American Vintage, AV, AVRI vs American Vintage II

Jaysmay

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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?
Description from Dave’s Guitars on the Blonde 62 I bought from them.

Mine weighed 7.2 lbs., also has vintage clay fret markers.

“Vintage Blonde, Thin Nitrocellulose Lacquer finish with no poly base coat, Ash body, 60’s C shaped Maple neck with a 9.5” radius slab Rosewood fingerboard and medium jumbo frets, Custom Shop Texas Special Tele pickups, Three saddle vintage style string thru body Tele bridge with the barrel Steel saddles, Vintage style tuners, 7.8 pounds, With hardshell case”

I prefer the Thin Skins… Dave’s also said Fender won’t let them order more for a year or two. Probably the AVII is the reason.
 

IrishBread69

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I prefer the Thin Skins… Dave’s also said Fender won’t let them order more for a year or two. Probably the AVII is the reason.
This doesn't make sense. The AO line was pushed just as hard when it released. Why would Fender stop thin skins now for that reason alone? At the end of the day, they're selling guitars either way. I suspect they make more of custom orders anyway.

I suspect it's much more likely to be falling demand and we know they binned some staff recently. Probably just choosing to focus on their core lines in that context.
 

John C

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This doesn't make sense. The AO line was pushed just as hard when it released. Why would Fender stop thin skins now for that reason alone? At the end of the day, they're selling guitars either way. I suspect they make more of custom orders anyway.

I suspect it's much more likely to be falling demand and we know they binned some staff recently. Probably just choosing to focus on their core lines in that context.

Your guess is as good as mine, they aren’t making them.

Fender did stop making the Thin Skins for Wildwood and Daves back in 2012 - after the revised AV series was released in August. They might have still had some incoming as of August 2012 but they were shut down after those orders were filled.

Fender returned to making Thin Skins for Wildwood and Daves in 2014 - I don't think it was at the beginning of the year but probably some time during that year. I could be wrong on that - while I try to track the USA production models comings and goings I don't try to track the limited run things like the Thin Skins - so I might be off by a bit. But definitely no Thin Skins in 2013 and possibly most or all of 2014.

This made sense at the time; the revised AVs had their own "thin" finish, the "Flash Coat" finish. And it also made sense that the Thin Skins continued during the American Original era due to the differences in finish (AOs having the poly undercoat - a similar process to the earlier AVRI models).

In this case I imagine Fender wants to give the AV IIs a clean launch - even though they don't have the Thin Skin finish and have the poly undercoat.

I suspect that Wildwood and Daves will convince Fender to do more Thinskins, but I also suspect not before 2024.
 

Minivan Megafun

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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

Description from Dave’s Guitars on the Blonde 62 I bought from them.

Mine weighed 7.2 lbs., also has vintage clay fret markers.

“Vintage Blonde, Thin Nitrocellulose Lacquer finish with no poly base coat, Ash body, 60’s C shaped Maple neck with a 9.5” radius slab Rosewood fingerboard and medium jumbo frets, Custom Shop Texas Special Tele pickups, Three saddle vintage style string thru body Tele bridge with the barrel Steel saddles, Vintage style tuners, 7.8 pounds, With hardshell case”

I prefer the Thin Skins… Dave’s also said Fender won’t let them order more for a year or two. Probably the AVII is the reason.

But again, the "Thin Skins" were a response to the thick, goopy nitro that Fender was using on the modern pre-2012 AVRI line. So after Fender went to the AV finishes, what exactly was the selling point of a Thin Skin model?

And, I own a 2008 52AVRI Wildwood Thin Skin. Let me tell you, the finish on the American Originals is WAAAAAY thinner and more prone to damage than my Thin Skin. Also my Thin Skin definitely has some sort of clear coat under the colour coat. So I think there's a whole lotta marketing gobbledygook going on with the "Thin Skin" thing. The nitro formula Fender was using pre-2012 was almost like a soft plastic. I even had an incident where my 52RI was left outside in -30 by accident. The nitro all cracked (like you'd expect) but then within two days all the checking disappeared. The finish is so pliable that it basically rebonded to itself. I've been bashing on it and gigging it for almost a year since and there is zero evidence of any checking whatsoever on it. Every crack (and it was covered in them at first) has completely vanished.

