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Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by Digiplay, May 19, 2019.
I'd say the sound is a feel... the feel of two knobs and a switch.
the tele sound is "in your face".. up front, not warm and fuzzy.... a bit brash on their own, but they find their way out of any mix to claim their place.... I'm here...
Before you can define the Telecaster sound, you have to decide WHICH Telecaster sound.
I can't define it .. but I know it when I hear it ... Please reference a famous Supreme Court Justice opinion on pornography ...
Here is what I think, probably not much good for the thread:
I have three Tele’s:
A $100 cheapie i souped up to, more or less, a Ritchie Kotzen guitar.
A partscaster Esquire I built with a super distortion Dimarzio and only a volume control.
Aa Epiphone traditional bound sunburst Tele with a rosewood fingerboard and traditional twangy pickups
The first two are rock and roll guitars meant to be played through a dimed amp with a tube screamer or whatever, which is the style I play most of the time.
The sunburst is, I think, what the OP is referring to when he asks about the “traditional Tele” sounds.
The first two represent the fact that pretty much any guitar can be fixed to get a tone you want.
I'd probably load string-through and record some snippets in clean, crunch, and distortion straight into 2 different amps. Then use the same strings and top-load, record the same stuff through the same amps, same settings, etc. and then upload results here. Probably just one mic at one position on each amp for the sake of simplicity. But, cut it so it's presented as:
1. All string through sounds
2. All top load sounds
3. Alternating each gain level between the two back-to-back, one amp after the other.
It took three pages to describe the sound of a Tele
It really takes a lifetime................................................
The variety of sounds you can get out of a tele are what make it such a great guitar.
This one of the great tones you can get out of a tele.
It’s impossible to codify of course, but for me it’s something to do with having the bite to cut through a mix or a live sound.
Sure, telecasters can sound different. That's what volume, tone, amp settings and a myriad of pedals are for, but when I think of "the" telecaster sound, the sound that you can't make with any other guitar, it's that bright twangy Brent Mason / Brad Paisley / Don Rich type of sound.
After decades of hero worship, I finally came to terms with the fact that I always sound like me, no matter what I pick up.
Laying my hands on Roy Buchanan’s Telecaster isn’t going to make me play or sound like him. The same goes for Clapton’s SG and Eric Johnson’s Strat.
Now that I’ve made my peace with that, why do I mostly gravitate towards my tele partscaster? Because out of all of the different ways I can sound, this is the one that I like the most.
Regardless of whether it’s for looks, feel, tone, or nostalgia, each part is on there for a reason.
It turns out that I’m a blackguard, mahogany thinline, 1 7/8” ‘54 contour roasted maple, 10” radius, stainless medium-jumbo, vintage tuner, Tusq nut, Wilde neo Microcoil, 4-way, cut-down ashtray, sealed Bournes pot, Brenner piezo-one, stereo output kind of guy...
If you ask me, this exemplifies the Tele sound.
I haven’t read any of the replies. But, to me, the telecaster sound is the way a particular guitar sounded when I was 16. I was invited to play at some of my high school friends garage. They had all the equipment for a good surf band. It was my first exposure to professional equipment and sounds. They had a telecaster that was strung fairly heavily as I recall — maybe a 0.050 for the low E. It had this indescribable sound – – something like a harpsichord, something very bright and sunny. It’s almost like it provided its own octave and fifth harmonics automatically. To me, it sounds golden, or yellow. If you go for a very low set up, it’s very spanky – – that is, the string slaps against the fingerboard every time you pick. For some reason, that’s a very attractive country sound.
Bill Kirchen is a national treasure, and a hell of a nice guy, too.
The telecaster sound? Best I ever saw was Steve Cropper playing with Neil Young. Lots of sounds.
I'm going to state the obvious and cop out: The Tele Sound is what you make it. I personally think that it should be made on a Tele, but it's not A Tele Sound, it's The.
Probably something with a maple fretboard made before 1959 is the closest. Although, Seymour Duncan makes a pickup that compensates for the tonal differences in rosewood fretboards. Modern guitars can get there, too. Ash body, maple fretboard and pickups wound to 50's specs ought to do it. As time passes the wood in a guitar changes its tone slightly as it ages. Pickups do change over time, as well. You'll still wind up in the right tonal neighborhood, though.
I distinctly remember one of the first demos I ever recorded, back in 1993. I had just graduated from high school and just gotten a new Fostex 4-track cassette recorder, an ‘81 Les Paul Custom, and a crappy Crate G15R practice amp (because my other amps were too big).
I did a dual lead thing, with the LPC doing rhythm and one lead and my ‘91 MIM Tele doing the second lead. The Tele, in original condition and with a crappy setup completely blew away the LPC. It captured every little nuance of what I was doing. It screamed, it spoke, it twanged, it had soul, it got what I was “saying.” The LPC was just sort of there, but nothing to write home about. The LPC is long gone, but I still have that Tele.