Jeff Beck Esquire

I've been thinking of little else apart from building my own guitar since getting back into playing and discovering the Warmoth website.

I quite fancy a something traditional, a sort of Fender factory-style build - which they've not done, but could have.

I did think that a nice sunburst Thinline Esquire would be different, yet Fender have already done one of those themselves - 'what we would have done in the 50s had we built Thinlines then', to paraphrase

I am currently thinking of a recreating what the Jeff Beck relic-ed Esquire would have looked like had Fender built it in their custom shop as a new shiny guitar.  ie. Tele body with the strat-style contours, one-piece 21-fret gloss maple neck, single (JB Seymour Duncan p/u), and vintage style fittings.  The big question is:  Has anybody already done anything like this?

There's just something about the Esquire that's appealing to me at the moment!
[EDIT: corrected phrase, missing things before]
Oh man, do you really want to take the neck off to adjust the truss rod everytime?? The Warmoth Pro neck has the visual of the vintage neck with the side adjuster... For The Win!

I really like the idea!
Are you thinking in pickguard or not? I would say big NO, if you would put a figured top on it...
If it's just the 2-tone sunburst in ash or alder, would look great a pickguard...
humm JB... Don't like this thing very much, but ok... What kind of music are you going to play?
G'day Doctor; welcome to the board. It shouldn't matter if anyone has done it before, if it's what you want just go ahead anyway. It sounds like a great idea. A lot of the Fender Esquires were routed for the neck pickup a la Telecaster so I would recommend you do the same. The pickguard covers the routing and you can turn your Esquire into a Tele should you wish to later. Becks Esquire was "contoured" quite crudely by either him or the previous owner and I believe only on the forearm not the back. :dontknow:
By all means, do it. You might think twice about a total vintage neck; the 7.25 radius won't let you bend it like Beck.
I think you should be the first to do it; I've got a telecaster with strat pickups in neck and middle position, and all three Warmoth contours and I love the contours. I wouldn't do a total vintage neck though; it's like buying a brand-new car without power steering and brakes. You can get the 7.5 contour on a vintage modern neck if you really want it, and depending on your playing style you may. But nobody except yourself will ever know the fretboard radius so you can make some modern compromises to your vision and nobody will ever know. Good luck, and please post pictures when you build it.
Tonar's probably done one, here's a '57 Tele he did:

One big questiion, do you intend to do the finish, or have Warmoth do it? 1954 was a weird year for Esquire finishes:

"Blond body finish has a more whitish look than the earlier "butterscotch" finish. In reality, the body finish was probably applied no differently, but the type of clear lacquer used to clearcoat does not yellow as much This gives mid-1954 and later Teles a more whitish blond look, instead of butterscotch. Because of the more whitish look, a distinct "halo" can be seen around the edge of the body that is less translucent (this halo was present on the earlier butterscotch finishes, but it was far less noticable). The halo was used to hide the side grain of multi-piece bodies, because Fender could easily match the face grain, but it was difficult to match the side grain."

You can go in a couple of directions here, either the Butterscotch Blonde which would be the typical finish on Esquires or Vintage White or Cream. Tonar could probably give you pretty exact recipes if you wanted to mix up your own paint and have a compressor and spray gun.

Body should be swamp ash; a hollow one already has the comfort cuts done, or you can order a regular body custom and have the cuts done for a $30 upcharge. If going the transparent Butterscotch blonde finish you'd want a nicer piece of ash as you'll be seeing the grain; doesn't matter on one of the solid white colors.

Definitely go with the Total Vintage neck, don't listen to girly men without enough hand strength to bend strings on a 7.5" radius neck, David Gilmour and Jeff Beck never seemed to have any problems. Get a nice birdseye or flame all maple neck and finish in vintage gloss.

I'm assuming you would be using an SD JB Jr in Telecaster form factor? Not real traditional, but it has enough balls that you can wire it to split single coil. Callaham makes nice vintage spec bridges/hardware.
Thanks to everyone who has taken the time to contribute.
It has certainly given me plenty to think about - at the moment I haven't a fixed vision in mind.
What is clouding things at the moment is the finish.  I do like the transparent white "blond" finish but it is very much paler than the butterscotch Warmoth offer.  And whilst being heavily against it to start with, the relic finishes are starting to appeal now...  But the sunburst finishes do look stunning, esp. on single piece bodies.
I was looking at the Callaham parts earlier.  Are they really worth the money, as they seem much more expensive than Fender parts (which I do appreciate are probably built to a price, whereas Callaham parts are probably built to a quality)?  Callaham also do relic-ed parts which I think is where I started to change my mind.

(This is actually the p/u I was thinking of: , with the SD "alternative" Esquire wiring pattern.  Though a regular Tele bridge p/u and standard Esquire wiring is very much an option)
The Callaham parts ARE more expensive, but if you're wanting to do a "new vintage" guitar, but they're machined, not stamped and of the highest quality; I've never heard a single negative thing from ANYONE about Callaham parts (other than cost), and there's not many things made you can say that about.

I'd missed the fact that the tapped SD pickup you reference was labeled "JB", I know what you're talking about about, think they used to call that model the "Seymore W. Duncan Signature Esquire"? Good choice...

As to finish, if you're really trying to recreate a '50's Esquire, they only came in ash, in two color flavors, the Butterscotch Blonde and the 50's 2-tone sunburst, the latter being relatively rare. If you've seen the "real thing" the color varied wildly after 50 years, primarily due to UV aging/yellowing the original nitro lacquer. If you search through Tonar's posts (he does amazing repro finishes) you can see the effects, but you have to search out special nitro lacquer without UV protectants to get the effect, see this post:
The SD alternative wiring for single pup Esquire is really good, IME. I just finished a similar build, and it gives me some good tones, especially in front of a fuzzface or tonebender and an overdriven amp.