The Fender Telecaster is a popular guitar, but there are many different non-Fender telecaster models that you may not be aware of. This guide will help you find the best non Fender Telecaster on the current market. All of these guitars are perfect choices and well worth the investment.
Best Non Fender Telecaster Guitars
Yamaha PAC1611MS Mike Stern Signature Electric Guitar (Telecaster Style)
Mike Stern is a well-known guitar player. Now you can own his signature Telecaster-style guitar from Yamaha. This guitar is amazing and has a lot to offer today’s guitar player.
The Yamaha Mike Stern Signature Electric Guitar is all Telecaster, and it looks just as good as it plays. It features a bolt-on neck made from maple, and the body is made out of ash for great tonal resonance. The neck is all maple, so you have a maple fingerboard as well. The neck is lacquered so your hands slide up and down the fretboard with ease.
You get 22 frets, and the pickups are Seymour Duncan, which gives the guitar a lot of clarity. There’s a humbucker as well as a single-coil, so you have more sound options. These are better than standard Tele-style pickups. You get one master volume and one master tone. The bridge is a six-saddle hardtail style bridge to stabilize the tuning and make string changing a breeze.
- Authentic Tele-style tone
- Excellent pickups
- Smooth neck
- Lacks vintage-Tele tone
The Mike Stern Yamaha Signature Guitars sounds great, and it’s a tonal machine. It has superior Seymour Duncan pickups, which are a highlight of this guitar. You’re going to pay a lot for it, but this is a top-of-the-line Tele-style guitar that has everything you need to sound great.
Dean USA Tracii Guns Signature NashVegas Electric Guitar
You can now sound like Tracii Guns with the Signature NashVegas Electric Guitar. This guitar is a Tele-style, but it has many extras that make it a standout product that you’ll want to own and play.
The guitar has a neck made out of maple, and the shape is C, so it's comfortable to play. The body is made out of ash. You get a finished gloss body that makes the guitar shine. The neck is bolt-on so it can be changed if you have problems with it. You get 22 jumbo frets, which make the guitar easy to play. Your hands will glide up and down the fretboard and over these smooth frets.
You get two Dean USA pickups with the guitar, which sounds great. It has a master volume and a master tone along with a 3-way selector switch. The bridge is unique for a Tele-style guitar as it’s a Floyd Rose style with a locking nut. You'll be able to perform all sorts of dive bombs and tricks with this bridge. You get chrome hardware and a nice swirling design on the body of the guitar, which stands out. This is a Tele-style guitar that is set up to play hard rock styles, and it sounds great for those types of styles. On the back of the headstock you’ll find Tracii Gun’s signature.
- Unique Tele-style guitar
- Floyd Rose bridge
- Sounds great
- Very attractive looking guitar
- Tele purists may not like it
- Floyd Rose is cumbersome to tune for beginners
This Tele-style guitar by Dean has a lot to offer today’s modern player. You get the look and the feel of a Tele, but it has great pickups and a locking bridge, so you can play many of the styles of today while having a guitar that can handle the music of old as well. This is a recommended product for any Tele fan that is looking for a little bit more in their guitar.
Godin Stadium 59 Desert Green RN Green White Pearl Pickguard
Godin is well-known for their acoustic guitars, but also have some nice electric guitars such as The Godin Stadium. This guitar has the looks of a Telecaster, but modern appeal, too.
This guitar has a basswood body and a maple neck with 22 frets. The fingerboard is made out of rosewood. You get a single-cutaway similar to the Tele-style cutaway. The body is finished in a high gloss, and there are several colors available for this guitar. The neck is a comfortable C shape and easy to play.
This guitar has a Seymour Duncan 59 humbucker in the neck and a Godin Custom Cajun single-coil in the bridge which features Godin HDR electronics. With this pickup configuration you have guitar capable of handling many different styles of music including hard rock, metal, country, blues, jazz, and other styles. You get 22 frets, a master volume, tone control, and a 5-way selector switch. The bridge is a fixed type similar to regular Telecaster guitars. the hardware is chrome, and there are diecast tuners.
