American Vintage, AV, AVRI vs American Vintage II

wyclif

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So.. Is there a definitive guide to what the differences are between the Telecaster 52 Model with the names: American Vintage, AV, AVRI and now the new American Vintage II?

For reference I am looking at a potential purchase of NOS 2015 American Vintage 52 Tele for $1400.
No I know the line started in the late 80's
Then rebooted in mid 90's to early 2000's
Then renamed or rebooted again in 2012-2016
Then American Originals came out 2017-2021
Now the American Vintage II with the 51' Telecaster.

So besides the AMerican Original line, which clearly is a departure with modern touches.. Whats the deal with all the AV, AVRI, AV II?

Should I consider the 2015 AV 52' Tele?

Thanks

Over the years, beginning in the AV era, I have been writing a series of entries here that describes some of the differences because I have owned or played a few and will probably be getting an AV II. If you search my username and "AV" or "AVRI" or "AO", you will probably find some of those posts.

When I check out the AV II, I should write a big blog post with a timeline of all the differences and the evolution of them all.
 

wyclif

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So is there any thing tele flavored that comes with 6105 frets, 9.5” radius, 1.65” width neck?

I mean, other than custom shop?

The Thin Skins from Wildwood Guitars in Colorado are exactly what you're looking for, they fit those specs.

The bad news is that I don't know if they're making them anymore, they were a special run. The web page has been blank for a while and there haven't been any for sale in months.
 

wyclif

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Its one of the big reasons why I love the AVRI/AV models..

Vintage frets is not for everyone, sure, but for me personally, I love the feel of my fingers touching the fretboard.. makes me feel a little bit more connected to my guitar.. and lower frets makes the string action "feel" a little bit lower too..

It needs some good basic set up to get them right, but once you dial it in, it feels amazing.. but thats just me..

I also love the winning combination of 7.25 radius and narrow-tall 6105 frets..

Not 100% sure about this, but Fender uses the term "vintage tall" to refer to 6105-sized frets. So note that one of the differences between the new AV II's and the AO's was that the new guitars go back to the 7.25" fretboard radius but keep the "vintage tall" frets and carry them over from the AO line.
 

dreamingtele

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Not 100% sure about this, but Fender uses the term "vintage tall" to refer to 6105-sized frets. So note that one of the differences between the new AV II's and the AO's was that the new guitars go back to the 7.25" fretboard radius but keep the "vintage tall" frets and carry them over from the AO line.

If thats the case, thats my winning combo of fretboard radius and fret size. The last time they had that was in Roadworn series and it felt amazing.

However I love the vintage frets too
 

faulp

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Agreed regarding comments about the quality of 2012-2017 AV models. I bought a 2012 AV 64 Tele a few years ago and the quality is superb. Personally, I have no experience with the other models you mentioned but my Tele is a seriously good guitar, so good that I went on the hunt for a Strat of the same year. Eventually found a 2012 AV '62 and absolutely love it. As someone mentioned, the finish will chip very easily on these.
 

Rick Henry

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I prefer the 2012-2017 AVRIs and the 2019-2020 70th Anniversary guitars over Custom Shop guitars. I've got two Esquires and a 50's original Tele that I've had refinished in vintage spec cellulose. They all weigh 7lbs or just under and they're all outstanding guitars that look and feel like the real deal. I age all the hardware myself and change the bridge plates or neck plates for ones with 4 digit serial numbers. I've owned numerous originals over the years which nowadays are way out of my budget, and I'm more than happy with the reissues. The new American vintage II Series look fantastic IMO and I'll probably try and grab one or two of those when I can.
 

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Rick Henry

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So is there any thing tele flavored that comes with 6105 frets, 9.5” radius, 1.65” width neck?

I mean, other than custom shop?
My 2017 American Original 50's has a large rounded neck profile with the 9.50 radius and slightly larger frets. Pictured below.

I'm amazed that many folk today still think that unless a Reissue Blackguard has a 7.25 radius it isn't 'vintage correct' when in fact many originals had the 9.50 radius.
 

