Fender Esquire Solid Body Electric Guitar (1957)
Fender Esquire Model Solid Body Electric Guitar (1957), made in Fullerton, California, serial # -21916, Blonde lacquer finish, ash body, maple neck, blond tolex hard shell case. Item # 7549
This lovely second-generation "whiteguard" Esquire is a superb example of this period's Fender greatness, and an extremely fine playing and sounding guitar. The Esquire was classed as a separate model but was just a single-pickup Telecaster, which allowed Fender sales to offed a slightly cheaper alternative for the buyer who couldn't quite spring for the Tele's $189.50 pricetag. This one shows typical features for this specific period including the single ply white plastic pickguard (standard by 1955, replacing the earlier "blackguard") and the old script Fender logo decal above the newer "butterfly" style string tree. The very grainy ash body has a slightly yellowed blonde finish, not as dark as the earlier '50's style but more transparent than the early 1960's "white-blonde". The neck is dated 7-57 has a soft "V" profile, a bit chunkier than some from this year. A single staggered pole piece single pickup back at the bridge is controlled by a volume, tone and 3-way switch with a "top hat" tip offering three tonal options: the #1 bass-heavy rolloff setting, the #2 straight tone control and #3" "bypass" sending the signal straight to the jack. This last setting is the Esquire's secret bonus, offering some of the finest, snarliest tones ever to emerge from the Fullerton factory. The serial number stamped on the neck plate is preceded by a "- minus sign" an oddity specific to 1957-probably a stamper's error. A fantastic sounding guitar, a joy to play…and even to just hold! As used by Paul Burlison with the Johnny Burnette Trio, and many other early rock'n'roll and country players.
Overall length is 38 3/4 in. (98.4 cm.), 12 3/4 in. (32.4 cm.) wide at lower bout, and 1 3/4 in. (4.4 cm.) in depth, measured at side of rim. Scale length is 25 1/2 in. (648 mm.). Width of nut is 1 5/8 in. (41 mm.). It may have seen some play time along the way, but much of this guitar is CRAZY clean, with a finish that appears to have hardly been smoked or sweated on at all. There appears to have been a refret with slightly larger wire performed some time ago and finish touchup added to the fingerboard; this has worn through a bit but is visible on close inspection. The bass side of the back of the neck shows some longitudinal checking and flaking typical of 1957 Fenders, although it is not serious enough to impede play; the rest of the neck finish is quite clean with some rubs on the treble side edge. All other finish is untouched; there is one noticeable case-lid scrape to the top finish on the upper bass bout, and a couple of smaller chips nearby-apart from some checking and tiny dings the rest of the body finish looks fantastic, as does all the hardware. The parts and wiring are all completely original including the pickup, all wiring (pots dated to the 4th week od 1957), knobs and switch, 3-saddle bridge unit, single-layer pickguard and Kluson Deluxe tuners. The metal parts are as untarnished as we have ever seen on a 1950's Fender; it looks like the guitar was mostly played with the bridge cover in place and the player hardly ever touched the knobs! A really cool package in a prime '57 Fender-includes a fairly battered early-60's Fender white Tolex case not original to the guitar but a cool piece in its own right. Overall Excellent Condition.
Prices subject to change without notice.
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