Fender 52 AVRI Telecaster differences in the visibility of grain and lacquer

Tele Daniele

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Hi,

I'm planning to finally buy this guitar in some foreseeable time and, while searching for some offers, I found one that I'm interested in. It's an 2011 model, I haven't tried it yet because it's hundreds of kilometers away from me (I'm in Croatia ant the Tele is in Austria), but before I decide if I will go and try it, I would like to know your opinion on the following:

The grain seem to be relatively heavy and very visible, almost as the yellow lacquer is clear with not much of the "milkiness". I found that this milkiness can vary because I saw some AVRI teles that seem to be painted in almost solid yellow and, on the other hand, there are some which resemble the Japan made TL52 guitars that have much clearer finish.

Bare in mind that I'm not an AVRI Tele connoisseur, it's possible I'm exaggerating the observation, the truth is I only tried one 52 AVRI Tele in my life so I'm speaking only from my very limited visual experience which was formed mainly by browsing the internet. The thing is I'm really trying to find a good specimen and avoid any kind of fraud and maybe some of the guitars I saw on the internet were not the real ones.

So, in short: to a what degree is it acceptable to have some differences in the visibility of ash grain, especially when comparing particular years of production. Are these differences real in the first place, or are they just the result of different photography? Maybe Fender made AVRI Teles practically the same finish-vise through the years and all the big deviations from the standard are sure signs of an inauthentic guitar?

In the end, if that's important at all, if there are reall differences between the years, which variation would be historically more correct?

I included the photo in the attachment.

All the best,
Danijel
 

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kuch

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Welcome to the forum!!

I have a '12 52 AVRI hotrod tele. here's a couple of pics
It's very similar to the 52 AVRI but with a 9.5 fretboard radius and medium jumbo frets. It also has a SD mini humbucker at the neck. Same nitro finish on the body.

edit: the serial #s on the AVRI's are stamped on the bridge plate

20220130_104847.jpg
20220130_105006.jpg


Good luck in your search
 
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Slim Chance

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When the AVRI line became the AV line in mid 2012, the finish changed to a softer light yellow, which is more opaque the the previous ones, although you can still see the grain. The finish is also thinner.

Assuming it’s an AVRI (and I can’t tell from looking at the photo on my phone) it is pre mid 2012. I do like the grain on this one, too.
 

blindfish1

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i have a 2011 avri. i do think mine is a little more opaque but it's a close call because the grain in your guitar wood seems inherently more pronounced (if neither had any finish applied). but i'm just kinda guessing.
 

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Tele Daniele

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Thank you all, this is all very useful information. So it seems Fender changed the finish in 2012 into more opaque and thinner one and keeped it that way until the end of the production (the Original seems the same finish-wise).

Actually, I think I prefer the later variant, I like to see the ash grain but the later guitars with discrete grain under the opaque finish are somehow more apealing to me and, as I can remember, the one I tried was like that. Light, resonant, beautiful...I think I'll wait a little bit and try to find one of those.
 

Slim Chance

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The finish on the AOs are not similar to the AVs. I think the AOs are much closer to the AVRIs. Who know what the next iteration will be?
 

nedray

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This is a little complicated thanks to Fender's marketing and the longevity of this line, but a lot of this is partly to totally inaccurate. First of all, the 52 Hot Rod is an OK guitar, but it is not an American Vintage Reissue (AVRI). As to the different finishes you're seeing, this is probably not your imagination. The AVRI has been around a long time and has been through some changes. There are written histories online that you might want to look up.

The AVRI 52 was introduced in 1982 as an attempt to restore Fender to its original glory after CBS relinquished ownership of the company to an employee-led investor group. They were good guitars, though not entirely accurate reproductions. The neck was very slim and the finish was a very thick, orange-looking mixture of poly and nitro, presumably intended to resemble "butterscotch," or the color of the original blonde 52 Blackguard when it aged. They were sometimes referred to as "pumpkincasters" and it's not a compliment. I would avoid these unless you can find one to play and you happen to like it. Again, they're not bad, but not the best of breed.

Around 2005 or so--I wouldn't swear to the date, Fender overhauled the AVRI to correct most of the cosmetic inaccuracies, beef up the neck and add a nice, blonde nitro finish. If you're looking at one from this time frame until 2012, when they again revisited this line, these are your best bet in my view. I have one from 2007 and it's a beast. These have risen in value and they show no sign of stopping, so it should be at least a decent investment.

