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Congrats. Fender is blowing the 51s out the door for 99 bucks so they have a clear field when they introduce the new 51. They are addressing the erratic quality control of the present 51s and will probably upgrade the hardware. Bottom line is that the new 51s will have better quality, but they won't be the bang for the buck bargains they are now.

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Not meaning to hijack the thread, but here's my .02 on your questions:

How is your "51"?

I seem to have gotten a decent one. Body finish is flawless, no chips, dings or scratches anywhere. It's a sunberst finish and appears to be a 4-piece body. The grain isn't perfectly matched from piece to piece, but the appearance isn't objectionable in any way. The neck is maple with a "skunk stripe" up the back and a laminated birds-eye maple fretboard. Neck pocket is tight, and there were no loose or missing screws/hardware. The tuners actually feel better than the ones on my MIM Strat. No noise from any of the electronics/controls, and all seem to work well. The single-coil neck pickup is aligned perfectly beneath the strings, while the HB at the bridge is offset slightly toward the bottom of the guitar, to the point where the high 'E' string is positioned at the inside edge of the pickup magnet - the only real fault I can find so far.

What do you play it through?

I play through a Fender Blues Jr. or a Roland Microcube. Effects are Digitech RP-80>Boss OD-3>Danelectro Fab Chorus>Danelectro PB&J delay>amp. I play classic rock, country and blues (but none of them well - lol!) :)

Describe how you feel about it? $99...Hard to wrong...

The latter sentence pretty well sums it up. Overall I'm very satisfied with it. I'm not a gigging guitarist (still have a ways to go before I reach that point!), and don't have a high-end/high-dollar setup. To be honest, I doubt that I'd sound or play any better through a $2500 guitar than I do through a $99 one. My main reasons for buying the '51 were: 1)GAS; 2)It got pretty good reviews and looked like good bang for the buck; and 3)At that price point, I'm not afraid to mess with it - I figured it would be a good tinkering/project guitar.

Does it stay in Tune?

The strings it came with were brand-new, judging by the look, feel and sound - so it stays in tune as well as any axe with new strings on it. They've stabilized since I stretched them, but don't stay in tune any better or worse than any of my other guitars.

Have any Tele quality to it?

Yep. In the middle position (neck/HB) with the HB tapped/split, it has a passable Tele sound to it - not quite as twangy as a real Tele, but a reasonable facsimile. It has a definite Strat sound at the neck pickup, and a pretty good growl through the HB.

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Forgive my limited knowledge in electrics as I have never owned one and am trying to gain some knowledge in this before buying. Can a guitar with a "combination humbucker" resemble a tele in it's sound?



Combination meaning there maybe two different types of pick ups on the guitar...single coil or humbuckers. There are lipstick tubes, and gibson's version of the single coil called a P90. Slightly smaller than a humbucker bigger than single coil. Single coil most closely associated with Fenders, Humbuckers mostly with Gibson. Having said that: Teles have their own voiced single coiled pick ups. In general a Tele pick up does not fit on a Strat without modification to the body. A Strat pick up may fit a Tele although why not just go with a Strat. In my opinion the Tele is a Tele for a reason and it is a formidable guitar that can stand alone for many styles of music! So what's holding you back now? Versatile Guitar Lots of Uses, Styles not to be confused with the Strat. There are sounds on the Tele you can not get with a Strat. You can get some Strat sound from a Tele though.

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