Stratocaster vs. Telecaster

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choose one, and defend your position. you may choose from the perspective of a musician, or a music fan, or whatever else. just choose!

Poll Results

OptionVotes
Tele 50
Strat 30


rip van wanko, Tuesday, 1 November 2016 15:21 (four years ago) link

Tele, despite being less versatile in terms of tone and more boxy and awkwardly shaped from a comfort standpoint. I also kinda have a thing against single cutaways! Am I just in denial? All I know is I'm probably never going to buy a Strat but I could easily imagine picking up a second Tele or ASAT at some point.

how's life, Tuesday, 1 November 2016 15:32 (four years ago) link

this is kinda like being forced to choose which of your two beloved kittens you will feed into a woodchipper tbh

nonetheless voted telecaster for its iconic, utilitarian design and the sound of that bridge pickup through a hot amp is one of the foundation stones of popular music

i could probably just as easily have voted strat for its sleek design which still looks kinda futuristic even today and those uniquely 'glassy' tones. i'll probably want to change my vote tomorrow.

yokohama fuckdolphin (bizarro gazzara), Tuesday, 1 November 2016 15:44 (four years ago) link

Have no idea what the difference in sound is, tbh.

Mr. Snrub, Tuesday, 1 November 2016 15:48 (four years ago) link

they're both pretty boring. voted tele because it's slightly less boring.

na (NA), Tuesday, 1 November 2016 15:51 (four years ago) link

they're no bc rich, true

yokohama fuckdolphin (bizarro gazzara), Tuesday, 1 November 2016 15:56 (four years ago) link

tele because it has more of an identity. Strats are perfectly fine guitars and have been used very well by many, but only a few guitarists really make them stand out as anything other than versatile, workhorse guitars.

honestly the two things that immediately come to mind when I think Strat are Hendrix (which is good) and that awful SRV tone.

hendrix, dave gilmour, mark knopfler and yngwie malmsteen are the ones which spring to mind for me, probably due to the lasting taint of teenage overexposure to guitar magazines and features on players i didn't give a fuck about

yokohama fuckdolphin (bizarro gazzara), Tuesday, 1 November 2016 16:14 (four years ago) link

david byrne for me for some reason

na (NA), Tuesday, 1 November 2016 16:23 (four years ago) link

Buddy Holly
John Frusciante

how's life, Tuesday, 1 November 2016 16:25 (four years ago) link

Strat definitely. I prefer its versatility.

Al Moon Faced Poon (Moodles), Tuesday, 1 November 2016 16:27 (four years ago) link

Cadillac vs. Mustang.

I have a Tele reissue with a humbucker at the neck and some of the body molding of a Strat. Apparently Andy Summers made a similar mod to his Tele.

dinnerboat, Tuesday, 1 November 2016 16:30 (four years ago) link

my tele is a relatively recent usa one with a belly contour and it makes me feel like it's okay to be a fat fuck

thanks fender for validating my poor diet choices

yokohama fuckdolphin (bizarro gazzara), Tuesday, 1 November 2016 16:48 (four years ago) link

david byrne for me for some reason

oh yeah, for sure - stop making sense is a great showcase for strats

yokohama fuckdolphin (bizarro gazzara), Tuesday, 1 November 2016 16:49 (four years ago) link

Tele, for the twang especially but also for rhythm (and obviously awesome Prince, Page, et al. lead). Unless you want/need that specific Strat quack.

(Another poll could be which neck pickup is less useful. Prolly the Tele's, though Nile Rodgers is the only Strat player I can think of who really hangs out on the neck pickup all the time.)

Josh in Chicago, Tuesday, 1 November 2016 17:22 (four years ago) link

My go-to tele sound is the middle position. The twang is not really my thing and the neck is too dark. lol, I have all these negative opinions about teles and still prefer them to strats.

how's life, Tuesday, 1 November 2016 17:27 (four years ago) link

oh my god, Strat without question. In addition to being extremely versatile, it allows the player's personality to come through more vividly than any other guitar. the Tele is too limited in comparison- sure, it has twang, but you can get the same tone out of a Strat with the neck/middle pickup switch. Everything that a Tele can do, a Strat can do better: rhythm, lead, texture, etc. Strats also looker cooler and have a better shape. Prince is the only person to ever shred a Tele and make it look as cool as a Strat.

flappy bird, Tuesday, 1 November 2016 17:34 (four years ago) link

bridge pickup on the Strat: the best rhythm tone ever
neck pickup: the best lead tone ever

flappy bird, Tuesday, 1 November 2016 17:36 (four years ago) link

When I started thinking about guitars and wanted to buy one, Teles were so simple and caveman like and didn't have that cheap looking plastic trem spring cover on the back and people like Joe Strummer and Prince and Buck Owens played them while Strats were played by Eric Clapton and Stevie Ray Vaughn and Yngwie Malmsteen and those guys all sucked.

