1. Win a Broadcaster or one of 3 Teles! The annual Supporting Member Giveaway is on. To enter Click Here. To see all the prizes and full details Click Here. To view the thread about the giveaway Click Here.

(yet another) Esquire pickup thread: what do YOU like?

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by El Reclusa, Mar 20, 2013.

  1. El Reclusa

    El Reclusa Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,460
    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2008
    Location:
    Kansas City
    So I've seriously bonded with the MIM Esquire I picked up a while back, but of course, I can't leave well enough alone, and I want to make a couple of changes: some nice Rutters saddles, a more useable wiring scheme, and most of all, what I feel is the weak link of that model: the pickup. The stock unit isn't horrible, it's just kind of...meh.

    Anyway, rather than soliciting advice about what I should slap in there, I'd like to know what YOU like in an Esquire pickup, and why.

    I know there are an awful lot of good choices, and I have a handful of likely candidates to check out. Fortunately, there are a lot of really appealing, quite affordable options these days, so there's a good chance I'll be able to try a few with relative ease before I settle on one, but that's not the point of this thread. I'm curious as to what YOU dig in your Esquire, and what it is about that pickup that floats your boat.

    Thanks!

    -el R.
     
  2. YoGeorge

    YoGeorge Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,045
    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2003
    Location:
    Michigan
    In some ways, an Esquire pickup is easier to choose than a tele bridge pickup, because you don't have to compromise your amp settings to work well with two pickups.

    If you have a thinner, vintagey sounding pickup, you can boost the bass and mids on the amp and not get a garbled neck pickup sound. I remember Vince Gill playing his '52 Tele for years (and I saw him live a number of times) with a broken neck pickup that he never bothered to fix. He sounded just fine. You will not get phat archtop tones out of a bridge pickup, and at worst you will have "treble and muffled treble" which may get on your nerves and the audience's nerves.

    If you want guts, get something gutsy like a Muy Grande, Harmonic Designs Vintage Plus, or Dimarzio Pre-B1. If you want vintagey, go for a Duncan Broadcaster or Fender Texas Special. If you want over the top, Duncan Hot Tele or Quarter Pounder. I've used most of these, in either teles or an Esquire.

    There are a lot of other pickups that are fine--I've just used the ones I list above.

    George
     
  3. lineboat

    lineboat Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,062
    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2012
    I vote Duncan Broadcaster. It's quickly became my favorite....
     
  4. surfoverb

    surfoverb Doctor of Teleocity

    Posts:
    12,390
    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2007
    Location:
    Virginia
    the ones ive tried are all over the place spec wise. In general I prefer overwound, broadcaster types, but also a Fralin Stock worked really well. Its low wind but takes dirt well and cleans up brilliantly. kind of a do-it-all pickup.

    pretty much whatever pickup makes a good tele works for esquire.

    ones ive tried and liked:

    Mare Super Sport
    Fralin Stock
    Novak Stock
    p90 lollar
    Rumpelstiltskin 1950
     
  5. Turnercaster

    Turnercaster Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    107
    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2008
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    SD Broadcaster. You'll be glad you did.
     
  6. arem

    arem Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    100
    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2008
    Location:
    New York
    Cavalier Lion, it's a raunchy rocking pickup that is perfect for an Esquire. Rob does great work for an amazing price.
     
  7. vintage clubber

    vintage clubber Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,665
    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2012
    Location:
    Mechanicsville, VA
  8. cocoboudin

    cocoboudin Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    751
    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2010
    Location:
    canada
    10+ on that. Cocoboudin
     
  9. elyuyi

    elyuyi Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    172
    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2011
    Location:
    San Juan, PR
    I just received a Don Mare 0038 10k for my esquire build.
     
  10. straightface

    straightface Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,444
    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2006
    Location:
    MA
    This. I replaced a Duncan Broadcaster with Rob's Lion and haven't looked back.
     
  11. Vladimir

    Vladimir Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    51
    Posts:
    2,214
    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2003
    Location:
    Zagreb, Croatia
    Am I the only one who is happy with the stock pickup on the MIM 50's Esquire?

    My other guitars have Bardens and Texas Specials, so I guess I like it for being different.
    Or maybe the difference in sound is because it's a single pickup guitar?
     
