How does an Esquire's bridge pickup differ from a Telecaster's?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by jpervin, Feb 24, 2009.

  1. jpervin

    jpervin Supporting Member

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    Does the bridge pickup bypass the tone control in an Esquire?

    If so, do you get a "purer" bridge p/u tone from the Esquire than you would a Tele (with the bridge p/u only activated)?
     
  2. hogy

    hogy Member

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    The pickup is the same, the switching is indeed different. The "back" position of the switch bypasses the tone control, which results in a bit more output and clarity.
     
  3. Garygtr

    Garygtr Almost as good! Silver Supporting Member

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    With traditional Esquire wiring, you still have a 3 way switch. The forward position is the pre-set bassy position, the middle is pickup with tone control, and the back position is pickup bypassing tone control. So you still can get the traditional Tele bridge p'up sound, but you also have the option to bypass the tone pot for a slightly brighter, hotter sound. Some will say there is still a difference in tone in the pickup w/tone control position compared to a tele due to missing the magnetic pull from the neck p'up. I agree that there is a difference-love my Esquire!
     
  4. jpervin

    jpervin Supporting Member

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    Do you prefer one over the other (Esquire vs. Tele bridge position)?
     
  5. stoob0t

    stoob0t Member

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    Youre spot on, traditionally the 'back' position on an Esquire pick up selector will be the pickup with the tone control bypassed.

    A lot of people think of an Esquire as a telecaster without a neck pickup, which i personally feel doesn't quite do them justice. To my ears, Esquires just seem to have something about them in that pickup position, a little more bark and bite and 'shimmer' - i cant explain it very well. I just feel that even with a tone control turned all the way up, there's still some treble that gets lost on the way through.

    I'm not sure whether it plays a part, but perhaps there not being another pick up with it's magnets pulling on the strings, all be it a very small amount is something to factor in. Either way, they're their own animal - and im definitely GASing for one.
     
  6. Garygtr

    Garygtr Almost as good! Silver Supporting Member

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    Plus, there are different things you can do with the front position, one of the most common is using a different value cap to give it more of a "cocked wah" sound as opposed to the muffled bassy tone. I have this set up on my Esquire, the "cocked wah" setting is not too great clean but sounds killer with a fuzz.
     
  7. Polynitro

    Polynitro Member

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    Yes...Its rather subtle though unless you're playing through a cranked amp... I've taken both pots out of circuit for an even more raw tone.
     
  8. jpervin

    jpervin Supporting Member

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    How do you control the volume then? Through the amp? Picking hand?
     
  9. XmasTree

    XmasTree Member

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    Thank you for the lesson!!!!!
    It sounds great on paper.
    I'm gonna go check out some Esquires now.
    Does Fender currently have a production model?
     
  10. buddaman71

    buddaman71 Student of Life Silver Supporting Member

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    I set my 51 Nocaster Relic up as a stripped down Esquire.
    Bridge pickup, no switch, Master Volume, Master Tone.
    I love it this way.
     
  11. jazzandmetal?

    jazzandmetal? Supporting Member

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    They make a MIM version and I think they still make a custom shop Seymour Duncan Signature Esquire. They do limited editions from time to time.

    You can also obviously mod any tele to be an esquire. A nocaster turned esquire would be sweet. Buddaman71 is on the right track!
     
  12. XmasTree

    XmasTree Member

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    Jeez the MIMs are expensive. $850 or so ....oh i guess their prices just went up. ...duh...
    They only have maple necks with a vintage 7.?" radius. i don't like that.


    I'm gonna search for some older ones. Oooh ooh
     
  13. Polynitro

    Polynitro Member

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    I have pos1 no vol/no tone pos2 just vol, pos 3 vol and tone with a .47 cap.
     
  14. Garygtr

    Garygtr Almost as good! Silver Supporting Member

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    You betcha! Any good tele makes a great Esquire conversion project. The MIMs are nice because they use the vintage style bridge and plate, which I prefer over the American Standard 6 saddle. You can go the cheap route and find a MIM body, or buy the whole guitar and sell the neck if it's not to your liking. My Esquire is a mutt of sorts, pics and details here:

    http://www.thegearpage.net/board/showthread.php?t=502480&highlight=Esquire
     
  15. Polynitro

    Polynitro Member

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    a Nocaster Esquire would be awesome! I made mine from a CIJ 52 body and CIJ Micawbre (Keef's '54) neck and Fralin stock Tele PUP...Id also love to have a black 62RI rosewood Tele converted to an Esquire like Pete Anderson.
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2009
  16. jpervin

    jpervin Supporting Member

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    Watched some YouTube clips last night of various '50s Esquires in action. They certainly did sound brighter and more "open", with more "attitude" as well...which I liked. All of the clips I saw hung solely on the bridge pickup position.

    I take it the middle switch position is a different tone altogether on an Esquire than it is on a Tele, since there's no neck pickup on an Esquire?
     
  17. 84Bravo

    84Bravo Member

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    An Esquire and Telecaster are the same pickup (some will argue that an Esquire is wound hotter, but for the sake of clarification, ignore that for the moment). The same. The difference is in the wiring. With the switch all the way back, there is no load on the pickup, no tone control, and it's going straight to the jack through the volume pot. In the middle, there's a cap much as there is in a Tele in the back position, and so now you have a tone control. In the forward position (mud switch) there is yet another cap. The mojo is in the circuit, not the pickup.
     
  18. jpervin

    jpervin Supporting Member

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    So what does an Esquire sound like in the middle position vs. a Tele? Bright, muddy, or somewhere in between?
     
  19. Garygtr

    Garygtr Almost as good! Silver Supporting Member

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    Previous post:

    With traditional Esquire wiring, you still have a 3 way switch. The forward position is the pre-set bassy position, the middle is pickup with tone control, and the back position is pickup bypassing tone control. So you still can get the traditional Tele bridge p'up sound, but you also have the option to bypass the tone pot for a slightly brighter, hotter sound. Some will say there is still a difference in tone in the "pickup w/tone control" position compared to a tele due to missing the magnetic pull from the neck p'up. I agree that there is a difference-love my Esquire!
     
  20. benjammin420

    benjammin420 Member

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    3 positions or not, its only 1 pickups. a telecaster 'mid position' is 2 pickups
     

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