CV Esquire - Overhyped or did I get a lemon?

Discussion in 'Squier Tele Forum' started by marc2211, May 28, 2020.

  1. marc2211

    marc2211 Tele-Holic

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    I bought a Classic Vibe Esquire in Seafoam Green about 4 months ago from Thomann. I didn't play it for the first few months as I was stuck elsewhere due to quarantine, so I'm outside the return period.

    I finally got to play it properly last week and was pretty disappointed. At this point I really don't get the CV hype as mine seems to have a ton of issues, and out of the box is not great to play.

    I have/had the following issues with it:

    - The pickups sound awful. Very tinny and 'cheap'. Playing though a decent tube amp (Orange with a 2x12 V30 cab) I really struggle to get any tone that's really pleasing to the ear - it's pretty icepick all round. I'll have to change the pickup. (Will prob go for a Fat Lion).
    - The setup is terrible. Buzzing all over the place right from the outset, combined with a very high action! I changed the strings to 10-52 and had to widen the nut slots, and also reset the relief at the same time, but there are multiple high frets, and it'll need a full level.
    - The string ferrules fell out! When changing strings, the ferrules just dropped out of the back of the guitar...
    - There is a black dot about 1mmx1.5mm under the neck finish at the 3rd fret - not an 'issue' but cosmeticaly not great.
    - The pickguard machining is very rough indeed. I know it's a cheap guitar, but it's very plasticy indeed with rough edges all round.

    Finally, and annoyingly, it just won't stay in tune. The tuners all feel 'different' and all seem to turn with different resistances and tensions, all going out of tune very quickly :(

    It's already much better now after a bit of work, but I'll have to take it for a fret level and setup, and will also put on a new pickguard and pickup. I've ca glued the ferrules in place, and I have a set of Gotoh SD91 in my parts bin I'll probably put on... but it's all time and money.

    I've had new Fender guitars with similar/worse issues, and I know I'm being harsh on what is a 'value' cheap guitar (and with some investment I can fix the issues), but the whole thing leaves me underwhelmed.

    It looks great though! ><
     
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  2. guitarist232345

    guitarist232345 Tele-Meister

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    Sounds like you got a dud. It seems with this range, the consistency of the QC is hit and miss. I have a CV VW and it's perfect, but I have seen many other ones that are flawed.

    Maybe try and swap it for one that is better built with your retailer?
     
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  3. Sotakoira Musti

    Sotakoira Musti Tele-Holic

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    Sorry for your bad experiences. I’ve read about those and there seems to be mixed feelings.

    I don’t have one in question, but I’ve come to realize the more hype, more disappointments. The less you expect, the happier you are. I’m quite pleased with 2020 Affinity Tele. Didn’t expect a thing. Came out real nice.

    If you could pass it on and tell the issues, lose some money but then you could get something nicer with clean consciense?
     
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  4. stefanhotrod

    stefanhotrod Tele-Holic

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    Sorry for your bad experience but what did you expected from a guitar in that price range?
     
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  5. marc2211

    marc2211 Tele-Holic

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    Many thanks all, l figured that there may be some mixed QC on these. I'll stick with it and fix it up as I do like it and it won't be *too* much expense to fix the issues.

    Well, this is a good question. I have a few 'cheaper' guitars - I bought a CV Thinline tele last year that was excellent, really faultless in terms of build and sound. I have a few Epi Les Pauls too, which were around the same price - I had some electrical wiring issues and changed the pickups, but they were very solid.

    I guess I kind of expected slighly better build quality with maybe one or 2 small issues. Having to change pickups wasn't a surprise, but for the rest I at least though bits wouldn't fall off and it would stay in tune. 350Euro is not super super cheap to expect junk.
     
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  6. hemingway

    hemingway Poster Extraordinaire

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    You might be more likely to get a dud with cheaper guitars. But that's a bit of a blanket statement. There are plenty of good guitars in that price range. And there are plenty of expensive duds, too.
     
