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Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by vishnu, Dec 6, 2017.
Sorry .. RI, AVRI, AV, PV is one big blur to me
I've not personally played a Custom Shop, but I own two of the American Vintage line (a 56 strat and a 64 tele). Personally I fail to see what the extra dough would get you so far as tangible improvements go. The AVs are superb instruments, they feel and sound incredible.
I personally see no reason to fork out extra for a CS when the much more affordable AVs are so good.
Edited to correct AVRI to AV
Fender marketing-speak. Here's the progression as I understand it:
"RI" - the generic term for a "reissue". Also often applied to the CBS-era reissues made in Fullerton and the early FMIC-era reissues made in Corona. They were listed in catalogs and on price lists as the "U.S. Vintage Reissue" models.
"AVRI" - in the mid-1990s Fender started calling the reissues the "American Vintage Reissue" series. However, the term "AVRI" is typically applied to the 2nd generation models that came out in mid-1998 (for the '52 Tele, '57 Strat, '62 Strat, '57 P-bass, '62 P-bass and '62 Jazz Bass). This series added additional models in mid-late 1999: '62 Custom Tele, '62 Jazzmaster, and '62 Jaguar. Eventually they added some CBS-era models as AVRIs - a "70s Strat" circa 2005 and several Teles circa 2011: '69 Tele Thinline, '72 Tele Custom, and '72 Tele Thinline.
"AV" - is the "proper" abbreviation for the current "American Vintage" series that was released in August 2012 (they started shipping in October if I'm remembering correctly - they made a big deal about having special neck plates on the first 40 of each model). On the guitar side the current models are the '52 Tele, '58 Tele, '64 Tele, '56 Strat, '59 Strat (with either maple or rosewood fingerboard), '65 Strat, '65 Jazzmaster, and '65 Jaguar.
"PV" - stands for "Pure Vintage", which was the advertising tag line applied to the revised AV series when they came out in August 2012 but it wasn't the "official" name for the instruments. However, just to make us all the more confused "Pure Vintage" does appear to be the "official" name for the AV parts sold as accessories.
I don't pay much attention to street or MAP pricing, but since when is Fender charging $50 more for the AV models with rosewood fingerboard? Just noticed it on Fender.com. AV64 lists for $2049, not $1999. 65 Strat: $2349, not $2299...
Play them both, if possible.
Which one "Feels" best?
Which one sounds best?
I would go with the better "feeling" one, because you can always adjust/replace electronics to make it sound better.
I no longer worry about pedigree, country of origin or "perfect" specs...
If it feels right, sounds good and looks good, that's the axe I'll keep playing.
Not all pre Aug 2012 52s are bad and they are more accessible second hand. This 52HR keeps my black guard desire under control! Would love to see pix of some of those CS guitars discussed above!
Buying used, yes, I feel the CS holds value better. Buying new, at average 'street' price, you're going to take a hit either way, and probably more dollar wise on the CS.
No pre 52 Fender AVs are 'bad'.
The newer models may or not be 'more correct' or 'more real' to the 'old ones' but all the reissues had great and very good guitars. I think a lot of people would be shocked compared to Hotrods and newer iterations how old ones were less versatile even if great sounding or to play - within reason.
My 2012 65 Reissue Strat is a brilliant guitar in anyone's language. Everyone who's heard it or played it even in my nonexpert hands has said so. It can do 50's, it can do hard rock.
5 way switch and Fat 50s bridge pickup (only because I could cheaply) are the only mods. I have no doubt there are brilliant CS Strats and Teles of all eras. My 51 Thinline Nocaster was also brilliant and the guitar I miss the most out of any I sold (had to unfortunately).
That started earlier this year - maybe April? Fender said it was for handling the extra paperwork/documentation now required for all species of rosewood under the 2017 update of the CITES treaty. Prior to this year it was only Brazilian rosewood that was embargoed, but now all rosewood carries the documentation requirements - supposedly because those who enforce the CITES treaty don't know how to differentiate Brazilian from other species of rosewood so they require what is essentially a "passport" document to prove it's not Brazilian rosewood.
Fender has wound up switching from rosewood to pau ferro on their MIM models and from rosewood to ebony on the American Elite models to avoid CITES documentation; they are only using rosewood on American Professional, American Vintage, and USA Signature models that use rosewood. The American Specials also are still using rosewood, but I've never seen anything official from Fender as to whether they are going to stay rosewood or change to something else in the future.
Not surprisingly Fender kept the $50 price increase (and $25 increase on MIMs) on the models they changed away from rosewood.
I was aware of the whole CITES fiasco, but $50 per guitar seems a bit ridiculous. And as you say, once they no longer use the wood, they kept the price increase. I know ebony is seen as a high end tonewood, but I wouldn't want it on any of my Fenders. It's a very snappy sounding wood, extremely bright attack. Great for acoustics, not so much for a single coil long scale electric.
As said, I don't think any of these are "bad". In addition to perhaps being more vintage correct - or at least perceived vintage correct, which is what counts, I guess - I notice a big difference in weight and finish on these guitars. Just like the straight AVRI 52s made prior to 2013.
The finish on these later models is something special. Fender really outdid themselves for a non-CS guitar.
For me as the rule of thumb, I take the guitar and strum am open G chord. If I feel the guitar ringing and resonating well then I proceed to other checks (if the neck is comfortable, if bends are clean)
Re my mention of the USA special teles.....Wots the necks like on these jobs, are they way too slim?
I love my "Blackout" Strat (from the '10 for '15 collection) because of the ebony fretboard. It isn't different in the way it sounds... its the way it feels. My old Les Paul Custom that I played for 20+ years had an ebony fretboard.
I'll take ebony over rosewood everytime. I believe its more similar to a maple board than to rosewood.