Tele or Esquire

Telenator

Doctor of Teleocity
Vendor Member
Joined
Sep 19, 2005
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Vermont
Got a couple questions- did you have to make an extra hot pickup to deal with the extra distance away from the strings/having the pickguard cover the polepieces, and how did you figure out how hot to go?

Beautiful sounding guitar, by the way!

I raked the neck pocket 1 1/2 degrees and lowered it so the strings are nearly touching the pickguard. By raking the neck, the string lay really low at the neck joint, but the angle gives you back the string height and picking depth as you get closer to the bridge.
The pickup is about 10.5k and is touching the pickguard. If we wound it really hot it would sound like crap.
This is the ONLY stealth guitar I've ever heard that doesn't sound like a compromise. Pat Travers and Kirk McKim loved it.
We don't sell the parts anymore, but if you're good with guitar building, and really wanted one, my partner might be able to scrounge up some parts around the shop.
Seriously, this guitar works like no other I have heard. The key is the raked neck pocket. I'm surprised no one figured it out sooner.
 

dazzaman

Tele-Afflicted
Joined
Aug 12, 2011
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1,404
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Gent, Belgium
As a few people have said, if you don’t have a telecaster then get that. If you do have one already then you probably get a wider tonal range getting an Esquire as a second instrument than just using a slightly different wiring in a telecaster (unless you go for very different pickups).

A while back I converted a Tele I had to an Esquire for just that reason - I had a few Teles already and needed to do something to this particular one. I love it, and it probably became my most played instrument as I would go between the other teles OR go to the Esquire.
 

KC Clem

TDPRI Member
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May 25, 2012
Posts
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Bradenton, Florida
Esquires are just plain fun. :cool:

I recently picked up an Esquire. It's a 1985 Japanese TES-54 and I can't get over how great the quality is. I think as far as build quality goes, it's better than my '74 Tele standard or my '75 Tele Custom. It's definitely got me looking for either another '80s Japanese Tele or Strat.
 

jfinester

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Apr 17, 2008
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71
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Vallejo, CA
I've only played one Esquire and I really liked it. So very different from a Tele, maybe there's something to the "magnetic pull from neck pickup " theory, because it sustained for days.

I have two Affinity Teles, and if I ever have a little money extra, I intend to convert one to an Esquire.
I’ve wondered about that. There are times when I absolutely need a neck pickup, and I love the “Nashville Tele” setup with a middle pickup, but it seems like Esquires have the best-sounding bridge pickups. What’s up with that?
 

BostonTeleGuy

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Nov 22, 2019
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MA
For me the advantage to an Esquire might be it would force you to play different parts or use different techniques if you could not rely on the warmer neck sound. Like mountain climbers who wont take oxygen. I have enjoyed 1pickup guitars with a p90 in the neck but 1 pickup in the lwad would be tough for the style i play
 

chetdoug

TDPRI Member
Joined
Feb 1, 2007
Posts
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Age
78
Location
Georgia
Have owned an “Epic”, (Coleman Custom Guitars) version of the Esquire for about 5 yrs. until recently, very little playing. About 2 months ago started playing the epic and it’s all I play and gig with. Versatile galore!!!!
 

JIMMY JAZZMAN

Tele-Holic
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Mar 26, 2019
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Baltimore
Agree with Snidely, Esquires are fun and you get the sound of simplicity and talent at the same time.
With the Esquires all you have to do is wail my brother, wail all night.
 

Frisco 57

Tele-Holic
Joined
Jan 8, 2012
Posts
637
Location
Arlington WA
I just received a No Caster Holy Grail pickup from Rob at Cavalier Pickups. I'm looking forward to finishing this project and solving this Tele / Esquire question for myself.

IMG_4243 (2).jpg
 

Redleg37

Tele-Meister
Joined
Nov 26, 2019
Posts
203
Age
38
Location
Rapid City, SD
I'm usually in favor of as much simplicity in guitars as you can manage; but I don't understand why anyone wouldn't want the second pickup. When I play out its usually in church and some songs need the softer neck pickup.

To be fair, the neck pickup alone with just a hint of tone rolled off is fantastic.
 

Lonn

Friend of Leo's
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Dec 13, 2007
Posts
4,925
Age
59
Location
Indiana
I’ve been through a ridiculous amount of guitars over the years due to my flipping but I’ve never really spent much time with a single pick up Guitar. I picked up this in a pawnshop the other day for almost nothing and after a good set up I must say I really like it. I do think I’m going to replace the pick up with one that can be tapped just because I want to. I am very happy with it other than the strat style headstock shape which may also get cut down to a tele shape. It has a nice thick neck with an ebony fretboard so the neck is not going anywhere.

73AC7846-C5E0-48AE-9807-C0B85C062231.jpeg
 

Tele Plucker

Tele-Meister
Joined
Apr 25, 2015
Posts
365
Location
Alternate Universe
Without wishing to muddy the waters, you could combine the two.

I recently built an Esquire but really it’s a Tele as it has a Seymour Duncan Brad Paisley Secret Agent hidden neck pickup.

I’m also using a no-load tone pot for some additional sounds too.

It’s a completely different experience to playing my other Teles - just the combination of pickups and wirings. I sometimes play with an ashtray bridge cover on too and I really like how that subtly changes the sound me makes me play slightly closer to the neck.

I am equally interested in that body. Can you share details?
 

Muku

Tele-Meister
Joined
Jun 9, 2008
Posts
387
Location
Santa Barbara
Esquire for loud outdoor shows. They sound the best, even over all the top guitars out there.

My friends longtime band the lead guitarists has the Ric,s Lp's Strats, Es guitars . . .

But his 1959 Esquire has the fattest soaring tone of the lot when they do a big outdoor event.
It sounds way better than any solo on any other high grade guitar he plays.

For indoor shows, sm gigs, practices, recordings most anything can cut thru the band mix.
 




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