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NGD Fender Pawn Shop 51 in Ebony

Discussion in 'Squier Tele Forum' started by thefees, Sep 16, 2012.

  1. thefees

    thefees Tele-Holic

    872
    Sep 8, 2010
    PA-US
    Just brought home a new Fender Pawn Shop 51. I was fortunate to not know about the now discontinued Squier 2005 51 that looked identical and sold for a quarter of the price.
    Here is what Wiki has to say; In spring 2011, Fender introduced its own version of the Squier '51, also called a '51, under a new line of guitars called the Fender Pawn Shop Series. The Fender '51 had a MSRP of US$999[1] and was initially being advertised at popular online retailers for US$799.[2] By mid-June 2011, the MSRP had risen to US$1,099,[3][4] although online retailer prices remained unchanged.[5]

    Hardware and electronic component differences aside, the configuration of the Fender variant was almost identical to that of the Squier, with the only notable differences being the use of a full thickness Stratocaster alder body instead of a slightly thinner (by approximately one quarter of an inch) basswood body, and a string-through-body hardtail Stratocaster bridge instead of a top-load bridge. The '51's signature features were all retained, including the Telecaster neck and headstock style, the Stratocaster body shape, and the original Precision Bass pickguard and control plate, humbucking bridge and single coil neck pickups, as well as the rotary pickup selector, single volume control with push-pull coil-tap switch, and absent tone control.

    They are selling at Musicians friend and Guitar Center for $849. Worth every dime as far as I am concerned.
    So what do you think? How about a black DiMarzio 162 P90 style going right in the middle position? With that give it that Les Paul 3 pickup look? Instead of bare, it may become rare. Loaded for action. :lol:
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Sep 16, 2012

  2. bigjed

    bigjed Tele-Holic

    Kill it before it breeds
     

  3. thefees

    thefees Tele-Holic

    872
    Sep 8, 2010
    PA-US
    Here is the rundown, and why it is so far superior to its predecessor

    Number one it is Made in Japan. I don't know about you but I have longed for a Made in Japan for longer than I can remember. In GC today the salesperson/friend of mine said guitars made in Japan are bring $100 more used than the MIM etc.
    I have been purchasing Epi Les Pauls, for example a Custom Pro in Ebony looking for that barking sound coming out of the bridge pickup. Some bark more than others. If you angle your pick the LP barks some. Well this Pawn Shop 51 barks so well it's tough to consider any other guitar doing it better.
    So I was walking in to order another LP and here was this 51 Pawn shop sitting there. I plugged it into a Hot Rod Deluxe amp, and was immediately taken back by the bridge pickup. The Texas Special in the neck has the famous single coil Tele sound but a little deeper, and goes well with the bridge pickup.
    I started to play it and it blew my mind. I have 15 guitars, and this thing very well could be my favorite. The way it was put together, the action and tone are among the best I have heard.
    So what took me over the top. Guitar Center is running an instant discount special on them. They dropped the $849 price, and now have an instant rebate so the guitar at purchase is only $549 with a free Gig bag.
    The neck on this thing is a cross between flame and curly maple. There is only one way to describe the neck; precision. It is up there with the very best of them.
     

  4. thefees

    thefees Tele-Holic

    872
    Sep 8, 2010
    PA-US
    Cons

    It does not have a tone knob. That knob is the 3 position pickup selector. The volume knob is a push pull split coil option.
    It has a bit of a beginner guitar look to it because the neck pickup is white like the pickguard, and the bridge pickup is black like the body color so it appears a little naked. Since it is a Strat body you automatically expect it to have 3 pickups, and at first glance it appears to have one. I am thinking of adding a new DiMarizio DP 162 in the middle which is one of the, if not the highest gain pickup out there in a P90 configuration, but in addition to a mini toggle On-On -On switch you would have to work a separate volume knob in there somehow. But with all three on there it would appear to be a serious contender.
    Anyhow I absolutely love this thing just the way it is. The Japanese craftsmanship, the Texas special neck pickup not to be confused with the less expensive Tex Mex, and the Fender Humbucker at the bridge which has more balls and bark than anything I have found in any line.
    To get this kind of level of a Fender at this price is nuts. I have a 1966 Tele that I cherry picked brand new back then (see my Avatar) and this thing is crazy good. Played better than most, and I mean most, it was that refined and smooth. The only other guitar I would love as well is the Rosewood Tele with Spruce body and rosewood cap, that has the 62 Custom pickups in it; that too has a unique and different sound, different than the 51.
    With the 51 it also has the has the neck with the Tele style headstock, which I love, and the Strat body which I also love and the whole thing is so well balanced.
    Oh well I guess I am talking too much. Have a go at it and share with me your thoughts. I am going to see dreams tonight. I love this thing.
     