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  7. VintageSG

    VintageSG Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    I'm surprised you can only get 'icepick' from an Esquire. The whole point of the switch is to give a setting that rolls off most of that. Is the tone control functioning in at least one position of the switch?. My experience of the Classic Vibe range is limited to two Chinese manufactured models, and their bridge pickups can ice it up, but they can also give a fantastic range. Might be worth checking the capacitor is in correctly etc.

    The frets. Do you have ( or can you make ) a fret rocker?. Old credit cards make good fret rockers when cut down. Any high frets?

    The ferrules falling out is unfortunate. I see you've glued them in. I've read about , but not experienced, it happening on a range of Telecasters, Fender and Squier. Annoying, it shouldn't happen.

    The 'Black dot' Is it an inclusion in the wood, or a paint spot?. Either way, you're not happy with a cosmetic issue which should have been flagged as a flaw.

    The pickguard. Even in the pictures, it looks cheap, nasty and not well made. Is it meant to be period? It'd be the first thing I swapped out anyway as I don't like the look of the single ply, blank expanse of white. Too institutional Formica for me. I'd go parchment 3ply, but that's just me.

    The tuners. Rarely are the tuners at fault. If they're 14:1 ratio, the mechanical advantage of the string is insufficient to cause the tuner to loosen if the guitar is tuned up to pitch. Any and all lash is taken out and the string just doesn't exert sufficient force to back it out. With regard to the differing turning weights, some difference when loaded is to be expected. There's slop in them there posts and bushings, and each string will exert a different load. Provided there's little to no lash, it's annoying, especially when you already have a downer on the guitar, but usually not an issue. If you restring it, try the tuners with no strings attached ( Ha! ) to feel if they're all similar. If you have a powered string winder, put a few hundred winds on each too. May 'run them in' for you. I replaced the PW brand tuners on both mine for cosmetic reasons. The originals did indeed have slightly different turning weights to them, but they held the guitar in tune all day. Graphite in the nut slot may help.

    One man's icepick is another man's delight. Providing the wiring is correct, play with the pickup height.

    Poor fretwork is poor fretwork. Contact Thomann about a return. You shouldn't have to do anything other than perhaps polish the frets. A level on a new guitar?, not acceptable ( may be just me )

    Cosmetic flaw. Enough to warrant a return. It's a flaw, and CV's aren't cheap. If you notice it now, and it bugs you, it'll never -not- bug you.

    The ferrules?, meh. Shouldn't happen, but a wipe of glue and it won't again.

    Pickguard?, personal, unless it has cutting chavs on the edge.


    You may have a Friday build there. Try for a return. If you level the frets, you're not likely to get the return, unless you keep schtum about it. You're not happy, you're out of pocket. Neither of which are good things.

    Piccies of the 'guard edge and spot?
     
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  8. EsquireBoy

    EsquireBoy Tele-Afflicted

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    My experience with thomann is it’s not the best place to buy a guitar: their customer service is very good, that’s not the issue. But I feel they do not get the best examples of each brand/model.
    I once ordered a Rickenbacker 330 through them, and although the brand has good reputation for QC, the one I got was unacceptable. Returned it, and the second one had some cosmetic flaws (kept it nonetheless since it sounded and felt good).

    It’s never ideal to shop guitars online, but some sellers seem to offer more consistency.
    Thomann is especially good for buying pedals and accessories IMO.
     
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  9. gregj1964

    gregj1964 Tele-Meister

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    Did you consider calling Thomann and explaining the situation? They might at least be willing to swap for something else. During this time folks can be accommodating. Worth a shot.
     
  10. marc2211

    marc2211 Tele-Holic

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    Thanks for the info everyone, I didn't contact Thomann, although I know they would have sorted something out (they always have done in the past). I do like the guitar, and have reworked the nut for the new strings etc at this point already so I'm already on the way to fixing things, I guess it was just disappointing to have a 'project' and not a guitar to just play.

