Best T-Type Guitars Guide

The T-type is one of the world’s most iconic guitar designs. Around since 1950, this distinctive model has been heard on countless recordings - and of course used by hundreds of renowned guitar players!

But sometimes, it can be nice to own something that has a slightly more unique character, rather than possessing one from the most renowned brand. In this guide, we’ve highlighted some of the best T-style alternatives available on the market today!

Written by

James Hurman


The typical T-type is well-known for its vibrant and spanky sound. Its unmistakable tone can be attributed to two major aspects of its design; a bolt-on construction and bright-sounding single-coil pickups.

There are a few aesthetic elements that make the T-style guitar recognisable too. Boasting a singlecut shape, an elegant headstock design and an ashtray-style bridge, the classic T-type is adored for its looks just as much as its tones.

Over the years, however, many other guitar brands have taken inspiration from the qualities of the original T-type. Producing their own models that are stylistically similar, we’ve compiled a list that includes some of the best T-style alternatives that we could think of. Not only that, but we’ve also cherry-picked which particular guitars are best for certain genres. Let’s begin!

Founded by Leo Fender, G&L continues the lineage of the T-Style guitar, and with a vast variety of price points and specifications, the G&L ASAT has something for all kinds of players. For those looking for premium hardware and specs on a budget, G&L offer the Tribute range, or for the full-fledged American range check out the Fullerton Deluxe.

For players wanting a fresh take on the original design, the ASAT Classic is for you – an SS configuration with MFD pickups for a bright, articulate sound, or the Classic Alnico for the warmer, vintage sound.

If you want a classic sound with some extra punch, the ASAT Classic Bluesboy is equipped with a humbucker in the neck for a fuller, warmer attack. For an edgier sound with more grit, the ASAT Special comes equipped with a pair of higher output P90 pickups, ideally voiced for classic rock!

G&L ASAT on Andertons T.V.

The Chapman ML3 range contains 3 different variations: Traditional, Modern and Rabea Massaad signature. For players fond of a more modern look with a classic sound, the traditional features a roasted maple neck and 2 single coil Seymour Duncan pickups, ideal for blues and rock.

For a sound that matches the aesthetic, the ML3 Modern sports a pair of humbuckers, perfect for high gain genres. The Modern id available in Standard and Pro versions, to accommodate a variety of budgets. The standard features Chapman’s own brand pickups, and the Pro is fitted with Seymour Duncan Humbuckers and comfortable carved tops.

The ML3 Rabea Massaad signature – also available in standard or pro - is a versatile instrument, combining a Humbucker in the bridge with a Mini Humbucker in the neck. It can smoothly transition from percussive cleans to wild distortion.

Chapman ML3 on Andertons T.V.

Larry Carlton has collaborated with Sire (a brand who have gained a reputation for exceptional bass guitars) to produce their first range of electric guitars. Amongst that range is the T7, based on the classic T-style design, with some modern features to suit today’s guitarists. Within the T7 range is the regular T7 – very much vintage inspired, and the T7 FM for a more modern adaptation.

The T7 is equipped with all of the standard features: SS configuration, 3-way switch, Vintage ashtray T-Style bridge with compensated brass saddles. It sports Sire’s own “LC Super-T” single coils, which deliver an abundance of twang and bite, with their overwound vintage tone. One modern feature is the locking tuners, allowing for faster string changes and reduced chances of sting slippages, causing them to go out of tune.

The T7 FM contains more modern specs and finishes, with stunning flamed maple veneers. It features a 2-point tremolo system as opposed to the fixed bridge on the S7, and a dual-humbucker configuration to give the instrument more output and sustain for a more powerful sound. The “LC Super-M” Humbuckers deliver a rich, punchy, and expressive sound that accentuate your technical nuances even at higher gain. The S7 FM is also equipped with locking tuners.

Both the S7 and the S7 FM come with a roasted Maple neck and rolled fingerboards for a smooth and comfortable playing experience. And both models are astounding value at approximately £500!

Sire T7 on Andertons T.V.

With a classic shape and dual single coil pickup configuration, the EastCoast T Series guitars are great for someone just starting. With a lightweight body, Maple neck and Rosewood fingerboard, it is very comfortable to play. The ashtray bridge and 3 saddle design give the T Series that quintessential T-Style brightness and clarity.

Also available as a T1 Thinline, this semi-hollow features an Ash body, with a warmer, rounder sound than the standard T1

EastCoast T Series on Andertons T.V.

Each and every Hansen T-Style guitar is hand-crafted from start to finish in Denmark. The lightweight African Mahogany body makes it lighter and more resonant than most other guitars. Mahogany has a rich midrange character. The traditional bolt-one Maple neck ensures the instrument retains its signature T-Style snap and brightness. Silver frets and Rosewood fretboard bring a vintage feel that traditionalists will love, while the 12” radius will be familiar to modern players too.

Hansen’s in-house hand-wired T-Tone pickups deliver the classic vintage twang and clarity. The Alnico V magnets are able to take gain well for a creamy overdriven sound in the neck position, and biting classic rock in the bridge. The Stainless Steel ashtray bridge adds to the guitar’s twangy character whilst providing excellent resonance and sustain, and Kluson tuners ensure tuning stability.

Whether you like your guitars shiny new, tastefully relic’d or certifiably battered, there’s a finish option for you. The T-Style also comes as a thinline if you prefer a semi-hollow experience!

Hansen T-Style on Andertons T.V.

The Ibanez AZS series guitars are T-Styles for the modern player – complete with Seymour Duncan pickups, Stainless Steel frets, locking tuners and a bespoke bridge tremolo system (on selected models).

