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AVRI 52 (pre-2013)

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by moosie, Sep 15, 2019.

  1. moosie

    moosie Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    OK, I'm a vocal proponent of the later AV "Pure Vintage" series, but I never found a '52 Tele of that era that I really liked. I have the 58 and 64, and both are great.

    Thanks partly to certain threads here, I've begun browsing the market for one, yet again. And in my musings, I recall just a vague snapshot memory of a reissue 52 I played very briefly back when it all began for me, around 2010. I didn't know what I had, but then I looked at the price tag and put it down fast. I was still laboring under the fantasy that this was a cheap hobby.

    Anyway, the feeling I got from that guitar was really good. And only as time has passed, and I know a lot about these guitars now, in general, that I realize I held a good one. Big fat neck, small radius, tiny frets. And it may just have been set up well, but it rang and rang and rang... like a bell.

    So now I want one. I didn't think once I saw the AV line that I'd ever want a 'pumpkincaster'. But here we are.

    I've actually purchased one, yesterday. It was listed on GC's used site, which means it's in some store in Georgia, taken on trade. So now they're shipping it to my local store, and I'll know when I see it, if it's coming home or not.

    There are a TON of these older 52s on the market, and I know many are well over 7.5 lbs, which is kinda my high end on a Tele. Also, given the general age, a fair few are well-played, and boogered up a bit. Mods, etc. I just want a excellent condition stock guitar. Also, I want the big neck - must have the big neck, and I read that not all of them had it.

    For some reason the five poorly shot photos, and zero write-up (GC has the worst used listings in the world!) ... for some reason it spoke to me, and reminded me of that one I played so many years ago.

    I may refuse the guitar immediately, but more likely it'll be everything I want except the weight. And then I'll take it home for 45 days, set it up, and see if I can get on with it. If I cannot, then it goes back, and I will probably try again. This is an example of where GC shines, because I'd not be able to do that with Reverb.



    So, what I can expect? Anyone own 52s from both series? I'm well aware many of you LOVE your pre-2013 52s, but I need a bit more objectivity than that :). I already know and love those tiny frets, from my AVRI 69 Thinline.

    Specifically, do 99% of them have 1" U necks, almost like a Nocaster? Do *any* of them weigh less than 8 lbs? I know it's a nitro finish, but are they wicked thick? Humor me, I have a thing for thin nitro...
     
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  2. Fretting out

    Fretting out Poster Extraordinaire

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    I hate to confuse the situation as I’m no expert but I believe even within the avri series there were changes such as the early Fullerton ones have skinny necks as well as the early Coronas.
    So I guess the chances of finding one with a larger neck will increase with getting closer to the av transition.
    As far as the finish’s go I’ve heard good and bad depending on who you ask since the avri are generally thicker and have a poly undercoat but hey they had fullerplast in the 60s
     
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  3. moosie

    moosie Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    I expect that from the finish, though I'm trying not to think about it. But that's good info on the neck size. I knew they varied, but didn't realize it was predictable to any degree.


    As much as I love the later AVs, you'd think I could find a 52. I bought one of the last ones produced, new, from Musician's Friend. They were all out, just like everyone else, but wait! they had two more on the way. I asked the guy to send me the best of the two.

    Now, I don't know if he was legally blind, but the control plate was screwed in crooked. I do all my own work, and even build, so I certainly could have fixed that. But as I began to look.... there were all kinds of little things like that. I played it, it sounded like a Tele, but it didn't blow me away, so ... back it went. And everyone I've looked at since, always had an issue. I'm guessing people held tight once they discontinued, unless it was something to dump. I never bought one before the discontinuation because a) I thought I'd have more time - who'd cancel such a successful line?, and b) I had a CS 52 at that point, and it was difficult to justify both. But that one had a skinny neck for a 52, and it's long gone now. I built myself a body for a all-rosewood baseball bat neck I bought, but it's 12" radius. Nice neck, but not *this*.

    I have a super lightweight 2 pc ash body that should result in a 6 lb Tele :eek:. I should probably just go that route, though I really like having a legit Fender logo for something like this.
     
  4. nosuch

    nosuch Friend of Leo's

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    A little smaller neck than the later 52 "Pure Vintage" and a different, more translucent finish. I bought mine in 2006 and I love it.
     
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  5. moosie

    moosie Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Dang, smaller's not what I want here...
     
  6. Crafty Fox

    Crafty Fox Tele-Afflicted

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    I have a 1988 Vintage? '52 Re-issue which I have modded to some extent (all reversible), but haven't played it for some years. I prefer my own builds now, particularly my most recent Thinline with P90s. It just works for me, but I will not be parting with my 52 any time soon.
     
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  7. Dacious

    Dacious Poster Extraordinaire

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    It varies guit to guit - the 52 doesn't have a massive neck but the radius makes it feel bigger.

