The Acoustic Guitar Forum

Go Back   The Acoustic Guitar Forum > General Acoustic Guitar and Amplification Discussion > Electric Guitars

Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 12-02-2019, 05:31 PM
Hack Guitarist Hack Guitarist is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2019
Posts: 37
Default New Fender: Strat vs Tele

I'm really thinking about a new electric, trying to decide between a Strat and a Tele. I have almost zero experience with Fenders. I have one electric and it is a Gibson Blueshawk. (I LOVE that guitar, we have bonded.) I would want a USA made guitar though, I know that for sure. It's not that I haven't researched this. I have been reading all the reviews and watching all the You Tube videos. I have played what they have at my local GC's, which isn't much. I've been cruising Craigslist and FB Marketplace but nothing jumps out at me, or if it does they want more used than a new one. I can't decide and I've been on this fence for many months. I play mostly blues but I want a versatile guitar that can do most anything. I know a lot of that depends on the amp too. In the meantime I am also trying to pair down my guitar collection, I currently have one electric and five acoustics and I want to get down to two acoustics, although I am finding that is very hard. I'm not in a hurry, obviously, because I want to make a good decision. I'm past the buy-sell-trade thing and want to end up with lifetime guitar. I know that Tele players are a very dedicated bunch. They seem to be of the mindset that they went through all of the options but once they found a Tele they kind of found their holy grail. I'm not expecting that I will make a final decision after asking this question here but I am hoping to hear from players who have experience with and opinions of the Strat vs Tele debate. Anything I can learn from you all will be helpful. Thanks in advance.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 12-02-2019, 06:41 PM
stevecuss stevecuss is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Front Range, Colorado
Posts: 860
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hack Guitarist View Post
I'm really thinking about a new electric, trying to decide between a Strat and a Tele. I have almost zero experience with Fenders. I have one electric and it is a Gibson Blueshawk. (I LOVE that guitar, we have bonded.) I would want a USA made guitar though, I know that for sure. It's not that I haven't researched this. I have been reading all the reviews and watching all the You Tube videos. I have played what they have at my local GC's, which isn't much. I've been cruising Craigslist and FB Marketplace but nothing jumps out at me, or if it does they want more used than a new one. I can't decide and I've been on this fence for many months. I play mostly blues but I want a versatile guitar that can do most anything. I know a lot of that depends on the amp too. In the meantime I am also trying to pair down my guitar collection, I currently have one electric and five acoustics and I want to get down to two acoustics, although I am finding that is very hard. I'm not in a hurry, obviously, because I want to make a good decision. I'm past the buy-sell-trade thing and want to end up with lifetime guitar. I know that Tele players are a very dedicated bunch. They seem to be of the mindset that they went through all of the options but once they found a Tele they kind of found their holy grail. I'm not expecting that I will make a final decision after asking this question here but I am hoping to hear from players who have experience with and opinions of the Strat vs Tele debate. Anything I can learn from you all will be helpful. Thanks in advance.

Well sheesh, I doubt I'll be much help, but apparently that doesn't stop me from replying. I have owned Strats and Teles. I LOVE them both and yep, they really are both different in vibe, tone and feel.

The problem is, when I own a Strat, I yearn for a Tele and vice versa.

I own a 2004 50th Anniversary Strat - the legit one with the rare 54 pickups that you can't buy aftermarket. I love that guitar and it appears to have quenched my Tele craving. I can even withstanding hearing Honkey Tonk Woman without jumping on craigslist....

So I would vote Strat, but if you go Tele, I totally understand.
__________________
Steve
2018 Mcilroy A25c (Cedar, English Walnut) with Schatten HFN (Passive, putty install.)
2017 Martin 000-18 with BGM Elevation.
2016 Gretsch 5422T
2004 50th Anniversary Fender Am Std Strat.
Home Built "Cusstone" 18 Watt Plexi.

If I played as much as I read threads, I'd be a pro....
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 12-02-2019, 06:51 PM
robj144 robj144 is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 8,493
Default

I know this is sacrilegious, and I understand if there's criticism of what I'll say, but check out the Harley Benton line at Thonman's in Germany (links below). You'll have to pay flat shipping charge (for up to 3 guitars) and possibly a customs fee, but you can two decent examples of both for not much more than $300. And, I'm telling you, they are actually good. You can also swap the pickups if you want and you don't feel bad:

https://www.thomannmusic.com/t_model...arley%20Benton

https://www.thomannmusic.com/st_mode...arley%20Benton

I actually have 4 Harley Benton's, including a standard tele, tele with humbuckers, and a strat, and they are very good in my opinion.
__________________
Guild CO-2
Guild JF30-12
Guild D55
Goodall Grand Concert Cutaway Walnut/Italian Spruce
Santa Cruz Brazilian VJ
Taylor 8 String Baritone
Blueberry - Grand Concert
Magnum Opus J450
Eastman AJ815
Parker PA-24
Babicz Jumbo Identity
Walden G730
Silvercreek T170
Charvell 150 SC
Takimine G406s
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 12-02-2019, 07:00 PM
FrankHudson FrankHudson is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Posts: 1,663
Default

As you probably know you aren't the first to ask this question.

