Reissue vs CS vs Vintage

Discussion in 'Fender Custom Shop Tele Forum' started by Snommisbor, Sep 18, 2019.

  1. moosie

    moosie Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    My take, I'd skip vintage. With the possible exception of a very good condition 60s offset, for less than $6k. Perhaps much less, I don't really know. I just know that I'm not willing to shell out the $35k for a nice vintage piece, and then be afraid to touch it, and I don't want a lesser piece, all boogered up. But the offsets can be wonderful guitars, and seem to be still priced well below $10k for even a very clean example. I'm just talking here, because while I do pause at some of those Jag and JM listings, I've yet to pay even $3.5k for anything.

    I own two 2013 CS Time Machine Strats, four AVs (post 2012), and one 2005 AVRI Tele. I have owned a 2011 WW10 CS Tele, and a 2011 AVRI '69 Thinline. I also have a 2018 Johnny Marr Jag, which interestingly is fully on par with the AVs. Same thin nitro finish - perhaps not quite as 'dangerously' thin. Great specs (Marr changed some things, which I like), and a good vintage feel.

    The older AVRIs are very nice guitars. The older CS are also very nice. Neither of them compare to the more recent models, especially in terms of finish. Both my '05 AVRI and '11 CS, have triple-thick finish compared to all my others mentioned. The weight on the AVRI is considerably heavier, which I've seen as a pattern in the ones I've played. Yes, there's an appeal to a nice older reissue, a bit heavier, maybe very resonant, etc. But the newer AV line is just superior in every way, in my opinion. And the interesting thing is that the post 2012 AVs are fully on par with the more recent Custom Shop guitars. The only thing 'better' my CS Strats have is quartersawn necks, and a cracked finish.

    I've not played a Masterbuilt. I have played relic CS, and I think the relic work doesn't compare with Gibson's VOS treatment. The latter is a thoughtful, subtle approach. No little hammers with a bit of gravel glued to the head... Just guessing here, but that's where I'd expect to see a noticeable difference between CS/AV and MB. At least I'd hope so, because otherwise, I'm just not sure there's going to be much further improvement past these AVs. Now, would I pay fully double for that VOS treatment equivalent? Not me, but it's nice to have the option.

    Buying with future value in mind... More important than predicting which will supposedly rise in value (if any), is buying 'right'. I figure a person will do alright buying AVRIs for $1250, AVs for $1500 (for now, we'll see if that level holds), CS for $2100, and MB for $4k, they should be able to play them for years, treat them well, and sell for about what they paid, minus a transaction fee or so. I wouldn't call ANY of them (except high quality 50s/60s vintage) to be a legit investment.

    I wanted to get my AV58 Tele a bit closer to what I like about my CSs, namely a cracked lacquer finish. So, I went at it with a hairdryer and freeze spray. It came out well. I recommend practicing on something less than your favorite, because it's not quite as easy as it may seem. I'm sure this has hurt resale - which I don't care about in this case.


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    Last edited: Sep 27, 2019
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  2. MilwMark

    MilwMark Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    forget it. I clearly wandered into the wrong thread
     
  3. 57fenderstrat

    57fenderstrat Tele-Meister

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    Personally I only have interest in the newer American Vintage models. Custom shop always disappoints me because most I have seen always look cool but have 9.5 boards. I don’t care much about professional relics, I would rather play everyday and let it wear down on its own. American Vintage has the specs I want and the price I like.

    Someday I might check out some vintage guitars but it’s unlikely I would ever want to pay what they cost. Im more into old fender combos, not as an investment but for my enjoyment.
     
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  4. moosie

    moosie Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Yes, my complaint, too. One could always special order, of course, but meh. I prefer a Time Machine CS reissue to be accurate in the things that affect playability, otherwise what's the point.

    Fender killing the AV line took away the very best I've ever seen from Fender, and simultaneously the only thing left that I liked.
     
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  5. 57fenderstrat

    57fenderstrat Tele-Meister

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    Ditto ! I hope they will bring it back soon or something. That PRS silversky seemed really popular and it had a 7.25 I think so hopefully that will motivate fender to bring it back.
     
  6. Buckaroo

    Buckaroo Tele-Meister

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    You did not cite cost as a limiting factor. If cost is not a factor, it is hard to go wrong with a masterbuilt Fender (new or used).

