9 Best Telecaster Copies 2022 – All In A Telecaster Style

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Best Telecaster Copies

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Do you love the Telecaster, but feel like it’s missing something? Or, maybe you’ve always wished for the guitar to have a certain feature?

It’s not an uncommon thing for guitarists to feel this way. In fact, many manufacturers also feel the same way, with many providing their own T-style models.

If you’re leaning towards a Telecaster, be sure to also check out some Telecaster copies. The following are some of the best available on the market today.

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G&L Fullerton Deluxe ASAT – Best Overall

G&L Fullerton Deluxe ASAT

Looking for an upgraded Telecaster? Don’t skip the G&L Fullerton Deluxe ASAT (see price on Amazon or Sweetwater).

This Telecaster copy retains its ancestral identity but has noteworthy modernizations any guitarist will love. 

For instance, one of the most notable things is that the Fullerton Deluxe ASAT has a contoured back. That sharp body edge stabbing you in the side will thankfully be a thing of the past, providing comfort instead.

The Fullerton Deluxe ASAT has a body made of Alder and comes with a gloss finish. You can get this model in a number of different colors, including:

  • Lake placid blue
  • 3-tone sunburst
  • Butterscotch blonde
  • Fullerton red
  • Jet black

Maple is used for the neck, which features a modern C contour with a modular bolt-on neck joint design. In staying true to tradition, this neck has a scale length of 25.5”.

For the fretboard, the Fullerton Deluxe ASAT features either Maple or Caribbean Rosewood with a 9.5” radius. There are 22 medium jumbo frets here, which are outlined by white dot inlays. 

This guitar comes stocked with G&L Magnetic Field Design single-coil pickups. These Leo Fender-designed pickups provide a more enhanced and pronounced Telecaster sound.

In true Telecaster fashion, this model is equipped with:

  • 1 master volume knob
  • 1 tone knob
  • 3-way pickup switch

The hardware on the Fullerton Deluxe ASAT is top-notch in every category. This guitar features:

  • Bone nut
  • Traditional T-Style bridge
  • 6-string saddle
  • Closed-gear tuners

Adding more value to the guitar is the fact that it comes with a gig bag included with the purchase.

This is a fairly pricey guitar, but its upgrades are truly worth the price in every category.

Item Weight: 11 pounds

Package Dimensions: 45 x 20 x 6 inches

Ibanez Prestige AZS2209H – Best Premium

Ibanez Prestige AZS2209H

T-style guitars are not immune to manufacturers taking liberties with the classic design. In a way, it allows manufacturers to produce a unique guitar with historic influences.

If you have a bit extra to spend, check out the Ibanez Prestige AZS2209H. It is truly a luxurious guitar with Telecaster genetics that is built for the modern player.

One of the first things you’ll notice is that its Ash body has a slightly different cut. This guitar also features comfort contours, particularly on the back.

The neck is crafted from Roasted Maple, with a scale length of 25.5” and an oval C contour. In keeping tradition, this model features a modular bolt-on neck joint. 

As you might guess, the fretboard is also crafted from Roasted Maple with a radius of 12”. 22 jumbo-sized frets are dressed up by a traditional black dot inlay pattern. 

For electronics, the AZS2209H has a H/S configuration of Seymour Duncan pickups. These pickups include:

  • Magic Touch-mini Humbucker (neck position)
  • Alnico II Pro Custom Single-Coil (bridge position)

You can be sure that that classic Tele twang is on tap here. The neck position should also be a bit thicker and warmer in presence with the humbucker.

To control the guitar’s tone, Ibanez has provided:

  • 1 master volume knob
  • 1 master tone knob
  • 3-way pickup selector switch
  • 2-way switch controlling Ibanez dyna-MIX5 pickup combination presets

As you can see, there is no shortage of tonal options here. Having the dyna-MIX5 onboard just increases to possibilities available in your hands.

For hardware, the AZS2209H features:

  • Bone nut
  • Gotoh F1803 traditional-style fixed bridge
  • Gotoh Magnum locking tuners

Also included with the AZS2209H is a hardshell case

Item Weight: 9 pounds

Package Dimensions: 48 x 17 x 8 inches

Sire Larry Carlton T7 – Best Budget 

Sire Larry Carlton T7

On a bit of a tighter budget? You really can’t go wrong with the Sire Larry Carlton T7. This guitar packs in a serious value for its affordable cost, making it ideal for almost anyone.

Compared to other Telecaster copies, the Larry Carlton T7 is a fairly traditional build. The body shape has the same exact classic design as the original.

