AV52ri v. TL52 cij

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Soundhound, Feb 18, 2006.

  1. Soundhound

    Soundhound Member

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    I think my Tele search has come down to either a AV52ri or ordering from Ishibashi a TL52-70US or 80TX, swapping in some brass compensated saddles and Fender vintage pups.

    Can anybody compare these two? I played an AV52ri and liked it a lot, but wouldn't mind saving some dough.
     
  2. Unburst

    Unburst Member

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    I had a '96 AV '52RI, loved everything about it except the sticky neck and low frets, made bending a bear.
    Sold it and got a Nocaster (which turned out to be a dog) sold that and got a CIJ TL52-80TX.

    The AV is a great Tele, if you can find one that doesn't have the sticky neck problem.
    The CIJ is also a great Tele, easily as well made as the AV.

    They both sound good, the AV is more vintage Tele sounding (especially with the stock vintage wiring) the CIJ TX model's pickups are hotter and a little more versatile. It has a great neck pup, and a bridge that can get into P-90 territory with a tone rolloff but less twang.
    No sticky neck with the CIJ (poly finish) and the frets are a little higher, but still vintage style.

    The choice will really come down to details:

    The finish on the CIJ is not butterscotch, it's more like natural.

    The pickguard is square cut matte plastic, not bevelled edge "bake-like"
    (If you do go CIJ, budget for a '52 style pickguard too)

    Bridge pup is staggered not the period correct flat pole.

    AV has a round C neck profile, the CIJ is a soft V until the 7th fret.

    I wouldn't think twice about ordering a CIJ, the quality is great for the price, and don't be so quick to swap out the pups if you get the TX model it already comes with US Custom Shop pups.
    I've had Kinman, Barden and Lollar pups in mine and keep coming back to the stock Texas Specials.
     
  3. Soundhound

    Soundhound Member

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    Thanks Unburst, what a great breakdown. Sounds more and more like the TL52-80TX could work for me. How did you like the frets (quality in gernal, and for bending in particular) and neck playability in general?
     
  4. Unburst

    Unburst Member

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    Quality wise, I can't praise it highly enough, these things are put together tight
    The neck joint is perfect, great balance and not a flaw to be found.

    For my tastes (medium action) it played great right out of the box.
    For super low action you'd need a fret dress (but that goes for most any production guitar, ime)

    Neck is fine, if you like a V shape.
    I prefer a C but had no trouble adapting to it and it makes bends easier in the lower register.

    I find bending as easy as it gets on a vintage setup (low-ish frets and 7 1/2" radius)
    Certainly easier than on my AV52RI.
    I do a lot of bends within chords and country style bends and it works out fine for me.

    It's a great Tele on a budget, but bear in mind that it is a vintage style neck.
    If you're used to a flatter radius or bigger frets then maybe a Highway 1 might suit you better.

    Funny story, I had a friend of mine pick my Tele up from Ishi in Tokyo, when he was on tour there.
    He fired it up during soundcheck and the other two guitar players in the band were like "wow, that tihng sounds great"

    Funny part?
    One of the guys was playing an original '52 blackguard, the other had a '53 but was playing a '72 Thinline.
    :D
     
  5. 54GT

    54GT Silver Supporting Member

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    Soundhound -

    sent you a PM.

    Corey
     
  6. Soundhound

    Soundhound Member

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  7. keith_t4e

    keith_t4e Member

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    When I finally get a tele, I'm not sure if I want the AV52ri or the av62ri double bound body rosewood neck.
     
  8. Crazyquilt

    Crazyquilt Guitar Dad Silver Supporting Member

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    I played a bunch of AV52RIs when I went on a great Tele hunt last summer. They varied -- some good, some not so much. I have no doubt the TL52s are the same.

    That being said, I love my TL52, but I've done quite a bit with it. First, totally new wiring (the TL52 has the wee pots & plastic switch...and you'll have to get a new control plate if you put in real pots. Different hole size.) I did not like the TS pickups. I thought they were too muddy and harsh -- the guitar had an amazing acoustic resonance that just wasn't coming through those pickups. I got Fralin Vintage. Problem solved. I also got a compensated bridge & fully shielded it (which I'd do for an AV52, as well.) FInally, I bought a tortie pickguard, cause I thought it would look cool. It does.

    [​IMG]

    End result -- I have a Tele that I'll put up against any production line MIA Fender. So it doesn't have a nitro finish...it also isn't the color of butterscotch pudding. As resonant & alive as the guitar is, it doesn't seem to be suffering from the dreaded poly dip.

    But -- I didn't wind up saving a lot of money, either, once you factor in the cost of new materials. OTOH, I got a guitar more tailored towards what I wanted.

    If you like the TS pickups and prefer a natural finish, and don't mind the electronics or a poly finish, go for the TL52. If you want more traditional sounding pickups, that you're less likely to change, butterscotch glop, better electronics, and nitro finish, go for the AV52. Also, every TL52 I've seen has a 3 piece body, and the AV52s have a 2 piece body. They're more alike than similar, but, to some, those distinctions may make all the difference in the world.
     
  9. Soundhound

    Soundhound Member

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    Crazy,

    That looks exactly like what I'd do with a TL5280TX if I got one.If you don't mind my asking, how much did it wind up costing in the end? P.S. how do you like the low frets/7.5 radius. Can you get the action low/do heavy bending without fretting out?
     

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