A replica Springsteen Esquire!

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by blackbelt308, Jul 5, 2011.

  1. blackbelt308

    blackbelt308 Tele-Holic

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    This forum has seen many replicas of Bruce Springsteen's iconic Fender Esquire. I now add my own attempt! Of course, "The Esquire" is a study in the evolution of a hard working guitar. So when creating a replica, one needs to decide which version to go for across it's 30+ years of service...

    In it's earliest appearances, when Bruce and the band were playing colleges, clubs and other small venues, the guitar sported a brown leather pickguard with a colorful oval design at its center, and keystone-style Kluson tuning machines. Circa 1973-74, the guard was swapped for a black leather guard with the famous "man under the streetlamp" design under the strings, and Schaller machines. This is the version that appeared on the cover of Bruce's breakthrough album "Born To Run" in 1975. In it's pre-Springsteen days, the guitar had multiple pickups and a second jack channel just ahead of the stock channel. In the BTR cover photo, an aluminum plate covers this channel, but no output jack is present. Not long after the BTR tour, the leather guard was replaced with a stock 8-screw B/W/B guard, and the chrome-covered neck pickup was swapped out for an uncovered Phil Petillo wind. At some point in this latter time frame, the forward jack channel was filled with a wood plug, and the aluminum plate was moved to the rear and used for the output jack once again.

    I decided to base my replica on the BTR cover photo, and snagged a copy of photographer Eric Meola's book "Born To Run: The Unseen Photos" ($3.23 on Amazon!!) to help with the fine details. Here she is!

    [​IMG]

    Of course, most people are used to seeing "The Esquire" like this:

    [​IMG]

    The body is one-piece swamp ash (~4 lbs) from USACG. I was talking with Tommy one day and he sent me some photos of a bunch of bodies that had just been cut. I spied one with a similar grain pattern to "The Esquire" and quickly asked Tommy to set it aside for me. I worked up a "mocha" mix of Bartley's grain filler to darken the grain lines a bit, and then used a mix of super blonde and garnet shellac to get the color I wanted. Finished the body off with several coats of satin nitrocellulose lacquer.

    [​IMG]

    The neck is an Allparts TMO-V that was finished and lightly aged by Matt Jenny of MJT. He did a great job on it!

    [​IMG]

    The "man under the streetlamp" guard was made by M.K. Holloway. She's made a few of these before, and I asked her to "age" mine a bit. Fantastic work!

    [​IMG]

    The pickups are Fender Nocasters, although the bridge pup is overwound and reads 9.86K on my meter. I've always thought that the CS Nocaster pickups were a reasonable approximation of the BTR era sound of Springsteen's guitar, and that's why I chose them. Bright and ballsy.

    Additional hardware of note: Gotoh machines with Schaller style keys (I have yet to track down clear evidence as to what was on "The Esquire" at that time; probably Schallers but I like the Gotoh machines better). The saddles are from Marc Rutters (slot-compensated Broadcaster), as is the wonderful "twisted jack cup"! The aluminum jack plate and the control plate with the extra pot hole were home made.

    Lastly, kudos to Bob from Brookwood Leather for replicating the black leather strap that the Boss was using at the time the cover photo was taken! He did a fabulous job and clearly now has a new product on his hands! ;)

    [​IMG]

    And you'll notice that I felt obliged to also reproduce the Elvis fan club button!

    Thanks for lookin'!
    Rick
     
  2. JeradP

    JeradP Former Member

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    That looks reallllly good.
     
  3. coffeestewart

    coffeestewart NEW MEMBER!

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    Nice work!

    If you want to make a serie out of these guitars, send me a mail! :)

    I can manage to work on different repairjobs and have even build a couple of guitars, but i could never build anything like this...
     
  4. bigjed

    bigjed Tele-Holic

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    brilliant
     
  5. Charcoal Burst

    Charcoal Burst Tele-Meister

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    Looks really good!!! Love that leather pickguard. I finnished one Springsteen replica last week and gave it to an near friend who turned 40. He loves Springsteen above all and I couldnt think of any gift better than to give him that guitar. I also kept the BTR area hardware and the pickguard but gave it the worn spots it sees today. Also on earlier pics of "the One"(72/73) you can see the wear marks on the last frets of the neck before Springsteen got an planning and refrett of the neck.I did replicate that wear to some point.

    Heres a pic of the one I put together and gave my friend.
    Again, yours look real good!!

    Best[​IMG][/IMG]
     
  6. ThreePlyGuy

    ThreePlyGuy Friend of Leo's

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    Not at all my choice perhaps but those are both nice.
     
  7. Timbo9799

    Timbo9799 TDPRI Member

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    Both guitars are way cool. Kudos!
     
  8. FrankMc

    FrankMc Tele-Meister

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    Very very cool. How much is the pickguard?
     
  9. greggorypeccary

    greggorypeccary Friend of Leo's

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    I had no idea that was a leather pickguard on that! I thought that was a sticker under the strings.

    Look great!
     
  10. FrankMc

    FrankMc Tele-Meister

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    Does anyone make replica stickers of the man leaning on the street light?
     
  11. jadeddog54

    jadeddog54 TDPRI Member

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    These aren't stickers, but are carved and tooled into the leather.
    http://theothersideof635.blogsot.com
     
  12. shnitzl

    shnitzl Tele-Meister

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    Pretty cool guitar good work
     
  13. Redline Redneck

    Redline Redneck Tele-Meister

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    Absolutely made my day! Thanks for posting. What an awesome effort and result!!!
     
  14. ravindave_3600

    ravindave_3600 Friend of Leo's

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  15. dog fart

    dog fart Friend of Leo's

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    Nice work on both, with great attention to detail. I'm not the most knowledgable man when it comes to The Boss, or anything else for that matter, but I know quality when I see it
     
  16. tothemax

    tothemax TDPRI Member

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    Very cool, beautiful work...
     
  17. FrankMc

    FrankMc Tele-Meister

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    I know that it was tooled leather on that guard and on the Boo's original, but I wondered if anyone made stickers of that scene that we could put on our black plastic guards.
     
  18. FrankMc

    FrankMc Tele-Meister

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    The Boss's guard. Damn this iPhone spell check!
     
  19. Eric27A

    Eric27A TDPRI Member

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    This is very cool. Well done.
     
  20. pictoratus

    pictoratus TDPRI Member

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    I think you pretty much nailed it. She's a beauty!
     
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