Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups

Why the Esquire?

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

  1. Dan R

    Dan R Friend of Leo's

    Mar 17, 2003
    Charleston, SC
    An Esquire is fine, but if you ever need a mellow neck tone, it's not there. I love the bridge pickup, but I must have a telecaster. I sometimes need that neck pickup.

  2. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity

    Mar 2, 2010
    For me it's connected with my thinking and playing technique.
    It's not something like switching to your Esquire will sound different.
    More like choosing and learning to play Esquires will change the way you play, the way you choose and set your amps, and maybe even the way you think about music.
    If you think "bright bridge pup sound dark neck pup sound", it just takes something away.
    But if you think "play this here guitar", you have a chance to start from scratch.

    Sax players and violinists and drummers don't have switches on their instruments to get different sounds, yet they manage to get different sounds out of them.

    While an Esquire player would have a hard time simulating the neck to bridge pup sound change, with practice and carefully chosen pickup and amp, there are plenty of sounds available from bright sting to fat warm, even without touching the tone control.
    It does take some time to get used to it and dial the amp in differently, and it may demand more from the one pickup than that pup can deliver.

    The electric guitar is an instrument of convenience, and the options are very cool.
    But there are things we might find working within limitations, that we may have never searched out with so much versatility in the electronics.

    And adding a neck pup to a dialed in Esquire, you might find the neck pup sounds way too bassy and muddy, and need to adjust the amp, which will then not sound as good on the bridge pup.

    Last edited: Jan 23, 2015

  3. tele12

    tele12 Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Dec 2, 2006
    People like to think Leo was building Inexpensive guitars, he wasn't! these were expensive guitars for the professional musician. they were priced at about two plus weeks salary for the average person.

    A single pickup up guitar was less expensive than a two pickup guitar

  4. chezdeluxe

    chezdeluxe Poster Extraordinaire Gold Supporter

    Dec 29, 2007
    Brisbane Australia
    And Leo built his first standard guitar as a progression from his lap steel constructions.

    He also incorporated what Gibson had done years earlier; the slanted pickup.

    The logical follow up was two pickups a-la-Gibson.(Gibson 1948 Fender 1950) and then three pickups a-la-Gibson (Gibson 1950 Fender 1954).
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2015

  5. H. Mac

    H. Mac Friend of Leo's

    May 26, 2012
    Atlanta, Georgia
    Telemnemonics has said it well.

    With no neck pickup, an Esquire presents a greater challenge than a two (or three) pickup guitar. The player's technique becomes a more vital part of your tone production, and because of this, it's easier for the player to "connect" with an Esquire.

    Besides, Esquires are a lot of fun!

  6. Dan German

    Dan German Poster Extraordinaire

    Also what telemnemonics said that I forgot to quote and I'm too lazy to click back and do it. I miss my Esquire. It helped make me a better (not good, but better) player. I have a single-speed bike. Not because I'm a hipster, but because it makes me ride my multi-speeds better. And makes my legs stronger, but I don't think an Esquire does that.

  7. brandonwhite

    brandonwhite Tele-Meister

    Aug 9, 2011
    Salt Lake City
    I love the simplicity of an Esquire. I think they look better than Telecasters. I wanna own an Esquire someday, but with added simplicity: just volume and tone. No 3-way switch.

  8. brandonwhite

    brandonwhite Tele-Meister

    Aug 9, 2011
    Salt Lake City
    Oh, and Luther Perkins preferred the Esquire.
    That makes it even cooler in my eyes.

  9. haggardfan1

    haggardfan1 Friend of Leo's

    Mar 17, 2014
    down every road
    Well put. I played one for the first time ever a few months ago, and it definitely did have a certain magic.

    I don't know if I could get along without the neck pickup permanently--but if all I played was Cash, Dwight, Merle, etc., it would sure be fun to own one. If no other reason than to play "Buckaroo":D.

  10. androo

    androo Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

    Dec 8, 2004
    Portland, Oregon
    OK My 2 cents here. I just recently Esquired a CV50 for kicks. Darn it all...but I can absolutely tell a difference. Same pickup used, and I restrung with the same strings.

    Totally agree that it looks cool, and that's a nice caveat. But man, it sure did change things to my ears. Jangly growly goodness. Boris has said many a time that he starts all builds as Esquires, then decides if the build is good to go there, or if it needs a neck pickup.

    I do believe mine was an Esquire in Tele clothing.

    Me likey.

    bacongrease likes this.

  11. chezdeluxe

    chezdeluxe Poster Extraordinaire Gold Supporter

    Dec 29, 2007
    Brisbane Australia
    And then he preferred the Jazzmaster. ;)

  12. fakeocaster

    fakeocaster Tele-Afflicted

    They look cool.I don't believe they sound that different , based on those I've played.I do have a parts o caster with a single p90 though,which sounds like a cross between an esquire and a Les Paul Jr

  13. Slidertom

    Slidertom Tele-Meister

    Jul 16, 2014
    Saw a video about a fellow named Sturgill Simpson. Him and his band were playing live on a radio talk show. If anyone can find that, watch and listen to the guitar player. He's playing an Esquier. That guy can flat play. A lot of sound coming from that guitar.

    Found this: Sturgill Simpson-Full Performance[Live On KEXP]
    On youtube. Enjoy.

  14. Lobomov

    Lobomov Friend of Leo's

    Jul 15, 2013

    So have you also pulled the volume knop from your Esquire? :)

  15. kennl

    kennl Tele-Afflicted

    Feb 6, 2007
    Moon Township, PA
    Makes more sense to own an Esquire rather than a Telecaster if you exclusively use the bridge pickup.

  16. LouBluz

    LouBluz TDPRI Member

    Aug 2, 2014
    I have two Teles and an Esquire and each one has a different sound but all are fun to play. I can't think of a better reason to own any guitar. Just fun to play.

  17. MichaelAa

    MichaelAa Tele-Holic

    Jun 9, 2012
    Well said!

  18. jackal

    jackal Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    Jun 14, 2010
    mojave desert
    Reverse Esquires are the ticket.

  19. 71Tele

    71Tele Tele-Meister

    Dec 5, 2014
    Paris, France
    Since I use the neck pickup on my Tele at least as much as the bridge pickup, I guess an Esquire isn’t for me. But who knows… Next time I see one, I’ll give it a try. You don’t see them often though.
    Lots of good posts here, thanks y’all.
    Telemnemonics, I get your point and it makes me think of my old ES-175; it has only one (neck) pickup and I certainly would not want another one. I can easily see the same thing happening with an Esquire.

  20. knavel

    knavel TDPRI Member

    Jul 21, 2014
    Some people have done some pretty amazing things with a one pick up guitar.

    Attached Files:

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