Esquire - buy one, build one, have it made?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Codyyy, Jul 11, 2019.

  1. Codyyy

    Codyyy Member

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    For some reason I’m craving an Esquire-type. I can not afford an original example. While I have found some used FCS Esquires, and some Nash E models, I’m looking for other options. I could build a parts caster, I’ve never done one so I’m not sure if that route would work. I’m sure MJT could build me one. I could simply buy a Tele and rewire it. What’s the best option you think? Thanks.
     
  2. crifasta

    crifasta Silver Supporting Member

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    It's just a Tele with one pickup and different wiring. They are awesome. I would find a Tele you like and then just pull the neck pickup, replace the pickguard and rewire (there are companies like Emerson that offer drop-in wiring harnesses for Esquires. I converted one of my Tele build to an Esquire and it rocks.
     
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  3. cap10kirk

    cap10kirk Member

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    There's no wrong way to go about it, it just depends on what you want. If you have a hard time finding a guitar you like, a partscaster is a good option. Otherwise, buy a Tele and take the neck pickup out. Not much to it.
     
  4. CanuckChris

    CanuckChris Supporting Member

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    Easy to rewire, but you will need some caps and resistors.

    [​IMG]

    There are, of course, variations on the above.
     
  5. gkoelling

    gkoelling Member

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    If you'd prefer not to put one together, consider K-Line. Chris is a great craftsman and his prices are very reasonable. He's also a member here.
     
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  6. Codyyy

    Codyyy Member

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    I was thinking about K-line.

    I’m almost debating making my own but I’ve never built a guitar before. My preferences are basically a maple neck/fretboard, vintage tint gloss, swamp ash body, in black.
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2019
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  7. Jett

    Jett Supporting Member

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  8. Hulakatt

    Hulakatt Supporting Member

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    I have an MJTele one I put together that I'm just not plying much anymore, mostly playing Gibsons at this point. I did the Eldrid wiring and I'm a big fan of it's flexibility.
     
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  9. jvin248

    jvin248 Member

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    .

    Buy a used Fender American Standard MIM Tele or a new Player Series MIM Tele. That is going to be your best set of options, and affordable too. Then remove the neck pickup and put an Esquire pickguard on it.

    If you just clip the neck pickup wires at the switch without doing anything else you will have a switching pattern of: kill switch/bridge/bridge which is all you might really want anyway. That is the no-solder path. You can play that guitar! If you can twist a screwdriver and squeeze some diagonal wire snips or a knife you are there!

    An Esquire is about that single pickup and learning to use the volume and tone knobs.
    It's a teacher to a wide open world of playing.

    You can always get new wiring harnesses or build up parts from scratch to get some of the alternate wiring designs (I like the Arlo Cocked Wah version) anytime later.

    Here's another angle.... This started out as an HH Blacktop Tele from 2010. Now it has a single Esquire humbucker with both coils wired on a 4-way switch for neck/parallel/bridge/humbucker.

    [​IMG]
     
  10. Riffzilla

    Riffzilla Member

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    I didn't find eldred wiring useful at all apart from the tone knob bypass option! Do it, can't beat a nice simple guitar.
     
  11. k tone

    k tone Member

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    Build it! I skipped the switch and went with a blank switch plate with no switch (just 1 volume 1 tone and 1 pickup). I just finished it so no pics yet.
     
  12. earthmud

    earthmud Supporting Member

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    Great advice. If you have the cash have Chris built you one. You won't regret it. If not, build your own. It's fun and you will learn a lot!
     
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  13. Peppy

    Peppy Member

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    The Eldred wiring, to my ears, would be necessary in an Esquire. I like your black and maple board choice. Binding would set it of nicely and maybe even a matching black headstock as well.
     
  14. _sjm_

    _sjm_ Supporting Member

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    I ended up with kind of a buy/build combo. I found a nice MJT mutt that someone was selling here that had all the right “bones”... Fat neck, lightweight body, top loader bridge with compensated saddles. All the stuff I would pick if I were putting one together from scratch.

    I wasn’t wild about the pickup it had, but I was also looking for an excuse to try out some boutique options so I wasn’t too worried about what it came with. I picked up a BKP Flat 50 and found someone on Reverb that makes custom 4-way harnesses, and now it’s twice the guitar it was when I first received it. The Eldred mod is a must-have over the traditional setup IMO.
     
  15. Codyyy

    Codyyy Member

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    There is another option, I could have a luthier I know make one for me. This I’m not sure about since it would go into total custom territory (even though my specs really aren’t special).
     
  16. Hulakatt

    Hulakatt Supporting Member

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    Kind of overkill unless you're looking for something more custom or unique.
     
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  17. Codyyy

    Codyyy Member

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    I got off the phone with the luthier. He uses Allparts and would do the final sanding and finish work (I decided shell pink, maple neck, vintage gloss) as well as the setup. Lollar pickup, vintage hardware would run me $750 for a base estimate. I’m debating this as that is cheaper than me even piecing it together. I plan to upgrade to a Callaham vintage bridge and doing the Eldred mod. Maybe changing to a Fralin stock Tele pickup, I’m not sure on that. Now I’m wondering if this is a good route to go.
     

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