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rawgerpaper

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If aiming for collecting a '52, you got a good deal there buddy, go for it. If looking for something to play, try all the 52' reissues, even the AV II 51 and the AO 50s that you can play from stores, coz you might not like the vibe and tone. They all aint the same even tho they may be from the same year and same model. My guitar tech would say, "A guitar is like a person, and each one has its own personality". Enjoy your hunt!
 

tele12

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Not 100% sure about this, but Fender uses the term "vintage tall" to refer to 6105-sized frets......

Fender has used the terms "vintage tall", "narrow tall" and "narrow jumbo" as well as just calling them 6105 depending on the advertising copy used to sell a particular model.
 

Esquire Jones

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Fender has used the terms "vintage tall", "narrow tall" and "narrow jumbo" as well as just calling them 6105 depending on the advertising copy used to sell a particular model.
Well, it’s pretty murky. At least the marketing aspect of it.

The “Vintage Tall” frets on my 70th anniversary Esquire are definitely not the same as my 52 thin skin tele from Dave’s. Those are advertised as 6105.

The 6105’s seem taller than the Vintage Tall’s
 

TelePlank

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I'm a big fan of the AO and AV lines. I can go with a 7.25 or 9.5 radius. Haven't played the AV II line yet, but I'd like ta.
 

wyclif

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The Thin Skins from Wildwood Guitars in Colorado are exactly what you're looking for, they fit those specs.

The bad news is that I don't know if they're making them anymore, they were a special run. The web page has been blank for a while and there haven't been any for sale in months.

Just wanted to follow up this statement to say that this morning I checked Wildwood's site for the first time in a while and now the Thin Skins page they used to have is deleted from the site. So I guess that means they're not making them any more. Might wanna check Reverb and see if the used ones on the market have gone up in value accordingly.
 

wyclif

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So.. Is there a definitive guide to what the differences are between the Telecaster 52 Model with the names: American Vintage, AV, AVRI and now the new American Vintage II?

The following is a repost of mine from 2016 when I investigated exactly what the differences are between the AVRI and the AV52 (aka the "Pure Vintage" blackguards):

  1. The nitro finish on the AV52 is a lot more "vintage" and closer to a real 1952 Tele than the pre-2012 AVRIs. It's actually blonde. The AVRIs were more orange tinted (aka "pumpkincaster")

  2. The AV52 has a satin finish neck, not a tinted neck like the AVRIs

  3. The AV52 has what Fender calls "vintage" frets, but the reality is that, if you measure them, they are a little taller than vintage frets. IMO this is a good thing, because it gives you more fret mileage if you intend to keep the guitar long-term

  4. The AV52 has "modern 3-position switching" unlike the AVRI, which has the old-school neck pickup setting (though it includes a rewiring kit). Also better, IMO

  5. The "U" neck on the AV52 is very close to what you would get on a 1952 Tele, but it seems shaved down a little
Also, in order to know the difference, all you need to know is what year the guitar was produced. Sometimes the seller doesn't know. But if they do, the important date is September 2012.

If the guitar was produced after that, it's an AV52 with all-nitro. The AVRI models before that date had the additional poly layer.

Another way to tell the difference if you don't know the year of production is to look at the bridge plate. If the serial number is preceded by a "V" (vintage), then it's a 2012 or later AV52.
 

Alex W

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So is there any thing tele flavored that comes with 6105 frets, 9.5” radius, 1.65” width neck?

I mean, other than custom shop?

Maybe the American Professional II series comes close. The neck width is 1.685" which is 1-11/16". 9.5" radius, "narrow tall" frets. Traditional bridge. Modern sealed tuners. Kind of a mix of vintage and modern features.

I have played some APII models and I thought they felt great. The miami blue Stratocaster is to die for visually. Of the telecasters I like the sunburst best. There is also butterscotch blonde and roasted pine.


1666356781190.png

1666357152994.png

1666357223433.png



1666357101960.png
(Gratuitous strat content)
 
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giogolf

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The following is a repost of mine from 2016 when I investigated exactly what the differences are between the AVRI and the AV52 (aka the "Pure Vintage" blackguards):

  1. The nitro finish on the AV52 is a lot more "vintage" and closer to a real 1952 Tele than the pre-2012 AVRIs. It's actually blonde. The AVRIs were more orange tinted (aka "pumpkincaster")

  2. The AV52 has a satin finish neck, not a tinted neck like the AVRIs

  3. The AV52 has what Fender calls "vintage" frets, but the reality is that, if you measure them, they are a little taller than vintage frets. IMO this is a good thing, because it gives you more fret mileage if you intend to keep the guitar long-term

  4. The AV52 has "modern 3-position switching" unlike the AVRI, which has the old-school neck pickup setting (though it includes a rewiring kit). Also better, IMO

  5. The "U" neck on the AV52 is very close to what you would get on a 1952 Tele, but it seems shaved down a little
Also, in order to know the difference, all you need to know is what year the guitar was produced. Sometimes the seller doesn't know. But if they do, the important date is September 2012.

