33 Telecasters With Humbuckers – Plus My Favorites

You are currently viewing 33 Telecasters With Humbuckers – Plus My Favorites

Telecasters are stunning guitars, plus it’s so much fun to play one. But sometimes we crave something thicker and meatier when it comes to tone…

That’s when Telecasters equipped with humbuckers step into the picture. And the great thing is that there is an abundance of different options to choose from. So you are definitely not forced to get a just Single-Coil Tele.

This article will give you:

  • 33 Telecasters with humbucker(s) (aka. H or HH Telecaster).
  • 11 Telecasters with only 1 Humbucker plus single-coil pickups
  • I reveal my 5 favorite Telecasters with humbuckers for different situations.
  • You get answers to some frequently asked questions

Let’s get started!

photo reveals owner of guitaristnextdoor.com

Author: Teemu Suomala

I first grabbed guitar in 2009. I started this website in January 2020 because I couldn’t do window installation anymore due to my health problems. I also noticed that most guitar websites don’t do a really good job, so I decided to just go for it! I got lucky and managed to get awesome people to help me with my website. I also got lucky because I have you visiting my website right now. Thank you. I do all this for you guys. If you have any recommendations, tips, or feedback, just leave a comment, I would love to chat with you. I have been fortunate to produce content for several large guitar websites, such as Songsterr, Musicnotes, GuitarGuitar, and Ultimate Guitar. I spend my spare time exercising and hanging out with my wife and crazy dog(I guess that went the right way…).


Most Common Electric Guitar Pickups

image reveals most common pickups of electric guitars
1. Humbuckers. 2. Single Coils of Stratocaster. 3. Lipstick Single Coil (neck) and regular Single Coil (bridge) of Telecaster. 4. P90 single-coil.

33 Telecasters With Humbuckers

Guitars like Squier Classic Vibe ’70s Telecaster Deluxe offer thick humbucker tones and really high value for the money.

Price Range Icon Meanings:

$= $100-250

$$= $251-399

$$$= $400-850

$$$$= $851-1599

$$$$$= $1600-

ModelPickup ConfigurationPrice RangeCheck Current Price (affiliate links)
Harley Benton TE-20HHHH$Thomann
Harley Benton TE-40 TBK DeluxeHH$Thomann
Harley Benton TE-90FLTHH$Thomann
Squier Affinity Tele DeluxeHH$$SweetwaterGuitar CenterThomann
Squier Classic Vibe ’70s Telecaster DeluxeHH$$$SweetwaterGuitar CenterThomann
Squier Contemporary Telecaster RHHR (R=Rail Humbucker)$$$SweetwaterGuitar CenterThomann
Larry Carlton T7 FM NTHH$$$SweetwaterThomann
Harley Benton Fusion-T HHHH$$$Thomann
ESP LTD TE-200HH$$$SweetwaterGuitar CenterThomann
Chapman Guitars ML3HH$$$Guitar CenterThomann
Schecter PTHH$$$Guitar CenterThomann
Schecter Sun Valley Super Shredder PT HH$$$SweetwaterGuitar CenterThomann
Schecter PT FastbackHH$$$Guitar CenterThomann
ESP LTD TE-401HH$$$$Thomann
FGN J-Standard IliadHH$$$$Thomann
Fender Player Telecaster HHHH$$$$SweetwaterGuitar CenterThomann
Schecter Guitar Research Pt Van NuysHH$$$$SweetwaterGuitar CenterThomann
Fender Special Edition Custom Telecaster HHHH$$$$SweetwaterGuitar CenterThomann
Fender Vintera ’70s Telecaster Deluxe HHHH$$$$SweetwaterGuitar CenterThomann
Chapman Guitars ML3 ProHH$$$$Guitar CenterThomann
Charvel Joe Duplantier Pro-MHH$$$$SweetwaterGuitar CenterThomann
Charvel Pro-Mod SCHH$$$$SweetwaterGuitar CenterThomann
ESP LTD Eclipse ´87 Rainbow CRKHH$$$$SweetwaterGuitar CenterThomann
ESP LTD SCT 607 BaritoneHH$$$$SweetwaterGuitar CenterThomann
ESP TE-1000 EvertuneHH$$$$SweetwaterGuitar CenterThomann
Schecter Machine Gun Kelly Signature PTH$$$$SweetwaterGuitar CenterThomann
Fender Boxer TelecasterHH$$$$SweetwaterGuitar CenterThomann
Fender Jim Root Telecaster HHHH$$$$SweetwaterGuitar CenterThomann
Fender American Professional II Telecaster DeluxeHH$$$$$SweetwaterGuitar CenterThomann
Yamaha Pac 1611 MS Mike SternHH$$$$$Thomann
Fender American Ultra Luxe Telecaster Floyd Rose HHHH$$$$$SweetwaterGuitar CenterThomann
Friedman Vintage T-MMBWBWHHH$$$$$SweetwaterGuitar CenterThomann
Fender Caballo Tono LigeroHH$$$$$Thomann

