Pawn Shop series has an interesting creed: Best guitars that never were. It means that none of these vintage guitars were ever in the production lines before, that they are Fender`s take on the theme "What if it looked liked this". One of the best examples is Pawn Shop '51. It features Strat`s double cut body, which is made of alder and covered with an early Precision Bass pickguard. Of course, such guitar never existed, but it sure looks faithful enough to trick someone. Bridge is a hardtail with six saddles and string-through construction. Enforcer humbucker is in the bridge and a slanted Texas single coil pickup in the neck position. Maple neck has a bolt-on joint and C contour. It`s topped with a 21-fret maple neck.
Guitarists who reviewed Pawn Shop '51 play these music styles:rock, blues
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Having flirted with soft-tails, HSH configurations, Gibsons versus Fenders and everything in between, I think I have finally learnt that I like, need and play most comfortably on two pickup hard-tail guitars with as little clutter, in the way of knobs and switches, as can be gotten away with. The question as to whether to go with maple, rosewood, ebony, or one of the numerous synthetic fretboards is not as easily addressed and, looks aside, seems to be determined more by the contour, finish and fret wire shape and width, than the base material used . There are probably those who can hear the added brightness of a quatersawn log, but I`m not one of them and I doubt that they are guitar players. In a beauty contest I would go for maple every-time, particularly when it involves bird`s eye or flamed varieties. I like the 51`s fast, shiny finish and medium jumbo frets. The contour feels more gentle than a U and has just the right chunkiness to it. Acoustically, especially given its relative lightness, the 51 is resonant and bright sounding. Plugged in, you can get all the sounds you need, unless you`ve overdone the hallucinogens and think that anything strange sounding and ear-splittingly loud must be good. Heavy hands are not required to play this guitar and finger fatigue is not an issue. The intonation problems inherent in many Teles, due to their arrangement of 3 angled saddles, is solved by the six saddles found on this hybrid. Japanese build standards remain as high as ever and the finish on my `black beauty` is faultless. To my eye, Strats are marred by their oversized headstocks and, less so, by their front output jacks; not an issue for Telecasters, from which this guitar has borrowed the best features. Turning it around, a Strat`s contoured body on a Tele is as nice change. A review published in a Premier magazine, mistaking opinion for fact, commented upon the obviously "ugly" scratchplate contours, despite my thinking that this is one of the guitar`s more attractive features. The 51`s price when introduced put it into territory where a few hundred pounds extra bought some pretty special guitars, not that this isn`t special, but there are no locking tuners, figured woods or novel electronic gizmos here. At its current price, including deluxe gigbag (Â£432 - Â£437 - Butterscotch at Musik-productiv and Black at Thomman, respectively), its over Â£125 less than an MIM Baja Tele, which barring a few electronic bells and whistles, is neither as well made, easy to play, or interesting to look at. The comparison may seem random, but I have a Baja, bought when its price dropped from around Â£500 to Â£345. This guitar may well follow the same trajectory as people catch on to the good sense that having a mongrel makes, so maybe it`s time to raid your piggy banks and get a bit of the 51`s bark and bite. Perhaps I ought to take my own advice and buy another one as an investment ... after all, they do come in two colours.
After having this guitar for about I year I can say the tone and feel is out standing. This is the perfect rock/blues guitar.
Fender Pawn Shop '51 4.24 out of 5 based on 7 ratings
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