This model comes built from Alder, with a gloss finish, and a number of color options, including:

  • Tobacco sunburst
  • Antique white
  • Butterscotch blonde
  • Fiesta red

The neck and fretboard are both crafted from Roasted Hard Maple, with a 25.5” scale length and a 9.5” radius. The neck has a standard C-shape contour, providing comfort for access to the 22 frets.

For pickups, this model is stocked with a pair of Sire LC Super-T single-coils. These really deliver the iconic tones this model’s inspiration has a reputation for.

To control the tones, Sire has kept with tradition, with the guitar featuring:

  • 1 master volume knob
  • 1 master tone knob
  • 3-way pickup switch

For hardware, the Larry Carlton T7 features:

  • Vintage-style T-style bridge 
  • Brass saddles
  • Bone nut
  • Locking tuners

As you can see, the Larry Carlton T7 does not come short in any category of the guitar’s build. This is a prime example of a budget-friendly guitar that could be worthwhile for guitarists of any level.

Item Weight: 9 pounds

Package Dimensions: 47 x 17 x 8 inches

Reverend Greg Koch Gristle 90

Reverend Greg Koch Gristle 90

Looking for an upgrade to the classic Telecaster design, but still wish to retain a vintage style? You’ll definitely want to take a look at the Reverend Greg Koch Gristle 90.

As its name suggests, this is an artist series model for the virtuosic player Greg Koch. If you’ve never heard of him, drop everything and listen to some of his discography immediately!

The Reverend Greg Koch Gristle 90 is built from Korina, which gives the guitar a vintage aesthetic. This model features a chambered body for enhanced resonance and sustain.

You can get the Gristle 90 in a few classic color options, including:

  • Midnight black
  • Tosa turquoise 
  • Venetian gold

The neck is made from 3 different pieces of Korina with a scale length of 24.75”. This neck has a set neck joint and a medium oval contour for maximum comfort and playability.

Ebony is used for the Gristle 90’s fretboard, which has a 12” radius. You’ll have easy access to 22 nickel alloy frets, which are outlined by white dot inlays.

For pickups, this model is stocked with a pair of Fishman pickups designed in collaboration with Greg Koch. These Gristle-Tone single-coil pickups are P-90s and deliver plenty of warmth and snarl.

To control the tone, Reverend has included:

  • 1 master volume knob
  • 1 master tone knob
  • Pull function on tone knob for phasing options between pickups
  • 3-way pickup switch
  • Switch for mid-range boost

For hardware, the Gristle 90 features:

  • Boneite nut
  • Pin-lock tuners
  • Bigsby B-50 vibrato with roller bridge

The Bigsby is a definite welcome addition, adding an extra degree of versatile expression.

Item Weight: 10 pounds

Package Dimensions: 48 x 18 x 8 inches

ESP LTD Eclipse ’87 FR

ESP LTD Eclipse ’87 FR

In search of a Telecaster that has a little bit more of an aggressive edge than the traditional twang? You’ll want to make note of the ESP LTD Eclipse ’87 FR (see price on Amazon or Sweetwater).

This Telecaster copy is built for heavier styles of music. Its iconic ESP headstock oozes a pure metal aesthetic.

For the most part, this is a modernized version of ESP’s Eclipse guitar, released in 1987. It has quite the number of upgrades worthy of any technical player.

The body is made from Mahogany and features an arched top for increased aesthetic. A comfort contour has been provided for a better fit against the guitarist’s body.

This model comes in the color choices of black and pearl white. Each color is truly classic and delivers the same aesthetic punch.

The 24.75” scale length neck is crafted from 3 pieces of maple with a neck-through joint design. You’ll reap increased tuning stability, primed for any lower alternate tuning.

This neck has a thin U-shaped contour for extreme fluidity and smooth navigation.

Macassar Ebony is used for the Eclipse ’87 FR’s fretboard, which has a 13.7” radius. 24 extra-jumbo frets are outlined by classy Pearloid blocks laid in an offset fashion.

This guitar comes stocked with a pair of Seymour Duncan pickups. These include:

  • ’59 humbucker (neck position)
  • JB humbucker (bridge position)

ESP has included a master volume and tone knob, as well as a 3-way switch, for tonal control. A push/pull coil splitter is included in the tone knob for further tonal variety. 

This Telecaster copy is also decked out in top-notch hardware, including:

  • Floyd Rose 1000 double locking tremolo system
  • LTD tuners 

Item Weight: 14 pounds

Package Dimensions: 47 x 17 x 7 inches

Reverend Pete Anderson Eastsider T

Reverend Pete Anderson Eastsider T

On the hunt for a modern T-style copy camouflaged in the style of a traditional Telecaster? The Reverend Pete Anderson Eastsider T certainly fits this bill of criteria. 

