The old AVRIs had a more vintage accurate lacquer finish than the AV series (I said "more accurate", not "totally accurate"), but people complained it was too thick. Well duh, that was kinda the point- the purpose of a finish is to protect the paint, after all. So, the AV series got a "flash coat" that was much thinner and more susceptible to wear. These came out at the same time as the '60s Lacquer series. Then people complained it was too easily damaged, so the AO series got a thicker finish again (how it compares to the AVRI, I couldn't say). The '60s Lacquer series retained its thin coat. It's all cosmetic anyway, since all these guitars have a poly undercoat.