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From Tele to Esquire: Where to Start?

Jughead
January 8th, 2012, 02:08 AM
So the other day I was just watching some live performances of Sum41 and noticed how Deryck's telecaster only had a bridge humbucker. At first I assumed he was using his own signature one-pup squire model for fun (he's done it before) but then I realized how the entire thing was different, from sticker placement to the fact that the headstock said "Fender." I looked it up and found the esquire guitar. After listening to some demos of the guitar, reading up on its advantages/disadvantages against a Tele, and talking to some friends about it, I decided that I wanted one. It looks cool, sounds cool, and I rarely use the neck pup anyways. But then I realized that to get all the specs that I wanted, I would have to make the guitar on my own. So here I am, asking you guys for some tips on the process.

Firstly, heres what I want the final product to be like.
Navy Blue Metallic paint, Bridge humbucker, Toggle Switch on bridge goes to pup, middle does a volume bypass on bridge pup (if possible), and neck position kills the sound. Trying to keep everything in the Fender MIM/MIA zone as far as hardware goes. I'm considering painting a white "binding" on. Im still deciding on what type of finish I'm going for.

What I want to do now is to instead go for a Fender Blacktop Tele (MIM, alder body and maple neck, I already have one and its wonderful) and do all the stuff to that. Repainting, replacing the pickguard and everything. I only want to spend a max of $1000 on the process itself, but if I need to I'll go higher. My main question is would it be more beneficial for me to buy the Blacktop or to buy the body raw from somebody like warmoth and get the other stuff from wherever? Financially it looks like buying the whole guitar and modding would be less pocket-emptying. I like my idea but I also want the final product to be as good as it can be, so im asking for some input from the pros.

I'll make a topic about repainting the in appropriate board when I actually get whatever body I'm using.

PHawley
January 8th, 2012, 02:32 AM
I suggest buying parts and putting them together into your Esquire. Not only do you get the final product you really want, but you will learn a lot more about how your guitar works.

Jughead
January 8th, 2012, 02:57 AM
I suggest buying parts and putting them together into your Esquire. Not only do you get the final product you really want, but you will learn a lot more about how your guitar works.
I was considering this a lot, but after looking at some things I realized that I'm going to have to a lot more and that leaves alot more room for mistakes. I mean, knowing that I've never done this before I'm willing to accept a mistake or two, but I also want to make the final product as professional and 'stock'-ish as possible. With that in mind I do already know what parts I plan on getting besides the body itself. Do you have any suggestions for a nice durable and quality body? Keeping in mind Im going for a traditional humbucker in the bridge, of course.

I'm considering Warmoth, but im open minded about this. I'm also still considering the modding idea, waiting to see what some others say. Thanks for the input.

donh
January 8th, 2012, 02:10 PM
Get the wood parts from USA Custom Guitars: http://www.usacustomguitars.com/

You will want to coordinate the various hardware with the USACG guys in advance so everything matches up at assembly time. Do this step carefully and all will go well.

There are lots of hardware folks out there at all kinds of price points. I am partial to Allparts (I have a wholesale account from my day job :-). You can get this done for your target figure as long as you can do the finish or the finish guys don't nick you too hard.

Yodhan
January 8th, 2012, 07:23 PM
I was actually in the same boat as you for a bit. I'll probably make the guitar one of the days, but it isn't the most important thing. I was looking to get the grey/silver Blacktop with the maple neck. I was going to pull the neck pickup and then put an Esquire pickguard on it. For switching I was going to set it up with a series/parallel switch for the humbucker. As for the finish, I was okay with the colors that are available. If you are looking to get the color and binding, I would recommend going with something like Warmoth.

Damn...now I am thinking of something with binding.

Crap...this is going to hurt my checkbook.

Jughead
January 8th, 2012, 10:16 PM
Haha Yodhan the binding just looks so nice. I personally think it adds an nice dab of classy to the look of a guitar, especially with a nice solid blue or red.

As for the USACG body, I was actually looking at that but I realized that the only body with the proper humbucker cavity is setup like the 72 style, which is meant to pair with a different pickguard than the standard Esquire. I would see if I could get a custom body, but even thinking about it Im seeing the my wallet growing even thinner. Is it even possible to get a custom body from them? I also noticed that warmoth doesn't have the exact body im going for either, and to get a 'custom' design i have to spend a little extra and send them a picture, even though its a pretty basic tele setup.

Im also beginning to consider letting whoever i'm getting the body from do some real binding and the paint job too... the whole assembly part is up to me though, but I doubt that'll be too hard

Bartholomew3
January 9th, 2012, 10:56 PM
I have a vintage tele with a lil 59 at the bridge and also have been thinking about converting it to an Esquire. Can always be reversed in an hour or less.

All it takes is to re-wire the 3 way switch and change the pick-guard.

May also have to change a capacitor or add/delete a capacitor, not sure about that yet.

donh
January 10th, 2012, 12:47 AM
body, I was actually looking at that but I realized that the only body with the proper humbucker cavity is setup like the 72 style, which is meant to pair with a different pickguard than the standard Esquire.

Give them a call. You may be surprised how easy it is to get what you need from them for what you can afford. The worst that happens is they say no, and rest assured they will be polite about whatever way it goes.

Briguy
January 10th, 2012, 07:21 PM
Without rewriting everything I had written some time ago about an Esquire I built form a cheap Tele....you can go here. Scroll down til you get to the first posting by me "Briguy"

http://www.tdpri.com/forum/telecaster-discussion-forum/72785-converting-cheap-tele-esquire.html

Briguy
January 10th, 2012, 07:22 PM
Any questions about what I did or how it came out, just holler :grin: