Fender's subsiduary Squier are mainly known for producing budget-conscious versions of Fender guitars such as the Stratocaster, Telecaster, Precision and Jazz Basses. Occasionally they have been known to do something more adventurous and issue an original model guitar not based directly on any Fender design.
The Squier '51 is one such guitar, and whilst I say it is "original" it very clearly borrows and combines elements from three Fender designs, namely the Strat, the Tele and the original '51 Precision Bass.
Essentially you could say that it has a hardtail basswood Strat body married to a Tele neck, with a '51 P-Bass pickguard. It has a single coil pickup in the neck position and a humbucker at the bridge. There is no tone control but a rotary pickup selector and a coil tap option for a range of sounds.
Judging by comments I have read about this guitar on the net, it seems it was a very popular instrument. Such a pity that it was only in production from 2004-2006. Of course, it was a guitar very popular with tinkerers and guitar modders, and judging by the number of photos I've seen on eBay and elsewhere I wonder how many stock examples are left in the world, because so many seem to have been upgraded.
Pictured above we see two examples in Vintage Blonde. On the left is an untouched stock Squier '51, and in the middle and on the right a customised example featuring upgraded pickups including a P90-style in the neck position, and a Dynamic Fender Vibrato as found on certain other Fender guitars such as the Mustang. (Finally, an S-type guitar with a tremolo that might actually work nicely!)
The Squier '51 was one of the guitars in my "500 Guitars" book, but the publishers unfortunately used an incorrect photo of a Squier Strat.
See the Squier '51 Modders Forum for more customisations!
G L Wilson
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