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Interesting theory about Esquires and Les paul Jrs

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by Viejo, Aug 12, 2018.

  1. Viejo

    Viejo Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    I read a theory today that the reason so many Esquires and Les Paul Jrs sound great is that they don't have the magnetic pull of a neck pickup interfering with string vibration. What do ya'll think ? it sounds very reasonable to me.
     
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  2. chris m.

    chris m. Poster Extraordinaire

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    I’ve heard it too. They do have a unique snap and sustain. I even noticed it when I converted a Tele to an Esquire, but maybe it was a perception thing.
     
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  3. guitartwonk

    guitartwonk Tele-Holic

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    Here are my two Gordon Smiths. Can't say I notice any difference in sound between the bridge pickups on these. Given these two beauties are otherwise identical, I reckon the comparison is reasonably scientific. IMG_20161229_195405.jpeg IMG_20160321_122907523.jpeg
     
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  4. Nightclub Dwight

    Nightclub Dwight Tele-Afflicted

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    Its like Bigfoot. I don't know either way, but I'd like to believe its true.
     
  5. pictacado

    pictacado Tele-Meister

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    Couldn't you remove a neck pickup to prove the theory right or wrong?
     
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  6. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I'd guess it has some effect but when I play a guitar I listen to the sound it makes and adjust my picking and muting so it sounds like I want it to sound.
    If it's too bright I pick for a darker tone etc.
    This is automatic, and I'd have a hard to forcing myself to pick and mute exactly the same before and after adding a neck pickup.
    I choose harder woods that are less resonant so always have plenty of sustain.
    When I played Strats I kept the neck pickup very very low, but they will mess with the strings if up too high.

    All that said, I only play Esquires.
     
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  7. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    I have owned a 1955 Esquire and a 1956 Les Paul Junior.
    I kept neither because of a lack of sonic diversity.
    Both had big necks, both had 1 great sound.
    I need at least 3 great sounds.
    There's no room in my circus for a 1 trick pony.
     
  8. Frank'n'censed

    Frank'n'censed Doctor of Teleocity

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    ”Interesting theory about Esquires and Les paul Jrs”

    They’re like the spotlight dance finalists, at a singles pickup bar
     
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  9. gobi_grey

    gobi_grey Tele-Afflicted

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    I have a MIM Esquire that I've tried different pickups in. I just finished an Esquire build. I was curious to find out if it had the same ring to it as my other Esquire. As soon as I started to play it for the first time I laughed out loud a little. "Yep, that's an Esquire!" They do indeed have a certain sound/feeling to them. They ring more with longer and fuller sustain. This is neither good nor bad though, it's just different. They can be a little "much" at times. If you're just strumming away playing open chords it can be a little too overpowering unless you're going for that particular sound.
     
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  10. Inglese

    Inglese Tele-Meister

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    I agree.
    Once, setting io my Tele, I first set the bridge pu with the neck pu all the way down, far from the strings then I lifted the neck pu but when I went back to check the bridge pu I found it dull and dead so I lowered the neck pu and thing got better. There I realized the damping effect of neck pu.
     
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  11. CodeBlue

    CodeBlue Tele-Holic

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    Agree that there is a difference.
    I used to own a Strat that I had Fender Lace pickups installed in.
    Those had NO magnetic pull, incredible sustain.

    When setting up a new guitar, I always ditch the neck pickup until it's level with pickguard.
    Set the bridge pickup, then raise the neck pickup to taste, try to keep as low as possible.
     
  12. heffus

    heffus Tele-Holic

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    I converted one of my teles to an esquire but noticed no real difference. I also missed my neck pickup so I switched it back.
    Still love the look of an Esquire though with the one pickup and the blank pickguard.
     
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  13. jvin248

    jvin248 Doctor of Teleocity

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    .

    I found the secret to Esquires and Juniors after having these varieties:
    -Junior H with coil split to S
    -Esquire H with 4-way for "Neck"/parallel/"Bridge"/series (lowered the pickup then raised the screw poles)
    -Esquire S with Eldred mod on 3-way
    -Strat H with 'volume and out' wiring

    They all improved my overall playing skill so they all sounded better. I started using both the Volume and the Tone knobs where I used to leave them dimed. I'm not a subscriber to the magnetic pull theory, just the natural need to play a little better when limited by pickups. The flip argument is that a Strat or Nashville Tele or a Less Paul should have crazy sustain problems if magnetic pull were a real issue -- but the forces at work are high string tension at 125lbs or so being influenced by a magnet barely able to hold a few paper clips even when stuck right to their faces while the strings are at a distance where the magnetic force falls by the distance squared term.

    Phil X is a fun video and while Bill Kirchen plays a regular SS Tele, his picking and knob turning tricks are always magical to watch and apply to a single pickup guitar.

    Phil X LP Junior

    Bill Kirchen Hot Rod Lincoln
     
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  14. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Doctor of Teleocity

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    But then you have to contend with the gravitational pull of the empty neck pickup route....;)
    One trick pony, maybe.....but what an AWESOME trick! (and yeah...I added a neck pickup to my PRS SE One)
     
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  15. Ricky D.

    Ricky D. Doctor of Teleocity

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    An excellent example of special guitar player physics. :)

    If you can hear it, good for you. I'll never try to tell anybody what they hear. If there's a difference, it's way too subtle for me to hear. I don't have bat's ears.
     
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  16. EsquireOK

    EsquireOK Poster Extraordinaire

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    No difference IME, and I believe that properly conducted experiments would show as much. Esquires just have great switching options, and they look better than Teles IMO.

    As for Jrs. – no different than a Special bridge tone IME, and no cool tones via switch. No pickup height adjustments either, like there are on a Special. But Jrs. look way better IMO.
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2018
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  17. John C

    John C Friend of Leo's

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    For the LP Jrs. I think part of the theory is the neck joint - on the Jrs. you don't have a pickup rout cutting into the mortise/tenon like you do with an LP Specials.
     
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  18. Crobbins

    Crobbins Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    When I come up with LP jr, or an Esquire, I'll give this theory a test.
     
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