Other Guitars

Best “old school” tele for under $200?


The title says it all - any suggestions? Thanks guys!


What do you mean by old school?

The Squier Affinity is a pretty good guitar, but 1/4" thinner than most Teles, features a bridge that is top-loading, six-saddled, and the wrong size to mod easily, but it's still a good Tele.

The Classic Vibe is the cheapest Tele that has the most appointments I associate with vintage Teles, but it's not south of 200.00 unless you find one (really) used.


Sorry - I mean a standard, two single coil, tele-style solidbody. Those classic vibes are great, by the way.


300 bucks will put you in Classic Vibe territory, which is definitely where I would be going.


Yeah, save up for the classic vibe.


ive been twangin my CV tele all morning 8-)


does it have to be a fender / Squire?

I hear good things from the ROndo and Guitarfetish Teles. and you could almost get 2 on your budget! or some decent GFS upgrades.


Rondo SX Tele. It'll need some upgrades down the road - Tuners, electronics, etc. - But out of the box it's far better than any $120 guitar has a right to be.

If you're looking long term, though, I'd agree with the Classic Vibe thing. Actually, you can sometimes find an MIM Standard Tele on CL for less than $300, but I've heard guys say they prefer the CV to the Standards these days.


Another vote for the SX! I paid near $120 including shipping and was astonished by how good it played and sounded. I was hoping for junk so I could have a guit to completely rebuild. They have the added bonus of coming in left handed!


I'd also say look at the Douglas Gravitys and TL-100s at Rondo. Generally less needed work oob from the SX's.



You buy what you think you need to.

As for me... with a good set of nut slot files and the knowledge to well use them... as well as everything that goes into a good set up (fret leveling and whatever else is needed).... Stock is fine for me... and I am extremely picky.

After I work 'em, they're gold.

3 out of 3 SX guitars, all primo *after* I worked 'em... never needed to replace nuts, tuning machines (efficacy of... on any guitar.... related to the nut worked well or not... BTW)... winners. Or electronics... unless I had other purposes in mind for said gitfiddles from the get-go.

For a rock-solid basic tele-type guitar... for me??? Rondo SX Furrian.

I have a GFS tele-type thinline still hanging on a hook, halfway through fret leveling. Been that way for months and months. It was shipped to me not up to par with the SX things through Rondo I've had... which is part (though not all) of why it is still hanging there in limbo.

But what the heck do I know... first guitar, 1958.


Hands down Dean Avalanche Model T. They aren't sold at the big box stores, it's a deal Dean has with independent shops only. I've A/B'd it with a Fender American Standard, and it holds it's own no problem.

It's $225, but worth the extra $25. I've got a Squier Affinity, and it's a great playing guitar, but the electronics were garbage. Once that was swapped it's a great guitar, and a decent choice.

That said I've never played a tele in this price range better than the Dean. They only come in black or white, and have an ashtray bridge (not a fan personally), but it's a Fender spec bridge, so it's easy to find one you like.

We don't have that one on our website yet, or I'd link it for you, but it's a killer guitar, and worth looking around for. If you have any questions let me know. I have one in my shop I can look over if you want.


Damn - lots of ideas - thanks! I've been checking out those SX Rondos, but the one thing I'm not in love with is the 1-5/8" wide nut - kinda skinny to me. Not necessarily a dealbreaker, but... can anybody weigh in on those necks (and the Xavier's)? Ripley - that Dean looks dang cool, too - thanks!


Sorry - I mean a standard, two single coil, tele-style solidbody.

-- hellbilly

Well, in that case, I've been very happy with mt Affinity that I found on Craig's List for $100. The pickups sound great and the neck feels perfect.


One thing to also consider: The Rondo bolt-on necks are NOT the Fender-spec width of 2-3/16". They are 2-1/8". The Xaviere's are Fender-spec.

So if you want to swap necks with a Rondo, you can after a little work.

I love the Douglas Gravity semi-hollow with 2 P90s! That is a sexy beast!


... For a rock-solid basic tele-type guitar... for me??? Rondo SX Furrian. -- truthtellerspook I could not agree more wholeheartedly. My SX Furrian Tele plays, sounds and looks as good as any Tele I've ever played including the really expensive ones. Mine, with the Strat vibrato was $120.00 and after just a normal setup that you would do to any guitar, it is absolutely perfect.


$100.00, & watch the video


Bear - does the neck have enough meat on it - not too skinny? Thanks!


Bear - does the neck have enough meat on it - not too skinny? Thanks!

-- hellbilly

The neck on mine is very fat just like a vintage Tele only it has a very flat radius of 13.7" so you can bend strings as far as you want without fretting out. A vintage '50s Tele has a 7.25" radius, great for Barre chords but lousy for bending.

I have huge hands and the 1 5/8 inch nut width poses absolutely no problem for me even with a first position B7th chord. I really couldn't feel that 1/16' difference. Maybe a good fingerpicker would, but I sure didn't have any problems even with my big hands and the neck is fast.

Also I see no issues whatsoever with the electronics or the tuners. I won't make any changes unless something requires repair down the line.

The only reason I changed the vibratos is due to the fact that I hate the wobble of screw in arms. I would change to a Wilkinson on a Custom Shop Fender if it came with a screw in arm.


Ah - well that's good to hear - I like fat necks... hmmmm


I also find the pickups to give an authentic Tele tone. I have no intention of swapping them out.


Well dangit - guess we'll see what I get, just snagged this! Diggin' the color AND the P90 in the neck! For $20 more than the standard two tele pickup model, I get the neck P90 and a cheapo gig bag - what's not to love? http://www.rondomusic.com/product4290.html


There's a winter white CV tele (just like telechamp's above) used through MF right now for $304.

Same guitar for $199 through GC's used listings. It's in Raleigh, I think. So you only go over budget to cover tax and shipping. [http://used.guitarcenter.com/usedgear/index.cfm]

There's also a Korean Squier I played yesterday at the Music Go Round in Ann Arbor for $200. It's the yellower white. Played great, just needed a little tightening of the input jack. Don't know what they'd charge for shipping, but you could call them. But it was a good player all the way around. It has the more modern 6 saddle bridge, which isn't quite "old school." I prefer the three barrel bridges that come on the CVs.

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