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Cheap import guitar of the week #14 - Squier Vintage Modified '51

Squier '51

This is a guitar I've considered buying several times.

The Squier Vintage Modified '51 is a cool guitar for several reasons.

First, it's cheap. Second, It's an H/S pickup layout, which you don't see too often. Third is the most interesting part about the guitar, the electronics.

There are two knobs, but it's not master volume and master tone. It's a Master Volume and a three-way rotary with push/pull coil selector...

...and that is pretty darned cool. It means you can get some genuine Telecaster "spank" out of the '51 when using the rear pickup in single mode and hot "growl" when in humbucker mode.

The coil used in single mode is the inside coil, by the way. In this case, that's a good thing, else the sound would be a bit too harsh.

Would the tone knob be missed?

No. The guitar, even though cheap, is designed in such a way where you wouldn't miss it. I certainly wouldn't. The humbucker by nature has the treble rolled off a bit, so it's not like a Strat where that tone knob is absolutely needed.

Things I like best about the '51

It's a hardtail Strat with a hot humbucker in the rear but at the same time has Telecaster-style tone options. I really dig the fact it has a maple board for the neck. I like that the guitar needs nothing. The '51 is one of those plug-in-and-go guitars where you don't have to fuss around with it.

So why haven't I picked one up yet?

It's because the guitar is the same price as a Squier Affinity Telecaster. And I really, really like the neck on that Affinity. So much so that I will probably pick one up soon. That's not to say the '51 isn't just as good, because it is. But oh, that Affinity Tele neck. A force to be reckoned with. 🙂


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