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1985 MIJ Custom 62 Telecaster vs AVRI 62

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by Teletoaster, Aug 11, 2017.

  1. Teletoaster

    Teletoaster Tele-Meister

    259
    Aug 24, 2013
    Earth 01
    Hi,

    I am in the marked for a new Tele :)

    I did a lot of research and read only good things about mid 80s Teles from Japan.

    Is there anyone who is lucky enough to have played a 1985 Custom 62 and a 62 AVRI Tele or maybe even own(ed) both?

    I am wondering how they compare and which plays sounds feels better (I know highly subjective but I hope to get some opinions). And which one is more vintage accurate?

    Both have the same C Shaped Neck, Scale Length, Fingerboard Radius and Alder Body.

    These are the Differences I know about:
    MIJ "Telecaster" vs AVRI "Custom Telecaster" decal
    MIJ Polyester vs AVRI Nitrocellulose Lacquer Finish
    MIJ round vs AVRI top hat switch
    MIJ TL-Vintage vs AVRI ‘62 Tele Custom Pickups
    MIJ A Serial vs AVRI Pat. Pend. bridgeplate
    MIJ compensated vs AVRI threaded bridge saddles
    MIJ 7 lbs vs AVRI 7,7 lbs
     

  2. brogh

    brogh Super Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 26, 2010
    italy
    Well in theory the AVRI should be a guitar with better overall components, but you never really know until you play em, personally i would go on the AVRI, i have two and totally love both YMMV.

    Cheers
     
    brookdalebill and Ex-riverman like this.

  3. Teletoaster

    Teletoaster Tele-Meister

    259
    Aug 24, 2013
    Earth 01
    I have read that the electronics are supposed to be better on AVRIs but the overall built of mid 80s MIJs is superior.
    Have you played one of those as well?
     

  4. brogh

    brogh Super Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 26, 2010
    italy
    Hi I had the chance to play ONCE a 62 AVRI, I had a MJ 62 but it was not the 80's version.

    AVRI 62 are pretty rare here, sometimes they pop up but not that much, the electronics on my MJT where really not the best not supercheapocrap, but still .. swapped all the electronics except the pickups, which where indeed CS texas special, was better after that, more control.

    Both played great, i ended up selling the MIJ62 to get my N°1, would i buy one again ? YES ! ( but i'll swap the pups for something more vintage )

    if i had all the money to get the avri 62 i probably would have got it at the time. but me & the seller didn't come to an agreement so ...

    Hope it helps, i think that somebody else will pop in:)
     

  5. Chris H.

    Chris H. Tele-Afflicted

    Jan 2, 2010
    UK
    I have an 89' 62 MIJ and a 2011 sunburst AVRI 62 and the main differences are:
    Better pickups in the AVRI, electronics in the MIJ were ok
    Neck feels wider on the AV, narrow and slim neck on the MIJ.
    Build quality on both is excellent. If you find an 80s MIJ try it first but ive owned 2 and love them with a pickup change.

    Ive owned 3 AVRI 62s and the necks varied in thickness from ruler thin to medium C
     

  6. Pete Baker

    Pete Baker Tele-Meister

    Age:
    47
    156
    Aug 16, 2006
    Maryland
    I've owned and played both, and they are both wonderful guitars. The MIJ guitars got their reputation back when you could get them cheap. They used to be $200- $300 on the used market for a long time but that started to change around 2006 ish. The build quality is (fit, finish, frets, etc...) generally excellent on them. The electronics are usually sub par, on the eighties ones anyway. The switches. jacks, solder joints, and quality of materials used in the pickups are just junky. Also, I think the control plate on the older MIJ guitars needs to be modified to accept higher quality parts (metric sizing vs inches).
    I've never met an American one that I had any problems with, but they are more expensive, or used to be. As usual, play each one first.
     

  7. Teletoaster

    Teletoaster Tele-Meister

    259
    Aug 24, 2013
    Earth 01
    Thanks for sharing your experiences!

    What is your No 1?

    I could get the 80s MIJ for 800€ and the AVRI for 1400€. Can't try either of them..
     

  8. Ex-riverman

    Ex-riverman Tele-Meister

    Age:
    44
    464
    Jun 17, 2016
    Tulsa, OK
    I have a 1964 AVRI Tele. That leads me to recommend the AVRI. Price being equal. I'd probably still pay a premium to have the AVRI. Nitro is nice.
     

  9. Allen Peterson

    Allen Peterson Tele-Meister

    231
    Sep 15, 2016
    Katy, Texas
    I have a 1985 MIJ 62ri. I don't have a 62 AVRI to compare it to. But I do have a 2015 American Standard. The MIJ did have weak electronics (the pickups were microphonic and gutless). I changed the pickups and the 3-way switch. The MIJ has a much better neck than the American Standard. This makes it easier to play, even with the vintage frets. The American Standard is heavier and will give you a work out on a 4-hour gig. I don't know how heavy the MIJ is, but my shoulder is not tired after a gig. My vote is the MIJ, but plan on replacing some of the electronics.
     

