Other Guitars

Favourite non-Fender brand teles?


Hi everyone,

I'm in the market for a tele and I was wondering, what are everyone's favourite non-Fender brand teles? They can be from any price range.

What's really caught my eye are the Guitar Fetish range of telecasters. At that price range they're really hard to give up. Has anyone got any experience with those models?



back in the 80s, ESP ones were good.


80s Tokai were nice too... I had a paisley and it sounded great. Not a light guitar though and that’s what ppl seem to crave these days


Schecter PT models.



– duojet55

Who knew more about Teles than Leo?


if i could find one that was reasonably priced i'd be all over the Hohner Tele like Prince played.


G&L ASAT -- the Tributes are good, the US-made ones are even better.

At the bargain basement end, I recently played an SX t-type. My goodness -- £125 and IMO better than any Squier below Classic Vibe level.


I like the G&L ASAT. Here is my Semi Deluxe (the semi refers to semi-hollow not semi-deluxe)


Jay Turser


Hah! G&L Tribute ASAT. I had one in Special Premium custom-order blueburst (Premium meaning swamp ash body.)

The MFD pickups are beasts of things, with more highs and more lows and more everything than is probly strickly needed.

It produced frequent static when the fingers brushed over the pickguard during normal playing, which I resolved early on by putting a thin copper sheet under the guard. While I was at it, I copper-foil-lined the control cavity and grounded the controls to it - and put in a 4-way switch that gave me both pups in series as well as the usual three options.

After all that it was kind of an über-Tele - and I just never bonded with it, who knows why. Maybe the MFDs are just too hi-fi, too clinical.

I recently sold it on Reverb, and it took two months! Guitar was 14 years old and absolutely dead-mint as new. https://reverb.com/item/101.... 372.50 is what it brought. I thought it was worth more. It was worth more. Apparently it wasn't worth more, since that's what I got. But I guess the experience left me less than impressed with G&L's resale value. Though I guess the US-made models fare better in that regard.

In any case, you're buying - not selling. Sure, G&L - but make sure you're heard and played the MFD pickups before you opt for one so equipped.

Otherwise, I probably wouldn't recommend Guitar Fetish in that low-end bracket. Buyers pretty universally agree it's a good starting place, but will almost certainly take at least some serious setup, if not fretwork and new nut, to be right - and sometimes take exception to any of the hardware that isn't pickups, which (being GFS) are usually good.

I've had considerable experience with Jay Turser - though never Teletypes - and am often impressed with value for the money. But 10-15 years ago, JT was making much more interesting guitars, and that's the era I'm most familiar with. Newer ones, don't know.

Among the low-priced spread, though, I'm most impressed by Rondo Music's lineup, particularly Agile. I've never had a bad Agile, two of them are among my favorite guitars, and customer service is excellent. That's where I'd look for a budget Teletype - if in fact I wasn't going for a Squier Vintage Vibe.

And if I was in the market for another Tele, that's exactly where I'd head. Is there some reason you want to get outside the Fender domain?

Not that it matters, but my favorite Teles remain a 70s Standard I bought in the 80s - and, weirdly, a Dillion clear acrylic-bodied novelty that just happens to play like butter and sound fabulous. Every inch a Tele in tone, but with an overlay of smoothness and refinement that appeals to me. It weighs a ton, though.


One of Rondo's low price leaders, this was a Douglas that used to be on their site but I don't find it now. I think that this is the one bought by the guy that does My Twangy Guitar. This was priced somewhere between $150-$175.


I think that it was made in Korea by Saien. They also marketed a version with Bigsby under the Shine brand. This was a picture that they used. Obviously no one that actually played the guitar looked at the picture before they released it or they would have cranked down the bridge. This one went for $250 but wasn't available long.


Peavey Reactor. Not my FAVORITE Tele, but still a pretty sweet guitar. The first generation were built here in Meridian NC. Flater neck radius, a little different circuit, interesting pickups. Really great players. These still fly under the radar for under $300. Where else can you find an American made guitar for that kind of scratch?


Chandler. Exceeds Fender Custom Shop quality. Like all spin-offs, they didn't hold their value but you'd be hard pressed to find a better quality guitar in any price range.


G&L USA ASAT Classic S Alnico... Fender Custom Shop quality at a great price, especially if you get a used one. Here's a review: ASAT Classic S Alnico


Cheers for the advice everyone.

I'll look those up and compare them to the similar Fender models. I think if I don't end up with a Fender it'll be a G&L.


Ruttersguitars.com builds custom shop guitars at American Standard prices. My 52' light relic is impeccable w a 9.5" radius fretboard,lazy C w nice round overs graduating into its bi-radius 10." mmhhh delish


I didn't forget, I just didn't see this thread until now!

Curt Wilson's Schoolhoused Tele!


Complete with Tommy Stinson's seal of approval! (Custom feature, not standard...)


If you have the means, Curt Wilson's Schoolhoused Teles are the shizzle. I've played several, and they're all great. Nash has made some really good T-style relics. All of these just feel right, you know what I mean?

For us budget minded Tele twangers, over the years I've picked up, played and bought some of the best, and worst, teles made by man.

Although technically a Fender, I'm a big fan of the Squire Custom Vibe series, if we're talking bang for the buck. The quality control on these seem to way outweigh the price they command. Used? Even better.

I have two, and am currently trying to trade one to Proteus for a Les Paul(thought I forgot about you, eh?).

If you can find one, pick up a Fernandes tele. Ben Vaughn plays one and it's fantastic. A 70s model you might get for $300-500, but that's a really good one as well, and no, they don't come with a sustainer pickup!

My favorite though is my 68 Fender, though mainly because it was the first guitar I bought and stuck with, so there's sentimental attachment there as well.


Plus 100 to Schoolhoused.

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