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Esquire partscaster project underway

Discussion in 'Other T-Types and Partscasters' started by KelvinS1965, Jun 6, 2019.

  1. KelvinS1965

    KelvinS1965 Tele-Holic

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    The neck arrived today, so I did a trial fit of it all. It's much thicker than the original Squier neck as the photo shows, but it doesn't feel neck heavy (no pickup or electrics in it either which will further help).

    I quite like how it looks as it is, but I'll stick to my plan of re-finishing the body.

    Neck comparisions:
    Squier vs 51 neck.jpg

    Test fit onto body with the bakelite guard and metal work:
    Initial test fit.jpg
     
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  2. KelvinS1965

    KelvinS1965 Tele-Holic

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    Tuners fitted, built up the control panel with some new CTS 250K pots and the 3 way switch from my test Esquire. I got a Mullard NOS 3300pF capacitor for a modified Eldred circuit to be wired in later. Just need to remove the square jack plate and see what I need to do to fit the Electrosocket jack I have bought.

    Pots fitted 2.jpg

    Full view:
    Pots fitted 1.jpg

    Close up of headstock with tuners fitted:
    Headstock with tuners.jpg
     
  3. KelvinS1965

    KelvinS1965 Tele-Holic

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    Straw pole at college tonight: It's a very fat neck...compared to every other Tele, Strat and Ibanez (yes, we allow them in ;) ). One of the tutors is a 6' 10" guy and even he said that it felt huge to him. Hope I haven't bitten off more than I can chew with this neck; I only wanted something a bit thicker than my normal (Classic 50s and a JV Squier Strat), plus the 9.5" radius.

    On the plus side I could learn to play baseball...:D
     
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  4. KelvinS1965

    KelvinS1965 Tele-Holic

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    OK: I'm impatient...I put a bottom E string on it last night to see how it all fits and lines up, then decided to fit the rest of the set (10s FWIW). The nut isn't cut and I haven't fitted the string tree* but I gave it a quick set up of the saddle height and intonation.

    Yes it does feel very 'full' immediately after playing my Classic 50s Tele, but I soon settle into it. The frets don't feel too tall for my fingers either, so that might save a job and I'll just get my guy to cut the nut and fine tune the set up. Of course the action is high near the nut, but up the rest of the neck it is really good (truss rod seems set pretty close as it comes). I ended up playing for about an hour last night, even though there isn't a pick up in it yet. :)

    Glad I went with this option now as it's a nice change from my other Teles. Maybe I'm a 'fat neck' or 9.5" convert now. :)

    *Not sure if there is anything special about drilling and fitting the string tree, or whether I'm OK just measuring up where my Classic 50s one is fitted and do the same?
     
  5. KelvinS1965

    KelvinS1965 Tele-Holic

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    I guess we like pictures more than words, so here it is this sunny afternoon:

    Strung up.jpg

    There were some good omens too last night: When I put the bottom E string on I just tuned it up on it's own, then checked against my other Tele...it was spot on, so that was a fluke. :) After I put all the strings on I started playing along with some old 1990s pop video that was on TV, when I looked up the guitar they used was a Tele.
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2019
  6. El Tele Lobo

    El Tele Lobo Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    That's a very nice-looking esquire. I dig that color and what you've done aging the hardware. Plus, I like big necks (and I cannot lie)...
     
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  7. KelvinS1965

    KelvinS1965 Tele-Holic

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    Thanks El Tele Lobo. :) Still haven't decided on what colour to spray it, just fancy a change from that solid blue (plus there are holes from the original modern bridge). Still might go for Gold Top instead of LPB.

    I ordered an OilCity 'Diesel Tap' pick up in the end. Shorter lead time than Creamery and the Diesel tap is one of two tapped bridge pickups they offer. I'll see how it goes as to whether I order their other tapped bridge for my avatar Tele.

    I also ordered a set of nut files...I thought it was about time I gave it a go and if it doesn't work out I can order a Tusq/Bone nut and either have a second go or get my usual guy to do that. I don't think the frets need any levelling, though it's hard to be 100% until the nut is properly cut. If I'm successful cutting the nut, then no need to wait for my guy to be available to do it and a level and crown...maybe later depending.

    I drilled and fitted the string tree too; just measured my other Teles and fitted it in the same spot (slightly closer to the G tuner than the D).
     
  8. wrxmania

    wrxmania Tele-Afflicted

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    Bare Knuckle Flat 50 are great pickups and not harsh at all for a bridge.

    Here they are in an old demo:



    If looking for a cheap proper stacked pickup this one in the U.K. is well liked and a bargain too:

    http://irongear.co.uk/irongear_pickups_015.htm


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  9. KelvinS1965

    KelvinS1965 Tele-Holic

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    I considered the Flat 50 (and 52) but I thought I'd like to try something other than BK (I have Mules in a LP and Apaches in my Strat).

    Irongear look interesting, but I've already placed my order now...might give them a try in my avatar Tele as I currently have a 'Lil '59 in the bridge on that one and I fancy a change (the DiMarzio 36th anniversary in the neck is superb).
     
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  10. wrxmania

    wrxmania Tele-Afflicted

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    What’s the Lil ‘59 like?


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  11. KelvinS1965

    KelvinS1965 Tele-Holic

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    It's got a good output and I put a pull switch pot in the tone position which puts the coils in series or parallel. Can't remember which now, but one is more powerful/warmer (verging on dull) and the other is lower output/brighter.

    Trouble is that since modding my White Classic 50s to test out the Esquire set up I'm finding the 'Lil '59 a bit too smooth sounding, especially into my Champ clone. That's why I think I might try a tapped single coil like the Diesel (or Irongear) depending on how the Diesel tap works in the Esquire...
     