Another item of interest: the AVRI 52s all come with 7.24" fretboard radius and vintage thin frets. I like them, but not everyone does. Also, for many years they shipped with "vintage wiring," which meant you got the bridge with no tone control, the bridge with tone control, and the neck with a resistor that made the tone very dark (to double as a bass). They finally stopped doing that, thank heavens, but there may still be some around that were never changed. It's an easy mod to switch it to modern wiring, but we used to have to do it.

Good luck.
 

Tele Daniele

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Thank you all for the information, for example, I didn't know there is a distinction between AVRI and AV.
Another item of interest: the AVRI 52s all come with 7.24" fretboard radius and vintage thin frets. I like them, but not everyone does.
I happen to like them a lot, that's one of the reasons I'm not considering the AO series, the other reason being the pickups, just today I read in some review that AO has different pickups, supposedly "more strat-like" in comparison to more "rolled off and muddy" sound of the AVRI or AV pickups. I happen to like this kind of pickups more as well, I believe that's the way an old Tele should sound like (neck pickup).
 

takauya

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I read in some review that AO has different pickups, supposedly "more strat-like" in comparison to more "rolled off and muddy" sound of the AVRI or AV pickups
I think for 50s model of each line they used the OV pups. I mean the PV '58 was obviously different though.
Fender CS told me the Pure Vintage 52 pups or whatever they advertised at the time and the OV were exactly the same, just different names.
 

Tele Daniele

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I think for 50s model of each line they used the OV pups. I mean the PV '58 was obviously different though.
Fender CS told me the Pure Vintage 52 pups or whatever they advertised at the time and the OV were exactly the same, just different names.
I believe it's possible, maybe the reviewer was not very objective.
 

Beebe

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This is a little complicated thanks to Fender's marketing and the longevity of this line, but a lot of this is partly to totally inaccurate. First of all, the 52 Hot Rod is an OK guitar, but it is not an American Vintage Reissue (AVRI). As to the different finishes you're seeing, this is probably not your imagination. The AVRI has been around a long time and has been through some changes. There are written histories online that you might want to look up.

The AVRI 52 was introduced in 1982 as an attempt to restore Fender to its original glory after CBS relinquished ownership of the company to an employee-led investor group. They were good guitars, though not entirely accurate reproductions. The neck was very slim and the finish was a very thick, orange-looking mixture of poly and nitro, presumably intended to resemble "butterscotch," or the color of the original blonde 52 Blackguard when it aged. They were sometimes referred to as "pumpkincasters" and it's not a compliment. I would avoid these unless you can find one to play and you happen to like it. Again, they're not bad, but not the best of breed.

Around 2005 or so--I wouldn't swear to the date, Fender overhauled the AVRI to correct most of the cosmetic inaccuracies, beef up the neck and add a nice, blonde nitro finish. If you're looking at one from this time frame until 2012, when they again revisited this line, these are your best bet in my view. I have one from 2007 and it's a beast. These have risen in value and they show no sign of stopping, so it should be at least a decent investment.

Another item of interest: the AVRI 52s all come with 7.24" fretboard radius and vintage thin frets. I like them, but not everyone does. Also, for many years they shipped with "vintage wiring," which meant you got the bridge with no tone control, the bridge with tone control, and the neck with a resistor that made the tone very dark (to double as a bass). They finally stopped doing that, thank heavens, but there may still be some around that were never changed. It's an easy mod to switch it to modern wiring, but we used to have to do it.

Good luck.

I'm glad they switched to 7.24 inches. 7.25 was a bit too flat for my taste 😜.
 

Twang Tone

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UK
Hi,

I'm planning to finally buy this guitar in some foreseeable time and, while searching for some offers, I found one that I'm interested in. It's an 2011 model, I haven't tried it yet because it's hundreds of kilometers away from me (I'm in Croatia ant the Tele is in Austria), but before I decide if I will go and try it, I would like to know your opinion on the following:

The grain seem to be relatively heavy and very visible, almost as the yellow lacquer is clear with not much of the "milkiness". I found that this milkiness can vary because I saw some AVRI teles that seem to be painted in almost solid yellow and, on the other hand, there are some which resemble the Japan made TL52 guitars that have much clearer finish.

Bare in mind that I'm not an AVRI Tele connoisseur, it's possible I'm exaggerating the observation, the truth is I only tried one 52 AVRI Tele in my life so I'm speaking only from my very limited visual experience which was formed mainly by browsing the internet. The thing is I'm really trying to find a good specimen and avoid any kind of fraud and maybe some of the guitars I saw on the internet were not the real ones.