The AZS is designed with players in mind. From the deep belly-cut and forearm contour, to the all access heel joint, it maximises comfort and playability. The Oval C shape and 12” radius strikes the balance of speed up and down the neck with comfort in the palm, and the stainless steel frets are very hard-wearing so will always remain smooth and silky to play on.

Complete with a classic Seymour Duncan Alnico II single coil in the bridge, and mini humbucker in the neck, the AZS has a well-balanced range of tones. Further enhanced by the DynaMix5 switching system, affording more pickup combinations for in and out of phase tones.

Ibanez AZS on Andertons T.V.

In collaboration with Greg Koch, Reverend bring us the Gristlemaster. With a T-Style bodyshape, the body is slightly larger than a typical T-Style, perfect for taller guitarists. It combines classic looks with modern features, sporting a roasted Maple neck and locking tuners for easier string changes and potentially better tuning stability. The Fingerboard is a fairly flat 12” radius, comfortable for both chords and single note playing.

The Gristlemaster is also equipped with Fishman Greg Koch Signature Gristle-Tone pickups. They are hum-free, to offer vintage single coil sounds without the unwanted 60-cycle hum from a true single coil. The guitar also features a mid-boost button to add more girth and sustain to your sound when you need it. And the volume control features a treble bleed circuit so you don’t lose high end clarity when rolling your volume down for cleaner or quieter sound.

Reverend Greg Koch Signature Gristlemaster on Andertons T.V.

The Schecter PT range has something for everyone, from the more traditional PT Special featuring an ashtray bridge with brass saddles a single coil pickup, to the PT Pro or Elite with dual humbucker setups.

Retro looks and classic T-Shaped body make the Schecter PT Special a thing of beauty. The Vintage Astray Bridge with staggered brass saddles and cream binding make this guitar look authentic and classy. And with it’s S/P90 configuration it sounds the part, with all the twang and bite of Schecter’s Diamond VT-1 bridge pickup, and the extra fullness and growl from the Diamond V-90 neck pickup.

The Sun Valley Super Shredder is, as the name suggests, built for red-hot playing. With a classic tonewood combo, EMG Active pickups and a Floyd Rose bridge, the PT FR strikes the perfect balance between retro mojo and modern attitude.

The PT Pro is an alternative T-Style fitted with Schecter USA Z-Plus Humbuckers and a quilted Maple top. It features other modern specs such as roasted Maple neck, locking tuners and a 6-saddle bridge to finetune your intonation. The PT Pro produces a perfect balance of clarity and power.

For something even more modern than the PT Pro, Schecter also offer the PT Elite with a flamed Maple archtop, and Fishman Fluence active Humbuckers for a tight, heavy distortion sound.

ESP’s T-Style offering is the TE range. For players looking for value for money, the TE-200 won’t leave a hole in your wallet, while the TE-1000 offers the most premium features in ESP’s line-up.

The TE-200 excells for Hard Rock and Metal tones with a Mahogany body, full of rich midrange character and a pair of high output ESP Designed Humbuckers. Its contours and cutaways make it a comfortable instrument to play, perfect for gigging!

The TE-1000 series offers the tone, feel, looks and quality that working professional musicians require in an instrument. With a pair EMG active Humbuckers, it’s a high gain machine, with high end features to match. Not only does it sport locking tuners and push / pull coil splits, but there are also options that include an EverTune bridge, which will ensure your strings literally never go out of tune no matter how hard you play!

The Squier Telecaster is the more affordable younger brother of the Fender Telecaster. Squier offer ranges at various pricepoints: Bullet series, Affinity series, Classic Vibe series, and Contemporary series.

The Bullet Telecaster is the cheapest in Squier’s line-up. With a lightweight poplar body, bolt on maple neck and Laurel fretboard, it contains the essence of the classic Tele snap. It features the iconic combination of 2 single coils and ashtray bridge. At 1/10th of the cost of an American Fender, the bullet remains a Telecaster through and through!

Next in Squier’s range is the Affinity Tele, with upgraded hardware and a wider range of finishes, as well as options for a Maple or Laurel fretboard.

The Classic Vibe is Squier’s premium vintage inspired range. You can buy a ‘50s, ‘60s or ‘70s model. The ‘50s has a Pine body and Maple neck construction for a lightweight feel and distinctive Tele snap. It is also distinctive for it’s period correct black pickguard. The ‘60s features classy double-binding, a white pickguard, Nato body, and Laurel fingerboard, offering a warmer, rounder tone than the ‘50s. The ‘60s also has thinline (semi-hollow) and Esquire (single pickup) variants, as well as a different selection of colours. Unlike the ‘50s and ‘60s, the ‘70s Classic Vibes feature wide-range humbuckers, in either H/H or S/H configuration. They are constructed from a Poplar body and Maple neck for a balanced tone. Thinline options are also available.

For a deeper dive into ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘70s Teles, read here!

The Contemporary series is Squier’s most modern range of Teles. Whilst it’s still Tele shaped, it bears little resemblance to the vintage Tele sound. With either Humbucker / Humbucker or Rail Humbucker / Humbucker options, the Contemporary Tele trades off twang for power. It’s roasted Maple neck and flatter 12” fingerboard radius (compared to 9.5”) offers a more stable and faster feeling neck.

Squier Telecaster on Andertons T.V.

Last, but not least – the one that started it all – the Fender Telecaster. Invented in 1950, the Tele was the first ever solid-body electric guitar. Its classic design has inspired countless players including Jimmy Page, Keith Richards, Bruce Springsteen and Prince. With ranges from Player series to Custom Shop, there’s a Tele for all price ranges. If you’re in the market for a vintage accurate Tele as they made them back in the ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘70s check out the Vintera or American Original series. Or if you’re looking for more modern specs, try the Player Plus or American Ultra series.

Fender Telecaster on Andertons T.V.