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Esquire Owners: Couple of Questions for You

skhan007

Supporting Member
I'm really loving the Top Bound Esquires Fender put out last year. I think they look great and the Eldred wiring makes a lot of sense to me. It's also pretty apparent that I could easily assemble one of these myself for a fraction of the cost of a new one (same parts, BG1400 pickup, etc.). Of course, the one I would build wouldn't be a relic, but that's OK.

Any body built their own and are happy with their results? I'm trying to decide if I should build one or just buy the real deal (which would hopefully have good potential for resale if I ever need to move it in the future). Thoughts?

Here's the exact color (seafoam) I'm digging (I also dig sonic blue, daphne blue, etc):

 

wichita

Member
I used to put them together out of parts all of the time.
If you know what you are doing you can make a fine guitar without spending as much dough.
 

Tallhorses

Member
I snagged this in the emporium.... Check out the specs.... I believe Woodshed put it together and it was modeled after Rich Robinson's 55 esquire.

Brian Poe ultralight swamp ash body
Mark Jenny relic nitro blonde finish
Allparts Fat nitro neck with bone nut by Rob D
Gotoh Kluson tuners
Glendale Blackguard bridge with Twang saddles
Lollar Vintage T aged pickup
Callaham switchplate assy, knobs, and Esquire pickguard
Vintage Dakaware tophat switch tip
various Fender screws, strap pins, etc.


More pics here!



 

shuie

Member
I snagged this in the emporium.... Check out the specs.... I believe Woodshed put it together and it was modeled after Rich Robinson's 55 esquire.

Brian Poe ultralight swamp ash body
Mark Jenny relic nitro blonde finish
Allparts Fat nitro neck with bone nut by Rob D
Gotoh Kluson tuners
Glendale Blackguard bridge with Twang saddles
Lollar Vintage T aged pickup
Callaham switchplate assy, knobs, and Esquire pickguard
Vintage Dakaware tophat switch tip
various Fender screws, strap pins, etc.


More pics here!
I remember when this one was listed. I was crushed when it sold. Killer guitar. If I were starting from scratch, I would build this guitar.

Here's my '56 refin...



and my basketcase...

 

clothwiring

Member
Actually I've been digging through my parts and seeing what I have. I intend on making an Esquire soon. I made my Tele and Strat. Both are great guitars which I chalk up to luck in the parts department more than my skill. It's fun making guitars as well.
 

Polynitro

Member
Are you talking assembling or making? Either way, go for it! I'm not sure where to get a bound body other than AVRI though but I think the better parts used the better the final product. Here's my mid-late 50's inspired Esquire Partscaster:
 

skhan007

Supporting Member
Yes, I meant "assembling." I don't have luthier skills and a CNC machine! I have assembled a couple of strats from both Warmoth and Musikraft parts. I like them both. But I also know, they would never re-coup the money I sunk into them if I needed to sell them- In my experience, parts guitars may be really, really, nice but they never get you back your initial investment. If I build an Esquire, she would have to be a keeper!!

The top bound seafoam Esquire I posted above sells for over $3K!! I know I could assemble the same guitar (with out the relicing) for about 1/2 that.
 

dannyboy2.0

Member
Doesnt Warmoth have an option for top-only binding on their bodies?

I lusted for the same model and the closest I got used was a double-bound MIJ body but settled for a normal black "semi-relic'd" MIJ Tele - I had the BG1400 already so now I just need to sort out the wiring and Eldred mod to get her completed...
 

GAT

Gold Supporting Member
I have a Sonic Blue Top Bound Esquire, best esquire I've ever had. Not sure if I could recreate this particular one, it's really good. I've had a Suhr and an Old Word esquire in the past and they were both really good, this one just has that little bit extra.
 

skhan007

Supporting Member
I have a Sonic Blue Top Bound Esquire, best esquire I've ever had. Not sure if I could recreate this particular one, it's really good. I've had a Suhr and an Old Word esquire in the past and they were both really good, this one just has that little bit extra.
I'd love to see your sonic blue!