So, in short: to a what degree is it acceptable to have some differences in the visibility of ash grain, especially when comparing particular years of production. Are these differences real in the first place, or are they just the result of different photography? Maybe Fender made AVRI Teles practically the same finish-vise through the years and all the big deviations from the standard are sure signs of an inauthentic guitar?

In the end, if that's important at all, if there are reall differences between the years, which variation would be historically more correct?

I included the photo in the attachment.

All the best,
Danijel
Looks like the one in the pic has an obvious 3-piece body.

While this has no affect on Tone or Playability, I'd save your money and find one with a more aesthetically-pleasing 2-piece, centre-joined ash body.
 

Twang Tone

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Posts
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This is a little complicated thanks to Fender's marketing and the longevity of this line, but a lot of this is partly to totally inaccurate. First of all, the 52 Hot Rod is an OK guitar, but it is not an American Vintage Reissue (AVRI). As to the different finishes you're seeing, this is probably not your imagination. The AVRI has been around a long time and has been through some changes. There are written histories online that you might want to look up.

The AVRI 52 was introduced in 1982 as an attempt to restore Fender to its original glory after CBS relinquished ownership of the company to an employee-led investor group. They were good guitars, though not entirely accurate reproductions. The neck was very slim and the finish was a very thick, orange-looking mixture of poly and nitro, presumably intended to resemble "butterscotch," or the color of the original blonde 52 Blackguard when it aged. They were sometimes referred to as "pumpkincasters" and it's not a compliment. I would avoid these unless you can find one to play and you happen to like it. Again, they're not bad, but not the best of breed.

Around 2005 or so--I wouldn't swear to the date, Fender overhauled the AVRI to correct most of the cosmetic inaccuracies, beef up the neck and add a nice, blonde nitro finish. If you're looking at one from this time frame until 2012, when they again revisited this line, these are your best bet in my view. I have one from 2007 and it's a beast. These have risen in value and they show no sign of stopping, so it should be at least a decent investment.

Another item of interest: the AVRI 52s all come with 7.24" fretboard radius and vintage thin frets. I like them, but not everyone does. Also, for many years they shipped with "vintage wiring," which meant you got the bridge with no tone control, the bridge with tone control, and the neck with a resistor that made the tone very dark (to double as a bass). They finally stopped doing that, thank heavens, but there may still be some around that were never changed. It's an easy mod to switch it to modern wiring, but we used to have to do it.

Good luck.
Some of this is correct.

But the model was first re-vamped in 1998, not 2005, to improve the thickness of the neck, change the pickup magnets from Alnico 5 to Alnico 3, and make the headstock and body-edge radius more accurate.

Those made between 2012 and 2017 are the most popular, but the opaque yellow finish, wide 12th fret dots, rolled fingerboard edges and pale necks displease some.

I'd hunt for a 2007 or a 2011 model - the last of the 010-0202-850s, with the finish that still showed off the ash grain, and still came wired from the factory with the Dark Circuit wiring.
 

Tele Daniele

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Those made between 2012 and 2017 are the most popular, but the opaque yellow finish, wide 12th fret dots, rolled fingerboard edges and pale necks displease some.
Everything mentioned pleases me, in fact, the one I tried was just like that and it felt great. I believe I'll go for that period.
 

John C

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Some of this is correct.

But the model was first re-vamped in 1998, not 2005, to improve the thickness of the neck, change the pickup magnets from Alnico 5 to Alnico 3, and make the headstock and body-edge radius more accurate.

Those made between 2012 and 2017 are the most popular, but the opaque yellow finish, wide 12th fret dots, rolled fingerboard edges and pale necks displease some.

I'd hunt for a 2007 or a 2011 model - the last of the 010-0202-850s, with the finish that still showed off the ash grain, and still came wired from the factory with the Dark Circuit wiring.

Just to add a bit to the timelines:

The 1998 revision happened at some point during the first half of 1998; the older versions were on the January 1998 price list and the revised models were on the July 1998 price list. I've always kind of assumed that the AVRI update happened in more like June/July because Fender was also switching from the Lace Sensor/"Plus" series to the American Deluxe series during the first half of 1998, but the American Deluxes started actually showing up at dealers in late April/early May and the revised AVRIs didn't show up until late summer.

The AVRI models were made through the first half of 2012; the revised AV models were announced and released in August 2012.
 

dannyh

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My 2008. I wasn't that crazy about the heavy grain at first but it kinda grew on me. Regardless of the finish it's a great guitar.
2 2008 avri 52 telecaster.JPG
 




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