7 Best Telecaster Style Guitar Copies (Of All Time)

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  • The Telecaster is one of the most popular types of guitar ever to exist
  • But with there being so many on the market, how can you tell which are the best?
  • Here are 7 of the absolute best Telecaster copies that money can buy.

The Fender Telecaster has been one of the most popular choices for electric guitar since its inception.

Its simplicity, tone, bite, and playability have kept it in demand for decades. As a result, many brands offer a Tele-style guitar.

In this article, we’re going to explore the 7 best Telecaster-style guitar copies. If you’re looking for the best pickup for your telecaster, be sure to check out this article too! 

What are the 7 Best Telecaster Style Guitar Copies? 

The G&L Fullerton Deluxe ASAT Classic Bluesboy is our top pick. Built by Leo Fender and company, the G&L offers the best value for money around. 

In case you want a nice Tele-style guitar but are on a limited budget, the Sire Larry Carlton T7 is our best value choice.

Now, if you want a superior guitar, the Suhr Classic T Pro is our premium choice.

Here are our candidates for the best Telecaster-style guitars.

  • G&L Fullerton Deluxe ASAT Classic Bluesboy (Our Pick)
  • Sire Larry Carlton T7 (Best Value)
  • Suhr Classic T Pro (Premium Choice)
  • Reverend Greg Koch Gristle 90
  • ESP LTD TE-1000 EverTune Koa 
  • Ibanez Prestige AZS2209H 
  • Godin Stadium HT

1. G&L Fullerton Deluxe ASAT Classic Bluesboy (Our Pick)

OUR PICK
G&L Fullerton Deluxe ASAT Classic Bluesboy

The G&L Fullerton Deluxe ASAT Classic Bluesboy is a factory-modded version of Leo Fender’s traditional single-cutaway bolt-on, and it includes a host of popular options for good measure. 

Why We Love It:
  • Serves up a myriad of sonic textures
  • Comfortable
  • Amazing cost-benefit relationship
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The legendary Leo Fender partnered with George Fullerton to create G&L in 1979. Mr. Fender wanted to further develop his guitar creations. So after selling Fender, he created G&L.

The G&L Fullerton Deluxe ASAT Classic Bluesboy is a perfect example of Leo Fender’s vision.

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.

Features

  • 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 

Review

The G&L Fullerton Deluxe ASAT Classic Bluesboy features a solid swamp ash body for warmth and brightness.

This tele-style guitar was built with a very stable maple neck with a Modern Classic profile and 25.5-inch scale length for comfort and playability.

The bone nut features a 1-11/16″ width, while the neck is capped by a comfortable 9.5″-radius maple fingerboard. 

It features G&L-designed pickups in a classic T configuration. At the neck position, we’ve got an Alnico II-loaded humbucker for vintage-inspired tones

For the bridge position, we’ve got a Leo Fender-designed single-coil pickup with an extra-thick magnet that emits a tight magnetic field.

This pickup produces a strong output and a muscular, percussive attack. Additionally, this single-coil pickup comes with individually adjustable pole pieces to give you complete control over your tone.

Additional features on the Fullerton Deluxe ASAT include a boxed-steel bridge with individual brass saddles, closed gear tuners with a 12:1 ratio, and D’Addario strings gauged .10 to .046.

This guitar comes with a gig bag and is a spectacular instrument at this price range, and arguably the best telecaster clone available

2. Sire Larry Carlton T7 (Best Value)

BEST VALUE
Sire Larry Carlton H7 Hollowbody Electric Guitar

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.

Why We Love It:
  • Ridiculously cheap
  • Great playability
  • Lightweight body
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Designed in collaboration with the legendary guitarist Larry Carlton, the Sire T7 offers Telecaster-type tones and feel at a low price.

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. 

Features

  • 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

Review

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 T7 features rolled fingerboard edges and medium-jumbo frets for true playing comfort. The T7T is loaded with Sire Super-T single-coil pickups in the neck and bridge positions that deliver classic Telecaster versatility and tone.

It’s great for playing rock, pop, country, and even jazz, much like the storied studio career of the man who helped design it, Mr. Larry Carlton. 

This guitar features the standard telecaster configuration of one master volume knob, one master tone knob, and a 3-way blade style pickup switch.

Additionally, this Sire guitar features a Vintage T Bridge for that fantastic sustain, with the Sire premium locking tuners giving that added tuning stability. 

This Telecaster copy comes with Ernie Ball strings gauged .010 to .046 and you can opt to buy a case or gig bag separately.

In short, the Sire Larry Carlton T7 is our pick for the best cheap Telecaster copy.

3. Suhr Classic T Pro (Premium Choice)

PREMIUM CHOICE
Suhr Classic T Pro

The Classic T Pro marries vintage design with modern improvements resulting in an instrument that is capable of producing iconic tones.

Why We Love It:
  • Vintage design with modern improvements
  • Superb playability
  • Amazing tones
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Suhr is one of the most respected guitar makers in the world today. Their instruments are consistently among the top in any ‘best X guitar’ list.

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. 

Features

  • 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

Review

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.

The Classic T Pro also shines on the pickup choice by Suhr. It features a Classic T bridge pickup which is wound to produce a broad range of classic Telecaster tones.

For the neck position, you get to pick between a Classic T single coil or chrome SSV humbucker.