I honestly don't think I've ever actually played a stratocaster other than maybe picking one up once in a while in a guitar store, never through an amp for sure. I don't really hate them (and I do dig the 70s ones with the giant headstocks) but they (and Les Pauls) seem so standard and generic that I'm never really drawn to them like I am to SGs and Jazzmasters and Teles - which are obviously not obscure at all, just not THE standard guitar.

A lot of my bias is aesthetic too because I'm a shitty guitar player but love design and sculpture.

joygoat, Tuesday, 1 November 2016 17:39 (four years ago) link

in the end probably a tele

i've never played a strat that felt right just as is. it required some modifying but by the end i wasn't convinced

a tele on the other hand felt right, love the tone, and with minor mods, it sounds beautiful. recording it is a joy and i don't mind the design/shape

having said that, i'm not a tele/strat guy

i love the dark overtones of gibson les pauls or more mid-range/mellow tones of a jazzmaster, but they are annoying to record

F♯ A♯ (∞), Tuesday, 1 November 2016 17:44 (four years ago) link

tele because it has more of an identity.

^^^ Danny Gatton, Albert Lee, Pete Anderson, Bill Kirchen, some of my most favorite guitar players are in that chicken-pickin' Tele mode.

Their all losers and I like associating with loser (Dan Peterson), Tuesday, 1 November 2016 17:46 (four years ago) link

Prince is the only person to ever shred a Tele and make it look as cool as a Strat.

Not even getting into country guys (from James Burton to Brad Paisley), Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck, Bruce Springsteen, Jonny Greenwood, Mike Campbell, Robbie Robertson, James Honeyman-Scott, etc. And in terms of looking cool and not shredding, Andy Summers, Wilko Johnson, Joe Strummer, Syd Barrett, Keith Richards, etc. Obviously not all of these dudes are identified exclusively as Tele players, but impressively, many are! Strats are cool, too, but from dudes playing electric blooze to heavily compressed '80s cheese, few seem to make the most of them. But of course, who else do you need beyond Hendrix on the Strat front?

Josh in Chicago, Tuesday, 1 November 2016 17:47 (four years ago) link

Voted Tele. I don't really like the sound of either guitar but I like what Chris Spencer from Unsane can do with a Tele.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XqF1nyjCU8M

Don Van Gorp, midwest regional VP, marketing (誤訳侮辱), Tuesday, 1 November 2016 17:51 (four years ago) link

Page shredding on a Les Paul >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Page shredding on a Tele

it's just not the same. with the exception of Prince, it always looks like their main guitar got busted or stolen and they're borrowing some opening band's guitar. it just looks WACK

flappy bird, Tuesday, 1 November 2016 18:08 (four years ago) link

I am not an accomplished guitarist but c'mom, Telecaster cus I AM A GROWN UP. For a pre-teen nephew/niece, yeah I might recommend a Strat. I have the mexican Tele cos I never had much money, but I haven't picked up a Strat since I was like 12? I had no idea this was even a debate...

Jonathan Hellion Mumble, Tuesday, 1 November 2016 18:09 (four years ago) link

2:15

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VzBVvD1vUvM

flappy bird, Tuesday, 1 November 2016 18:10 (four years ago) link

Strats are incredibly hard to play well, ime, the action is so sensitive.

Teles are much more versatile from a style point of view

oh wait this is on ILM... umm strats i guess.

brimstead, Tuesday, 1 November 2016 18:10 (four years ago) link

because jimi

brimstead, Tuesday, 1 November 2016 18:11 (four years ago) link

The best rhythm tone ever. Silver mercury bliss

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SxATZPKbAqU

flappy bird, Tuesday, 1 November 2016 18:11 (four years ago) link

like someone mentioned above, you'll see a bunch of local blues guitarists play strats, apart from beginner guitarists

a few xposts

F♯ A♯ (∞), Tuesday, 1 November 2016 18:12 (four years ago) link

Oh yeah of course, the Smashing Fucken Pumpkins must be the decider here. Prince, Springsteen, Strummer.. I am comfortable in my position.