This Telecaster copy features a chambered body made of Korina. It has the same shape as the classic Telecasters you are familiar with.

Roasted Maple is featured for the neck material, which has a medium oval contour and a 25.5” scale length. Rosewood is used for the fretboard, which features 22 frets and a 10”-14” compound radius.

For electronics, the Eastsider T is stocked with a pair of Reverend Talnico single-coil pickups. A master volume, tone knob, and a 3-way switch are provided for tonal control.

This specific model is also equipped with a push/pull phase selection. You’ll have a few more tonal options on tap than your typical, traditional Telecaster.

For hardware, the Eastsider T features

  • A Hardtail bridge supporting a traditional string-through-body design
  • Pin-lock tuners
  • Boneite nut

While this might be more in line with traditional Telecasters, it has upgrades in all the right places. Reverend shows how they can give the T-style new life just by making a few different changes.

The result is a guitar with a classic aesthetic and tone, built more in line for the modern player to use.

Your money will definitely be well-spent here with this particular Telecaster copy model. Not only will you have a guitar inspired by the classic, but it’s decked out in wonderful modern amenities.

Item Weight: 10 pounds

Package Dimensions: 48 x 18 x 7 inches

Charvel Pro-Mod Joe Duplantier San Dimas Style 2 

Charvel Pro-Mod Joe Duplantier San Dimas Style 2

Need a Telecaster built specifically for heavy music, but don’t want to sacrifice on traditional aesthetic? The Charvel Pro-Mod Joe Duplantier San Dimas Style 2 (see price on Amazon or Sweetwater) is worth checking out.

This T-style guitar was built in collaboration between Gojira’s Joe Duplantier and Charvel. Knowing this, you likely have an idea that this guitar can handle heavy with no issues.

The San Dimas Style 2 features a solid Mahogany body with a natural satin finish. In a way, this gives the guitar a sort of vintage appeal.

Mahogany is also used for the neck, which has a 25.5” scale length and Charvel’s Speed Shape contour. Playing with technique won’t be an issue here.

Ebony is used for the San Dimas Style 2’s fretboard, which has a 12”-16” compound radius. 22 frets are also featured with an excellent added aesthetic of big Pearloid block inlays.

For electronics, the San Dimas Style 2 is stocked with DiMarzio pickups. More specifically, these include:

  • PAF 36th Anniversary Humbucker
  • Joe Duplantier Signature Fortitude Humbucker

These pickups are designed for loud and high output. Not much in the way is provided for tonal control, just a 3-way switch and volume knob.

For hardware, the San Dimas Style 2 features:

  • Compensated bridge with adjustable radius
  • Anchored tailpiece
  • Die-cast locking tuners
  • Black plastic nut

This is the go-to when you want a T-style guitar that can truly deliver sonic punishment. It’s priced comfortably for any professional. 

As far as its sound goes, this guitar will certainly fit in with any band that plays heavy music.

Item Weight: 13 pounds

Package Dimensions: 53.5 x 20.75 x 8.5 inches

Schecter PT Fastback II B

Schecter PT Fastback II B

Schecter is generally known for producing guitars geared towards more aggressive music. The Schecter PT Fastback II B (see price on Amazon or Sweetwater) is a T-style with an upgraded modern-retro aesthetic.

This guitar is built from Alder and features contours on the face and back of the guitar’s body. No doubt, you’ll be feeling comfortable with this guitar strapped up.

In a way, this guitar has the look of a classic Telecaster Deluxe model. It sports a massive pickguard similar to these models.

Maple is used in crafting the guitar’s 25.5” scale length neck, which has a thin C-shape contour. A modular bolt-on neck joint design is used to connect the neck and body.

Rosewood is used for the guitar’s fretboard, which has a 14” radius. 22 frets are featured here, outlined by traditional dot inlays.

For pickups, this guitar is stocked with a pair of Schecter Diamond SuperRock Custom Alnico humbuckers. A pair of volume and tone knobs (featuring a coil-splitter), and a 3-way switch are provided for tone control.

Another unique feature of this guitar is its included Bigsby Flat Top B50 vibrato and roller Tune-O-Matic bridge. Having extra tools for expression is always a massive plus for any guitarist.

Other hardware featured on the PT Fastback II B include:

  • Graph Tech XL Ivory Tusq nut
  • Grover tuners

The PT Fastback II B is certainly capable of playing nearly any style of music. It has a classic aesthetic (no doubt aided by the Bigsby) that will forever remain timeless.

