Artist Guitars TC59 Telecaster Review
This is a full review of the Artist Guitars TC59 Tele electric guitar. To be as transparent as possible please note that Artist Guitars did send me this guitar for free to review. With that in mind, this will be a full pros and cons review and I will also compare it with other popular brands. If you know my YouTube channel and have read my reviews, I look at the pros and cons of everything.
The TC59 Tele is a great entry-level electric guitar. The great news is it comes in both left and right-handed configurations. This makes it accessible for anyone who wants to learn how to play guitar.
Artist TC59 Standout Features
For the price, the guitar is packed full of really great features including:
- Locking Tuners
- Great sounding humbucker pickups that can be coil-tapped
- Playable Frets
- Visually appealing and good build quality.
When I first picked up the guitar I noticed one thing; it was really heavy! Weight aside, the build quality jumped out at me immediately. This guitar is punching well above its weight when it comes to how it looks and feels.
The Artist TC59 is on par with the Harley Benton TE-52 Telecaster visually but it has a few upgrades over it. One of the main differences between the Harley Benton TE-52 and the Artist TC59 is the locking tuners and pickups. Having locking tuners on a guitar at this price point is unheard of. The benefit of locking tuners is tuning reliability is highly increased.
The second upgrade is the pickups. Artist Guitars put a lot of time and effort into their Bullbucker pickups. These pickups rival the Burstbuckers from Gibson in many ways. These Bullbucker pickups are well suited to a Telecaster because they have a nice amount of high-end frequencies.
The pickups can be “split” so you can get that classic Telecaster tone. In split coil mode these pickups really do sound great. I prefer the sound of these pickups split over my PRS SE and that’s saying something!
The switches, tone, and volume pot all feel great for the price. I have no complaints about that.
The Artist TC59 Telecaster plays great. It feels like a much more expensive guitar in the hand than it is. This is a good thing for both intermediate and advanced players. Playing this guitar straight out of the box was a really nice experience. None of the frets choked out and the guitar held tune really well once I stretched out the strings.
My first suggestion is to change the strings as soon as you get the guitar. This will make for a much better experience as the strings I received needed to be swapped. Another nice addition to this guitar is the ashtray. On most Teles, the ashtray is raised and some players find it uncomfortable to rest their hands on. The TC59 ashtray does not have the raised edges improving the playing experience.
The Artist TC59 Neck Profile
The neck profile is not quite as the name suggests. When you think of a traditional 50s neck, you think “thick neck”. The TC59 has a thinner neck than the Harley Benton TE-52 but it’s not as thin as a modern C shape neck from Fender. This middle ground will appeal to a lot of players.
My Full Video Review
TC59 Fit and Finish
In terms of the finish on the neck and body, this ticks a lot of boxes. Most guitars at this price point come with a Nitro finish on the body and the TC59 is no exception. The neck, however, is more of a Satin feel instead of a high gloss. I much prefer this over a high gloss neck.
The fretboard edges have some scuffing due to the filing process but so did the Harley Benton TE52. My guitar did come with a free dent on the top edge of the fretboard. While I would have loved to get a flawless guitar, I did not. I shouldn’t complain though, I did get it sent out for free for a review.
Artist TC59 Downsides
The biggest problem with the Artist TC59 is the weight of it. This guitar weighs more than my Tokai Love Rock (Gibson Les Paul copy). This is one heavy mofo! The weight of the TC59 might be a deal-breaker for gigging musicians. There is no way I would be taking this to a 3-hour gig, it’s just simply too heavy.
If you are a home player tracking guitars sitting down you will be fine but you will notice the weight on your leg after a little while. The Harley Benton TE52 is pretty heavy but it is not as heavy as the TC59.
If this review is helpful then check out the Artist TC59 on the Artist Guitars website for the best deal. If you live in Australia, this is a great alternative to Harley Benton or similarly priced brands.