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Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by Ooba Tooba, Jan 17, 2018.
I'm not a fan of the '52 AVRI simply because I couldn't afford it if I wanted to try!
I had one, and at first I loved it. Slowly the vintage radius and tiny frets got to me, along with the neck profile. Well built and sounded great, though.
I get along far better with my 50's Baja.
I have one tele with 7.25 and vintage frets and one with 9.5-12 compound and modern frets. It just honestly really doesn’t make a whole lot of difference to me. Are there a ton of tech shredders on this forum or something?
In response to your question, Count me OUT! I still own a 2003 that I bought new, and it's still my favorite,(I also have a 2005). From the neck which I love, to the build quality, (the neck fit is absolutely perfect). This guitar plays and looks great, and stays in tune to a supernatural degree that seems physically impossible. Plugged in or unplugged, it doesn't matter, this is a song playing, song writing platform that I love and will never part with.
I remember when they came out, at the time there was no other new "Blackguard" available. Now they are other options, and the '52 is more like what it was a '80s version of a '50's guitar using a combination of what was standard production techniques for Fender guitars at the two times. Which is fine along as you understand what you are getting. I have had a few in the studio and the '50s side of the equation makes for interesting playability when compared to a modern Tele, the '80s side makes for interesting fit and finish when compared to CS guitars that are more accurate Ri's of the original. I would like to have a older one just for the
" Whoa...cool" moment from that first sighting, but I can't justify the price for what it is..
Absolutely. Nobody knew how electric guitars would be played, and these early telecaster were just the 1st throw of the dice.
Considering all these, Leo got an awful lot right at the 1st attempt, it's pretty remarkable really.
And some details, which personally consider as non functional (or not particularly practical) anachronisms, are still loved by many (uncomfortable ashtray bridge, 3 brass saddles, vintage radius 7.25" radius and vintage narrow frets). Beside these 4 small points, what he achieved is phenomenal IMO.
I have one (avatar) and I love it. It's the 98-12 version. Love everything about it. Neck profile (just right for me), pickups (both), fret wire, radius, finish, looks, everything. The price I paid for it, too (≈ a new Baja).
The only reason I sold my AVRI52 was to finance a Les Paul which is where my tastes were moving at the time. I recently bought another Tele and it was an early 50s style Japanese model. It's my favourite look and feel for a Tele. I'll be putting up a dedicated post about it as it's hard to find clear information about the model but, in short, I was after that deeper neck, rounder radius, colour and finish you'd expect from the model. There are some significant differences between it and a US '52 model but there are enough similarities to warrant calling it the type I prefer. On the AVRI52 I did have I'll have to say that I was annoyed at the original wiring but it wasn't hard to change to bridge/both/neck and with some compensated saddles and neck adjustment it was playing exactly how I liked it. The tone is also my favourite Tele sound, that mid-rangey whine and chime works for me (I only ever play clean, for reference). It's not as absurdly easy to play as my Les Paul but that is a lot less friendly to the behind the nut bending I love so much on a Tele.
I liked it, the neck, the tone, the feel. I cannot afford it now, but if I can find one when I have the money, Id go for it.. But I seem to be in a rosewood phase, so If I can find that neck profile with a rosewboard, that'll be something
I like that it isn't too easy to play, no need to baby it, it will give you as much as you give it. There are pros and cons, but that is part of it's vibe to me. I love them.
There have been many people that have complaints about the AVRI '52 Telecaster.
The color isn't right, the neck is too thin.....
I have a 2000 AVRI Tele and it's a decent instrument. Yes, it has small frets & a 7.5" radius, it's supposed to!
No matter what changes Fender has made over the years on the '52 RI there will be people who won't like it. Try as many out as you can and buy the one that speaks to you.
The AVRI went through a lot of changes in finish and neck profile from the late '90s to about 2008, when Fender apparently decided on a color and neck profile that they stuck with until 2012 when they changed the name and jacked up the price. Somewhere in there, they also did away with the blender wiring that nobody kept. Some of the variation during that time account for many of the negative responses here.
The consistent part about all these iterations was the pickups, which were and are as good as any on the market, and the vintage frets and fretboard radius. And, of course, the heavy, gloss finish has prevailed. These are things that made the guitar vintage, after all.
For the guitar shopper, all 52 RI will be very similar for any example after 2008. The U-shaped neck is moderate in size and very comfortable to my hands. The small frets and rounder fretboard may take some getting used to, but ultimately, you may find it more playable than the flatter radius and much spankier in tone. Skinnier frets do give you more room between them. A new one needs some breaking in, and a little 0000 steel wool on the back of the neck can accelerate that process. Bottom line, you won't find a better sounding Tele than a AVRI and getting used to the vintage fretboard is well worth your while.
My understanding is that they were finished in lacquer.
Check out Wildwood guitars and their thin skin nitro 52 avri's.
Sold mine about 3 months in, just couldn't get along with it really, but ymmv.
Too bad about the humbuckers on the light ones and the 9 lb weights on the single coil ones. I think all (or most) of the wildwoods come with the flat fingerboards.
I owned one several years back.
I really wanted to love it, but the neck was so sticky, I ended up selling it.
And I tried everything short of having it refinished - buffing, sanding, waxing, etc...
And then I ALMOST went the refinishing route, but decided that I didn't want to spend that much more money on an already (relatively) expensive guitar.
I gave it over 6 months, then let it go.
That neck finish just never cured properly. The worst of it was the fret board - it would grab my fingers. It never became a comfortable guitar to play.
I ended up replacing it with a MIM Esquire that was loaded with a Fralin bridge pickup. I added a Barden neck pickup and it's been my #1 guitar ever since. I actually like it more than the '52RI I had. A lot more.
I get confused with AVRI, RI etc... but I have a '52 RI from 1996. I got it probably in 1998 or so, and it was virtually unplayed at that time. Not a chunky neck, but definitely the 7.5" radius. It had green lacquer ( i think???) all over the frets that I had to pick off with a.... yeah.. a guitar pick, and yes, it was pretty gummy for a good long time, especially on sweatier gigs in the summer, or under too many of the older par cans even as I recall.
For me - I love the sound with it's original pickups every time I use it; it is my first choice at nearly every electric gig I have had since I got it. The neck itself now, after probably 2000 gigs or so is nicely worn and hasn't been tacky for years, shows wear on the back side, and on the bottom and top sides from my thumb and palm. The front of the neck hasn't any of the finger marks you find with some guitars, but I think that has more to do with the player than the guitar. It has had a re-fret once (Yes, I had the same size smaller frets installed again) and the brass saddles had to be burnished out twice. The control plate is getting worn between the knobs from my little finger on the right hand and will not ever be shiny there again.
Sure it fights back a little like a smaller radius should, but it is one great sounding, solid instrument.
The one thing I didn't understand, and probably will never, is why the body of the guitar (black) is painted with some sort of permanent paint/finish. Harder than a granite countertop I think!
This will be one of the last 3 guitars to ever leave me if I ever start unloading for sure. It's a workhorse and sounds terrific.
I also have one from the '90s. Mine's a '97 that I bought from the original owner, who had a Gibson minihumbucker installed in the neck position at the Fender factory. Anyway, I love the neck on that one, but I don't care for the neck profile on the more recent ones.