American Original 70's Telecaster Custom Reviews

JBryantfan

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I am looking to purchase an American Original 70's Telecaster Custom in mocha but noticed a couple of bad
reviews on guitar center's site https://www.guitarcenter.com/Fender...tric-Guitar-3-Color-Sunburst-1500000310502.gc
Am asking if anyone who owns one has found that the workmanship was lacking or the pickups sounded muddy.
We all know not to trust all reviews but a consensus can sometimes be reached to ease any fears about purchasing.
It could be just one person experience but would appreciate some feedback though pickup sound is subjective.
I already own a American Professional 2 Custom that I enjoy but the Wide Range sound with the addition of a good
single coil back pickup would be appealing. That is if the Wide Range ones are the real deal this time.
 

IrishBread69

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I can't fault the AO guitars I have.

The wide range humbuckers are authentic reissues. True CuNiFe magnets. Lots of comparisons out there on YouTube but they're definitely close.

There are a few people here with Customs so hopefully they can give you some more model specific reassurances.
 

JBryantfan

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I can't fault the AO guitars I have.

The wide range humbuckers are authentic reissues. True CuNiFe magnets. Lots of comparisons out there on YouTube but they're definitely close.

There are a few people here with Customs so hopefully they can give you some more model specific reassurances.
Just found a this on youtube. The AO sound much brighter here, not muddy at all. Seems to retain the Tele brightness but would like to hear from some people who have
actually bought and played it
 

horseman308

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Can't speak to the specific guitar, but I have the CuNiFe neck humbucker in our of my builds. I love it. One thing to note is that I think the AO series used 500m pots for the neck WRHB, whereas the actual Tele Customs from the 70s used 1meg pots. I went with the 1meg pots on mine, and I'm super happy with the sound.

Just something to note.
 

Guitarman8103

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I got mine (in mocha) from sweetwater last year and love it. The neck WRHB is far from muddy. It's very lively and present and the bridge pickup matches it perfectly. I tend like to swap pickups and parts on my guitars but I've only felt the want to swap the saddles over to compensated brass but everything else will remain stock. I'm still partial to my AO60s tele but the 70s is right up there in greatness.
 

JBryantfan

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Can't speak to the specific guitar, but I have the CuNiFe neck humbucker in our of my builds. I love it. One thing to note is that I think the AO series used 500m pots for the neck WRHB, whereas the actual Tele Customs from the 70s used 1meg pots. I went with the 1meg pots on mine, and I'm super happy with the sound.

Just something to note.
I
Hi! Already have American Original 70's Telecaster Custom and this is perfect guitar - before I had 3 American's tele and this is the best.
I also have 3 currently and want add another so I'll be getting it, thanks for the helpful review
 

JBryantfan

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I was going to buy the American Original 70's Custom Tele today but just saw the demo of the
AV2 one.
- were the 70's one 7.25 or 9.25 radius?
- I under stand the AO had 500 k but did the 70's ones have 1 meg? What is the difference?
- Anyone know any other differences between the AO and AV2? I know we're working
on limited info with the AV2 but anything to decide would help. I know from the YT
demos's the AV2 sounded hotter but maybe that's the amp being used.
 

John C

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I was going to buy the American Original 70's Custom Tele today but just saw the demo of the
AV2 one.
- were the 70's one 7.25 or 9.25 radius?
- I under stand the AO had 500 k but did the 70's ones have 1 meg? What is the difference?
- Anyone know any other differences between the AO and AV2? I know we're working
on limited info with the AV2 but anything to decide would help. I know from the YT
demos's the AV2 sounded hotter but maybe that's the amp being used.

Some answers for you:

1. Yes, the original 70s Tele Customs were 7.25" radius; that was changed to 9.5" radius for the AO version.
2. I'm not sure about the pot values; Fender hasn't released the manuals for the new AV II models yet.
3. The differences between the two that you can get from the respective webpages:
- The AO finish was "gloss lacquer" on the body and "gloss nitrocellulose lacquer" on the neck per the specs while the AV II model has gloss polyurethane on both the body and neck - the polyurethane finish is accurate for a 1970s Fender.
- The AO model has a 3-saddle bridge (with steel saddles) and the AV II has the 6-saddle vintage bridge (both have grooves in the saddles for the strings) - the bridge might be why Fender went with "1977" for this model because at some point in the mid-70s they switched from the 3-saddle to the 6-saddle bridge.
- The text on the webpage does read like the bridge single coil was reworked for the AV II model - but until they put up the service manual you would have to contact Fender about the specifics.
- Cosmetically (besides colors) the headstock decal for the AO is the early version with the word "Custom" in a cursive font and the serial number is found on the neck plate; the AV II being set to 1977 the word "Custom" is all caps in a block font with the words "Made in USA" underneath the word "Custom" and the serial number is on the headstock (as it was in 1977).

Hope this helps a bit.
 