  10. Dacious

    Dacious Friend of Leo's

    Mar 16, 2003
    Godzone
    Not Teles, but I owned a nineties natural/whiteguard Strat '68 reissue - 4-bolt, small headstock. I no longer own it, because it was an anodyne guitar, that didn't stand out in any way, except a nicely grained ash body. The neck, hardware, body and everything just seemed dinky and slightly undersized like they'd gone down to the nearest metric equivalent. Finish was good, but gloopy and thick like glass. A divot that chipped off the back bottom edge on a stand was about 1.5mm thick

    I now own a "62 AVRI (Shoreline Gold) which, while ostensibly the same or similar spec pickups, pots etc, is like a whole different guitar. .

    It feels, looks and sounds awesome. No-one ever enthused about the CiJ. Plenty of people have asked to try the AVRI and two asked if I was interested in selling. Pickups, hardware, looks, finish. It did have one minor QC error in a blob of paint in the neck pocket side that misaligned the neck, easy fix.

    I wouldn't get hung up on poly vs lacquer, every old ash Tele is sealed in clear stearate or Fullerplast which is basically inert plastic pore filler so they used less paint on it. Most sunburst and custom 60's colours are Lucite which is acrylic, with nitro clear. There's no 'old dry wood' breathing underneath a thin nitro coat, and apart from the 'thinskin' guitars where you pay 'more' for less' the AVRI are a shot of nitro clear over poly sealer/undercoat/colour paint.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Aug 12, 2017

  11. Southpole

    Southpole Tele-Meister

    475
    Apr 10, 2014
    WellingtonNZ
    This is my MIA AVRI 62. No regrets buying this. You would think that the fact they were manufactured for nearly 30 years would make them reasonably available, but no. I'd love one with black finish and white binding. MIA or MIJ.

    IMG_0838.JPG
     

  12. Teletoaster

    Teletoaster Tele-Meister

    259
    Aug 24, 2013
    Earth 01
    Hm. Still not really convinced to pay +600€ for the AVRI if I only might have to switch the electronics on the MIJ to get a similar good guitar.

    Maybe someone can chime in who own both?
     

  13. Hollandcaster

    Hollandcaster Tele-Holic

    Age:
    45
    769
    Jan 31, 2005
    Wagenberg, Holland
    Japs were heavier in weight, neck plays different with polyester vs nitro, avri have great vintage style cases, avri will age nicer because the nitro, resale value is better with avri, avri is like the original built in the usa

    Buy the MIJ, change the ekectronics and buy a good case, it never will be a avri...
    Imho
     

  14. Dacious

    Dacious Friend of Leo's

    Mar 16, 2003
    Godzone
    If you play lots of effects or distorted tone it probably matters less. But I agree that a nice AVRI is something a MIJ won't be, even if you swap electrics. Now - some people find the MIJ is all they need. And if so, that's cool. Some MIJ come with Texas Special pickups - again some people like them, I'm not a big fan personally.
     

  15. Teletoaster

    Teletoaster Tele-Meister

    259
    Aug 24, 2013
    Earth 01
    In my case the MIJ is lighter than the AVRI

    Seems like the overall opinion is that the AVRI is better.
    I just found this article where someone raves about his 80s MIJ tele :)
     

  16. Dacious

    Dacious Friend of Leo's

    Mar 16, 2003
    Godzone
    One thing to bear in mind - my guitar teacher had a double-bound Donahue. It was a great guitar with meh pickups and a cheap pcb- framed super switch. We put a set of 4kohm Red Rhodes pickups - massive pole pickups, super punch, super twang you could taste, and that was awesome. - it was see-through Candy Apple Red, and you could see past the finish and binding on the sides, it was alder caps front and rear on a basswood sandwich centre - this was apparent in the neck pocket. Didn't stop it turning out excellent and really a great guitar. And - it was very light. This was a MIJ, boatneck, so pre '88.
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2017

  17. Teletoaster

    Teletoaster Tele-Meister

    259
    Aug 24, 2013
    Earth 01
    To bring more color into this thread… here is a picture of the MIJ one I am considering.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2017

  18. brogh

    brogh Super Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 26, 2010
    italy
    AVRI 72 Custom :) I totally love that one .. the 58 is getting near .. but not that near :)
     

  19. superbadj

    superbadj Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    43
    Mar 26, 2008
    roanoke, va
    Just for clarity:
    Both have top hat switches
    Both have threaded bridge saddles

    You're more likely to want to change the pickups in an MIJ but that's it. I think they're the best bang-for-the-buck in Fender's catalog.
     

  20. Teletoaster

    Teletoaster Tele-Meister

    259
    Aug 24, 2013
    Earth 01
    Are you shure? Because all mid 80s 62 Tele I saw as well as the one I am looking at hast a round switch and compensated saddles!
     

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