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Battle of The Guitars – Stratocaster vs Telecaster

Stratocaster vs Telecaster

In a Battle of Guitars which would you choose. Fender Stratocaster vs Telecaster?

Battle of the Guitars – Fender Stratocaster vs Telecaster

If you were going to choose your Top Guitar, the guitar you would love to own, what would you choose? I must admit, for me this is a difficult question to answer and probably why most of us own more than one guitar.  However, there must be a general preference amongst guitarists, if not why have Les Pauls and Strats continued to sell so well.

To answer the question we thought it would be fun to try and find out by asking you, our discerning readers to decide. Rather than run a simple poll we thought it would be far more fun to run a battle of the guitars competition.  Each week we will be throwing two guitars into battle and you get to decide the winner.  Initially we will pitch guitars made by the same manufacturer against each other.  But ultimately we will take the winner from each manufacturer forward and pit them against each other.  To get us started we will start with Fender and first up is the Fender Stratocaster vs Telecaster.

Stratocaster vs Telecaster

The simple elegance and quality of the Fender Telecaster has been the key to its longevity.

The Fender Telecaster was and remains the world’s first commercially successful solid body electric guitar. Originally dubbed the Broadcaster Leo Fender released the guitar in the autumn of 1950 and it has been produced by Fender ever since.

Initially the guitar was launched as a single pick-up version under the Esquire name. Fewer than 50 were sold and most were replaced under warranty due to manufacturing issues.  The biggest issue was warped necks due to the lack of a truss rod.  The single pick-up Esquire was discontinued and the two pick-up Broadcaster was introduced.  However, the Broadcaster name was short-lived as Gretsch started legal action against Fender to protect their BroadKaster guitar.  To get around the legal issues the Broadcaster was released with no name other than the Fender badge on the headstock.  These early versions without a name have been dubbed Nocasters and are highly sought after by collectors.  This situation continued until the summer of 1951 when the Telecaster name was introduced.




Despite all these initial set-backs and changes the Fender Telecaster has gone onto become a very successful guitar. It has gone through a number of set-up changes, think humbuckers and semi acoustic versions, but the core design has remained the same.  The attraction of the Fender Telecaster is its no nonsense, basic design.  Two single coil pick-ups, three way pick-up selector, master volume and tone and a fixed bridge.  It is a very simple and yet very effective combination which has become renowned for its clean, bright punchy tone.

Now let’s look at the Fender Stratocaster.

Stratocaster vs Telecaster

Due to its versatility the Fender Stratocaster is the guitar of choice for blues, rock and metal guitarists.

The Fender Stratocaster was designed in 1954 by the Fender design team which included Leo Fender, Bill Carson, George Fullerton and Freddie Tavares. The Strat built upon what Fender had learnt designing and introducing the Telecaster.  The Strat was the first guitar to feature three pickups and also the first to have a spring tensioned tremolo system.  It was also the first solid body guitar to have a contoured body.  The Fender “Comfort Contour Body” was a departure from the slab like design of the Telecaster and, combined with the double cutaway, made the Stratocaster a very comfortable and easy guitar to play.

The choice to introduce three single coil pickups on the Strat has proven to be an inspired one as it gave the guitar a unique sound and great tonal range. The three single coil pick-up combination has seen the Strat become a stalwart for musicians of every musical persuasion.  Whether it is rock, blues, jazz or metal the Strat has been used to create some of the world’s greatest guitar music.

There we have it the relative merits of the Telecaster and the Stratocaster. The question is which one would be your Top Guitar, which would be your choice if you were forced to decide.  In the Fender Stratocaster vs Telecaster battle which guitar would come out on top?

Make your choice by voting in our poll below.

Next up in the Battle of The Guitars is the Fender Jaguar vs Mustang.

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