Jonathan Hellion Mumble, Tuesday, 1 November 2016 18:14 (four years ago) link

hey man, put Billy and the Pumpkins and everything else out of your mind....*bong rip*..........just listen to that tone

flappy bird, Tuesday, 1 November 2016 18:15 (four years ago) link

Not wack:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rf2e4QPPxJY

dinnerboat, Tuesday, 1 November 2016 18:16 (four years ago) link

Oh, Doug Martsch is a Strat guy too. But I think he switched out the pickups and has the selector switch permanently jammed in one position or something.

how's life, Tuesday, 1 November 2016 18:16 (four years ago) link

seriously, when Dylan talked about the "thin wild mercury sound" of Blonde on Blonde..... Billy's clean rhythm tone circa '93-'94.... it's that fat wild mercury sound

flappy bird, Tuesday, 1 November 2016 18:16 (four years ago) link

Billy also uses Lace Sensors in his Strats fwiw

flappy bird, Tuesday, 1 November 2016 18:17 (four years ago) link

Have you kept it stock or modded it?
At one point I had the pickup switch and tone knob removed, so all it has is the volume control. I took the tone knob off because I always had it turned all the way up and never touched it—I dialed in the tone on my amp instead. As for the selector switch, I’m pretty sure that the middle position is the only setting I can use now. The in-between settings were completely useless to me.

I do all the sound-shaping stuff with pedals. I’m not a tone junkie. I don’t even know if a Strat is the best guitar for me. I just got it because someone at the guitar store where I bought it recommended it. To get the best sound, I always have to jack it up with a preamp. At first I didn’t understand that stuff, but once I started using a preamp, I got a much bigger and more satisfying sound.

how's life, Tuesday, 1 November 2016 18:17 (four years ago) link

Ok Doug Martsch is an acceptable counterpoint. Is "Billy" meant to refer to the Smashing Pumpkins again? cus eh... no.

Jonathan Hellion Mumble, Tuesday, 1 November 2016 18:18 (four years ago) link

Billy was the only one in SP that played Strats, James mostly used Les Pauls.

flappy bird, Tuesday, 1 November 2016 18:22 (four years ago) link

you don't even have to listen to him sing. just that tone in the Luna video.... fuck me running if that's not the best clean rhythm tone i've ever heard

flappy bird, Tuesday, 1 November 2016 18:22 (four years ago) link

for tele players i immediately think of robyn hitchcock for silvery shimmer and d boon for skrawk

his eye is on despair-o (Jon not Jon), Tuesday, 1 November 2016 18:23 (four years ago) link

Billy was the only one in SP that played Strats, James mostly used Les Pauls.
Oh Ok cool, I'll run straight awaya nd check them out.

Jonathan Hellion Mumble, Tuesday, 1 November 2016 18:24 (four years ago) link

strat = r thompson for christ's sake!!! and byrne

his eye is on despair-o (Jon not Jon), Tuesday, 1 November 2016 18:25 (four years ago) link

Yeah, Richard Thompson owns that shit

Al Moon Faced Poon (Moodles), Tuesday, 1 November 2016 18:26 (four years ago) link

Also, Alex Chilton on the first 2 Big Star albums, total strat sound

Al Moon Faced Poon (Moodles), Tuesday, 1 November 2016 18:28 (four years ago) link

I wish Richard Thompson was my dad. Or at least my cool uncle.

Jonathan Hellion Mumble, Tuesday, 1 November 2016 18:28 (four years ago) link

Let's not forget David Gilmour

Al Moon Faced Poon (Moodles), Tuesday, 1 November 2016 18:30 (four years ago) link

(it is entirely possible that Richard Thompson is my uncle, ftr).

Jonathan Hellion Mumble, Tuesday, 1 November 2016 18:31 (four years ago) link

https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51XtWa3SqVL.jpg

thread closed

flappy bird, Tuesday, 1 November 2016 18:31 (four years ago) link

My the neck of my mim Telecaster that I bought new in 1998 has noticeable wear through the finish in the “cowboy chords” area which is kind of surprising because there were long stretches where I didn’t play it at all and I’ve never played guitar in a band.

