Sound — 10
I play styles of music ranging from: SRV, BB King, The Cure, Smashing Pumpkins, Satriani and Santana. I'm using the 51 through a Roland Cube 60 and it sounds great on the British Vox setting and also on the Clean setting. The '51 is somewhat noisy using the single coil, it buzzes intermittently through the Roland. This noise doesn't happen in humbucker poistion. The sound is amazing for a guitar of this price, very versatile. I truly believe it compares with Mexican Fender gear, and for a third of the price! The Humbucker is good, though its best for warm distortion (a la the Vox, Tweed Tube settings on the Roland). So it works great for a smooth "British" sound - mixtures of open chords and solos. Also great for mellow/howling blues. When trying to get a more shred vibe the guitar is not so chunky as youd like, so heavy metal or thrash people would be advised to look elsewhere. Saying that, the '51 can howl and wail some of the classic Fender sounds, and is simply superb for Blues, Rock or Alternative. This baby does Strat and Tele, for a smidgen of the price of either. The humbucker is good, twangy and loud, but I prefer the neck pickup for a more mellow jazzy groove. A combo of both is good, you can Foray around in the warm wailing of the Neck pup, and then cut through with a quick flick to the rough twang of the Humbucker A la SRV's Lenny.
Overall Impression — 10
This is a great match for my style of music, but at this price who cares? What a great addition to ur guitar library, sample both Strat and Tele for next to nothing. I've been playing for around ten years, the last three more seriously and this guitar killls my Jackson (piece if crap) and its almost a quarter of the price! I wish my dad had bought my sunburst rather than black as it is somewhat boring, but I aint complaining. I would definetly buy this guitar again. Just a few more important points. The Vintage blonde (yellow) really doesn't look very good in person. In contrast the sunburst looks great in person (on the Squier site it looks terrible). These guitars vary greatly in quality, so don't be ripped off with a dodgy one. I'm already thinking of modding this baby out, maybe Tele pup at neck and beefy hummer at the back.
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
A word of warning! I played a few 51's before I bought and the first few didnt play very well. It appears that these guitar vary in quality from guitar to guitar! So test before you buy! I love the neck on this guitar, as far as I know it's a Tele neck and it feels kinda unfinished (which I love) my friends tell me it's slightly thinner than a Tele neck, but it feels great. The setup was ok, but I think the intonation is somewhat out, so be prepared to shell out a bit more for a proper setup.