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best t style guitars

Best T Style guitars

The Fender Telecaster was revolutionary when it was released in 1951. Over 70 years later it is still one of the most popular models of guitar in the world. It was so groundbreaking that even today it is used as a basis for newer manufacturers designing their own creations. The term “T style guitars” refers to alternative models that have a similar look to the Telecaster.

This includes a single cut body, headstock with 6-in-line tuners, and generally single-coil pickups. Let’s run down some of the best T-style guitars, what sets them apart from the original Telecaster design, and which one might be best for the tone you’re chasing.

Best T Style guitar overall: G&L Fullerton Deluxe ASAT

g-and-l-guitars-fullerton-asat
Best T Style guitar overall
g&l guitars fullerton asat
G&L’s Fullerton is a well-crafted T style guitar with great attention to detail. Leo Fender’s Magnetic Field Design pickups give you a warmer sound with less noise.
Pros
Great attention to detail
Leo Fender’s Magnetic Field Design pickups give you authentic tone
Cons
Expensive
Heavy for a T style guitar

It’s no surprise that this is the model that made it to our coveted top spot. There is no guitar manufacturer closer in quality, looks, feel, and sound to a Telecaster than G&L. After all, the company was founded with Leo Fender in the late 1970s.

The alder body gives you the snap and punch Telecasters are famous for. And the neck has a vintage gloss finish that plays and feels great. It has the Fender scale (25.5″) hard-rock maple neck and a unique Caribbean rosewood fretboard.

The infamous Magnetic Field Design single-coils might be the coolest feature, and the one that gets it so close to Tele tones. They are warmer, snappier, and have less noise. 3-way switching allows you access to the same iconic Telecaster tone that took the world by storm.

The Fullerton Deluxe ASAT also comes with a gig bag, but with an investment like this we recommend getting a hardshell case.     

Most versatile T Style guitar: Schecter Guitar Research PT Special

schecter-pt-special
Most versatile T Style guitar
schecter pt special
The PT Special offers a unique combination of tonewoods. The P90 neck pickup and single-coil bridge pickup give you access to a variety of sounds.
Pros
Unique combination of P90 and single-coil pickups
Clean aesthetic
Good combination of tonewoods
Cons
Colors might not suit every player or style

Schecter makes some of the most daring T style guitars. The PT Special is built from a swamp ash body and has a C-shape maple neck with rosewood fretboard outfitted with jumbo frets. The open grained pearl finish gives a clean aesthetic.

This one has a unique pickup configuration. The single-coil Telecaster bridge pickup is still in tact, but there is a soapbar P-90 in the neck position. Pickup models are both from Schecter, the VT-1 and VT-90. This interesting combo gives you access to a variety of sounds not usually available on guitars like this.

It offers a great range of tones that can go from round and warm to bright and cutting.

Best signature T Style guitar: Reverend Pete Anderson Signature Eastsider T

Reverend-Pete-Anderson-Signature-Eastsider-T
Best signature T Style guitar
Reverend Pete Anderson Signature Eastsider T
Reverend makes great boutique guitars and this model is no different. The chambered body gives you an airy, open sound and the 50’s pickups give you authentic tone.
Pros
Chambered body adds air to the sound
Pickups designed to be as authentic to the 50s single-coils as possible
Compound radius fretboard
Cons
Expensive
Might not be the best option for players looking for a more modern sound

This T style guitar is perfectly appropriate for its legendary namesake. It is painstakingly crafted after his well-known vintage T guitar, but offers some modern appointments. And there have been some changes to the original.

The chambered body is made of korina. This makes it lighter in weight and gives openness and air to the sound. A roasted maple neck provides a nice little visual flair, and the compound radius fretboard lets you glide up and down the neck with ease.

Dual Talnico single-coil pickups, and they both have a little extra something. The neck has more punch and clarity, while the bridge has a classic ‘50s Tele sound that’s just a little bit thicker. The electronics have been juiced a bit too. The pickups can be flipped out of phase and there’s a treble bleed giving you a number of sound options from them.