  5. RedTele58

    RedTele58 Tele-Meister

    214
    Oct 8, 2010
    Lawton, OK
    Yup. I think they are a great guitar. I have a twin to yours. I had it ordered w/in 15 minutes of seeing that they were available last year. I have 4 of the Squier 51's and enjoy them everytime I pick one up. I was tickled pink to find out Fender Japan was making a version.

    I think my Japanese version is the icing on the cake for the 51 model design. It took everything good about the Squier version, took away the bad and added to it.

    I'm sure there are plenty of nay-sayers when it comes to this guitar. But I challenge them to find a problem with the build quality, the neck or the sound. It's a great guitar.
     

  6. thefees

    thefees Tele-Holic

    872
    Sep 8, 2010
    PA-US
    The other thing I love is the Strat body but with a string through the body bridge with the ferrels on the back. It is as if they took the best of the Strat and Tele and melded them together into one great guitar. My Strats I am interested in doing what Eric Clapton does to his, and that is put a block of wood in the back with the Tremolo system so it doesn't go out of tune. With the 51 that is no longer a problem.
     

  7. thefees

    thefees Tele-Holic

    872
    Sep 8, 2010
    PA-US
    May advice is when going into your local music store, plug one of these 51's into a Fender Blues Deluxe, or Hot Rod and peg the volume on the knob on the guitar, and run the neck as a full humbucker with the split coil volume knob in the down position, and listen to this thing bark at you. You don't have to turn up the amp; set it at 1 and hear how great this thing sounds.
    Other high gain pickups, a lot of them give you more depth but they also give you a more muddy sound. These Fender Humbuckers give you a ton of gain but with absolute clarity.
    So do you go for the ultimate in clarity like most Tele single coils give you, or something that is dancing on the edge of ballsy, and yet doesn't lose any of that articulation that we all love so well?
    How else can I say this. When you do as I just described, get ready to put the standard fare to shame. This thing is undeniable quality, and I don't care what predecessor may have inspired it's creation. This thing is in a league by itself. Absolutely, absolutely love it.
     

  8. fender62custom

    fender62custom Tele-Holic

    913
    Mar 2, 2012
    Australia
    Super looking guitar!!!! congrats & enjoy!!!!
     

  9. thefees

    thefees Tele-Holic

    872
    Sep 8, 2010
    PA-US
    If you want to know what I mean by the barky sound, listen to frame #136 or start right before it. Listen to this thing and all of the sounds you can get out of it. Everything from ultra-clean Tele/Strat, to chime, to ringing bells, to tubular neck sounds, and oh yes, that Stevy Ray Vaughan killer tone who used Texas Specials and are the same pickups on the SV Model. You could plug this guitar right into an interface and get the tones; no amp required.


    C'mon do most Teles give you that range of tones? Really? :D
     
    1962guitargeek likes this.

  10. tap4154

    tap4154 Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Apr 14, 2009
    Southern California

    Not to wreck your day, but here's my blackie Squier '51 that I bought new at GC in 2007 for $69, about than 1/12th the price of the new Fenders ;)

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    These have nice fat necks too.

    But I have played the Fender version, and they've very nice, so congrats!

    BTW here's my sunburst one, which was much more expensive. $99 new at Sam Ash ;) It now sports a CV50 Tele neck (the stock fat '51 neck is now on the CV50) and it has a tone control and 3 way toggle I put in:

    [​IMG]
     

  11. frankthomson

    frankthomson Tele-Afflicted

    Jun 12, 2003
    Camelot
    i must had 5 of these, in every color they offered

    but i kept the blonde 51 Squier, but i changed the maple neck to an 81 USA bullet RW neck

    .....yea, its the secks :D

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    bad pix
    sweet axe
     

  12. Toto'sDad

    Toto'sDad Telefied Ad Free Member

    Jun 21, 2011
    Bakersfield
    tap4154,

    Has one just like yours a buddy gave to me. I put the springs out of a couple of throw away ink pins under the front pickup where you could adjust it, made a world of difference I stuck a couple of plastic washers on each end of the springs, and never encountered any feed back problems. I finally sold it to a very nice guy who got it for his son. Last I heard they were very happy with it. I smoothed some things up on it, and it played very, very nice. The neck was the best part of it, they really got it right with that little guitar. Even the original '51 sounded pretty good, I'm sure the high dollare version is super cool!

    The new Japan model the OP is showing looks really nice and the demo sounded grate. They had some sort of semi hollow body model here at the local GC, but I've never seen the '51 in the new model in person. The F hole looked super smooth though, so I'm sure it's a very nice guitar.
     