  12. El Reclusa

    El Reclusa Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,460
    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2008
    Location:
    Kansas City
    The stock pup in mine isn't bad. Maybe the best explanation is that it doesn't seem to transfer all of the complexity or "loveliness" of the Esquire unplugged through an amp. I feel like I'm only getting about 75 to 80% of what's there, harmonically speaking, if that makes sense. It's like the pickup is dulling some of the guitar's best qualities. I may be imagining it, but maybe its the lack of a baseplate? I dunno.

    Has anyone used a SD Donahue in an Esquire? I'm curious about that one too.
     
  13. JCollins

    JCollins Tele-Holic

    Age:
    66
    Posts:
    978
    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2003
    Location:
    Pleasanton, CA
    I depart, a bit, from many of the Esquire aficionados. I love my Esquired-Tele clone, but the traditional Esquire wiring never really thrilled me. I put a Klein Tri-State pickup, in my Esquire. This is a single coil Tele pickup with three taps. So, each position of the switch is a different tap, and the tone control is active in each one. The differences in the taps can be very subtle, or more dramatic, depending upon the effects that I am using. This is the guitar I grab, first.
     
  14. El Reclusa

    El Reclusa Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,460
    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2008
    Location:
    Kansas City
    Those of y'all using the Lion: what is it about that pickup that does it for you?
     
  15. cocoboudin

    cocoboudin Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    751
    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2010
    Location:
    canada
    Just plain simple it's the tone, iv'e got 1 (Cavalier Lion) and it did the job so well. Of course what a person ear from another 1 can be different but still that pup ROCK the house 100 miles per hours(no joke)and can be has mellow for jazz, now your talking about versatility. Cocoboudin
     
  16. El Reclusa

    El Reclusa Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,460
    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2008
    Location:
    Kansas City
    I dunno about the Esquire, but I think I'll be trying a Mozart for a HB-routed Musicmaster ASAP! Thanks for tipping me off about Rose! Have you tried their Tele pups?
     
  17. telemaster7082

    telemaster7082 Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    34
    Posts:
    1,022
    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2010
    Location:
    Ottawa, Canada
    I acquired a classic vibe that Im turning into an esquire. I got turned onto a little '59 by a member here.

    I had a full size '59 in the neck of my tele and I really liked it. I had series/parallel switching so I could get both single coil and humbucker tones.

    So, with the esquire Im goin to follow one of the diagrams I found on tdpri, i cant rememer the poster, but he or she had a tonne of different esquire type diagrams. Im probably going to do a 5-way super switch. This will give me versatility AND simplicity, and if i dont like it, oh well. Takes 20 minutes to wire up a regular 3 way.

    Whatever you choose, i would recommend buying used. That way if you dont like it, chances are you can get your money back.
     
  18. YoGeorge

    YoGeorge Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,045
    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2003
    Location:
    Michigan
    I love full sized Duncan '59 buckers. I have one in the neck of one tele, and I have a pair in a Les Paul. I like the big '59 bucker a lot. Reminds me of 60's Gibsons, which I owned when I started playing in 1966.

    The lil' 59 sounds nothing like a big '59. It is murky and muddy, has no musicality to it IMO. It uses ceramic magnets and has 16k of wire in a narrow format. The big '59 has 8k of wire and uses traditional Alnico 5 magnets. The lil' 59 more resembles the full size JB bucker, which coincidentally has 16k of wire and is murky and muddy. The lil' 59 and JB are loads of fun with a massively overdriven amp playing weedly weedly licks and pinch harmonics. For anything involving subtle pickup response, "feel", and clean tones, they just don't work. Just my opinion....but I've owned two or three lil' 59's and two or three big JB's (usually bought in guitars) and they were removed post haste.

    Sorry, but I regard the lil' 59 to be like the Cadillac Cimarron in the Cadillac line.

    George
     
  19. telemaster7082

    telemaster7082 Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    34
    Posts:
    1,022
    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2010
    Location:
    Ottawa, Canada
    Ouch
     
  20. Derek Kiernan

    Derek Kiernan Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,385
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2008
    Location:
    Princeton, NJ
    Bill Lawrence has been posting his Esquire setup demos with his microcoil on facebook, which is more than worth checking out.


    Demo #1

    Demo #2

    Autumn in New York


    Just be mindful it's recorded on a phone, with the accompanying distortion.
     
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.