G. E. Smith vs American Vintage '64

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by igor5, Sep 17, 2019.

  1. igor5

    igor5 Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    251
    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2016
    Location:
    Chicago
    Hi guys,

    I'm decided to pull the trigger for a new tele (shame). I found two that interested me. but I can't try them before because they are on the internet. A GE Smith and an AV '64. At the same price, which one would you recommend me to buy?

    Thanks,
     
  2. Lefty Addams

    Lefty Addams Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,542
    Joined:
    May 6, 2012
    Location:
    England
    Anybody's guess, a bit like stabbing in the dark, you need to try.
     
    Vinnie1971 and nojazzhere like this.
  3. DougM

    DougM Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,984
    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2017
    Location:
    Honolulu, HI
    I can't speak for you, but if it were me, it would have to be the '64, 'cause I like rosewood boards.
     
    nojazzhere likes this.
  4. mimmo

    mimmo Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    43
    Posts:
    3,347
    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2010
    Location:
    Paris France - Rome Italy
    I am not sure but I think that the G.E. Smith is more modern while the 64 is a repro of a specific year.

    I'd go 64 but it is only a matter of personal preference.
     
    uriah1 likes this.
  5. tlsmack

    tlsmack Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,197
    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2007
    Location:
    Lonk I-lant, New York
    GE has a super chunky neck, no good for me but some people like it.
     
    uriah1 likes this.
  6. burntfrijoles

    burntfrijoles Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    5,618
    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2010
    Location:
    Somewhere Over The Rainbow
    Do you like fat necks or thinner necks. The Smith neck is too fat for me and the 64 is perfect to me.
    I love a traditional tele look. Check to the ‘64.
    I think the gray bottom pickups in the 64 are great. Have no clue about GE Smith.
    YMMV
     
  7. ronzhd

    ronzhd Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    500
    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2008
    Location:
    Spring, Texas
    Everything they said about the neck is correct, a fat u-shape, I own one and love it. There are several other features that are unique to the GE Smith tele. The inlays, the bridge plate, and how the bridge pick up is mounted. If your not familiar with these things, there easy to find on the net. Good luck!
     
    gwjensen likes this.
  8. DanDII

    DanDII Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    349
    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2015
    Location:
    Sinsinnasti
    Had a GE and currently own a '64.

    The GE neck was huge at .95" at the 1st with a 7.25 radius.

    My '64 is a WW Thin Skin w/ 9.5" radius and .85" at the 1st.

    I found the GE neck cumbersome and the fit and finish a bit below the '64 Thin Skin.

    The GEs tend to be heavier too. Mine was just over 8 pounds. The '64 is just under 7.5 pounds.

    Night and day differences between the two models.

    Good luck!
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2019
  9. bo

    bo Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    5,000
    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2003
    Location:
    Arlington, VA
    Get the one with the neck you like the most. Anything else can be tweaked if needed.
     
    dannyh and zammie like this.
  10. El Tele Lobo

    El Tele Lobo Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    4,240
    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2014
    Location:
    Florida
    What kind of pickup sound do you like? If I recall, the GE Smith is more of an early Broadcaster/Nocaster kind of sound and the AV 64 is more mid 60s Bakersfield twang. Kind of meaty growl vs. bright twang, respectively. I've heard rave reviews of both of them. People seem to really like them. The 64 contains many people's favorite Fender pickups.
     
    gwjensen likes this.
  11. Telekarster

    Telekarster Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    231
    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2019
    Location:
    Earth
    I'm bias. I like me some AVRI Fenders! ;) Got a vintage 2001 57' Strat that I wouldn't get rid of for nothin'! And... for extra fun and shear chance, she came with Ybarra pickups! Booyah!
     
  12. LGOberean

    LGOberean Doctor of Teleocity

    Age:
    65
    Posts:
    10,485
    Joined:
    May 31, 2008
    Location:
    Corpus Christi, Texas
    All of the features that @ronzhd mentioned about the GE Smith Signature (the neck, the inlays, the chopped bridge plate, the bridge pickup mounted straight to wood) appeal to me, except for the fat U shaped neck. Even though the neck profile on the '64 would probably be more to my liking (I've never played either one of these Teles, BTW), but I'll take all maple over maple/rosewood every time. And those inlays! :cool: That feature is almost worth the price of admission by itself! :D As is the bridge pickup mounting.

