Fender Double Esquire Relic Custom Shop 1950: Review

The Fender Custom Shop 1950 Double Esquire Relic pays homage to Fender’s early electric guitar designs, specifically the precursor to the iconic Telecaster. This meticulously crafted instrument combines vintage aesthetics with modern playability, making it a standout choice for discerning guitarists and collectors alike. Let’s explore the features and characteristics that make the 1950 Double Esquire Relic a true gem in Fender’s Custom Shop lineup.

History of Fender Double Esquire

The 1950 Double Esquire Relic draws inspiration from Fender’s inaugural solid-body electric guitars, which laid the foundation for the brand’s legendary status in the industry. As a relic model, this guitar features carefully applied aging and wear, capturing the essence of a well-loved vintage instrument from the early days of electric guitar manufacturing.

True to its vintage roots, the 1950 Double Esquire Relic boasts a sleek and lightweight ash body, delivering a resonant and lively tone that is characteristic of classic Fender guitars. The relic finish not only enhances the visual appeal but also allows the wood to breathe and resonate more freely, contributing to the instrument’s dynamic response and tonal richness.

Single Pickup and Hardware

Unlike its successor, the Telecaster, the Esquire features a single pickup configuration, offering a straightforward and no-nonsense approach to tone shaping. The bridge position pickup delivers a distinctive twangy sound with plenty of bite and clarity, making it ideal for country, rockabilly, blues, and other musical genres that benefit from a bright and articulate tone.

The 1950 Double Esquire Relic is outfitted with period-correct hardware, including a vintage-style bridge with brass saddles and a bone nut, ensuring optimal sustain, tuning stability, and intonation. These components contribute to the instrument’s authentic vintage feel and performance, making it a joy to play for musicians who appreciate classic Fender craftsmanship.

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Neck Profile

The guitar features a comfortable “U”-shaped maple neck with a smooth satin finish, providing a satisfying playing experience that feels familiar yet refined. The rounded neck profile accommodates a wide range of playing styles, from chordal strumming to intricate lead lines, allowing players to express themselves effortlessly on the fretboard.

Crafted by master builders at Fender’s prestigious Custom Shop, the 1950 Double Esquire Relic exemplifies the highest standards of craftsmanship and attention to detail. Each guitar is hand-built using premium materials and components, ensuring exceptional quality and playability that meets the demands of professional musicians and collectors.

Vintage Tone Control

The simplicity of the Esquire’s electronics is part of its charm. A single volume control allows players to dial in the perfect amount of gain and dynamics from the bridge pickup. This minimalist approach to tone control encourages players to focus on their technique and the natural characteristics of the instrument, resulting in a pure and unadulterated sound.

As a limited-edition model from Fender’s Custom Shop, the 1950 Double Esquire Relic holds significant appeal for collectors and enthusiasts. Each guitar is produced in limited quantities, making it a rare and coveted addition to any guitar collection. The relic treatment adds to its exclusivity, offering a vintage aesthetic that sets it apart from mass-produced instruments.

Musical Applications

blankDespite its simplicity, the 1950 Double Esquire Relic is a versatile instrument that excels in a variety of musical settings. Whether you’re performing on stage, recording in the studio, or jamming at home, this guitar delivers a timeless tone that complements a wide range of musical genres and playing styles.

The Fender Custom Shop 1950 Double Esquire Relic is celebrated for its signature twang and articulate tone. The single bridge pickup delivers a bright and clear sound with excellent string definition, making it ideal for genres like country, rockabilly, and classic rock. The simplicity of the pickup configuration allows players to explore the guitar’s inherent tonal characteristics, from crisp clean tones to punchy overdriven sounds.

The relic aging process applied to the 1950 Double Esquire Relic creates an authentic vintage appearance, with carefully crafted wear patterns and aged hardware. This relic treatment not only enhances the guitar’s visual appeal but also contributes to its resonance and playability. The lightly aged finish allows the wood to breathe and mature, resulting in a more responsive and lively instrument.

Classic Esquire Design

The Esquire was Fender’s original solid-body electric guitar design, predating the Telecaster. The 1950 Double Esquire Relic pays tribute to this classic design with its minimalist aesthetics and straightforward functionality. The absence of a neck pickup and tone control emphasizes simplicity and purity of tone, offering a direct connection between the player and the instrument.

The 1950 Double Esquire Relic exhibits a dynamic response and expressiveness that inspires creativity and musical exploration. The guitar responds sensitively to picking dynamics and playing techniques, allowing players to convey their musical ideas with nuance and emotion. From gentle fingerpicking to aggressive rhythm playing, the Esquire excels in capturing the player’s expressive intent.

Playability and Features

blankDespite its vintage-inspired design, the 1950 Double Esquire Relic is designed for modern playability and comfort. The smooth maple neck and comfortable neck profile provide a satisfying playing experience that encourages extended practice sessions and live performances. The guitar’s lightweight body contributes to overall comfort, reducing strain during long hours of playing.

Authentic vintage-style hardware and components are integral to the 1950 Double Esquire Relic’s character and performance. The brass bridge saddles enhance sustain and resonance, while the bone nut contributes to tuning stability and string resonance. These meticulously selected components ensure that the guitar stays true to its roots and delivers the classic Fender tone and feel.

As a limited-edition relic model from Fender’s esteemed Custom Shop, the 1950 Double Esquire Relic holds significant collector’s appeal. Each guitar is handcrafted to meticulous standards by skilled artisans, ensuring exceptional quality and attention to detail. The relic aging process adds to its desirability, making it a prized possession for guitar enthusiasts and collectors seeking a piece of Fender history.

Custom Shop Features and Innovation

Crafted by Fender’s master builders at the Custom Shop in Corona, California, the 1950 Double Esquire Relic showcases the pinnacle of guitar craftsmanship and expertise. Each guitar is individually crafted with meticulous attention to detail, from the selection of premium tonewoods to the final setup and inspection. The Custom Shop’s dedication to excellence ensures that every 1950 Double Esquire Relic meets the highest standards of quality and performance.

The Fender Custom Shop 1950 Double Esquire Relic embodies timeless appeal and versatility, making it a versatile instrument for a wide range of musical applications. Whether you’re a seasoned professional looking for an authentic vintage tone or an enthusiast seeking a unique addition to your collection, this guitar delivers exceptional playability, tone, and aesthetics that stand the test of time.

The Esquire’s influence on electric guitar design and music history cannot be overstated. As one of Fender’s earliest solid-body models, the Esquire set the stage for future innovations in guitar manufacturing and musical expression. The 1950 Double Esquire Relic pays tribute to this legacy of innovation, offering players and collectors a rare opportunity to experience the magic of Fender’s pioneering electric guitars firsthand.


In conclusion, the Fender Custom Shop 1950 Double Esquire Relic is a masterful recreation of Fender’s early electric guitar legacy, capturing the essence of a bygone era while offering modern playability and reliability.

With its vintage-inspired design, premium craftsmanship, and distinctive tone, this guitar is a must-have for enthusiasts who appreciate the rich history and timeless appeal of Fender’s pioneering instruments.

Whether you’re drawn to its historical significance or its exceptional performance, the 1950 Double Esquire Relic is sure to inspire creativity and musical exploration for years to come.