American Original 70's Telecaster Custom Reviews

John C

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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.

That's a valid point - as I mentioned I have never actually played a guitar with the CuNiFe Wide Range pickups plugged in (I have picked them up in used/vintage stores back in the 1980s but never through an amp). My only point about the CuNiFe poickups is that whether or not he would find them have any kind of "magic" they would sound different enough to not be redundant with the Teles & ASAT that @JBryantfan already owns.
 

Chicken Curry

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I played an original 74 custom, good guitar but not great. I prefer any other type of humbuckers, I can see why they weren't popular back in the day. Perhaps compare these customs to other humbucker guitars before you buy.
 

Chicken Curry

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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.
The tele in your link shows what looks like to be a three piece body. I don't care if people think that makes a difference in sound or not, you should not be paying that much for a three piece, it makes me question what else is dodgy? On the Strat forum, customers have shown pics that show later AO models to not only be three piece but chambered.

If these specs don't bother you then save money and get Mexican or even a Squier. Do your research and know what you're getting.
 

tonfarbe

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I played an original 74 custom, good guitar but not great. I prefer any other type of humbuckers, I can see why they weren't popular back in the day. Perhaps compare these customs to other humbucker guitars before you buy.
I own an original 1974 Thinline as well as a Squier 72 Thinline that is equipped with the new Fender CuNiFe WRHBs.
A CuNiFe WRHB sounds nothing like a regular Humbucker.
Are you sure that you have played an original and not a reissue?
The reissues that Fender released prior to the AO all have regular Humbuckers that only look like WRHBs.

A regular Humbuckers to my ears (I play mainly clean and don‘t ‚drown‘ the guitar sound in distortion) sounds:
- dull, onedimensional
- lifeless
- undynamic
- has these annoying higher mids

A CuNiFe WRHB has none of these characteristics.
 

horseman308

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I really, REALLY wanted to love an AO, but for the price, you could just as easily get a Vintera and swap out the neck pickup with a CuNiFe (along with pots/caps to taste). I understand that some of us want vintage specs, but I really prefer a flatter radius and 22-fret neck.

Similarly, I was very excited to see them release the CuNiFe loaded Thinline...until I saw the price. I know ash is getting scarce, and Thinlines take a good bit of extra manufacturing, but $2400? Get a used MIM or similar and swap pups. Done.

So, I'd offer this: if you can try out a guitar with the CuNiFe WRHBs, see how they sound on their own merits. Similarly, play whatever guitars you want until you find one that feels really good. Then buy that and put in whatever pickup/pot/cap harness you like best.

Unless, of course, you need it to be 70s spec or say the words Telecaster Custom - which I totally get. Sometimes these things matter.
 

JBryantfan

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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.
Since you have both can you tell what the difference or advantages/disadvantages are to having a WR pickup in the bridge position of the Deluxe vs the single coil in the Custom? If only the neck sounds good I could see retaining the single coil and get the Custom.
 

knavel

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Since you have both can you tell what the difference or advantages/disadvantages are to having a WR pickup in the bridge position of the Deluxe vs the single coil in the Custom? If only the neck sounds good I could see retaining the single coil and get the Custom.
I like both styles.

The one thing about a Telecaster that I like is that one can get the "sound" with just the bridge pickup. It's got mids, not overly trebly and is warm. (This is why the Esquire is a great guitar.)

So I suppose if I had a choice between Deluxe and Custom, I would go Custom for the versatility in terms of what *I* play.

While I don't like the poly and maple board on the AVII Tele Deluxes, they do have a 9.5 radius (the originals were this way) and that would be something in favor of the Deluxe for me.

If you could just try one of each in a store side by side I expect you'd know right away what your preference is. If it turns out you like the Custom better, then go find and A/O one on the second hand market.
 

JBryantfan

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So is your preference for a single coil back pickup because you don't miss the HB bridge, perhaps it doesn't sound as good as the neck or middle position, maybe just a brittle sound?
 

msalama

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Wonder what pots were in the original?
Pot_Detail.jpg
 




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