Did Sire Guitars and Larry Carlton Make The Best Tele Under $500?

Welcome to the inaugural article in our question to find the best Telecaster under the $500 (USD) mark. This will be a lengthy dive into one of the most popular and versatile guitar designs of all time that will hopefully highlight some great bargains. With guitar prices and inflation still on the rise, it’s more important than ever to make sure you’re getting the best guitar for your money.

We’ll start off this series with a look at the Sire T3, one of Larry Carlton’s signature guitars for the brand which also boasts bass legend Marcus Miller on their artist roster. The Sire T3 has built up a bit of a following in recent years, first as a quietly great guitar but now much louder. Let’s meet the Larry Carlton T3, shall we?

Costing $399.00 USD, the T3 is priced just below the Squier Classic Vibe Telecasters which are probably the gold standard of cheap Teles. However, the T3 has generally been held in equally high regard in the comment sections and forums of the guitar world.

Featuring a Mahogany body, it makes sense why it feels heavy for a Tele. The Hard Maple neck is C-shaped, with rolled edges on the Rosewood fingerboard. Medium jumbo frets adorn the 9.5″ radius, and the bolt-on neck is Fender’s standard 25.5″.

Sire’s own standard T-style pickups power this beast, and it has the expected 3-way selector switch, volume and tone knobs, plus a 6 saddle Tele bridge.

© ultimate-guitar.com


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