In a way, this guitar has a similar design to the Reverend Greg Koch Gristle 90. Check this out as a viable alternative.

Item Weight: 15 pounds

Package Dimensions: 45 x 17 x 6 inches

Schecter PT Special

Schecter PT Special

Another worthwhile T-style offering from Schecter is the PT Special (see price on Amazon or Sweetwater). This guitar does not deviate much from tradition but has upgrades that likely any guitarist can appreciate.

The PT Special is crafted from Swamp Ash and features contours on the face and back of the guitar. It comes in a semi-gloss finish with multiple color choices including:

  • 3-tone sunburst pearl
  • Aqua burst pearl
  • Black pearl
  • Purple burst

Maple is used in crafting the 25.5” scale neck, which has a standard C-shape contour for accessible comfort. The fretboard also features Maple with a 12” radius and 22 frets.

This T-style guitar oozes vintage sounds with its Schecter Diamond series single-coil pickups. It features a V-90 at the neck and a VT-1 at the bridge.

For tone control, Schecter has included a 3-way switch as well as a master volume and tone knob. The tone knob double functions as a push/pull knob to use the pickups in series mode.

Other vintage stylings are featured on the PT Special. For instance, a vintage-style ashtray bridge with staggered brass saddles is featured to support a string-through-body design.

Grover Vintage tuners and a GraphTech Tusq XL nut are also featured as hardware on the PT Special. 

Overall, the PT Special is a perfect solution for those wanting a little more out of the traditional Telecaster design. Its priced relatively affordably for most intermediate and professional budgets.

Schecter has really gone out of their way to produce a Telecaster copy that is packed with value. It’s also an excellent nod to a design that many guitarists deem to be perfect as it is.

Item Weight: 9.48 pounds

Package Dimensions: 44 x 19 x 5 inches

What To Look For In A Telecaster Copy

With manufacturers putting their own spin on classic guitar designs, Telecaster copies are abundant in the market. This can certainly cause a fair deal of stress when overwhelmed with the numerous options available.

If you’re looking for a little bit of guidance, the following information will help you on your journey. These are a few points to keep in mind during your research stages, which can help save time.

Tradition/Modernization

When you’re shopping around, you’ll immediately notice that there are 2 different categories of T-style guitars. These could be thought of as traditional builds and modernizations of the traditional design.

The styles available certainly vary in nearly every area of the spectrum between these groups. You’ll likely have a certain preference for how you want your guitar to be.

Those who prefer a traditional style will want to look for that classic T-style body without any artistic liberty. Pickup selection is also going to be an important factor to keep in mind.

Traditional Telecasters typically are equipped with a pair of single-coil pickups to deliver that iconic twang. Do make sure to research what the guitar you have in mind is stocked with.

Modernization allows other manufacturers to adjust the guitar’s design, often in unique ways. These guitars will have a body design inspired by the original design, with elements of tradition noticeable throughout.

Obviously, every guitarist will have their own taste preferences, and you likely already know yours. It’s sometimes a good thing to be aware of what’s available, even if it is quite obvious.

Manufacturers also have the benefit of using different materials in the guitar’s build. If you’ve ever wanted a specific wood used in a T-style guitar, check to see what each manufacturer offers.

Quite often, you’ll find both traditional woods and different exotic woods used. This, in a way, reflects the different body shape groupings mentioned previously.

Much of the music that you play will sort of dictate what kind of guitar you’re searching for. This, in turn, leads to the next point to keep in mind.

Modifications

Many Telecaster copies come laden with different features, which in effect, are modifications to the traditional design. In a way, this is what allows other manufacturers to gain a profit on a different guitar’s design.

This also provides an opportunity for improvements and different ideas to be featured on the Telecaster. Many of these are ideas that you would likely never see Fender employ.

Telecaster copies allow you the chance to get a Telecaster truly built for your playing style and type of music.

It is not uncommon to see a wide range of different pickup combinations with Telecaster copies. Traditional single coils, as well as humbuckers and P90s, are all par for the course here.

You could actually find a worthy Telecaster copy for the heaviest of metal music. This, again, is somewhat of an unlikely opportunity with a traditional Fender. 

In a way, this allows guitarists of all types to be able to utilize a classic design. This is a massive plus, as it has been a massively favored body style for nearly 7 decades.

Pickups aren't the only area seeing modifications, either. It is not uncommon to see models equipped with vibrato systems.

There are also some models that have 7 or 8 strings, which massively opens accessibility to other guitarists. 

Some modifications are also in store for the color options available to the guitarist. You’re likely to end up with a fairly unique color, unlike the classic Fender color palette. 

