The Best Humbucker Telecaster In 2023

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In the electric guitar universe, there’s one modification that’s a real game-changer: the Humbucker Telecaster. This dynamic combo supercharges the classic Fender Telecaster’s design with the punch and warmth of a humbucker pickup. Whether you’re an experienced musician in need of a versatile instrument or a beginner who doesn’t want to compromise on quality, the Humbucker Telecaster’s a strong contender.

In this article, we’re going to check out the best Humbucker Telecasters for 2023, each boasting unique features and specs that make them a great addition to your guitar collection. So, let’s get tuned in and discover the best Humbucker Telecasters for 2023.

The Fender Player Telecaster HH

Fender Player Telecaster HH


The Fender Player Telecaster HH is a solid body guitar that carries the classic mark of Fender’s quality craftsmanship. Made with an alder body and a maple neck, this guitar provides a balanced sound with both bright and warm tonal characteristics. The neck is modern C-shaped, making it comfortable to hold and play, even for those with smaller hands.

It boasts two Player Series Alnico Humbuckers and a 3-way pickup switch, offering an array of versatile sound possibilities. This guitar is not just meant for playing, it’s built for comfort, sound, and lasting endurance.

Key Benefits

  • Versatile sound, suitable for various genres such as blues, rock, and metal
  • Comfortable modern C-shaped neck, easy to play with
  • High-quality construction, ensuring longevity
  • Features two Player Series Alnico Humbuckers, offering a rich, warm, and broad sound
  • Excellent tuning stability, thanks to its good quality tuners


The Fender Player Telecaster HH is known to provide exceptional value for its price. It is notably under $1,000, sitting and around US $880,  offering an array of features and sound quality that do not sacrifice the overall guitar experience.

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Pros & Cons

From a first-person perspective, what stands out the most about the Fender Player Telecaster HH is its versatility. This instrument can handle anything from blues to metal, thanks to the two humbucker pickups that deliver a warm, rich, and broad sound. This guitar is definitely a sound investment, offering a blend of quality, playability, and affordability rarely seen in this price range.

The guitar feels smooth to the touch, and it is extremely comfortable to play, even for those with smaller hands. The modern C-shaped neck and the 9.5″ fretboard radius contribute significantly to this playability.

However, there are certain aspects that could be improved. Some people may find the fretboard edges a little rough and the action a bit high right out of the box. But these are minor concerns that can be easily adjusted. Other than these, it’s hard to find anything wrong with this guitar. The lack of a five-way switch, for instance, is a minor sacrifice considering the overall quality and versatility of the guitar.

One of the notable advantages of the Fender Player Telecaster HH is its ability to stay in tune. The guitar has a hard tail bridge which, coupled with the quality tuners, makes for a combination that keeps the guitar in tune for long periods. This feature is a reliable advantage during extended play sessions.

The guitar is also a feast for the eyes, with its beautiful finish and stylish look. This combines with the warm sound of the pickups to deliver a guitar that looks as good as it sounds.

In conclusion, despite a few minor drawbacks, the Fender Player Telecaster HH is an outstanding guitar that offers excellent tones, smooth playability, and high-quality construction for a reasonable price.


The Charvel Joe Duplantier San Dimas Style 2 HH

Charvel Joe Duplantier San Dimas Style 2 HH


The Charvel Joe Duplantier San Dimas Style 2 HH is a signature model guitar designed with Joe Duplantier, the frontman of the metal band Gojira. It blends vintage aesthetics with modern features. The design offers a mahogany body with a specially contoured heel for easy access to the upper frets, and a mahogany neck with graphite reinforcement sporting an oiled back finish. The fingerboard is ebony with a 12″-16″ compound radius and 22 jumbo frets.

Equipped with dual Duncan Designed HB humbucking pickups, it provides a powerful and versatile tone. It also features a Charvel compound radius compensated bridge with an anchored tailpiece and Charvel locking tuners. The guitar is suitable for a variety of genres including hard rock, metal, jazz, indie, R&B, and blues.