JBryantfan

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Thanks John C. I don't know much about pots and have read about 250, 500, 1 etc. If I play mostly rhythm
and am looking for a Keith vibe rather than hot, then is one better than the other? In the youtube demos
the AO sounded warm and good and the AV2 more brittle, though it could be the style and amp of the players
showing it. I don't want to pick one only because it was back in the day, when the other would be an improvement
for my style. Any advice on pots would be appreciated. Wonder what pots were in the original?
 

John C

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Thanks John C. I don't know much about pots and have read about 250, 500, 1 etc. If I play mostly rhythm
and am looking for a Keith vibe rather than hot, then is one better than the other? In the youtube demos
the AO sounded warm and good and the AV2 more brittle, though it could be the style and amp of the players
showing it. I don't want to pick one only because it was back in the day, when the other would be an improvement
for my style. Any advice on pots would be appreciated. Wonder what pots were in the original?

Sorry that's outside of my wheelhouse; about all I know is that the higher the pot value the brighter the sound.

That being said I suspect that with the youtube demos a big difference could be the amps and other gear (overdrives and other effects, etc.) as well as the gear used to make the recordings. The two should be pretty close - the point of the AOs was to be vintage with modern "playability" in terms of the radius and larger frets, and the new AV II is supposed to be more close to how they were in the given year (in this case 1977).

You're going to get a late 70s/early 80s Keith vibe from any Tele Custom - but I believe that was a stage guitar not a recording guitar for him as he really favored his modded early 50s Teles with the Gibson humbuckers added.
 

JBryantfan

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If that's the case it will come down to radius and all my other Tele's have 9.5 that I like.
I'll have to push back on the GAS and try the new AV2 first, but I think the AO will be the one
unless someone knows other differences between the AO and AV2.
Thanks for the help.
 

srblue5

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I am looking to purchase an American Original 70's Telecaster Custom in mocha but noticed a couple of bad
reviews on guitar center's site https://www.guitarcenter.com/Fender...tric-Guitar-3-Color-Sunburst-1500000310502.gc
Am asking if anyone who owns one has found that the workmanship was lacking or the pickups sounded muddy.
We all know not to trust all reviews but a consensus can sometimes be reached to ease any fears about purchasing.
It could be just one person experience but would appreciate some feedback though pickup sound is subjective.
I already own a American Professional 2 Custom that I enjoy but the Wide Range sound with the addition of a good
single coil back pickup would be appealing. That is if the Wide Range ones are the real deal this time.
I just borrowed an AO Tele Custom off of a friend. I’ve previously tried the MIM Classic reissue, where the neck humbucker was a muddy mess and the bridge pickup was weak and trebly. Not so with the AO. Both pickups sound clear, just a bit fatter and warmer on the neck. Workmanship looked good to me, and I’m usually a bit picky around fret buzz and such.
You're going to get a late 70s/early 80s Keith vibe from any Tele Custom - but I believe that was a stage guitar not a recording guitar for him as he really favored his modded early 50s Teles with the Gibson humbuckers added.
I think you’re right about Keef favouring the 50s Teles in the studio but I do believe he used the Tele Custom a fair bit in the studio in the late 70s and early 80s. I may be wrong (and I certainly wasn’t there to confirm) but a lot of his bridge Tele pickup tones from Emotional Rescue and Tattoo You sound less midrange-y than an early 50s bridge pickup, and the AO reissue I borrowed nails the “Beast of Burden” tone on the dual-pickup setting. Then again, amp/mixer EQ and/or compression could alter that. It seems that Keef has usually favoured the 50s Teles (and a sunburst 67) for 5-string open tunings, while the Tele Custom was a standard tuning guitar in the 70s and 80s; when I saw the Stones in 2005, the Tele Custom was switched to 5 strings and open tuning.

I found a few studio pics of the Tele Custom. Not sure of the credit for one of them but the other two (with Keef wearing the red T-shirt) were taken by Henry Diltz in 1979.
 

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John C

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I just borrowed an AO Tele Custom off of a friend. I’ve previously tried the MIM Classic reissue, where the neck humbucker was a muddy mess and the bridge pickup was weak and trebly. Not so with the AO. Both pickups sound clear, just a bit fatter and warmer on the neck. Workmanship looked good to me, and I’m usually a bit picky around fret buzz and such.

I think you’re right about Keef favouring the 50s Teles in the studio but I do believe he used the Tele Custom a fair bit in the studio in the late 70s and early 80s. I may be wrong (and I certainly wasn’t there to confirm) but a lot of his bridge Tele pickup tones from Emotional Rescue and Tattoo You sound less midrange-y than an early 50s bridge pickup, and the AO reissue I borrowed nails the “Beast of Burden” tone on the dual-pickup setting. Then again, amp/mixer EQ and/or compression could alter that. It seems that Keef has usually favoured the 50s Teles (and a sunburst 67) for 5-string open tunings, while the Tele Custom was a standard tuning guitar in the 70s and 80s; when I saw the Stones in 2005, the Tele Custom was switched to 5 strings and open tuning.

