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Gibson vs. Fender tones (Vintage of Course)

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  • Gibson vs. Fender tones (Vintage of Course)

    I don't know if anyone else noticed this but when you think about it ALMOST all old fender guitars share the same construction and wood-combo and get the distinctive part of their tone from their pups and electronics. Gibson however pretty much has the same PAF humbucker or P-90 (before Seth Lover's invention took over) in all their popular guitars (firebird uses minibuckers but wasn't all that popular) anyway the differences between a LP, SG, ES-335, ES-135. Are the wood and construction, average LP has a carved maple top and about 5 more lbs of mahogany than anything else, the SG is a simple piece of flat mahogany, a 335 is a collection of maple laminates and can sport either a mahogany neck or maple neck and carved top (right?) the 135 is the archtop Jazz guitar which I'm not familiar with in experience but don't think it's construction would too far of from a 335.

    Basically, Gibson's sound is in the guitar, Fender's is underneath the pickguard.
    Fender MIA Strat (Blue/Red Velvets)
    JB Player Strat (Norton/PAF Pro w/ 5way superswitch)
    Fender HotRod Deville 212 Cleans baby clean.
    Vox Valvetronix 30w AWESOME!!!!!
    Dunlop Classic Crybaby
    Do you know any geniuses, I wish I knew myself better.

  • #2
    Re: Gibson vs. Fender tones (Vintage of Course)

    Actually, for both brands it's the guitar and what's under the hood. The wood has different characteristics which give it it's tone. Not two different species, but two different slabs of the same wood will sound different. Now, the pickups....both are randomly wound. Atleast they were back in the day. The counters didnt work well on the early machines, so it could be crazy hot or really thin. Also, the pots didnt have the quality control that they do now. What you though could have been a 250K could've actually be a 300K or a 150K you never know.
    This is the very perfection of a man, to find out his own imperfections. - St. Augustine of Hippo

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    • #3
      Re: Gibson vs. Fender tones (Vintage of Course)

      Yes your right about that but that doesn't change my statement in anyway. Of course two tele's will sound different but there still teles
      Fender MIA Strat (Blue/Red Velvets)
      JB Player Strat (Norton/PAF Pro w/ 5way superswitch)
      Fender HotRod Deville 212 Cleans baby clean.
      Vox Valvetronix 30w AWESOME!!!!!
      Dunlop Classic Crybaby
      Do you know any geniuses, I wish I knew myself better.

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      • #4
        Re: Gibson vs. Fender tones (Vintage of Course)

        teles started out being ash, strats (I beleiive) started out as alder. Also, don't discount the huge difference that the bridge/ string mounting design makes on how a guitar sounds. This, combined with the pickups and tone circuit, make the guitars sound different.
        Ain't nothin' but a G thang, baby.

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        • #5
          Re: Gibson vs. Fender tones (Vintage of Course)

          Originally posted by brinton
          Basically, Gibson's sound is in the guitar, Fender's is underneath the pickguard.

          So, what you're trying to say in a round about matter is that Gibson guitars are better than Fender guitars, and that Fender relies on their pickups to fix up their guitars?

          Man, if it's the way you feel, just say it. Don't write a whole paragraph trying to justify it.

          Either way, I 1) don't agree, and 2) don't care.

          Personally, I could care less if Fender used recycled pressboard for the body and bakelite for the neck, if it sounds good when they're done, I'll rock it.
          || Guitar | Wah | Vibe | Amp ||

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          • #6
            Re: Gibson vs. Fender tones (Vintage of Course)

            where did I say Gibson is better than fender, I posted this as an observation (the main difference between tones in Gibson are caused by the construction of the guitars bodies and woods, fender has unique and different pickups for each guitar). So if you think I'm saying Gibson is better because they have a variety of ways of building their guitars yet use the same electronics and pups in their guitars, fine.

            BTW your post was rude, if you didn't care why post, why were you so offended? I'm glad you like fender so much, I am a fender guy too but I'm not gonna feel like someone made an ignorant racial comment or act like someone's talking about my mother when they say they don't like fender.

            I feel like no one gets my post, the PAF doesn't have a home nor the P-90, they were just the pickup part of many gibson guitars. Fender has many similar constructed guitars but the pickups totally make a tele a tele a strat a strat a jazzmaster a jazzmaster and so on. You almost for sure wouldn't know if I put a strat pickup in a tele that I was using a tele or vice versa.

