Because of their one-of-a-kind tone profile, which places emphasis on the picking hand and the “plucking” of the strings, Telecasters are extremely popular instruments. This frequently results in an effect and tone that many people refer to as twangy. This effect is common in blues, country, and certain rock subgenres.
This sound is produced in large part by the distinctive single coil pickup configuration found on Telecaster guitars, which typically appears as follows:
On the other hand, some people prefer to combine the twangy tone of a Telecaster with the smoother and heavier tone of a guitar with dual humbucking pickups. In this piece, we will be compiling a list of the nicest Telecasters available on the market that come equipped with two humbuckers already installed in the bridge and neck positions.
Telecasters that are equipped with Humbuckers (Fender & Squier)
For the purposes of this table, I will only consider Telecasters that have two humbuckers rather than single coil pickups. The vast majority of people who search for that particular configuration are looking for a Telecaster that has a heavier sound and is capable of playing more contemporary styles of music, such as heavy rock or even metal.
Bear in mind that this list is not necessarily a ranking or rating but rather just a roundup of good options that come equipped with this specific feature.
We have sorted all of your options for you because the majority of websites do not allow you to sort by pickup configuration.
Feel free to leave a suggestion in the comments section below if you have any additions to the list (something that perhaps we missed) and if you have any questions about the list.
How would you describe their tone?
A heavier and more aggressive sound is achieved by installing humbuckers in a Telecaster, as I alluded to earlier in this paragraph. You give up some of the twangs that the Telecaster single coils are known for, but in exchange, you get a fuller tone overall, which some people find more appealing for rock and other contemporary styles. P90 pickups produce a sound that is a good example of what you can expect from an HH Telecaster pickup, despite the fact that they are a little smaller than a traditional humbucker pickup.
I’ll discuss some particular sound conventions for a few more styles in a bit.
When in Rock
HH Telecasters are frequently utilized as rhythm guitars in modern rock music, particularly for playing heavy power chords and high levels of distortion. The body design of the Telecaster, particularly the semi-hollow Telecaster, contributes some of the guitar’s characteristic growl and twang, but the humbucking pickups add a significant amount of bass and thickness to the sound.
To the Country
Some of the heavier songs are sometimes written and recorded with a dual humbucker Telecaster, even though country artists typically choose to use the traditional Telecaster pickup configuration for their instruments. In this context, the humbucker and single coil hybrid pickups are also frequently seen (more on that later).
Popular examples of an HH Telecaster played in a metal style include the John 5 and Jim Root signature Telecasters. Active pickups, which are silkier and sound good with high levels of distortion, are also used to get a thicker, more saturated metal tone. This is because active pickups sound good with high levels of distortion.
The Distinction Between the Neck and the Bridge
The majority of these Telecasters come equipped with sets of stock humbuckers. Of these sets, one humbucker is designed or “voiced” for the bridge position, while the other is voiced for the neck position. The sound produced at the neck position will be darker and fuller, whereas the sound produced at the bridge position will be brighter and have more treble. However, the physical design of the two is not significantly different from one another (or they are the same).
Although the model of the Telecaster and the pickups that are installed can affect the tonal differences between the two humbuckers, the fundamental qualities of the instrument remain relatively unchanged.
Bridge only Neck only Dual bridge and neck only Bridge only Neck only
Read more about the best guitar pickups overall here.
When it comes to a Telecaster, single coils versus humbuckers
Would it be more beneficial for you to continue using the single coil configuration in your Telecaster?
In all honesty, the answer to that question is going to depend on your personal tastes as well as the type of music you want to play.
I used to play a Fender American Standard Telecaster that had single coil pickups for a good portion of my musical career. My experience with it led me to conclude that it was adaptable and able to deal with a wide variety of musical tones and idioms. The fact that the pickups were just noisy was the primary issue, which may or may not has been caused by other problems with my rig. On the other hand, I’ve also heard that this is a problem that’s fairly common with Stratocasters and Telecasters alike.
If you decide to go with single coil pickups for your Telecaster, I would suggest getting a nicer set from either Fender or Seymour Duncan, possibly the Noiseless Fender sets.
The thickness of the tone and the degree to which the low end will be emphasized will, once again, be the primary determining factors in determining whether a Telecaster is equipped with single coils or humbuckers.
Alternate Possibilities (mixed)
In terms of the configuration of your Telecaster’s pickups, you also have a few different options available to you. In addition to using only humbuckers or only single coils, you also have the following two options to consider:
In addition to a Single Coil Humbucker (HS or HSS)
Putting a single coil pickup in the bridge position of a Telecaster and a humbucker pickup in the neck position is another pickup configuration for Telecasters that is fairly common. In other words, a single coil pickup is used for higher tones, while a humbucker pickup is used for lower tones.
You have already seen an example of the dual P90 setup in the video that was presented to you earlier; this configuration is sometimes used in Thinline Telecaster models. Traditional humbuckers can be compared to these pickups; however, they are slightly more compact and produce a tone that is noticeably brighter.
These are your best options if you’re looking for Telecasters that have humbuckers installed at the bridge and neck of the instrument, presuming that you’re sticking with Fender and Squier as your guitar manufacturers of choice. Although there are other manufacturers that produce guitars with a shape that is similar to the Telecaster, Fender was the company that originated the design.
If you are set on purchasing this kind of guitar, our advice would be to stick with the Fender brand, or if you are on a tight budget, consider switching to a Squier model instead.
In the event that you have any inquiries regarding any of the guitars that were discussed, please do not hesitate to contact me in the comments section below, and I will do everything in my power to assist you.