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. funff

    funff Tele-Holic

    Jan 26, 2008
    That chord McCartney is holding down there looks tricky! Is he barring with his third finger?

  2. BMor

    BMor Tele-Meister

    Nov 1, 2014
    Mexico City
    The Esquire is the only single pickup guitar that looks really sexy and not like a toy.

  3. Mr. Lumbergh

    Mr. Lumbergh Poster Extraordinaire

    Jun 13, 2013
    Initech, Inc.
    +1. The Les Paul Jr. looks to me like they stopped half way through the build.

  4. gmann

    gmann Friend of Leo's

    May 7, 2008
    Okinawa, Japan
    Wired in or not, it's the magnetic pull that makes the difference. In a LP Jr. for example this is not valid because the pole pieces are just that, pole pieces, steel or whatever, the magnet sits below the coil. On a Tele, Esquire what have you, the pole pieces themselves are the magnets. So, you can electrically take it out of the circuit but the magnetic pull will still be there.

  5. gmann

    gmann Friend of Leo's

    May 7, 2008
    Okinawa, Japan
    Spot on, best explanation I've ever heard.

  6. LarsPluto

    LarsPluto TDPRI Member

    Dec 6, 2014
    London, UK
    I agree that taking a regular tele and removing the neck pickup does effect the way the bridge pickup sounds. I do believe it has something to do with the magnetic pull of the neck pu.
    Likewise, I also agree that just having the single bridge pickup forces you to play with better technique. Things like picking position and attack matter much more. I feel I listen more and play more musically with the single bridge pickup.

  7. Major Gruber

    Major Gruber Tele-Afflicted

    Feb 24, 2012
    Colombes France
    Those are very interesting and deep thoughts. It's true that every good instrument is a vehicule and more we spend time on them, more we travel and enlarge the world of sound and feeling we can get from it. And I think this is specially true with old woods.

    I wonder if we could get something interesting out of a single NECK pickup "Esquire"…

  8. old_picker

    old_picker Tele-Afflicted

    the esquire is great for straight up rock - lean n mean - it does get you thinking about your playing - i love it in the middle slot where the tone is engaged - you go from scream on 1 to throaty roar on 2 - i like it 4 way as well with a straight pipes slot and arlo mod on the forward slot- gives some great tone and volume options -

  9. tele salivas

    tele salivas Poster Extraordinaire

    Sep 5, 2008
    I like having three sounds at the flip of the switch. The early Esquires had that no-tone sound which sounds pretty cool with a really trebly amp, some trem, and dropped D tuning. Then people like Mike Eldred popularized the cocked-wah thing and I really like that. That's what I put in my Esquire a few years ago and I haven't gone back. I hardly used the neck pickup so it was easy for me to get on with an Esquire.

  10. waparker4

    waparker4 Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Nov 9, 2011
    Philadelphia, PA
    I prefer the Les Paul Jr.


  11. Obelisk

    Obelisk Tele-Holic

    Apr 1, 2013
    NW USA
    I was going to mention the same thing about the wiring difference. Pickup straight to the volume knob sounds different than going through the tone+having the high end cutoff cap in the third position makes it more versatile than one thinks. I had a friend who owned a 67 Esquire that was quite fun to play. String pull might be another slight difference. I use the neck pickups of all of my guitars, so I don't have a one pickup guitar. If I did, it would be an older Howard Roberts model which is an entirely different guitar.

  12. Mgeek

    Mgeek TDPRI Member

    Aug 13, 2012
    Ooh no. There are loads of cool single pickup guitars. Gibson Firebird I's are high on my GASlist

  13. ricknbaker

    ricknbaker Tele-Holic

    Nov 12, 2014
    Watford, UK
    That is a really nice blue. I almost prefer it to the TV yellow.

  14. fiestared69

    fiestared69 TDPRI Member

    Jan 7, 2008
    The Ozarks
    I prefer and Esquire, I like the real open sound of the bridge pickup without the tone control in the circuit . It's Punchy Clear !!

  15. bparnell57

    bparnell57 Poster Extraordinaire

    Feb 10, 2014
    Philadelphia, PA
    I have a 2007 "59 reissue" single pickup melody maker, and the "half humbucker bobbin" single coil really does give sweet tone and the range of tones you can get through playing technique and the volume and tone controls is awesome. It's a great plug and play guitar setup.

  16. twang junkie

    twang junkie Tele-Meister

    Nov 14, 2013
    I love my 57 Esquire, it had a neck p/u when I got it and I put it back to stock, I've not regretted it yet. It's like playing acoustic guitar, you just move around the instrument a little more.
    I have a few single pickup instruments, in fact my only twin pickup is a Gretsch country club, I don't find them at all limited.
    But the Esquire is the most versatile, you can have a nice dark tone in the centre position and then hit an ear splitting treble at the flick of a switch.

    In my humble opinion single pickup guitars are under rated

  17. RMorgan

    RMorgan Tele-Meister

    Dec 22, 2014
    Caeté, Brazil
    Guitarists are a pretty crazy bunch, arent't they?

    I once knew a guy who was the most talented guitar player I've ever seen in person. I used to work with him. The guy used to practice so much when he was a kid/teen that he had some serious medical problems; He used to practice 12 to 16 hours a day and didn't stop even to eat, drink or to use the bathroom (let alone to worry about gear). A really obsessed guy, you know. When he was 15, people used to pay tickets just to watch him practice in his bedroom...

    He used to play a single pickup guitar that he build himself from scratch, by the way.

    So later on, he become a really respected guitar builder. He's the kind of guy obsessed with perfection.

    Anyway, I used to work for him as a luthier apprentice when I was a kid....And I saw him playing on all sorts of guitars, from the crappiest ones to the super-expensive-deluxe models.

    Independently of the guitar, he always sounded great...It was like magic. Sometimes I picked a guitar and was like "wow, this sounds like crap", then he picked it up and made it sound like a pro instrument.

    Conclusion: The tone is in your fingers.

    Of course, music is art and art is emotional. If you really believe that coating your guitar with veneer found in a ancient Roman ship wreck will make it sound better, it will most certainly make it sound better (to you).

    However, it's psychological. 99% of the thing is about practicing like there's no tomorrow.
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2015

  18. 61fury

    61fury Tele-Afflicted

    Aug 28, 2009
    knoxville, TN
    That's going in my library, brilliant, no other words will do.

  19. Lochry

    Lochry TDPRI Member Gold Supporter

    Mar 17, 2009
    Princeton, NJ
    Spot on.

  20. mijstrat72

    mijstrat72 Tele-Afflicted

    Jul 31, 2008
    I love my Esquire. I made it from scratch ( not the neck though). I really needed a light weight guitar that stood out in our three piece band. Neck pickups disappear in the mix to much for me, especially since I have a real kick butt bass player that is all over the neck. So I claim my space in the higher registers. It works out quite well and my notes can slice right through. I just noticed how relic' my esquire is looking. The body is made from pine that was harvested in 1948, about a mile north from where I live. I covered the body in satin nitrocellulose clear coat from Reranch. I put a huge maple neck on her, lots of sustain, lots of fun to play!! ImageUploadedByTDPRI1424230871.645861.jpg
    hemmings likes this.

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