And again, I think it's funny that every one complained about the 9.5" boards and taller frets on the AO's but then they're also complaining about the lack of Thin Skins which also had 9.5" boards and medium jumbo frets.
 

John C

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But again, the "Thin Skins" were a response to the thick, goopy nitro that Fender was using on the modern pre-2012 AVRI line. So after Fender went to the AV finishes, what exactly was the selling point of a Thin Skin model?

And, I own a 2008 52AVRI Wildwood Thin Skin. Let me tell you, the finish on the American Originals is WAAAAAY thinner and more prone to damage than my Thin Skin. Also my Thin Skin definitely has some sort of clear coat under the colour coat. So I think there's a whole lotta marketing gobbledygook going on with the "Thin Skin" thing. The nitro formula Fender was using pre-2012 was almost like a soft plastic. I even had an incident where my 52RI was left outside in -30 by accident. The nitro all cracked (like you'd expect) but then within two days all the checking disappeared. The finish is so pliable that it basically rebonded to itself. I've been bashing on it and gigging it for almost a year since and there is zero evidence of any checking whatsoever on it. Every crack (and it was covered in them at first) has completely vanished.

And again, I think it's funny that every one complained about the 9.5" boards and taller frets on the AO's but then they're also complaining about the lack of Thin Skins which also had 9.5" boards and medium jumbo frets.

It seems to me that the Thin Skins evolved to something more than the different finish - although that was the initial hook. It became a way to get different neck shapes, different pickups, modern radius and larger frets on a vintage-style guitar.
 

deytookerjaabs

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But again, the "Thin Skins" were a response to the thick, goopy nitro that Fender was using on the modern pre-2012 AVRI line. So after Fender went to the AV finishes, what exactly was the selling point of a Thin Skin model?

And, I own a 2008 52AVRI Wildwood Thin Skin. Let me tell you, the finish on the American Originals is WAAAAAY thinner and more prone to damage than my Thin Skin. Also my Thin Skin definitely has some sort of clear coat under the colour coat. So I think there's a whole lotta marketing gobbledygook going on with the "Thin Skin" thing. The nitro formula Fender was using pre-2012 was almost like a soft plastic. I even had an incident where my 52RI was left outside in -30 by accident. The nitro all cracked (like you'd expect) but then within two days all the checking disappeared. The finish is so pliable that it basically rebonded to itself. I've been bashing on it and gigging it for almost a year since and there is zero evidence of any checking whatsoever on it. Every crack (and it was covered in them at first) has completely vanished.

And again, I think it's funny that every one complained about the 9.5" boards and taller frets on the AO's but then they're also complaining about the lack of Thin Skins which also had 9.5" boards and medium jumbo frets.

Most guitars on a line are all going to come out a bit different, some bodies need more sanding than others, some neck sprayers go crazy others do a better job. Some of those finishes come out rock hard, some stay like peanut butter for years. The same inconsistency you'd find in a lot of other things.


What you don't seem to get is Fender says this:


Right off the Fender AMII site:

Nitrocellulose lacquer, as used on ‘50s and ‘60’s Fender instruments, is a premium finish that reveals the instrument’s true tonal character.

Straight from Fender's care/maintenance site:

Gurus of vintage tone have consistently chosen lacquer finished instruments over the years, as lacquer lets the wood breathe and vibrate more freely. Modern polyesters and polyurethanes are harder than lacquer and are much less affected by environmental conditions, heavy use and aging. Lacquer is a bit softer, and while it does allow the voice most associated with vintage instruments, to be heard.

That's not the consumer's words, it's theirs.

Then they proceed to finish the guitars however they feel like finishing them without telling the whole story so they can sell a silly line. I get not caring about the finish, it's not a barometer on good versus bad guitars, it's a barometer on buying what you have versus what you think is being sold to you.
 

wyclif

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I suspect it's much more likely to be falling demand and we know they binned some staff recently. Probably just choosing to focus on their core lines in that context.

That, but it could also be that Fender wants more power over Sweetwater, Guitar Center, and their dealer network, especially in light of the "returned orders" debacle of last year or so.
 




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