Fender '52 Reissue vs. Original...

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by Amadeus, Apr 23, 2012.

  1. Amadeus

    Amadeus TDPRI Member

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    How close is my '52 reissue telecaster to the original?

    Does anyone know how close?

    &

    The custom shop, is there Tele reissue better somehow?
     
  2. jedi

    jedi Tele-Holic

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    Well, the 52RI was a huge leap when they came out in the early 80s. Up until then Fender was not getting it when it came to vintage reissues. When it came out it gave musicians a pretty good representation of a blackguard Tele. At the time, my only real beef was the pencil thin necks that were used, the same with the Strat reissues.

    Over time, the USA 52RI continued to get closer in regards to specifications, however for a while they were IMHO way off in the color, sometimes looking orange to me. The very first RIs were actually nitro and they moved away from that over the years however I believe on some runs they are thin skin nitro top coats.

    The 52RI is a great guitar for the money...but if you are looking for the full experience of what they were like way back when, the custom shop is producing some very accurate reissues. For me personally, my CS 51 Nocaster and 55 Telecaster have served me very well for years and many, many gigs. The choice of lightweight tonewoods, electronics, hardware and fit and finish are "key" in accomplishing the feel and tone I look for in a Telecaster guitar.

    Also, today there are many fine boutique builders that can produce a very fine vintage spec'ed guitar, for example Danocaster, Kirn, Hahn, Crook and LSL to just name a few.

    Not sure if I answered your question? Yes, the 52 is a relatively accurate reissue for the money and will serve you will at home or on stage...just look for a good weight. However, for not a lot more money a used CS guitar IMHO will get you closer.
     
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  3. Rolling Estonian

    Rolling Estonian Friend of Leo's

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    The CS '51 Nocaster is the finest tele I've played. It's my dream tele but I'm saving up for a Taylor now so it'll be awhile.

    M
     
  4. sonny wolf

    sonny wolf Friend of Leo's

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    When I bought my 52 AVRI in 2007 at Guitarcenter I had a chance to A/B it against a real 1953 Tele they had on their vintage wall.The salesguy was cool with letting me play it since he just made a sale with the AVRI 52.The 52 AVRI I bought was an exceptionally great example with it's lightweight ash body and great Telecaster tone so I was curious to see how it compared to the real deal.The weight of the 1953 Tele was about the same as mine...maybe 7.5 LBS(I am guessing mine weighs around that).The neck shapes were almost identical.I was surprised at how the pickups sounded similar too.Plugged into the same Blues Junior amp with no reverb and light overdrive,there was no big difference in tone...the reissue pickups did a great job of getting right in the 1953 Tele's tonal ballpark and you couldn't say one was superior to the other.The 1953 had incredible mojo from having been played heavily over the years....it's finish aged and worn so perfectly.My AVRI 52's vibe was like a blank canvas in comparison but after a few years of being played hard in Texas bars here she is also beginning to develop her own mojo.The finish on mine has started to dull and chip and reveal an actually thin coat of paint about the same as how the chips are on my 62 hot rod Strat(which has the thinskin nitro coat).The 1953 cost $48000 whereas mine was $1100( I got a good discount!).Guitar for guitar in terms of playability and tone I can't say the 1953 is any better than mine.Leo Fender's vision was to produce a solid playing and sounding guitar very easily so if you use the right approach then it is hard to go wrong...they certainly used that approach on my AVRI 52.
     
  5. hilljr170

    hilljr170 Tele-Meister

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    Thanks. I have a '96 AVRI 52. I've had it since 97. Love this guitar but was always curious how it would sound side by side with an original. Great review/info
    Thanks again
     
  6. Telemarkman

    Telemarkman Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Finish/color - not close, but is meant to simulate a faded/yellowed example, not a new one.

    Tone - real close.

    Specs - will vary, as the originals did. However, the 1982-1998 years were less accurate than the post -98 years. (They were revised in 1998).

    Some examples of neck measurements of original 1952 Teles/Esquires, taken from Nacho's "Blackguard" book:

    Depth @ 1st fret ...12th fret

    1952 Tele: 0.87" ..... 0.99"
    1952 Tele: 0.87" ..... 1.00"
    1952 Esq.: 0.87" ..... 1.00"
    1952 Tele: 0.85" ..... 1.00"
    1952 Tele: 0.85" ..... 0.96"
    1952 Esq.: 0.93" ..... 0.98"

    Average: 0.87" ....... 0.99"

    My Jan. 2004 '52 RI: 0.87" ..... 0.99", which means it's exactly the average of those measurements mentioned in the book - not bad!

    The CS '51 Nocaster is much more accurate in finish/color, but the neck specs are way off (it has a real baseball bat).

    In my experience about 70% of the CS Nocaster/'52RI owners here prefer the CS guitar over the '52RI. But a couple of our most experienced vintage experts in fact think the '52RI is the better guitar. I guess it comes down to personal preference.

    But you can bet the quality today is much more even than it was back in the 50's, due to modern production methods.
     
  7. valiant

    valiant Tele-Holic

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    Some of the early ones were also quite heavy....9lbs and 10lbs even.
     
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  8. charlieguitar

    charlieguitar TDPRI Member

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    Hello out there. I am new to the post although a member since 2006. I gotta tell ya, I but
    gotta brag a little bit. I finally got a '52 reissue and it is a keeper. I have had other Tele's
    but I am going to hang on to this one and pass it on to my grandson. I could never afford an original 50s tele but found a Fullerton reissue the other day. Neck date April 23rd, 1982. She is sweeeeet! Guitar Center rated her a "9" out of 10 only because they said they could not give a used guitar a 10. Thats sales for you but they were right. Anyway, deuces.
     
