Am I nuts, or do Esquires have a more resonant tone?

Discussion in 'Other T-Types and Partscasters' started by RoscoeElegante, Apr 25, 2017.

  1. RoscoeElegante

    RoscoeElegante Friend of Leo's

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    I've been playing several for a while now, A-B'ing them with one another, Teles, S-types, non-Fender types, etc. Maybe it's just a narrow sample, but the Esquires seem considerably more acoustically resonant than T-, S-, and other types. And some of this seems to transfer to/show up when I play them electrically, too.

    Is it the unbroken pickguard vibration platform from the bridge plate to the neck? Fewer magnets? Saturn is napping? Or am I just *aurally leaning into the guitar to compensate for its lack of a neck pickup?

    Interesting, too, how the one-pickup design just invites more expressive and exploratory play, as it seems to say, "You gotta pitch in a bit more here, bub." Which suggests that * above explains my "more resonant" impression.

    When I get fired from my job because I'm sitting here daydreaming about guitars I will buy lottery tickets to fund my Psycho-Acoustics PhD.

    And then a lot of very generic cat food for the mid-quality box beneath the bridge.

    Ear-hugs from Psycho-land.
     
  2. JD0x0

    JD0x0 Poster Extraordinaire

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    It's probably due to less magnetic pull. An A5 rod jammed up into the string can dampen vibrations a lot. I like lower gauss magnets for this reason.
     
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  3. Bellacaster

    Bellacaster Tele-Afflicted

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    I think there is to be something about not having the magnetic pull from the neck pickup. Might be something psychological about knowing there isn't one there also.
     
  4. robt57

    robt57 Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I guess you are noticing the lack of slight dampened effect with no [as said] neck PU. Question is, if plugged in and with gain is it relevant?
     
  5. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    How are such things quantifiable?
    I have a pro player friend who swears that Esquires and LP Juniors have have a unique and superior tone to their dual pickup cousins.
    I don't hear or get it, but my friend is a great player, singer, and guitar tech.
    I have only owned one Junior, a 56.
    It did indeed sound great, but I NEED a neck pickup.
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2017
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  6. Jupiter

    Jupiter Telefied Silver Supporter

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    I'm a bit skeptical about the absence of a neck pickup having an appreciable effect on tone, but I sure do like the way my laCab clone sounds, and it only has one pickup...
     
  7. cboutilier

    cboutilier Tele-Afflicted

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    The electric guitar skeptics swear that the strings and pickups are the only part of an electric that effect the tone. The neck pickups magnet HAS to act on the strings, but to what effect I cant say.

    By that definition, an Esquire must have a different tone. Whether or not the difference is enough to be picked up by the human ear, I can not say.
     
  8. ndcaster

    ndcaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    hmm, this stuff is measurable -- for example, keep everything else equal, and video high-res string vibration with two pickups, and then with one bridge pickup -- if there's no difference, there's no difference

    you could also measure body wood vibration somehow, again with no neck rout vs maybe a swimming pool rout, just to exaggerate differences so you can see any differences more clearly

    maybe look at Esquire bridge pickups for better answers: if they're A5, I think flux density will differ from the looser flux densities of A2 or A3, and differences in Gauss may affect things, too

    just trying to mess things up here -- my hunch would be that what we hear as "resonance" is complicated and affected by more than wood
     
  9. Slim

    Slim Tele-Holic

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    Rocker dude Phil X is a big believer that the neck pickup affects string pull and has guitars designed without them because of it. It makes sense in theory, but Les Paul's are pretty notable for sustain.
     
  10. h4ck.b0x7

    h4ck.b0x7 Tele-Holic

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    The humbuckers in a Les Paul don't exert as much pull on the strings as a single-coil Fender style pickup. They don't call it Les Paulitis.
     
  11. crossroader

    crossroader Tele-Afflicted

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    Well, the magnetic pull from a neck pickup would certainly have some impact on string vibration. The question then becomes, how much of an impact?
    And can that impact be heard?

    For me, the answer to the "Can it be heard?" question is no.

    When I first bought my (MIM Reissue) Esquire, I played it for a while in it's Esquire configuration.
    Then I installed a Barden neck pickup.
    I didn't notice any difference in (a) the acoustic tone or (b) the amplified tone of the bridge pickup.

    Of course, my conclusion is based on a very small sample (1) and a complete lack of measurement tools.
     
  12. JD0x0

    JD0x0 Poster Extraordinaire

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    I can say. Ever hear of the term 'Stratitis'? This is the made up word we have given to excessive magnetic damping on strings, which can be fairly common on strats. It can be severe enough to effect intonation and pull strings out of pitch. That is a very profound damping caused by magnetism from alnico rods in the pickup(s)

    There's also the fact that as we move away from the saddles, towards the middle of the scale, (where the neck pickup is positioned) the magnets will have more and more leverage over the strings. So a single neck pickup will exhibit more string pull than a single bridge pickup, adjusted to the same height, with the same magnets. If we take this into effect, adding a second pickup, to the neck position adds considerably more than 2x the magnetic pull of the original single bridge pickup. That could be considered pretty significant, if you ask me.

    The term 'stratitis' obviously came from the fact strats have 3 pickups, thus more magnetic pull than a tele or esquire. The shielded tele neck pickup also tends to cause slightly more distance from the string to magnet compared to the open rods on a strat style pickup. This is why you rarely hear about magnetic pull issues on teles or esquires.
     
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  13. barnbustud

    barnbustud Tele-Holic

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    i had the same experience recently and I'm glad I did.
    Wonder if I could replace that bridge pup with a neck in the bridge position.
    Is there a way to make the dark position less dark.
     
  14. perttime

    perttime Tele-Afflicted

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    I'm told strats can get absolutely weird if you raise the neck pickup enough.
     
  15. JD0x0

    JD0x0 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Change the cap it uses. I often find 'dark' caps and the like to have too high values which sounds like mud. You'd probably want something significantly lower than the original value.
     
  16. hemingway

    hemingway Poster Extraordinaire

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    I used to have the pickups on my strat really high because they distorted so nicely. But the dampening and fret buzz were too much of a problem.

    I often wonder why strats are considered such a great design when they have so many problems. I suppose the answer is that, if you can live with all the issues, they just sound good sometimes.
     
  17. tintag27

    tintag27 Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    Screen Shot 2017-04-28 at 11.00.04.png
    'Mountain' guitarist Leslie West always maintains that the single pickup is the better tonal option...
     
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  18. RoyBGood

    RoyBGood Doctor of Teleocity

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    'Am I nuts, or do Esquires have a more resonant tone?'

    No you're not, and they do. ;)
     
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  19. MonkeyJefferson

    MonkeyJefferson Tele-Holic

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    I have one, with a Duncan Antiquity II, and all I can say it makes EVERY sound I ever wanted out of a tele bridge....
     
  20. shinigami747

    shinigami747 Tele-Holic

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    In my experience messing around with my partscaster:
    Yes, there is.
    More lively both clean and slightly dirty.
    Heavy gain - no difference.
     
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