The bridge on this guitar is a compensated Wilkinson with brass saddles. Which provides great tuning stability, sustain, and intonation performance while maintaining the vintage look and vibe of Tele.

The Suhr Classic T Pro is one of the best Telecaster-type guitars on the market today. 

4. Reverend Greg Koch Gristle 90

Reverend Greg Koch Signature Gristlemaster 90

The Reverend Greg Koch Gristle 90 solid-body electric guitar takes the classic T-style guitar to a new level of sonic prowess. 

Why We Love It:
  • Top-of-the-line hardware
  • Huge tonal range
  • Unique
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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. 

The Reverend Greg Koch Gristle 90 is a fantastic Tele-type instrument with some quite unique features.

With its chambered body, P90 pickups, and Bigsby bridge, this is not only a high-quality guitar but a very unique one.

Features

  • 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 

Review

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. 

As nice and resonant as the design of the body and neck are, this Reverend truly excels in the electronics department.

It features a Fishman Fluence Greg Koch Gristle-Tone Signature P-90 pickup set that delivers girthy P-90 sounds with enough versatility to accommodate other styles.

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. 

The Reverend Greg Koch Gristle 90 is a fantastic choice for those looking for a Telecaster-type instrument that is both traditional and modern at the same time.

5. ESP LTD TE-1000 EverTune Koa 

ESP LTD TE-1000 Evertune Electric Guitar

Pure sonic destruction. One look at the ESP LTD TE-1000 EverTune Koa is all it takes to know that's what this electric guitar is all about. 

Why We Love It:
  • Exceptional tuning stability
  • Affordable and high-quality
  • Perfect for metal players
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The ESP LTD TE-1000 EverTune Koa is an affordable yet high-quality Tele-type guitar that is especially great for metal and hard rock.

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.

Features

  • 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

Review

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.

This works in tandem with its fast-playing ebony fingerboard, a special treat for metal players that need to fly up and down the neck.

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 57 is built using Alnico V magnets and steel pole pieces to smoothen out the midrange and expand the low end, while the ceramic pole pieces of the 66TW deliver clear and crisp highs. Add to this the push-pull coil-split for a complete metal shred machine.

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.

In short, a fantastic Telecaster type guitar with outstanding quality for the price, tailor-made for metal. 

6. Ibanez Prestige AZS2209H 

Ibanez AZS2209H AZS Prestige Electric Guitar

If you're looking for top-shelf tone in a guitar that's made for today's player, the Ibanez Prestige AZS2209H is your instrument.

Why We Love It:
  • Super comfortable
  • Top-shelf tone
  • Durable design
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If you are looking for a modern Telecaster-type guitar with great features at a fantastic price, look no further than the Ibanez Prestige AZS2209H.

For just over a grand you get a modern Tele version made for the player of today. All while retaining that vintage flair we all love about T models. 

Features

  • Seymour Duncan Alnico II Pro Custom single-coil and Magic Touch-mini humbucker pickups
  • Dyna-MIX5 switching system for different pickup combinations
  • S-Tech wood-roasted maple neck and fingerboard for stability and durability
  • AZ oval “C” neck profile for a more modern feel
  • Gotoh F1803 fixed bridge for excellent tuning stability

Review

The Ibanez Prestige AZS2209H features a balanced-sounding ash body with a nice gloss finish. Its body is made for the modern player and boasts comfortable, shallow rear and larger forearm contours. 

For enhanced playability, this Ibanez Tele-type guitar features a fast-playing roasted maple neck and fingerboard with Ibanez’s S-Tech wood nitrogen-heating treatment.

This treatment increases the neck’s stability, durability, water resistance, and tolerance to temperature changes. It features a “C”-shaped neck with 22 stainless steel frets. 

The Ibanez Prestige AZS2209H features a Seymour Duncan Alnico II Pro Custom single-coil pickup in the bridge.

This pickup provides a sweet and smooth rock and bluesy tone. In the neck position, you get a Magic Touch-mini humbucker which is balanced across the full spectrum with crystal-clear articulation. 

Additionally, Ibanez’s Dyna-MIX5 switching system provides several different pickup combinations via a mini-toggle and 3-way lever switch for great versatility

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. 

7. Godin Stadium HT

Godin Stadium HT

If you're looking for a guitar that's built to perform, make sure to give the Godin Stadium HT a try.

Why We Love It:
  • Easy playability and unique tones
  • Lightweight basswood body
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Godin is known for making great guitars that are relatively affordable. The Stadium HT is no exception.

This fantastic Tele-style guitar features great sound and nice playability for a low price.

If you are looking for a modern-sounding quality Tele for under $1000 dollars, look no further than the Godin Stadium HT. This is among the best Telecaster copies around.

Features

  • Easy playability and unique tone for an affordable price
  • The lightweight basswood body delivers a well-balanced tonal profile
  • Custom Cajun bridge pickup produces a bright tone with plenty of twang
  • GS-3 neck pickup creates a warm, rounded tone
  • The d-shaped maple neck plays well and feels comfortable in your hands

Review

The Godin Stadium HT features a body made from Canadian basswood with comfortable contours which is paired with a 22-fret maple neck.

The neck features a 12″ fingerboard radius and is carved into a comfortable D-shape to ensure maximum playability and comfort for different types of guitar players. 

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. 

FAQ’s

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.