- Great high-quality pickups
- Easy to play neck
- Looks great
- Reasonable price
- Lack of true Tele-tone
- Humbucker may put off some buyers
This Tele-style guitar by Godin has a lot going for it. The guitar has great pickups, which give you more tonal variation than the standard Tele configuration. The neck is comfortable and easy to play. This is a clear winner for anyone looking for Tele-inspired guitar to play.
Schecter Guitar Research PT Special Solid Body Electric Guitar
Schecter is known for its heavy metal, and hard rock-inspired guitars, but now you can have a Tele-style guitar from this great company with the Schecter Guitar Research PT Special. Here is what this instrument has to offer you.
The neck shape of the guitar is a C shape, so it's comfortable. the neck is maple, and the joint is a bolt-on configuration. The body is made out of solid swamp ash and has a high gloss finish. You get 22 extra-jumbo frets to facilitate easy playing of the neck.
You get two single-coil pickups with the guitar These are Schecter brand which sound great. You get a push-pull tone control and a master volume switch. The bridge is a fixed Tele-style bridge. You get chrome hardware and good Grover machine heads, which stabilize the tuning of the guitar. It also has two strap buttons for your guitar strap.
- Vintage Tele-look
- Good pickups
- Easy to play
- Reasonable price
- Not quite as good as a real Telecaster
- Not suitable for all guitar styles
The Schecter PT Special is the perfect guitar for those that want to try out the Telecaster-style body. It looks and plays like a Telecaster but is lower priced than many Teles on the market. It has good pickups and is easy to play. This is a clear winner for those that want to get onto telecaster-style guitars.
G&L Fullerton Standard ASAT
Leo Fender was the head of Fender Guitars, and he left to create the G&L Company. He brought the tradition of great guitar making with him. While Leo Fender is now gone, but his guitar inspiration lives on in the G&L Fullerton Standard, which is as close to Fender Telecaster as you can get.
This guitar has a gloss finish alder body made with solid wood. The neck is a modern classic shape, and it's made with hard maple. The joint is a traditional bolt-on style. it has a dual-action truss rod for more neck stability. You get 22 frets with this guitar.
The guitar has standard Tele-style single coils. They are MFD pickups for good output and tonal clarity. You get a master volume, tone control, and a 3-way selector switch. The bridge is fixed. There die-cast sealed tuners for tuning stability, two strap buttons, and chrome hardware.
- Authentic Tele look
- Greta pickups
- Easy to play
- A bit expensive
You can’t go wrong with G&L guitars. These guitars are as close to a Fender Telecaster as you’re going to get. This guitar is a joy to play and has that authentic Tele tone that you crave. There is not a whole lot that this guitar can’t do, and the pickups sound amazing. This is a solid buy for any Tele fan that doesn’t want a traditional Fender Telecaster.
Dean NashVegas Hum Hum Electric Guitar
This Dean guitar has an odd name, but it’s a tonal machine that is inspired by the Telecaster design. It has a lot going for it that will appeal to modern players as well as old school guitar players.
The body of the instrument is made from swamp ash and finished to a high gloss. The neck is a comfortable C shape and made out of maple wood. the neck joint is bolt-on, and the truss rod is dual-action. You get a rosewood fingerboard and 22 frets.
The neck and the bridge pickups are DMT Series Nostalgia BKBK humbuckers. These pickups give this guitar a lot of output. its suitable for rock, blues, metal, and other styles of music. You don’t normally see many Tele-style guitars with two humbuckers, but this one has them. If you like to rick and want a Tele design, this is the one for you. You get a master volume, tone, and a 3-way selector switch. The bridge is fixed, and you also get chrome hardware and diecast tuners.
- Looks great
- Sounds amazing
- Easy to play
- Great pickups
- No real Tele sound due to humbuckers
- Won’t appeal to Tele purists
The Hum Hum by Dean looks like a Tele, but it’s a rock and roll machine thanks to the dual humbuckers. You won’t get many pure Tele sounds out of it, but for those that like the Tele style body, but need to rock out, this guitar provides that in spades.