Key Benefits

  • Mahogany body and neck for a warm tone and sustain.
  • 12″-16″ compound radius fingerboard for comfortable chord playing and ease of soloing.
  • Dual Duncan Designed HB humbucking pickups for a powerful and versatile tone.
  • Charvel compound radius compensated bridge with anchored tailpiece for tuning stability and increased sustain.
  • Charvel locking tuners for tuning stability and faster string changes.
  • Suitable for a wide variety of genres.


The Charvel Joe Duplantier San Dimas Style 2 HH is known for its impressive combination of vintage and modern features at a fair price.

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Pros & Cons

As with any instrument, the Charvel Joe Duplantier San Dimas Style 2 HH has its strengths and weaknesses. One of its main strengths is its versatility. The dual Duncan Designed HB humbucking pickups offer a wide range of tonal options, making this guitar adaptable to various styles of music. The neck, with its smooth oiled back finish, is exceptionally comfortable, and the graphite reinforcement ensures stability. The playability is further enhanced by the compound radius fingerboard, allowing for fluid movement across the frets.

However, despite the overall positive feedback, some caveats have been noted. The nut material is plastic, which could potentially affect the sound and playability of the guitar. Over time, some players might prefer to replace it with a higher-quality material. Another possible downside is the bolt-on neck joint, while it allows for easy travel and potential neck replacements, some players might find it lacks the seamless transition of a set-in or neck-through design.

All things considered, the Charvel Joe Duplantier San Dimas Style 2 HH shines with its versatility, playability, and solid construction. The few cons do not undermine its overall value. It is a guitar well-suited to both the stage and the studio, able to adapt to diverse musical demands while providing a reliable playing experience.


The Squier by Fender Classic Vibe 70’s Telecaster Deluxe

Squier by Fender Classic Vibe 70’s Telecaster Deluxe


The Squier by Fender Classic Vibe 70’s Telecaster Deluxe is a tribute to the iconic Telecaster Deluxe models of the 1970s. Distinguished by its dual Fender-Designed Wide Range humbucking pickups, a slim “C”-shaped neck profile, and a vintage-style Telecaster bridge with individual steel saddles, it offers an authentic vintage tone and feel. Despite its affordable price, this guitar maintains an excellent standard of craftsmanship and attention to detail.

Key Benefits

  • Vintage-inspired design paying homage to 1970s Telecaster Deluxe models.
  • Equipped with two Wide Range humbucking pickups, known for their warm and full-bodied tone.
  • Comfortable “C”-shaped neck profile allows for hours of easy play.
  • Vintage-style bridge with six individual saddles ensures excellent tuning stability and intonation.
  • High-quality craftsmanship and attention to detail, offering great value for money.


The Squier by Fender Classic Vibe 70s Telecaster Deluxe is notably budget-friendly, priced at $449.99 for a new guitar. This makes it approximately 46% cheaper than its average competitor, offering a quality instrument at a lower cost.

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Pros & Cons

Touted as a great choice for both beginners and experienced players, the Classic Vibe 70’s Telecaster Deluxe has received rave reviews for its authentic vintage tone, high-quality build, and excellent playability. Its ability to capture the essence of the original Telecaster Deluxe models is a significant highlight. Although it falls into the budget-friendly category, it has been noted to feel and sound like a more expensive instrument.

The Wide Range humbucking pickups, which are known for their warm and full-bodied tone, offer a versatile range of sounds. Whether you’re looking for a smooth and mellow tone or something grittier and more aggressive, this guitar delivers. Furthermore, the vintage-style bridge with six individual saddles provides excellent tuning stability and intonation, adding to the overall playing experience.

Sure, the guitar isn’t perfect. Some find the weight of the guitar to be a bit on the heavier side, but it’s comparable to other Telecaster models. The pickups, while fair, leave something to be desired. This is why some consider upgrading to Fender CuNiFe Wide Range Humbuckers. However, the guitar is still considered fun and comfortable to play.

Despite these minor setbacks, the Squier by Fender Classic Vibe 70’s Telecaster Deluxe is deemed to offer incredible value for money. As a vibrant addition to any collection, it’s a worthy contender for anyone seeking a vintage-inspired tone.