    I don't know about the pickups on either one (again, never played either one), but Mr. Wolf's ( @El Tele Lobo ) assessment sounds right. I don't remember where I read it now, but in one interview of Smith about his signature, he talked about the pickups being inspired by a couple of his vintage Teles, a '52 and a '53, IIRC. I know the GE Smith sounded good to me in all the videos I've watched.

    Oh, and what this thread needs is some pics. I'll supply some for the GE Smith, since that's my obvious leaning.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    El Tele Lobo likes this.
  13. El Tele Lobo

    El Tele Lobo Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    4,240
    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2014
    Location:
    Florida
    Thanks for posting those pics. The GE is a looker for sure. The inlays are the best-looking thing Fender has ever put on a fingerboard, IMHO. I seem to recall him talking about the inspiration coming from a couple early tele models, too, now that you mention it, and that those early pickups were based on lap steel designs. I think that's where he got the idea for the bridge pickup mounting method too.

    I'll continue the trend and post some pics of the '64, just to help further stir those GAStric juices:

    The Candy Apple Red is my fave:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    My second fave...Lake Placid Blue, I think...
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    RYAN1987M, OldDude2 and LGOberean like this.
  14. Mike Eskimo

    Mike Eskimo Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    19,479
    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2008
    Location:
    Detroit
    The necks can also be, or tend to be, super sticky nitro. In GE Smith’s rig rundown he even says that on one of the ones he shows the host, he had the neck stripped and re-coated super thin.

    Mine was very light at 7 pounds even but I would have had to strip the neck and refret it because I do not like vintage wire plus - the sticky neck.

    Good sounding pick ups in the GE though. Think old-school nocaster output with 43 AWG wire and about 10 K output.

    The average Tom Dick and Harry would probably be much happier with one of the 64s. The GE is a very specific thing .
     
    SPUDCASTER likes this.
  15. Telekarster

    Telekarster Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    231
    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2019
    Location:
    Earth
    Be sure to check the classifieds right here in TDPRI ;) There might just be some things out there right now that you might be interested in....
     
  16. Vinnie1971

    Vinnie1971 TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    48
    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2015
    Location:
    Nottingham
    If you can’t try the exact model get out and find ones with the same necks. The neck is a deal breaker for me. I like a 60s chunky C profile with 10.5 inch radius but modern C with 9.5 is fine. Flatter is better for me


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  17. LGOberean

    LGOberean Doctor of Teleocity

    Age:
    65
    Posts:
    10,485
    Joined:
    May 31, 2008
    Location:
    Corpus Christi, Texas

    Oh, yeah, good job! I said I'll take an all maple neck over a maple/rosewood, but that doesn't mean I think those fretboards look bad. Those all look good to me. And like I said, I would probably like the neck profile on the '64 just fine, probably more so than a real fat U shape.

    But the GE Smith Signature has so much uniqueness; it's the embodiment of the history of the Leo Fender lap steel, Broadcaster & Tele. Here are two YouTube videos about his Signature.



    This Rig Rundown on GE Smith video also features his history with Teles and his Signature. He shows a late '40s lap steel first off, then his '52, then the Signature is talked about from 5:55 - 9:40. After that, it's a Rick Kelly tele and then his amps and pedals.

     
    Matt G and El Tele Lobo like this.
  18. El Tele Lobo

    El Tele Lobo Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    4,240
    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2014
    Location:
    Florida
    Nice. I've seen the first one. Checking out the rig rundown now. Thanks for sharing, man!
     
    LGOberean likes this.
  19. DanDII

    DanDII Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    349
    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2015
    Location:
    Sinsinnasti
    GEs are nitro over poly. That's why they have stickiness issues. Same as pre '12 AVRIs.

    Left outside the case and wiped down religiously the stickiness will get better over time.

    It's still a thicker finish than the '12 and up thin skin reissues.

    Just a note, the GEs were built out from '07-'09. Later models are just left overs. Seems they didn't sell all that well. Most buyers opted to save some coin and purchase an AVRI.
     
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.


  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.