Budget

Yes, unfortunately, you’re going to have to keep your budget in mind when shopping for a T-style guitar. Sure, it does get tiresome to always have to hear about how important your budget is.

However, if you’re unfamiliar with the importance, it can be easily understood with simple categorization. 

Generally, guitars tend to be priced into 3 different price ranges, with the ideal skill level accommodation reflecting the price.

These categories are:

  • Beginner
  • Intermediate
  • Professional 

Now, this is certainly not a hard and fast rule that you must abide by. Some people who can afford such luxuries will buy what they want regardless.

Guitarists can be very quick to rationalize a very expensive purchase. This can sometimes be at an extreme detriment and neglect of personal life responsibilities.

It’s important to keep your budget in mind because it helps to keep your life together. Being budget-conscious also helps you narrow down the selection of guitars available to you.

Keep in mind that you don’t need to have an expensive guitar to become the best guitar player in your town. All too often, there are lower-priced guitars that can surpass expensive guitars in different attributes.

Part of the fun of buying a new guitar is being able to play a huge selection of different guitars. When you’re doing this, pay special attention to the amount of value each guitar provides to your playing.

Because these hidden gold mines exist, you’ll often see professionals playing mid-budget guitars on the stage. Quite often, these guitars are good enough for anyone to get the job done.

Also, keep in mind that you can also build your own Telecaster copy from a kit or parts sourced yourself. Sometimes, you’ll end up with a solid player and custom guitar at a fraction of the cost.

Best Brands For Telecaster Copy Guitars

If you’re ever feeling lost on where to start your search, it can help to do some brand research. More often than not, some of the most well-known brands are noted for having a stellar reputation in their field.

This same concept also applies to the guitar industry, and with Telecaster copy guitars specifically. Big-box manufacturers generally have risen to their acclaim by the fact that they are played by legions of guitarists.

Of course, there are always going to be unknown outliers in every industry. Sometimes, these outliers produce far superior guitars than big-box companies can logically produce.

It certainly doesn’t hurt to really do some deep dives into the entire guitar market. You might just find your exact dream guitar version of a Telecaster copy.

To get you started in your research, take a look at the following companies. Each has an outstanding reputation for building these types of guitars.

G&L

Believe it or not, Leo Fender was not always at Fender. In fact, he actually sold the company in the mid-1960s. 

So, what did Leo do after his Fender days? Well, nearly a decade later, he founded G&L with Dale Hyatt and George Fullerton.

G&L continues on with the designs of Leo Fender far beyond what Fender was willing to produce. These guitars typically have modernizations and improvements on the traditional Fender designs. 

Many guitarists love G&L guitars far beyond the model line’s ancestry. Each offering is chock full of features that well surpasses its ancestral brethren.

Reverend 

Reverend is becoming one of the hottest guitar companies in the industry. They are providing designs that are truly unique but still retain a retro aesthetic.

This company was founded in 1997 and spent a large period of time in obscurity within the industry. As more high-profile players began to sport these guitars, the company began to grow in popularity.

Based out of Toledo, OH, the company typically has the guitars crafted overseas and assembled in the USA. They continue to be one of the rare few companies coming out with truly unique designs.

Many Reverend guitars feature unique wood combinations that help to provide a distinct tonal characteristic. These guitars are also typically decked out in delectable colorways any guitarist can appreciate.

Sire

Sire is a USA-based guitar company that was founded by famed musicians Larry Carlton and Marcus Miller. This company focuses on delivering guitars packed with insight from the decades of experience between the founders.

As such, you’ll typically find Sire guitars to provide both traditional elements with a hint of modernization. Sire guitars also tend to be fairly inexpensive.

Despite the price, Sire guitars have grown fairly popular in recent years. Many YouTube guitar channels have featured Sire guitars, noting the extreme value provided at a low cost.

In many ways, Sire is providing budget-minded guitarists the opportunity to play a superbly-crafted guitar. Sire is lowering the barrier for entry in a big way.

Top Telecaster Copies, Final Thoughts

As you can see, there is certainly no shortage of options available for different T-style guitars. Each offering is unique in its own distinct manner, which is a massive plus for guitarists of all genres.

Be sure to take some time and try these guitars out for yourself in a reputable guitar store. Don’t forget to have some fun during the process, as it’s not every day you get to buy a guitar!

P.S. Remember though, none of what you've learned will matter if you don't know how to get your music out there and earn from it. Want to learn how to do that? Then get our free ‘5 Steps To Profitable Youtube Music Career' ebook emailed directly to you!

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