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Seymour Duncan "Custom Shop" Secret Agent Esquire pickup.

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by SixgunElectric, Mar 30, 2021.

  1. SixgunElectric

    SixgunElectric TDPRI Member

    May 19, 2019
    *Okay...some folks question the virtue of the "stealth" Esquire, and "why not just make it a Tele?" etc.
    I get it.
    So, please, let's avoid that ol' chestnut and/or any associated bickering.

    I just recieved a Secret Agent pickup from Sweetwater for an Esquire build I'm doing....needless to say I'm chomping at the bit to get it finished!

    There doesn't seem to be too many examples out there of this new pickup...just a couple of youtube clips, yanno.
    Anyone else here have any real world experience with the Secret Agent? (either thru DIY OR with the Fender Brad Paisley Esquire that have them installed)

    I'm wondering how much of a role pickguard material/thickness plays with this kinda setup...
    I'll be using a lacquered fiberboard pickguard on my build, but...while waiting, I took a .080 Bakelite Esquire 'guard and machined out the area where the neck pickup resides to roughly HALF the thickness.
    The Secret Agent is designed as-is to be placed under the pickguard, but i figure a lil experimentation never hurt anyone...lol. :)

    The whole "stealth" Esquire thing never pans out to anyone's satisfaction, it seems.
    We've seen the Fender Custom Shop's version a while back which used the Texas Special Strat pickup in the neck, some DIY builds using SD Quarter Pounders...and probably some other variations I can't readily recall.

    It seems they never satisfy either tonally or when it comes to balancing the pickups' respective volumes...

    I mean, yeah...it *is* asking quite a lot I suppose, BUT...
    Hopefully this SD pickup can make the "stealth" option an actual reality.

    In the Seymour Duncan demo Brad Paisley went as far as to (somewhat sheepishly I thought) proclaim the Secret Agent is now his favorite sounding Tele neck pickup!

    Of course, the Secret Agents sound great in the Seymour Duncan and Fender online demo clips...
    u know, where everything is adjusted just "so" in order to highlight the product. lulz

    I really want the Secret Agent to be total awesomeness...

    Perhaps the combination of the longer ceramic bar magnet and overwind (using 44ga i suspect) can compensate for the distance/pickguard and any associated muddiness in a way not addressed by previous attempts.

    My hopes are *cautiously* up, but up nonetheless.
    I mean, you know how it is...

    Any first hand users care to chime in here?
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2021
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