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Why the Esquire?

Discussion in 'Vintage Tele Discussion Forum (pre-1974)' started by 71Tele, Jan 22, 2015.

  1. 71Tele

    71Tele Tele-Meister

    109
    Dec 5, 2014
    Virginia
    Yes, why the Esquire? I certainly like its simplicity, but what does it do that the Telecaster can’t do? :confused:
    Why do some people want specifically an Esquire and not a Telecaster? :confused:
    How come would there be a difference other than one vs two pickups? :confused:
    Just trying to understand, anybody can explain? Thanks!
     

  2. SonicDiveBomb

    SonicDiveBomb Tele-Meister

    367
    Jun 15, 2014
    Philadelphia
    I think it's a sort of history thing. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think because it was fenders first, so obviously it's a very special model. Personally I like humbuckers on the bridge and that single in the neck. Does everything I want and more.
     

  3. Tony Done

    Tony Done Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    72
    Dec 3, 2014
    Toowoomba, Australia
    I think it is an aesthetic/mojo thing. For, example, my favourite Gibson electric design is the LP Jr, and would be the clear winner for me were it not for the fact that I use neck pickups just about exclusively.

    EDIT - There's a strong element of anti-snob in my view of electrics, so the simplicity appeals to me.
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2015

  4. Ricky D.

    Ricky D. Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    66
    Oct 22, 2006
    Garner, North Carolina
    Some people think they can hear a difference in the bridge pickup, and they think it is due to the absence of magnetic pull from the (missing) neck pickup. I spent a rainy afternoon at Mellecaster's place A/B testing Teles and Esquires, and I couldn't hear a difference in the bridge pickups, myself. YMMV.

    It's a cool look, though, and looking cool is a good thing.
     

  5. soulman969

    soulman969 Telefied Ad Free Member

    Mar 20, 2011
    Englewood, CO
    It actually does less than a Tele can do because it's short one pickup. The main difference is in the wiring options of which there are may variations but one or two seem to be the most popular and give you some tonal options a Tele wired standard fashion will not.

    I look at it as somewhat like I do a Precision Bass. Both are somewhat of a "one trick pony" but both do that one trick extremely well. With the right pickup an Esquire can be a hot, nasty sounding rock guitar and also work very well for slide playing if it's set up for that.
     

  6. waparker4

    waparker4 Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Nov 9, 2011
    Philadelphia, PA
    In addition to everything that's been said, it's psychological. With fewer options, one has to figure out a way to pull sounds out of the guitar, different from a standard model.
     
    Brian Wright likes this.

  7. Daddy Hojo

    Daddy Hojo Friend of Leo's

    Feb 25, 2011
    Kentucky
    I think it's the same mentality of, "I could whip you with one hand tied behind my back," with the metaphorical hand being the extra pickup. If you can do it on an Esquire, you're the man.
     

  8. telemaster7082

    telemaster7082 Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    30
    Apr 10, 2010
    Ottawa, Canada
    Go play one, then you'll see.
     

  9. Anode100

    Anode100 Friend of Leo's

    May 9, 2014
    Behind my beard.
    ...and you'll get extra points for 'mojo'.

    Am I right in thinking that an Esquire's wiring takes the tone pot out of the circuit in the 'back' position? From previous wiring experiments, this makes a *huge* difference in twang. :twisted:
     

  10. VWAmTele

    VWAmTele Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

    Feb 24, 2005
    FL
    For me it's just a visual thing. I love the simplicity.
     

  11. mrkenny

    mrkenny Former Member

    412
    Sep 29, 2012
    maryland
    Mr.Fender might have been testing the waters with his new guitar. Maybe he thought wih one pickup they might sell better. Remember it's 1950.
     

  12. Bill

    Bill Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Mar 16, 2003
    London
    From what I can tell, a lot of the people who remove the neck pickup to try it out end up going back to the two-pickup version.

    Unless there's something to the front pickup string pull theory, it seems like you could have a push-pull pot wired so that when activated one way the controls would act like a Tele and activated the other way would act like an Esquire.
     

  13. waparker4

    waparker4 Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Nov 9, 2011
    Philadelphia, PA
    I think that's not possible from a wiring standpoint
     

  14. AirBagTester

    AirBagTester Friend of Leo's

    Nov 7, 2010
    Maryland
    If you just have the one pickup you can stuff other things under the pickguard, like bees, or micro machines. Or a miniature porcelain figurine of Abraham Lincoln.
     

  15. waparker4

    waparker4 Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Nov 9, 2011
    Philadelphia, PA
    [​IMG]
     

  16. AirBagTester

    AirBagTester Friend of Leo's

    Nov 7, 2010
    Maryland
    [​IMG]

    "When I hear a man preach, I like to see him act as if he were fighting bees." - Abraham Lincoln
     

  17. rebelwoclue

    rebelwoclue Poster Extraordinaire Platinum Supporter

    Jan 15, 2012
    kentucky
    Because if all you want is that one sound off the back pickup, an Esquire is all you need.
    Simple.
    [​IMG]
     

  18. Bob Mc

    Bob Mc Friend of Leo's

    Mar 17, 2003
    Mo'town NJ
    As to the string pull of a one pickup guitar, I am a recent convert. In full disclosure, the guitar in question is a Strat that I use for slide in open tunings; and I use a use a touch more gain than my typical very clean signal chain.

    SO, with all those caveats aside, and IMO, I get a different sound from a single pup guitar, one that is very usable and musical.
     

  19. shinigami747

    shinigami747 Tele-Holic

    665
    Sep 22, 2008
    NJ
    IME, the bridge pup alone sounds more lively than with a neck pup installed. A/B test done by snipping the neck pup leads and removing the pickup.
    Having said that, since i started playing in a church recently, i noticed that I could NOT hear the added liveliness when other instruments started playing.

    Having just the bridge pickup forces me to adjust my right hand technique, picking location, and twiddle with the knobs to change my "tone".
     

  20. 71Tele

    71Tele Tele-Meister

    109
    Dec 5, 2014
    Virginia
    Thank you all for your input, whether serious or simply funny.
    From what I understand, an Esquire is probably superfluous if you already have a Tele (darn, I'd still love one! :rolleyes:). Never had the opportunity to play one, but I could listen to one once, a 50’s whiteguard, and what struck me is the fact that the pickup had that roundness you usually hear with the neck pickup. That thing didn’t seem to need a neck pickup!!! Too bad there weren’t around another whiteguard Tele to compare the bridge pickups.
    Thanks again.

    Oh, and I like that:
    If you just have the one pickup you can stuff other things under the pickguard, like bees, or micro machines. Or a miniature porcelain figurine of Abraham Lincoln.

    And this:
    If you can do it on an Esquire, you're the man.

    And that too, so logic! :idea:
    Because if all you want is that one sound off the back pickup, an Esquire is all you need. Simple.
     

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