If the guitar was produced after that, it's an AV52 with all-nitro. The AVRI models before that date had the additional poly layer.

Another way to tell the difference if you don't know the year of production is to look at the bridge plate. If the serial number is preceded by a "V" (vintage), then it's a 2012 or later AV52.

Thank you, thats a great guide.. I did a search and couldnt find this post by you.

The one I am looking at is a 2015, has the V Serial on the bridge plate.. SO its a AV52.
 

Andoris

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The Thin Skins from Wildwood Guitars in Colorado are exactly what you're looking for, they fit those specs.

The bad news is that I don't know if they're making them anymore, they were a special run. The web page has been blank for a while and there haven't been any for sale in months.
I posted about this already:

"Just got off the phone with Wildwood. Lance said that Fender won't make their Thin Skins for them anymore. He said Fender claimed they were hard to do (he said issues with the finishes like chipping, but my personal opinion is that they don't want to have a competing product for their AMII line). He said they were being stubborn about negotiating (i.e. WW said make the finish thicker if there's an issue with chipping etc). He said they are going to continue to push for them to be made and revisit that conversation in 2023. But there are no more coming in, and none being made going forward unless they can get Fender to concede.

ALSO Wildwood CONFIRMED that the American Vintage II's DO have a Poly filler under the nitro just like the American Originals'"


So yea, not good.
 

Minivan Megafun

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Just wanted to follow up this statement to say that this morning I checked Wildwood's site for the first time in a while and now the Thin Skins page they used to have is deleted from the site. So I guess that means they're not making them any more. Might wanna check Reverb and see if the used ones on the market have gone up in value accordingly.

I've seen people lamenting that Wildwood hasn't had "thin skins" for a long time and I'm not sure I get it. The "Thin Skin" models were basically AV's except modified to have a thinner finish, larger frets, and a 9.5" radius fretboard. Thing is, the American Original series basically IS all those things. So... what exactly would be the point of a "Thin Skin" model? How would it differ?
 

giogolf

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My 2017 American Original 50's has a large rounded neck profile with the 9.50 radius and slightly larger frets. Pictured below.

I'm amazed that many folk today still think that unless a Reissue Blackguard has a 7.25 radius it isn't 'vintage correct' when in fact many originals had the 9.50 radius.

Im a big fan of the AO line.. My #1 is a AO 60s Tele.. I also have a new AO50s Strat that Ive been trying to sell for an AO60 Strat or 50s Tele. The AO50s Strat neck is a boat, and weirdly feels great in my small hands.. If I end up keeping it ill just need to buff out the neck a bit as its to glossy for me.

Honestly, Ive never played a 7.25 radius, but I cant imagine its night and day difference compare to 7.25.. Now Im sure going from 7.25 to a 12 maybe more noticeable.. But plenty of big names are routinely going from a 7.25 Fender to a Gibby with a 12" from song to song on stage.. So, again, its just what we like or can get used to. T0 me 9.5 is the happy medium..

However, frets is where I have issues.. I really prefer Medium/Jumbo, but really took a liking to the Vintage talls... I dont think I would get along with a vintage short or vintage small, whatever they are called.
 

Andoris

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I've seen people lamenting that Wildwood hasn't had "thin skins" for a long time and I'm not sure I get it. The "Thin Skin" models were basically AV's except modified to have a thinner finish, larger frets, and a 9.5" radius fretboard. Thing is, the American Original series basically IS all those things. So... what exactly would be the point of a "Thin Skin" model? How would it differ?
Thin Skins were so highly regarded because of the no poly undercoat/grain filler llike on the pre 2012 AV's and AO's. But people who didn't like the vintage short frets and 7/25 radius of the 2012-2017 AV's liked them as well. Also Wildwood would make cool colors
 




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