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  1. #51

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    Does it still count as a Tele if you're playing a homebuilt catalpa-bodied T-type equipped with P-90 pickups?
    Last edited by dogletnoir; 10-16-2021 at 07:10 AM.

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #52

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    Quote Originally Posted by Clint 55
    Yeah, I know it's a novelty that sounds cool. But why is it the standard? Lol. Lots of guitars can work. I use hardtail strats.
    I guess I don't get it. Why do you care? You're not being forced to do anything that you don't want to do. You play a hard tail Strat and that works for you. Great. Everybody gets to play what they want. The world is basically on fire. Surely there are many much more important issues to get passionately upset about than what guitars other people choose to play.

  4. #53

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lobomov
    Yeah, but that LP is loaded with P90s, which basically makes it a tele
    I kinda doubt that. Here's a tele with P90s. Spanish cedar body, fat maple neck. I expected it be be somewhat like a LP with P90s, but it really isn't:

    The standard for a jazz solid body of Tele peeves the f out of me-rutters-tele-1-jpg

  5. #54
    Quote Originally Posted by L50EF15
    A hard tail Strat solves that issue but immediately raises the question: If you’re going Fender hard tail, why don’t you just get a Tele? Of course, that objection ignores the sounds the various pickup settings can give you on a Strat, but still the hard tail Strat sounds a lot like a Tele.
    I like the sound and shape better. They're easier to stick new pickups and do my electronics mods in the pickguard. I don't want to be a dumb follower :P

  6. #55
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Soloway
    I guess I don't get it. Why do you care? You're not being forced to do anything that you don't want to do. You play a hard tail Strat and that works for you. Great. Everybody gets to play what they want. The world is basically on fire. Surely there are many much more important issues to get passionately upset about than what guitars other people choose to play.
    The idea that it's the most suitable solid body for jazz and others aren't even considered when it's not even. Anything else with a hardtail and a fat pickup will work.

  7. #56

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    It is difficult to sort out myth and fact when it comes to guitar tones. What has changed my view a lot, has been the comparison vids that Warmoth has done. Things that I thought were myth, I can fully hear in those vids.

    For example (and experience), I like an alder tele, but a swamp ash strat. I hear a difference. I used to assume I was carzy, but those vids at Warmoth, really had me thinking.

    Maybe a tele based on the construction gets a better warm yet articulate sound, then say a LP. I think that scale length, might be a key factor here.

    In my world view, tele and lp, are pretty close to each in what they can do. However, they both accomplish the same ends a little differently and have a different sound. I guess if I was going to sum it up: when I want good note separation for chords, I would gravitate towards a tele. For nice lead lines, I would chose a LP. Of course both can work, but there is a slight difference.

  8. #57

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    Quote Originally Posted by Clint 55
    The idea that it's the most suitable solid body for jazz and others aren't even considered when it's not even. Anything else with a hardtail and a fat pickup will work.
    Lots of people consider things other than teles. You're greatly exaggerating.

  9. #58

  10. #59

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    Quote Originally Posted by Clint 55
    Anything else with a hardtail and a fat pickup will work.
    I don't know that absolutely anything else will work, but I agree that there are many options for a giggable solid body jazz guitar and many ways to get good tone from a slab and some wire. I don't think the shape matters much - I'd bet that even Eric Johnson can't hear the difference between a pointy body and the same one with the points rounded off. The same goes for single cut, double cut, and no cut. Even cutting a Tele or Strat to a Klein shape would probably not change its sound at all. I don't know if or how glueing an arched cap onto a flat solid body affects tone, but I can see how the increased mass might do so. Routing chambers into the body would probably also change the sound, but I never tried that.

    I bought a brand new '73 LP Custom that was my "good" gigging axe for years - I played hundreds of weddings, commercial dates, blues gigs, etc etc and loved it despite serious quality issues like fingerboard binding that kept coming off from the first few months I had it (yes it was humidified properly and no, my Gibson authorized dealer's repair staff could not make it stay put). I've had two American Teles, one I bought new in '70 and kept stock, plus one I bought used and to which I added Duncan Hot Rails. I've also had 3 "strats". I bought a Squire when the MIJ line first came out (1993?) and used it stock for several years. I bought one of the first relics because it actually felt and sounded fantastic, and I got an Epi Strat clone for next to nothing that lived in my office or locker at work so I always had a guitar handy. All of these were fine jazz guitars - I never got a single complaint from bandleaders, sidemen, names I backed, contractors, employers, or anyone else.

