexander Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    An SG and a Les Paul (and even a 335) with identical pickups can sound pretty similar to each other if you dial them in with that goal, though they clearly can sound different from each other with other settings. A tele with the same humbucker pickups will not sound too much like the Gibsons. It'll sound like a tele with humbuckers. That's not a bad thing, but it's a different sonic character. Lots of things influence that - scale length, the thickness/mass and wood type of the neck, body wood (lesser influence than the neck composition), tuners (heavy ones like Grovers sound and behave differently than light ones like Klusons), bridge type, pickup location, probably ten other factors as well. There's nothing wrong with a tele with humbuckers but it won't sound like an SG.
     
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  20. old wrench

    old wrench Friend of Leo's

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    Ash body, all maple neck, and a pair of Duncan/Lover (SH-55) humbuckers sounds great :).

    I built one using a Tele half bridge, and used the 25" scale for the neck.

    It's one of my favorite sounding guitars ever ;).

    Fire up that router! :)

    .
     
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