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Fender launches surprisingly versatile Brad Paisley Esquire

When Brad Paisley announced his new Seymour Duncan Secret Agent “stealth” Esquire pickup back in August, we didn’t expect it to feature on a signature guitar quite so soon – but Fender has now launched the Brad Paisley Esquire, with that very pickup in tow.

Like his signature Telecaster, Paisley’s Esquire features a Road Worn finish, this time in a Black Sparkle lacquer. And as per that model, the body is built from a paulownia core with spruce top and back.

Of course, it’s the pickups that set this model apart from the Telecaster – and, in fact, any other Esquire in the Fender catalogue.

As well as a custom-wound ’64 Tele bridge pickup, Paisley’s Secret Agent neck pickup is mounted underneath the black-and-silver paisley pickguard, which essentially makes this model just as tonally flexible as a Telecaster.

Otherwise, this is spec’d as per the Tele, with a custom Enhanced ‘V’-shaped maple neck with 9.5” radius fingerboard, as well as Road Worn vintage-style hardware, including a Tele bridge with three brass compensated saddles.

Fender Brad Paisley Esquire

(Image credit: Fender)

“The Esquire is a streamlined, working-man’s guitar,” says Paisley. “It’s really important to me that you hear an echo of the past in the stuff that I do, and in that sense, this guitar encompasses what I try to do musically. It has a retro feel, but at the same time, it’s progressive, with a new style of pickup that hasn’t been done before.” 

This looks Very Cool Indeed. Whether you plump for the Tele or Esquire will most likely depend on your lust for the clean Esquire look, but the darker, jazzier tone of the Secret Agent pickup could tempt a few Tele fans, too.

For more info, head to Fender (opens in new tab).

The Brad Paisley Esquire is the latest in a string of big Fender announcements this year – get all the latest Fender news on our dedicated hub page.

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Mike is Editor-in-Chief of, in addition to being an offset fiend and recovering pedal addict. He has a master's degree in journalism, and has spent the past decade writing and editing for guitar publications including MusicRadar (opens in new tab), Total Guitar and Guitarist, as well as the best part of 20 years performing in bands of variable genre (and quality). In his free time, you'll find him making progressive instrumental rock under the nom de plume Maebe (opens in new tab).