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What makes a tele, a tele?

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

  1. a_pidgeon

    a_pidgeon Tele-Meister

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    If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it's a duck...unless it isn't :confused:
     
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  2. terrybellcountr

    terrybellcountr Tele-Holic Gold Supporter

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    If it's not branded by Fender, it's not a Telecaster. I might be a "telecaster-looking" guitar. FMIC owns the right to the name "Telecaster". Look at the (R) just after the name. There are international to follow here. And I would identify it as a "telecaster-looking" or a "T-style guitar"

    If "they", and i suppose you mean Fender, put a Telecaster logo on an SG (wich is a Gibson guitar, but I don't know at the moment if Gibson has made a trademark from it) , I suppose that the marketing people at FMIC will come up with a very good explanation why they are changing the looks on one of their most famous products, and in the same moment explain why they bought Gibson. But, yes, FMIC can brand any of their products Telecaster, and we, the players, have to accept that. We might not like it, but still, accept it.
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2017
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  3. koko1

    koko1 TDPRI Member

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    Body shape only. My homebrew CBG has all parts from a Tele except body, but i would never name this CGB a Tele.
     
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  4. Piggy Stu

    Piggy Stu Friend of Leo's

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    Whilst I know that the name is a legal trademark, the identity goes beyond the name

    Coca Cola could rename Coke as Fanta if they wanted, but it doesn't really answer the question 'what makes Coca Cola' to say 'whatever the company applies the trademark to is what gives the product its identity'. The identity and history of the product is not its name. If it had remained being called a Broadcaster it would still be the same question. The OP is not enquiring about intellectual property law, but the quintessence of the guitar. A decal is the last thing you can hear or feel when you play it

    If Coca Cola buys FMIC tomorrow and uses the name for Coke, will you be posting tomorrow night that a Telecaster is a carbonated cola drink?
     
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  5. KB11

    KB11 TDPRI Member

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    Really! It's the sound!
    Pickups and the bridge with the pickup attached to a piece of steel.
    The body shape is comfortable and beautiful.
     
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  6. radiocaster

    radiocaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    Just the shape really. You can put the same kind of pickups and some of the hardware on a Flying V, and it still won't be a telecaster. Depends how much you can distort the shape and make it another model, then it's just opinion as to how much.

    And if you put P-90s on it, it still won't be a Les Paul Special...
     
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  7. terrybellcountr

    terrybellcountr Tele-Holic Gold Supporter

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    Since you can get the "telecaster"-sound from any luthier with some knowledge, and they all refer their products to t-style guitars, I still think that only FMIC can make a Telecaster. So what makes a twanging, single-coil sounding guitar? Some pieces of wood, a certain type of pickups, that steel bridge, a bolt on neck, string-thru-body. And your right, the decal is not a part of the sound.

    Don't misunderstand me. I am big fan of Leo F and I'm very impressed over what he have done for modern music. Don't forget all the amps! But a Telecaster is a FMIC product. End of discussion.
     
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  8. lammie200

    lammie200 Friend of Leo's

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    Teles have very distinct body and headstock shapes. If the guitar in question doesn't have those then I hesitate to call it a Tele or a Tele-type of guitar. Probably more so for the body than the headstock, but they both are unique to the model.
     
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  9. Piggy Stu

    Piggy Stu Friend of Leo's

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    Thank you for ending the discussion

    If you really think the OP wanted as an answer 'telecaster is a trademark of fender and they can apply it to what they like' then you answered their question

    You're the only person answering this who has interpreted the question in any such literal legal way, but I don't think you answered what the poster wanted to ask
     
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  10. AngelDeville

    AngelDeville Tele-Afflicted

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    No matter who makes it, if it reminds me of a Tele, I call it a Tele, none of this T-Type crap.

    Some other brands have super horrible headstock shapes, and I tend to just ignore them.

    I like G&L and Fender headstocks, and even the Ampeg Stud is OK by me.



    "Those aren't stock strap buttons so THAT is not a Telecaster"!

    "The neck pickup is reverse wound so THAT is not a Telecaster"!

    "Those aren't stock strings so THAT is not a Telecaster"!

    There are a lot of Dbags in the world I wouldn't have a beer with....
     
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  11. Piggy Stu

    Piggy Stu Friend of Leo's

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    Having studied law at university and spent much of my career in court I can understand why, when duplicating an object well out of patent protection, vendors avoid trademark infringement

    We all know a Tellykasta when we see one. Let the pedants have their dummy
     
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  12. tery

    tery Doctor of Teleocity

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    What it says on the Headstock is what it is :cool:
     
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  13. ebb soul

    ebb soul Poster Extraordinaire

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    I think a tele is a tele because of the original bridge, and pickup assembly. How they work, together.
    Nik those components, it is no longer a tele regardless of what the headstock may say.
    I do not, however, think six saddle bridges keep a tele from, errr,...being one.
     
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  14. radiocaster

    radiocaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    What about this Bender Jellycaster (yes, it is real)?
    [​IMG]
     
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  15. Piggy Stu

    Piggy Stu Friend of Leo's

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    Something obscene about that to my mind
     
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  16. RevBillyG

    RevBillyG Tele-Meister

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    For a time, Gibson tried to call them Les Pauls. Put the signature on the headstock & everything.
     
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  17. ebb soul

    ebb soul Poster Extraordinaire

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    Hand a blind man a 'telecaster shaped' thingy with humbuckers he will let you know your mistake posthaste.
    I stick to my definition.
     
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  18. Piggy Stu

    Piggy Stu Friend of Leo's

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    I think Gibson had some trail on understanding with Lester himself and naming the early sg as a les paul was no more guilty than Apple calling a new iMac an iMac when they took out the crt screen

    I understand when Lester asked for the name to be removed, they did. No one was being tricked in the purchase

    Ps: my question was rhetorical, to illustrate the absurdity that the application of the trademark to anything would make its essence what we know to be a telecaster, not an allusion to Les Paul's putting his name on Gibson guitars
     
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  19. Piggy Stu

    Piggy Stu Friend of Leo's

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    I understand what you're saying but I will let you be the one to put Keith Richards straight
     
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  20. dalto

    dalto TDPRI Member

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    If we need an answer in absolute terms than I don't see how it could be anything other than it legally says "Telecaster" on the headstock.

    If we are willing to accept a more subjective answer than for me it would be that the profile of the guitar(including the headstock) does not stray too far from the design of the original.

    • I would still call a tele with humbuckers a tele.
    • I would call a tele with a belly cut a tele
    • Put a gibson style 3x3 headstock on a tele and I think it is now something else
    • Make radical changes to the body and it is something else
    • Put a bigsby on it, it is still a tele
    Although I would not describe it this way I think you could just as easily make the argument that a tele is defined by it's relatively distinct sound.

    It is way too subjective though.
     
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