AVRI 65 Strat Playability

amp48

Member
Messages
613
I'm interested in picking up one of these.
What is the playability like (bends on vintage frets, vintage radius)?

thanks.
 
Last edited:
Messages
11,334
Well, how often do you bend more than a minor third? I honestly haven't had an issue with my '64 AVRI tele except for at around the 15th fret on the high E.
 

amp48

Member
Messages
613
No, I'm not a huge string bending freak. Just normal rock leads.
I'm used to 9.5 and 12" radius necks with medium jumbo frets, so just wondering how much of a difference it is going to vintage frets and radius.
 

zwolf

Member
Messages
404
The guitar feels amazing. Nicest neck and body I've had the pleasure to play. The radius and frets feel right to me. Bends are fine, haven't fretted out yet. A bigger concern for me on bends is getting the feel right because of the vintage floating trem (I'm new to these). Still haven't mastered the exact amount more I need to bend to get the same intonation.

Love this guitar.
 

bluegrif

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
5,090
No, I'm not a huge string bending freak. Just normal rock leads.
I'm used to 9.5 and 12" radius necks with medium jumbo frets, so just wondering how much of a difference it is going to vintage frets and radius.
Well, it's a pretty big difference. But I don't think anyone will be able to tell you how well you'll adapt. It really won't answer your question to hear, "no problem for me", or "I can't stand vintage frets" or whatever.

But consider this: that fretboard radius and fret size was developed at a time when music was very different and musicians played very differently. My Dad was a pro since the 40s. He could play blazingly fast but never did any bending. Strings were heavier, and the G string was unwound. So you have to ask yourself why you want to consider going to a guitar that may fight you a little more. For me it isn't a problem. I bend like crazy but I grew up playing those guitars, which makes a huge difference.

The only recommendation that makes any sense is for you to spend some time with them before you buy. You should know pretty quickly if you'll love it or hate it.
 

Larry Mal

Member
Messages
1,738
The vintage Fender radius and neck is my absolute favorite. There's a lot of misunderstanding out there about what you can and can't do... you'll hear you can't get low action, you'll hear you can't bend strings well, blah blah blah... it's all nonsense.

Yeah, you won't be able to bend the strings very much, only as good as a bunch of nobodies like Clapton, Hendrix, Dave Gilmour... you need an Ibanez Jem if you want to bend any strings, is what internet "wisdom" will have you believe.

The vintage Fender neck is wonderful, there's a great playability to it. I'll admit that bending isn't quite as good as Gibson's 12" radius, but you can bend a whole tone easily if not more. It's really more than adequate.

Also, it's not like Leo Fender was stupid, he made the necks the way they are because they are very comfortable to play, for lead lines but especially chording. I have Gibsons and Fenders and there's nothing like chording on a vintage Fender guitar... like Nile Rodgers, another loser who didn't amount to much because he didn't play a more "modern" neck.

That's bound to be a great guitar, you may find that the vintage Fender neck isn't your thing, I don't know. It's not for everyone... no neck type is. But it kills me when people say that the vintage Fender neck has limitations to it when in literally genre after genre from blues to rock to country to funk, some of the guitarists who literally created that music did so on Fender guitars that were exactly spec'd in the vintage way.

I mean... say what you will, but the vintage Fender neck has pretty much stood the test of time. The fact that we are discussing that design today and not any of the so-called "improvements" of the shred era should tell us that.

I own a lot of AVRI Fenders, and they are great, great instruments. I had an older- early 90's- AVRI Strat for a very brief period, it was one of the best guitars I'll ever have played, probably. I'll be getting another one.
 

73Fender

Member
Messages
3,980
What Larry said ^^^..no issues with bending..I find I have to maybe press down a little more for extreme bends high on the neck if that makes sense but really no issues. And that radius is comfy, kinda follow the contour of one's fingers.

And I have heard lots of praise for the 65 AVRIs. Good luck.
 

Scott Auld

Administrator
Staff member
Messages
12,337
I'm interested in picking up one of these.
What is the playability like (bends on vintage frets, vintage radius)?

thanks.
I really like mine a lot.

I think we guitar players get used to something fairly easily, BTW. The neck was thicker than my old Strat - I got used to it in about a week. It came set up from Eddie's with 10's on it, so I left them on, and got used to them in about a couple weeks. (I had been playing with 8s). The frets aren't jumbo sized, but they're not as little as my old '52RI Tele frets were. They're smaller than my old Strat. I got used to them. The fretboard radius is more curved than my old Strat. I got used to it in about a week.

If these guitars were unplayable, they would not be selling. They seem to be selling, so...

One thing I will tell ya, the side dot markers are real hard to see in stage lighting. I guess that's they were in 65 because the guitar is all period-correct.

Here's the old one and the new one, together. The white one is the new '65.






 
Last edited:

terrapin

Member
Messages
4,066
No, I'm not a huge string bending freak. Just normal rock leads.
I'm used to 9.5 and 12" radius necks with medium jumbo frets, so just wondering how much of a difference it is going to vintage frets and radius.
If this is what you like, and are used to then I would NOT buy without trying first. I bought one, and COULD have adjusted, but thought WHY if it is at all uncomfortable or limits me. So I took it back.

