Inaccurate Fingerboards on New Fender American Vintage Series

LoopyBullet

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,088
Has anyone else noticed that the round-lam fingerboards on American Vintage guitars are way thicker than vintage examples? I know there's some variation in original Fenders but one thing I've consistently noticed in late '63 onward (Strats and a couple Duo Sonics in particular) is that the fingerboards are incredibly thin.

The real reason why I bring it up is that Fender is really hitting on the whole vintage-accurate thing in their marketing for these guitars. Maybe I'm being too anal, but I feel like if Fender is seriously going the whole vintage-accurate route, then make the fingerboards accurate especially when they're a defining spec of the era.

...And yes, they play and sound great, and most people care about that only. If you're one of those people, that is great, because I believe that's the main thing! However, this topic is really talking more about specs and marketing than how great they play or sound. (I repeat - I know they play and sound fantastic).

PS - Did I mention that they play and sound fantastic, and that that's the main thing? Also, that the fingerboard issue is a small one, but something that I'd bring up since Fender is heavily marketing the guitars as vintage-accurate to the smallest detail? Now we got that out of the way, discuss. :)
 

Polynitro

Member
Messages
23,616
the teles dont even have router humps.
my squier cabronita has a router hump.

also the 58 tele saddles has a shorter screw on the low E,
dont know if this is accurate (i doubt it) but it is nice.

these are not as accurate as fender thinks they are. but what do they know?
not much.
 

jamester

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
7,062
This whole marketing thing about how after 60+ years, Fender has *finally* figured out how to make a vintage-correct version of the guitar they invented...just really rubs me the wrong way. Isn't that really something to be embarrassed about?

And then to hear about inaccuracies, I don't know whether to laugh or cry. Way to go, Fender...
 

dazco

Member
Messages
15,050
As to the lam....if it's really much different then i don't think the OP is being anal at all because i have seen how much difference thicker vs thinner rosewood boards can make.
Agree 100%. Been there done that. Thickness of the rosewood can be considerable.
 
Last edited:

Glowing Tubes

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
8,614
With modern build technology, Guitars are built better now. Period. Having to reverse engineer things that were counter productive to playing guitar is just so weird to me.
 

Stratburst70

Member
Messages
5,781
The irony is that the senior repair guy at one of the best shops in town said my 50's Road Worn Strat was probably the best 57 Strat reproduction he's ever seen out of Fender. And he's seen a lot of pre-CBS Fenders. :stir
 

Mandrax

Member
Messages
1,602
the teles dont even have router humps.
my squier cabronita has a router hump.

also the 58 tele saddles has a shorter screw on the low E,
dont know if this is accurate (i doubt it) but it is nice.

these are not as accurate as fender thinks they are. but what do they know?
not much.
That's not true. My 64 has the hump and there are others on TDPRI which show that theirs does too. Not just the 64 either. Some are not as defined as others.
 

megaweapon

Member
Messages
121
Here I was wondering if the vintage guitars were as thin as mine is on my 65 AVRI strat. This board is very thin. Plays and sounds awesome though.
 

buddastrat

Member
Messages
14,689
Two things about this point.

First, a good guitar is a good guitar..

second, with ANY reissue from a giant like Gibson or Fender, they always leave a little something to refine, so the next version will be THE one to get as those guitars are marketed for those after a replica of the real thing. These reissues, they could've gotten it right, decades ago, if they wanted too.
 

Herb Utsmelz

'Tis what 'tis
Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,969
I love my LPB '64 Tele but they must've found a very late vintage example to copy from because it seems more accurate to a '65 to me with the pearloid inlays and a white guard.
 

tweedlux

Member
Messages
59
I have a '65 AVRI Strat. My tech suspects that that the rosewood lam is thicker so that if one should decide to go for a flatter radius, it could be done without sanding through the rosewood completely - which is what would happen on the originals. He says I could go up to a 12" radius if I wanted on the AVRI, though I'm happy with it as is.
 

TomDev

Member
Messages
784
This whole marketing thing about how after 60+ years, Fender has *finally* figured out how to make a vintage-correct version of the guitar they invented...just really rubs me the wrong way. Isn't that really something to be embarrassed about?

And then to hear about inaccuracies, I don't know whether to laugh or cry. Way to go, Fender...
The finishes are not vintage correct at all. The new finishes wear and chip way too easily and some (like a 63' P-bass reissue I had for a while) have an orange peel thing going on with the finish.
 

bigtone23

Member
Messages
6,583
I like the thicker lam fb. -More meat for a refret
I have a '65 AVRI Strat. My tech suspects that that the rosewood lam is thicker so that if one should decide to go for a flatter radius, it could be done without sanding through the rosewood completely - which is what would happen on the originals. He says I could go up to a 12" radius if I wanted on the AVRI, though I'm happy with it as is.
This.
My (original) 69 Strat has the thin lam rosewood board and has been refretted at least once by me, and maybe another time before I owned it. There is not enough 'meat' left for another refret.
Given how these AVRI feel and are assembled, it makes sense to leave a little room for a refret with larger frets, a radius flattening, or both to reproduce how many original Fenders have ended up after 40-60 years on the planet.
 

IPLAYLOUD

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
5,050
Amazing how guitars that were inconsistently made in the 50's and 60's are being copied now with "presumed" specs.
Leo used whatever parts he could get at times, and production was changed because a new guy was hired did something a little different...or the regular guy was off that day.
Look at the video of the factory from the 50's...the woman putting in the strap buttons doesn't give a second look to it...she taps it, drills it, installs it.

The only thing Fender was consistent then was a moderate level of inconsistency.

Line up 20 1964 3T Sunburst Strats and you'll find at least 8 variations.
 

Tom60

Senior Member
Messages
719
Amazing how guitars that were inconsistently made in the 50's and 60's are being copied now with "presumed" specs.
Leo used whatever parts he could get at times, and production was changed because a new guy was hired did something a little different...or the regular guy was off that day.
OK, but RW fretboard thickness wasn't something "Leo used whatever parts he could get", right ?
 

LoopyBullet

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,088
Well, a year later, and I'm still a bit disappointed that Fender hasn't corrected this little mistake. If you're going to advertise the guitar as true to spec, then make it to spec!

(minus the inconsistencies alleviated by today's technology...a super thick round-lam board is not something I have seen within the realm of Fender 60's inconsistencies, however)
 

fancychords

Member
Messages
551
There are players and there are screw counters.the Jeffs the Rory's the Eric's the Petes picked up the guitars marveled at their construction and played them to greatness and that's what it should be now.
 

monwobobbo

Member
Messages
6,258
This whole marketing thing about how after 60+ years, Fender has *finally* figured out how to make a vintage-correct version of the guitar they invented...just really rubs me the wrong way. Isn't that really something to be embarrassed about?

And then to hear about inaccuracies, I don't know whether to laugh or cry. Way to go, Fender...
yes they should be embarassed but what do you expect. if the advertising was totally honest it would read something like " as vintage accurate as we can make it for this price point using modern methods for cheaper production" guessing that isn't as appealing from an advertising standpoint.

when you get down to it with reissues what we really want is an idealized perfect copy.
 






Trending Topics

Top