    And then I bought a brand new but lonely and forlorn Epi LP 7 string from Sam Ash about 25 years ago. It was stuck on that wall for months - nobody wanted it and the sales guys couldn't wait to get rid of it. I went there to buy the black Levy's leather gig bag they'd also had for a long time. By buying them together, I think I ended up paying about $200 for the bag and $250 for the guitar. I bought the guitar as a beater, but it felt really good. So I removed the marginal hardware and electronics, replaced the tuners with 7 of the Grovers in a 12 string set I'd picked up on clearance long before, and stuck an EMG into the neck position to see how it sounded and felt (which turned out to be fantastic). So it became my "I'm not taking a good guitar there" guitar.

    Over the years, I removed the bridge pup, filled all extraneous holes, and ended up using it for the vast majority of my gigs. I started to refinish it after plugging the holes, and I suddenly realized that I didn't know how thick the veneer was, if it was even a solid cap, and if the "finish" was even real. So I colored in the plugs with a furniture touch up stick and brushed a light vintage tone poly over the repairs. It's nothing more than a chunk of cheap wood with good tuners and a nice pickup. The original bridge and tailpiece have never given me trouble (e.g. broken strings), so other than than the above and 2 fret jobs, I've left it alone. It sounds jazzy as hell with Chromes through my Little Jazz, Jazz 12, Vibrolux, and ELF head through a Revsound RS8 cab. But it also sounds bluesy as hell through a Wampler Tumnus and pretty much any amp. It may not be much, but it's mine, it's wonderful, and I love it. And (as I always say), it ain't what you play, it's how you play it.

    The standard for a jazz solid body of Tele peeves the f out of me-full_view-jpgThe standard for a jazz solid body of Tele peeves the f out of me-body_post-jpg

    PS: FWIW, I also have a 7 string Tele clone that's equally jazzy. I use it almost almost every week on my Thursday night jazz show. Since this pic was taken, I added a hipshot bridge and Lace Alumibuckers, which are very responsive and run the gamut from deeply jazzy to screaming leads.

    The standard for a jazz solid body of Tele peeves the f out of me-mine_front_1000-jpg

  11. #60

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    Again the Wand or the Magician? Some of my favorite players have used solid bodies like Lenny Breau, Ed Bickert, and it never hurt their tone in my opinion.
    But I do enjoy a great Gibson Johnny Smith which essentially is a
    D’Angelico replica of sorts. It’s just the Tele can cover so much more sonic territory than the JS.

  12. #61

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    I often play a Les Paul Recording for jazz gigs.... and that can sound very much like a Telecaster with the right settings. It can also sound very much like an archtop. It is however a very heavy guitar, and not great for long gigs where I have to stand and play. My Telecaster is more useable in that sense, but I prefer the sound of the Les Paul if I'm playing jazz. The difference is pretty subtle though, the audience would likely not notice.

  13. #62

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    I was having trouble getting a decent tone out of my Sadowsky archtop on a job the other night. A big curtain next to us, carpeted floor, etc. I just couldn't get the tone knob in the right spot, for that balance between bright and dark. Then the sax player says to me, "That guitar sounds gorgeous." So I didn't worry about it.

  14. #63

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    The big rectangular neck joint bothers me. But I have seen some "teles" built with a smooth set in neck.

  15. #64

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Soloway
    So play a Les Paul. If you play it well no one's going to complain. There was a period in my life when I played standards on a pointy Ibanez 7-string. No one ever said I should be playing a Tele.
    Jim, not sure you are aware, but you are still a legend in the pointy Ibanez 7 string world

  16. #65

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    Teles are just plain fun to play, especially if you indulge yourself in some country chicken pickin' every once in a while. Just plug her in and play some Brad Paisley style riffs, it's a good time
    Last edited by jim777; 10-18-2021 at 01:39 PM.

  17. #66

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    Quote Originally Posted by Woody Sound
    Then the sax player says to me, "That guitar sounds gorgeous.”
    They’re all suckers for that reedy tone…..

