By Aurelia Beaty. Guitar Electric. Published at Friday, August 31st, 2018 - 22:19:10 PM.
The first form of Fender Telecaster was known as the Esquire and there were about fifty guitars that were produced originally. In about 1950, Esquire, which was a one-pickup model was replaced with a two-pickup model and was named Broadcaster. There was a legal threat from a company known as Gretsch, which was already producing guitars and drums and said that Broadcaster was violating its trademark Broadkaster, which was the trademark of its drums. Therefore, Fender changed the name from Broadcaster to Telecaster.
An acoustic guitar is so named because the hollow design of its body provides a natural means by which the acoustics can be optimized, so that the sound of the guitar is naturally amplified, and therefore needs no exterior or additional means of amplifying the sound. Electric guitars are quite different, and without an external, electrical amplifier, strumming or picking the strings will make almost no sound at all, and certainly nothing much more impressive than pinging a rubber band! It is for this reason that electric guitars do use external amplification, but there is a common misconception or misunderstanding as to what exactly the external amplification does.
The only true small bottle 5881 currently in production is the Tung Sol 5881 reissue that is also made by Sovtek. Like the Sovtek 5881WXT, the Tung Sol has lower output than most 6l6's. But when it comes to tone, there is no comparison. The tone of the Tung Sol is head and shoulders above the 5881WXT. The problem is, unlike the Sovtek, the Tung Sol apparently cannot handle the high voltage of most modern tube amps. As a result, most people looking to upgrade the standard Sovtek 5881WXT will do better with a 6l6 tall bottle or one of the new clear tops. In addition to the Tung Sol, Sovtek also has a premium tall bottle 6l6 called the Sovtek 5881WXT+ (not the 5881WXT, the 588WXT"+", which is a very different animal) and the Electro-Harmonix 6l6EH (near as I can tell, the WXT+ and the 6l6EH are the same). Both the 5881WXT+ and the 6l6EH have longer plates, more volume and a much nicer tone - with more harmonic complexity - than the Sovtek 5881WXT.
What Could Possibly Go Wrong? The unsuspecting guitar. Well, a lot, actually. Single coil pickups hum, and humbuckers don’t. Even if you get a reverse woundreverse polarity single coil pickup for the middle position, there will be hum when the neck single coil is used alone, as well as when you use the middle single coil alone, and the middle single coil with the humbucker. That is three out of the five positions that have that annoying 60-cycle hum. While I can tolerate this in a Strat with three singles because the noise is always there, it’s hard for me to deal with it coming and going, especially with distortion.
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