Esquire or Telecaster

Discussion in 'Fender Custom Shop Tele Forum' started by jlott, Jan 24, 2019.

  1. jlott

    jlott Tele-Meister

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    Ive budgeted some cash for the new year and I'm going to buy a custom shop Fender of some kind. I've narrowed it down, entirely on looks, between a 59 Esquire and a 63 Telecaster. Anyone have both or have an opinion on either? I've never owned an Esquire. I do love single pickup guitars. Had a Custom Shop Junior that I still get sick about, thinking back as to why I sold it. I can't try either. I'm getting one of them in the next couple of weeks. Trying to decide.
    Thanks
     
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  2. brogh

    brogh Assistant Admin Staff Member

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    hi, uh boy .... :)

    If you have one or two teles, get one, if you don't a tele might be more versatile.

    if you ask me ... right away with my current gas mood.. esquire ... :D
     
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  3. EsquireOK

    EsquireOK Friend of Leo's

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    Esquire with the Eldred mod is my main guitar. Les Paul, Jr. is my number 2.

    Esquires are great if you almost never use the neck pickup on a Tele. They take the bridge pickup and make it more versatile. You get pickup without tone control, pickup with pre-set tone (via tone knob), and the equivalent of the pickup with tone on 0 through a relatively low value cap (snarly, "cocked wah" tone). Perfect options for those who find themselves always parked in position 1 when using a Tele.

    When you go to a Tele with modern wiring, you give up the instantly switchable variations on the bridge pickup, and in exchange you gain neck pickup alone, and N+B in parallel...and the tone control becomes a master control.

    Modern Tele wiring (and any of the old school variants as well) are not a good setup for me, personally – not for playing live. Too fiddly. I don't like master tone controls. I'd rather have one pickup with no tone control at all, than have the tone control act on the entire guitar. So on my Tele, I modified the wiring. Now, positions 1 and 2 are just like an Esquire, and position 3 is neck pickup with no tone control. So all I sacrifice from the Esquire is the cocked wah setting, in order to get a neck pickup alone. And all I sacrifice from modern Tele wiring is N+B in parallel (a tone I despise, and never use), and a tone control for the neck pickup (also something I very rarely use). It's the best of both worlds. It's very fast to manipulate, and it provides all the stuff I use and none of the stuff I don't.

    The good news is that you can always switch back and forth between the two, very easily. The bodies for both Tele and Esquire have the rout for the neck pickup. So the only hard decision you really need to make is what you want the headstock to say.
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2019
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  4. Ydwen Jones

    Ydwen Jones Tele-Meister

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    Excellent point!
     
  5. jlott

    jlott Tele-Meister

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    I only currently have an Empress Tele from 2011. I love that guitar. Just wanting a rosewood board Tele/Esquire. I love juniors. So simple and a ton of different tones. Seriously leaning towards an Esquire. I almost never use the neck pickup.
     
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  6. Mr.Ike

    Mr.Ike Tele-Meister

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    This is the telecaster forum right?
     
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  7. brogh

    brogh Assistant Admin Staff Member

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    so let the hunt begin ! :) good luck !
     
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  8. Bluego1

    Bluego1 Tele-Meister

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  9. dreamingtele

    dreamingtele Tele-Afflicted

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    I agree with this.. But what I did was bought a used Baja, esquire-d it, while I still have all my tele's in normal config..

    With your budget, you can def get a used Baja, That broadcaster pickup is really great!
     
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  10. brogh

    brogh Assistant Admin Staff Member

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    well esquireok got it summed up pretty much :)

    the more i get into this hunt for myself ( yeah i'm on the hunt too for one ) the more i realize that it's about the headstock .. and i really want it to say esquire, although i agree the reasonable choice in economic terms would be esquiring some telecaster, you'd had plenty of choices of what to put together :)

    there was a MIM series ? am i wrong ?
     
  11. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

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    I built an Esquire with the Eldred mod and yes that is a good choice.

    Since then I had another HH guitar that I went through on a prototype breadboard and wired up the Eldred, Arlo, Leo Bassy, S-500, Reverend Bass contour, and the Tonefiend PTB circuit to use on the bridge pickup and my favorite version was the Arlo. So I wired that in as an 'always on'. After I did that experiment I decided that any future Esquire build I did would be with the Arlo Cocked Wah mod instead of the Eldred version.

