Esquire project

For guitars of the straight waisted variety (or reverse offset).
Post Reply
User avatar
countertext
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 3009
Joined: Wed Sep 28, 2011 6:25 pm
Location: Tacoma

Esquire project

Post by countertext » Mon Dec 30, 2019 3:56 pm

I bought an ash ‘59 spec Tele body off of ADH years ago, and after a couple of false starts and insecurity paralysis, I sent it off to Joe Parker to be finished [edit: body finished, waiting for it to be shipped back]. I want to make it into a ‘59 Esquire, more or less.

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

get buff

I bought a Lollar bridge pickup a while back, and I’m lining up hardware now.

Image

The big question now is: where do I get a decent neck with a rosewood board and a proper tele headstock shape? I want it to be vintage-ish in profile, but truss rod access on the head would be good. Warmoth would be an obvious choice, but the shape of the headstock looks wrong to me. Any suggestions?
Last edited by countertext on Tue Dec 31, 2019 11:55 am, edited 2 times in total.

User avatar
Domm
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 1221
Joined: Sun Dec 06, 2009 7:16 pm
Location: Boston

Re: Esquire project

Post by Domm » Mon Dec 30, 2019 6:25 pm

look for a mim fender classic 60's neck. used on many of my parts casters!

User avatar
countertext
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 3009
Joined: Wed Sep 28, 2011 6:25 pm
Location: Tacoma

Re: Esquire project

Post by countertext » Tue Dec 31, 2019 8:59 am

Classic ‘60s added to the search. Thanks, Domm!

Happy to hear any more suggestions...

User avatar
marqueemoon
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 3322
Joined: Mon Jun 20, 2016 9:37 pm
Location: Seattle

Re: Esquire project

Post by marqueemoon » Tue Dec 31, 2019 10:32 am

I got my neck and body for my lipstick JM from Sound Guitar Works aka Best Guitar Parts. The neck on my “birds” Tele is also from them.

Quality is pretty good and they were easy to deal with.

My one beef is the bevel on the frets is pretty sharp. Not “fret sprout”, just the bevel isn’t very comfortable.

I REALLY like the sound of both guitars, and at some point I’ll probably get a fret level/dress for them and get those ends rounded over.

Roasted maple with a dark rosewood board would look awesome with that blonde finish.

User avatar
countertext
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 3009
Joined: Wed Sep 28, 2011 6:25 pm
Location: Tacoma

Re: Esquire project

Post by countertext » Tue Dec 31, 2019 11:54 am

marqueemoon wrote:
Tue Dec 31, 2019 10:32 am
I got my neck and body for my lipstick JM from Sound Guitar Works aka Best Guitar Parts.
Whoa, yeah, they're right down the road from me. I wonder if I could sand the headstock to make it a correct Tele silhouette - looks like they just leave a little corner on the lower curve.

Dearest OSG friends, please keep the ideas coming.

User avatar
Maggieo
Expat
Expat
Posts: 10409
Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2006 10:36 am
Location: Nebraska, USA
Contact:

Re: Esquire project

Post by Maggieo » Tue Dec 31, 2019 12:38 pm

If it's going to be a '59, make it a top-loader!
“Now I am quietly waiting for/ the catastrophe of my personality/ to seem beautiful again.”- Frank O'Hara
I am not an attorney and this post is for entertainment purposes only. Please consult a licensed attorney in your state for legal advice.

User avatar
countertext
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 3009
Joined: Wed Sep 28, 2011 6:25 pm
Location: Tacoma

Re: Esquire project

Post by countertext » Tue Dec 31, 2019 3:09 pm

Maggieo wrote:
Tue Dec 31, 2019 12:38 pm
If it's going to be a '59, make it a top-loader!
Yeah, I plan on an either/or bridge.

User avatar
cmatthes
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 1476
Joined: Tue Nov 14, 2006 5:19 pm
Location: DC Burbs

Re: Esquire project

Post by cmatthes » Thu Jan 02, 2020 8:03 pm

I owned a bad-assed, near mint, '62 Esquire. Sold it when I bought my house (don't regret it), and always missed it. I snagged a really nice, lightweight ash Musikraft body and a beefy Musikraft neck and went to town. Stike at ROWYCO Kustoms killed it on the finish, and it's honestly every bit of the player the '62 was - louder acoustically too. The only thing it lacked was that vintage smell!

