Do Esquires exist in the real world?

cmm71

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I bought one of the 70th Anniversary Esquires last year. I love it. I've now sold my Strat and own just an Esquire. I have "tele'd" my Esquire and given it a neck pickup...which means I have a Telecaster now. People that like to say they have a "2-pickup Esquire" are, well,...I'll just leave that alone...but, yeah, it's a tele. As we'll all do from time to time, I've entered an existential phase and the thought of stripping the neck pickup out and returning to the bare bones Esquire is appealing. As I wrestle with this I went in search of videos on YouTube of actual people playing Esquires. Not your superstars that famously write to the Esquire's strength but normal folks covering rock n roll in bars and clubs and outdoor BBQ festivals, etc. The real world. You know what I've found? There aren't many. So now I'm wondering if this idea of a stripped-down simple-life and back to basics single pickup guitar is really just a fantasy. Can anyone testify to using just an Esquire to get it done? I'm being cynical, but I am truly interested in hearing if anyone actually gets by with just one pickup.
 

boris bubbanov

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I think you may find that most Esquire users, also have at least one Telecaster at the ready. People like choices and Version One is: Add a neck pickup but Version Two is, leave the Esquire as it is and have another guitar or two for the times when you need a little something else.

I'll tell you one thing: I know so many Telecaster players, who just never touch the pickup selector switch. They could make it with an Esquire but honestly, in the real marketplace they're simply too difficult to come by. If Esquires were everywhere, people would own 'em and they'd be fine. Just like, you can't find automobiles with crank style side windows.
 

SixStringSlinger

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I think you may find that most Esquire users, also have at least one Telecaster at the ready. People like choices and Version One is: Add a neck pickup but Version Two is, leave the Esquire as it is and have another guitar or two for the times when you need a little something else.

I'll tell you one thing: I know so many Telecaster players, who just never touch the pickup selector switch. They could make it with an Esquire but honestly, in the real marketplace they're simply too difficult to come by. If Esquires were everywhere, people would own 'em and they'd be fine. Just like, you can't find automobiles with crank style side windows.

This.

Offer every single production Telecaster in a single-pickup variant (with every other available feature/option) for $100 less and watch them fly.
 

fendrguitplayr

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I think you may find that most Esquire users, also have at least one Telecaster at the ready.
Sounds about right to me.

60s Esquire.JPG
 

HaWE

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The idea of a "simple" guitar like an Esquire is always in my head. (Some weeks before I also had a heavy GAS-attack for a Tele Noventa.But I could resist.) I have an old partscaster Strat , so I thought why not build a cheap kind of Esquire-Strat.But when playing it, I soon missed the sound of the Neck-PU. As an experiment I also tried to get different tones out of my Tele bridge pickup using the tone pot ( although I know that a "real" Esquire is a different story).
I decided that I like the neck and middle position too much to have only a bridge pickup.
And in the real world (concerts,festivals,sessions) I have never seen someone using an Esquire until now.
 

Wildeman

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I could and have played an Esquire or Junior all night and didn't miss having more pickups at all, there's a ton of tones in the volume and tone knobs, also you can tailor the tone caps to be very useful, that front switch setting don't have to be mud. Oh yeah, pics
IMG_20221103_110245032.jpg
 
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Esquire Jones

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I haven’t gigged with my Esquire but certainly could.

I can play it through a rehearsal session and get all the tonez needed for most tunes.

The other guitar player in the band had never seen an Esquire and was somewhat amazed at how versatile it is.

And he thought it just looked cool.
 

gb63

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My Esquire has a unique enough sound that I dont want to mess with it and take a chance on fixing something that isnt broken. It also has the Eldred mod so the neck position is very usable. I can get close enough with the bridge pup on my Tele that I can just use that for shows if I need to but its not quite the same. Plus I love Tele neck pups too, so I want both.
Telecasters 10722.JPG
 

James824

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My Esquire has a unique enough sound that I dont want to mess with it and take a chance on fixing something that isnt broken. It also has the Eldred mod so the neck position is very usable. I can get close enough with the bridge pup on my Tele that I can just use that for shows if I need to but its not quite the same. Plus I love Tele neck pups too, so I want both. View attachment 1047073
Thanks for posting this pic
Looks nice with the white pguard.
Just ordered a Fender white pickguard for mine.
Got it new through Adorama for 1/2 price with free shipping (only $10).
Hope it fits.
 

willietheweirdo

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My Esquire has a unique enough sound that I dont want to mess with it and take a chance on fixing something that isnt broken. It also has the Eldred mod so the neck position is very usable. I can get close enough with the bridge pup on my Tele that I can just use that for shows if I need to but its not quite the same. Plus I love Tele neck pups too, so I want both

I was wondering... is there anything a single-pickup esquire can do that a tele with a no-load tone pot can't? Does your esquire sound different simply because there's no pull from a neck pickup's magnets?

Anyone here converted and done the pepsi challenge care to comment? I didn't notice a difference in bridge sound when I added a neck PU to my esquire, but then I didn't play it a whole lot beforehand, so I'm disqualified!



Anyone actually been gigging with an esquire and thought "boy I'm really glad I don't have a neck pickup right now"?
 
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SixStringSlinger

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I was wondering... is there anything a single-pickup esquire can do that a tele with a no-load tone pot can't? Does your esquire sound different simply because there's no pull from a neck pickup's magnets?

Anyone here converted and done the pepsi challenge care to comment? I didn't notice a difference in bridge sound when I added a neck PU to my esquire, but then I didn't play it a whole lot beforehand, so I'm disqualified! Maybe I'll check the youtubes...

Anyone actually been gigging with an esquire and thought "boy I'm really glad I don't have a neck pickup right now?"

Just speaking for myself (not that you asked me ;)), I haven’t tested this. But then my Tele and Esquire are made of different woods and have different bridges, tailpieces and bridge pickups, so even if I hear a difference I can’t honestly say it’s down to neck pickup or no neck pickup.

I’m just shooting from the hip, but I suspect that there is an objective, measurable difference. But I also think that whether it’s a difference the average guitarist can hear, and to the point that it makes a difference for them, is an entirely different question. I suspect there isn’t.

To me the appeal of a single-pickup guitar (aside from their home brew, hot-rod good looks) is more psychological. With an Esquire, I have to make do with the one pickup, because that’s all there is. Sure, I can always decide to only use one pickup on a multi-pickup guitar. But I feel like my not having a choice on an Esquire somehow changes something in my brain. The difference between choosing not to use a certain tool vs it not being up to you.

It’s similar to why some artists impose “unnecessary” limitations on themselves. Freedom and possibility and infinity are important to art, but so are self-imposed constraints.

Anyway, that to me is the appeal of an Esquire now. I’m sure that for most of its history it was just “it’s good enough and it’s cheaper”.
 

rjtwangs

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My Esquire, built as an Esquire, it is however routed for a neck pickup if desired. As it's been said, I have two other telecasters so if I need two pickups I've got that covered. Mine also has the Eldred mod that makes it so much more versatile.
IMG_0806.jpg
IMG_0804-1.jpg

Greg Koch rips it up for a couple of minutes and then he does a nice job of explaining the 3 distinct tones of the Eldred mod.

Making an Esquire far more versatile than most people think....


RJ
 

gb63

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I was wondering... is there anything a single-pickup esquire can do that a tele with a no-load tone pot can't? Does your esquire sound different simply because there's no pull from a neck pickup's magnets?

They just sound different, and both sound good to me. I would imagine the magnetic difference is certainly a factor, its the most commonly expressed reason Ive seen. Im no electrical engineer though.🤔
 




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