They are both fine and time-tested designs, with many variations and a classic recipe that was settled in the '50s.

I use both. I bonded first with the Telecaster, but I've owned several Stratocasters over the years and play them too.

Generalizing wildly (because there are so many variations) you get the vibrato ("trem") bridge and with a clean amp some of the "Springy Sound" of the bridge's strings, and the 2, 3 and 4 position pickup positions with a Strat. And with a Tele you get the distinctive Tele bridge pickup sound and the less-remarked on, but slightly different Tele neck pickup sound and the sound of those two pickups together.

Depending on how the Strat's bridge is setup, a Tele may be more stable when bending strings against unbent strings and it may be better able to finish a song after a string breaks. It's also faster to retune or change tunings on stage with a Tele's fixed bridge vs. a Strat setup with a floating bridge.

Many love the Strat's contour curves and cutaways.

One way to "split the difference" is a three pickup Telecaster. And people block or deck the Strat bridge, or buy hardtail Strats. And folks put Bigsby's on Teles. And then with all the possible variations: what pickup goes where? There are more variations that I can count.

You'll have to decide for yourself. Perhaps this thread will fill with reasons you are right and/or wrong which ever way you choose, but of course your choice is the right one.
__________________
Parlando - Where Music and Words Meet
-----------------------------------
20th Century Seagull S6-12, S6 Folk, Seagull M6
'00 Guild JF30-12, '01 Martin 00-15, '07 Parkwood PW510
Epiphone Biscuit resonator, Merlin Dulcimer, and various electric guitars, basses....
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 12-02-2019, 07:04 PM
rwmct rwmct is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Posts: 1,258
Default

I love the basic "plank with pickups" quality of Telecasters. But really, there are strong partisans of each. And I don't think there are too many iconic players who have not been seen playing both models at some point.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 12-02-2019, 07:15 PM
Dru Edwards Dru Edwards is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Nova Scotia
Posts: 33,797
Default

Do you want a tremolo? That would point to the Strat.

Lots of Tele fans here but playing some Stevie Ray Vaughan on the Strat's neck pickup sounds sweet.

Make sure you leave budget for a good amp. A good amp doesn't need to be expensive or loud.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 12-02-2019, 07:29 PM
Hack Guitarist Hack Guitarist is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2019
Posts: 37
Default

Thank you all very much for the replies so far. I hadn't considered faster or easier retuning on a tele. See, that's why I asked. I have been considering one of the new Boss Katana MKII 100W amps. I believe there is a 1x12 and a 2x12 to choose from. They only had a 50W to play locally so I'd have to order a 100W. I liked the 50W though.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 12-02-2019, 07:48 PM
roylor4 roylor4 is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: McLeansville, NC
Posts: 6,647
Default

Frank's answer is pretty detailed and he has more time under his fingertips than I do, but I don't think you can go wrong with either.

The out of phase sounds in position 2 & 4 can't be replicated on a Tele, but a Strat bridge P'up can get pretty close to the twang of a Tele. IMHO, Strats may be tad more versatile, but don't discount feel. The neck shape, the balance when strapped up, the weight and the way it lays across your body - all intangible - but important intangibles if you are looking for a lifer.

That said, I would encourage you to look at the Boss Nextone amps. They look far easier to dial in really good tones on than a Katana and they just dropped their pricing from $499 to $299. They have a lot of bells and whistles too, but the ability to switch from 6v6, 6L6, el34 and el84 gives you tons of options without adding modeled pedals and such - just a thought.

If possible, try the guitars you are searching for THROUGH the amp(s) that you may buy. Some amps play better with certain guitars - just the way it is.

Good luck in your search!
__________________
Roy


Ibanez, Alvarez, Recording King, Gretsch & Loar
2 G&L Tributes, 2 Squiers
Vox, Orange, Bugera
JBL, Soundcraft, Roland, Fender, Samson

Our duo website - UPDATED 7/26/19

My Solo site -Updated 2/6/19
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 12-02-2019, 07:59 PM
H165 H165 is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: The Woods; OC, CA
Posts: 1,593
Default

Story too long to avoid boredom, but, final outcome:

Telecaster Thnline, original style drop-in (raised slightly to bring string height off top closer to the feel of an acoustic), 1 3/4" nut. Modified with switched tone and volume controls (replacing countinouous-variable "pots").

The switching mods came from observing and hearing way too many players. The vast majority of players use two (sometimes three) volume settings, and two (sometimes three) tone settings. There are times when accidentally brushing a knob messes up the whole sound.

