Differences between Fender AV '62 RI and a Custom Shop 1960 NOS strat?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Sunstone Recordings, Oct 17, 2005.

  1. Sunstone Recordings

    Sunstone Recordings Member

    Nov 20, 2004
    Baltimore, MD
    are there any significant differences other than minor specs and craftsmanship? Is it worth the $$ to purchase a Custom Shop strat? thanks!
  2. Unburst

    Unburst Member

    Jan 19, 2004
    Portland, OR
    Well, a lot of people will tell you that a CS guitar is bound to be so much better than a producion line.
    I've had both and that is not my opinion at all.

    There is no absolute answer to your question, there are great
    CS guitars and production line ones too.

    You have to go and play a bunch until one speaks to you, whether it's a CS, MIA, MIM, CIJ or whatever.
  3. AaeCee

    AaeCee Member

    Jul 2, 2005
    I've owned/own each, and some stds. have more character than some customs, BUT...customs generally are more likely to display the desired features s/a more resonant, lighter, and the great customs I still have (always will) are truely over-the-top in all categories. But like Unburst states, I've played some great stds. Go Towson! PS...it's certainly a lot EASIER to find a great custom than a great std., but if you have the time and patience, it's quite rewarding to spot that diamond-in-the-rough.
  4. VaughnC

    VaughnC Supporting Member

    Jan 4, 2002
    I agree with everyone else....Strats are unpredictable, you just have to play a bunch to find the one. Having said that though, the CS '60 one's I've played have had very thin necks which makes them almost unplayable for someone like me with large paws. Also, the '60 is finished in nitro whereas the '62 is poly and, generally speaking, the '60's I've played did have more of an open sound. I think the CS '65 Strat is a much better guitar than both the '60 & '62 but that's just my personal taste.

    And, BTW, I currently have an AV '62RI Strat for sale in the emporium if you might be interested....it is one of the better one's I've played, but I like my new '65 better.
  5. Cranknfrank

    Cranknfrank Member

    Feb 2, 2005
    Charlotte, NC
    I own 3 of these Strats. Mine are all nitro finished guitars....I saw a reference to poly finished '62 RI's....that must be a newer thing for these guitars. I have a '89, a '90 Custom Shop model and a '94 model. They are each excellent guitars. I wouldn't say the CS model is vastly superior but the mojo is a bit stronger....or maybe it's the Surf Green color!

    The necks are thin. I've had mine refretted with Jumbo frets on a 12" radius. I recommend these guitars highly....with some tweaking. Good luck.
  6. jackaroo

    jackaroo Member

    Aug 23, 2003
    From F's website:

    I'm not sure if all the sealers and primer coats are nitro though.

    Model Name American Vintage ‘62 Stratocaster®
    Model Number 010-0100-(Color#)
    Series American Vintage Series
    Colors (800)* 3-Color Sunburst *add $50.00,
    (805) Olympic White,
    (806) Black,
    (808) Ocean Turquoise,
    (857) Surf Green,
    (883) Ice Blue Metallic,
    (Nitrocellulose Lacquer Finish)
    Body Comfort Contoured Alder Body
    Neck Maple, “C” Shape,
    (Nitrocellulose Lacquer Finish)
    Fingerboard Rosewood, 7.25” Radius (184 mm)
    No. of Frets 21 Vintage Style Frets
    Pickups 3 New American Vintage Strat® Single-Coil Pickups with Aged Covers
    Controls Master Volume,
    Tone 1. (Neck Pickup),
    Tone 2. (Middle Pickup)
    Pickup Switching 3-Position Blade:
    Position 1. Bridge Pickup
    Position 2. Middle Pickup
    Position 3. Neck Pickup
    (5-Way Switch Included in Kit)
    Bridge American Vintage Synchronized Tremolo with “Ash Tray” Bridge Cover
    Machine Heads Fender/Gotoh® Vintage Style Tuning Machines
    Hardware Chrome
    Pickguard 3-Ply Mint Green, (11 Hole)
    Scale Length 25.5” (648 mm)
    Width at Nut 1.650” (42 mm)
    Unique Features Aged Knobs and Switch Tip
    Strings Fender Super 250R, Nickel Plated Steel,
    Gauges: (.010, .013, .017, .026, .036, .046),
  7. VaughnC

    VaughnC Supporting Member

    Jan 4, 2002
    It's my understanding that the 62 reissue Strats have polyurethane under the nitro overcoat....whereas Fender's Custom Shop guitars are all nitro.
  8. js54

    js54 Member

    Dec 31, 2004
    Ah, the joy of shopping for a strat............no 2 strats are the same!!

    They might have changed the specs recently, but I've heard it from a number of places over the years (I also worked for a Fender dealer) and read it on the FenderForum.com that only the top clear coat is nitro. All the base and color coats are poly. The best way to know is to talk to someone who has stripped the finish off of one.

    To answer your main question, generally speaking, the Custom Shop stuff "should" have better fit and finish and higher grade woods. I do believe that the CS pups are supposed to be a bit nicer as well. But I've played some AV RIs lately and they are excellent. I've never played two custom shops with similar necks, some were too thin, some of the ones recently have nice fatter necks..etc. Generally, the 60s necks are thinner than the 50s models. As stated above, strats are not consistent.

    This is a half-educated guess here, but I would think the main reason for the higher price of the CS (in order of cost) is:
    -FULL nitro finish - much more labor intensive than poly.
    -Labor for Custom shop parts and assembly (probably more senior employees= higher pay).
    -premium woods (how Fender determines that is anyone's guess..?, but the difference in cost should be very small)
    -and the Custom Shop logo.

    Over all, the specs (dimensions) difference will be minor. When buying a CS strat you should be noticing a better instrument overall: fretwork, balance, wood quality and attention to details. It should have a premium feel to it. The overall tone "should" be better. If not, don't waste your money.
    If you can find a nice toneful AV RI grab it, it will cost much less than a new Custom Shop.

    BTW, If you don't have to have rosewood, try the new EJ strats. I played one this weekend and they are amazing!!! Great deal too. They are all nitro and except for the flatter radius, they are very vintage-y. If I didn't own a Lentz, I would've bought it on the spot.
  9. gizmo

    gizmo Guest

    I can't add anything that hasn't already been covered - especially about good guitars coming in all different price ranges. But, I've never played a dog of a CS and my '60 CS is the best strat I've ever owned. My benchmark for strats are two vintage ones owned by friends. One has a '64 and the other a '66. These are truly special Strats that have a woody, resonant quality to them that defy words. My CS '60 is right on par soundwise. If I had a "complaint" it would be that the neck is pretty thin. But that is somehting I can certainly live with.
  10. CS'56

    CS'56 Member

    Jan 28, 2002
    VaughnC is right. The '62 is done in nitro over poly. It kind of defeats the purpose.
  11. ricoh

    ricoh Member

    Jun 6, 2004
    surfside fla

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