Other Guitars

A Fender Esquire query


I’ve been thinking. Since the Esquire has only one pickup, why does it have a pickup selector switch? Or, if the switch is a tone selector, why does it have a tone knob? Or is that for fine tuning the tone? Just wondering.

Too much time on my hands?


From wikipedia: " Although the Esquire had only a single pickup, it retained the three-way switch of the two-pickup guitars. This switch modified the tone of the pickup by making it bassier in the forward position, while enabling use of the tone control knob in the middle position. With the switch in the rear position, these tone controls were bypassed entirely for a "hotter" lead tone. "


The one pickup Esquire, the original wiring, had a setting so you could sort of play the bass part.


• Position #1. This corresponds to the solo bridge-pickup position on a Tele. On the Esquire, however, the pickup is routed through the volume control only, with the tone control bypassed for a hotter and louder lead sound with even more high-end. • Position #2. In this middle setting, the Esquire’s pickup is routed through the volume and tone control—identical to position #1 on a standard Telecaster. It sounds a bit warmer compared to the Esquire’s #1 position. • Position #3. Here, the tone control is again bypassed and the Esquire’s pickup is routed through the volume control and a fixed “treble roll-off ” capacitor/resistor network for a very dark tone that also has a slightly decreased output. Leo intended this as a “bass preset” that would allow the ’50s guitar player to enter bass territory by simply flipping the 3-way switch

The original Broadcaster wiring also had a bass setting.


Great question, Mr. Howard, and I’ve learned something.


The "neck" position is like Gretsch's mud switch .


Yes that was the idea, since electric bass was only getting started, that some lo end could be filled in.

Sorta like the much maligned mud swtich


Bob, look at the "Eldred Mod" for a little more sonic variance.


I have the eldred mod on my esquire. Very versatile. Instead of the mud tone it has sort of a cocked wah setting, which works really well with fuzz pedals. In the middle position you can use the tone knob which is good for setting Rhythm parts, and the third setting is straight to output jack, no tone circuit. Works really well.


And that's another esquery dispensed with.


The guy who works on my guitars has built an Esquire with a pickup under the pickguard in the neck position (so the selector switch works in the traditional telecaster way). The key was finding a pickup that was strong enough to work through the guard material. Has anyone else done this arrangement on an "Esquire"?


You can scrape out the pickguard underneath, so it's just a paper thin thickness between the pickup and the other side of the guard, but the problem will always be the distance from the actual pickup to the strings.


Another thumbs up for the "Eldred mod" on an Esquire.


Pretty good topic, thank you for your answers.


Hadn't heard of the Eldred mod before.I LIKE it. When we get off lockdown, mine's going in for one!

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