You are currently viewing 33 Excellent Telecasters With Humbuckers – Plus 11 HS Tele’s

Last Updated on March 2, 2024 by Teemu Suomala

Original Fender Telecasters are stunning guitars, plus it’s so much fun to play one. After all, snappy and bright single coil sounds are pretty awesome. But sometimes we crave something thicker and meatier than Tele’s single coil pickups…

That’s when Telecasters 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 pickups (aka. H or HH Telecaster).
  • 11 Telecasters with only 1 Humbucker plus single-coil pickups
  • I reveal the 5 best Telecasters with humbucker pickups 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 the guitar in 2009. I started this website in January 2020 because I couldn’t do window installation anymore due to my health problems. I love guitars and have played dozens and dozens of different guitars through different amps and pedals over the years, and also, building a website interested me, 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 also been fortunate to produce content for several large guitar websites, such as SongsterrMusicnotesGuitarGuitar, 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 Coil pickups of Stratocaster. 3. Tele Single Coil (neck position) and regular Single Coil (bridge) of Telecaster. 4. P90 single-coil.

Find our popular & in-depth electric guitar pickup types guide here.


Full list of 33 Telecasters With Humbuckers

Guitars like Squier Classic Vibe ’70s Telecaster Deluxe offers 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 Todays Price (affiliate links)
Harley Benton TE-20HHHH$Thomann
Harley Benton TE-40 TBK DeluxeHH$Thomann
Harley Benton TE-90FLTHH$Thomann
Squier Affinity Tele DeluxeHH$$SweetwaterThomann
Harley Benton Fusion-T 25th LH Firemist – Rare Left-Handed Telecaster With HumbuckersHH$$$Thomann
Squier Classic Vibe ’70s Telecaster DeluxeHH$$$SweetwaterThomann
Squier Contemporary Telecaster RHHRH (RH=Rail Humbucker)$$$SweetwaterThomann
Larry Carlton T7 FM NTHH$$$SweetwaterThomann
Harley Benton Fusion-T HHHH$$$Thomann
ESP LTD TE-200HH$$$SweetwaterThomann
Chapman Guitars ML3HH$$$Guitar CenterThomann
Schecter PTHH$$$Guitar CenterThomann
Schecter Sun Valley Super Shredder PT HH$$$SweetwaterThomann
Schecter PT FastbackHH$$$Guitar CenterThomann
ESP LTD TE-401HH$$$$Thomann
FGN J-Standard IliadHH$$$$Thomann
Fender Player Telecaster HH – Awesome Fender TeleHH$$$$SweetwaterThomann
Schecter Guitar Research Pt Van NuysHH$$$$SweetwaterThomann
Fender Special Edition Custom Telecaster HH – Awesome Telecaster Model for Small HandsHH$$$$SweetwaterThomann
Fender Vintera ’70s Telecaster Deluxe HHHH$$$$SweetwaterThomann
Chapman Guitars ML3 ProHH$$$$Guitar CenterThomann
Charvel Joe Duplantier Pro-MHH$$$$SweetwaterThomann
Charvel Pro-Mod SCHH$$$$SweetwaterThomann
ESP LTD Eclipse ´87 Rainbow CRKHH$$$$SweetwaterThomann
ESP LTD SCT 607 BaritoneHH$$$$SweetwaterThomann
ESP TE-1000 EvertuneHH$$$$SweetwaterThomann
Schecter Machine Gun Kelly Signature PTH$$$$SweetwaterThomann
Fender Jim Root Telecaster HH – Excellent Telecaster Model for MetalHH$$$$SweetwaterThomann
Fender American Professional II Telecaster Deluxe – Great Premium Fender TeleHH$$$$$SweetwaterThomann
Yamaha Pac 1611 MS Mike SternHH$$$$$Thomann
Fender American Vintage II 1972 Telecaster ThinlineHH$$$$$SweetwaterThomann
Fender American Ultra Luxe Telecaster Floyd Rose HHHH$$$$$SweetwaterThomann
Friedman Vintage T-MMBWBWHHH$$$$$SweetwaterThomann
Fender Caballo Tono LigeroHH$$$$$Thomann

Find great Tele-Style Copy Guitars here.

Get into the intimate details of this iconic guitar in our post on “Telecaster Dimensions


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List of 11 Telecasters With Single-Coil and Humbucker

I love Ibanez guitars. And this Tele-inspired AZ is a really interesting guitar with a mini-humbucker at the neck position 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.

Most Telecasters with humbucker and single coil have the humbucker neck pickup and single coil on the bridge pickup position.

