The Telecaster sparked an era of new music thanks to its simple yet versatile design. Throughout the years, Fender ruled the music industry with their Telecaster, and they continue to strive for improvement.
This course of action has spawned a wide selection of Telecaster guitars for us to choose from, each one carefully and precisely crafted for a specific purpose.
In this list, I’ll be helping you find the right Telecaster for you, in all aspects possible, from various companies and in various styles.
Telecasters: Finding The Right One
There are a lot – and I mean a lot – of Telecaster variations out there, and each one excels in different aspects than another. These massive variations can confuse us and make it difficult for us to choose the right guitar. The Hub says that you should look at the price and features of a Telecaster to make sure that it’s the best for you.
Squier VS. Fender
Squier is well-known for their Telecasters, but it is not a different company from Fender. “Squier is a division of Fender and its Telecasters are based on Fender models, sharing many of the same design features at super-affordable prices,” says The Hub. In a nutshell, Squier Telecasters are cheaper alternatives to the pricey Fender classics.
7 Best Telecaster Guitars For The Money
- Agathis body with gloss polyurethane finish
- Maple neck with 9.5 in radius rosewood fingerboard with 22 medium jumbo frets
- 2 Alnico Magnet Single-Coil Pickups
- 6-Saddle Strings-Thru-Body Bridge
- 1 volume and 1 tone control with 3 position pickup selector switch
The Squier Standard Telecaster is your go-to Telecaster guitar which features a unique Agathis body, a wood softer than the standard alder/maple bodied Telecasters. Its unique construction gives this guitar its amazing tones for its price. This guitar is perfect for beginners looking to jumpstart their Telecaster career.
- Agathis body
- Relatively cheap
- Sound is well-rounded
- Cannot be customized much because of the soft body
- Not for pros
- A Fender Custom Shop Broadcaster single-coil bridge pickup, Custom Shop "Twisted" Tele neck pickup, 4-position pickup selector switch and S1 switch, offer a higher degree of quality and sonic versatility
- A soft V-shaped neck with 9.5" freeboard radius and medium jumbo frets offers a great combination of vintage feel and modern playability
- Deluxe gig bag included
- Special four-way pickup switch : 4-Position Blade: Position 1. Bridge Pickup, Position 2. Bridge and Neck Pickups (In Parallel), Position 3. Neck Pickup, Position 4. Neck and Bridge Pickups (In Series)
- S-1TM Switch : For even more tonal versatility, pushbutton S-1 switching presents special pickup and wiring modifications. On this special Telecaster model, the S-1 switch is built into the volume control knob and changes the pickup wiring from in-phase to out-of-phase when both pickups are on.
The Fender Classic Player Baja Telecaster is honestly a great guitar. It features various custom pickups, a maple fingerboard, and flexibility when controlling the sound thanks to the pickup switches. This guitar stands out more with people who are looking for that cheap Fender Telecaster.
- Relatively cheap for a Fender TC
- Great sound for most genres
- A Dimarzio DP384 Chopper T Bridge Pickup and a Dimarzio DP173 Twang King neck pickup, 3-way Switching and Master Volume and Tone Controls
- A Large "C" Shape Maple Neck w/ a 12" Radius Fingerboard and 22 Jumbo Frets
- 6-Saddle Strings-Thru-Body Tele Bridge
Fender Japan has bestowed upon us the Fender Kotzen Signature Telecaster. This guitar was the choice of famed Richie Kotzen for his performances, and its name stuck. This godsend of a guitar, despite its hefty price tag, is the alpha Telecaster. With the Dimarzio DP384 Chopper T Bridge Pickup and Dimarzio DP173 Twang King neck pickup, this bad boy is sure to make your day.
- Complex parts make for amazing sound
- Very sturdy for long-term
- Looks great
- Not suited for beginners
- Vintage-tint maple neck with "C"-shaped profile and 21-fret rosewood fingerboard
- Dual custom vintage-style Telecaster pickups with three-way switching
- Vintage-style strings-thru-body Telecaster bridge with three threaded saddles
- Mint green pickguard
- 1 Year Warranty Included
For the last item on our list, it is the Squier by Fender Classic Vibe Telecaster. This vintage Telecaster is an inexpensive choice for guitar players who’d like to expand their arsenal with a vintage quality instrument. It features vintage-style strings & body and a rosewood fingerboard that’s great for the hands. Overall, this is a well-rounded choice for players with ample experience.
- Rosewood fingerboard feels great
- Sounds fantastic
- Not for pros who embrace real Telecasters
- Includes deluxe gig bag
- Two Vintage Noiseless Tele pickups (neck and bridge); single Vintage Noiseless Strat pickup (middle)
- 5-way Strat-o-Tone switching
- Six-saddle string-through-body Tele bridge with block saddles
- 12"-radius fingerboard; contoured neck heel; locking short-post tuning machines
Fender knows their stuff when it comes to their Telecasters and the Fender Deluxe Nashville Telecaster is no exception. With a beautiful Sunburst body, Vintage Noiseless pickups and 5-way Strat-O-Tone switching, this guitar plays well in almost all genres and situations.
Consider this guitar if you want something in between the cheap and expensive sides of things.
- Decent sound for a Telecaster
- Great for most genres
- Relatively cheap
- Body looks basic
- Paulownia core with spruce top and back; Road Worn Silver Sparkle finish
- Two single-coil pickups; custom-wound '64 Tele bridge pickup and Twisted Tele neck pickup
- Custom "Enhanced V"-shaped neck; 9.5"-radius maple fingerboard
- Custom Black and Silver paisley pickguard
- Includes deluxe gig bag
The Fender Brad Paisley Road Worn Telecaster is arguably the best-looking Telecaster out of them all. With Brad Paisley’s collaboration, Fender put together this sparkly country-style Telecaster to fill the niche between inexpensive quality design and impressive sound quality.
- Body is beautiful
- Great for playing live
- Sounds great
- Tad bit expensive
- There are better alternatives
- Ash Body, Maple Neck, Bolt-On Neck Construction
- Maple Fingerboard, Traditional Flat Mount Bridge, 42mm Nut Width
- 25.5" Scale, 22 XJ Frets, Vol/Tone/3-Way Switch
- Passive ESP Designed LS-150N(neck), & LTS-120B(bridge) Pickups
- LTD Tuners, Nickel Hardware
So far into the list, I believe that this is the cheapest Telecaster I’ve seen yet. The ESP LTD TE Series TE-254 is an inexpensive, non-Fender Telecaster which features an ash body, a maple neck with bolt-on-neck construction, 3-way switches and decent pickups for a Telecaster that’s sturdy, that sounds great AND costs less.
- Easy to play
- Beginner’s choice of TC
- Decent pickups provide decent sound
- Looks basic
- There are better alternatives
MY CHOICE FOR THE BEST TELECASTER GUITAR FOR THE MONEY
The Squier Standard Telecaster takes the cake for being the best Telecaster guitar among the list. This is a guitar that can play many different genres smoothly and clearly along with its price tag, and not to mention its versatility among all guitarists, newbies and professionals alike. Among all the other guitars, this one’s the real bang for your buck.
And with that, I conclude my list. Remember that the Telecasters listed here are all equally great in their own ways, and it’s up to you to truly decide which one’s for you. Happy strumming!