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Need Help - Building a Springsteen Esquire Replica

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by John Nicholas, Feb 24, 2019.

  1. John Nicholas

    John Nicholas Friend of Leo's

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    This is unusual. I'm not a Bruce fan, but one of my good friends is a huge one. He really loves the guitar on the cover on the Born to Run album.

    The idea is to make it look as close as possible, but will not be relic'd.

    Already bought lumber for the body and neck from Guitar Wood Experts they were extremely helpful in choosing just the right piece to match Bruce's guitar.

    151.jpg

    Here is the lumber for the body....

    IMG_4379.JPG

    IMG_4380.JPG

    They also found a great neck blank to match the Bruce replica...

    IMG_4381.JPG

    IMG_4382.JPG

    Here is where my questions come....

    What bridge, pickups, tuners, etc do you recommend/suggest??

    I know the pick guard was available in the past, but does anyone else know where to get one?

    Another question is where to get the string retainers?
     
    Blue Bill likes this.
  2. chauncy

    chauncy Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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  3. klasher

    klasher Tele-Holic

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    There have been a ton of threads on this in the past, so you may want to search springsteen tele. As far as pups go, most vintage style fender pups should get u in the ballpark, but if you really want to get serious about it, contact Petillo in Ocean NJ. His dad was Bruce's luthier and originally sold him the very same Born to Run tele, which became Bruce's main guitar for almost 2 decades. Phil passed away a number of years ago but his son is continuing in his footsteps. I forget his first name but I'm sure u can track him down via Google.
     
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  4. John Nicholas

    John Nicholas Friend of Leo's

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  5. John Nicholas

    John Nicholas Friend of Leo's

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    I did a bunch of searching on this site and on Google, still need some additional help.

    My research has shown the information about Petillo. Had heard he passed away and didn't know his son had taken over. I will check into it.

    Thank you!
     
  6. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Just googling it, it seems it is a mutt with a 50's ash body with an esquire neck. The pic shows obviously a 3 saddle vintage bridge. One article said Phil Petillo installed triangular frets ( his patented thing) and a 6 saddle bridge. Another article said it was originally owned by a record company and had routs for 4 pickups. I'm guessing if you got a black phenolic pickguard and a 3 saddle bridge, you'd be almost there.
     
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  7. jvin248

    jvin248 Doctor of Teleocity

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    .

    Get a garrolite blank from mcmaster-carr, cut it out, and polish that up. Or, you might relic the pickguard but keep the rest of the guitar un-relic'd. The pickguard can be swapped out easily any time if your friend doesn't want to be stuck with the relic side.

    From what I remember, the Springsteen guitar is really hacked under the pickguard.


    .
     
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  8. 2blue2

    2blue2 Friend of Leo's

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    The real mojo comes from a thousand shows worth of sweat
     
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  9. John Nicholas

    John Nicholas Friend of Leo's

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    The Born to Run guitar has a custom leather pick guard. Yes, from all accounts there is what amounts to a swimming pool route under the pick guard.

    I suppose that an American Telecaster bridge will work fine...
     
  10. John Nicholas

    John Nicholas Friend of Leo's

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    It's a leather pick guard...

    springsteen-pickguard.jpg
     
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  11. John Nicholas

    John Nicholas Friend of Leo's

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    Funny... most likely the guitar I build will never be played at all.
     
  12. John Nicholas

    John Nicholas Friend of Leo's

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  13. 2blue2

    2blue2 Friend of Leo's

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    I was going to click like this but then decided I didn't like it.

    Think optimistically instead of realistically. Maybe he play the heck out of it, maybe his nephew will play the heck out of it. Who knows. I just want someone to bond with it.
     
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  14. John Nicholas

    John Nicholas Friend of Leo's

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    This made me laugh!!!

    Once you build a guitar, you have no control over what someone will or will not do with it. The guitar will probably be an ornament for a while, the guy does not play, neither do his children. Most likely it will be displayed in his office in a glass case on the wall.

    I agree with you, it would be awesome if someone played the hell out of it!!
     
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  15. RodeoTex

    RodeoTex Doctor of Teleocity

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    If no one is going to play it anyway, then just go cheap on everything except looks.
    Don't forget the second output jack that was later plugged.
    It'd be hard for me to build a wall-hanger.
     
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  16. Milspec

    Milspec Poster Extraordinaire

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    During the Born to Run era, those pups were likely the Seymour Duncan Quarter Pounders, he didn't switch to rails until later. As such, all of the hardware would be standard Fender stuff at that point except for the leather guard. You can actually see all the cavaties beneath that leather guard...it was all hacked up beneath it. I have always felt that a smuggler's cut would be a good approximation to go with.

    It really isn't difficult to build a replica of his iconic guitar, but getting it to age like his would be tough. That man was a sweating machine (especially in his early days) and all of that hardware got a salt bath on a daily basis. I suppose you could place the hardware in a bucket of salt water for a few weeks to get that appearence.
     
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  17. Newbcaster

    Newbcaster Tele-Holic

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    i also read that those pickups were gasketed in some way, not merely potted but gaskets were wrapped and sealed around them and his battery acid sweat STILL got thru somehow.

    I think it was a rolling stone article but who knows, it was like 20 years ago i read this. But it stuck out enough for me to remember...so dont forget... gaskets or the tone will suffer!! ;-p)
    :confused::lol::D
     
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  18. John Nicholas

    John Nicholas Friend of Leo's

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    According to some of the articles I read, there are also holes drilled in the guitar to let the water he splashes over himself during gigs to drain out!!

    Although I'm not so sure these mods were done during the Born to Run era, but later...
     
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  19. DrASATele

    DrASATele Poster Extraordinaire

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    One of my favorite guitars next to SRVs #1

    Milspec is right on about the Seymour Duncans in the early version of the guitar. Somewhere I read that it started out with a very hot broadcaster bridge pickup and an average neck pickup. Later there was a dummy coil added, then removed by Pertillo (might be spelling that wrong). Pertillo cleaned up the guitar for Bruce. He said it originally had 2 out puts when Bruce brought it to him along with the dummy coils, they thought it might be a studio guitar wired for dual tracking. I believe I read Springsteen changed pickups often back then. Joe Barden's Modern Tele pups are said to have been maid for Bruce originally before becoming a regular pup for Barden.

    For the longest time before reading about it I though the guitar was a BSB but then found out it was just amber lacquer and an aged lacquer clear coat, no white involved.

    I started one of these then decided to swing it around to my own design, but I still have a one piece swamp blank that I wrote Bruce Tele that's now 5 years old so I might still do it.

    I know someone who works with leather if you are looking for a replica of Springsteens leather guard. Let me know.

    Great build looking forward to it!
     
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