11 Telecasters With Humbuckers and Single-Coil

I love Ibanez guitars. And this Tele-inspired AZ is a really interesting guitar with a mini-humbucker at the neck and single-coil at the bridge. It throws something totally different onto the table. So unique when it comes to tone. Guitars like this make me want to play more.

ModelPickup ConfigurationPrice RangeCheck Current Price (affiliate links)
Squier Classic Vibe 70s Tele CSTMHS$$$SweetwaterGuitar CenterThomann
FGN Boundary IliadHS$$$Thomann
G&L Tribute Asat Classic BluesHS$$$SweetwaterGuitar CenterThomann
Fender American Performer Tele HUMHS$$$SweetwaterGuitar CenterThomann
Fender Vintera 70s TeleHS$$$$SweetwaterGuitar CenterThomann
Ibanez AZS2200-BK PrestigeH(Mini)S$$$$$SweetwaterGuitar CenterThomann
Fender Brent Mason Tele MNH(Mini)SS$$$$$SweetwaterGuitar CenterThomann
Fender American Original 70 Tele Custom 3-SBHS$$$$$SweetwaterGuitar CenterThomann
Fender Tele Custom HSHS$$$$$SweetwaterGuitar CenterThomann
Friedman Vintage T-AMBS90HTP90H$$$$$Thomann
Maybach Teleman T52-2 ButterscotchHS$$$$$Thomann

5 Best Telecasters With Humbuckers – My Favorites

Best Budget – Squier Affinity Tele Deluxe

What I like

  • Offers solid all-around tones (versatile tonally)
  • Separate volume and tone controls for both humbuckers
  • Smooth neck
  • High value for the money

What I don’t like

  • I would prefer alnico humbuckers instead of ceramics
  • Sometimes a bit rough fret edges

Who is it for?

This guitar offers great bang for the buck for beginners and budget-minded guitar players.

Check Price on:


Best All-Aroudner – Fender Player Telecaster HH

What I like

  • Super-versatile, a wide variety of different sounds
  • Great tones with coil-split
  • Comfortable to play
  • Stays in tune well
  • Great all-around quality

What I don’t like

  • Edges of the fretboard are a little bit rough sometimes
  • Out of the box action is too high for some players(for me)

Who is it for?

Excellent all-rounder with one of the best split-coil sounds I have heard at this price range. There is definitely no reason to feel sorry about buying this over higher-priced Telecasters. A great option for intermediate players looking for an upgrade or just for anyone looking for an HH Tele.

You can read my full review of this guitar here: Fender Player Telecaster HH Review 2022

Check Price on:


Best for Small Hands Stunning – Fender Special Edition Custom Telecaster HH

What I like

  • Narrow neck. (1.62” = 41.3 mm nut). This slim playability fits small hands well. 
  • Stunning looks
  • Fast playability
  • Versatile. Can handle metal too
  • Coil-split

What I don’t like

  • Sometimes poor setup and finish quality out of the box
  • Might be even too slim/thin for some players

Who is it for?

Really slim body and playability, versatile tones, beautiful looks, and great value for money. One of my favorite guitars for versatility and small hands right now. If you value these qualities this is a great option. Works well for both intermediate and more experienced players.

Check Price on:


Best for Metal – Fender Jim Root Telecaster HH

What I like

  • Active EMG 60 (neck) and EMG 81 (bridge) offer mean easily distorting tones
  • At the same time classy and mean looks
  • Locking tuners keep everything in tune
  • Familiar and comfortable Tele playability

What I don’t like

  • For this price, we should get a real bone or at least Tusq nut
  • The tone of active pickups might sound too compressed for some players

Who is it for?

If you have some extra room in your budget and want active humbuckers with mean tones. If the price is too high, check ESP LTD TE-200.

Check Price on:


Best Premium – Fender American Professional II Telecaster Deluxe

What I like

  • Really balanced and versatile humbucker tones
  • With coil-split you are able to get surprisingly twangy tones out of this
  • Plays like a breeze
  • A real bone nut for improved sustain and tone
  • Deep C neck shape and 1.685″ nut width fit larger hands well

What I don’t like

  • Price is too much for most players

Who is it for?

