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What makes a tele, a tele?

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by sergiomajluf, Apr 8, 2017.

  1. Frfly

    Frfly TDPRI Member

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    I'd like the bottom one if the ears didn't come in for cutaway, more like a small dreadnought. I don't need the extra fret access if my guitar looks good.
     
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  2. DanDII

    DanDII Tele-Meister

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    Ash, Maple, B-Bender, and tapped P 90s. It does a surprisingly good Tele impersonation.


    [​IMG]
     
  3. Mxrk

    Mxrk Tele-Meister

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    Who's the maker on that?
     
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  4. burntfrijoles

    burntfrijoles Poster Extraordinaire

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    Mostly wood, metal with a few other materials and a a couple of trademarks.
     
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  5. tfarny

    tfarny Friend of Leo's

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  6. swany

    swany Tele-Meister

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    What makes a Tele?, for me it's the shape of the pickguard and then the bridge plate that immediately come to mind. Of coarse the headstock and overall shape as well but it's basically an old fender lap steel with a body, that's why I like it.
     
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  7. fjrabon

    fjrabon Tele-Afflicted

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    Body shape is really 99% of the equation.

    Things like pickguard, pickups, bridge, headstock, scale length, etc contribute to make it closer or further from dead center, but if it's got the body shape it's a telecaster and if it doesn't it's not.

    Then of course the Esquire throws a monkey wrench into all that because somehow it's not a telecaster.

    Very few people debate whether or not a neck humbucker is a telecaster. A fun question I think about sometimes: if Fender released a Tele shaped guitar with Tele headstock shape, traditional Tele pickguard and controls, metal bridge plate, but instead had a single humbucker on the metal plate, would we call it an Esquire or a telecaster?
     
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  8. jjudas

    jjudas Tele-Meister

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    Ya'll are complicating things. Only Fender and Squier make Telecasters and it says so on the headstock. All other brand Tele type guitars and partscasters are T-types. It's as simple as that.
     
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  9. Piggy Stu

    Piggy Stu Friend of Leo's

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    'Ship of Theseus' is about whether an object retains its identity when every element is changed. I think if I bought Muddy Waters' guitar and replaced every single part it wouldn't be his. The guitar and ship are unique and the analogy is about gradual loss of identity

    A Telecaster is best defined to me by everything that can be changed but Fender still sell it as one. Belly cut/resonance chamber/humbuckers/etc all don't kill it. I think the body outline and headstock is the true answer to what is the ultimate test of tele/non tele

    But if the question is 'what makes it great', I reckon small headstock, extra neck support from only having 1 cutaway, and the metal plate the bridge pickup sits in

    I think the most important part of the whole guitar's character is the bridge plate surrounding the pickup, for the funny thing it does to the bridge pickup
     
  10. Lefty Addams

    Lefty Addams Tele-Afflicted

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    1. The Shape
    2. The Simplicity
    3. The Sound!
     
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  11. dsutton24

    dsutton24 Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I don't get hung up on what anyone else thinks my guitar is called.
     
  12. flyingbanana

    flyingbanana Poster Extraordinaire

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    It's magic, and not just for fat older guys now...especially when you put in a hotter bridge like a BKP Flat 50's bridge, or a Paul Bunyan from Zhangbucker Pickups.
     
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  13. DanDII

    DanDII Tele-Meister

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    It's a Gibson "Music City Junior w/B Bender".

    The 'taps' on the P90s bring the output down to around typical Tele outputs but the P90s, even when tapped, are a bit fatter tonally than F style single coils. ;)
     
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  14. Vermoulian

    Vermoulian Tele-Meister

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    There are lots of characteristics that might be described as hallmarks of Telecasterism, but if the question is, "What makes it a Tele?", I've got to agree with the people who have said it's shape, and here's why:

    Say you're in a store or a studio with a friend. There are a dozen different guitars hanging on the wall. Your friend says, "Hey, hand me that Tele!" Which one do you grab? If you're honest, I think everybody here would grab the one with the standard Tele body outline, even if there's something else with the exact Tele electronics and the only Tele-bodied guitar is a set-neck with humbuckers.

    There was a thread on almost this exact topic on TalkBass recently, except it was "when it a P-bass a P-bass?" With Tele's I think there's even less strength to arguments about pickups or hardware because there are so many legit Tele models, in some cases going back many years, that vary from the original solid ash/single coils/ashtray bridge template.
     
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  15. terrybellcountr

    terrybellcountr Tele-Holic Gold Supporter

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    Telecaster is a registered tradmark owned and controlled by a company called Fender Musical Instruments Corporation (FMIC). FMIC can put the name Telecaster on any product they like. They usually brand a certain guitarmodel, described by a lot of TDPRI members above. All other luthiers can make T-style guitars, but no Telecasters. So an answer to your question: FMIC
     
  16. Piggy Stu

    Piggy Stu Friend of Leo's

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    So if it was totally unbranded by fender, would you be unable to identify it?

    If they put a telecaster logo on an sg, would that be a telecaster?
     
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  17. 5ofeight

    5ofeight Tele-Holic

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    Dont know about anyone else but I like that...
     
  18. SecretSquirrel

    SecretSquirrel Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I'm no expert but naturally have firm opinions on this matter :D and Jupiter summed it up well on these points:

    If a Telecaster has humbucker pickups, I call it "a Telecaster with humbucker pickups." I don't think the offset Fender Teles are a crime, but to me, they're not Telecasters; I'd say, "oh! an offset Fender with all Tele hardware!"

    To me, a non-Fender tele-type guitar is a "small 't' tele," dropping the 'caster.



    :) I also really like this "has any two of the following" criteria:

     
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  19. Matthias

    Matthias Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    Shape. Then simplicity. The Telecaster is an exercise in minimalism. It's not fancypants like Strats or Les Pauls. It's not claiming any technical marvels or patents next to the name. The shapes are simple. The headstock is unassuming. Function over form. Honest, trustworthy, gets the job done.

    Now, it's not like Fender haven't tried to make fancypants Teles since, and some are very nice, but the one that springs to mind is always the original from 1950. And even the fancypants ones have that air of simplicity.
     
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  20. TwangToInfinity

    TwangToInfinity Tele-Afflicted

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    for me it is the sound

    when i was a kid i liked the certain kind of guitar sound i heard in songs.

    i didnt know it then but that sound was the telecaster.
     
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