NGD: Carson Hess Hessquire

Crshngdstryr

Member
Messages
258
Got this Carson Hess esquire build a few days ago used off Reverb. I’ve always been a big fan of Carson’s work and have been keeping an eye out for the right one over the years. I never considered getting a single pickup guitar before, but this one had all the right specs for me, including a rosewood fretboard and a massive neck (1.125” all the way through!), so I went for it. I’ve had maple neck teles before (1 American Fender, and 3 Danocasters), but I could never bond with them. I always thought maybe I’m not a tele guy, but I think it was really that I just prefer rosewood fretboards.

The guitar is awesome. It feels EXACTLY like a vintage Fender (I’ve got several to compare to) and everything about it feels really premium. Acoustically, it rings for days and has all the sustain you could ever want from a tele. The pickup is a vintage spec Don Mare. Never tried one of his pups before, but I’m seriously impressed. I’m also a fan of Carson’s aging work. I’m not really into the whole relic thing, but I’m not against having a relic’d guitar if it has the right specs. Carson’s aging is top notch, and I’ve had multiple friends truly believe that it was a vintage esquire. Overall, a really great guitar. Now some pics! (Photos from the Reverb listing)

 

shallbe

Deputy Plankspanker
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
12,007
Damn. That is awesome. I have a build very similar, Esquire same color and dark rosewood board, ages with a 1” neck all the way down. You got me beat with that log of a neck!

Mine is ash/rosewood as well. I've never had an ash/rosewood board T-type. Always alder/rosewood. I really like this combo with the big neck.

 
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jmelm

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
1,592
Really nice guitar! Don Mare pickups are as good as it gets. I'm not familiar with this builder -- is that Ash or Alder?
 

jmelm

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
1,592
Oh come on....don't be silly now. We both know what happened the last time you tried one of these self-fulfilling prophecies! (And I already bought a new guitar today dammit!)

But I do have a fresh pair of Don Mares sitting in a box....if only I had the right guitar to put them in....:stir
 

Jazzandmore

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
11,805
Oh come on....don't be silly now. We both know what happened the last time you tried one of these self-fulfilling prophecies! (And I already bought a new guitar today dammit!)

But I do have a fresh pair of Don Mares sitting in a box....if only I had the right guitar to put them in....:stir
I‘m just sitting back enjoying the guitar extravaganza ;)
 

monkeybrains

Member
Messages
1,402
That looks awesome. And that neck... wow. I love a big neck but not sure I could handle that. Would love to try though :)
 

Crshngdstryr

Member
Messages
258
Damn. That is awesome. I have a build very similar, Esquire same color and dark rosewood board, ages with a 1” neck all the way down. You got me beat with that log of a neck!

Mine is ash/rosewood as well. I've never had an ash/rosewood board T-type. Always alder/rosewood. I really like this combo with the big neck.

Yessss. Amazing. Who made that? I can’t read the headstock.
 

Crshngdstryr

Member
Messages
258
That looks awesome. And that neck... wow. I love a big neck but not sure I could handle that. Would love to try though :)
I was a little nervous about the neck size but it’s actually perfect. It fills my entire hand and gives me a pivot point all up and down the neck when I’m bending and whatnot. My main guitar has a neck that’s .91” at the first fret and 1.05” at the twelfth fret, and it feels tiny in comparison!
 

shallbe

Deputy Plankspanker
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
12,007
Yessss. Amazing. Who made that? I can’t read the headstock.
Its a partscaster I bought here on TGP. The body is from MJT. Very light ash. I did a little clean up on the body relic work to smooth it and make it more realistic, and was happy with the results. Also, removed all the rust from the control plate and bridge plate.

The neck however had a dreadful/fake relic job on it (the Nash effect with belt sanded finish missing and black dye), but I loved the AllParts Fat C carve, radius and frets. I stripped it, sanded out the bad stuff and refinished it in real rattlecan nitro, wanting it to look and feel like an old neck with overspray. Dyed the maple to look more vintage, rolled the fretboard, end of the neck and headstock, crowned the frets. Finally, I added my own silly logo. Replaced the pickup with a Zhangbucker Paul Bunyan.







I've never been into or really anti-relic, but now have done 3 of these during Covid. It's been a learning process and I really appreciate the guys like Carson Hess that can make a guitar look genuine and inviting to play.
 

Crshngdstryr

Member
Messages
258
Its a partscaster I bought here on TGP. The body is from MJT. Very light ash. I did a little clean up on the body relic work to smooth it and make it more realistic, and was happy with the results. Also, removed all the rust from the control plate and bridge plate.

The neck however had a dreadful/fake relic job on it (the Nash effect with belt sanded finish missing and black dye), but I loved the AllParts Fat C carve, radius and frets. I stripped it, sanded out the bad stuff and refinished it in real rattlecan nitro, wanting it to look and feel like an old neck with overspray. Dyed the maple to look more vintage, rolled the fretboard, end of the neck and headstock, crowned the frets. Finally, I added my own silly logo. Replaced the pickup with a Zhangbucker Paul Bunyan.







I've never been into or really anti-relic, but now have done 3 of these during Covid. It's been a learning process and I really appreciate the guys like Carson Hess that can make a guitar look genuine and inviting to play.
Looks great, and nice job on the neck!
 






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