    Buck
     
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  7. adjason

    adjason Friend of Leo's

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    I've owned two custom shop strats with 7.5 radius and both played like a dream from the first time I picked them up. I like the vintage ones too just because they are cool...really can't go wrong as long as you get one that speaks to you
     
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  8. TeleTex82

    TeleTex82 Friend of Leo's

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    This is the only thing keeping me from buying a CS these days. My '12 AV 52 is just as good or better than any CS I've tried in the last couple of years. I have a friend whose house is covered floor to ceiling with Custom Shop guitars. They're stuffed in every closet. I don't think I'd trade my 52 for any of them other than a master built Jeff Beck Esquire. $3k+ for a bolt on factory guitar is asking a lot.
     
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  9. MichaelDCarter

    MichaelDCarter TDPRI Member

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    I've never owned a pre 1965 Fender Telecaster and only played a few occasionally. I do own a few 1960s Fender strats. They are great. But they are not demonstrably better than My CS 1969 model strats and if I have to play a long time I take the CS. Based on this experience I just bought the CS JB tele and a NoCaster. They both play great. Vintage is great if you are like me and grew up wanting one and aren't going to be devastated if the market drops and you still have the guitar. But from a playing standpoint the quality control is much better now than ever in history. The CS instruments are quality across the board. I've picked up dozens each year while at CME and never had a bad one. With vintage it can be very hit and miss. Even the ones I thought were good enough to purchase aren't noticeably better sounding than the CS. I've got a lot of money tied up in vintage guitars so I have no reason to tank the market. I just think too much of the vintage love is purely subjective. Having written that I hope everyone else just keeps driving that vintage market up.
     
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  10. DanDII

    DanDII Tele-Meister

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    My meager collection includes everything from a lowly '08 CVC in vintage white to a CS '67 Smuggler.

    The CS Smuggler is not 7 times better than the CVC. The Smuggler is more like an indulgence.

    The EJ Strat is very nice but from my perspective I'd rather pay a few hundred more to get a Wildwood Thin Skin. The sticky/ thick nitro over poly finish on the EJ really lets that guitars' otherwise impeccable build and high quality parts down.

    My '13 AMSTD Tele is really great bang for the buck. Whatever Fender used to finish the '12 and up AMSTDs is thin and highly playable. It chips about as easily as a Thin Skin and the finish chipped areas appear to be very thin.

    My CS Smuggler is very nice and the quarter sawn neck is very stable even if it does seem to impart a more direct ice picky tone under certain circumstances.

    That leaves the Thin Skins. As musical instruments they still aren't 5 times as good as the CVC but they are very appealing.

    I'm doubting in a band situation anyone other than another guitar player would notice a difference in tone between the CVC and any CS Fender. As a player I notice which to me is the final arbiter.

    That said I find the best bang for the buck is the Thin Skin line or my '14 AV '60s Hot Rod.

    The AV '60s Hot Rod is hands down the best Tele currently in the stable. It's the most versatile Fender I've ever had.

    I don't even bother considering CS Fenders any longer. The price to performance ratio just isn't there for me considering the larger cash outlay for a CS guitar.
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2019
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  11. Lance Morgan

    Lance Morgan TDPRI Member

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    Check out Hibler Custom Guitars. Bryan Hibler can make what you want...he hand winds his own pickups. From Marble Falls TX, he’s a great young guitar builder. I bought a tele (#10) from him. It’s awesome.
     
  12. sferguso

    sferguso TDPRI Member

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    My turn to comment. I have spent my money on amps, real 59 Bassman, Tweed Champ, 64 CS handwired Deluxe Reverb, AC30........That’s where I believe the best tone is created. My guitars are Strat, Tele, LP Junior, ES339.....
    I can honestly say they all sound better when my neighbor plays them because he is a better player.
    You can spend $5000.00 on a CS Strat and it’s a piece of art but look at what Jimi played. The worst models ever made and most everyone the reads this will never even get close to that talent.Buy what ever you like and enjoy it. Who cares what anyone else thinks. Especially me.
     
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  13. Robert H.

    Robert H. Friend of Leo's

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    If you are looking at spending some $, I believe the best thing you can do for yourself is order a custom built guitar with all the features and components you like the most. You pick the wood, the fret board, the Frets, tuners, pickups, neck size and shape, etc. I did this in 2007 with a Suhr Tele - after years of playing I knew what I wanted. It remains my favorite instrument, and I have some nice vintage guitars.
     
