AVRI 62 Telecaster

pitseleh

Member
Messages
806
This is one of those "tell me about such and such guitar" threads. Usually I don't find them very useful but this is one very elusive guitar. No store around me has one in stock, no one I know owns one or has ever even played one, the clips on Youtube aren't particularly useful or thorough, and they don't seem to generate much chatter on this forum or any other. I've only been able to find a handful of topics that even mention them, in contrast to the literally thousands of topics and clips available detailing the AVRI 52 Telecaster. It's basically down to this topic or flatout buying one if I want to find out about it!

But despite it being the significantly less popular younger brother of the 52RI, I find myself being drawn to it. I've heard it has a fairly thin neck compared to other Teles, which I like because Teles with baseball bat necks seem to be in vogue lately, and I actually prefer thinner, less chunky necks on Fender guitars. I like the rosewood board, I like that it would look really nice with a Bigsby when not all Teles do (I really want a Bigsby on my current one, as I have zero guitars with tremolos on them now, but it just looks a bit ridiculous, in my opinion), I like that the surf green one looks absolutely stunning, and I've heard the pickups are actually pretty strong, but if they're not I can replace them anyway. The little bit I've read over at TDPRI seems to lead me to believe that they're one of the top Fender production guitars right now and superb guitars in terms of feel/playability/craftsmanship.

So what's the verdict on these? Does anyone own one? Thoughts? Issues?
 

pitseleh

Member
Messages
806
Could you go into detail? How was the neck? And pickups?

Right now I have an early Baja Tele and the neck is very, very nice and plays really well but is just somewhat too large for my taste. If it was on a Gibson I wouldn't mind, but I just tend to prefer smaller necks for Fenders. But the pickups are great, and if necessary I'd swap those in for the ones in the 62RI. The neck pickup, and its clarity that you don't generally find in Tele neck pickups, is mostly what I'm attached to.
 

StanG

Member
Messages
4,667
I've had one for 4 going on 5 years. I bought it new. I go thru phases where I dont play it that much, but it is a really nice guitar and I am impressed every time I come back to it. It sounds and feels better as time goes on. The bridge pu/steel saddles combo is awesome. The neck pu is rich and full. From me: totally recommended! Like you say, there arent near as many of them as the 52's so the $8-900 used deals are rarer. I have the sunburst and it is very nice.
 

pitseleh

Member
Messages
806
Thanks for the info! Would you say the neck pickup gets muddy/dark? Especially compared to a Twisted Tele or a Strat's neck pickup. I don't mind rich/full at all but still want that clarity/sparkle to it.
 

Tweedledee

Member
Messages
1,348
I have a surf green one and I absolutely love it and would definitely recommend it. The neck on mine actually has some beef to it. I wouldn't classify it as "thin" at all. It's certainly not close to the baseball bat you get on a Nocaster, but it's a little thicker than you find on most modern Teles.

I happen to love the 7.25" radius and "vintage" sized frets, though there are a lot of people who prefer a flatter radius. If you know that you like necks with that fretboard radius and those frets then you should be good to go. If not, you can look into the Thin Skin '62 Customs which have a 9.5" radius and medium jumbo frets.

The stock pickups are pretty good. I still have the stock bridge pickup in mine and I don't have any real urge to change it. It, well, sounds like a Tele bridge pickup. :D I'm not much of a fan of standard Tele neck pickups so I always tend to change them out for a humbucker, P90, or mini humbucker. I put a Seymour Duncan "vintage" mini humbucker in the '62 and I absolutely love it. Perfect compliment to the stock bridge pickup.

I did swap the stock saddles for some compensated brass ones since I've never liked the look or feel of threaded saddles on a Tele.

I've owned so many Teles I can't even count them all, and the '62 is the only one I've kept. I've had it for a couple of years now and it's not going anywhere.


 

Frankee

Wartime Consigliere
Messages
25,467
The 62AVRI quickly became one of my go-to guitars.

A lot of folks don't dig the tight radius, but it's one of the features that sold me on it.

The only term that comes to mind when describing the pickups on this beast is "juicy".

Chimey highs and a spanky, rounded midrange.

 

pitseleh

Member
Messages
806
This thread's definitely helping me work towards a decision. "Chimey highs" are pretty much exactly what I wanted to hear. Thanks for the input!
 

