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Squier '51 Review - Vintage Modified - A Great Cheap Guitar!

I made some upgrades to it in December 2006 - Read more modding details here

Unfortunately, this guitar seems to have been discontinued. Why? It was such a SUCCESS!

I bought my Squier '51 in April 2005. It is black with a maple neck.I love it! It's really insane these guitars only go for about $150.00 USD or less. This Squier may be the best Squier I've owned, although my Squire Telecaster is also very good.

Squier '51 Review

Features * * * *
Tele maple neck, Strat body, one neck single coil and one bridge humbucker. Hard tail bridge. Rotary switch to change pickups - no tone knob. The volume knob has a push-pull switch, which does a coil tap split on the humbucker.

Sound* * * * *
Fantastic sound for a guitar this inexpensive. Great pickups. It sounds great for blues and funk on the neck pickup, and for heavier sounds, switch to the humbucker and get some great lead sustain tones. I know several blues players that swear by the bridge humbucker for playing the blues. Pull up the volume switch - coil split engaged, and you get a single-coil like tone, which is very useful for my playing. It gives you a believable single coil tone with lots of attitude.

Using both pickups at the same time gives a fat and meaty sound that is great for rhythm playing. Turn down the volume knob a little, and you get a less pronounced sound that works well for playing jazz.

Quality* * * *
The neck is terrific excepts for mine had sharp fret edges, and the intonation and action was not set properly. Other than that, this guitar should last a long time.

The bridge could be better. A string-through bridge will give it a better tone, and the saddles on the stock bridge aren't top notch. The bridge could use an upgrade, but it works just fine for me.

The nut is a cheap piece of plastic, like on most Squiers. Replacing the nut is an inexpensive upgrade that will improve overall tone and tuning stability.

Overall Rating* * * * *
I give it 5 stars, because there is nothing else in this price range that compares, as far as I know. It is a guitar of tremendous value, and with some minor upgrades, it is a killer guitar.

Get a Fender Standard Strat from Musician's Friend

Since this '51 has been discontinued, here's a good quality Fender Stratocaster. It is very well priced considering the overall quality. I highly recommend this guitar to guitar players of all ability.

Fender Standard Stratocaster Electric Guitar Electron Blue Maple Fretboard Fender Standard Stratocaster Electric Guitar Electron Blue Maple Fretboard

My Squier '51 came with sharp fret edges that started cutting into my hands, but I fixed that with some fine sand paper. The neck is a little narrow but it's basically a Telecaster neck. The width at the nut is 1.650" (42mm). I think the neck is the best part of the guitar. It is really easy to play, and it seems very well made. The frets are Medium Jumbo.

The body is very similar to a Stratocaster, and it's made from basswood - very light. It comes in Black, Vintage Blonde and Color Sunburst. The bridge is a hard-tail 6 saddle bridge that is well made and comfortable to rest your hand on.

How does the Squier '51 sound? - Squier 51' Video Clips

In this clip, I demonstrate how the pickups sound, including the coil split function. The amp I'm using is my Vox AD50VT set to the Blackface 2x12 - Bass, Mid, Treble all at 1 o'clock, volume and master volume cranked; gain at 1 o'clock. Overall output is controlled the power level knob at the back. Only effect used is the amp's reverb.

Using no pedals or effects, just straight into my Reverend Hellhound tube amp.

AC30 Top Boost

Tweed 4 x 10

AD50VT - Boutique OD amp model

AD50VT - US Higain amp model

HEY! See more clips on the Video Clips page!

The Squier '51 sounds really good, it is very versatile. I really dig the neck pickup for playing bluesy stuff, as well as the humbucker coil split. I am not sure I can say it sounds like a Strat or a Tele; it has some of both but in case, I really like the sounds you can get.

It sounds of course awesome through a real tube amp as my Hellhound. As you can hear from these clips with my Valvetronix, it doesn't entirely suck with this amp either.

Summary

In summary, this is a great guitar for the price, and I would not hesitate to recommend the '51 to any player, beginner or pro. The price is just amazing, and the Squier '51 fits almost any style of music, from blues, jazz to heavy rock and punk. Don't get discouraged if you try one and it has sharp fret edges, no intonation set and the action is way high - these things can fixed easily and doesn't really have much to do with the overall quality of the guitar. I love the unique, cool look of the Squier '51, people are always wondering "what kind of guitar IS that?".

Get a Fender Standard Strat from Musician's Friend

Since this '51 has been discontinued, here's a good quality Fender Stratocaster. It is very well priced considering the overall quality. I highly recommend this guitar to guitar players of all ability.

Fender Standard Stratocaster Electric Guitar Electron Blue Maple Fretboard Fender Standard Stratocaster Electric Guitar Electron Blue Maple Fretboard

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