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Of teles and strats

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(@jonny-guitar)
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Joined: 18 years ago
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Topic starter  

I've heard a lot about the differences betweens teles and strats, but I was wondering if anyone could tell me how much of a difference there actually is between them? I've got a strat(a terrible one, though), and have been gasing for a tele, especially a thinline, and I was wondering how much of a difference would I be seeing between the two? I see people write about how they can go from twangy to smooth with a tele, and seem to think it excels at this more then the strat, even though they have near the same set up. So I'm just curious about why that might be, and if it's pretty universal that the tele is more versatile.

Seems like a fairly simple question, but I thought I would ask anyway.


   
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(@dogbite)
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Joined: 19 years ago
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strat and tele player here.

um, I believe the strat is more versitile. five way selector switch verses a three way.
strats are heavier and have a bit more power.
generalizations to be sure.

I enjoy both guitars, but for different reasons.
teles are great instruments. 'the working mans' guitar. probably because you have to work it.

that isnt a bad thing. teles cant be beat for the twang factor.
strats are perfect for the surf sound factor.
and they make the nicest blues tones....see SRV, and EC.

I can wear a tele for hours and not have sore shoulders. not so with strats.

the neck pup on a strat emits beautiful clear bell tones, flick a switch and you have the nastiest (good) treble that can pierce the ears.
toggle thru the other positions and you can get several other tones.

teles are basically neck and bridge. the neck pups arent as strong as a strats.

thinlines are all together different. hollow chambers and humbuckers.

one can replace the pups in many ways. you an get awesome tones that way.
in that case if weight is a factor get a tele.

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(@coloradofenderbender)
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Hi Margaret. I own both an American Tele and an American Strat. I know I am going to get into a lot of trouble here, with any comparison between the two I make. But, in my experience, my Tele is a bit more "twangy" than my Strat. It is a subtle difference, at least to me. I can pretty much play either one for anything I am playing, but of course, my Strat has a tremolo, so that gets picked up if I need one. You will see a lot of Teles used by country players (although there are many Strat playing country players too. And Strats are much more common in rock than a Tele. Besides the obvious tremolo difference, there is usually three pickups on the Strat and two on the Tele. The neck pickup on the Tele really brings out the "twang."

I usually use my Tele for songs with little or no distortion, although I can get a decent heavily distorted sound from the bridge pickup. The Strat gets more use for distorted sounds (although it sounds nice clean too).

Like I said, the difference (at least to me) is subtle. I had to have both and now that I do, if I had to, I would sell the Tele before my Strat.


   
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(@artlutherie)
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I installed a push/pull pot(volume control) on my Strat to get that twangy Tele sound(Bridge and Neck pickup). That might be a little beyond your abilities, but it's something to think about.

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(@jonny-guitar)
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Truthfully, what I was really hoping to find in a tele was a really smooth sound, which I got the impression the neck pick-up delivered pretty well. That's another big reason I was more attracted to the thinline, since the hollowbody would probably add some warmth to the tele sound. It's not as much of the twang that I'm lookin' for, thanks for the tip though, Art&Lutherie. Maybe what I'm lookin' for is a pure hollowbody axe, but I like the sound of fenders so much, and was hoping the tele was a warmer sounding strat. Sounds as if that might not be the case, though.


   
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(@dogbite)
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Joined: 19 years ago
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Truthfully, what I was really hoping to find in a tele was a really smooth sound, which I got the impression the neck pick-up delivered pretty well. That's another big reason I was more attracted to the thinline, since the hollowbody would probably add some warmth to the tele sound. It's not as much of the twang that I'm lookin' for, thanks for the tip though, Art&Lutherie. Maybe what I'm lookin' for is a pure hollowbody axe, but I like the sound of fenders so much, and was hoping the tele was a warmer sounding strat. Sounds as if that might not be the case, though.

actually, a strat is warmer sounding than a tele!

the strat has a characteristic squanwk sound...versus the tele twang.
hard to describe when there isnt a word in the english language.

strats are wonderful guitars. the neck pup is smoooooth. I can get nice jazz box sounds.
switch to position 2 (neck being #1) and the high end is reduced a bit. it really mellows out things.
the tone controls on strats are sensitive; I can dial in many tones by backing off the treble pot and using the switch selector.

go play some strats. and go americn. the neck finishing is awesome and seductive. MIMs dont have the same neck detailing.

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 lars
(@lars)
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thinlines are all together different. hollow chambers and humbuckers.

tsk,tsk ;)
Single coil as far as the eye can see on my thinline at least:

Don't know so much about the difference between tele and strat soundwise - I only tried a MIM strat unplugged a while ago and didn't felt at home with the neck at all.

As for thinline - I doubt that it makes much of a different for the sound(?) - my guess is that it is more significant re. weight.

Either you play both and see what you like, or you ask yourself which one you really, really want. Probably there can be almost more variance within the groups (e.g. between different strats and different teles) than between the groups (between strat and tele as such).

good hunting
Lars[/img]

...only thing I know how to do is to keep on keepin' on...

LARS kolberg http://www.facebook.com/sangerersomfolk


   
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(@flashback)
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Joined: 19 years ago
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I dunno, I get pretty awesome sounds from my modded Tele. With Lindy Fralin pickups and a 4 way switxch mod. It gets WAY better tones out of very minimal and has ALOT more sustain than most strats I have played. And add the Torres Super Midrange tone control and you have EVEN More tones.