The Sire Larry Carlton T7 FM

Sire Larry Carlton T7 FM


The Sire Larry Carlton T7 FM is a signature model guitar from Sire’s T7 series designed in 2021. This Indonesian made guitar features a flamed veneer top on a North American Alder body and a roasted hard maple neck with a comfortable C-shaped profile. With a 25.5″ scale length and 9.5″ fretboard radius, it comes with 22 medium jumbo frets. It has an HH pickup configuration with Sire LC Super-M (Zebra type) humbuckers in both the bridge and neck positions. The guitar also boasts a T7 2-post modern bridge with a steel block and stainless saddle and Sire premium locking tuners.

Key Benefits

  • Versatile in sound and suitable for various genres such as heavy metal, hard rock, jazz, blues, funk, and country.
  • Comes with Sire’s own premium humbuckers designed for vintage-inspired tones.
  • Locking tuners and a T7 2-post modern bridge provide excellent tuning stability.
  • Equipped with a 5-way switch, enabling a versatile pickup configuration.


The Sire Larry Carlton T7 FM is priced around US$700 for a new model, providing excellent value considering its quality and features.

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Pros & Cons

With further inspection, the T7 FM exhibits an array of strengths that contribute to its overall appeal. Its semi-hollow body design with a flame maple top and mahogany back provides a warm and resonant tone. Its set-in mahogany neck with a C-shaped profile offers a comfortable playing experience. The instrument’s 22-fret rosewood fingerboard with dot inlays provides a smooth playing surface, further enhancing its playability.

Complementing its excellent playability are Sire’s own premium pickups designed to capture the vintage-inspired tones that Larry Carlton is known for. The 3-way pickup selector switch allows for easy transition between different pickup configurations, making it a versatile instrument that can cater to various genres. The Tune-O-Matic bridge and stop tailpiece add to the instrument’s tuning stability and sustain, ensuring that it stays in tune even during longer playing sessions.

However, despite its many merits, the T7 FM does have a few noticeable drawbacks. Some might find the fret wire to be a bit cheap, and the absence of top brand pickups or expensive woods might be a point of contention for some. Furthermore, it lacks coil split or pickup mod options which could limit its versatility to a certain extent.

Despite these minor issues, the elegant and classic look of the beautiful flame maple finish cannot be ignored. The T7 FM overall offers a high-quality playing experience, delivering vintage-inspired tones, excellent playability, and good value for the money.


The Fender Custom Shop 72 Telecaster Thinline Journeyman

Fender Custom Shop 72 Telecaster Thinline Journeyman


The Fender Custom Shop 72 Telecaster Thinline Journeyman is a limited edition, high-quality electric guitar that pays homage to the original 1972 Telecaster Thinline model. It blends the classic Telecaster design with modern features and a Journeyman Relic finish. The guitar is built with a hollow two-piece select ash body with an f-hole for a distinctive look and sound, and a Heavy Relic lacquer finish. The neck is composed of AA quartersawn flame maple with a 60s-style “oval-C” profile and the fingerboard is round-laminated maple with 21 narrow tall frets. Additionally, it is equipped with two high-output humbucking pickups designed by Seth Lover, offering hum-canceling properties and high output grit.

Key Benefits

  • Limited edition guitar that combines classic Telecaster design and modern features
  • Hollow two-piece select ash body with an f-hole for a distinctive look and resonant tone
  • AA quartersawn flame maple neck with a 60s-style “oval-C” profile for a comfortable playing experience
  • Equipped with two high-output Seth Lover designed humbucking pickups for a fatter, chunkier tone with hum-canceling properties
  • Comes with a deluxe hardshell case, a strap, and a certificate of authenticity


The Fender Custom Shop 72 Telecaster Thinline Journeyman is a premium instrument, reflected in its pricing. It is designed for professional players and serious enthusiasts who demand the best in terms of tone, playability, and craftsmanship.

