The Brad Paisley Signature Custom Shop “Secret Agent” Esquire Neck Pickup is exactly that. Hidden from view as it is mounted directly under the pickguard, it is a custom wound single-coil for Paisley's much-loved Fender Esquire, giving it what Paisley describes as his "favourite Tele neck pickup."
The pickup has a medium-output ceramic bar magnet. The positioning under the pickguard acts as a de facto tone chaperone, the greater distance between string and pickup taming some of the highs and making for a tone that is quintessentially Tele in character, but with a warmth and fuller bloom to the notes.
For Esquire owners with a single-pickup setup, the Secret Agent looks like a pretty cool, unobtrusive mod that will brighten up that third pseudo-neck pickup position, which offers less volume and is can be a little dark for some players' liking – Paisley included.
Of course, it is a matter of taste. Either way, it's a neat contrast with the unfiltered treble of that bridge position, it sure sounds good in Brad Paisley's hands, and you wouldn't even notice it's there.
The The Brad Paisley Signature Custom Shop “Secret Agent” Esquire Neck Pickup is part of the Custom Shop series and retails for $130.
See Seymour Duncan for more details.