by Jef | 4,2 / 5,0 | Approximate reading time: 5 Minutes
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The Best Value T-Style Guitars is our roundup of great quality Telecaster, Tele and T-Style models that will put a big smile on your face when you play them. With a focus on value for money and versatility. This list is for anyone looking for advice on which guitar to buy.

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The Best Value T-Style Guitars

Throughout The Best Value T-Style Guitars I’ll show you “What to look for when buying a Telecaster?” and how to get the best value for your money. With T-Style guitars, we are normally looking for a bolt-on neck, single-cut design. These usually come with two single-coil pickups and a simple control layout of a three-way blade switch, paired with a single volume and tone control.

However, that’s not to say we cannot look at modern tweaks, including humbucking pickups, vibrato systems and more complex control layouts. It isn’t 1951 anymore and the T-Style guitar has had plenty of time to evolve in the last 70-plus years!

Squier CV 50s Tele MN BB – The Best Value T-Style Guitars

This Squier CV 50s Tele MN BB * is about as traditional as you can get for a T-Style. This version offers astounding value for money and comes with a pine body finished in Butterscotch Blonde. This is paired with a comfortable C-shape maple neck. It has 21 tall narrow frets and a traditional bone nut.

Squier CV 50s Tele LH MN BB
Squier CV 50s Tele LH MN BB · Source: Squier

Alnico Pickups

This Squier is powered by twin Fender-designed Alnico single-coil pickups, which should offer players all the classic tones that are associated with this ’50s style guitar.

Paired with a traditional Tele string-through-body bridge, with 3 barrel saddles and a set of vintage tuners. All the hardware is finished in nickel. This model offers players a great-looking guitar with all the correct appointments and tones.

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MSRP – GBP 344 *

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Squier CV 50s Tele LH MN BB
Squier CV 50s Tele LH MN BB
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Fender Vintera 50s Telecaster – The Best Value T-Style Guitars

Out of all the Fender variations on the market currently, the Fender Vintera 50s Telecaster would, in my opinion, be one of the best value-for-money iterations. If you really want that F logo on your headstock, then this should be on your radar.

Fender Vintera 50s Telecaster MN 2-SB
Fender Vintera 50s Telecaster MN 2-SB · Source: Fender

Traditional Tele

This model comes with an alder body and this is paired with a Thick Soft U maple neck. Offering a little more meat than the Squier above; perfect if you prefer a beefier neck profile. This model has a 7.25″ radius fretboard fitted with 21 vintage-style frets.

It can be found in Surf Green and a 2-Colour Sunburst finish. This model has a solid string-through-body design and this time it has three brass barrel saddles.

Pickups are the newly re-voiced Fender Vintage-Style ’50s Single-Coil Tele models, which should be perfect for the job.

MSRP – GBP 849 *

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Fender Vintera 50s Tele Mod MN SG

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Harley Benton TE-52 NA Vintage Series – The Best Value T-Style Guitars

This Harley Benton TE-52 model has to be one of the cheapest models on this list, but don’t let that fool you into thinking it is inferior in any way. In fact, the TE-52 NA Vintage Series has amazing feedback from owners on the Thomann website. And with good reason, as this budget model punches well above its low wallet-friendly price point.

Harley Benton TE-52 NA Vintage Series
TE-52 NA Vintage Series · Source: Harley Benton

American Ash

The American Ash body is a great starting point and then factor in the Caramelised Canadian maple neck. It has 21 frets and a comfy C-profile neck shape.

Outfitted with twin Roswell TEA Alnico-5 TE-style single-coil pickups wired via a traditional Volume and Tone control via a three-way switch. This guitar has a lot to offer and is certainly one to check out.

An added bonus for me, is that the traditional bridge can accomodate both string-through-body or top-loaded stringing. Both styles of stringing have their own merits in terms of tone and feel; with the TE-52 you get to choose!