            YES the bridge material and differences between hard ash, swamp ash, alder, and even individual pieces of the same wood species play key roles in a guitars tone but when you go for the root of a guitars tone it's in the pickups for fender and for gibson it is in the construction of the guitar body and wood species. Take a PAF from an Es-335, put it in a LP and you would never think that the pickup came from a Es-335. Take an old telecaster pickup, put it in a strat and you sound like your playing a telecaster.
            Fender MIA Strat (Blue/Red Velvets)
            JB Player Strat (Norton/PAF Pro w/ 5way superswitch)
            Fender HotRod Deville 212 Cleans baby clean.
            Vox Valvetronix 30w AWESOME!!!!!
            Dunlop Classic Crybaby
            Do you know any geniuses, I wish I knew myself better.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Gibson vs. Fender tones (Vintage of Course)

              I feel like no one gets my post, the PAF doesn't have a home nor the P-90, they were just the pickup part of many gibson guitars. Fender has many similar constructed guitars but the pickups totally make a tele a tele a strat a strat a jazzmaster a jazzmaster and so on. You almost for sure wouldn't know if I put a strat pickup in a tele that I was using a tele or vice versa.


              YES the bridge material and differences between hard ash, swamp ash, alder, and even individual pieces of the same wood species play key roles in a guitars tone but when you go for the root of a guitars tone it's in the pickups for fender and for gibson it is in the construction of the guitar body and wood species. Take a PAF from an Es-335, put it in a LP and you would never think that the pickup came from a Es-335. Take an old telecaster pickup, put it in a strat and you sound like your playing a telecaster.[/QUOTE]

              Dude, you are not taking into account scale length, body thickness, string mounting designs, and to a certain extent, body shape. If you take a PAF from a 335 and put it in a LP, of course the guitar will still sound like a LP, because it still IS a LP.

              If you put a Telecaster pickup into a strat, even a hardtail strat, it will still sound like a strat. People have tried to make a strat sound like a tele (SD Twangbanger, Dimarzio Red Velvet) and, admittedly, they do sound close, but I for one, won't mistake that sound for a real tele.
              Ain't nothin' but a G thang, baby.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Gibson vs. Fender tones (Vintage of Course)

                I'm not offended. I rock a Strat and a Les Paul. They're both my number 1 guitar, just not both on the same day.


                Originally posted by brinton
                Take a PAF from an Es-335, put it in a LP and you would never think that the pickup came from a Es-335. Take an old telecaster pickup, put it in a strat and you sound like your playing a telecaster.

                You're comparing the tonal difference between a solid and hollow body on one hand, and two solid bodies on the other. Of course the first two are going to sound quite different, and the second two are going to sound quite similar.

                Not to mention that of the two solid bodies, one (the Stratocaster) is directly based on the design of the other (the Telecaster).

                I think a closer comparison would be a single cut Les Paul and a double cut Les Paul against a Strat and a Tele. I bet you could stick a Les Paul pickup in the double cut and believe it came from a single cut.....
                || Guitar | Wah | Vibe | Amp ||

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                • #9
                  Re: Gibson vs. Fender tones (Vintage of Course)

                  Ahhh Brinton my friend.

                  You are discovering what I have learned the hard way too.

                  When it comes to discussing Fender or Gibson...any difference of opinion is compounded and it can become pretty heated.

                  I posted once on another forum that I kinda thought the Fender's seemed to be going down in quality and up in price. I felt like their fretwire was getting thinner and thinner and soon dental floss would be glued in place.

                  Comparing Fender and Gibson is always a little problematic. Apples and oranges after all!!!

                  I thought your post was interesting and I never mind questioning any product. I find that Fender and Gibson bring out the beast in people sometimes. Almost like a religious discussion!!!

                  Not me....I like both brands for different reasons, but I'm still gonna build a custom guitar and bring together the best of both worlds.

                  Good post guy!!

                  Thor

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                  • #10
                    Re: Gibson vs. Fender tones (Vintage of Course)

                    Man say you have a PAF HB, what guitar did it come from, can't tell by ear. Say you have an old strat pickup you could tell what guitar that came from even in a LP.

