Tele Electric Guitar
It’s easy to get confused when you start combining words that don’t necessarily go together.
Two words that don’t really fit together naturally?
You see, Epiphone is the low-end, low-priced arm of guitar maker Gibson. And a Telecaster is a classic solid-bodied electric guitar from rival maker Fender.
Gibson and Fender don’t mix, but Gibson’s Epiphone brand did, in fact, make something close to a Telecaster.
Actually, many Epiphone models of the 1980s and 1990s were inspired by Fender models -- or downright copies of them.
If you’re talking about an Epiphone Tele, it’s the Epiphone T-310 you have in mind.
The T-310, now long since discontinued, looked somewhat like a real Fender Telecaster, but the neck and headstock were similar to a Firebird.
The body was made of laminates topped with a very thin alder layer.
The neck and fingerboards were maple.
Like many lower-end models, the finish was thickly and somewhat crudely applied to cover up the layers and any blemishes.
This Epiphone Tele knockoff featured two single-coil pickups, a volume control, a tone control and a three-way selector switch.
While some players don’t think it sounds much like a Tele, the beefy neck fits well into the hands of larger players, making it a comfortable rehearsal choice for some.
And with a used price that can often dip to nearly nothing, the Epiphone Tele T-310 is worth considering -- if you can find one.
Because they weren’t made in huge numbers and have been discontinued for years, they’re getting scarce.
It wouldn’t be right to call them rare, but they aren’t plentiful either.
Unless you have a historical desire or unquenchable craving to play an Epiphone Tele, you might be better off going with something from Squier, Fender’s own line aimed at beginner and budget-conscious players.
Squier offers several Telecaster copies, and you can get one of those new today.
And since they come from Squier, they use the same plans and designs as their big-brother Fender Teles.
The finishes, hardware, woods and electronics on Squier models aren’t the same as those used in Fender models, but they’ll be closer than anything you’ll find on an Epiphone Telecaster.
Generally speaking, f you’re looking for a low-end copy of a Gibson product, turn to Epiphone. For affordable copies of Fender offerings, go with Squier and you’ll do better.
The Epiphone Telecaster is an interesting piece of electric guitar history, and one you might be able to own if your timing is right.
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