The best-value electric guitar of 2023? Shergold unveils the surprisingly affordable Telstar – and it’s a serious looker

Revived UK guitar brand Shergold has announced its third electric guitar model, the Telstar.

Designed in the UK by British luthier Patrick James Eggle – he of Faith and PJD fame – the Telstar is clearly inspired by Fender’s Cabronita Telecaster, but shakes up the formula with a wealth of tweaks.

For starters, there’s that raised center section, which nods to the Gibson Firebird, while the poplar body is offset just enough to give it extra indie cred. Props also go to the neat contouring on the scratchplate and control panel, not to mention the smooth saddles on the string-through-body Hipshot-style bridge.

There are some alterations around the rear of the guitar, too, with a contoured heel promising unencumbered upper-fret access, while the body’s edges are also subtly smoothed. The lack of a belly cut feels like a bit of a missed opportunity for such an ergonomically designed guitar, but the tonal tradeoff is that more wood should equal more resonance.

An ultra-flat 400mm/16” radius points towards a surprisingly speedy playability across the 25.5” laurel fingerboard and bolt-on maple neck, which is topped by a color-matched headstock with racing stripe. We like.

Speaking of, two finishes are available for the Telstar at launch: Pastel Blue and Champagne Gold, both of which tap into current aesthetic trends.

Finally, there’s that pair of Gretsch-esque Page FilterSonic humbuckers, which promise “a distinctive blend of warm and bright tones”.

The pairing of offset Telecaster looks with quick-fire playability and Gretsch-esque tones doesn’t necessarily sound like the recipe for an appealing modern guitar. But aesthetically at least, Shergold has absolutely made the combination work here.

The icing on the cake is the price tag, which is astonishingly affordable, at £379/$549, including a setup by Eggle himself, which comfortably competes with Fender’s own Squier Paranormal Cabronita Telecaster Thinline.

Sadly, there is a catch: Shergold’s model is currently only available in the UK, and you’ll need to find a UK retailer willing to ship to the States to get hold of one. Here’s hoping for some US distribution down the line…

Founded in 1968, Shergold Guitars were originally used by the likes of Genesis, New Order and Joy Division throughout the ’70s and ’80s. The dormant brand was resurrected by Eggle and UK distributor Barnes & Mullins in 2017 with the launch of the Masquerader, which was followed by the Provocateur single-cut in 2019.

For more information on the Telstar, head to Shergold Guitars.

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Michael Astley-Brown

Mike is Editor-in-Chief of GuitarWorld.com, in addition to being an offset fiend and recovering pedal addict. He has a master's degree in journalism from Cardiff University, and over a decade's experience writing and editing for guitar publications including MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitarist, as well as 20 years of recording and live experience in original and function bands. During his career, he has interviewed the likes of John Frusciante, Chris Cornell, Tom Morello, Matt Bellamy, Kirk Hammett, Jerry Cantrell, Joe Satriani, Tom DeLonge, Ed O'Brien, Polyphia, Tosin Abasi, Yvette Young and many more. In his free time, you'll find him making progressive instrumental rock under the nom de plume Maebe.