I use push-button "effects pedal" type switches with pretty stiff springs. It's near impossible to accidentally change the setting. You don't see me looking down stomping around on the floor much. These settings are hard-wired into my guitar, with resistors and caps selected to my preferences.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 12-02-2019, 09:08 PM
raysachs's Avatar
raysachs raysachs is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 1,562
Default

Iím a lifelong strat guy, but I also have and love a tele. For a long time I tried to like teles, but as long as there was a strat sitting there next to it, the tele never got played. And then got sold. Then I found a tele I really bonded with and now I canít imagine ever being without either. My strat is a hardtail though - I never got on with a trem and I used to block my Strats until I finally just got a hardtail. So I find they play very very similarly.

But nothing sounds like a strat. I love the 2, 4, and 5 positions and a tele just canít sound like any of those positions I have a tone control on the bridge pup, so I find it really usable now too. It does a reasonable impression of a tele bridge pickup, but only so far - thereís really nothing like a tele bridge pup. Some of my favorite overdriven sounds ever are from a tele bridge pup And thereís nothing like the simplicity of a tele. The strat has more great sounds and theyíre easy enough to find once you spend a little time with it, but a three way switch and a master volume and tone - itís almost hard not to find a great sound with that guitar. I love em both and I donít have any other electrics anymore.

I wouldnít discount getting both, maybe go Mexican instead of USA built - Iíve had both and find the quality of MIM Fenders is very very good now. Both of mine are MIM and are better than the American Strats Iíve had in the past.

Regardless, good luck..

-Ray
__________________
Two nice acoustics, two nice electrics, nothing ultra fancy but all great playing, great sounding instruments that are way better than their owner
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 12-02-2019, 10:58 PM
Jaden Jaden is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Posts: 1,604
Default

When I went looking for telecasters, I would have preferred American made, but the product choice didnít give vintage neck radius and the particular ones I tried didnít have the Ďití factor - origin of production for Fender doesnít always coincide with best product available, Iím afraid.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 12-03-2019, 02:23 AM
pieterh pieterh is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Near Stockholm, Sweden
Posts: 2,938
Default

Short answer - Strat for versatility, Telecaster for mojo.

Longer answer - they are both versatile in their own way. You should ask yourself what sound you may be after in the long run. My influences when I was younger were David Gilmour and Mark Knopfler so my first decent electric was a US Strat (still have it). I love country too so 12 years ago I got my G&L ASAT Classic (like a Tele) and a few years ago got my Classic 60s Tele.

Try a few if you can - the newer Telecasters (US professional and Elite models) have rear body contour and are more comfortable in a similar way to the Strat, though without the front contour (where your arm rests) that the Strat has.

For me the tuning with a floating bridge is a non-issue. I use the whammy sometimes so I donít block it off, and when changing strings I can either do them one at a time or if the fretboard needs a clean I just make the time to do it properly.

So the long answer is: first choice Strat and then get a Telecaster when you can!
__________________
Gibson ES-335 Studio 2016; Furch OM34sr 2015; Fender MiJ Geddy Lee Jazz bass, 2009; Taylor 414CE 2005; Guild D35 NT 1976; Fender MIM Classic 60s Tele 2008; Fender US Standard Strat 1992; G&L ASAT classic hollowbody 2005; Ibanez RG350MDX 2010(?); Ibanez Musician fretless, 1980s; Seymour Duncan Tube 84-40; Vox AC4TV;

Ex-pat Brit in Sweden
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 12-03-2019, 02:36 AM
Steel and wood Steel and wood is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 2,365
Default

I own one of each and like others have said, a Stratocaster is more versatile. (Five way switch and vibrato mistakenly referred to as a tremolo arm, if you choose to use). Some might also say that the Stratocaster is more comfortable to play given its belly cut. (However I don't find the Telecaster uncomfortable at all).

Unlike some though, I don't find them significantly different. (Yes, they look different but they're both Fenders, both of mine have a maple fingerboard but it wouldn't bother me if they had a rosewood board and both of mine have similar sounding trebly bridge pickups).

In short, they are both great guitars and whatever your choice, it's difficult to go wrong.

Last edited by Steel and wood; 12-03-2019 at 02:47 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 12-03-2019, 07:52 AM
Hack Guitarist Hack Guitarist is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2019
Posts: 37
Default

Thanks everyone! Truly! I do appreciate your help.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 12-03-2019, 09:20 AM
GangstaPat GangstaPat is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Dallas, Texas
Posts: 1,136
Default

Ever consider a Nashville Telecaster? Here Fender tries to blend the best of both worlds.
__________________
Martin-Taylor-L'arrivee-Halcyon-Guild-Bedell-Manuel Rodriguez-D'Angelico-Ibanez-Recording King
Reply With Quote
Reply

  The Acoustic Guitar Forum > General Acoustic Guitar and Amplification Discussion > Electric Guitars

Thread Tools



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:53 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, The Acoustic Guitar Forum
vB Ad Management by =RedTyger=