The best Telecasters in 2023, from traditional twang to modern mayhem
Whether you want something straight out of the 50s or a radical reinvention, there’s a telecaster out there for you.
The humble Telecaster. Short of turning lead into gold, the list of what it can’t do is very short. You can’t go far wrong with such a versatile platform, but there are countless configurations on the market right now from both Fender and Squier – all of them suited for a range of players. So let’s dive in.
The best telecasters on the market in 2023:
- Fender Player Plus Nashville Telecaster
- Fender Vintera 70s Telecaster Deluxe
- Fender Player Telecaster
- Fender American Vintage II 1951 Telecaster
- Fender Noventa Telecaster
- Fender American Professional II Telecaster
- Squier Classic Vibe 70s Thinline Telecaster
- Squier 40th Anniversary Telecaster Vintage Edition
- Squier Cabronita Baritone Telecaster
- Squier Paranormal Esquire Deluxe
Fender Player Plus Nashville Telecaster
The Player Plus range, unsurprisingly, offers just that little bit more than the Player range. Here we have a fairly traditional Tele platform that’s been decked out with Stratocaster single-coil in the middle position for some cool Strat-y quack on its own, and some thicker spank when it’s mixed with the neck or bridge. The pickups are all completely noiseless, too, and offer plenty of output for bold, uncompromising sounds. And, for the modern player, there’s a 12”-radius fretboard so your fingers can fly through those country licks no problem.
Today’s best deals on the Fender Player Plus Nashville Telecaster
Fender Vintera 70s Telecaster Deluxe
The Telecaster Deluxe remains one of the coolest guitars in Fender’s lineup – introduced to keep up with the harder and harder rock sounds of the 1970s, it bears a pair of wide-range humbuckers and a control scheme that’s more Kalamazoo than California. The Vintera edition offers all that old-school cool at a price that’s much more approachable than, say, the American Vintage line.
Today’s best deals on the Fender Vintera 70s Telecaster Deluxe
Fender Player Telecaster
If you don’t need the super-flat fretboard and souped-up electronics of the Player Plus, the Player Telecaster is still an excellent instrument. The Player Plus combines a modern approach with a classic look and electronics layout, because as they say: if it ain’t broke…
Today’s best deals on the Fender Player Telecaster
Fender American Vintage II 1951 Telecaster
If you’re gonna go vintage, might as well commit to the bit. This 1951 Telecaster is a painstaking recreation of the very first guitars to bear the name, even down to the slot-head screws. The pickups offer that understated yet clear tone vintage single-coils are known for, and the vintage-correct radius is sure to please the aficionados out there.
Today’s best deals on the Fender American Vintage II 1951 Telecaster
Fender Noventa Telecaster
Sure, the Les Paul Junior proved that a singlecut with a single P90 in the bridge is a great combination – but what if you don’t want to abandon the Telecaster shape? This utterly stylish and minimalist guitar offers a comfy 60’s C neck profile, a modern 9.5” fretboard radius and all the tones of the famously versatile P90, which can do everything from understated cleans to raucous punk.
Today’s best deals on the Fender Noventa Telecaster
Fender American Professional II Telecaster
For the modern player with a hefty budget, you can’t really get better than the American Professional II series. The telecaster model features a treble bleed circuit for clarity at every volume level, as well as a new carved heel for comfortable upper-fret access – on top of honing the already effective Tele formula down to a sharpened point of versatile guitar goodness.
Today’s best deals on the Fender American Professional II Telecaster
Squier Classic Vibe 70s Thinline Telecaster
There are many things to love about Squier’s Classic Vibe line, not least the great pickups and specs you can get for a very reasonable price. The combination of a semi-hollow body and a powerful pair of wide-range humbuckers means an airy, chimey sound that’s perfect for jamming out some 70s acid-rock.
Today’s best deals on the Squier Classic Vibe 70s Thinline Telecaster
Squier 40th Anniversary Telecaster Vintage Edition
They say life begins at 40. That’s up for debate – but what certainly does begin at 40 is a line of excellent and affordable guitars, all with aged hardware and anodised pickguards. If you’re Squier, that is. In the Tele department, we have a blond finish, alnico pickups, black binding and a black anodised pickguard. For under $400. That’s how you celebrate a birthday.
Today’s best deals on the Squier 40th Anniversary Telecaster Vintage Edition
Squier Cabronita Baritone Telecaster
In the last couple of years, Squier has seemingly realised that the healthy appetite for baritone guitars means it should stop making them limited edition. Luckily, that means that the Cabronita Baritone Telecaster has stuck around: this dual-P90 tele offers a 27” scale length, making it perfect for tuning to B-standard or lower while retaining clarity and snap.
Today’s best deals on the Squier Cabronita Baritone Telecaster
Squier Paranormal Esquire Deluxe
The most recent introduction on this list, it’s another example of Squier pushing the boat out with experimentation – here we have a barebones take on the Telecaster Deluxe mashed up with the single-pickup Esquire. This leads to a surprisingly versatile guitar, with a splittable wide-range humbucker and the option to bypass the tone and volume controls at the flick of a switch, for a sudden all-out assault. What more do you need?