It features a classic Telecaster body and configuration with modern features such as Magnetic Field Design for the bridge pickup. This guitar offers great bang for your buck and is our top pick for this list.
Factory-modded version of Leo Fender’s traditional single-cutaway bolt-on design
Solid swamp ash body
Hard-rock maple neck with a comfortable Modern Classic profile
Alnico II neck humbucker for a vintage-inspired tone
Leo Fender-designed single-coil Magnetic Field Design bridge pickup
The G&L Fullerton Deluxe ASAT Classic Bluesboy features a solid swamp ash body for warmth and brightness.
Designed in collaboration with the legendary Grammy-winning guitarist himself, the T7 arms you with the classic playability, tone, and stage presentation of renowned T-style instruments at a price point that requires a double-take.
You’d be hard-pressed to find a T-style guitar that offers all that the T7 does at this price point. Add to that the seal of approval from a guitarist in Larry Carlton, making it our best value choice for this article.
Signature Telecaster style solid body designed in collaboration with a guitar legend Larry Carlton
Lightweight and resonant alder body
2 Sire Super-T single-coil pickups for sonic versatility
Master tone and volume controls
Roasted hard maple neck and fingerboard for smooth response and playability
The Sire Larry Carlton T7 features a lightweight, resonant alder body, which is a popular wood choice for Telecaster-style guitars.
Its roasted hard maple neck and fingerboard offer a smooth response and nice playability. By roasting the maple neck, tiny impurities in the wood are removed, and this process helps the guitar’s overall resonance.
It also gains increased stability and resilience towards the effects of humidity and temperature changes.
Features such as a 9.5-inch radius, C-shaped neck, and the 25.5-inch scale length make this Tele-style guitar comfortable in a true T fashion.
The Classic T Pro offers a vintage Telecaster design with modern improvements.
In other words, you get the best of yesterday with the modern build quality, features, and playability that Suhr is known for. This is our premium choice for this article.
Highly customizable premium Tele style guitar
C shaped medium neck profile with a 9″-12” compound fingerboard radius
PLEK fret dress treatment
Suhr designed pickups for the bridge and neck positions
1.650-inch Tusq nut and Suhr locking tuners
The Suhr Classic T Pro features a maple neck with your choice of either a maple or Indian rosewood fingerboard.
The neck is tinted and finished in satin acrylic urethane, which provides the smooth feel of natural wood as well as protection from moisture. The neck is a C-shaped medium profile with a 9″-12” compound fingerboard radius.
The frets are stainless steel for smooth bending and fantastic playability. Suhr guitars get a PLEK fret dress, ensuring the best possible string action, playability, and intonation.
PLEK is a treatment performed by a computer-controlled machine that performs very accurate scans of frets, fretboard, and other elements to then adjust the guitar. This allows the guitar to be set up to a degree of accuracy unattainable by hand.
Reverend Guitars has developed a solid reputation as a maker of great guitars and basses.
The brainchild of designer and luthier Joe Naylor, Reverend instruments have been used by some of the greatest musicians of our era, including Greg Koch, Reeves Gabrels, Meshell Ndegeocello, and many others.
With its chambered body, P90 pickups, and Bigsby bridge, this is not only a high-quality guitar but a very unique one.
Developed with world-renowned guitarist Greg Koch
Equipped with Fishman Fluence Greg Koch Gristle-Tone Signature P-90 active pickups
Push-pull phase switch further expands your tonal options
Fluence pickups offer up to 60 hours of playtime on a single charge
Bigsby vibrato tailpiece with Soft Touch spring
The Reverend Greg Koch Gristle 90 is a tele-style shaped body that is chambered for extra resonance.
The body is made of Korina with a gloss polyurethane finish. The neck is made of a 3 piece Korina with a 12-inch radius and ebony fingerboard. In addition, it has 22 nickel-alloy frets and a scale length of 24.75 inches.
On top of that, this pickup set employs an active pickup design to eliminate noise without sacrificing tone. A push-pull phase switch in the tone control offers you even more tonal options and greater versatility.
Other noteworthy features on this guitar include Reverend Pin-Lock tuning machines to lock your strings in place, increasing tuning stability and facilitating quick string changes.
Additionally, the Greg Koch Gristle 90 features a Roller bridge with a Bigsby B-50 vibrato.
ESP has developed a reputation as one of the go-to guitars for harder styles of music, and the LTD brand is essentially ESP’s more affordable brother. Add to that the two active EMG pickups and you’ve got a metal shredder’s delight in your hand.
Classic T-style guitar tailor-made for heavy metal and hard rock
Mahogany body topped with koa for a resonant, warm tone
2 EMG active pickups for warm, aggressive, PAF-style tone
Coil-splittable tone knob unlocks single-coil sounds
Fast Thin “U”shaped neck with a 3-piece maple and ebony fingerboard
The ESP LTD TE-1000 EverTune Koa features a mahogany body topped with gorgeous koa. This LTD comes with a thin “U” mahogany neck profile that greatly benefits playability and comfort.
Speaking of metal, the TE-1000 features some of the best-known active humbucker pickups on the market. You get an EMG 57 in the bridge and a 66TW in the neck, providing an excellent balance of warmth and grit.
The Evertune bridge on the LTD TE-1000 EverTune Koa means you’ll never go out of tune no matter how hard you abuse the guitar.
Small springs keep constant tension on your strings, giving you long-lasting tuning stability and incredibly accurate intonation. You can even adjust it to control how much your pitch changes when you bend a string.
Another fantastic feature of this Ibanez Prestige is the bridge. Developed in conjunction with Gotoh, the F1803 fixed bridge features machined titanium saddles that ensure fast response and fantastic articulation.
The Ibanez Prestige AZS2209H ships with D’Addario strings in gauges.010 to .046, along with a hardshell case. In short, a great Telecaster-type guitar at a relatively low price.
This Tele-style guitar features a pair of Godin-designed single-coil pickups. In the neck position, you get a GS-3 pickup which delivers a rich, textured tone that’s ideal for rhythm playing.
In the bridge position, you get a Custom Cajun pickup for a bright and lively tone that is great for twangy solos and snappy lead lines. Run both pickups together to produce a fat tone.
The Godin Stadium HT features a 25.5-inch scale length and Graphtec nut. It comes strung with Godin strings in gauges .10 to .046 and even comes with a gig bag.
What is a “T-Style guitar”?
A T-style guitar refers to a model that replicates the look and feel of the original Fender Telecaster. They feature the Telecaster’s signature single-cut body and headstock with 6 in-line tuners. Single-coil pickups are commonplace, but not a hard and fast rule for T-Style guitars.
What is the best Telecaster copy of all time?
It’s difficult to say. It really depends on what kind of player you are, and your preferences. However, all of the guitars mentioned above are great choices for different situations.
Who is the Telecaster meant for?
Telecasters are quite versatile. They are known for being great for country, rock, blues, and even jazz and metal. Different features may make a certain Tele more appropriate for certain styles.
How can you tell a fake Telecaster?
The obvious tells are in the quality of the bridge, saddles, sharp fret edges and other details give away a fake Tele.