MSRP – EUR 159 / GBP 139 *

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Harley Benton TE-20HH SBK Standard Series – The Best Value T-Style Guitars

Tearing up traditional and going full-bore twin humbucker, the Harley Benton TE-20HH SBK Standard Series is aimed squarely at players who want a more aggressive guitar tone. Is metalcore is more your thing? Or do you just need more power? Then this is the Tele for you.

The Best Value T-Style Guitars
TE-20HH SBK · Source: Harley Benton

Stealth T

This model comes with a lightweight basswood body in a stealthy-looking Black Satin finish. This is paired with a maple neck and Roseacer fretboard fitted with 22 frets.

It comes with a pair of humbuckers wired using a standard Tele control layout.  These offer a lot more output than a regular single-coil pickup normally has. This model is aimed at guitar players with more brutal tonal requirements.

MSRP – EUR 99/GBP 88 *

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Harley Benton Fusion-T HH Roasted

Finally, we check out the recently announced Harley Benton Fusion-T HH Roasted. This model offers a vibrato system as well as a pair of humbucking pickups. Putting it firmly in the more modern category of T-Style guitars. These come with a Nyatoh body and a roasted Canadian maple neck.

The Best Value T-Style Guitars
Harley Benton Fusion-T HH Roasted · Source: Harley Benton

Vibrato Loaded

They have a Wilkinson 50IIK 2-point bridge and a set of Roswell HAF-B alnico and Roswell HAF-N alnico pickups. It now comes in new Satin Black, Satin White and Flame Blue Burst finish. Plus, there is also a hardtail version available that is now offered in a Flame Blue Burst finish.
 
 
MSRP – EUR 449*
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Harley Benton Fusion-T HH Roasted SSP
Harley Benton Fusion-T HH Roasted SSP
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Harley Benton Fusion-T HH HT Roasted FBLB
Harley Benton Fusion-T HH HT Roasted FBLB
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Harley Benton Fusion-T HH HT Roasted FBB
Harley Benton Fusion-T HH HT Roasted FBB
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18 responses to “The Best Value T-Style Guitars – Buying The 50s Workhorse”

    Rocky Dennis says:
    2

    I’m surprised you left off the offerings from Sire, which Thomann does carry, which are highly reviewed, and offer rolled fretboard edges.

      Jef says:
      -4

      There are so many I could have chosen, but it was a case of choosing 5 best value models, and these all fit those criteria. I agree the Sire models are pretty sweet as well.

    Robert Papasian says:
    -7

    Those may be the least expensive T-styles, and may be a good “value” for beginners or folks who want to own something that looks like an electric guitar, and don’t actually play much, if at all.

    Thing is, if you DO play out, practice a lot, and have cultivated a sense of what makes a guitar a workhorse vs. a wall hanging, you’re gonna be disappointed. And if you play enough to wear out frets, which is pretty easy on the low end guitars, you’re gonna pay 100%+ the price of the guitar for a refret. The pickups, wood, electronics, etc. will likely need work/replacement.

    Buy a lightly used Suhr Classic T pro, and you will have a worthy lifelong musical partner. Buy a $150 copy of an american Tele, and you have a softball bat with pickups.

      Jef says:
      1

      I’m not a massive fan of the Suhr Classic T Pro model and I think that ‘new’, as I can’t take into account ‘used’, they are a little overpriced. They sit in that price range that has some serious competition and so I would not class them as the best value in that price bracket. Nice guitars and very well made, just not offering much more in the way of value.

      Charles Young says:
      -3

      sorry dude. I’ve used H.B. for 10 years now. Love them. 2012 Strat copy with HSS, Tune half step down, part of my stage gear with PRS and Clapton Blackie

        Ian R says:
        0

        Same. Always someone complaining about budget guitars it seems. They also tend to be the ones that complain about modern music being subpar and that rock isn’t what it used to be while budget guitars allow for more people to have guitars to play. Most of the time, you’re paying a lot extra just for a brand name

      Corey says:
      0

      Tell Jack Pearson he doesn’t know what he’s looking for in a guitar

    Mark Snelling says:
    7

    G & L ASATs in either US or Tribute versions kill all of these.