  18. #67

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    I've mentioned that the best jazz tones I've heard came from archtops.

    What I didn't mention before is that the worst jazz tones I've heard also came from archtops. When I hear a guitar making a band sound like mud, it's likely to be an archtop, presumably in the hands of a player without the skill to control the feedback and make sure he's getting mids and highs into the audience.

  19. #68

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar
    I've mentioned that the best jazz tones I've heard came from archtops. What I didn't mention before is that the worst jazz tones I've heard also came from archtops. When I hear a guitar making a band sound like mud, it's likely to be an archtop, presumably in the hands of a player without the skill to control the feedback and make sure he's getting mids and highs into the audience.
    I think the most common cause of that is players who foolishly think that any archtop willl do the job. They pretend they're Freddie Green or Allan Reuss on guitars whose classic electric jazz tones are on the duller, thicker side and lack the snap and presence needed for precise rhythm work. I made this mistake with my flattie-strung '60 175DN through a B15N back in the late '60s when I was hired for my first steady gig with a society band office. The leader for whom I usually played 2 or 3 gigs a week kept telling me to comp with fills instead of the chunk chunk that I thought was so cool on the right tunes. He couldn't explain what he didn't like. But I finally figured out that although I could feel the attack of each chunk, it wasn't coming out sharply on the beat and it was muddying the bass line instead of adding an upper register to it.

    That was when I bought a new '69 L5CN and my first Fender, so I could do right by every style. Sadly, the L5 was a QC disaster (as I've described in other threads) and was returned within a few days. But I used it on one gig and discovered the greatness of a fine acoustic archtop. I was able to pick up an early L50 and immediately fell into the rhythm groove. That little sucker was right there with the bass - it was in a different world from the 175 for rhythm work on swing tunes. Truth be told, I think it was at least the equal of the L5 for straight rhythm.

    And those days were the beginning of my fondness for Teles for jazz gigs. I bought a bound, sunburst custom in '70 and never looked back. With a good acoustic archtop strung with RWs and a good solid body with flatties, every base was covered. Nothing's changed since. My Eastman 810 is strung with RWs, while both my Tele 7 and my Ibanez AF207 carry TI flatties. The right tool for the right job..........

  20. #69

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    Quote Originally Posted by nevershouldhavesoldit
    I think the most common cause of that is players who foolishly think that any archtop willl do the job. They pretend they're Freddie Green or Allan Reuss on guitars whose classic electric jazz tones are on the duller, thicker side and lack the snap and presence needed for precise rhythm work. I made this mistake with my flattie-strung '60 175DN through a B15N back in the late '60s when I was hired for my first steady gig with a society band office. The leader for whom I usually played 2 or 3 gigs a week kept telling me to comp with fills instead of the chunk chunk that I thought was so cool on the right tunes. He couldn't explain what he didn't like. But I finally figured out that although I could feel the attack of each chunk, it wasn't coming out sharply on the beat and it was muddying the bass line instead of adding an upper register to it.

    That was when I bought a new '69 L5CN and my first Fender, so I could do right by every style. Sadly, the L5 was a QC disaster (as I've described in other threads) and was returned within a few days. But I used it on one gig and discovered the greatness of a fine acoustic archtop. I was able to pick up an early L50 and immediately fell into the rhythm groove. That little sucker was right there with the bass - it was in a different world from the 175 for rhythm work on swing tunes. Truth be told, I think it was at least the equal of the L5 for straight rhythm.

    And those days were the beginning of my fondness for Teles for jazz gigs. I bought a bound, sunburst custom in '70 and never looked back. With a good acoustic archtop strung with RWs and a good solid body with flatties, every base was covered. Nothing's changed since. My Eastman 810 is strung with RWs, while both my Tele 7 and my Ibanez AF207 carry TI flatties. The right tool for the right job..........
    I think technique is more important than the tool. I have done many gigs with a 175 strung with flats where my 4 to the bar rhythm sounded fine (after all, the bandleaders loved it and kept hiring me to do many more well paid gigs) , but I used a percussive Gypsy jazz right hand technique with that guitar. For a Freddy Green style technique, I do not even like a L-5CES, I want a floating pickup acoustic archtop for that style of play. Flats work fine on those, though I am coming around to the fact that bronze roundwounds bring out the best of those guitars. I have gotten great sounds with a Strat or Tele strung with flats doing 4 to the bar, but I have not been able to do so with a humbucker equipped Les Paul. I suspect a P-90 equipped Les Paul might work. It sure did for Lou Pollo.