Pros & Cons

The Fender Custom Shop 72 Telecaster Thinline Journeyman is recognized for its vintage-inspired tone, comfortable playability, and attention to detail in the craftsmanship. The semi-hollow ash body and f-hole design contribute to its unique and resonant tone, making it suitable for a wide range of musical styles. The humbucking pickups deliver a classic Telecaster sound with plenty of clarity and twang, providing a different tonal palette compared to the traditional single-coil Telecaster.

The Journeyman Relic finish gives the guitar a vintage look and feel, with subtle wear and tear that adds to its character. Moreover, the maple fingerboard provides a smooth playing surface, and the “oval-C” shape neck profile offers a comfortable grip.

This guitar is versatile and well-crafted, sure to impress guitarists who appreciate vintage-inspired tones and high-quality craftsmanship. Therefore, it’s suitable for a variety of genres, including blues, rock, country, or any other genre, proving its capability of delivering the classic Telecaster sound with style and precision. However, its high-end price tag could be considered a downside for some players.


The Charvel Pro-Mod So-Cal Style 2

Charvel Pro-Mod So-Cal Style 2


The Charvel Pro-Mod So-Cal Style 2 HH HT is a high-end electric guitar that stands out for its impressive range of tones, superior build quality, and distinctive aesthetics. As part of Charvel’s Pro-Mod series, it offers professional-grade specifications at an accessible price point. Crafted in the Ensenada facility in Mexico, the guitar effortlessly blends Fender-inspired body curves and licensed Telecaster headstock with signature Charvel features.

Key Benefits

  • A broad spectrum of tones, making it versatile for multiple musical styles.
  • Excellent build quality and attention to detail, providing a reliable and durable instrument.
  • A stable and shreddable neck, offering comfort and ease of play.
  • Unique Robin’s Egg Blue finish, adding to its visual appeal.
  • Fishman Fluence active humbuckers, delivering potent and dynamic sound.
  • Caramelized maple neck reinforced with graphite for stability.
  • Luminlay side dots for better stage visibility.
  • Heel-mount truss rod adjustment wheel, allowing for easy neck adjustments.


The Charvel Pro-Mod So-Cal Style 2 HH HT is priced at roughly US$999. The guitar is available in a range of finishes, including Robin’s Egg Blue, Satin Black, and Snow White.

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Pros & Cons

In terms of pros, the So-Cal Style 2 HH HT offers a wide range of tones, making it a versatile instrument suitable for various genres. The guitar’s design is quite commendable. The Robin’s Egg Blue finish gives it a unique look that sets it apart from traditional guitar colorways. Additionally, the caramelized maple neck with rolled edges not only adds to the aesthetic but also enhances playability.

Sound-wise, the Fishman Fluence active humbuckers are a significant advantage. The Hot Rod Bridge pickup, in particular, proves to be effective for tighter high gain. Moreover, the Vintage P.A.F humbucker voices lend a more characterful string definition and rounded cleans, making it equally effective for blues and jazz.

The So-Cal Style 2 HH HT also comes equipped with a robust and comfortable neck, which is reinforced with graphite for added stability. This feature, coupled with the Luminlay side dots, greatly enhances on-stage performance.

As for cons, some might find the guitar’s versatility a bit overwhelming. With a multitude of tonal options, from warm and smooth to aggressive and punchy, it may take time to fully explore and master the instrument’s capabilities. But then again, this so-called con could also be seen as a pro, especially for guitarists who enjoy experimenting with different genres and sounds.


The G&L Tribute ASAT Deluxe

G&L Tribute ASAT Deluxe


The G&L Tribute ASAT Deluxe is a well-built guitar that provides a wide range of tones, from ferocious grunt to bell-like shimmer. This more affordable alternative to the Fullerton-made ASATs comes with a muscular posture and boasts a sense of refinement. The guitar stands out with its carved flame maple top, mahogany body, and rosewood fingerboard, offering a warmer T-style guitar.