      Jef says:
      -3

      Yeah, G&L are pretty decent, though can be a bit hit-and-miss in terms of quality for the price. Especially outside the US

        Mark Simons says:
        2

        I, too, was surprised you ommited the G and L ASAT tribute. My 2917 Indonesia made one rocks as it has alnicos, not the MFD pups. The neck is awesome and I got it for under 500 Euros on a MF Stupid Deal

      Russ evs says:
      4

      I whole heartedly agree G&L guitars are so overlooked it’s criminal they have Leo Fenders updated versions of his classic overpriced Fender’s

    JD says:
    -2

    I have a 30th Anniversary 1952 re-issue.
    Best Tele ever to come out of the old Fullerton plant. I’d like to buy a cheapo to put a Bigsby on, so I liked this review of what’s available.

    guitarJim says:
    1

    I just bought the Squier Affinity Telecaster inthe cream finish with white pickguard. Sam Ash is closing them out for $199 U.S. and I feel like I stole it. it has a poplar body, weighs 7 pounds, has a tummy tuck, 21 frets, and 9.5-inch radius neck and laurel board. It plays like a dream and the ceramic pickups, especially the one in the bridge, sound amazing. The neck pickup sounds very good as well. In my opinion, no other can match the tone of a good Tele and this one sounds amazing to me. if the frets wear out in a few years, I’ll replace the neck. Same with the tuners. I’ve owned lots more expensive guitars in my life, but never any one that I liked better than this one. I wanted a great-looking, great-playing, great-sounding 60s style Tele and I got one for a pittance. I could not be happier!

      Robert Joseph Phillips says:
      0

      amazing bang for the buck, I own about 3 now that I customized and wouldn’t trade them for even a custom shop guitar. they have a winning formula happening with the squiers IMHO, you pay a little for a good little guitar and put a little time and maybe a few bucks into and you have something that will mow down the competition even at price point 3×s More

    Boyd says:
    -1

    Schecter Apocalyptic Telecaster Swamp Ash body Canadian maple neck stainless steel frets, humbuckers with coil tap.best guitar t style von plante Eartn. Boys

    Harry says:
    0

    Harley Benton Fusion-T EMG HT is missing.

    Rob says:
    0

    squier affinity telecasters are really an amazing deal be it the regular affinity or the deluxe, better than the player and so.me of the older early 2000 American standards I’ve owned. anything you buy despite price point can be hit and miss. as far as quality goes from what ive gathered a little more nickel is in the fret equation on squiers but I’ve not ever had frets prematurely wear out of course I use 9’s or 10’s nickel wound steel d’addario. maybe that has something to do with it I always do a basic leveling of frets 1000 grit #0000 steel wool and polish as soon as I get the guitar home if any high frets or frets needing touch up. just basic setup and intonation. I always mod stuff out, ss steel or brass saddles on bridge plate better bridge pup off brand, DiMarzio or Duncan alnico 5. pick plate, vol and tone pot’s wires and knobs etc. by the time I get done with say a affinity I usually have about 100.00 into it plus it’s 239.00 average price point out the door, it will kick a lot of expensive name brands to the curb, I kid you not. now paint on a guitar has a lot to do with pricing. a cheaper paint Job = less coats= more Free vibration of materials= more resonance. this is a big point of why some guitars are cheap, and of course the hardware and sometimes the body woods etc will be flamed quilted etc and maybe ash, mahogany etc. but The neck is usually made of Eastern, Canadian or some variant species of hard mape or a mahogany. this is what counts for a Big portion of the tonality and of course stability of neck and these are All good points to make a check list of. are you going to put attention to detail in the fretwork? set-up etc? do you want to upgrade bridge saddles wiring pots and maybe pup’s? cause you can substantially Make a 200,, 300, Dollar guitar into something that you might pay 500, 700 , or even more off a music stores wall for around 100 dollars and some time and a little patience.. easily doable.. and while it probably won’t have much resale value you purchased it to make your own anyways. just points to think about.

    Ian R says:
    0

    I’m just here to complain that x/y/z was not included!! How dare you! 😛 Thanks for the write up, Jef. Musicians are annoying lol

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