    Speaking of the Ibanez AF-207, While I think they are great sounding guitars (I had two of them, one was stock and one had a Benedetto pickup...I preferred the all stock one), the 24.7 scale meant that the low A string was always a bit wonky on the intonation front, even using a .85 string.

  21. #70

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stringswinger
    I think technique is more important than the tool. I have done many gigs with a 175 strung with flats where my 4 to the bar rhythm sounded fine (after all, the bandleaders loved it and kept hiring me to do many more well paid gigs) , but I used a percussive Gypsy jazz right hand technique with that guitar. For a Freddy Green style technique, I do not even like a L-5CES, I want a floating pickup acoustic archtop for that style of play. Flats work fine on those, though I am coming around to the fact that bronze roundwounds bring out the best of those guitars. I have gotten great sounds with a Strat or Tele strung with flats doing 4 to the bar, but I have not been able to do so with a humbucker equipped Les Paul. I suspect a P-90 equipped Les Paul might work. It sure did for Lou Pollo.

    Speaking of the Ibanez AF-207, While I think they are great sounding guitars (I had two of them, one was stock and one had a Benedetto pickup...I preferred the all stock one), the 24.7 scale meant that the low A string was always a bit wonky on the intonation front, even using a .85 string.
    I think it's a combination. I was a kid at the time and not used to playing in / for / with a bigger band. And I was probably using 3 and 4 note chords where I should have used 2. As I described, I was also playing through an Ampeg B15N, because I almost always had a 4 or 5 night per week solo restaurant gig during the dinner hour.

    As for strings, I recently went to bronze acoustic RWs on my Eastman 810 (I had a few sets of 80/20 Pearse in the string drawer) and love the sound. But back in the '60s, I used Guild EA610 flats that were similar in sound and feel to Chromes as best I can recall from decades ago. Compared to Chromes, TI flats brighten up the tone on my AF207 and make it a much better rhythm chunker than I recall my flat-strung 175 to have been. I also tried D'A half-rounds and liked the sound but found the feel to be annoying - Stringjoy RWs actually sound and feel better to me.

    I did have intonation problems with the 207 when I first got it - as I recall the original strings when it was new were 13 to 65 flats. John Pearse told me to use a much heavier 7th, so I bought a range from 70 to 80 and worked my way up. It's been fine with an 80, as long as I use a very light touch. To be honest, it's been a constant struggle and I still have to watch my grip. I keep the action as low as possible, which also reduces a tendency to fret hard enough to go sharp.

  22. #71

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    Quote Originally Posted by nevershouldhavesoldit
    I think it's a combination. I was a kid at the time and not used to playing in / for / with a bigger band. And I was probably using 3 and 4 note chords where I should have used 2. As I described, I was also playing through an Ampeg B15N, because I almost always had a 4 or 5 night per week solo restaurant gig during the dinner hour.

    As for strings, I recently went to bronze acoustic RWs on my Eastman 810 (I had a few sets of 80/20 Pearse in the string drawer) and love the sound. But back in the '60s, I used Guild EA610 flats that were similar in sound and feel to Chromes as best I can recall from decades ago. Compared to Chromes, TI flats brighten up the tone on my AF207 and make it a much better rhythm chunker than I recall my flat-strung 175 to have been. I also tried D'A half-rounds and liked the sound but found the feel to be annoying - Stringjoy RWs actually sound and feel better to me.

    I did have intonation problems with the 207 when I first got it - as I recall the original strings when it was new were 13 to 65 flats. John Pearse told me to use a much heavier 7th, so I bought a range from 70 to 80 and worked my way up. It's been fine with an 80, as long as I use a very light touch. To be honest, it's been a constant struggle and I still have to watch my grip. I keep the action as low as possible, which also reduces a tendency to fret hard enough to go sharp.
    You are quite right that it is always a combination of the mechanic and the tool. I have never been able to get a good 4 to the bar rhythm sound with a humbucker equipped Les Paul.