ScioBro

Member
Messages
1,357
sold my ice-blue-metallic
wasn't getting used...not to disparage the guitar though.
story: got it for $880 on the bay....kept it for a while....seemed to ding it every time I pulled it out.(p.guard scratches actually) dented the nitro on the back by leaving it overnight on a guit stand with urethane rubber. Sold it to a buddy for $900, he sold it "cuz it was just too nice....break my heart to ding it up".
He sold to the local G.C. for $1000, and they have it up for $1399

1. Thought it "felt" a little higher level than a MIJ/CIJ 62TCRI (I've had 5 of those and still have 2)

2. I use a warmoth compound radius neck partscaster and am really more comfortable with flatter-than-7.25" radii fretboards

3. I would've had to tweak saddles (to brass or tusq) and maybe a couple of other items and I just didn't want to alter the guit.

4) Neck pup is typical darker Tele. AND, of course, the guits come wired up correct for era with 1. bridge pup only 2. middle is neck pup only 3. then neck pup only with resistor for jazzy-muff sound (hadda compete with Gibson y'know). So you gotta re-wire if you want that middle switch position two-pup Tele country quack (one of THE signature Tele sounds)

5) My current #2 guit is a MIJ Esquire, two-pup now, modded again and again. It has 6105 frets now which mitigates the 7.25" radius a bit (I never checked the radius, maybe its 9.5" for those japanese things?)
Its my noiseless pup guitar for electronic-hum-environment situations.

So, finally I would go for a flatter radius version of the 62TC like a "thin skin" from Dave's Guit.s (WI) if your gonna buy a stock Fender offering.

Personally I love those bound body TCs. Got all the gear a guy should ever want BUT, one of my current "next-guitar" fantasies is to build a partscaster:
feather weight
Capri Orange bound body
Rosewood fretboard

AND I gotta say, those thin-skin Fiesta Red 62TCRIs come really close to that, in stock form ($1499 for an unbound one...not really a TCRI then either, but nice)
 

pullagnm

Member
Messages
1,105


The neck is not thin at all on mine. It is comparable to my SRV strat. This is my first tele and it has become my favorite guitar. The pickups are great from the fat warm neck pickup to the nice sizzling bridge. You can go from nice warm bluesy clean tones to all out rock distortion. I did switch mine to a 4 way toggle. The weight is perfect around 7 lbs. I am curious what a difference brass saddles would make. Like what Tweedledee did to his.
 

Tweedledee

Member
Messages
1,348
Pitseleh - I know you're thinking of putting a Bigsby on one, so I just remembered that I had a photo you might like. I bought a B5 a while ago for another guitar and I set it on my '62 to see how it would look.

 

pitseleh

Member
Messages
806
Oh man, thanks a lot for that! It looks as good as I thought it would! Although, can you use a B5 without the specialized 6-saddle, Mustang-type bridge? The only Bigsby Teles I've ever seen have had those.
 

roadscholar

Member
Messages
748
I've had 3.....two black ones and one sunburst. All 3 were killer guitars. Didn't keep any of them because I'm a maple-fretboard/big V-neck Tele guy.
The neck on all three of mine were identical (they were '01 to '05 models) Not big/chunky by any means....but not slim either. Definitely bigger than a '62 RI strat neck.
Pickups were good. I'm partial to Van Zandt True Vintage pickups in my Teles....and they don't measure up to those, IMHO. But very good pickups for sure....I like them a bit better than the stock '52 RI pickups.....a bit warmer, but still plenty of bite/chime, etc.
Great guitars....and to me there is simply not a better-looking electric guitar than a black '62 Custom RI Tele.
 

Mike Duncan

Staff member
Messages
7,393



I'd always wanted one since I saw a real '62 at Southworth Guitars in the late '80s. What a great guitar with the most unique neck shape of any guitar I've owned!
 

jpervin

Member
Messages
7,515
....and to me there is simply not a better-looking electric guitar than a black '62 Custom RI Tele.
I agree (even though this is a partscaster)...

Played this at church this morning, straight into a tweed Deluxe clone (bright channel). Stayed on the neck pickup the whole time.

What a glorious sound when those 6V6s get hot and you get that compressed chimey sound that rings like a bell!

 

stratmansblues

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
192
I owned one for a short period earlier this year. It was black and double bound. It was a great guitar. My only problems were the steel saddles that I swapped for brass compensated and the thin neck. The neck is the thinnest fender neck I have ever had my hands on. The sound is incredible and is easily one of the best sounding telecasters of any price that I have heard providing that you change the wiring from vintage to modern. The sound is different from a 52RI which I think sounds more bluesy and traditional. The 62RI has an alder body so it is a little darker but the pickups are brighter so it gives you a better rock sound and a really good blues and country tone. I thought it was more versatile than the 52RI. Now if they would make that guitar with a thicker neck it would be a dream come true. Hope this helps.
 




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