ESP LTD TE-1000 Evertune
Esp is known for great rick and metal guitars, and that doesn’t change with the Tele-inspired LTD 1000. You get a Tele-look, but a guitar built for today's hard rock player.
The top wood of the guitar is solid maple, and it has a mahogany body. You get a Thin U neck, and the neck wood is three-piece maple. It has a smooth satin finish. The fretboard is ebony. It’s hard to find a Tele-inspired guitar with 24 frets, but this one has just that. It’s the perfect tonal machine to handle all of today’s heavy metal and hard rock sounds while giving you that vintage-inspired look.
The neck pickup is an EMG 66TW, and the bridge is an EMG 57TW. These are high output for today’s rock music. You get a master volume, tone control, and three-way selector switch. The bridge is fixed, and you get LTD locking tuners to keep the guitar in tune for longer.
- High output pickups
- Reasonable price
- Looks great
- No real authentic Tele tones
The ESP LTD TE-1000 Evertune has a Tele-inspired body, but it’s a pure rock and roll powerhouse. You get high output pickups and an easy to play 24-fret neck so you can shred through today’s guitar styles, yet still, have a Tele-style body that you crave. This is a clear winner for today’s hard rock players that want that tele-feel without the single coils and Tele jangle.
G&L Tribute ASAT Classic Bluesboy Semi-Hollow
Sometimes you want a Tele-style guitar that is a cut above and different. You’ll get that with the G&L Tribute ASAT Classic Bluesboy Semi-Hollow. This guitar has a lot to offer today’s guitar player.
The guitar has a swamp ash body with two chambers and an F-hole for extra resonance and sound. It plays like an acoustic, as well as an electric guitar. The neck is bolt-on and made out of maple wood. The neck profile is a C shape for easy playing. You get 22 jumbo frets. The guitar comes with Paul Gagon-designed AS4255C alnico neck humbucker and a Leo Fender-designed G&L MFD single coil. These pickups both sound great. The addition of the humbucker gives this Tele-inspired guitar more punch. You get a traditional fixed bridge, volume knob, and tone control, as well as a 3-way pickup selector switch.
- Authentic Tele-look
- Modern pickups
- Great neck
- Not a pure Tele
- F-hole may turn off some players
The G&L Tribute ASAT Classic Bluesboy Semi-Hollow is an excellent Tele-inspired guitar. This guitar is capable of producing a lot of different sounds. The humbucker gives the guitar a lot of extra punch if you’re looking for a unique Tele-style guitar, this one is a great option.
ESP USA TE-II HT Electric Guitar
Some players want a Tele-style body but need a guitar with modern appeal. The ESP USA TE-II HT is a modern guitar with a Tele body but offers the player a lot more in terms of sounds. Here is what this amazing guitar provides for you.
The guitar has an ash top and mahogany body. It features a satin finish, and you get a maple fretboard for easy playing. The neck is a Thin U design that is comfortable, and it’s a bolt-n style. You get 22 jumbo frets.
This guitar is set up for rock guitar with two high output humbucker pickups made by Seymour Duncan. It’s suitable for rock, metal, and other advanced styles. You get a master volume and tone control, as well as a 3-way sector for your pickups. The hardware is chrome, and there is a fixed Tele-style bridge. To stabilize tuning, you have Sperzel locking tuners.
- Look great
- High output pickups
- Easy to play neck
- No real authentic Tele tones
- Could use a locking tremolo to go with humbuckers
Schecter Guitar Research PT Custom Exotic
Schecter makes great guitars, and they even have a few Tele-inspired models such as the Schecter Guitar Research PT Custom. This guitar is a modern take on the famous Telecaster guitar with a lot to offer.
This guitar has a swamp ash body and a maple neck. The top is a figured Koa wood. It has a 22 fret Pau Ferro fingerboard. The neck is C shape, which feels great as you play, and it’s nice and smooth. The neck joint is a bolt-on style. You get a dual-action truss rod to help stabilize the neck.