  13. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Telefied Ad Free Member

    I think you can get these Pawnshop 51s for about $ 600 if you can find one in stock at GC or Best Buy. If you've paid $ 800, take it back under the return policy and parlay yourself a better price.

    I've played these MIJs and frankly, I like the Indonesian ones better. Bigger, fatter necks; and pickups I like better. Sure, I have to replace the nut, the tuners and the saddles but for $ 69 each, I thought that was a fair deal.

    [​IMG]

    Had and have all 3 colors; owned a total of thirty (30) of them and gave away almost half of them. I know, old traditions die hard but more and more, I think FenderJapan offerings are massively overrated. Things made entirely in Japan (like a Honda S-2000) can be absolutely exquisite and spectacular but not everything made in Japan is a hit. They can stink it up as bad or worse than anyone else.
     
    decal likes this.

  14. thefees

    thefees Tele-Holic

    872
    Sep 8, 2010
    PA-US
    I woke up with an ephiphany

    Wow I realized a few things when I woke up this morning. One is how does Fender get that Tele/Strat bridge sound out of a humbucking pickup? Of course we are all going to say it is a split coil option, but it goes further than that. I have heard regular Humbuckers, and played them on Tele's in the bridge position and in the single coil setting they "resemble" a Tele pickup... well almost.

    I think what Fender did, and is the reason why they describe them as "Texas Specials with bridge Humbucking" is that they took a set of Texas Specials (Not Tex Mex which are half the price) and put the neck pickup in, and then created a custom Humbucker with two bridge Texas Specials sandwiched in Humbucking fashion so when you want single coil it IS a Tele Texas Special pickup. So in the Humbucking setting you ave twin side by side Texas Specials ready for almost twice the output. By the sound of them, you have the best of both worlds.

    I want to say I have 2 Les Pauls and ordered a third which will arrive just this week, and none of them have the ballsy bark of this 51. You heard the tape.

    Another point I wish to make. The no tone knob is not a mistake, it is rather part of the reason why this guitar sounds so outrageous. I know some people bypass the tone knobs on their guitars because of the enhanced sound. Even turned all the way up it must be doing some limiting.

    The best build, the best quality, the best sound and all at an unbelievable price next to Fenders top of the line which if you cherry pick you can get one as good as one of these.
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2012

  15. thefees

    thefees Tele-Holic

    872
    Sep 8, 2010
    PA-US
    Now to address the Squier question

    I see that the Squier 51 was part of the bullet series which are now selling at times, like when the local Guitar Center opened for only $80. When you play them you know why.
    I love Fender Squier Classic Vibes. I have 8 of them. They are the top of the line in that series and are a whole different guitar than the bullets.
    So onto the direct differences between the Squier 51 and the Fender 51.
    Fender 51 has an alder body instead of basswood. Instead of a cup screwed to the top of the guitar with string holes in the back, the Fender has the through body strings with ferrels in the back.

    The Texas special pickups as the Sam Ash site puts it...
    "The Fender Custom Shop Texas Special Pickups may not look much different than standard Fender Stratocaster pickups, but your ears will tell a completely different story. The Texas Special Pickups are a great, affordable way to immediately upgrade your Stratocaster without having the purchase a completely new Fender guitar.

    Fender Custom Shop Texas Special Pickups create a perfect treble/bass balance of high, mid, and low tones, and are the preferred pickups of bluesy rock, jazz, and country guitarists everywhere. The sound is punchy with high-output. Texas Special Pickups are standard equipment on premium instruments like the Steve Ray Vaughan Strat and other high end models. Treat your Fender Stratocaster to a trio of Custom Shop Texas Special Pickups; it’ll thank you later."

    Fender says the 51 has the Texas Special pickups on it just like they put on the SRV guitar. NOT the Tex Mex which are half of the price. I see the Strat Texas specials are $199 street price, and then you have the installation, which runs about $170. Now you just added $370 to the price of the guitar and still have a bullet. ???

    Remember I went nuts when I discovered this guitar just by a fluke and Guitar Center was having a special on it. Normally $850 on their web site right now, they are selling them for only $542 including a Deluxe Gig bag which brings the actual purchase to $522. (I didn't know it was Made in Japan, and I didn't know what it sounded like, I just plugged it in and heard it, and knew I couldn't leave the store without it) So even if you bought a bullet for $99 and added the Texas specials installed at $370 and you are now at $460 with a Squier bullet name on it instead of $522. May I repeat compare $460 instead of $522. How about resale value on Squier Bullets? and the absolute cheapest of the cheap components, build quality etc. etc. etc. plus all of the work is already done. No having to upgrade everything. This guitar is Made in Japan by a people who worship the work bench before they begin a days work and using all of the best components, procedures and exacting standards. So comparing this guitar to a Bullet is a travesty.

