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In Fender terms an Esquire is about as simple as it gets – Just plug it in and play – A similar single pick-up approach has been adopted with both the LP Junior and the SG Junior, with the likes of EVH following on with his own concoction, a few years later- The single pick up option might not suite everyone  but it does have its own fan club – As such time for a limited run to be offered in the shape of a new Fender Custom Shop 59 Esquire Custom, with a lightly aged, journeyman relic nitro finish – Part of the 2018 collection with a ‘wide fade chocolate 3 tone sunburst’ finish, with ‘plum’ coloured sides, between the parchment binding on the body – The journeyman relic finish delivers a played but not abused approach – So plenty of lacquer checking, that has faded over years of use, but with far less wear, nicks and bruises – Some might say more authentic – Highly spec’d throughout including select ash body with a vibrant acoustic voice , 1/4 sawn maple neck that is lightly figured to give a hint of additional character, plus a rip roaring hand wound bridge pick-up

Neck pick-up option :– For those who wish to convert the Esquire to a Tele, then it is a simple ready to go option – Included is a ready cut scratchplate, a hand wound 58 Tele neck pick-up, plus a Tele wiring loom, all pre-wired , with relevant 3 way switch and controls – Just in case you did not know, all original Esquire models had the neck pick-up already routed out within the body, including the tunnel for the wiring loom, so an Esquire body and Tele body are one and the same – Custom Shop have adopted the same policy, so you can simply exchange as required – Many Esquire fans like the single pick-up option, for the same reason that many prefer an LP Junior over an LP Special (ditto for SG Junior over Special) – The magnet on the neck pick-up somehow interferes with the string vibration, so once removed it delivers a more straight ahead voice when you only have the single pick-up option – More on the tonal character below

Neck, feel and playability :- The late 50’s was somewhat of a transition period for Fender, as models started to acquire a rosewood fingerboard, whilst the neck profile lost some of its girth, especially compared to the early 50’s models – This 59 Esquire has been spec’d with large C neck profile, that was both akin to models from this late 50’s era, along with select models from around the mid 60’s – A touch more girth than a regular 60’s classic oval C profile, yet less girth then many 50’s models – It starts of at .880″ around the top nut end and gently fills out to .994″ around the 12th fret – Comfortable girth and easy to handle – Whilst the thin nitro finish has more of a satin feel to it – Silky smooth and played in without the sticky vibe of many new guitars – Light wear around the first few frets on both sides of the fingerboard – If the feel of the actual neck is pure vintage, then the fingerboard receives modern appointments to enrich the playing performance, thanks to a 9.5″ fingerboard radius and a set of 6105 narrow jumbo frets – As such a slick well balanced action awaits, that equally allows for you to show of a few chosen tricks and licks, yet equally dig in to those big blues bends as required – Plus no choking out with as sensible/easy action

Tonal character:- Some may ask why you have a 3 way selector switch on a guitar with only one pick-up – This is a neat and easy trick that helps to make the Esquire so versatile – Position 1) and the switch full down (furthest away from the tone pot) and your signal now will totally by-pass the vol and tone pot – Hence the pick-up is wired straight to the output – Full throttle – As such it will deliver bite, twang, balls and rip open a barn door with ease – So the full on approach that takes no prisoners  – Position 2) Middle position – Is the  bridge pick up now wired to operate through the volume pot only (no tone pot option at this stage) – Even with the volume pot on 10, you can still hear an audible difference in bite/attack between switch position 1 + 2 – However a sensible option is to run with the volume pot say around 8 or 9 – As such a distinctive difference between the full throttle option and a more tame option – Position 3) – effectively what you know as the neck pick-up setting and the signal path now runs through both the volume and tone pot – So again roll of both pots a touch, for a more melodic and tame approach – As such you can effectively treat position 2 and 3 as softer pre-set options and position 3 as the turbo boost option – The 3 switch options alone will produce plenty of tonal options, be it the amp set up for clean, crunch or hi-gain, but utilise the volume and tone pot for more soul, emotion and expression

On a clean amp setting, via the volume + tone controls, you can still obtain a soft solo voice, that is melodic for licks, or chilled for chords – Not in a pure jazz way, but far more warm then maybe you’d expect from a bridge pick-up – So it is not just a beast, as it can be tender when required – On to a more subtle overdriven amp setting and maybe this is where you’ll find the largest landscape of tonal character, from gentle to edge – With the volume and tone pots on/around 10 you’ll obtain more bite, with enough attitude about it – Yet roll the pots down for a softer approach – As such you and the guitar control the amp, from chilled to attack – Add more gain on the amp and a similar approach will allow you to dial in the gain as required – Again it can bite or  be set up for a smoother voice – Never is it brittle, thin, or wispy, with big tight lows that are clear and enough girth in the mids to add body – Highs are crisp, but never so harsh to be clangy with ice pick attack – Yet equally they will bite and snarl if required – The limitation on such a guitar is you – Granted the Esquire won’t do everything, but it will do more than you’d expect – Amazing how much serious fun you can get out of one pick-up

Full spec + info for Fender Custom Shop 59 Esquire Custom :-

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Every guitar in stock at Guitars4You has been personally selected, inspected and approved by me, with particular attention paid to the set-up and playing performance – Every sale, phone call, mail order transaction or e-mail is handled my me – Mark Hopkin, the owner, Managing Director, cleaner and coffee maker (Jo, my wife helps with the coffee) – A journey, now in excess of 40 years, has fuelled my knowledge, experience, love, devotion and passion for exceptionally fine guitars – This reflects in every aspect of our business.

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