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Brad Paisley seeks to settle the Telecaster vs Esquire debate with new Seymour Duncan Secret Agent pickup

For those long-suffering Fender lovers who are torn between the snarl of a one-pickup Esquire and the tonal versatility of a two-pickup Telecaster, Brad Paisley may have the answer to your problems.

The country guitar master has joined with Seymour Duncan on a “stealthy” new signature pickup, the Secret Agent, a neck-position pickup that is recessed and hidden under the pickguard of a Fender Esquire to provide the tonal options of a traditional Telecaster.

At the same time, because it is recessed, there’s still less magnetic pull on the guitar’s strings, maintaining the bridge pickup sustain and classic look of an Esquire.

(Image credit: Seymour Duncan)

The Secret Agent features a medium-output ceramic bar magnet, and according to Seymour Duncan offers a “full, warm, almost jazzy neck-pickup tone, complementing the Esquire bridge pickup’s bark and snarl.”

Paisley also recently collaborated with Seymour Duncan on the vintage-spec Brad Paisley Signature La Brea Telecaster Set

The Brad Paisley Signature Custom Shop “Secret Agent” Esquire Neck Pickup is handmade in the Seymour Duncan Custom Shop and available for $130.

To grab one, head over to Seymour Duncan (opens in new tab).

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Rich is the co-author of the best-selling Nöthin' But a Good Time: The Uncensored History of the '80s Hard Rock Explosion. He is also a recording and performing musician, and a former editor of Guitar World magazine and executive editor of Guitar Aficionado magazine. He has authored several additional books, among them Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, the companion to the documentary of the same name.