Stratocaster And Telecaster: What's the Difference?

Not sure whether to get a strat or a tele? Read here for a guide to understand the basic differences between the two.

Stratocaster And Telecaster: What's the Difference?
Fender Hybrid II Stratocaster Black and Fender Silent Siren Telecaster 

Not sure whether to get a strat or a tele? Read here for a guide to understand the basic differences between the two.

Since their introduction to the guitar world in the 1950s, the Telecaster and the Stratocaster have set the standard for electric guitars. The pair has been used to create virtually every genre of music imaginable and are adored universally by both amateur players and iconic musicians alike.

If you’re looking to buy your first Fender or Squier Tele or Strat, there are a few differences that may make it easier for you to distinguish and choose between the two. In this article, we will take 4 aspects of the two and make a side-by-side comparison.

#01. Necks: Stratocaster vs Telecaster

Both the modern Telecaster and Stratocaster bolt-on necks largely feature 22 frets and a 65 cm scale, with identical nut width and 24 cm fretboard radius.

The Stratocaster, on the other hand, has a noticeably larger headstock, whether the original iteration or the bulky one that was used from 1965 to 1981. Some guitarists claim that the larger Strat headstock gives the guitar more sustain and tone, but that debate has raged on for years.

#02 Bodies: Stratocaster vs Telecaster

The bodies of Telecaster and Stratocaster guitars are mostly made of alder, a lightweight, closed-pore wood with a resonant, balanced tone that provides excellent sustain and sharp attack. Other tonewoods, such as ash and mahogany, have also been used.

Both body silhouettes are instantly recognizable. There is a single cutaway and no body contours on the Tele. The Strat has another cutout on the upper horn for better access to the upper notes, in addition to its sleek contours that make it eternally comfortable to play.

#03 Electronics: Stratocaster vs Telecaster

The Stratocaster and Telecaster electronics are generally similar. They both have a master volume control, but unlike the Tele, the Strat has dedicated tone knobs for the middle and bridge pickups.

The switching, on the other hand, is a different story. The Telecaster has always had a three-way switch, but after guitarists discovered that they could get more tonal versatility by jamming the Strat's original three-way switch between the first and second positions, as well as the second and third positions, Fender replaced it with a standard five-way selector.

The Telecaster is typically equipped with two single-coil pickups, with the bridge pickup being wider and longer than the Strat's. Furthermore, it is mounted on the metal bridge plate of the Telecaster, which can give it a more powerful tone.

#04 Hardware: Stratocaster vs Telecaster

The bridge is probably the most noticeable distinction here. Both have six adjustable saddles (vintage Telecasters had three), but the Telecaster's houses the bridge pickup, whereas the Strat's is a two-point tremolo system.

The Strat bridge is attached to springs that allow the player to adjust the pitch of the strings using a "whammy bar."

Which One Is Right for Me?

Whether a Tele or a Strat is right for you is a matter of personal opinion and preference. Both guitars have a rich history and countless devotees, but the feel and sound can differ greatly.

Throughout the years, guitarists have gravitated towards either the Strat or the Tele. And oftentimes, players sit somewhere in between.

The best thing to do is refuse to let the stereotypes themselves lead you down a certain path. You can only be truly informed after playing them yourself.

Squier and Fender Stratocasters and Telecasters Available at Soundskool

If you live in Phnom Penh or Siem Reap, visit one of Soundskool stores and see what we have to offer. Soundskool has a variety of best-quality and affordable Fender and Squier Telecasters and Stratocasters for you to choose from.

Fender Squier Affinity Telecaster DLX LRL 

This Tele® features several player-friendly refinements such as a thin and lightweight body, a slim and comfortable “C”-shaped neck profile, a string-through-body hardtail bridge for optimal body resonance and sealed die-cast tuning machines with split shafts for smooth, accurate tuning and easy restringing. Loaded with two Squier humbucking pickups with individual volume and tone controls for genre-defying sonic variety, this model is ready to accompany any player at any stage.

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Fender Vintera 60S Telecaster Bigsby PF 3TS

For players who want the style and sound of Fender’s classic years, we created the Vintera® ‘60s Telecaster® Bigsby. Equipped with the coveted features that defined the decade—including period-accurate neck profile, re-voiced pickups and cool-looking Bigsby tremolo—this guitar has all of the growl and twang that made the Telecaster a legend.

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Fender Squier Affinity Stratocaster LRL SFG

The best value available today in electric guitar design, Squier Affinity Series guitars deliver solid sound with a slick style. The Affinity Series Stratocaster combines the classic features that made the Stratocaster a rock ‘n’ roll favorite: sonic flexibility, authentic Fender sound, vintage style and eye-catching finishes.

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Fender Japan is renowned for its craftsmanship. This Hybrid II Stratocaster takes classic designs of Fender and updates them for the better that fit the playing style of modern players. 

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Visit Soundskool stores: Toul Kork, Toul Tom Poung, Norodom, Siem Reap

Visit Soundskool website to take a look at Fender and Squier Stratocasters and Telecasters collection:

Any question to help you choose your guitar? Contact us.

Telegram: Toul Tom Poung, Toul Kork, Nodorom, Siem Reap

Soundskool, the only Fender's authorized distributor in Cambodia. fender/dealers-distributors/asia/Cambodia

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