  9. Amadeus

    Amadeus TDPRI Member

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    I want to thank all of you my brothers for the shout out!

    Fact is today's manufacturing methods rock and in a lot of scenarios now '52 ri is the superior axe, after 40 years it will be just as good.

    Something about vintage, think about an old car's engine that need to be rebuilt every 30k miles nowadays a car can go 100k without a tune up.

    Odd-vintage-mind-set.

    Relic'd = damaged new instrument, go figure.

    Thank guys!!!!
     
  10. Geo

    Geo Friend of Leo's

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    Very little difference but the RIs have varied a bit over the years.
    I played a '53 right next to a '52 RI that I bought same time
    and the only really difference was age and a bit more wear on the '53.
    Actually the '53 (one of Waylon's) was in great condition.
    The neck size and profile were identical or so very close only an
    idiot would have an issue. Weight was even very close by feel.
     
  11. Amadeus

    Amadeus TDPRI Member

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    Guys, I played a Real Broadcaster!
    It's in rough shape and the neck was warped but the sound is just identical to the '52 RI Telecaster!!!!

    Oh Crap!!! What a thing to know that all my life the 52 ri is all I want!!!!
     
  12. Paul G.

    Paul G. Friend of Leo's

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    Fender's making some fine guitars.

    When talking about Gibsons or Martins you have to remember the quality (and even types) of wood used up to the late 60's early 70's just isn't available in significant quantities. You can't compare first growth, valley-cut Honduras mahogany with the mineral-filled, small tree dregs that are left. Not to mention the other species labelled "mahogany". Same with clear Brazilian Rosewood and Adirondack Spruce.

    Then the aging -- back in the day, wood was put in a shed and seasoned for years. I have a luthier-made Les Paul copy made from 100-year-old shed-aged mahogany and 50-year-old Eastern maple. It is one of the best Les Pauls I've ever played, better than quite a few originals. It doesn't matter what pickups I have in there, it just sound better. I've only had to adjust the truss rod once in 15 years (after a refret).

    Now the genius of Leo is that he made incredible instruments out of weed wood. The production techniques lent themselves to good quality and consistency even with varying levels of skill as long as care is taken in assembly.

    There is no reason a good Reissue (or even a home-brew) can't match an original, especially with some years on it.

    Yay!! We love Fenders, we love Teles.

    P.
     
  13. 1955

    1955 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Seems like peg holes on the 52RI are larger than the originals. TonePros Klusons (licensed by W.D. Music) claims to make authentic reproductions of the tuners on vintage Fenders. They are so accurate that the peg hole bushings don't even come close to fitting in my 2005 52RI. Conversion bushings are required.

    Nowhere in Fender's specs to my knowledge is this difference acknowledged, although the Fender rep confirmed that the 52RI guitars are drilled for Japanese Gotohs, which are very different than the original Klusons. I learned this the hard way last week when before I purchased replacement tuners the rep for TonePros said their licensed Klusons should fit in my 52RI. A technical nightmare followed which compromised my gigs. You can read about further disparities in a recent thread I started out of frustration titled "Klusons."

    So, no, Fender 52RI's are not close to the originals, from a tuning machine perspective at least.

    I visited the specification page of the 52RI a few minutes ago on Fender's site and encountered this one: "Vintage 6-saddle bridge."

    That should tell a little about whether attention to detail is a current priority at Fender.
     
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  14. 1955

    1955 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Sorry if I'm coming off jerky- I just think Fender could prevent things like this by listing more accurate info about how reissues compare to originals and how American reissues differ from foreign reissues. It would save a lot if trouble.
     
  15. Rusty

    Rusty Tele-Holic

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    It's strange to me how some things they've gotten more accurate over the years (pickups, neck spec's) and some things have gotten way off (finish, decal)...my #1 is from the NAMM Fullerton batch when they started in '81/82 (whenever the Tele bible says) and it is the best feeling/sounding guitar I own...even the next year or two they started getting the color wrong!!! the newer ones are like plastic...seems like they could have kept some of that magic somehow??? :(

    www.rustyanderson.net
     

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  16. PapaLion

    PapaLion Tele-Afflicted

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    A '52 RI is just as close to an original '52 and a new Camero is to a '67.
     
  17. dan1952

    dan1952 Friend of Leo's

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    Having owned a couple of '50's Esquires and Teles, and having played my brother's original Nocaster, and having made the mistake of trading a '66 CAR Strat for one of the first '52 Reissues when they came out (long distance deal, will never do that again), I agree 100% with this statement!
     
  18. Wileyone

    Wileyone Tele-Holic

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    Personally I think the Eighties MIJ 52ri's were closer to the originals than the AV's were.
     
  19. Telepi

    Telepi Friend of Leo's

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    They sure are pretty and provide a good
    feeling of nostalgia. If they were made by
    another guitar manufacturer, they might
    be called "Inspired By 1952 Telecaster".

    Considering, most of us won't be getting an
    original anytime soon. A reissue can still be
    a whole lotta fun.
     
  20. Telemarkman

    Telemarkman Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    So a "wrong" color/finish is worse than a "wrong" body radius, a "wrong" headstock shape, "wrong" neck shape and "wrong" pickup specs? ;)

    I think that except for the finish/color, a post-'98 AV'52RI is real close to an original late 1952 Telecaster. Much closer than the pre-'98 version.

    No, they weren't. They just looked closer.
     
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