"THE" Strat sound versus "THE" Tele sound.

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by Digiplay, Jan 16, 2021.

  1. MusicManD

    MusicManD Strat-Talk Member

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    My very first Tele was a Nashville Deluxe that I got in a trade.

    It was a killer guitar, but I didn't love the neck. The reason I traded it away, though, was because it sounded too much like a Strat and not that Tele tone in my head.

    I LOVE the neck + bridge Tele position - it's such a versatile thing. I've been tempted to rewire my Strat to get that combination, but I haven't yet, and frankly don't think it would sound the same. My Les Paul will do coil splitting and can get somewhere in the neighborhood with both coils split, but my Strat definitely sounds like a Strat in all positions.
     
  2. nickmsmith

    nickmsmith Dr. Stratster

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    Swap the middle and neck pickup positions in the pickguard, if you want to have the Tele position, and the neck/mid position. Switch bridge and mid if you want to have the Tele position and the bridge/mid position. I do that on almost all of my strats.

    also, I did it on my Nashville Tele, so I had the neck and mid pickup combo with little modification. I never use the bridge/mid combo anyway.
     
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  3. silhouette

    silhouette Strat-O-Master

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    No.

    In answer to the first post
     
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  4. chicago slim

    chicago slim Senior Stratmaster

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    My first suggestion is swicth to hotter single coil pickups and learn to use your volume control.

    I had good luck with HH Blacktop Strats with a 5-way super switch. You can then select the outer coils.

    [​IMG]

    While playing for country artists I carried my Tele as backup and recorded with a Swamp Ash Special. They thought that the SAS sounded twangy-er. I also played an Areodyne Strat, wired for neck and bridge pickups, together, tone control on the bridge.

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2021
  5. MusicManD

    MusicManD Strat-Talk Member

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    That's my problem - I love the bridge/mid as well as the bridge/neck. For the longest time I thought about getting a superswitch (I think that's what it's called) to get neck - neck/mid - neck/bridge - mid/bridge - bridge... but I've recently started actually using the middle pickup, so even that's out. The other option is to wire a master tone and a knob to blend in the bridge at any position... but I'm to the point now where I'm oaky with not having the bridge/neck. I have a Tele for that, after all. :)

    I seriously considered doing that with my Nashville Tele. It was a super nice guitar, but I discovered my hand really didn't like the neck - it hurt after about 45 minutes. I don't know how much of that was just because it was narrower than my Strat and Les Paul or what. I don't know if I would have gotten used to it either... between the uncomfortable neck and the overlap with my Strat, I ended up trading it... don't remember for what because THAT guitar is long gone as well, lol.
     
  6. archetype

    archetype Senior Stratmaster

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    You might hear some difference unplugged. The amplified tone is what matters, IMO.
     
  7. fezz parka

    fezz parka fezz parka

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    I can make either sound the way I want them to sound.

    As someone who dislikes quack...I wire my strats like a post 67 Tele. 3 way switch...B/BN/N.

    The one thing a Strat can't duplicate is the Tele bridge sound.
     
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  8. dahrk713

    dahrk713 New Member!

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    :thumbd:
    Blackmore Strat? :thumb:
     
  9. metrokosmiko

    metrokosmiko Strat-Talk Member

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    If you're the kind of strat player that changes the bridge pickup to something else, a Telecaster with a Strat middle AND neck pickup and some advanced switching (so you can get all strat and tele tones) is strictly better than a Strat.

    I had my Deluxe Nashville Telecaster modded like this with a 4-way switch. It gave me bridge / bridge and neck / middle / neck. I didn't have the strat 'quack' sounds but I never use them.

    If it had a strat body I wouldn't have sold it to fund a Strat.
     
  10. qblue

    qblue Senior Stratmaster

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    Ok this discussion needs comparisons to normal Fender products, without mods.

    In a word, no, that a Strat can deliver a Tele sound.

    I have 1970 Strat, which had a 3-way switch, until 2010. A 5 way switch was installed. Both iterations could not sound like a Tele, especially in the bridge position. The pickups are the original ones, with the outputs of a set of CS '69, not exceeding 5.6-5.8 kHz. No chance at all.

    Let's move to 1990, when out of exasperation, I bought a HSS Strat Ultra, with Lace Sensors. In the bridge it has a Red dually, each having outputs of 14 kHz. Even this advantage of output superiority doesn't have the thick meaty sound of a Tele bridge. And though its 5-way switch has the factory installed #3 position of the bridge + neck setting, the Tele is a beast compared to the Strat.

    So despite the fact of higher pickup outputs (like most modern Strats after 1990), rewired #3 position 5-way switch, there is no way a Strat gets close to a Tele sound.

    The 2007 Baja Tele has another twist. The Broadcaster bridge pickup has an output close to 8.5-9.0 kHz range, likely due to the pickup windings with 43AWG wire, thinner than the normal 42AWG wire, used in most pickups. This pickup is a tone surfer's dream. The 4-way switch it has should be in every Tele like the 5-way in Strats. I like tone surfing the bridge pickup; there is no comparison. The S1 switch engaged in the 2nd position ( out-of-phase in series and both pickups on) makes a very serviceable Strat sound, too.

