Telecaster and Esquire

Surfreak

Member
Messages
2,407
I have owned several Teles but never an Esquire, and it seems that many Esquire owners feel that the simpler single pickup layout adds something to the overall tone that a Tele can’t quite match.

Please educate me: wiring aside, is the Tele just an Esquire with a neck pickup, or can the Esquire do things tone-wise that a Tele cannot?
 

MikeMcK

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
5,598
I've never played an Esquire, but a lot of people (like me) prefer LP Juniors over Specials. The reason supposedly is the extra wood where the neck pickup is. I can't say for sure, but I've played a few of each and to me the average Jr. sounds better than the average Special.
 

maplebaby

Member
Messages
3,480
I've never played an Esquire, but a lot of people (like me) prefer LP Juniors over Specials. The reason supposedly is the extra wood where the neck pickup is. I can't say for sure, but I've played a few of each and to me the average Jr. sounds better than the average Special.
Another thing that many think, including myself, is the lack of a neck pickup therefore less magnetic pull on strings, especially more toward the middle of the string vibrating 'arch' like the neck pickup would do.
 

shallbe

Deputy Plankspanker
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
11,950
I love both guitars, but the Esquire has me playing differently. The limitations of the single pickup make me more creative just using what is available on the guitar. And there is a lot there when you really try to find out what an Esquire can do.

I'm so smitten I now have 2. Both wonderful partscasters with the best parts and fat necks.

 

Benz2112

Memba?
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
5,901
I am not sure if it is the magnetic field part (Rhett Shull just did an interesting video on the topic), or perhaps with no neck pickup, it is easier to pick closer to the neck, without something being in the way. Single pickup guitars have an interesting thing going on, I have been obsessed with an SG Jr. for about the last month, and it is just this open sounding vessel that can do anything. I have not played an Esquire before, but I would assume that it would have similar properties. I would say it is a different beast.
 

Aslan

Member
Messages
2,691
I recently picked up a Squire Esquire in butterscotch blonde and I have to admit it is really easy to play and the sounds are better than some of the Telecasters I've owned in the past. Maybe it's the pine body or the lack of front pickup pull on the strings, whatever it does sound nice.

For fun I took the Esquire and my 57 Tweed Champ with just a wah pedal and a Ceriatone Centura pedal to practice and put a mic on it and was surprised at how well it sounded through the PA.
 

TheBuffalo

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
2,624
I think any esquire would benefit from having a neck pickup. I do not believe for a second that the lack of a neck pickup means any significant difference in the sound of the bridge pup

I started my white Tele partscaster as an esquire. Adding a neck pup was all upside zero downside

Now does it have an effect on how you as the player approach the guitar? Sure, i can believe that. But i love the tele neck pickup.
 

shallbe

Deputy Plankspanker
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
11,950
Another thing that many think, including myself, is the lack of a neck pickup therefore less magnetic pull on strings, especially more toward the middle of the string vibrating 'arch' like the neck pickup would do.
I've acquired some incredible T-types over many years. You would be hard pressed to find someone that appreciates all aspects of the Telecaster more than I do. On a gig, I typically spend most of my time with both pickups on (50%?). The rest of the time is is split between the neck and bridge.

But to me, the one pickup magic of a great Esquire with the right pickup is real. An extra push when needed, more resonance, more oomph, more dynamics.

The first time I took the blackguard E to a gig, I had the Ron Kirn T with me as well. I played half the first set with the Kirn. I pickup up the Esquire for one song and never put it down. Two more sets, just working the Esquire to the best of my abilities, and I had a blast. These days (hoping for gigs soon), I only take an Esquire to band practice. It has great tones and is so much fun to play.

 

adamfox

Member
Messages
326
I'm also very curious about this. I love the junior I just picked up, but have no experience with a special. Pretty much the same conundrum. Every time I dig into others' experiences, it seems like they each do something the other cannot do.
 

Carbohydrates

Member
Messages
3,053
You could make a compelling argument about the wiring (especially if you use the Eldred mod), the extra wood, the effect the magnets have, or any number of very small factors, but IMO - and this is coming from a diehard Les Paul Junior fan - the biggest difference by far is just going to be in how you approach the thing. The way it makes you feel when you play it, the way you seek the tones that you're after, etc. If you don't have any kind of altered approach or emotional response when you play an Esquire, then I don't think you'd get very much out of having one as opposed to a Telecaster.
 

Blix

Wannabe Shredder
Silver Supporting Member
Messages
26,607
You could make a compelling argument about the wiring (especially if you use the Eldred mod), the extra wood, the effect the magnets have, or any number of very small factors, but IMO - and this is coming from a diehard Les Paul Junior fan - the biggest difference by far is just going to be in how you approach the thing. The way it makes you feel when you play it, the way you seek the tones that you're after, etc. If you don't have any kind of altered approach or emotional response when you play an Esquire, then I don't think you'd get very much out of having one as opposed to a Telecaster.
There is no extra wood on Esquires, they're all routed for a neck pickup under the pickguard... :)
 

lumco

Most of the roads I travel are muddy
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
997
I like esquires, they look mean and 2 pickups distract me.
 

Daka3

Member
Messages
2,113
Esquiers and Juniors are cool. If they make me play cooler, all is even more cool! I used to rock an SG Junior, and while the tuning couldn't get totally on point, the tones were truly to die for. I'll own an Esquire some day.
 




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