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  12. wrxmania

    wrxmania Tele-Afflicted

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    [emoji106]. Always have my eye out for a cheap pickup like the Lil ‘59 to try out in the right guitar.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  13. wrxmania

    wrxmania Tele-Afflicted

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    [emoji106]. Always have my eye out for a cheap pickup like the Lil ‘59 to try out in the right guitar.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  14. KelvinS1965

    KelvinS1965 Tele-Holic

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    Did my first nut slot job today; I got a decent set of Hosco files that cover 10-46 set. I was very careful not to over-cut the slots, so they may yet go a little deeper. I will have to sand the top of the nut as the strings go below the top of the nut, which is different to what I've seen on videos and also when comparing with my other guitars. Even so; no buzzing and the action at the low frets is now lovely. :)

    I can't do the full set up yet as I'm waiting for the pick up to arrive, so I can't use my electronic tuner to properly set the intonation and test for sharp notes near the nut. However it's playing really well...I'm so tempted to put a spare pick up in it just so I can play it through an amp, but I've got to go out to rehearsals soon, for some gigs this weekend.

    I'm glad I got the files as a couple of my other guitars could do with a slight tweak to stop 'pinging' on the G string when tuning/bending.
     
  15. KelvinS1965

    KelvinS1965 Tele-Holic

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    Had a nice surprise when I got back from a business trip today; my Diesel Tap pick up had arrived. Think I'll have a little session with the soldering iron and see how this guitar sounds through an amp as I took it away with me and just played it acoustically in the hotel room; I'm really getting used to the fat neck/higher frets and 9.5" radius. :cool:

    Diesel Tap.jpg
     
  16. KelvinS1965

    KelvinS1965 Tele-Holic

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    Got the pick up fitted, also wired up the control panel. I included a few modifications to this to give me a better range of tones:

    1. Pull CTS 250K tone knob to switch between full and tapped output on the Diesel Tap pickup.
    2. Changed the tone cap to 0.022uF for a gentler roll off than the usual 0.047uF.
    3. Wired the Eldred 'cocked wah' circuit, but I changed the capacitor to a 3300pF one I got off eBay (the mustard coloured Mullard one in the photo).

    This gives me 6 variations:
    9K winding with 'Cocked wah'/volume and tone in circuit/ volume only (brighter as effectively like a no-load tone control).
    6K winding with the above 3 switch positions; basically lower output, but brighter sounding.

    Not bad for a single pick up 'simple' guitar. :)

    Control panel.jpg

    Finally; a working guitar:
    Pickup fitted.jpg

    The intonation was pretty much spot on (as far as a 3 saddle set up allows), though the first fretted notes are slightly sharp on a few strings, so I need to cut the nut a little more I think. Better than cutting it too far though. :)
     
  17. KelvinS1965

    KelvinS1965 Tele-Holic

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    Earlier this week I cut the nut a little deeper so that first fret notes stopped going sharp. I had problems with the tuning though as the B and G strings in particular would go out of tune, especially after bends. Today I took the strings off and sanded the top of the nut so that the strings sit about half in/half out (they were very deep before), then re-strung it. This seems to have done the trick and it's staying nicely in tune now...yeah; I now have a properly cut nut. :)

    I've just ordered a 10mm hand reaming tool because the aged Gotoh SD91 tuners I bought don't come with the 9.2mm bushes, only the 8.8mm ones (and they don't sell 9.2mm bushes separately). I've got some 10mm bushes, with the 6.35mm hole for the Gotohs, so will have to open out the holes in the headstock. At the moment the bushes are slightly loose and allowing the tuners to 'lean' slightly towards the nut. Doesn't seem to affect the tuning stability, but I want to sort it out...
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2019
  18. Mudman32

    Mudman32 Tele-Meister

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    I wrapped my bushings in a tiny bit of teflon tape. Took all the play out.
     
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  19. KelvinS1965

    KelvinS1965 Tele-Holic

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    I've been playing this guitar so much that I still haven't got round to sorting out the tuners. I have aged the new bushes and done a test on a scrap headstock with the reamer.

    I have also put threaded saddles on it as I found that with the smooth steel ones the top B & E strings would move during bends and make a twanging noise at the bridge. I guess due to it being a top loader. The threaded saddles work much better in this regard and the tuning seems rock solid too.

    Due to the success of this new neck and that I now have a good set of nut files, I've replaced a nut on my Les Paul Tribute with a bone one, plus sorted out the nut on my Gretsch. My next plan is to buy a new neck for my White Blonde 50s Classic (a rosewood one, with 9.5" radius*, as I like this '51 neck so much). The Classic 50s neck can then go on my avatar Tele (which has very worn frets).

    I'll then have a spare neck to practice on...might have a go at a re-fret in the future, which would only mean I'd need another body and a few bits to make another Partscaster. ;):D

    * Still searching as there is a limited selection from UK suppliers and I'd prefer a Fender neck (Warmoth are very expensive over here with import charges added). Might have to go for a PF fingerboard, but it'll give my White Blonde the look of the Jimmy Page 'mirror' model, but without the signatures since I like the look, but I don't really play and Pages songs.
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2019
  20. Jersey Joe

    Jersey Joe TDPRI Member

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    BFBB5AA0-E1FC-4FDF-8574-233B44175EF6.jpeg I’ve been reading your thread with real interest, you have a pretty sweet looking guitar there. It’s an excuse for me to show you my Esquire partscaster in Lake Placid Blue. Unlike your pic, mine was taken on a dull day and doesn’t really do the colour justice, but I’m very happy with it!
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2019
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