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What frets are on the US Vintage Series 52, the AVRI 52, the AV 52, and the AO 50's?

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by Digiplay, Sep 4, 2020.

  1. Digiplay

    Digiplay Tele-Afflicted

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    I know the 50's RW has 6105 frets, but does anyone know what frets are on the:

    1) US Vintage Series 52 (1982 - 1997).
    2) AVRI 52 (1998 - 7/2012).
    3) American Vintage 52 (8/2012 - 2017).
    4) American Original 50's (2018 - now).
     
  2. EsquireOK

    EsquireOK Poster Extraordinaire

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    All standard American reissues had 6230 or equivalent frets. Then the American Originals came along, which are not trying to be accurate reissues. They have 6105s, flatter boards, and no longer use the Flash Coat finish.

    They blew it on those IMO. Should have left the AVs damned well alone. You now have to jump $3,000 from Vintera to Custom Shop NOS if you want the playability of the old style Fenders and a factory fresh lacquer finish. There are isolated models such as the Jimmy Page that have the skinny frets and 7 1/4" radius, though. #1 selling point for me; I got one from the first mass production run.
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2020
  3. Willy-son

    Willy-son Tele-Meister

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    Agree, 100%. The AVRI 64 Tele is better in every way than the newer AO 60s Tele Custom. The 9.5 radius with big frets just don't feel very Tele-like IMO.
     
  4. Nick Fanis

    Nick Fanis Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    Basically 1,2,3 have some kind of low and skinny fret (6230 pretty much is it).

    4 has 6105
     
  5. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    Only FMIC has the sales figures. It could well be that AV style guitars and MIM Classic guitars were losing sales volume, were tailing off more than we at TDPRI realized.

    IMO there is a clear trend towards larger fretwire, and my preference for smaller wire is not going to stop what new and younger players are looking for.

    What I suspect is happening is, FMIC will let demand for 6230 wire guitars build, and when "the reservoir" is full again, then they'll resume production at these lower price points. In the meanwhile people will have to buy FCS, by from other purveyors of guitars, and find used examples. Or assemble their own.

    I miss going into shops and playing a selection of 6230 guitars. I'm finding motivation to even go into those places, comes and goes. But if FMIC finds it can sell every guitar with larger fretwire, that it can manufacture, maybe the wait (for the return) will be a long one.
     
  6. fender4life

    fender4life Friend of Leo's

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    Yep.....fender doesn't just haphazardly change things that are in demand to that which isn't. They do what they do because of what their sales figures clearly show. Even when they discontinue something that DOES sell theres a reason. maybe it's because that product will interfere with sales of a new model. Theres always a logical reason even tho WE don't have their inside info to understand it. There are plenty of people that still like 7.25/vintage frets but i too clearly see a trend toward bigger fret and to flatter board too. But of course there will always be vintage offerings because there are still enough people to justify that. Witness the vintera series with each model having a 7.25/vintage fret version AND a 9.25/med jumbo version. I like both, have both and would hate to see either go extinct. As long as theres enough demand both will continue and the WAY they do it may be hard to understand to us, theres always a reason that is due to sales figures.
     
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  7. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I guess I can't relate very well to not liking the small frets we commonly see on Fender necks because they aren't small enough.

    I do relate to the annoying fact that Fender (sometimes) charges an extra $3000 for a feature that has zero cost.

    For me the problem is that put jumbo frets on almost no models, and the few they do put real jumbo on are HB guitars.
    While they make IMO dumb image based models or artist models.
    Why not simple make a run of MIM Standard/ Am std with a given fret size, then a run with the next and a run with the next until they covered each of I suppose four, from true vintage to 6105 to med jumbo to jumbo.

    The foolish IMO tall narrow makes little sense to me as most who don't like bog frets dislike the RR track feel, which tall narrow excels at.
    My impression is that a lot of younger players do prefer actual jumbo frets that are over .055 tall, yet Fender makes maybe two models with what seems to me to be modern frets.

    At the same time there is an inconsistency in production where a run will accidentally have standard medioum jumbo wire that more like jumbo, measuring .052 high rather than med jumbo .045 or whatever it's supposed to be.

    What really annoys me though is Epi choosing med jumbo wire that's IIRC like .035 high so once you level them to make a good player they're ready to be replaced.

    Same with big necks being associated with an upcharge.
    Where I want both big necks and jumbo frets, AFAIK Fender makes zero models that suit me!
    Hell I won't even put a counterfeit decal on an aftermarket neck because I'm such a Fender fan boy.
    Dammit can't they give me what I want???
     
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  8. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    I protest, you're going a bit too far.

    FMIC still does some things that are mistakes. Are experiments. Are incongruous. I would say that just sometimes FMIC does as you say. Because they have made haphazard changes. And will again.

    And they make some changes for the sheer effect of giving the buyer a sense of insecurity. The buyer cannot daydream and wait 15 years to buy that dream guitar because by then, there's a good chance that model no longer exists. I strongly believe some change is to unsettle any confidence the buyer may have that he can simply wait - and Model X will be waiting on him. Should he ever decide to buy because why? Most of these guys never do buy. They just dream of it.
     