The body on the other hand is finished with some sort of adamantium/vibranium alloy.

joygoat, Sunday, 2 May 2021 22:50 (one week ago) link

an early 90s MIM Fender jazz that's been through hundreds of shows

? the first MIM Jazzmasters were 2008, or is it a Jazz Bass?

assert (MatthewK), Monday, 3 May 2021 01:25 (one week ago) link

jazz bass

(that was always my main instrument)

My 3-year old nitro Jazzmaster has quite a bit of checking on the back and arm area, but it’s all in the color coat and hasn’t broken through to the top finish layer.

Joe Bombin (milo z), Monday, 3 May 2021 02:13 (one week ago) link

Yeah, and I have 45-50 year old poly finished Japanese Tele and Strat clones where the finish has yellowed, but there's essentially zero wear apart from chips and breaks in the finish on edges. But just the other day I saw this 80s Japanese Tele, a low end model so the finish would definitely be poly:
https://i.imgur.com/ItamoMs.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/ztv28jf.jpg

assert (MatthewK), Monday, 3 May 2021 05:00 (one week ago) link

Thin is thin, as I understand it - thin poly will sink into wood and wear like that, maybe more likely on a cheap guitar back then.

The Fender finish these days is polyester and comes out thick whether it's a cheap Squier or an expensive American Fender.

Joe Bombin (milo z), Monday, 3 May 2021 06:07 (one week ago) link

That's a pretty guitar

when it comes to ash, gotta say swamp ash is right near the top

Northern Ash is good if you want to lift weight. That was the source of a lot of heavy ‘70s guitars.

I found the world’s lightest Peavey T-60 - normally they’re 10+ pounds, mine is 7.5. Waiting on an aluminum neck to make it playable, the frets were non-existent.

Joe Bombin (milo z), Tuesday, 4 May 2021 20:56 (one week ago) link

one of my great regrets is not buying a T-40 bass a couple of years ago for $250 or something because it weighed like fifty pounds.

joygoat, Wednesday, 5 May 2021 00:41 (one week ago) link

shit I just bought that 80s Telecaster I posted upthread

assert (MatthewK), Wednesday, 5 May 2021 00:52 (one week ago) link

nice!

I remember when those Peavey T guitars were so common in shops they were basically giving them away. Now they're highly sought after and not cheap. When did that happen??

Johnny Fever, Wednesday, 5 May 2021 04:10 (one week ago) link

based on sales itt it seems telecasters are winning

Larry Elleison (rogermexico.), Wednesday, 5 May 2021 04:14 (one week ago) link

as it should be.

Totally different head. Totally. (Austin), Wednesday, 5 May 2021 04:18 (one week ago) link

when it comes to ash, gotta say swamp ash is right near the top

― Blues Guitar Solo Heatmap (Free Download) (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Monday, May 3, 2021 9:27 PM (two days ago) bookmarkflaglink

ugh, hate when I get swamp ash

longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Wednesday, 5 May 2021 05:09 (one week ago) link

yeah I think this is my 6th Tele or Tele variant (most are Japanese copies)

assert (MatthewK), Wednesday, 5 May 2021 07:09 (one week ago) link

i actually really like that one!

Totally different head. Totally. (Austin), Friday, 7 May 2021 15:48 (one week ago) link

thread inspired me to put strings on my electric guitar for the first time in 13 years. I've been playing a larrivee L-05 the whole time, and this feels like a game controller. started searching for larger neck teles and most people point toward...road worn models.

If you value Vox, we have an axe (Sufjan Grafton), Friday, 7 May 2021 16:04 (one week ago) link

my wife and kid are out of town so I took my 1978 Princeton Reverb and pedalboard out of the tiny room upstairs and set them up in the much larger living room and it sounds so unbelievably good while sitting on the couch and playing and drinking beer and watching marvel movies with the closed captioning on like the slovenly adolescent that I really am when my true self is revealed

joygoat, Friday, 7 May 2021 16:41 (one week ago) link

it's been all telecaster so far though I really should try my knockoff japanese strat while i have the chance

joygoat, Friday, 7 May 2021 16:43 (one week ago) link

the pawn shop 72 is a sweet guitar. i have a prototype of one and its a personal favorite for sure:
https://i.imgur.com/newmWfW.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/6aHp5IG.jpg
mine has binding around the front of the body and is only rounded in the back and mine has two wide range humbuckers and a 4 bolt neck.

i was too much listening to your accent (Spottie), Friday, 7 May 2021 17:27 (one week ago) link

that's nice, looks cooler in your pictures than the craigslist one

Spottie that kills the production model. And Sufjan the meaty-neck standard seems to be the Baja Tele, there are a few models which vary in colour and 50s-vs-60s setup. Getting harder to find at a good price tho.

assert (MatthewK), Friday, 7 May 2021 20:28 (one week ago) link

at a certain point you could think about a replacement neck too

thanks, matthew. but yeah, I might need to just find a tele I like first and swap necks. no bajas nearby on craigslist.

