Help me pick a versatile tele

Hey guys,

So I have never owned a Tele before but I've been playing a few lately and have the bug and decided I need one in my rig.

What would you guys recommend for roughly $1,000 that will somewhat fulfill the following:

Versatility, I'll be using this guitar for almost everything BUT country. Classic rock, blues, jazz and funk. I played one with P-90s in it and it was great. The other I'm looking at was the Baja with the 4 way switching.

Easy to play, I've heard some members say they can be less forgiving but that might be more setup than anything, but none the less I'd like one that's got good playability if possible.

Lastly, it would be nice if I could get a more unique color or a least a fun color. That's the one downside with the Baja, the colors don't excite me.

Let me know what you guys think and if there's anything else I'm missing.


Silver Supporting Member
Most any good tele will be pretty versatile. The 4-way switch is an easy mod if the guitar doesn't already have it, and serial position brings a tele into humbucker territory. Play a bunch. Get the one you like.


I find the '69 thinline style to be really versatile. They can sound like any other telecaster, but can also get close to those really awesome semi-hollow tones due to the f-hole in the side. Total win-win.

Another good option is a telecaster with a rosewood neck. You can get all your tele sounds, AND get almost into gibson territory with the right amp tweakage.


Gold Supporting Member
I used Vintage Hotrod 52 style is what comes to mind. Used they can be had for around $1000-1,2000. I have a parts tele version that I love I got from $600. With a pickup swap I have about $750 in to it and it is exactly the tele I wanted.
Mine is 22 frets, compound radius (I don't like vintage 7 1/4 radius) Warmoth neck maple/rosewood. Guitar Mill body in Daphne Blue.
The pickups I ended up going with are Dimarzio Area Hot T bridge and a Dimarzio Mini Hum neck. I could not be happier. Very versatile guitar.
There's a warmoth tele in the emporium right now that looks pretty cool. I wish I was more familiar with the pickups.

I'll be playing it through a twin reverb but mostly a PWE event horizon (Marshall modeled amp)

So the rosewood necks warm up the guitar a bit? That's interesting but makes sense.

What do you guys think on having humbucking in bridge and/or neck pickup positions? Since I'll be using it for rock I'd be nice if it can get fat but I selfishly want it to do that twang thing too. This is where I don't know what to do.

Humbucker in neck only for a warmer sound with a 4 way, or humbucker on both for more versatility with some kind of switching or two single coils ha.

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