    It's an interesting point about Thomann not getting the best quality items - probably nothing but the last 2 instruments I got from there also had issues (a PRS with a defective wiring loom, and a Gibson with bad finish issues).
     
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  11. marc2211

    marc2211 Tele-Holic

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    Thanks for the deep dive on this - agree on all points! :)
     
  12. Si G X

    Si G X Tele-Afflicted

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    They just don't check all the guitars, in a smaller shop most of the stock is there on the wall, they have to be good guitars or they won't sell them, they'll either fix minor issues or reject them from the supplier. Thomann probably have 100's of the same guitar in boxes at the warehouse, they just send them out. I've only ever bought one guitar from them and when it arrived there was a couple of bridge height adjustment screws just loose in the bag so there was obviously no attempt at anything even like a basic set up before shipping.
     
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  13. Controller

    Controller Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I live in the inexpensive guitar zone so i expect and enjoy the process of making guitars right. I am actually surprised when a guitar i purchase doesn't need much help. I have to buy online mostly. Not much chance to play the ones i want beforehand.

    Sorry for your troubles.
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2020
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  14. mijstrat72

    mijstrat72 Tele-Afflicted

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    Having just ordered one of these from
    S. W. I'm hoping for the best outcome LOL.

    an Esquire with the improper amp settings is going to be a pretty bright guitar, after all it is just a tele bridge pickup. But that's where the learning how to use your EQ, and altering your playing technique to fit that of the Esquire personality come into play.

    Also messing around with the pickup height could remedy a little bit of that brightness and make it more reasonable.
     
  15. 2HBStrat

    2HBStrat Tele-Holic

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    There is also a tone control on an Esquire, isn't there? Is it possible on one of these Esquires to use the tone control at a setting lower than 10 or is there some limit to their range?
     
  16. Mick Sullivan

    Mick Sullivan Tele-Meister

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    I posted this in another thread:

    “Negatives with me:

    Click at the nut on 1st and 4th string.
    Two screws - one at tuners, other on scratch plate - have been over-tightened and have pulled the wood out, they’re effectively balancing in place.
    The pick-up doesn’t hit me in the stomach, I’m replacing it.

    All 3 things are fairly easily sorted.

    The positives are everything else about the guitar. It immediately became my number one, ahead of an American Performer Tele and an Alvarez acoustic.

    I love this guitar.”

    I think a lot of the redemption comes from the neck being a wonderful fit for me. So, you know, a couple of fixable grips on what will be a guitar I get years of enjoyment from.
     
  17. bender66

    bender66 Poster Extraordinaire

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    I bought an initial run "yellow" from Andertons. My only issue was a thin (.79) neck, easily remedied with a AllParts Fat I had.

    Andertons set up was questionable though. Still, mine didn't have those issues. Just took reasonable fine tuning.

    I did lower my pickup though. It seemed overly sensitive (bad description, I know) for me, but it sounds great now. I'm just a home player.
     
  18. gregj1964

    gregj1964 Tele-Meister

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    Glad to hear it's working out ok
     
  19. mijstrat72

    mijstrat72 Tele-Afflicted

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    There is a tone control...I consider it part of your overall EQ along with amp settings.

    I've been using Esquires for awhile now, including a band setting for a few years. That brightness cuts through and sounds great in the mix. Never had an issue being heard. I'd dial the tone back as needed on the guitar.

     
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  20. guitarist232345

    guitarist232345 Tele-Meister

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    The only issue on my VW was the fret sprout but I'm not sure if that happened in factory or in transit. I have since fixed it.

    I get your pickup point, it is great and bright but it doesn't have the attack/volatility of an early 50s model. It's bright, but it's exceptionally balanced due to the A5 magnet. I wouldn't call it 'icepicky' unless you turn treble right up on your amp.

    I also love my guitar because it feels wonderful and is exceptionally unique (when did you last see an Esquire on stage?)
     
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