  14. VillainSean

    VillainSean Tele-Meister

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    I've been lucky the last couple years, and have moved up the CS models. Some of the RIs in my opinion haven't aged well, and even some of the early CS models have features I can't stand like sticky necks and mediocre electronics. Funny, how they cane all be so different ;)
     
  15. Yazam

    Yazam TDPRI Member

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    I have 52 reissue 2013 and cs journeyman maple.
    For my taste, there is no much diff. Sound wise RI more focus ... which i like for rhythm part.
    Cs journeyman sound quite open maybe because of the relic.... luv for rock n solo parts
     
  16. klobasa

    klobasa Tele-Meister

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    I have a 2006 Reissue 52 and it is otherwise great, but the "lacquer" is just ridiculous. It is (was) super thick and sticky in the neck and body. Also the body was actually mostly poly, the nitro is just on the top. I couldn't get the nitro to check whatever I tried. Didn't look or behave at all like a "real" nitro does. The guitar is currently going through a full refin.

    That was the biggest difference compared to my friends CS closet classic tele. My 52RI felt like classic vibe with gummy paint job compared to that and the only reason was the paint job.

    Sent from my SM-G950F using Tapatalk
     
  17. chillybilly

    chillybilly TDPRI Member

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    I was looking for a Fender amp (68 Custom Reverb Deluxe). I demo'd it with a Nash Strat (S-57). I quickly forgot about the amp and focused on the guitar. But I didn't want another Strat. So I tried a T-57 (Tele) and it was even better.

    Which is why I ended up here. :twisted:

    My first Fender purchase was an early 90s AVRI 2-tone Strat. Ostensibly a 1957, I finally got my Buddy Holly guitar. Like yours it was quite skinny with frets that were more or less just rumors. But a) I didn't know any better and b) the guitar fit me just fine. I was never crazy about the rather weak pickups and replaced them with Vintage Noiseless although the gold-embossed logo on the pickups was surplus to requirements. BTW I replaced stock BurstBuckers in a Gibson with Antiquities with very satisfactory results.

    That '57 AVRI was my main guitar for a long time. It was light thanks to the slim neck which, again, I never really noticed as all that slim until someone pointed it out and I tried some vintage Strats at a guitar show and some of the later CS reissues.

    Around that same time I bought Tony Bacon's book on the Strat in which he harrumphed that the reissues really weren't reissues. One departure was the 12th fret markers which were too close together, according to him. To be fair, they were. Your neck looks like mine did.
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2019
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  18. Woollymonster

    Woollymonster Tele-Meister

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    In my experience, no. The boutique builders have fancier, prettier woods and appointment if that is what you are into. They don't play or sound any better than off the rack Custom Shop guitars.

    I have had 5 boutique custom guitars (2 were custom orders I waited almost a year to get) over the last two decades. I have only kept one of them.

    In the end, I always end up gravitating back to Fender and Gibson Customs. Can anyone make a significantly better guitar than the Fender and Gibson Custom Shop? I have yet to own one.

    I do own a Suhr Modern which I would consider pretty main stream these days. It is as good as it gets also.

    My preference and opinion.
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2019
  19. deytookerjaabs

    deytookerjaabs Friend of Leo's

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    They're all great.



    So I'll complain about the "issues" as I see them.

    Vintage: College Tuition, plenty of underwhelming examples, murky waters of replaced parts & fakes.

    Custom Shop: Oh lawd not one with the satin orange or satin yellow finished maple neck faux vintage, so ugly, uglier than ugly, the ugliest in the world. Strip that neck if you have one like that, yuck.

    AVRI: Thickest damn coffee table finishes on the ash bodies & thick pumpkin gloss the necks.

    Pure Vintage: Almost perfect, but neck finishes are still way too thick as if FMIC gave out positive metrics to employees who could spray the most coats. Why oh why, they were otherwise perfect.
     
  20. nocastermike

    nocastermike Tele-Meister

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    Lots of factors to consider. I have all the above. The custom shop has so many options it would be impossible not find something suitable and beautiful sounding. The RI stuff is great value as well. Not as well made as a CS in my opinion. A real vintage one is a different beast entirely. A clean one that still has strong pickups will be well over 20k. My 56 is a player grade(refret,and rewound bridge pu. ) It sounds noticeably better/different than the several CS models i have. The cost is hefty though. Most times i can get lost for hours with the CS models and be very happy. If money is not a problem get a real one. Your lust will be over. If its just price vs. Performance buy a used CS model with specs you seek.
     
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