Best T Style guitar for metal: ESP LTD TE-201

ESP LTD TE-201
Best T Style guitar for metal
ESP LTD TE-201
This metal monster has a sleek, matte look and simple electronics. 24 frets give you access to higher notes that are great for heavy music.
Pros
Perfect look for metal
24 frets
Pickup can be split with a push/pull volume knob
Affordable
Cons
Only one bridge pickup

Other than Jim Root of Slipknot, T style guitars aren’t usually associated with heavy styles of music, much less metal. But ESP is a favorite for players of the genre, so they wanted to create something unique for the T style crowd.

It’s got a bare bones, but sleek matte black aesthetic. The electronics are simple, with a single ESP LH-150B humbucker in the bridge position. You can split the bridge pickup via the push-pull volume knob.

It’s built with a mahogany body married with a three-piece maple bolt-on neck. ESP’s choice of fretboard wood is interesting here, in roasted jatoba. 24 extra-jumbo frets let you shred just as easily as playing rhythm parts. The string-through body adds all the sustain you’ll need.

Best deluxe model T Style guitar: G&L Tribute ASAT Classic Bluesboy

G&L Tribute ASAT Classic Bluesboy
Best deluxe model T Style guitar
G&L Tribute ASAT Classic Bluesboy
The Bluesboy offers a very affordable alternative to a Telecaster Deluxe. Leo Fender’s Magnetic Field Design humbucker and single-coil are a nice duo.
Pros
Great Telecaster Deluxe design
Humbucker and single-coil are a good tandem
Cons
Pickup combination won’t suit everyone


The Fender Telecaster Deluxe was an immediate hit when it was first released in 1972. The Telecaster faithful loved the marriage of the beloved bridge single-coil pickup with the warmth and width of the humbucker in the neck.

Housed in a poplar body, G&L’s version features an alnico humbucker in the neck and a Magnetic Field Design single-coil pickups mentioned earlier. The bolt-on maple neck comes in a comfortable and familiar medium C profile. The vintage correct boxed steel bridge and brass saddles offer solid intonation and tone transfer.

And if you’re looking for a variation on this beloved sound, the Classic Bluesboy also comes in a semi-hollow model.

Best budget T style guitar: G&L Placentia ASAT

G&L Placentia ASAT
Best budget T style guitar
G&L Placentia ASAT
The Placentia is affordable and offers a good balance of pickup types. It comes in two versions – one with a humbucker and single-coil and another with two single-coils.
Pros
Two versions with different pickup combinations
Well-made considering lower price point
Cons
Might be too much of a budget model for some
Poplar body and maple neck and fretboard gives a very bright tone

G&L makes some of the best T style guitars in the business. That makes sense, considering the company started as an offshoot of Leo Fender’s. He took some of his ideas from Fender with him, and saved some just for his new (at the time) company.

The Placentia ASAT might be considered a budget model, but don’t think G&L skipped on quality here. With a poplar body and maple neck and fretboard it’s got twang for days – just like the best T style guitars should. The familiar single-coil pickups do the original design justice, and it’s great for a number of styles.

If you’re looking to add this iconic single-cut guitar to your collection but budget is tight, this is a great compromise.

FAQ

What is a T style guitar?

A T style guitar is a model that is based on the famous Fender Telecaster but manufactured by a company not affiliated with Fender.

Who makes the best T style guitar?

There are many manufacturers that make them. They all have their own unique benefits. It’s important to gauge what you need in a guitar when making a buying decision. This includes choice of tone woods, style of pickups, neck feel, and more.

What are the best T style guitars in 2022?

The selections on this list are just a few of the guitar models you have available to you. We chose these for a number of reasons, but ultimately it’s up to you to decide which is best for your playing style. Keep in mind, you can always build one yourself from scratch or have someone do it for you.

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