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 Fender Esquire 1966 with two pickups

The Esquire

Click on pictures

Notes: With the help of George Fullerton, Leo Fender developed a prototype of an electric guitar during the winter of 1949-1950 which already had the shape of an Esquire. As the first Fender solid body guitar the Esquire appeared in the Fender catalog No.2 in spring of 1950. Some novel features have been described in the catalog f.e. "The neck is replaceable and can be changed by the owner in approx. 10 minutes" and "The new adjustable Fender bridge is one of the most important modern guitar developments" or "The player can adjust each string for height from the fretboard and for length, obtaining perfect intonation". Shortly afterwards, the Esquire was exhibited at the NAMM Convention / Chicago in July 1950 and by autumn of that year the Broadcaster with a truss rod and two pickups has been developed. The name Broadcaster was dropped in the beginning of 1951, as the Gretsch company already used the very similar name Broadkaster for their drums since 1949. Until a new name was found for the Fender Broadcaster no model name and only the Fender name was labeled on the headstock, also known as No-Caster. As television became the new craze in the early 50ties Broadcaster and Television were blended and the Telecaster name was born in April 1951. Parallel to the Telecaster with generally two pickups, the Esquire was equipped mainly with only one pickup but a few exceptions had two factory installed pickups and the Esquire model was faded out in 1969

Materials: Alder body with Olympic white finish that has yellowed significantly, Maple neck with Rosewood fingerboard.

Hardware: The guitar is completely original down to the last screw. All parts including tuners, bridge with saddles, both pickups, pots and jack, all plastic parts and even the strap buttons and screws are original. Additionally, a black pickguard made of bakelite is included - see picture n° 8.

Facts: The neck stamp is clearly legible reading 3 JUN 66 B meaning 3 as a code for Telecaster / Esquire neck shape and "JUN 66" for June in the year 1966 and the letter B = 1 5/8" as the standard nut width. The body has vintage correct routings including the second pickup cavity and the diagonal wire tunnel. The number on the neck plate is 172XXX indicating the year 1966. Both pot codes read 304-6617 meaning they are from the 17th week of 1966. So all criterias match perfectly. Also, the original Fender logo is clearly legible. The original solder joint on the volume pot with the ground wire of both pickups confirm that the rhythm pickup is factory original.

Condition: The Esquire is in pretty good and all original condition. Simply amazing for her age and not easy to find. The original finish has matured into a yellowed ivory and it shows the typical wear and tear and some weather checking as to be expected.

Playability: The neck feels very comfy and it is very easy to play.

Tone: The wiring of this Esquire has been modified to the standard and modern switching used for Telecasters from 1967 onwards. This makes the Esquire much more versatile and desirable.
Switch forward position = neck pickup alone with tone control
Switch middle position = neck + bridge pickup with tone control
Switch rear position = bridge pickup alone with tone control

Case: Original Fender rectangular case but earlier period with "Fender logo". Interior in mint condition, outside a little bit worn

Setup: The guitar is currently strung with .010 -.046 strings. The action is set low with no buzz.

To Summarize: The meaning of Esquire is "Excellency" and it seems to be absolutely the right name for this model. It has influenced the history of music and entire generations, regardless of whether rock, blues or country has been played on it. Among the best known players of the Esquire names such as Jeff Beck, Bruce Springsteen and Albert Lee are included just to name a few. BTW, back in June 1966 the list price of the Esquire was 166US$ plus 52,50$ for the case but unfortunately these days are gone forever...

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