I found a few studio pics of the Tele Custom. Not sure of the credit for one of them but the other two (with Keef wearing the red T-shirt) were taken by Henry Diltz in 1979.

Nice review; sounds like you should go for the AO instead of waiting on the AV II.

You're probably correct about his Keith's Tele Custom - I haven't really studied up on his gear as far as what was a stage guitar only, studio guitar only or did both duties. Also with the Stones they recorded whenever the mood struck them and sometimes assembled stuff into albums after the fact in that era; I would imagine it could have turned up on various parts on Some Girls, Emotional Rescue and Tattoo You (particularly the latter - it had a lot of things recorded earlier on it).
 

JBryantfan

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The new AV2 series has made me think hard about what to actually get compared to what I have.
I know this is subjective, but...in your opinion (or anyone else's)
Would the 63 Tele be similar in tone to the 83 standard I already have? I know the radius is 7.25 vs 9.5
and it is Rosewood, mine Maple. I do have a G & L ASAT Fullerton Classic in Rosewood as well.
They call the new pickups "pure vintage"

I already have the AP2 Deluxe for a HB tone. Is the 75 Deluxe all that much different?

Thanks for the help with the AO Custom help. Don't want to buy something too similar as returning
things by mail can a pain.
 

Grandfunkfan

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I Just returned one yesterday. It's not a bad guitar, just a little tame. The best position is both pickups together. The main reason I didn't keep it is that it wasn't as good as the one I already have. They are over priced as well. For that much money it has to be an exceptional guitar. I have a Vintera that is significantly better, tighter bottom end, great neck pickup, and overall just a more lively guitar. Tried hard to like the A O custom but I just knew it wasn't going to get played as much as my Vintera.
 

John C

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The new AV2 series has made me think hard about what to actually get compared to what I have.
I know this is subjective, but...in your opinion (or anyone else's)
Would the 63 Tele be similar in tone to the 83 standard I already have? I know the radius is 7.25 vs 9.5
and it is Rosewood, mine Maple. I do have a G & L ASAT Fullerton Classic in Rosewood as well.
They call the new pickups "pure vintage"

I already have the AP2 Deluxe for a HB tone. Is the 75 Deluxe all that much different?

Thanks for the help with the AO Custom help. Don't want to buy something too similar as returning
things by mail can a pain.

The AP II has normal humbuckers that are splitable - Fender just makes them look like Wide Range humbuckers cosmetically by splitting the row of adjustable screws on the cover. The AV II has the real CuNiFe Wide Range humbuckers - if you still have that borrowed AO 70s Custom you could compare the neck pickup to your AP II Deluxe; the bridge would probably have a similar difference. Sorry I've never played a guitar with the real CuNiFe Wide Ranges plugged in.
 

jrblue

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Only Fender would call a guitar with a changed radius an "Original," but points to them for broadening the playability, which to me is a higher priority. I never worry about muddly guitars iof they have decent pickups, because it's almost always a pot/cap values issue, not really a pickup issue. I think I'd go with the 1 meg pots a poster recommended, as it's easy to dial out excess high end, but if it's been damped to begin with, you can't really get it back. For me, detail is one of the fundamental virtues of most Fenders. I wouldn't bet the ranch on the CuNiFe "magic." IMO, there's no magic at all. Those pickups were disliked when they came out, and it wasn't because people are stupid or clueless. It's simply that humbuckers, including those, were not seen as bringing anything really desirable to the guitar. And nobody -- not a single human being -- was so enamored of them that they were installing them in other guitars... until much later, when the fad began.
 

knavel

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I have a 75 Tele Custom, and A/O Tele Custom and a road worn Vintera Tele Deluxe that I put CuNiFe pickups into. I haven't tried an AVII.

The rest is strictly my opinion:

-The A/O Tele Custom is comparable in sound to my 75 TC and exceeds it in some ways because of the 9.5 radius and lacquer finish. Aside from the annoying way "Custom" is written on the headstock, I expect I will prefer A/O over the new AV II TC because of the 7.5 radius and poly.

-The stock humbucker pickups on the Vintera Tele Dlxe pickups were junk compared to CuNiFe. The difference in volume was considerable, meaning I had to put an amp on say 6 with the stock humbuckers to match the volume of a CuNiFe one at 3.

--I am not a big fan of standard Tele neck pickups and I think the CuNiFe in the neck for a Telecaster Custom is one of CBS's good deeds.

--I've only gigged with the 75 Tele Custom and none of the others listed, and a gig is the only place where I really see what a guitar has. In this case, the irritating thing about the 75 TC is that the bridge pickup squeals if a distortion type pedal is used with it in the lead position. I am not sure if that is a problem specific to my guitar or endemic to all TCs. Quite possibly just my guitar, but I thought I'd mention it just in case.

Conclusion: I'd go with the A/O Tele Custom were I presented with all the options now out there.
 




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