    Stop the nonsense! The Strat is still a Strat, with a thinner sound than a Tele. That's it. A Tele has a chance to sound like a Strat, like a Nashville Tele or 4-way switch installed Tele. But both are unique, at least to my ears.
     
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  11. The Ballzz

    The Ballzz Senior Stratmaster

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    Well, here was a goofy experiment on a very inexpensive guitar (I got two of these Triple Teles for $349 each, brand new, to my door) and although the execution is a bit crude, the results were quite enlightening! They were supposed to have three "No-Caster" pups in each, but one came with two "No-Casters" and a "58" in the bridge. The "58" is a bit more powerful and "brash" than the "No-Caster" pups, as well as being reversed magnetic and electrical polarity. After routing for the trem, I swapped the "58" to the middle position and wired it as follows, with a 5-position/4-pole SuperSwitch and a stacked (not dual concentric) 500K/250K volume pot and master "no-load" tone control:

    #1> Bridge only, through 250K volume
    A> Even without the Tele bridge plate, this position is "ALL TELE" without a doubt!​
    #2> Bridge & middle in parallel, 250K volume
    A> This position yields a very authentic Strat #2 tone, with the volume set between 8 1/2 and 9.
    B> With the volume on ten, this gives a very nice Strat #2 "quack" tone, on steroids, with that added power of the Tele bridge pups!​
    #3> Bridge>middle in series, 500K volume
    A> This provides the most accurate approximation of a great humbucker that I've ever heard from two single coils wired in series!
    B> Having it run through the 500K pot alleviates the slght "dullness" often associated with wiring two single coils in series with a 250K pot.​
    #4> Middle & Neck in parallel, 250K volume
    A> Just like position #2, but with that Middle & Neck character.​
    #5> Neck only, 250K volume
    A> This is the most disappointing position. While it gets some nice sounds, it can't even come close to the glorious "Strat Neck Only" sound! Of course, given my pickup mounting, I've not been able to try the pickup height as low as I'd like and once I actually get the guitar finished up with pick guard mounted pups, it may get a bit closer!
    The addition of the wiggle stick provides that Strat "spring ring/sing" that many folks try to eliminate. And except for the tiny vintage frets and maple finger board (I seriously dislike both) the guitar is a very fun guitar to play, from a tonal standpoint. My plan is to re-fret with taller stainless frets and that may lessen my hatred of the maple, just a bit. Another difficulty of using Tele bridge pups in the middle and neck positions is that the high E string can easily and regularly get caught under the edge of the top plate of the pickup bobbin, and there are no covers available to fit a Tele bridge pickup. A nice guy made me some on a 3-D printer but they don't fit quite right and until I come up with a better fit or better solution, I'm kinda treading water on this one! And "TELL YOU WHAT," cramming that SuperSwitch, stacked pot and associated wiring into the stock Tele control cavity was like playing a three dimensional version of Tetris! I may re-rout the control cavity to more closely approximate a Strat cavity and fashion a similar to Strat style pick guard.

    On the plus side, this guitar is the closest I've ever come to having the "Holy Trinity" (Tele/Strat/Les Paul) all in one guitar, at least from a tonal perspective!

    Just My Contribution To The Discussion,
    Gene

    IMG_0534.jpeg
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2021
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  12. ZZDoc

    ZZDoc Strat-Talk Member

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    I would recommend the following books: "Fender The Golden Age-1946-1970: Kelly-Foster-Kelly, and 'Celebrating 50 Years of Fender Strat'-Tom Wheeler', to get some ideas of their pursuit of tone some 60+ years ago and more. Leo had hearing issues. My '58 had a three way and we 'discovered' the 'in-between' setting back then by word of mouth. I have always been of the opinion that the 5-way did not exactly reproduce that tone. I'm of the opinion that the evolution in materials, methods and technology has changed the 'end-user' sound of the guitar...Close but no cigar to what you heard from Buddy Holly. Where the Tele is concerned, I wonder that, where country music is concerned, it captures the 'feel' of the 'jaws harp', used in vintage country['hillbilly'] acoustic music..
     
  13. SatinNeck81

    SatinNeck81 Strat-Talker

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    I think a Strat bridge that has a wired tone pot can get closer to a chicken pickin' Tele than the Tele can get the smooth Neck tones of the Strat. I won't even discuss the middle position on either because with a 5 way switch at least, they are pretty different. I don't think one is better than the other. In fact I kinda wanna get that new Squier Esquire that just has the bridge pickup. Not sure if they are available in the States yet but they're like $400. That or maybe I'll buy a partscaster with the same configuration if I can find one. People are selling their Partscasters for WAY too much on Reverb. Someone re-created a Mary Kaye with no original parts and wants $1,500 for it. I get that it was expensive to build, etc. but that is why you keep a Partscaster and don't sell it unless you really have to.
     
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  14. Nate D

    Nate D Most Honored Senior Member

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    I agree with this point. I think of it in terms of a guitar player sounds like them. The rhythm hand and the fretting hand have a lot to do with your tone- hence why people say tone is in the hands.

