Do Esquires exist in the real world?

old wrench

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The Esquire was originally put forth by Fender as an entry-level or "students" guitar - it was cheaper than the Telecaster

I seriously doubt that anyone on the Fender team back then saw it as a "purists" guitar or thought that the Esquire with its single pickup would sound better because it didn't have a neck pickup with the potential to minutely deaden the strings

Fender simply saw the possibility of more sales by reaching those who couldn't quite come up with the bucks for a Telecaster

It was like Gibson's Melody Maker or Junior - a cheaper version of their more expensive standard model guitar



When thinking about Esquires and Juniors we should put things in the proper context

In the Fifty's, you couldn't go on a website, pick out a guitar, and then pay for it with a credit card

You had to find a music store that had a guitar you liked, and then (in almost all cases) pay cash for it, or possibly buy it on a "lay-away" plan

$50 or $100 bucks was a lot of money back then - maybe a week's wages



It's a funny thing to me, that there are a lot of players today who could get along just fine with a single-pickup Esquire - because their pickup selector switch never moves from the bridge position

I can get along just fine with an Esquire, here's one that I built -

IMG_1302.JPG

IMG_1304.JPG

It's a real killer guitar and plays and sounds great, but I also love the tones I get from my two-pickup guitars - there is something about the sweet lead tones I can get from a neck pickup that I just can't touch with the tone from a bridge pickup alone

I've considered adding a neck pickup to my Esquire ^^^, if I do it wouldn't be a single-coil - it would be either a low-wind humbucker or a Firebird pickup

But if I do, it would no longer be an Esquire - it would be just another Telecaster ;)

.
 

Hodgo88

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I totally agree single pickup guitars are psychological rev limiters for ADHD guitarists who twiddle with their controls too much. It kind of drags you kicking and screaming into learning to play dynamically and use your tone knob.
 

davidge1

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Sometimes options become limitations. You can watch people doing youtube demos of Teles, and they'll play brash and aggressive on the bridge pickup, then switch to the neck pickup and play something prettier... so it becomes one tone for this, one tone for that. But you can get "pretty" out of the bridge pickup too... AND get every subtle shade in between. Just by the way you pick, you can go from aggressive to pretty all in the same guitar break. Why do I want to have to stop and think about which tone I want to use for which part in which song? It's too much distraction. I spend too much time playing around instead of just playing.
 

SixStringSlinger

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Sometimes options become limitations.

And sometimes limitations (in one direction) open up new options (in another).

How many times have you discovered a new restaurant or better commute because a particular street was closed, forcing you to go somewhere you otherwise wouldn’t have?
 

davidge1

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The Esquire was originally put forth by Fender as an entry-level or "students" guitar - it was cheaper than the Telecaster
That's not true. The Esquire was introduced before the Telecaster. It was Leo Fender's original vision, and meant to be a professional instrument. The two-pickup Telecaster was brought out later as a more deluxe version of the Esquire. Leo Fender apparently didn't think electric guitars needed more than one pickup.
 

old wrench

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That's not true. The Esquire was introduced before the Telecaster. It was Leo Fender's original vision, and meant to be a professional instrument. The two-pickup Telecaster was brought out later as a more deluxe version of the Esquire. Leo Fender apparently didn't think electric guitars needed more than one pickup.

You are right - I shouldn't have said it was "originally" put out as an entry level guitar

In its "original" issue year (was it even a full year?) it was the only electric Spanish that Fender offered

I believe Esquire production pretty much stalled out after the Broad/No/Tele-caster hit the market and then Fender began building Esquires again the following year - no?

The Esquire was never much of a seller because after the Tele was on the market, players saw the Esquire as an entry-level guitar because it was cheaper - and the Tele, with two pickups, was more versatile

After the Strat with 3 pickups came out it out-sold the Tele, and it wasn't but a few years later that Fender quit building Esquires completely


You say - "Leo Fender apparently didn't think electric guitars needed more than one pickup".

Are you sure about that? :)

.
 

bob

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After reading all the comments i gotta give it go Thanks
 

davidge1

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You say - "Leo Fender apparently didn't think electric guitars needed more than one pickup".

Are you sure about that? :)

.
Fender built steel guitars in the '40s with a bright, sustaining sound. His idea was to create an electric guitar with the same qualities, so he created the Esquire... one pickup, just like the steel guitars had. I think it was feedback from customers that led to other pickups being added.
 

BigDaddyLH

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Fender built steel guitars in the '40s with a bright, sustaining sound. His idea was to create an electric guitar with the same qualities, so he created the Esquire... one pickup, just like the steel guitars had. I think it was feedback from customers that led to other pickups being added.

I wonder what the thought process was, that lead to Stats being released with three pups.
 

zeke54

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The Esquire was originally put forth by Fender as an entry-level or "students" guitar - it was cheaper than the Telecaster

I seriously doubt that anyone on the Fender team back then saw it as a "purists" guitar or thought that the Esquire with its single pickup would sound better because it didn't have a neck pickup with the potential to minutely deaden the strings

Fender simply saw the possibility of more sales by reaching those who couldn't quite come up with the bucks for a Telecaster

It was like Gibson's Melody Maker or Junior - a cheaper version of their more expensive standard model guitar



When thinking about Esquires and Juniors we should put things in the proper context

In the Fifty's, you couldn't go on a website, pick out a guitar, and then pay for it with a credit card

You had to find a music store that had a guitar you liked, and then (in almost all cases) pay cash for it, or possibly buy it on a "lay-away" plan

$50 or $100 bucks was a lot of money back then - maybe a week's wages



It's a funny thing to me, that there are a lot of players today who could get along just fine with a single-pickup Esquire - because their pickup selector switch never moves from the bridge position

I can get along just fine with an Esquire, here's one that I built -

View attachment 1047578

View attachment 1047579

It's a real killer guitar and plays and sounds great, but I also love the tones I get from my two-pickup guitars - there is something about the sweet lead tones I can get from a neck pickup that I just can't touch with the tone from a bridge pickup alone

I've considered adding a neck pickup to my Esquire ^^^, if I do it wouldn't be a single-coil - it would be either a low-wind humbucker or a Firebird pickup

But if I do, it would no longer be an Esquire - it would be just another Telecaster ;)

.
Please keep it as it is ! It would be a crime to rout a cavity in that beautiful guitar !!
 

davidge1

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I wonder what the thought process was, that lead to Stats being released with three pups.
At Guitar Center in Hollywood I saw a custom order Tele from the mid-50s with three pickups... standard bridge and neck, plus an extra neck pickup in the middle. I'm guessing that there was enough interest around that time in having a middle pickup to inspire the Strat. With the extreme difference in sound between the Tele neck and bridge positions, it's not hard to imagine people wanting something "in the middle"
 




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