Esquire vs. Tele like LP Junior vs. LP Special

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Shamus, Oct 15, 2008.

  1. Shamus

    Shamus Member

    Sep 30, 2004
    Charleston, SC
    Esquire owners are often remarking on how much heavier a tone they get from one bridge pickup.

    I hear the same argument from LP junior owners vs. Special owners.

    My question is this.

    Educate me on this. I have played vintage specials and a few choice teles. I have not played a vintage Junior or Esquire. With this being said, the obvious difference between both sets of guitars is that the factory omitted the neck route & pups - is this fair to say?

    If that is the only "real" difference, then why is there such fervent claims about tonal differences. What would cause said tonal variations with such a small change in wood content?

    Again, I mean not to provoke any owners. I simply want to understand both the science and tonal characteristics of both Junior and Esquires vs. their 2 pickup counterparts - specifically in the bridge postions of the two pup guitars.
  2. Dave Orban

    Dave Orban Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 6, 2002
    Trenton, NJ
    Good question. I, too, will be interested in the responses.

    Having owned vintage and repros of all three, my preference is still for a Special... the neck pickup has a roundness and sweetness that just can't be matched by a bridge-only pickup, in my experience. Vintage would be cool, but, sadly, out of my reach now. But the current VOS Specials are GREAT guitars, and have pickups that sound remarkably like the ones in my '53 ES-175...
  3. m@2

    m@2 Member

    Sep 9, 2007
    San Francisco CA
    i don't know that i get a heavier tone from my esquire compared to my tele on bridge p/u. would have a lot to do with p/u you have in there, but i would imagine, the even more simple wiring could add some thickness to the tone perhaps?

    for me the beauty of the esquire is it's simplicity and "limitations" of one p/u. It forces me to just play, not tinker or switch all the time (one of the main reaosns I don't own a strat). That one p/u definitely CAN get heavy though if you want it.
  4. Kelsey

    Kelsey Member

    Jul 5, 2006
    Memphis, TN
    The LP Jr is not routed for a neck pickup, but the Esquire is routed the same as a Telecaster. Thus, differences between the Esq and Tele cannot be attributed to different routing of the wood. Many people talk about the absence of neck pickup string pull as contributing to the Esquire tone, but I'm not sure how significant that really is. However, there is a real difference in the wiring of the vintage Esq and Tele circuits that leads to different tonal options between the two.

    I don't really know why a LP Jr sounds different from a LP Special bridge pickup, but it sounds different enough on average to make me prefer the Jr.
  5. shane8

    shane8 Member

    Oct 10, 2008
    they say the neck pu magnets interfere with string vibration and thus reduce sustain

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