The vintage specs neck CAN be very trying to adjust to and I want to spend my time playng, not adjusting or being limited.
 

Scott Auld

Administrator
Staff member
Messages
12,337
The only recommendation that makes any sense is for you to spend some time with them before you buy. You should know pretty quickly if you'll love it or hate it.

I had to buy in the blind, on faith. There weren't any around here that I could locate to play. It worked out for me.
 

Larry Mal

Member
Messages
1,738
That's absolutely true above, I just want to prepare you for the possibility that you might like it even more than what you had been used to. Even more likely is the possibility that you will play somewhat differently on this type of neck and that will be useful in ways that your other guitars aren't and will lead you in some new directions as a guitar player.

I mean, my favorite neck type of the Fender vintage... I even have 7.25" radii on a couple of basses, an old G&L L1000 (Leo Fender returning to his favorite neck shape at his last gig) and a MusicMan Stingray Classic (Leo also liked that radius when he was there). But I still find a lot to enjoy with Gibson type guitars, and I even really like my older G&L Legacy which has the Fender scale length combined with a 12" radius. I even have an American Standard Telecaster and really like playing that.

My point is it doesn't have to be an all or nothing proposition. Beware internet babble... this is among the most successful guitar designs the world has ever seen and this is the guitar that started it. And the AVRI series of Fender has always been great, and if they've found a way to make them even better with the newest incarnations, and from what I read from people who own them, they have... then this is probably an amazing guitar.

Don't be scared of it. You can return the guitar or sell it after a couple of years if you really don't get on with it and not lose a lot of money. Think of it almost as a rental, and then you'll know, once and for all, if you love this kind of neck or don't. That's the only real way to know.
 

amp48

Member
Messages
613
That's absolutely true above, I just want to prepare you for the possibility that you might like it even more than what you had been used to. Even more likely is the possibility that you will play somewhat differently on this type of neck and that will be useful in ways that your other guitars aren't and will lead you in some new directions as a guitar player.

I mean, my favorite neck type of the Fender vintage... I even have 7.25" radii on a couple of basses, an old G&L L1000 (Leo Fender returning to his favorite neck shape at his last gig) and a MusicMan Stingray Classic (Leo also liked that radius when he was there). But I still find a lot to enjoy with Gibson type guitars, and I even really like my older G&L Legacy which has the Fender scale length combined with a 12" radius. I even have an American Standard Telecaster and really like playing that.

My point is it doesn't have to be an all or nothing proposition. Beware internet babble... this is among the most successful guitar designs the world has ever seen and this is the guitar that started it. And the AVRI series of Fender has always been great, and if they've found a way to make them even better with the newest incarnations, and from what I read from people who own them, they have... then this is probably an amazing guitar.

Don't be scared of it. You can return the guitar or sell it after a couple of years if you really don't get on with it and not lose a lot of money. Think of it almost as a rental, and then you'll know, once and for all, if you love this kind of neck or don't. That's the only real way to know.
this is a good way of looking at it.
I haven't seen a single one in local guitar shops for me to try out. Don't know why Guitar Center seems to only stock MIM and American Standards.
 

Blix

Wannabe Shredder
Silver Supporting Member
Messages
26,851
You can adapt to anything. Back in 2000 I had my main guitar stolen , a 1973 strat with a 12" radius and medium-jumbo frets, bought a '56 CS relic( 7.25" and vintage frets) for the insurance money and used that guitar pretty exclusively for like 8 years after.

That said, I much prefer a 9.5" radius and jumbo frets, and if I were to buy a AVRI now, I'd have it refretted and radius changed to make it optimal for my tastes.
 

DGTCrazy

Mod Squad
Staff member
Messages
16,132
No, I'm not a huge string bending freak. Just normal rock leads.
I'm used to 9.5 and 12" radius necks with medium jumbo frets, so just wondering how much of a difference it is going to vintage frets and radius.

I only had 9.5 & 12" Radius Strat's prior to buying my first '65 AVRI. Now I have two of them: Oly White and Aztec Gold:)

No bending issues at all, and I've got the action set up on my Oly White where it's easily my best playing Strat in my collection.
 

old goat

Member
Messages
1,987
I don't know about the RI but my original 64 with worn frets plays just fine. No problem with bends, buzzing, etc. I have guitars with med jumbo frets, 9 and 12 inch radii, fat necks and thin necks,can't say it makes much difference to me, although if I had to pick I'd say I like the strat the best, but maybe that's because I've had it for 45 years. I'm probably less picky than most about necks and frets.
 

amp48

Member
Messages
613
Slightly off topic, but does anyone know if the '59 AVRI really has a slim profile, as stated on the Fender website? I thought the '59's had fat necks?
 

VaughnC

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
18,112
I'm interested in picking up one of these.
What is the playability like (bends on vintage frets, vintage radius)?

thanks.
No matter what I/we think, it's your own ears & hands that need satisfied. My '65AVRI is one of the better Strats I've played after nearly 50 years in the game...but your ears and hands may tell you differently. I even like mine better than the Fender Custom Shop version of the '65 Strat they produced a few years ago. Run the racks & kick some tires...and you'll know ;).
 






Trending Topics

Top