Pandora 3 way Esquire specifications: Alnico V – 10.07 KOhm 4.4H, 7.28KOhm 2.3H, 5.49KOhm 1.15H
NZ$149 for NZ customers, if you’re overseas it’s GST free; NZ$129.57
The ‘Pandora’ 3 way Esquire pickup took its inspiration from my desire to fix a problem.
I’ve never been happy with the switching options given on the Fender Esquire so I came up with a plan.
Rather than switch in some capacitors or switch out parts of the circuit and create sounds you can make anyway using the tone control, I thought it would be better to have a tapped pickup so the player could generate usable, ‘real’ tones.
It’s simply a case of ‘tapping’ into the winding at different points to obtain different strength pickups from the one coil.
This essentially gives the player 3 different pickups in one.
So in the middle position it’s an Esquire pickup, one way it’s less than that (I’m calling it ‘Gold Foil’ though it isn’t). The other way it’s more – my Cruel Mistress pickup. This gives 3 distinct tones going from jangly rhythm to fat lead without losing the distinctive Esquire/Telecaster character.
It makes use of the normal 3 way switch to achieve this.
Then, of course, I realised that the main use for this wouldn’t be in Fender Esquires but in single pickup builds. The single pickup movement is getting bigger and this is the perfect tool to give those guitars extra versatility while still using a single Tele style bridge pickup.
So the experiments and trials began, there’s a lot to test with this sort of pickup.
The ‘Cruel Mistress’ part was easy, it’s my best selling Telecaster pickup set. The middle position is based on a ’61 Esquire I once had the good fortune of getting to know. I was going for that clear, ringing bridge pickup tone we all know and love, a sound that stands out from a mix. I was so happy with how this pickup turned out that I have since made a Telecaster set from it – The Dutchess. The third position I’m calling ‘Gold Foil’ but I could have equally called it ‘Lipstick’. It’s a tone in the character of that style of pickup though technically is neither.
I sat on the design for quite a while (about a year) thinking that although I really liked it the idea might be a bit complicated.
Then on a whim I just posted on Instagram about it and received a huge response. It seemed players and builders liked the idea. So here it is, the ‘Pandora’ 3 way Esquire.
To get the most out of it I recommend this wiring diagram:
The difference is that 1Meg pot (it’s usually 250KOhms) and those resistors. This enables each of the 3 pickup settings to ‘see’ the volume pot as a different value. It just emphasises the good points of each setting, it’s subtle but it does make a difference.
Check out Mr Glyn’s YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/@MrGlynsPickups/videos
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