The pickups are Schecter humbucking pickups. You get a tone control, master volume, and a 3-way selector switch. The bridge is a fixed style. You get black hardware and locking tuners along with two strap buttons.
- Cool look
- Nice pickups
- Easy to play
- Very expensive
- Lack of Tele pure tones
The Schecter Guitar Research PT Custom Exotic is a very nice guitar. It sounds great and is suite for hard rock and metal styles. It’s got very good pickups and easy to play. It’s quite expensive, so it’s not the best choice for everyone.
Things to consider when buying non-Fender Telecaster guitar
Before you buy a non-Fender Telecaster, you have a few things that you need to consider. This guide will help you pick the best guitar to suit your current needs.
Most Telecaster style guitars ship with single-coil pickups. These come standard on most models, but you can get non-Fender telecaster guitars that have humbucking pickups. Sing coils pickups are great for blues, light rock, country, and similar styles. If you want to play hard rock or heavy metal guitar with a Tele style guitar, you’ll need some humbucker pickups as the single coils don’t have the crunch that you need for most metal styles of music.
The Telecaster doesn’t normally have a tremolo system. You won’t find many models with one. You may be able to have a special Telecaster style guitar built with one, but most models don’t feature the tremolo. If you need this sort of system, I would look elsewhere.
Neck and Frets
Most Tele style guitars have 21 or 22 frets. There are no 24-fret models on the market. Most necks on tele style guitars are fast and easy to play. You shouldn’t have any problems with both lead and rhythm guitar when playing a Telecaster style guitar.
Telecaster style guitars tend to come with one volume and one tone control. This is standard for tele style guitars. There is usually a 3-way selector switch for a Tele style guitar. The electronic setup for the Tele is quite simple when compared to a Stratocaster, for example. This makes the instrument easy to pick up and play. It’s a great beginner instrument and also well-suited for advanced players.
Most Tele style guitars won’t need that much of a setup. They are usually fine right out of the box. You may need to make some minor adjustments to your guitar for your own personal preferences. For example, you may want to adjust the action of the Telecaster. Higher action is better for blues and string bending. Lower action is better for faster lead guitar paying, but bending is a bit harder. Most players go for a bit of a balance between the two. Medium action is usually the best bet for a Telecaster guitar. Try various action settings and then pick the one that works the best for you.
The truss rod may need some minor adjustment. If the neck appears a bot warped, you may want to adjust the rod. To this is small tuns and then let the guitar rest. Don’t fiddle with the truss rod unless you know what you’re doing. You may want to take your guitar to a technician to have this sort of adjustment performed.
All guitars need intonation at some point. Most guitars should be fine right out of the factory, but as you play, intonation needs to be performed. Check the guitar when you get it to ensure the intonation is right. A good guitar tech can do this for you if you don’t know how to set up your guitar’s intonation.
You may not find the model you like on the market, and that is fine. There are companies that will custom make a Telecaster for you. You should ask a manufacturer if they make custom guitars in some cases, you can order these custom guitars directly online. This lets you pick the wood, neck, pickups, pickguard, electronics, and other factors that go into your new Telecaster-style guitar. You have a ton of options this way, but you’re going to spend a lot more money as custom guitars can cost a lot. I wouldn’t go this route unless you have a clear vision of what you want the guitar to be. Beginners should just go with what is already in the market. As you progress, it makes more sense to buy a custom guitar as you’ll have a better idea of what you like.
You will want a good amplifier to go with your Telecaster-style guitar. Tube amps sound great with Telecaster guitars, but solid-state is just as good. You may also want to try the newer amp modeling amps, as these have come a long way in recent years. You will want to spend a decent amount of money on your amp. Your guitar will sound great if it’s paired with a solid amp. You may also want to pick up a few effects pedals to go with your new guitar.
This guide should help you ick put the best non-Fender Telecaster to meet your current needs. The choice is a bit limited, but there are decent models to choose from. These models are all excellent and will have you sounding great in no time at all.