If you value Vox, we have an axe (Sufjan Grafton), Friday, 7 May 2021 21:06 (one week ago) link

warmouth has a ton of options, however you do lose the fender logo on the headstock obv

https://www.warmoth.com/guitar/necks/backcontours.aspx

huh, basically a Sabre II in Tele cosplay

assert (MatthewK), Wednesday, 12 May 2021 22:49 (three days ago) link

the P-Bass style split pickups really take it over the top

Blues Guitar Solo Heatmap (Free Download) (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Wednesday, 12 May 2021 23:26 (three days ago) link

Yeah, but G&L has had a similar thing on the Comanche and ASAT Z-3 for some time.

https://✧✧✧.shop✧✧✧.com/s/files/1/0916/0836/products/33098__1_3✧✧✧@3✧.progress✧✧✧.j✧✧?v=1571458285

https://media.rainpos.com/9068/1_z3_hnb_copy.jpg

peace, man, Wednesday, 12 May 2021 23:30 (three days ago) link

always liked the look of those staggered pickups

i was too much listening to your accent (Spottie), Wednesday, 12 May 2021 23:32 (three days ago) link

i kinda love how G&L became Leo's 2.0 versions of Fender models

Blues Guitar Solo Heatmap (Free Download) (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Wednesday, 12 May 2021 23:33 (three days ago) link

yeah some of them really work, some are super ugly to me tho

i was too much listening to your accent (Spottie), Wednesday, 12 May 2021 23:34 (three days ago) link

G&L lots of times look a bit "off"

but it's cool just from his thought process point of view, like what he perceived was wrong or could be improved on all these iconic guitars he made

Blues Guitar Solo Heatmap (Free Download) (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Wednesday, 12 May 2021 23:36 (three days ago) link

i almost pulled the trigger on this a few months back... turns out my friend ended up buying it lol.
https://reverb.com/item/33527574-g-l-skyhawk-1984-natural-finish?show_sold=true

i was too much listening to your accent (Spottie), Wednesday, 12 May 2021 23:43 (three days ago) link

a few months = over a year ago

i was too much listening to your accent (Spottie), Wednesday, 12 May 2021 23:43 (three days ago) link

That's awesome, never seen that model before

Blues Guitar Solo Heatmap (Free Download) (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Wednesday, 12 May 2021 23:52 (three days ago) link

all these iconic guitars he made

Let's not forget that George Fullerton was a co-designer on the Broadcaster / Tele and that Freddie Tavares was responsible for the final Strat design. Fender: The Golden Age is a wonderful book for those who haven't seen it.

assert (MatthewK), Thursday, 13 May 2021 00:01 (two days ago) link

... not to take anything from the genius of CLF who turned a musical instrument into an engineering challenge, and ended up with the best of both!

assert (MatthewK), Thursday, 13 May 2021 00:03 (two days ago) link

it really is perfect that the guy who revolutionized how we make music was an engineer who couldn't play and whose favorite style of music was dead by 1955

call all destroyer, Thursday, 13 May 2021 00:33 (two days ago) link

that G&L espada is dope btw

call all destroyer, Thursday, 13 May 2021 00:36 (two days ago) link

I've thought about/wanted to get a cheapo Squier Tele for a long time, but something else always came along instead. Now I'm thinking I want to set a few bucks back for a while and pick up the Isbell Mexican Tele that just dropped. Hope it's not a super limited run and they're still around in 2022, because that's the one!

Johnny Fever, Thursday, 13 May 2021 03:40 (two days ago) link

xxp yeah he was really just building radios and speakers which happened to pick up string vibrations instead of AM waves

assert (MatthewK), Thursday, 13 May 2021 06:17 (two days ago) link

and Johnny you'll always be able to pick up a used sunburst Fender Japan TL62B and put a black pickguard on it, those guitars are awesome.

assert (MatthewK), Thursday, 13 May 2021 06:19 (two days ago) link

I have a Squier thinline tele (70s vibe)

It is lovely and I like it

cardio free europe (Ye Mad Puffin), Friday, 14 May 2021 03:13 (yesterday) link


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