These are sometimes called dad’s guitars, probably because it usually takes until “dad-years” to get the money together for this kind of instrument. But all-in-all this is a great guitar for advanced and professional level players who are ready to pay for the premium quality.

Check Price on:


Which Pickups You Should Choose With Your Telecaster

It comes down to your taste. 

  • Do you want really meaty tones that are great with metal (Double Humbuckers)
  • Do you want Bluesy, Eric Clapton like tones (Single-Coils)
  • Do you want versatility (HSS or HSH pickup configuration will offer that)

So get clear on what you want.

Here’s an image that highlights which kind of tonal characteristics different pups offer:

image reveals How different electric guitar pickups sound
I used a great book How to Play Guitar: Step by Step and my own experience as source material when crafting this image.

A combination of hot and thick tones is usually great for metal, while a combo of bright and cold tones fit well with blues and funk. But please, get a guitar that allows you to play the music you love.

What Music Telecaster With Humbuckers Can Handle?

Usually, we see Telecasters equipped with Humbuckers associated with metal. For example Jim Root sometimes shreds with HH Telecaster. Check this guy riffing with Jim Root’s Signature Telecaster with double humbuckers:

YouTube video

And there’s no denying that the hot, warm, and thick tones of humbuckers combo is an awesome fit for mean distortion. But it’s not the only use for humbucker Tele’s.

For example, you might like a blues that includes warm, calm, and balanced-sounding guitar. If you are after this kind of tone, double-humbuckers will serve you well.

Also, in country music, the calm tone of humbuckers is usually a great option. Especially for rhythm guitar.

But overall, Telecaster with Humbuckers can handle almost any kind of music. And sometimes you get a coil-split feature with these Tele’s too. This ensures ultimate versatility for you. With coil-split, you can split the coils of the humbucker and get solid single-coil tones out of your guitar too. It’s not the same thing as playing an actually single-coils, but it’s still an awesome option to have.

Active vs.Passive

With active pickups, you have your guitar equipped with a battery. This battery strengthens the signal coming from your guitar before it even gets to the preamplification section of your guitar amp.

This makes the tone of your pickups even hotter and that’s why active pickups are almost exclusively used with metal.

There are a ton of metal guitarist who uses passive pickups too, it comes to the guitar players’ own preference when it’s time to choose between Active and Passive pups.

  • Active pickups offer a tone that’s hotter and distorts easier. It can sound a bit compressed sometimes. Active pickups are usually a bit more expensive and require a battery.
  • Passive pickups don’t distort so easily and offer a more balanced tone.

Compare how Active and Passive pickups sound:

YouTube video

Other Pickup Options for Your Telecaster

HH configuration is not your only choice, here are a couple of other pickups/pickup configurations that fit Telecasters well.

P90’s

P90 is a single-coil pickup that has more wraps of wire around the coil than regular single-coils. This makes them sound hotter and more humbucker-like. That’s why P90’s are a great middle-ground between Single-coils and Humbuckers.

P90’s are commonly used in Punk and Rock music. But also some older metal was recorded with these pups. Here are a couple guitarists who have used guitars with P90’s:

  • Billie Joe Armstrong (Green Day)
  • Tony Iommi (Black Sabbath)
  • John Lennon (The Beatles)
  • Matt Bellamy (Muse)

HSS-Configuration

There are a not lot of Telecasters available with this configuration, but there are some. For example the Fender Brent Mason Tele MN.

With this configuration, you get the single-coil twang, but you have warm and thick tone options too because of the bridge humbucker. This is a great option for versatility and fits rock music really well. The bridge humbucker can usually handle some metal tones too.

Here are a couple of guitarists who have frequently used guitars with HSS pickup configuration (not that popular btw):

  • Adrian Smith (Iron Maiden)
  • Ian D’sa (Billy Talent)
  • Kirk Hammett (Metallica)
  • Andy Timmons (Danger Danger)

Conclusion

Clearly, there is a ton of different options to choose from. We guitarists are spoiled nowadays…

But get clear on what you want from your tele. What do you want to play with it? Are you into warm, hot, and thick tones of humbuckers? Or do you prefer the twangy, cold, and bright tone of single-coils? Or something in between, like P90’s?

As I always say, get a guitar that allows you to play the music you love. That will satisfy your guitar needs and make you want to play more.

Hopefully this post helped you out, if you have any questions, just leave a comment. I wish you all the best and keep rocking!

Teemu