1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  

Squier Classic Vibe '51 vs. Fender '51 Reissue

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by neddyrow, Mar 2, 2016.


  1. neddyrow

    neddyrow Captain of Team Orange Jacket Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2011
    Cortland, NY
    first off, i am mostly a double-bassist but i am looking to get an electric bass. i want something simple. i'd like a thick neck, full scale and just one pickup. it's also gotta look cool!

    my search has brought me to the fender '51 reissue. i've seen a few come and go here in the classifieds and am thinking of grabbing one next time one pops up.

    the thing is, i've also been looking at the squier classic vibe which is the knock-off version of the '51 reissue. this seems enticing since i don't play electric in a band and most likely don't need whatever makes it better plus i'm frugal.

    but what's the big difference? now i don't want this to be a fender vs. squier hate thread - just factual differences. if it's just a pickup thing, i could swap it out no problem if i dont like it. i've played a reissue but i won't get a chance to try the squier before buying so i am trusting you guys to help me with this. is the neck similar? is the feel similar?

    any help would be appreciated.
     
    Cole Louis Allar likes this.
  2. Gorn

    Gorn

    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    Fretwork, finish, pickup, hardware quality. That's about it really. I've played both and the Squier sounds great. Buying used it'd be $600ish vs $200ish. The Fender is a better instrument but the Squier should suit your needs just fine.
     
  3. blmeier7

    blmeier7 Supporting Member

    May 7, 2006
    Amarillo, TX
    I haven't played the Fender reissue but I do own the Squier CV 50's P. It's a solid bass for sure. The neck is nice and thick, I like it. The big difference is going body wood between the two. Pickups, tuners, and bridge are going to vary slightly.
     
    ColdEye and neddyrow like this.
  4. neddyrow

    neddyrow Captain of Team Orange Jacket Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2011
    Cortland, NY
    that's what i was thinking...thanks!
     
    pudgychef likes this.
  5. chadds

    chadds

    Mar 18, 2000
    Those single coil early Ps can really sound like uprights.
     
    Matthew Barrack likes this.
  6. mojomike001

    mojomike001

    Mar 28, 2013
    South Florida
    There are some distinct advantages of the Squier. It has a much better bridge than the vintage two-saddle bridge on the reissue. It can be easily intonated properly. For most, the Squier is more comfortable to play because it has more modern belly and forearm contours as well as more rounded radii.

    What it lacks is the panache of the reissue and the Fender logo on the headstock.
     
    SwitchGear, TomCuervo, JiJ and 9 others like this.
  7. Antisyzygy

    Antisyzygy

    Dec 8, 2014
    Washington
    The Fender Reissue has a string through body with a dual saddle bridge with brass saddles (usually). It's impossible to intonate with that bridge 100% correctly. You have to buy special swivel saddles to do it right, or just swap the bridge. The body is made of Ash and the pickup is a little better than what's in the Squier 51. In general the hardware is going to be a little higher quality on the Fender. "Hardware" meaning the tuners, bridge, etc.

    However, Squiers have 100% adequate hardware most of the time.

    The Squier 51 P has a pine body (which consequently was something Leo Fender early on used) and a high-mass bridge with brass saddles. The bridge is top-load only, so you don't have a string through body. That bridge can be intonated properly since it has one saddle for each string instead of having two strings share one saddle. The Squier 51 bridge is actually really high quality. The tuners are adequate.

    On the topic of string through vs. top loading, some people swear there is a difference but I've never noticed one.

    The only other difference I can think of is that the Squier 51 is going to have a pretty heavy gloss poly finish on the neck and body. The Fender will likely be a bit more satiny feeling, or if it's all gloss the finish is usually applied lighter.

    Personally, I'd get the Squier 51 and upgrade the pickup. There are a lot of pickups to choose from. I didn't like the stock pickup in my Squier 51 (when I owned it) so I replaced it with a Fralin Split 51'. That allowed for hum-cancelling and it beefed up the low end. The stock pickup sounded a bit hollow to me. Seymour Duncan also makes replacement pickups that are inexpensive and popular.
     
  8. shawshank72

    shawshank72

    Mar 22, 2009
    Canada
     
    FlatwoundFunk and aaronious like this.
  9. shawshank72

    shawshank72

    Mar 22, 2009
    Canada
    Perfectly put.
     
  10. Antisyzygy

    Antisyzygy

    Dec 8, 2014
    Washington
    I actually had a fretless 51 P I made that you would have likely been interested in. It was made from a Squier Classic Vibe 50s bass body, with an AllParts Tele Bass fretless neck. Sadly I sold it already.

    00e0e_43HpqOWDavt_600x450.

    Long story short I owned a 51 Squier I kept stock for awhile, but I converted it to that ^^^^. That's the bass I mentioned earlier I swapped the pickup out on for the Fralin Split 51. It was an excellent pickup. The bass also had a harness with a special tone control called a "Varitone" that I had setup to produce some nice Jazz EQ'd sounds. It got close to a upright tone with some of the settings but I won't say it's perfect.