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

The 5 Best Humbucker Teles

Best Budget – Squier Affinity Tele Deluxe

What I like

  • Offers solid all-around tones (versatile tonally)
  • Separate volume and tone controls for both humbuckers
  • High value for the money
  • 2 volume & tone knobs increase versatility
  • Classy maple neck for this price is awesome
  • Smooth & Comfortable C shaped neck

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. It features poplar body, which is common for cheaper guitars, but still, overall build quality is solid, and meaty humbucker tones with solid versatility are definitely there.

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Best All-Arounder – Fender Player Telecaster HH

What I like

  • Super-versatile, a wide variety of different sounds
  • Great tones with coil-split (allows you to get single coil sound type tones out of the guitar)
  • Comfortable to play (modern C shaped maple neck with maple fretboard and 1.650″ nut width)
  • Stays in tune well
  • Great all-around quality
  • Classic Alder body

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 electric players looking for an upgrade or just for anyone looking for an HH Tele. Overall great affordable Fender Telecaster.

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

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Best for Small Hands & Stunning Flamed Maple Body – 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 (this Tele plays relly smoothly)
  • Versatile. Can handle stuff from blues to modern rock to metal (equipped with Seymour Duncan humbuckers)
  • Coil-split
  • Stunning Carved Flamed Maple body
  • 15.75″ fretboard radius is smooth to shred

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. This Tele is also one of the best Fender guitars for small hands and overall fantastic guitar.

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Best for Metal – Fender Jim Root Telecaster HH

What I like

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

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
  • No tone knob (has only 1 master volume)

Who is it for?

If you have some extra room in your budget and want active dual humbuckers with mean tones, check Fender Jim Root Telecaster out. This Tele is also easily one of the best Fender guitars for metal. If the price is too high, check ESP LTD TE-200.

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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
  • Stunning maple fretboard
  • A real bone nut for improved sustain and tone
  • Maple neck with Deep C neck shape and 1.685″ nut width fit larger hands well too
  • 2 volume knob & 2 tone knob combo increase versatility

What I don’t like

  • Price is too much for most players
  • I prefer smaller headstock (subjective ofc)

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.

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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 guitar 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 fits 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 dual humbucker configuration are 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 (the neck pickup sounds really meaty and the bridge pickup offers super aggressive sound):

And there’s no denying that the hot, warm, and thick tones of humbuckers combo is an awesome fit for mean distortion and overall aggressive sound. 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:

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 P90s are a great middle-ground between Single-coils and Humbuckers.

P90s are commonly used in Punk and Rock music. But also some older metal was recorded with these pups. Here are a couple of guitarists who have used guitars with P90s:

  • 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.

What HSS pickup configuration means? Single-coils on middle & neck position and humbuker on the bridge.

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)

FAQ

What’s The Best Telecaster With Humbuckers?

Fender Player Telecaster HH is my pick for the best Telecaster with humbuckers. It’s versatile, affordable, offers great bang for the buck, and is comfortbale to play.

Best Telecaster with humbuckers for Metal is Fender Jim Root Telecaster HH.

What are The Advantages of Having a Telecaster With Humbuckers?

Here are the pros of having a Tele with humbuckers:

-Meatier and thicker tones
-Some humbuckers have a coil-split that allows you to tap into single-coil-like tones
-Humbuckers are better with metal
-Humbuckers are in general more versatile than single-coil pickups

Are Humbucker-Equipped Telecasters Better Than Traditional Style Telecasters?

This completely depends on what you are after. If you want thick tones out of your electric guitar, then Telecaster with humbuckers is the best option.

On the other hand, if you grave bright and snappy tones, then traditional Telecaster with single-coil pickups is the better choice.

Is a Telecaster With Humbuckers Still a Telecaster?

Telecasters with humbuckers do have the Telecaster body shape, so it’s not wrong to call it a Telecaster. But humbucker Telecasters are not traditional Telecasters, since the original Teles have 2 single coil pickups instead of humbuckers.

Are Telecaster Thinline Electric Guitars A Good Fit With Humbuckers?

Telecaster Thinline guitars are semi-hollow body guitars and that’s why they are not so feedback-heavy as hollow-body guitars. Because of this humbuckers are a good fit for Thinline Telecaster and provide solid versatility.

That being said, Thinline Telecasters are still not the best option for metalheads. Thinline Teles work really well with country, classic rock, jazz, blues, and rock.

Are There Left-Handed Telecasters Equipped With Humbuckers?

Unfortunately lefty Telecasters or other types of T style guitars with humbuckers are really rare. I found only 1 available for mass markets, Harley Benton Fusion-T 25th LH Firemist.


Conclusion

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

But get clear on what you want from your Telecaster or other types of T style electric guitar. 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 coil pickup? Or something in between, like P90s?

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. If Telecaster with humbuckers will do that, go on and grab one.

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

Teemu Suomala

I first grabbed the 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…). Expertise: guitar learning techniques, electric guitars, and guitar amplifiers. You can connect with me on LinkedIn or just email me.