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1958 Fender Esquire Pre-CBS Vintage Guitar Blonde, Telecaster Conversion w/ Tweed Case


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Up for sale, a 1958 Fender Esquire/Telecaster conversion. An early "Whiteguard" example, this Esquire has been augmented with a circa 1953 Fender Telecaster neck pickup, with the original pickguard cleanly modified to accommodate (body routes are original and untouched). With a feature set more in-line with the 1957 model year, this Esquire boasts a soft V-shaped neck profile carve and string-through-body construction.

Tonewoods comprise the original Esquire/Telecaster recipe, with an ash body and one-piece maple neck, weighing 7lbs 8oz. The original black bobbin single coil pickup in the bridge position features staggered, beveled pole pieces, repotted and rewound to vintage spec, metering at 7.6k ohms, delivering quintessential Tele twang, sparkle and midrange punch. This pickup also has a particularly vocal-like quality that translates to an almost cocked wah-esque sound when fingerpicking, and a notably smooth response at the plain strings accentuated by just a hint of brassy bite. The circa 1953 neck pickup (identified by its polarity and construction, as well as provenance from the previous owner) has also been repotted and rewound to vintage spec, metering at 7.6k ohms as well. This neck pickup is round and bell-like, delivering an ideal blend of gutsiness and silky percussive cut. The harness boasts the modern (preferred) Tele wiring configuration, offering Bridge, Bridge+Neck, Neck on the three-way pickup selector. This Esquire has been professionally setup here at Mike & Mike’s Guitar Bar with 10-46 strings, low action, and accurate intonation.

The maple neck has a substantial soft V-shaped profile carve, slightly rounder in the upper registers, measuring .885” deep at the 1st fret and .990” at the 12th. The maple fretboard retains its 7 1/4" radius, refretted with slender fretwire that shows no wear, playing cleanly up the 25 1/2" scale. The neck is straight, and the truss rod is responsive and optimally adjusted, with the truss rod nut flush with the heel of the neck and necessitating limited adjustment over the decades. The nut has been upgraded to bone, measuring 1.650" in width. The original "Fender" portion of the waterslide decal is original, and the "Telecaster" portion is a later (cleanly applied) addition. The original Kluson Deluxe single line tuners are intact and function as intended. The neck heel retains its grease pencil 5-57 date, with a couple additional factory markings in the neck pocket.

All of the electronics function as intended, and the vintage pickup pair is wired to a harness which retains the stock three-way switch and Tone pot, manufactured by Stackpole and dating to the 48th week of '57 (the CTS Volume pot is a modern replacement). The bridge pickup cavity is dated 1/58 (January), and the original masking tape above the neck pickup wiring channel is also present and initialed, dating to '57. Original hardware includes the “Pat. Pend” bridge with steel barrel saddles, chrome-plated flat-top knurled knobs, control plate, and serialized neck plate. The neck plate has a sticker for Ray Condo and his Ricochets, a popular country band from Vancouver, BC, self-described as "Cartoon and Western." The original Esquire one-ply five-screw white pickguard is in great shape, modified to accommodate the neck pickup, and the top hat switch tip rounds out the plastics.

The gloss Blonde nitro lacquer finish on the body is 100% original with no touch-up or overspray, exhibiting plenty of natural playwear including buckle rash, finish loss on the body perimeter, and a number of minor battle scars. The neck profile has been refinished in the past in smooth gloss lacquer, with very little finish remaining on the fingerboard and additional playwear on the profile carve.

The original center latch tweed "knuckle buster" hardshell case is included; all three latches are functional, and the original handle is intact.