Price paid: $ 150
Purchased from: used
Sound — 9
I'm finding my music style and the versatility of the guitar allows me great latitude for experimentation. I can make pretty much everything from Black Sabbath and ACDC to Pink Floyd and Johnny Cash sound sort of like music. I've only owned one other electric guitar back in the mid-1970s, a cheap no-name brand that was such a complete P.O.S. that it was unplayable. Until I got this guitar, I thought I just sucked; now I realize that the crappy guitar at least played a role in the suckage. The funny thing is that I paid almost twice as much for the P.O.S. guitar back in the 1976 as I did for this '51, yet the '51 makes a larger variety of sounds than my nephew's $800 G&L.
Overall Impression — 10
I played an accoustic twelve string for about 10 years back in the 1970s-1980s, but have only been playing again for about one month. Before I played folk/pop/rock/classical type stuff; now I've been focusing on classic rock. So far the '51 has been a great match. I don't know if I'd replace this if it was stolen because I doubt I could get one set up as nicely as this. I'd probably buy a Schecter C1-Plus, which has similar features and is set up extremely well right out of the box. It costs a lot more, but seems to have high-quality components. It also has a very nice neck, which is one of the features I love about the '51. The other is the sound. My favorite feature is the versatility of the available sound. I'm not so crazy about the overall quality of some of the hardware, though. I'd compare this most closely to the C1-Plus, but for the $400 price difference I can put a lot of quality components on the '51, making the Squier one heck of a value. If I paid a Schecter price for this, I'd be a little disappointed, but for this kind of money it's a great value.
Reliability & Durability — 5
Now that everything has been tightened and adjusted it seems to hold up pretty well. I don't think I'd want to use it in a Live performance without replacing the heads because it would get knocked out of tune pretty quickly. But for the price, I can afford to replace those.
Action, Fit & Finish — 3
This guitar was originally owned by a talented professional musician, and he set it up nicely. It still has the cheap plastic nut, but he tuned all the noise out of the bridge. It doesn't break strings, but it also doesn't stay in tune very well. I think I'll replace the heads with better quality items as my first upgrade. The paint is top notch, but the input jack was loose. That was easily fixed by adjusting the nuts on the jack.
Features — 9
After 20 years without a guitar I wanted a simple yet versatile electric guitar, and they don't get much simpler than this. Or more versatile; with the pull-tap switch to single coil on the bridge, I can experiment with both a Gibson and a Fender sound. I also like the narrow Gibson-style sting spacing because it's easier for an incompetent like me to find the notes than on a Strat-style neck. I also like the Strat-style body, which conforms to my body better than a slab-sided Tele body. It's also is much prettier than the Tele.