OK, this one is for sale and the seller wants $3K. Call me crazy here, but $3K could buy me a hell of a lot of PRS or Les Paul. I know it's apples and oranges, but $3K is a lot of dough. I think I could assemble this guitar (non-reliced) if I could find a manufacturer that will do Seafoam and binding. Warmoth didn't have Seafoam listed on their paint choices. I'm really loving this guitar, but man, $3K!! Ouch!!

 

GAT

Gold Supporting Member
Here's the thing. There are lots of very good guitars, not as many great guitars. If you find one that really is "it" for you, buy it. You may make a guitar that is great, but it may also only be good, then you will end up trying to sell it or spend more money trying to make it great.

Once I find a great piece, I'm done. For instance, I've been searching for years for a killer Les Paul. I've owned several expensive Les Pauls and sold everyone. Once I bought my Gustavsson, I was done. I'm extremely happy with that guitar. Same with my Esquire!
 

skhan007

Supporting Member
Thanks for this advice. I totally and emphatically agree with you. Unfortunately, I don't have the opportunity to play this specific guitar- it's on the other side of the country. But I can go out to my local stores and see if I can play one that's similar.

If I were to buy this seafoam one, I'd be taking a gamble. On looks alone, yes, it's my favorite combo of colors, maple neck, etc. Don't know how she plays. If I build one to my specs, well that's another story.
 

GAT

Gold Supporting Member
See if there is a 48 approval period. If you don't love it, return it. You would eat some shipping costs, but it's still worth it.
 

Polynitro

Member
3 grand is a heap of dough...If you insist on the color I would just buy a used Nocaster for about $1500 and have it refinished for about $300, throw in a Don Mare PUP and call it a day. With the money left over buy a Twin Reverb.

email this guy repairs@chicagoguitarandamplifier.com

He refinished a guy (Fred Dairy)over at TDPRIs 52RI in red thin nitro and it looks badass.

BTW whats the bg1400 PUP? is it a normal single coil or what?
 
Last edited:

baimun

Member
I've whored these pics out enough that most are probably sick of them, but they're pertinent to this discussion.



My Esquire started out as a Fender 50's style White/blonde Esquire.

The original owner upgraded the 1 ply pickguard to a 3 ply, replaced the stock saddles with brass compensated, and most importantly, put a Warmoth Rosewood neck on in place of the stock fender maple neck.



After I got it, I sanded arm and belly contours in it like a Jeff Beck Esquire, but instead of beating the hell out of it, I fine sanded and sealed the wood with several coats of Tung Oil.





Lastly, I replaced the stock Fender pickup with a Duncan Quarter pound Tele lead and have the 3 way switch wired as:
Forward : Vintage wound coil tap + Vol + Tone
Middle : Overwound Single Coil + Vol + Tone
Back : Overwound Single + Vol



Bottom line, I wouldn't hesitate to build one again as I would mod the hell out of any production model anyways.

I may build another in the future with no pickguard and only volume knob with a push-pull for the coil tap.
 

skhan007

Supporting Member
That rosewood neck Esquire project looks great! I really dig the contours. That probably makes all the difference in the world for comfort.

3 grand is a heap of dough...If you insist on the color I would just buy a used Nocaster for about $1500 and have it refinished for about $300, throw in a Don Mare PUP and call it a day. With the money left over buy a Twin Reverb.

email this guy repairs@chicagoguitarandamplifier.com

He refinished a guy (Fred Dairy)over at TDPRIs 52RI in red thin nitro and it looks badass.

BTW whats the bg1400 PUP? is it a normal single coil or what?
Thanks- That is a really good idea. Find a tele/esquire that I really like and do a refin and I'll be ahead with the $$ at the end of the day. The Seymour Duncan Billy Gibbons (BG 1400) is a stacked single coil that has more growl than a traditional tele bridge pickup. It's wired up in these limited Fender top-bound Esquires with "Eldred" wiring for more usable tones. You can see Mike Eldred on YouTube doing a demo with this guitar.
 


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