    The neck pickup on that HH guitar was wired to a push/pull so down was the neck screw pole bobbin with the screw poles in a Strat stagger and up is both bobbins in parallel for Strat #4 Quack. I did it that way since I didn't want to drill more holes or add blade switches.

    So +1 on the Esquire and experiment with both the Eldred and Arlo circuits (they are fairly close in what components get added where).

    .
     
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  12. tce63

    tce63 Tele-Holic Ad Free Member

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    I have a CS 55 Relic Esquire and a CS 63 Relic Tele

    Both are fantastic guitars but completely different.

    The 55 has a really thick U-neck and the 63 a more normal C-shape

    Esquiren is my main guitar, I almost newer use the neck pickup anyway.
    The only thing I need is the volume control:)

    Whichever you choose, you will be super happy.
     
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  13. tonyj

    tonyj Tele-Afflicted

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    Oddly enough this topic or a similar one came up not too long ago, which brought up the topic of the 'CS Limited Edition 1955 Relic Esquire', a guitar that was reissued in 2015 and sold with a conversion kit that was aimed at those people who wanted to be able to switch the Esquire version of this fine guitar into a regular telecaster configuration, and vice-versa.

    All the needed parts were supplied in a fitted box in the offering, including a neck pickup, an extra 'two pickup pick guard' , plus all the necessary controls and wiring. The two pickups included in the 'package' were the excellent 'CS Handwound Single-Coil Tele' versions, each hand signed by Josefina Campos. A cable, strap, a CruzTools toolkit and COA etc., were also included in the 'LimitedEdition' case. The guitar came in either a 'two colour Sunburst' or a 'Dirty White Blonde' (Fender description, not mine), with an ash body and 9.5 rad, soft 'V' maple neck.

    My own sunburst version has remained in it's original 'Esquire' guise, and I still have no desire to change it. Altogether a very desirable and a great playing guitar.

    Not too sure, how available this guitar might be after a four year passage of time, but as a guitar, it certainly ticks most of the boxes. Worth seeking out.
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2019
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  14. tce63

    tce63 Tele-Holic Ad Free Member

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    I was wrong, just checked my floor sheet,

    Neck: Quartersawn Maple with a ’50s Soft “V” Shape

    A fantstic guitarr, i don´t seen any other in Sweden then mine, bought it in Texas.


    [​IMG]
     
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  15. Milspec

    Milspec Friend of Leo's

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    I like the Esquire for country playing and the Tele for everything else. If that is your genre, it makes perfect sense to me. If not, I would certainly think buying an inexpensive Esquire to try out would be wise before buying a Custom Shop instrument blindly.
     
  16. Jim622

    Jim622 Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    My first and only build was an Esquire. I made it with the Eldred mod. Three very useful sounds. I can’t I believe went so long without one. No front pup somehow gives it an attitude. It rocks! An Esquire is way more versatile than just country playing. I love playing mine, and most country I can’t listen too, it’s just pop music.. I certainly don’t play it.
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2019
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  17. David Barnett

    David Barnett Doctor of Teleocity

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    Do you already have a Telecaster? If so, then the Esquire is an easy choice.

    If you don't already have a Telecaster, I'm not sure I'd make the Esquire my only T-style guitar.

    I enjoy having both.
     
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  18. Buckaroo

    Buckaroo TDPRI Member

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    I say go for the Telecaster. More versatile. If you ever "Jones to desperation" for an Esquire, you can always remove the neck pickup and put on an Esquire pick guard. Some Esquires were actually routed for neck pickups in this manner.

    Though in the end, my advice is that you should buy what "you" like most and not what "we" think.
     
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  19. brogh

    brogh Assistant Admin Staff Member

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    sooo many esquires ... i'm gonna go broke . i know .. :(
     
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  20. jlott

    jlott Tele-Meister

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    If anyone ever ever followed that advice, forums would have only a fraction of posts. Asking people's opinions and maybe bragging about gear is the majority of why these sites even exist. Tons of musicians can't make up their minds and my local options "well just try a ton out till you find the one" suck. I don't live near Chicago or LA, so to even see one cool Custom Shop Tele is rare. I've never seen a Custom Shop Esquire near me. Thanks for the replies. Still can't decide.
     
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