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Tele Bodys?


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Yes you can get a Strat sound on a telly body but you have to install a strat pickguard and lose all of the telly hardware and pick-ups. I have built several. Just lay a strat pick guard on a telly body it will fit and it looks pretty cool.

You can't obtain a Gibson sound from a Fender any more than you can get Fender sound from a Gibson. Even exchanging pick-ups because the tone or sound has a lot to do with scale length. Gibsons have a shorter scale length than Fenders. The best compromise I know of is a Paul Red Smith because his guitars have a twenty-five inch scale length which puts it in between a Gibson and a Fender.

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Drak,

I didn't posess a digital camera in the late '70's and '80's when I built several. It's easy to do just cut the shape of a telly and cut the neck pocket and place a Strat pick-guard on it. Mark the pick-up holes on the body blank, enlarge them and route the control cavity and I would use a Gibson L.P. jack-plate. (Hated those Telly cup jacks...there was no tool available to install the little barbed keeper at the time) I did tremelo and hard-tail versions.

I intend to build another in the near future and when I do I'll post a picture.

I once built a Telly...solid black with w/b/w/b/w binding with a Gibson L.P. Custom ebony fingerboard...with the large block inlays with a strat looking headstock...also bound like an L.P. Custom for a customer. I had to make a Strat style b/w/b pick-guard because of the bridge placement the stagger on the pick-ups were closer. It was Tele-Strat-L.P. Custom bastard. He was primarily a Gibson player and didn't like the longer scale of Strats and Tellys but wanted something unique and he had the money and I had the time.

I ran out to the shop and here are some quick ideas. It's in a photoshow:

http://photoshow.comcast.net/watch/QI8PE7kE

Edited by Bertbart
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damn i was hoping to keep the total telly look... the photoshow isn't working so I can't see how it looks. I was under the impression that strat necks where 25.

When building the neck if I wanted a left handed neck on a right handed guitar would I just flip the plans?

Also Can someone recommend some good inlay and guitar building books?

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The Art of Inlay is supposed to be a great book. I just ordered a copy from Amazon on sale for about $18.00 US. For building may I suggest the following (assuming electrics):

Building Electric Guitars by Martin Koch

Guitars - Design, Production and Repair by Jim Donahue (He worked with Ibanez)

Make Your Own Electric Guitar by (PG'S own VIP) Melvin Hiscock

Build your Own Electric Guitar by Mark Oakham (has a set of plans, too)

Buy a few books as each one has its own take on building and concentration on building, such as, making templates, wood choices, neck building, etc.

You may also want a copy of Brosnan's Guitar Electronics and a copy of Dan Erlwine's Guitar Repair book. These are just suggestions. There are other books out there, along with web sites and PG's own tutorial sections with some great advice you probably won't find in the books. Good luck with your adventure.

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OMG.. where is the bad advice image when you need it!!!

cherokee6 is dead on with his book recommendations, but the rest Id be weary of trusting.

both the Tele and Strats use the 25.5 scale(at least the 2 I have)

both of mine use a rosewood fretboard on maple, and my Tele is right handed(but I play left handed)

what do you mean you want a left handed neck? necks are universal, its the nut and body that are the biggest differences, mostly with the tremolo bar(or standard bridge) and the knobs. So when you design with plans, yes you simply flip them. But a neck really isnt different but for the tuner locations and how the nut is cut.

I highly doubt the 24.75(gibsonish, theres so many different ones) 25(PRS) and 25.5(fender standard) play a HUGE difference in tone, if even at all.

Id say the wood and build have more to do with that. As well as the pickups used of course.

the "LP" sound compared to a "Strat" sound has alot to do with the LP being a set neck, Made of Mahogany(EVEN THE NECK), using a TOM bridge, double humbuckers, or a ebony or rosewood fretboard. While the strat uses a alder(or poplar, or basswood) body, usually a maple neck with a rosewood(or just maple) fretboard and of course the single coil pickups.

to get a "strat" sound out of my tele, I think I would change the bridge and neck pickups to something a bit warmer, (look at Seymour Duncans stuff) up the guage of the strings to 10's or 11's and maybe even change the bridge(although I doubt it has to much of a effect VS. a hardtail strat)

but for you, Id READ READ READ READ..

Id buy Melvyns book, Make your own electric guitar.. Id say its the starting point for almost everyone off this board who takes pride in their work. Read it twice. Then go to the guitar store, and actually LOOK at what makes the guitar works after you read the book and understand. then you can start worrying about the tone, and sound, and resonance, and whatever voodoo you want to believe in.

Edited by Desopolis
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OMG.. where is the bad advice image when you need it!!!

cherokee6 is dead on with his book recommendations, but the rest Id be weary of trusting.

Really, bad advise eh? You are saying that scale length has nothing to do with the sound or tone? I say you don't know what you're talking about.

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Hi I have a tele with a standard tele bridge pickup and I have two strat pickups in the middle and neck. I like this set up its like having 2 guitars.

if you don't need the strat bridge pickup this might be a cool thing for you.

also look into the James Burton tele has 3 strat pickups. a friend I work with has this model.

