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Squier Vintage Modified '51 - Candy Apple Red Reviews

4.5 stars based on 7 customer reviews
  • from Florida's Space Coast February 21, 2016Music Background:
    Musician, songwriter, sound engineer, humanities professor

    Perfect for Mod Project

    Is it a Strat? Or is it a Tele? Actually, it's a little bit of both. It has a Tele-style neck, although the headstock shows no model designation. The body is more Strat-shaped, and neither pup is Tele-ish, but it has a Tele type control plate reminiscent of a Tele bass. It plays like a Tele but doesn't sound like one. The stock neck is cheap and chunky, and the pups just beg for replacement. The stock tuning keys are the newer two-pin type, so they will drop right into a new MiM Tele replacement neck; if you decide to go with a vintage-style neck, you will have to buy a set of vintage tuners and drill the screw holes. I started out replacing the pups with a Seymour Duncan Pearly Gates humbucker and a quarter pound Strat middle pup. They went in with no problem, but the PG overpowered the quarter pounder badly, so I went with a Lil 59 humbucker for Strat, which fit into the Strat single coil space perfectly. One other mod I made was to drill pup mounting screw holes in the pickguard for the Lil 59. It negates removing the pickgaurd every time I want to adjust the pickup. I resisted my penchant for black hardware; this baby looks terrific with chrome. She plays like a dream, and the SD pups make her scream like she otta.

  • from Texas January 4, 2014Music Background:
    Recording Dog

    Squier 51 is soooo cool

    The 51 has the hardtail for those who demand tight tuning, all the time.
    Then the pickups offer about everytone you could want with the single coil to the double coil humbucker to the pull-knob for split coil.

    Ive had three and theyre all great. At this prioce you can't go wrong.
    I record with a $1200 Strat and the Squier51 and you cannot tell a difference other than pickups.....so that says it all. It can compete with guitars costing 10x's the price.

  • from AR USA December 24, 2013Music Background:
    Been Playing Guitar 50 Years, Hobbyist



  • from Midwest USA January 19, 2014Music Background:
    Luthier and 40 years as a player.

    Luthier who loves it

    First off kudo's to Sweetwater, ordered Friday and it arrived the next day, packed well and no problems.

    Having setup numerous Squiers for seasoned players I decided to grab one of these. The main reason was to get it and make a pattern to build one with a rosewood body and neck.


    Fit and finish: A CNC in California, Mexico or Indonesia all cut the same and a poly finish is a poly finish no matter where applied i was happy to find this finish is not so thick that it feels like it was dipped in poly. the paint on mine is flawless, I got the red. Guitar was put together well and playable right out of the box. Like all guitars that travel it still needed a setup to make it play as well as it could. Neck has a comfortable shape, not to thin like a modern C and no shims were needed at all and it has some figuring and flame, action is low with absolutely no fret buzz. Nut appears to be Tusq and not plastic and cut perfectly. Also happy that they made the reissue a string through and not a top load. Tuners work well with little play and the guitar has stayed in tune so far. Neck pickup sounds very nice.


    Some of these may sound like nitpicking but if I'm going to do a review it has to be thorough.

    NO CASE, I'm one who believes every guitar should at a minimum come with a gig bag. Body is Basswood which is soft so the first thing I did during setup and string change was to remove the guard, control plate and humbucker and wick a bit of CA glue in the holes to strengthen them. I'll add strap locks and will also wick those holes with CA glue. A few of the guard screws were screwed in on a angle. I always check the tuner bushings and always have to tighten them. Two of the tuners would not tighten up. Not sure if the bushings were a bit long but totally tightened they still wobbled, I added another washer underneath the original washer and they tightened right up. All the screws on the guard are rough on top and would scratch if you hit them with your hand, running a fine file over them solved that. As I wrote above the neck pickup sounds very nice the bridge pickup however has to go as do the pot's, knobs and input jack. The bridge pickup is to hot and sounds harsh to me without a tone control as a humbucker when switched to single coil it sounds pretty good. Frets needed polished and the bevel edges were sharp and had to be filed a bit but there was no tang sprout. I'm not a fan of white necks so a little tint would be nice.

    All the cons are the reason you can get a guitar this cheap but all in all this guitar is well worth the money and more. When I started playing we had Teisco's etc for beginners to learn on this guitar is well above them. I'm not a neck sniffer so I'll have no problem taking this guitar on stage once my mod's are finished.

    All in all I gave it 4.5 stars because with a little work it plays so nice and cost so little. And with the 3 payment plan I'm going to grab a few more when they are in stock. Of course I'm still going to build the rosewood but this will stay in my collection.

  • from August 30, 2016

    Great Guitar

    I wanted an afforible electric guitar that would play great and sound decent. After trying some out in stores I went to sweetwater to order my guitar when I saw this gem. It seemed so abstract with the Strat body, P bass pickguard, and the single coil and humbucker. After doing some YouTube searches I feel in love with the sound. This guitar is FANTASTIC for the price. Out of the box it was set up perfectly with no sharp frets, no fret buzz, and perfect intonation. The stock strings make it sound really thin, but once you put on some thicker strings it sounds so much bolder. I really like the bridge pickup for rhythmic guitar and when it comes to lead I put turn on the coil tap and it cuts through the mix. I don't see myself giving up this guitar, but one thing I would do when received, is tighten the output because it seems to become loose really fast. Thanks to Mike at Sweetwater for helping me out.

  • from St. Louis, MO USA March 18, 2014Music Background:

    Sweet guitar!

    I've always been in love with the original 51s and when I saw the CAR version I had to buy it. Finish is great.

    Pickups sound great...better than the original...might be due to the string-through bridge? The rotary switch pickup was a little loose for me. Had to yank off the knob and tighten it. Not a big deal.

    My only complaint is that the neck is a little thinner than the original and it has a rough finish to it. Not the satin finish the original neck has. It's very comfortable, but just feels a little cheap.

    I've only had it for less than a week, but all in all a really nice guitar for under $200.

  • from Saratoga, NY June 10, 2014Music Background:
    Hobbyist musician

    Squier 51

    Fit and finish are excellent. Own the blonde version. Sound is sweet and bright. My main complaint is with the edges of the neck. It has a rather sharp edge the entire length. I remedied by rolling the edges by pressing down hard with a small flat piece of chromed steel. In addition I dressed the fret ends for a more comfortable feel. Voila, now I'm happy.

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