    I had a 2012 and I have a 2006 on my loungeroom floor I bought for a friend's 50th (syndicate buy). I'd say the neck is like a Classic 60s/70s real 70s Strat or Tele. Full and shouldered but very comfy to play.

    All the 52s I've played have rung out with great sustain.

    I don't think you can go wrong personally. They are a Goldie Locks guitar. Just right, 4-way switch for Keefing it up, good for any gig.

    If you don't like it, you'll move it on easy.
     
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  8. moosie

    moosie Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Yep, that, plus being able to try it via GC at zero risk (not even frictional costs of reselling), factored into my decision.


    Is there a way to tell the year from the serial? The serial is 5 digits, no letter. I asked Fender for info, but the guy didn't know how to look it up. Nothing in their database like that. Is the first digit a year identifier or something? Or must one pull the neck? It'd be nice to tell quickly in the shop, if I just bought a 10 yr old guitar, vs 25. As expected, the local sales rep where the guitar was held had no idea. I asked about weight, and got "Well, not too heavy. I'm a girl (yes, I could tell), and I can pick it up without any trouble." Good, so it's not a 50-pounder, probably! :lol:
     
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  9. craigs63

    craigs63 Tele-Holic

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    A great platform for modding (jeez, I hate that phrase), just replace the neck and body!
     
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  10. moosie

    moosie Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Ouch!
     
  11. John C

    John C Friend of Leo's

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    That is correct; there is no way to tell the year from the serial number for any AVRI made prior to the final "Pure Vintage" version (which actually starts in August 2012) other than a rough "guesstimate" from the range of numbers. Fender does not provide this info but it seems like someone online was trying to get that list together. I could be thinking of the AVRI Strats though.

    As far as then neck shape/size:
    • Version 1: made 1982-mid 1998 - smallest neck; originally a C shape with "slim shoulders" so it's heading toward almost a V shape, and the same shape was used on all 3 AVRI guitars - '52 Tele, '57 Strat, and '62 Strat. They were evolving toward the model-specific shapes toward the end of their run, but you couldn't really call the '52 Tele a U shape or the '57 Strat a V shape (and of course the shape was reasonably appropriate for a '62 Strat).
    • Version 2: made mid-1998 through August 2012 - larger neck, very specifically the U-shaped neck for the '52 Tele. Revised pickups, closer detailing. You have the AV '64 Tele - the neck on the Version 2 '52s would be in-between the AV '64 and the Version 3 AV '52 in size, but probably closer to the '64. Sorry; I never played an AV '58 to compare to the Version 2 AVRI '52.
    • Version 3: made August 2012 through 2017 - largest neck of the bunch, again revised pickups and detailing
    As an FYI Versions 1 & 2 came with vintage wiring from the factory - so the wiring was bridge pickup with the tone control/neck pickup with the tone control/neck pickup with the bass capacitor ("dark circuit" or "mud circuit" as some call it) with a kit (different capacitor) and instructions for changing them to modern wiring in the case. Back in the day I had an AVRI '52 Tele circa 2005-2006, and when I had it changed to modern wiring I had them leave the vintage wiring tone capacitor instead of changing it to the brighter modern tone capacitor (just had them remove the 2nd capacitor for the dark circuit and change the switch to bridge/both/neck with the tone control). You'll find AVRI '52s rewired to modern both ways (modern value capacitor and vintage value capacitor).
     
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  12. moosie

    moosie Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Good info, thanks! The AV58 neck is pretty much what you're describing - halfway between big U and AV64 'fat oval C' (my wording). Measured at 1st and 12th, my AV64 is .87/1.00. The AV58 is .84/.96, so it's actually smaller, but the shape is more U-like.


    Wiring isn't an issue for me. It's easily changed, and I have several guitars worth of parts on hand.


    I don't know where I got the idea the old AVRI 52s had such big necks. Oh well... we shall see in a few days... :mad:o_O
     
  13. Dacious

    Dacious Poster Extraordinaire

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    The MIM Classic 50s has a Nocaster like fat slugger. But that isn't typical of real 52s or 54s. The CS Broadcaster and Nocaster necks are sluggers.
     
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  14. CK Dexter Haven

    CK Dexter Haven Friend of Leo's

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    I had two neither of mine were very orange , but IIRC the finish on all of these was a poly/ nitro sandwich. The necks were bigger than most modern versions but ( slightly ) smaller than a early Baja.

    Keep in mind that these came with a lot of candy that has gone missing over the years, my first one didn’t even have a case, but did have the original wiring.. I’m pretty sure GC thought it was broken, so it was about half of what people are now asking.Any how.. most of these things are inconsequential for playing, but should be included for “top wonga” I would want the original bridge and preferably the ashtray
    ( I sometimes use it) these came with a six saddle in the candy, and many have it now, which to me compromises the “Teleness”.