    I also agree with point two here- once a guitar has passed through effects, amps, mixing boards, compression, your listening platform’s EQ settings and so on and so forth- lots of bets are off on knowing what guitars are being played. Much less tons of other arguments for or against certain gear.

    Yeah... or a good Gibson HB bridge Crunch. That’s to my ears anyways. To me the Tele bridge pickup defines it when I play my Tele. On the neck, no big difference at the end of the day.
     
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  15. Glyderslead

    Glyderslead Strat-Talk Member

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    Hello, I've attached a photo of my Nashville Tele that shows the mini switch installed between the Volume and tone knobs. This was purchased on ebay from this seller "johnnyguitarfirstavenueguitars". I got the price wrong, it was actually £3.25. I've just this minute looked the item up and attach a photo of the item. It just requires 2 wires to be soldered onto the 5 way switch.....they give foolproof instructions, which is why I managed to do it!!!

    IMG_0456.jpg s-l140.jpg

    I changed the scratch plate to tortoise shell because I like it. The mini switch mod is easy to reverse if required.....but will require the control plate to be replaced
     
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  16. dirocyn

    dirocyn Senior Stratmaster

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    A lot of recordings were made using different guitars than folks play live, and most of us don't notice. Purple Haze was recorded on a Telecaster, I would have guessed Strat because Jimi Hendrix. The solo on Another Brick in the Wall Pt. 2 was a Les Paul, I thought it was a Strat until I was told it wasn't. Guitars can sound a lot of different ways, depending where you pick, how you adjust the knobs--and what amps and effects you're using.

    A Tele Bridge pickup is more steeply slanted and is typically a little hotter than Strat pickups. The steeper slant makes the bass a little bassier and the treble a little treblier. And the metal plate has an effect too. There are differences that are pretty clear in a head-to-head direct comparison, although if you turn down the volume a little on the Tele it gets harder to hear that difference. Or if you turn up the treble and bass just a touch more on the amp when playing Strat, or lower the tele's bridge pickup a little further.

    A Strat middle pickup--is a sound Teles don't have at all, unless you're talking about a Nashville Tele (which has a Strat middle pickup in the same position as a Strat has). If you hear a difference between the middle pickup on a Strat and the middle pickup on a Nashville Tele, perhaps you're hearing the differences in the bridge, springs, and saddles. If the Tele has brass barrel saddles, those impart a sound that reminds me of bronzewound acoustic strings. But some Teles have block saddles identical to those used on Strats. If you're comparing the Strat middle pickup to the Nashville middle pickup, with both guitars having block saddles and the Strat's a hardtail--I think we'd all be about 50/50 guessing which is which.

    Strats have a distinctive sound in both "quack" positions, that Teles lack. Except the Nashville Tele, which is totally close enough that you'd think it's a Strat unless you saw it.

    Teles have the neck + bridge. Strats don't have that one, unless you do one of the very common wiring mods--Gilmour switch, blender knob, or switch wire swap.

    A Tele neck pickup can be truly glorious if you get the pickup height at its sweet spot. A Strat neck pickup can too--and at the sweet spot they sound remarkably similar.
     
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  17. dodona

    dodona Strat-Talk Member

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    as a basically Gibson player I naturaly prefer Teles with a 2 pup combination similar to the Gibsons. For my taste Strats sounding to thin and weak whareas the Tele has the original twang.
     
  18. lneal14513

    lneal14513 New Member!

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    I have a two pickup tele with Jerry Donahue wiring that get respectably close to a strat in between sound with the 5 way switch and different cap wiring. I also have a strat partscaster with a Lindy Fralin blues in the bridge position that does a decent tele imitation. However, it doesn't sound like the bridge pickup in my 63 CS tele, only in the same ballpark.

    I guess that's what it depends on, whether "kinda close" is good enough or not. "Spot on" is a lot harder and I haven't got there with a drawer of pickups, a soldering iron, and some free time.

    The one guitar that comes close to well in the ballpark for both sounds is a G&L Comanche. The bridge pickup can be made to sound very "Tele-ish", I can get a decent quack in the in between positions, and the neck pickup sounds very good (my favorite). Took a good bit of experimenting with pickup height to get to that point, and my settings on the amp are NOTHING like I set it for any other guitar.
     
  19. Caffiend

    Caffiend Strat-Talk Member

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    I’d say similar at times but different (notable exclusion for Nashville’s for middle position fiends). I’m also a huge fan of all the single position Strat sounds. I quite like the current Player strats stock with proper block but also more late 60’s style. Not really fussed on classic 50’s or a lot of the other developments. I do like floating bridges on Strats though but have no desire to move away from three saddle string through on a Tele.

    My take on ‘Tele’ has a hot pole-not-slug P90 in the neck and a very modern 12” radius neck though, plus reverse controls for Strat style pinky volume swells etc. Also, stock 250k’s but with 470k added for neck to sort out the P90. Not totally settled on the cap yet. Reasonably poky bridge too (stock Texas Special).

    My view is I’d not really want to choose between the two as they both bring unique stuff...
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2021
  20. MickeyPicky

    MickeyPicky Strat-Talk Member

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    Don’t they have pot switches now to let you mix bridge and neck on the strat at least?