Edited by prs man
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I highly doubt the 24.75(gibsonish, theres so many different ones) 25(PRS) and 25.5(fender standard) play a HUGE difference in tone, if even at all.

Uh, this "highly doubt" and "even at all" are just giveaways that you haven't had your hands on, or ears open to, a whole lot of guitars.

wrong, but I bet there is much more different between the guitars of different scales your used to hearing/playing then the scale itself.. if you think a Gibson 24.75 and PRS 25 are going to sound different because the note at the first fret is .25" closer or even the fender 25.5 one Im surprised.

Sounds like its time for a bolt on neck challenge.. like the particle board one..

I'll go ahead and build a RH alder cheapy to test this...

and Drak, always top notch!

Edited by Desopolis
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One aspect that no one has mentioned is the influence of the bridge - between the classic three-barrell brass Tele saddles and the springs in the Strat vibrato there can be a significant difference in sound (at least on guitars that aren't dead to start with). This is much more noticeable when going for a relatively clean sound; the difference in a high-gain setup is probably pretty negligible.

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if you think a Gibson 24.75 and PRS 25 are going to sound different because the note at the first fret is .25" closer or even the fender 25.5 one Im surprised.

Yeah yeah, keep talking out of your ass. At one time, I owned 3 strats. One with a 24.75" scale, one with 25" scale and one with a 25.5". I even tried the same pickups in all, and the difference in the scale was quite noticable in the tone between the 3 guitars, but I wasn't even trying to do an experiment with those guitars. I already knew how a *different scale affects the string tension and resonance of a guitar*. If I'm one of the few here that do, then Sheesh, we got a forum chuck full of ignorance.

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if you think a Gibson 24.75 and PRS 25 are going to sound different because the note at the first fret is .25" closer or even the fender 25.5 one Im surprised.

Yeah yeah, keep talking out of your ass. At one time, I owned 3 strats. One with a 24.75" scale, one with 25" scale and one with a 25.5". I even tried the same pickups in all, and the difference in the scale was quite noticable in the tone between the 3 guitars, but I wasn't even trying to do an experiment with those guitars. I already knew how a *different scale affects the string tension and resonance of a guitar*. If I'm one of the few here that do, then Sheesh, we got a forum chuck full of ignorance.

I'm with you and I agree with you. I started playing with guitars in 1969 I started repairing them in late 1970 as an apprentice. I opened my own shop in 1974. I think by now I know that scale length definitely has a huge effect on tone and string tension. Not to mention pick-up placement, pick-up adjustment too, bridges and choice of wood. Fingerboards and neck material make a huge difference as well. None of these things mentioned has more effect on tone than scale length and string gauge.

"On pick-up adjustment" especially exposed pole single coil pick-ups to get a clean tone with unaffected true harmonics you must keep the pick-up lowered on the bass side. The string diameters on the bass strings do not require that the pick-up be as close as the treble side. If you don't believe that adjust them as high as possible and try to get a clear reading on a strobe-tuner on the bass strings...it won't happen period. The magnetic field will screw with the motion of the strings and make the guitar sound out of tune as the notes decay if you hit a power chord...clean or distorted.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Well obviously a Telecaster isn't a Stratocaster, so whatever you do, its going to sound SOMEWHAT different. However, you can get a lot closer to the Strat sound as follows:

1. Buy a set of Strat pickups. Obviously if you want the real Strat sound they should be a nice Fender or SD set.

2. Buy a Stratocaster style fixed bridge for your Tele. The stock Tele bridge is much larger and attaches differently than a Strat bridge. Retrofitting your Tele with a Strat bridge will make it sound much more Strat-like. You may have to convert your Tele to string-through-body. You will definitely have to drill new holes.

3. Route out new pickup cavities for the Strat pickups, including the middle pickup.

4. Modify pickguard to take new pickups. Not only do you have to route a hole for the middle pickup, but the Tele pickups are of a different size than the Strat pickups. You can get templates from Stewmac.

5. Lastly, buy a Strat wiring kit, and use that instead of the Tele wiring. If you want only two knobs, you can find Strat wirings that use one Volume and one Tone, instead of the standard one Volume and two Tones. The five way switch will help you get your Strat sound on.

As you can see, its a lot of work to retrofit a Tele into a Strat-type guitar. It might even be easier to start from scratch and build your own Tele body, as by the time you have rerouted the guitar for the pickups, and swapped bridges, its gonna look like you opened up on the body with small arms fire. A clear paint job is definitely out.

Also, I believe Fender and possibly Squire sell Teles that already have Strat electronics. Search Musicians Friend for

"The Fender Deluxe Nashville Telecaster Electric Guitar"

This is pretty much everything I listed above already done to the guitar (except the bridge). It costs $500-$600 depending on the paint job.

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2. Buy a Stratocaster style fixed bridge for your Tele. The stock Tele bridge is much larger and attaches differently than a Strat bridge. Retrofitting your Tele with a Strat bridge will make it sound much more Strat-like. You may have to convert your Tele to string-through-body. You will definitely have to drill new holes.

The bridge is definately a big part of the tele sound - but putting a fixed bridge on it wont get you closer to the strat sound - you need a trem for that. And most tele's in the world already have string through body holes - expect for a few old japanese ones and some of the modern squiers

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