    Guitar/bass pickups actually don't pick up some of the string movement, while acoustics do, so you can't really get a perfect upright sound on an electric.

    Here's another bass you might consider - Fender 50s Precision (also comes in sunburst finish) :

    Screen Shot 2016-03-02 at 7.41.03 AM.

    The Fender 50s P is a great model. I have the Road Worn version, it's amazing. The nice thing about getting a P bass with the split coil pickup is you get a fatter sound with hum-cancelling, and there are SO MANY split P pickups available out there you can really get any tone you want.

    One other thing to mention is that the more modern split P style pickup senses a wider area of the string. You'll be missing some harmonics with the single coil version just because it's sensing a narrow area of the string in an area where you can't pick up certain harmonics. It's just physics. Strings vibrate with certain amplitudes at various parts of the string and "nodes" exist where there is virtually no movement for specific harmonics. The 51' P pickup happens to be traditionally located under a node for I believe the 4th harmonic (for open strings).

    This source (again) has an explanation of that effect. Pickup location determines what harmonics they can sense. As you fret notes it changes the locations of the nodes I mentioned, but it's just something to keep in mind.
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2016
  11. Antisyzygy

    Antisyzygy

    Dec 8, 2014
    Washington
    I forgot to add something about the necks.

    The truss rod on the Fender is likely going to be accessible at the heel of the neck. It's a bit harder to adjust this way, but you can remove the pickguard and get 'er done usually. Some people remove the neck to do it but I've never found it necessary.

    The truss rod on the Squier is accessible easily at the headstock.

    The neck on the Squier 51 is closer to a modern P bass neck profile and thickness. I'm not sure about the Fender.

    Both necks should have smaller vintage style frets.

    Both necks are one-piece maple with a skunk stripe. The skunk stripe is a piece of wood installed on the back of the neck to cover up the truss rod route. "One piece" meaning there isnt a second piece of wood attached that becomes the fretboard. Those features are period correct. A separate piece of wood for the fretboard increases neck stability, but the skunk stripe is reputed to add a little strength and stability to the neck already. Many one piece necks have been around for decades without problems so I wouldn't worry too much about that.
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2016
  12. lpdeluxe

    lpdeluxe Still rockin'

    Nov 22, 2004
    Deep E Texas
    The split-coil (Classic '50S, above) is a very different beast from the '51. I own both, and while I used the '50s for several years in a working band, it's not ideal for all material. Compared to the single-coil, it has a smoother attack and longer sustain. I'm playing my '51 is a combo without a drummer, just a percussionist, and it has the "thump" I need to define the beat.

    I can't really speak to whether the Squier is as good, since I haven't played one. My Fender has an American Deluxe bridge, which drops right in, allows string-through and has four saddles.

    P1010489_zpsoxvap1po.
     
    ColdEye likes this.
  13. stonehenge

    stonehenge

    Apr 8, 2011
    Duvall WA
    what is the Squier 51? I don't think I have seen that one, the Fender 51 reissue has a slab body and a two saddle string through bridge where the Squier Classic Vibe 50s has a contoured body (more like a 54 Precision) and a four saddle top load bridge, small differences but makes for quite a different bass in my opinion.
     
    jmattbassplaya likes this.
  14. I'd get the CV because......body contours.
     
  15. Antisyzygy

    Antisyzygy

    Dec 8, 2014
    Washington
    I totally didn't think of that when I made my differences list. That is absolutely true! The Squier 51 has a more comfortable body contour.
     
  16. neddyrow

    neddyrow Captain of Team Orange Jacket Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2011
    Cortland, NY
    it's officially called the squier classic vibe...they have a few. the one i am interested in is the one that is a semi-replica of the original '51 Pbass

    i think i'm going to squier. i like the contoured body over the slab. and the bridge sounds like a better option.

    i would rather the satiny finish but i can take care of that....and the pickup too.

    thanks for all the input....it's really helped form my decision!
     
    FlatwoundFunk likes this.
  17. Antisyzygy

    Antisyzygy

    Dec 8, 2014
    Washington
    Yeah, if you get some fine scotch brite pads you can just rub them up and down the back of the neck to get it feeling nice and satiny.

    If you want pickup recommendations, let us know what sort of sound you're looking for.
     
    neddyrow likes this.
  18. I had the Fender Reissue and the lack of body contours turned out to be a much bigger deal than I expected. I just hated playing it. I haven't bought a Squier CV yet but it's on my list.
     
  19. neddyrow

    neddyrow Captain of Team Orange Jacket Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2011
    Cortland, NY
    thanks for the offer of help! what do you recommend?

    it seems the fralins are the top choice.

    i'd just like to combat the "hum" i hear about but like the split coil sound
     
  20. stonehenge

    stonehenge

    Apr 8, 2011
    Duvall WA
    That's what I figured you meant, just wasn't sure if there was a Squier model I want aware of, I had the 51 reissue and currently have the Squier CV 50s and think I prefer the Squier, not to complicate things but the Fender Sting signature is also a great choice for an early 50s style P bass
     

    Attached Files:

    neddyrow likes this.

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.