  9. MilwMark

    MilwMark Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    The frets are just a spec. And they are vague on the spec, giving themselves flexibility. Then whatever frets are chosen are crowned/leveled/finished by someone and all end up slightly different to match the neck, the assembler's taste, etc.

    People make too much of this. I've had AOs with frets as small as average AV (or AVRI or whatever) and AV/AVRI's with frets as big as average AOs.

    The radius is a subtle, but real, difference.

    In broad outline, AO series has slightly "bigger" frets and slightly flatter radius than any of the AV/AVRI series.

    As always, play the guitar first or if you can buy with a good return policy, and be prepared to absorb the return transaction costs.

    Spec can't tell you what the actual guitar frets will be like, or whether you'll like them.
     
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  10. fender4life

    fender4life Friend of Leo's

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    Sure, but they are human and imperfect. No business can blindly assess and implement successfully every time. Name one that hasn't? They're human too. Of course they have made mistakes, experimented, etc. But the point is 1-everything they do is a means to an end and that is to give the base what they want even if in the process they have to make a few detours to prime the pump.
    Second point is every forum had endless threads asking why company X is doing this or not doing that when it doesn't jive with THEIR preferences. When I see them making changes i don't like i chalk it up to the obvious....i'm not everybody. Some people don't get that, hence the endless threads i mentioned.
     
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  11. Tuxedo Poly

    Tuxedo Poly Friend of Leo's

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    There is some confusion over the Original 50s fret size.
    The product description says 'Vintage Tall' which could be 6105. Dunlop and Fender Custom Shop 6105 are 055" x 090"

    The service diagram shows smaller Fender Vintage frets same as the old retail packs.

    The new Vintage fret retail packs are different again at 039" tall and .084 wide. Fender in their typical 'confuse the customer' way use the same part number 0992014000.
    Am_Orig_50s_frets.jpg
     
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  12. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    I agree. FMIC seems to like this smaller version of 6105. But it seems to me, to be larger than it once was. But it is quite confusing.
     
  13. Minivan Megafun

    Minivan Megafun Tele-Afflicted Gold Supporter

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    I've played (and own) both a guitar with the vintage style frets and 7.25" radius and the new AO60's with the "vintage tall" frets and 9.5" board. The AO is WAAAAY more comfortable to play when it comes to bends. Like, the AO is effortless to play. Whereas the traditional low tiny vintage frets with the 7.25 board are something you have to fight with. The slightly taller frets also give you more clearance off the board surface to grab the string for pull offs.

    I get that the purists don't like the new taller frets. I own both and I think the AO's are a drastic improvement towards making the guitars more user friendly. Honestly though, Fender has been flooding the market with period specific reissues for the better part of the last 40 years. It's probably safe to say there's been a few more generations of players come about who never had the opportunity to even see an actual vintage specimen, let alone actually playing or owning one.

    And here's the deal, Fender invested a LOT of time and money retooling the American Vintage line in 2012 to be awesome period correct recreations only to discontinue the entire line and revamp it into the AO series just 5 years later. I can tell you that the ONLY reason a business does that is if the sales number aren't there to support the product.

    And frankly, the complaint that you now have to upgrade to the CS for true vintage appointments like frets and finish is a valid one - and probably something Fender realized as well. Like a friend of mine said about the 12-17 AV series: "Well what's even the point of the CS Time Machine series then?" I think Fender's production lines got a little too close to the CS level and that they were possibly cannibalizing CS sales with their own AV product. If dealers start complaining that they can't move any of the team build CS vintage style guitars on their walls because their customers just buy a cheaper AV instead, that's going to make them react.
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2020
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  14. Electric Warrior

    Electric Warrior Tele-Holic Ad Free Member

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    My CS has 6105 per the dealer sheet and my Broadcaster 70th has "vintage tall" that seem to measure identically.
     
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  15. kurtmanifest1

    kurtmanifest1 Tele-Meister

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  16. 57Strat777

    57Strat777 TDPRI Member

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    I recently bought a new American Original 50's Tele (roasted neck version from CME) and the frets measure between .040 and .043 tall depending which fret you measure. I assume the difference is due to some minor fret dressing at the factory. These frets seem to be typical small vintage size. Kinda disappointing because Fender says they are "tall vintage". It won't be long before I get a refret with medium jumbo frets.
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2020
  17. AndrewG

    AndrewG Friend of Leo's

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    With my AO50s Fender did exactly what I wanted; produced a Tele with vintage looks and tone but with playability more to my liking. I agree with 57Strat777, above, about the frets; they really aren't that much different to what the AV52 was fitted with, but the flatter radius, albeit a small difference on paper, makes a big difference in feel. At least it does to me, and I previously owned an AV52. I am also considering a refret to a taller variety when funds allow. That would be as close to my perfect Tele as I could get without going the custom build route.
    As it stands I'm enjoying the AO50s very much.
     
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  18. ChrisDowning

    ChrisDowning TDPRI Member

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    Get a Kenny Wayne Sheppard? Jumbo & 7.25" ? Doesn't a MIM Baja have 7.25 and jumbos?
     
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