                    People have tried to make a stratocaster sound like a tele but the twanbanger and red velvet aren't examples, they're strat-tele hybrid pickups, they're aren't designed to sound like teles, they have little bit of both, it's not the same as putting a real tele pup in a strat.

                    Of course the bridge difference is big in a strat-tele comparison. But my example where I said put strat pup in a tele, the tonal differences between the two bridges won't overpower the differences between pickups. It won't sound EXACTLY like a strat but it'll definately sound more straty than anything else.
                    Fender MIA Strat (Blue/Red Velvets)
                    JB Player Strat (Norton/PAF Pro w/ 5way superswitch)
                    Fender HotRod Deville 212 Cleans baby clean.
                    Vox Valvetronix 30w AWESOME!!!!!
                    Dunlop Classic Crybaby
                    Do you know any geniuses, I wish I knew myself better.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Gibson vs. Fender tones (Vintage of Course)

                      Read Dr. Barlo's second last post on "Could a tele pup fit in a strat".
                      Fender MIA Strat (Blue/Red Velvets)
                      JB Player Strat (Norton/PAF Pro w/ 5way superswitch)
                      Fender HotRod Deville 212 Cleans baby clean.
                      Vox Valvetronix 30w AWESOME!!!!!
                      Dunlop Classic Crybaby
                      Do you know any geniuses, I wish I knew myself better.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Gibson vs. Fender tones (Vintage of Course)

                        I've read the thread, and I own a Strat and a tele. They do not sound the same, even if you put a tele pickup in a strat or a strat pickup in a tele.

                        If all it took to make one Fender guitar sound like another Fender guitar was changing the pickups, a lot of Jag, Mustnag, and Tele players would be playing Strats with those respective pickups, just because a strat has a more comfortable body and a better designed tremolo system.
                        Last edited by Benjy_26; 08-12-2004, 12:08 PM.
                        Ain't nothin' but a G thang, baby.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Gibson vs. Fender tones (Vintage of Course)

                          Originally posted by brinton
                          Man say you have a PAF HB, what guitar did it come from, can't tell by ear. Say you have an old strat pickup you could tell what guitar that came from even in a LP.


                          ..using your analogy above, if I pulled a Fender Texas Special out of a Strat, and another Fender Texas Special out of a Jagstang, then stuck each of them in a Les Paul, you'd be able to tell me which one came from a Strat?

                          || Guitar | Wah | Vibe | Amp ||

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                          • #14
                            Re: Gibson vs. Fender tones (Vintage of Course)

                            Originally posted by brinton
                            YES the bridge material and differences between hard ash, swamp ash, alder, and even individual pieces of the same wood species play key roles in a guitars tone but when you go for the root of a guitars tone it's in the pickups for fender and for gibson it is in the construction of the guitar body and wood species. Take a PAF from an Es-335, put it in a LP and you would never think that the pickup came from a Es-335. Take an old telecaster pickup, put it in a strat and you sound like your playing a telecaster.



                            First of all, in your Gibson comparison you're comparing an LP, a solid chunk of mahogany, with an ES-335 - a hollow body electric. Given the nature of the guitar construction, of course there's going to be a vast difference in the tone. Your Fenders are both solid bodies.

                            Second, I own both a strat and a tele. There is no way that simply putting a tele pickup into a strat will make the strat sound like a tele. Try playing both unplugged. It'll take two notes for you to realize that the guitars sound nothing alike. When you've got two guitars made of two different woods, with two different necks, and two different bridges, etc, etc, etc, how can you say that Fender relied on pickups to aheive their tones?

                            Third, Gibson doesn't rely solely on construction for tone. Take an LP loaded with P-90s. Then take a theoretically identical guitar but loaded with Gibby's PAFs. I guarantee they'll sound worlds apart.

                            I don't completely disagree with your assessment of Gibson construction, but I am telling you that your assessment of Fender is way off base. In fact, I might venture to say that Fender's solid body electric construction has far more differences model to model than Gibson's (that statement is in no way meant to spark an argument, just a generalizatoin I think I can make. For the record, I am a fan of both guitar companies).
                            Duncan Pickups in currently in use: '59 (rewound to PATB-3)/'59, Custom 5/AP2H, Tapped QP set for Tele, Crazy 8/Cool Rails, Screamin' Demon/Stra-Bro 90, Custom/Phat Cat, SP90-1/SP90-2, SMB-5D

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