As the keen-eyed among you may have guessed, the Squier classic vibe 50’s Telecaster is based on the iconic design of the 1950’s ‘blackguard’ era Fender Telecasters, but with compromises for the sake of cost and a selection of modern features to improve playability.
The tuners are vintage style and hold tune very well indeed. In fact, the ones you see on mine in the pictures are locking tuners the previous owner installed which actually seem to hold tune less well than the stock tuners. The neck has a modern fingerboard radius of 9.5” and medium jumbo frets to improve comfort and facilitate easier string bends.
The black pickguard remains single-ply as on original ‘50s Fenders, but as a result of age and over-tightening of the screws, these original guards would commonly crack around the screw holes. To combat this, the classic vibe series pickguard has a more modern three-ply thickness.
The vintage lacquered neck will divide opinion. Some players don’t like lacquered necks on the basis that they find them sticky under certain conditions i.e. heat and sweat. This is not a problem I have ever encountered and frankly I think the finish makes the guitar feel much nicer under the fingers, as well as giving it a more vintage appearance.
The combination of the brass saddles (again, in the example pictured, the saddles are not original), original style bridge and custom vintage pickups give this guitar a classic vintage Tele tone.
For the price, these are a very hard guitar to beat in terms of build quality and sound and in my own opinion if you get a good example, they easily outperform the more expensive Fender Mexican standards. In particular, if the vintage look is something you are interested in, you will find it very hard to beat any of the classic vibe series models on price, and the 50’s Tele is no exception.