    I was thinking about getting another, but came across a open box American Pro for the same money, it does what I need a Tele to do, and looks close enough to a ‘52 to please me, has a functional case and a few neat little things like a 1/4 ashtray which works well you can rest your hand but still mute! it also comes W/ compensated brass saddles.
    I was able to put it over 24 so I did the deal. Neck is reasonable but not a tree..Might be worth a look if you pass on the GC guitar
     
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  15. EsquireOK

    EsquireOK Friend of Leo's

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    They can be great, bad, or okay, like most models that were mass produced on the standard production line.

    They certainly are all ugly as sin, though, unless you get one in a custom color, or do an overspray or complete refinish. But even then, you still have that dark yellow neck that will only get darker in time.

    One of the best Teles I ever owned was a BSB AVRI. But after a while, I just couldn't handle its looks any more. It was just hideous, and that does matter to me. Honestly, I don't miss it. My CS Esquire and AV '58 Tele make up for it and then some.

    I say play more AVs. To me, they are unquestionably superior in terms of specs. You just need to find one you love.
     
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  16. Old duck

    Old duck Tele-Meister

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  17. EsquireOK

    EsquireOK Friend of Leo's

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    About right for a starting price, if it's clean.

    They were about $2,150 retail price originally.

    I got my AV '64 used in near mint shape for $1,250 shipped. That was a true steal.

    I got my AV '58 NOS mint, from the shop floor of my local store. $1,600 plus tax. An excellent price for new.

    The same shop still has an NOS AV '52 that I am saving up for. Same price: $1,600.

    Used, I would say $1,400 to $1,800, depending on condition. They haven't come down much.

    It's a notable chunk of money, but not if you keep your guitars for the long haul and actually get decades of use and enjoyment out of them. If you frequently get bored and sell things off after playing them for a bit, then it's probably not worth that much to you.
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2019
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  18. moosie

    moosie Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Thanks, but Am Pro (aka Std) is a non-starter for me. AV (and possibly AVRI), and vintage-spec CS are the only things Fender sells that interest me.

    Really... I coulda swore I played a Classic 50s, and it had essentially a 'modern C' neck. But anyway, there are enough things I don't like about the Classics, they're non-starters as well. I do appreciate the ideas though.

    I'm trying hard not to buy a CS. That's when the little voice tells me "you already have three Teles, or is it four, and way too many other guitars - what is wrong with you!"

    Oh wait, that's my wife. :lol: But she's not wrong...
     
  19. moosie

    moosie Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Yeah, I got lucky, too. I got the AV58 in 2013, brand new, for $1200. Apparently a small dealer had meant to custom order a AV64 (both white blonde) for a customer, and when this one arrived he refused it. He actually listed it on Reverb for $1550. I saw it, but didn't realize how nice these were, yet. And I hadn't planned on buying a guitar, so I lowballed $1200, and got promptly declined. But that was the store employee. The owner came back to me at the end of the day, and asked if I was still interested. He offered $1350, but I still didn't budge. Stupid, really. Or not, because then he accepted. It seems pretty odd now that it would sell for so low. As soon as I got it, I became a believer. 6.7 lbs.

    The AV64 came in 2014, 'open box' new, without a mark on it, or any real explanation for the discount. Got it for $1430.


    I didn't seek out a 52 yet, because I had the CS Wildwood 52. Great guitar, but again, a medium U neck. Sold that eventually, and looked for an AV, but I think I was conditioned that I needn't pay more than $1500 - new. Came close a few times, and then I got the one from MF that was all wrong. That was a good price - $1580 - because they had some coupon thing going.


    I never have this trouble. I'm usually very methodical and decisive. I wait for good deals on what I want, buy it online, and am nearly always pleased.

    I've *never* considered the AVRI52, for exactly the reasons mentioned in this thread. Except for that one time back in 2010, and there was no AV line yet. I did own a AVRI 69 Thinline, and couldn't get on with the tone, but surprisingly the finish was amazing. It was a late one, built in June '12. And the tiny frets were great. It had the caramel-colored neck, and honestly, I thought it was gorgeous.


    Alright, I'll keep looking for an AV, and maybe I'll raise my limit a bit.
     
  20. John C

    John C Friend of Leo's

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    I guess because they didn't come out until 2011 Fender kept the previous series AVRI '69 Tele Thinline, '72 Tele Custom, and '72 Tele Thinlines around after they changed the other models in August 2012 (that being the '52 Tele, '62 Custom Tele, '57 Strat, and '62 Strat for guitars).

    I saw the specs of your AV '64 Tele - you did get one with a larger than typical neck. A mid-1998 through August 2012 AVRI '52 is probably going to be closer in size to your AV '58 Tele - but with a U neck instead of a C neck.
     
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