Key Benefits

  • Carved flame maple top, mahogany body, and rosewood fingerboard for a warmer T-style guitar.
  • The Alnico AS4250C neck and AS4370C bridge pickups provide a snappy-to-warm range and versatility.
  • Leo Fender’s Saddle Lock Bridge ensures tuning stability and improved sustain.
  • The tonewood choices of the ASAT Deluxe result in excellent acoustic properties, with a blend of clarity and richness.
  • Ability to produce punchy and bass-heavy tone when plugged in and can also achieve classic Telecaster tones.
  • Offers excellent clarity and balance across the strings.


The G&L Tribute ASAT Deluxe comes at an accessible price. This affordability, combined with its high-quality components, makes it a great option for players looking for a T-style guitar with a bit more muscle.

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Pros & Cons

From my perspective, the G&L Tribute ASAT Deluxe is known for its high-quality craftsmanship and versatile sound. The solid body made of swamp ash contributes to balanced tonal characteristics. Its C-shaped neck profile offers comfort, allowing extended periods of play without causing discomfort.

Equipped with two G&L Magnetic Field Design single-coil pickups, this guitar provides a wide range of tones, from warm and mellow to bright and twangy. The traditional-style bridge with its six individual saddles allows for precise intonation and string height adjustment, contributing to a better playing experience. The three-way pickup selector switch, as well as individual volume and tone controls for each pickup, offers a range of tonal versatility.

In terms of aesthetics, the G&L Tribute ASAT Deluxe doesn’t disappoint. It has a classic look with a double-cutaway body shape and vintage-style hardware. It is also available in a variety of finishes, including sunburst, black, and natural.

In conclusion, the G&L Tribute ASAT Deluxe is a versatile and well-crafted guitar. It offers a range of tones and comfortable playability, all at an accessible price. However, it’s worth noting that its versatility could be overwhelming for some, especially those looking for a more specific sound profile.


The Fender American Performer Telecaster Hum

Fender American Performer Telecaster Hum


With a modern twist on a traditional guitar, the Fender American Performer Telecaster Hum has been designed to cater to contemporary tastes. It’s a modified version of the traditional Telecaster, with a host of features intended to enhance its versatility and adaptability. The guitar is handcrafted in Corona, California and showcases Fender’s commitment to authenticity and innovation. It boasts an alder body, a Yosemite single-coil bridge pickup, a Double Tap humbucking neck pickup, and a Greasebucket tone system.

Key Benefits

  • High-quality build with a well-shaped maple neck and impeccable finish
  • Versatile range of tones provided by the combination of a humbucker pickup and a single-coil pickup
  • Greasebucket tone circuit that allows high-end attenuation without enhancing lows or reducing gain
  • Coil-split switch that enhances the guitar’s functionality and tonal range
  • Modern C-shaped neck profile designed for comfort
  • 22 jumbo frets that enhance playability and allow for higher notes to be played
  • Made in the USA indicating high quality standards


The Fender American Performer Telecaster Hum maintains a competitive pricing strategy. It’s available at a cost of $1,099, making it a valuable choice for players seeking a high-quality instrument that offers good value for money.

Pros & Cons

This guitar impresses me with its top-notch build quality and its well-balanced pickups that produce nice humbucker tones. It’s clear that attention to detail has been a priority in its construction. The guitar’s capacity for sonic versatility is equally impressive, offering classic Telecaster sounds as well as the ability to accommodate contemporary effect-centric playing.

However, the contemporary neck profile and fretboard radius may not appeal to all. The neck profile is a modern C shape, which deviates from vintage norms and may not suit players with smaller hands or those who prefer the profile of a ’60s Fender.

Despite this, the American Performer Telecaster Hum remains a modern player’s instrument that offers refinements of mods that have been made to vintage Telecasters for decades. It’s an intriguing alternative in Fender’s ever-evolving lineup, providing different options for different types of players. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced player, the comfortable shape, easy-to-use bridge, comfortable fretboard, and locking tuners make it a user-friendly choice.

The Fender American Performer Telecaster Hum is a versatile electric guitar that offers a wide range of tones and a comfortable playing experience. Its humbucker pickup in the neck position provides a warm and full sound, perfect for blues, jazz, and rock styles, while the single-coil pickup in the bridge position delivers the classic Telecaster twang and bite. The combination of these pickups allows players to achieve a variety of tones, from smooth and mellow to bright and cutting. Overall, this guitar offers a versatile instrument with a classic Telecaster sound and feel.

