Where Can I Find The Best Telecaster Guitar Parts?

Where Can I Find The Best Telecaster Guitar Parts?
Fender Telecaster

Telecaster Bodies, Telecaster Necks, Telecaster Hardware… Everything “Tele” links here

If you are embarking on a project that involves upgrading or building a Telecaster, these links might help you to find some of the parts you need. All of these companies offer some pretty good stuff at fairly reasonable prices. For bodies and necks, Warmoth is probably best and offers the most options. Of course, they are the most expensive.  In each case, be sure to explore all the options that each company offers and don’t be afraid to call them if you have any questions before you place your order.

With regards to the body, pay extra attention to the wood that you choose, there will be some variations in sound between different types. For example, Maple has a brighter tone where as Mahogany is a bit mellower. If you do choose Maple, consider paying the extra cost for “Quarter Sawn” Maple, it is most often a much better cut of wood. Some companies such as Warmoth also offer options for binding. While this is purely aesthetic and will have no affect either way on your tone, it can contribute to a very classy look, depending on your taste.

Another option worth considering is a Chambered body. When a body is “Chambered”, there are several cavities that are created in the body. This offers a kind of “Best of both worlds” scenario as you get the interesting qualities of a hollow body guitar, but without the headaches of feedback as the majority of the body is solid. Some Telecaster players may dream of a Tele with a vibrato arm; no problem. Warmoth offers you the option to have the Telecaster body routed for a standard Stratocaster bridge. In this case there will be the standard thru body tremolo construction complete with trem claw and springs.  There are certainly many options and you can go pretty crazy. Whatever your dream Telecaster may be, the links below should point you in the right direction.

Finished Telecaster Bodies


USA Custom Guitars (un-finished)

WD Music Supplies

All Parts

Stewart MacDonald

Telecaster Pickups

Here are a few links to articles I did recently for BestCovery.com, which include pretty much the best Tele Pickups out there at the moment:

Vintage Tele Bridge Pickups

Vintage Tele Neck Pickups

Noiseless Tele Bridge Pickups

Noiseless Tele Neck Pickups

Telecaster Hardware

Here are links for great places to get your hardware online:

Acme Guitar Works

Warmoth Hardware

Warmoth Telecaster Hardware

What Are The Best Telecaster Modifications?

What Are The Best Telecaster Modifications?
What Are The Best Telecaster Modifications?

So you have a stock Telecaster, now what? There are several modifications you can make that will transform your Tele.

Judging by the number of articles related to the Fender Telecaster in this site, anyone can guess that I am a big fan of this guitar. In some ways, the Telecaster is for me, the perfect guitar; it looks right, it feels right and it sounds right. But out of the box, the Telecaster might not be equipped for exactly what you had in mind and you may want to consider a few Telecaster modifications. Some want more muscle in the bridge pickup, some want more beef in the neck pickup, some want a speedier neck, some want…. well, you get the picture. Fortunately, most Telecaster modifications are fairly painless. You can take the modifications to various levels and in some cases, you might want to enlist the help of a qualified guitar technician. Use your best judgment.

Change the neck

This is low hanging fruit. Swapping out the neck on a Telecaster or Stratocaster is easy. I’ve always found the headstock of a Telecaster a bit odd; it feels un-finished. I prefer to use Stratocaster necks on my Telecasters. Of course the neck pocket and heel of a Telecaster are square while the heel and neck pocket of  a Stratocaster are rounded. But, it’s really no big deal. You can slap a Stratocaster neck on a Tele without too much drama. You can also just upgrade to a better Telecaster neck for an easy Telecaster modification. Either way, the neck is important, more important than most realize. The neck is where your fingers meet the notes. If your neck does not feel absolutely perfect, get a better one. Skimp on your paint job if you have to, but don’t skimp on your neck.

Change the pickups

This is more low hanging fruit. Swapping out pickups is easy and offers you an opportunity to really improve the tone of your instrument. The most common modification is to install noiseless / humbucking pickups. This means that the annoying buzz is no more. As far as which pickups to use, see these earlier articles for suggestions on great pickups for the optimum Telecaster Modification:

Install a four-way pickup selector switch

This upgrade adds a fourth and very cool sound to your Telecaster; the bridge and neck pickup in Series. Series wiring is what makes humbuckers nuck the hum.  By default, when you select two pickups at the same time on any guitar, those two pickups are wired in parallel. With a four-way pickups selector switch, you have the option of having the bridge and neck pickups in series. This Telecaster Modification not only makes these essentially one big noiseless pickups, its also a pretty wicked sound. AcmeGuitarWorks offers a pre-wired Telecaster control assembly with the option for a four-way switch. It’s the best and easiest to install such upgrade that I know of.

Acme Guitar Works – Pre-Wired Telecaster Assemblies

Install an Electrosocket Output Jack

The standard Telecaster output jack kind of sucks. It doesn’t take much effort to step on your cable, twist around, and Wham!, your output jack has been put out. What to do? Install an Electrosocket Output Jack. It’s basically a much sturdier output jack. Cheap and easy to install, you can get them from Warmoth.com. This is a wise investment and a smart Telecaster Modification.

Warmoth Electrosocket with Switchcraft Jack, Chrome


These Telecaster Modifications are just a few suggestions. Anything more that I mention at this point would involve some surgery and you’d have to decide if you want to start chopping up your precious little axe. Personally, I love chopping up my guitars in the name of new and interesting sounds, but not everyone is as obsessed as I am with this kind of stuff. I can say for sure that the more you experiment, the more likely you are to find new sounds and get your Telecaster working just the way you want.  Here is a link to an article that contains more great links for the best Telecaster parts for your Telecaster Modification:

Where Can I Find The Best Telecaster Guitar Parts?

How To Replace Pickups On A Telecaster – By Seymour Duncan

4 way Telecaster Mod Switch Demo/Review