NGD! Squier ’51, some mods.

GreatDaneRock

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Dec 6, 2018
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Hi all, I’m the proud owner of a 2005 Squier 51 in blond with a black guard.

It was kept in immaculate shape and all stock except a previous owner did an awesome job of drilling the headstock for OEM Fender tuners. I paid $250 on Reverb (I know, but it’s 2022, not 2007 anymore) plus shipping and tax, a total of $320. I’m pleased with the deal given the ongoing prices for these.

I modded it with a Wilkinson WTSB short Tele bridge, GFS chromed metal humbucker ring and Fender locking tuners. I then adjusted the setup, adjusted the pickup height (this pickup is rather hot, I love it), and bam! It’s a keeper and will likely be a workhorse in my lineup.

The HB is interesting, punchy, chimey, and articulate. It cleans up very well even in full HB mode. The coil split is very nice with the coil closest to the neck active, which is the opposite of most HB split. The neck pickup is loud and sings!

The neck, oh the neck… heavenly. I already had experience with this neck as I have a Squier VM Custom II made in the same factory in the same year, and since the ’51 is Vintage Modified series (if I understand correctly) I knew the neck would be awesome, and it is!

Anyway, I’m stoked about the guitar, here are some pics. Any love currently for these Squier ‘51s?

IMG_20220922_163011665_HDR.jpg
IMG_20220922_163017045_HDR.jpg
 

ReverendRevolver

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Feb 2, 2019
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Ohio (Nerk)
I remember when they came out, a bass player I knew bought one and an epi valve Jr and brought them to a jam session where we hooked it up to my bassman cab.

They were $150 new, and that was the most fantastic bargain conceivable.

A few months back I almost responded to a FB marketplace post for one 2 hours away for $175, but it looked like it had been left out in a barn for a few years.

I don't think VM series existed in 2005. I'll look at some old MF magazines in a bit to clarify, but I think they were just a squire '51 without a series.

That bridge looks nice on it.

Enjoy!
 

Call Me Al

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Last edited:

GreatDaneRock

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Dec 6, 2018
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Central FL
Well that sure is a beauty, enjoy! I’ve had and played some very nice squiers in the 2001-05 time frame, seems like a good era.

Looks like it’s a VM indeed:

Edit: that link says 2013-2016, but the 2005 catalog lists it under VM as well. I believe there were 2 generations of the 51!
That's correct, there was the original 04-06 generation,, followed by a reissue generation 2013-2015(?) that had differences from the first run, mainly neck shape and pickups.

A lot of folks seem to prefer the original run versus the 2nd generation. The only big issue with the first gen is the idiotic top -loader bridge, dam near impossible to restring.

GDR
 

ChicknPickn

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Hi all, I’m the proud owner of a 2005 Squier 51 in blond with a black guard.

It was kept in immaculate shape and all stock except a previous owner did an awesome job of drilling the headstock for OEM Fender tuners. I paid $250 on Reverb (I know, but it’s 2022, not 2007 anymore) plus shipping and tax, a total of $320. I’m pleased with the deal given the ongoing prices for these.

I modded it with a Wilkinson WTSB short Tele bridge, GFS chromed metal humbucker ring and Fender locking tuners. I then adjusted the setup, adjusted the pickup height (this pickup is rather hot, I love it), and bam! It’s a keeper and will likely be a workhorse in my lineup.

The HB is interesting, punchy, chimey, and articulate. It cleans up very well even in full HB mode. The coil split is very nice with the coil closest to the neck active, which is the opposite of most HB split. The neck pickup is loud and sings!

The neck, oh the neck… heavenly. I already had experience with this neck as I have a Squier VM Custom II made in the same factory in the same year, and since the ’51 is Vintage Modified series (if I understand correctly) I knew the neck would be awesome, and it is!

Anyway, I’m stoked about the guitar, here are some pics. Any love currently for these Squier ‘51s?

View attachment 1031955
View attachment 1031956
Always did have a hankering for one of these. Nice specimen.
 

Michael A.