What Is A Humbucker Telecaster?

A Humbucker Telecaster isn’t just any guitar; it’s a unique blend of two notable designs. It combines the distinct features of the Fender Telecaster with a humbucker pickup, usually positioned at the bridge. This mix gives you a guitar that offers the traditional Telecaster feel and the robust, saturated sound of a humbucker pickup.

One of the standout qualities of the humbucker pickup is its knack for reducing unwanted noise and hum, hence its name. This noise reduction is achieved by using two coils wired in series or parallel, which cancels out the noise and produces a thicker, more potent tone. So, you’ll find that a humbucker pickup gives you a warmer, smoother sound, with enhanced sustain and a more prominent mid-range.

But the Humbucker Telecaster offers more than just a higher output and a thicker tone; it also gives you increased versatility. With a single-coil pickup in the neck position and a humbucker in the bridge, you can explore a wide range of tones. Plus, it’s great at handling high-gain and distortion effects without too much noise or feedback, thanks to the humbucker’s design that reduces interference from electromagnetic fields. So, the Humbucker Telecaster doesn’t just embody the classic design of a Fender Telecaster, it also enhances it by adding the benefits of a humbucker pickup.

The Benefits Of A Humbucker In A Telecaster

Installing a humbucker in a Telecaster, a tweak often called the “humbucker mod,” is a move made by many guitarists, including Keith Richards. This mod broadens the Telecaster’s tonal range, giving you a fatter and chunkier tone compared to traditional single-coil pickups. It’s also known to cut down on noise and hum, a big plus if you’re after a cleaner and more stable tone.

Adding a humbucker to a Telecaster means carving out a cavity for the pickup and tweaking the pickguard and bridge assembly. Some Telecasters with humbuckers also have coil tap switches, letting you get single-coil tones when you want, adding another level of versatility to this mod.

Telecasters with humbuckers are made by various brands, including Fender, Squier, Ibanez, G&L, Schecter, and Charvel, giving you a wide range of options if you’re interested in this mod. The added perks of less noise, the capacity to handle high-gain distortion without feedback, and a fuller, warmer tone are good reasons to think about this mod. However, it’s always a good idea to try out different Telecasters with humbuckers in person to find the one that fits your playing style and sound preferences.

Humbucker Telecasters Takeaways

With so many electric guitars out there, you might feel a bit swamped in your search for the perfect instrument. But don’t worry, getting to know the features and benefits of each model can help you find the one that’s just right for you. Humbucker Telecasters, with their unique mix of traditional telecaster design and top-notch humbucker pickups, are known for their versatility and noise-free, clear tones.

Whether you’re into blues, a metal shredder, or a jazz connoisseur, Humbucker Telecasters cater to a wide range of genres. The hum-canceling properties of the humbucker pickups don’t just deliver a warm, fat tone, they also provide smoothness and clarity in higher gains.

From the budget-friendly yet superbly crafted Squier by Fender Classic Vibe 70’s Telecaster Deluxe to the high-end Fender Custom Shop 72 Telecaster Thinline Journeyman, there’s a Humbucker Telecaster for every budget. Each model has its own unique flavor, but they all deliver on superior sound quality, durability, and style.

The features of Humbucker Telecasters are just a small part of the guitar universe, but they represent a unique blend of innovation and tradition. So, whether you’re a seasoned guitarist looking to broaden your tonal palette, or a beginner wanting a versatile and reliable guitar, a Humbucker Telecaster could be a great addition to your musical journey. Keep exploring, keep experimenting, and let the music play on!

Andrew Scrivens

Andrew Scrivens

I am a live musician and guitar teacher from Brisbane, Australia, with extensive experience playing live, in the studio and for TV shows. I play in many venues, studios, music shops and with my students and as such am exposed to a lot of different gear. I form my opinions based on my experiences playing instruments in these locations.

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