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2016 AV 52 and 2018 AO 50s

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by FrostyMorn, Feb 2, 2020.

  1. sugarinthegourd

    sugarinthegourd Tele-Meister

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    Is is a ’52?
     
  2. EsquireOK

    EsquireOK Poster Extraordinaire

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    IME on the ones I've tried, the AO '50s' neck is closer to the slimmer profile of the AV '58, even though the look of the guitar is like a '52. But the edges of the 9 1/2" radius make the sides of the neck seem "taller," so the neck of the AO '50s feels in between the AV '52 and AV '58.

    The AO frets are taller, and a bit wider. They are 6105s: .090" wide by .055" tall (before leveling and dressing). You might recognize them as the same frets used by Gibson on most instruments during the bulk of the Henry J. years (up till around 2014 or so), though Gibson usually dressed them horribly, with very little crown, sharp/square edges, and a poor polish. AV frets are .078" by .043". The difference in feel is rather large to me. The AO necks fret more like Gibson necks than like classic Fender necks.
     
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  3. FrostyMorn

    FrostyMorn TDPRI Member

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    Thanks for the technical details on the fret wire. I think that extra .012 in height makes for some cleaner multi-string finger bars. In my case, anyway.
     
  4. sardinista

    sardinista Tele-Meister

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    My AO 50s is just a bit over 7 lbs. I absolutely love that guitar, and I prefer it to the AV 52 that I used to own. My only complaints re: the AO are cosmetic. The AV has a paler butterscotch finish and a tinted neck, both of which I prefer to the AO implementation. Otherwise, yeah... the AO is among the best Telecasters I've ever played.

    https://www.instagram.com/p/B7esZaDHHxN/
     
  5. EsquireOK

    EsquireOK Poster Extraordinaire

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    AVs did not have tinted necks – none of them, not even special and/or limited models. They were the first line that eliminated them (thank goodness). The clear lacquer on AVs was dead clear. Any tinting you see is a result of finish yellowing, or a darker piece of maple.
     
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  6. sardinista

    sardinista Tele-Meister

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    <shrug>

    What I can tell you is that, brand new, the neck on the AV that I had was significantly/noticeably darker than the neck on my AO. I don't know how that occurred, and assumed the AVs were lightly tinted (because they sure seem consistently darker than the AOs).
     
  7. EsquireOK

    EsquireOK Poster Extraordinaire

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    Nope. Definitely not.

    The non tinted AV necks were a big deal when they came out in late 2012, after 30 years of piss colored tints on reissues. Some people loved 'em; some people hated 'em.

    AO continued the clear finish introduced with the AVs.

    You are seeing either variation in wood color, or aged AV finish, or you are relying solely on memory (which is an unreliable source). There is variation, but AVs were not consistently darker than AOs.

    FWIW, I own seven AVs, and every one has a dead-ass clear lacquer finish on the neck. It's one of the main reasons I jumped on the AV bandwagon in full force, after mostly shunning AVRIs for years.

    AOs take the AV parts and leave them alone. They just use a poly sealer where AVs used a lacquer sealer, and the AOs use a slightly thicker mix of lacquer, and modern radius and frets. Other than that, the parts and specs are the same as AVs.
     
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  8. FrostyMorn

    FrostyMorn TDPRI Member

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    Yes, that is another difference. I do prefer the slightly darker fingerboard of the AO. I'd like it better if it was rosewood, but factory guitars with my kind of neck profile don't come that way!

    Splitting hairs with that issue though.
     
  9. Coyoteaz

    Coyoteaz Tele-Meister

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    I picked up a AO50's last week and its already blown by my other Telecasters including my Custom Shop Nocaster. Love the neck and the frets. Sounds amazing! It is taking me a second to get used to that rolled fingerboard.

    [​IMG]
     
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  10. gwjensen

    gwjensen Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    Beautiful grain and the perfect neck tint with just the right amount of contrast with the body, IMO. I got one a couple weeks ago and it has the somewhat darker neck like yours compared to the photo in the Fender website with the pale neck. Anyway, I love mine. Congrats!
     
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  11. Coyoteaz

    Coyoteaz Tele-Meister

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    Nice! Yeah, it seems like the new ones have a darker tint on the neck then what I saw last year.
     
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  12. FrostyMorn

    FrostyMorn TDPRI Member

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    Yeah, grain on that is very nice. I think the neck on mine looks like that, it's not with me at the moment.

    And the AO fingerboard feels barely rolled at all when compared to the AV 52. Imagine that.
     
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  13. sardinista

    sardinista Tele-Meister

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    Ohhhh... maybe I’m getting my AV variants mixed up here? My “AV” was an AVRI 52 from... 2008/9ish? Would that have had a tinted neck perhaps? It definitely seemed like it.
     
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  14. FrostyMorn

    FrostyMorn TDPRI Member

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    So. MANY. Telecasters.



    Sent from my Pixel 2 using Tapatalk
     
  15. EsquireOK

    EsquireOK Poster Extraordinaire

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    Yes. Yours was an AVRI, and they did indeed have insanely tinted neck finishes. They ran from '98 through late '12. AV was late '12 through '17.

    Neither are truly accurate. What Fender back in the day did was to very lightly dye the maple before clear coating it. However, of the two, the AV is the more accurate, as yellow tinted lacquer was not used back then. Real old Tele necks always look better than necks with a tinted lacquer IMO. They are a two stage yellow. One: the maple dye. Two: the naturally yellowed lacquer (which started out clear). The color range and depth you get from this is very dimensional, especially after some lacquer-wear through has set in.
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2020
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  16. sardinista

    sardinista Tele-Meister

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    That's very helpful, thanks. I didn't realize that "AV" and "AVRI" were two separate and distinct model designations.

    Personally, I'd love to have the finish/coloring of the AVRI coupled with the features of the AO. I have *zero* complaints with my AO related to anything that isn't cosmetic. The only Tele (I own) that nails everything I want in a single package is my CS 1950 Double Esquire (converted to standard Tele wiring).

    Still... the AO 50s is an amazing guitar. I'd love to get a Fiesta Red AO 60s at some point.

    Hopefully the lacquer on the neck will darken up a bit as it ages?
     
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  17. sugarinthegourd

    sugarinthegourd Tele-Meister

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    I never made that distinction either, or heard it from someone else.
     
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  18. EsquireOK

    EsquireOK Poster Extraordinaire

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    It should, although slowly with today’s lacquers.

    If you want to speed it up, leave the guitar out all the time, with a window open.

    Or you just sell the neck to someone (like me) who appreciates the clear finish, and use the money to buy an AVRI neck.
     
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  19. gobi_grey

    gobi_grey Tele-Afflicted

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    My 58 has really nice straight grain with no visable seam and it's under 7 lbs. My 52 has nice grain too and it's not much over 7 lbs. Best guitars fender has made in my lifetime. Both have amazing necks. The 58 is probably my favorite neck but I do love the thicker 52 with rounded edges too. Whatever fret size they used was perfect.
     
  20. TokyoPortrait

    TokyoPortrait Friend of Leo's

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    Hi.

    So, I’m on holiday and have dug out my old Ibanez Roadster from under the bed where it’s stashed, back in my hometown. Been noodling on it today at the same time as skimming TDPRI. All this talk of weights made me stick it on some scales.

    4.5kg / 9.93 lbs! Only played it standing for about five minutes and that was two hours ago. My left shoulder still aches like flippin’ heck.

    Edit: I like the neck better than my Tele back in Japan, I think. Curses…

    Pax/
    Dean
     
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