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Jan 12, 2013
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Virginia Beach, VA
A lot of folks seem to prefer the original run versus the 2nd generation. The only big issue with the first gen is the idiotic top -loader bridge, dam near impossible to restring.

The $12 solution using the original bridge plate is the Bubba mod. Totally reversible, other than the 3 holes drilled in the heel of the bridge. Ends dealing with the buzzy stock saddles.

2007-01-22 00.20.45.jpg 2007-01-02 13.07.46.jpg
 

GreatDaneRock

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The $12 solution using the original bridge plate is the Bubba mod. Totally reversible, other than the 3 holes drilled in the heel of the bridge. Ends dealing with the buzzy stock saddles.

View attachment 1039877 View attachment 1039878
The Bubba Mod is famous and I considered it, but I have tried three-saddle with no side support bridges, really uncomfortable for palm muting, to me. So I purposely chose the telestyle short bridge because of the raised sides.
 

Lonn

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I've owned a bunch of the first generation. There used to be a 51 Modders site that died a slow death, but was VERY active for a few years.
 

Peegoo

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I remember when these were a thing. At the end of their production run some online vendors blew them out for $99. A pal of mine didn't like the shape of the pickguard and they were easily modified. Here's some from back in 2007:

 

2HBStrat

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Oct 21, 2019
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Four Rivers Area of Middle America
Hi all, I’m the proud owner of a 2005 Squier 51 in blond with a black guard.

It was kept in immaculate shape and all stock except a previous owner did an awesome job of drilling the headstock for OEM Fender tuners. I paid $250 on Reverb (I know, but it’s 2022, not 2007 anymore) plus shipping and tax, a total of $320. I’m pleased with the deal given the ongoing prices for these.

I modded it with a Wilkinson WTSB short Tele bridge, GFS chromed metal humbucker ring and Fender locking tuners. I then adjusted the setup, adjusted the pickup height (this pickup is rather hot, I love it), and bam! It’s a keeper and will likely be a workhorse in my lineup.

The HB is interesting, punchy, chimey, and articulate. It cleans up very well even in full HB mode. The coil split is very nice with the coil closest to the neck active, which is the opposite of most HB split. The neck pickup is loud and sings!

The neck, oh the neck… heavenly. I already had experience with this neck as I have a Squier VM Custom II made in the same factory in the same year, and since the ’51 is Vintage Modified series (if I understand correctly) I knew the neck would be awesome, and it is!

Anyway, I’m stoked about the guitar, here are some pics. Any love currently for these Squier ‘51s?

View attachment 1031955
View attachment 1031956
I always wanted one of those
 

PhredE

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Sep 25, 2017
Posts
2,041
Location
Suburban PDX, OR
<<-- I have a biased opinion!

I did a few mods to mine (apologies to the 'vintage-only' folks..):

Upgraded tuners,
Swapped nut to TUSQ
Swapped out bridge+saddles with Gotoh unit (chromed brass)
and more recently, replaced frets (Fender OEM, medium) on it as my first attempt I botched badly.

I really do like it. It's sounding and playing great.
It's a lot of guitar for not much $$$.

Oh, and the very simple suggestion (credit to poster JRapp on this) to hone down the icy picky-ness (due to no tone control) by simply soldering a small value cap (300 mf IIRC ?) across the jack leads is a good, quick and cheap solution for those that want to do so.


$169 new in 2015. Upgrades were about another $100 spread over a few years.
 

Mr. St. Paul

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Joined
Mar 26, 2013
Posts
864
Location
Saint Paul, MN
Picked up a used blonde one back in '06 for $125. Discovered the Squier 51 site and started modding. New bridge, tortoise pickguard, custom decal, cover for the humbucker...even stained the neck with Kiwi brown shoe polish to get rid of the bone-white look. Had a ton of fun with it, loved the neck. When I got my Modern Player Tele Plus a few years back, it covered all the bases the 51 did, plus a few more. A good friend of mine had always coveted it, so I sold it to him for $125. It's in a good home and gets plenty of playing time.
 




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