User avatar
countertext
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 3009
Joined: Wed Sep 28, 2011 6:25 pm
Location: Tacoma

Re: Esquire project

Post by countertext » Thu Jan 02, 2020 11:21 pm

Yeah, I’m anxious to make progress on this, but since I decided not to go cheap on it, I have to go slower. I know it should be great if I stick to my plan. The body arrived from Joe Parker today, and it is ridiculous. So good.

I think I have a source for almost everything (toploader bridge, tuners and other hardware, wiring harness, pickguard), but I’m still not sure about the neck. I might go with Warmoth, because I can sorta get a vintage-ish thing but with a headstock truss access. I love old specs, but I’m not taking any more damn necks off just to make small adjustments! I just feel like there’s something slightly off about the Warmoth Tele headstock... but I think I’m being too uptight about it.

User avatar
HNB
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 10223
Joined: Tue May 10, 2011 7:55 am
Location: Puyallup, Washington
Contact:

Re: Esquire project

Post by HNB » Thu Jan 02, 2020 11:36 pm

Hmmm I never really noticed anything off about their tele headstocks. Maybe I am not being anal enough! :D
[Christopher]
“Where ignorance is bliss, 'Tis folly to be wise." - Thomas Gray

User avatar
mijmog
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 1003
Joined: Tue Sep 09, 2008 7:03 am
Location: Lancashire

Re: Esquire project

Post by mijmog » Fri Jan 03, 2020 2:51 am

countertext wrote:truss rod access on the head would be good.
If you're spending time and money doing this right definitely go with a vintage style neck with truss rod access at the heal. I know its not as user-friendly, but I think if you've gone to great lengths getting the blonde right for a late 50s era Esquire, then having a vintage correct neck will make all the difference in the aesthetics department. It'll bug you when you notice, as it did me :D

A Musikraft or second-hand Fender 60s classic neck (wrong era in title but right combination of elements, decal, truss rod etc) would be perfect.

User avatar
marqueemoon
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 3322
Joined: Mon Jun 20, 2016 9:37 pm
Location: Seattle

Re: Esquire project

Post by marqueemoon » Fri Jan 03, 2020 7:03 am

If going Warmoth you could go for truss rod adjustment at the side of the neck heel.

Not sure how effective that actually is though or what compromises are needed with the type of construction (if you could get a neck with this that otherwise looks vintage).

User avatar
wproffitt
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 988
Joined: Wed Feb 24, 2010 8:48 pm
Location: Ellicott City, MD, USA

Re: Esquire project

Post by wproffitt » Fri Jan 03, 2020 10:17 am

I’ll put in a suggestion for a used fender Baja Tele neck. They come in both 50s and 60s varieties, with the 50s being a bit fuller. Both feel really nice.

User avatar
countertext
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 3009
Joined: Wed Sep 28, 2011 6:25 pm
Location: Tacoma

Re: Esquire project

Post by countertext » Fri Jan 03, 2020 11:27 am

I’m loving these suggestions. Need to put some pros and cons on a chart.

User avatar
jvin248
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 249
Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2016 5:34 pm

Re: Esquire project

Post by jvin248 » Fri Jan 03, 2020 2:58 pm

.

Having tried several of the Esquire wiring mods, Arlco Cocked Wah, Eldred Mod, Original Leo, Reverend Bass cut, and some others I can't remember ... the best was the Arlo Cocked Wah.

You could also get a cheap Strat-type ebay pickup, knock off the ceramic magnet and push the steel slugs out of the plastic bobbin, and put that in the neck cavity hidden by the pickguard, tied to a push/pull tone pot you can engage as a dummy coil if you need to cut 60 c ycle hum. Good insurance policy if you are stuck at a noisy gig.

Of course, I have seen where someone puts a working Strat pickup in the cavity under the Esquire pickguard, wired to a 4-way switch. As a phantom neck pickup the output is weaker (and sweeter), plus the 4-way gives you series and parallel options for noise reduction. But that pulls away from the pure Esquire vibe.

Use shielded cable to the jack, that's about half the noise floor in a Fender.

.

Post Reply