All for under 700 bucks! :D

Sounds wicked with a Winfield Champ Clone!

GN's resident learning sponge, show me a little and I will soak it up.


   
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(@wes-inman)
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Here are some Telecaster soundclips.

The first one is played clean.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qWDyKtx5SdA

You can really hear the classic Tele twang starting at about :58 seconds into the clip. You can hear some mellower tones at the end. This is a good clip, I own a Tele and this is what they sound like. But you can also get some great smooth Jazz type tones with the neck pickup if you turn the Tone knob down a little too. Didn't really hear that in this clip.

Here is a Telecaster Thinline, very nice sounding clip.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6xnhmKaizuE

Here is a Tele through a distortion pedal. Teles have a very tight tone with excellent definition, really good for Punk type tones.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qX22uFzgQv8

Good Punk tones in this Tele clip.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hUtrk5XuqBo&mode=related&search=

And here is the real thing, Tele "Twang", a clip of good ole Buck Owens. The song starts with the Tele.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ij-U88HpAYw

Yep, listen to that guitar solo. That is the Tele twang everybody talks about right there.

Here is a good Stratocaster clip through a Ibanez Tubescreamer. Classic Blues tone, pretty twangy as well, but warmer than a Tele. This guy can play!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VpH_F4LimG8

Here is a Strat with either an overdrive pedal or amp distortion. This guy can play too.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JHGTKGKMgv0

These are pretty classic tones for both guitars.

If you know something better than Rock and Roll, I'd like to hear it - Jerry Lee Lewis


   
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(@jwishart77)
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Joined: 19 years ago
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I never used to like teles (because i was young and stupid) until i realised a lot of my favourite artists used them. I tried out a thinline in a shop and it rocked, then i tried out an american highway 1 and it absolutely blew the thinline away (not to mention my budget).

I think you should look at the artists you like and what they use, then try out a few different ones in the shop and see what you think. Strats are great guitars too I just think every man and his dog has one (not that teles are exactly rare....).

You can't really go wrong with either, just try them out and you will notice the differences.


   
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(@leear)
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Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 392
 

i own both.....

tele to me is THE BEST.... the neck pickup gives you a great blues tone, both pickups together give you a pop country tone, and the bridge OMG twangy and ear piercing. My strat is the same just has two moer selector switches... Tele is lighter...... big help there.... I replace the bridge pickup on my tele with a Dimazio Hot Rail..... and put in a switch.. Now I have a neck pickup, single coiled bridge pickup and a humbucker at the flip of a switch... So its versitile, I get great distortion.... I mean for me atleast i can't stand distortion so bad it sounds like mud, i like clean distortion if you know what i mean I.E..... The Black Crowes (all i can lthink of at moment)

Strat has great features, whammy, three pickups, (i replaced mine with texas specials) you have 5 options for tone,(make note I can get anytone from my strat on my tele). they are heavy, and if you use a whammy alot you have to tune alot, or if you play with your hand resteed on the bridge it tends to throw it out of tune.....

many rock players play tele's marylin mansons guitar player, at one time metallica, and they also play strats..... it all depends on what fits best in your hands... I own both I play my tele more. I play country, blues, christian rock, rock n roll, and it works fine.

No matter where you go.... There You are! Law of Location


   
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(@dogbite)
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hey Lars. the tele thinline reissues are all humbuckers!

that pic of the single coil thinline is awesome. never seen one before.

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(@jonny-guitar)
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Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 69
Topic starter  

No, I'm pretty sure that the thinlines come both in bucker and single-coil. here's a link.

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/product/Fender-69-Telecaster-Thinline-Electric-Guitar?sku=510123

It's sounding like my main axe is goin' to be strat. I still would like a tele someday, though, cause they look so damn cool.

I'm currently playing one of those Saga Strat kits, which has been my main electric for two years, and I'm figuring it's about time to update so I'm trying to figure what to get. I've seen a lot of people talk on here about how underrated(or overrated)the Squier's are, especially if you're looking to mess around with upgrading and such. what's your opinion on buying a Squier and making an order from GuitarFetish to soup it up? Or maybe I should just go straight for a better axe? like a Standerd? Seems like the Squiers are kinda a stretch, but I thought I'd ask in case anyone had anything great to say about them.

Thanks for all the great posts, guys!

Jonny


   
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(@leear)
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Posts: 392
 

my strat is a squier. but it has an all maple neck/fretboard, its all one piece of wood(one of the first squiers made)..... and i replaced the crappy pickups with Texas Specials, and that is a awesome playing guitar...... only cost 140 for the pickups.... i recommend that if you on a budget, but if you got the cash go ahead and get a IMO tele or if you want a strat i guess you can go that route too...lol....

No matter where you go.... There You are! Law of Location


   
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 lars
(@lars)
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hey Lars. the tele thinline reissues are all humbuckers!

that pic of the single coil thinline is awesome. never seen one before.

1990 mod Japan version. Mine! :D Soundwise, I just posted an attempt at doing hideaway in "Hear here" Check it out if you like to

lars

...only thing I know how to do is to keep on keepin' on...

LARS kolberg http://www.facebook.com/sangerersomfolk


   
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