    As one guy put it on Gear Page in a forum talking about his $99 Squier Bullet, "Heck, I could change headstock decals and have an $800 guitar!" :rolleyes:

    So comparing the quality level of this guitar which is custom shop level of precision, sound, and playability to the very bottom of the pile of a $99 bullet is well kind of funny. :lol:

    By the way I luckily got in on the Special which ended yesterday on 9/16 so the price is now $849 again.

    So Fender is not off the mark when they priced this guitar.

    Let's talk a minute about Japanese made guitars. I have always yearned to have one. I won't talk in general terms, but rather say that this guitar is one of the smoothest, actually probably is THE smoothest playing guitar out of my 16 guitar collection. Right out of the box the strings are a rats hair above the fretboard. Action this low comes from perfect necks with accurately balanced frets.

    Now we get onto the hardware. Everything feels precision. Quality components, the plating seems to have been done in a dip and polish environment. The smoothness (non stickiness) of the neck is a dream to play. I have played many of the top end Fenders, and this one sits right at the very top for action, quality of build, and tone. I can see why Fender raised the price of this guitar up to over $1100.
     

  16. thefees

    thefees Tele-Holic

    872
    Sep 8, 2010
    PA-US
    They are $849 at Guitar Center and that is the discounted price.
    http://www.guitarcenter.com/Fender-Pawn-Shop--51-Electric-Guitar-106833650-i1858044.gc

    They had a very special special going and I only paid $542 with a deluxe Fender gig bag which is $20 so I actually paid $522 for it. The special ended on 9/16 so they are back to full price.

    I can see the personal preference of a fatter neck etc is well personal. Myself personally I love the size, feel, smoothness, and playability of the new Made in Japan model.

    I think I saw this at Sweetwater for only $799 and that is the cheapest I have seen so far.

    As far as Japanese quality is concerned, Consumer Reports send out a questionnaire to a million of it's subscribers and asks them to rate their cars. This is not a one question survey, but pages and pages of questions, they ask them about each and every system in their car from all makes and models, and also ask them what their reliability experience has been and if they would buy another one. Then they take the results and publish them on each make, model etc.

    The results are simple. Of the top 20 models as in the BESTthat Consumer Reports highly rated, 18 or 19 of them were Made in Japan. The Japanese people have a whole different set of ethics when it comes to work. Putting out a quality product is internal with them.

    After the metamorphosis that Detroit has gone through we are now producing great quality as well. It was necessary, the change, because in Consumer Reports back then the 20 WORST cars to own three quarters of them were made you know where. I know we can be the best, but I also know that attitudes can dictate quality
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2012

  17. thefees

    thefees Tele-Holic

    872
    Sep 8, 2010
    PA-US
    One last comment. My Fender 51 came with a neck that had a lot of figuring in it. I would call it a blend of flame maple neck, and quilted maple neck; not to extremes as as to distract, but in the right light it is incredibly beautiful. So I think it is true what I was told by a guitar pro, and he said, "Guitar manufacturers get in loads of wood, and they take their select pieces, the best, and set them aside for their top instruments, middle of the roads to the middle, and well leave the undesirables to the bottom." Of course they are not using junk wood in any of them, but it is just one more characteristic as to why you can't take a basic and make it the same as the top of the heap.

    I am remodeling my house right now so I can't take pictures. I am putting a studio in and will be able to provide quality sound videos at that time. Remodel first, and then learn Pro Tools, and then provide sound samples. Pictures of course will come a lot sooner than that.
     

  18. tap4154

    tap4154 Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Apr 14, 2009
    Southern California
    The Squier '51 wasn't part of the Bullet series, it was part of the Vintage Modified series. That's a Bullet neck that Frank put on his. Look at my black one if you want to see a stock model.

    Here's a pic of some neck profiles to show you what the neck is like.

    ..............CV50 tele............... '52 AVRI.................... Squier '51.................... Jimmie Vaughan Strat

    [​IMG]
     

  19. thefees

    thefees Tele-Holic

    872
    Sep 8, 2010
    PA-US
    Thank you for the update, and the photo.
     

  20. StratBluesRock

    StratBluesRock Friend of Leo's

    May 3, 2012
    Connecticut, USA
    My friend has a bone stock sunburst Squier '51. I don't like the quality of the pickups or the slimmed down body (which the Japanese ones have rectified) but it has a great neck.
     

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