looking at Fender Classic 60s ... what to expect

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by budglo58, Mar 2, 2015.

  1. budglo58

    budglo58 Member

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    To give a little background , I am on the hunt for a nice strat in either surf green or daphne blue. Seems the MIM Classic in Lacquer finish pops up in my radar. I have never owned a MIM strat or a 7.25 radius neck at this point. What I have are 2 Gibson 335s , a LP and 2 strats (American Standard and an AVRI 59 thinskin with a 9.5 radius board.
    i am curious about this guitar. Is the quality close to the American brethren? I expect to do a few upgrades, but what are the differences to the older AVRI strats? I expect to eventually change out the tremblock and maybe the pickups, but I dont expect to gut it out.
    How is the vintage radius neck compared to the 9.5 if at all? Just looking for suggestions as none of the Classic series are available locally.
     
  2. MjS88

    MjS88 Member

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    The quality of the Classic series is very good. I owned a Classic 60ies for a while. The 7.25" radius and tiny frets were too vintagey for my taste (also it was pink and I was in a rock band), but it was a great guitar.

    I do think most people would want to go with the Classic Player series. Beter pickups (Classic 69), better (2 point) tremolo, flatter radius (12") and bigger frets (medium jumbo's). All of those are good things in my book, but if you are looking for a truly vintage-inspired guitar you might have a different opinion. Build quality should be the same. I do own a Classic Player Telecaster, great value for money guitars.
     
  3. Boris Bubbanov

    Boris Bubbanov Member

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    I've played some that were better than others.

    These "Classics" are generally better than the MIM Standards from the same year, but then all the MIMs (except the Blacktops) have been better every year or every other year.

    I don't know why if you have an AVRI 59 you'd want to shop blind for a MIM Classic 60s. I'd wait until I could spend some time in a big market like SoCal so I could play a few.

    Besides, if you can afford the ones you have, you should be looking at these new Pure Vintage Strats, notably the '65. Are you looking for something cheaper to play in a bar setting?

    Best Buy had for a few years (2008-2012?) these Classic 60s in stock and I don't know where they got theirs (Surf Green, mostly) but they were the most unplayable guitars in each location (maybe seven?) I spent time in. Sad.
     
  4. budglo58

    budglo58 Member

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    Yeah , I am going to Minn at the end of the month , so I may take a trip to Daves in LaCrosse . Maybe even look for a used Custom Shop. But OTOH , I am looking for something in either surf green or daphne blue that doesnt have a Modern C neck. Just because I can afford an American Vintage one doesnt mean I should. Not really looking for my number 1 strat , probably a backup.
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2015
  5. dazco

    dazco Member

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    I've had several. the one i have now I've had a long time and it's my fav strat i've owned to date including USA models. However, IMO at least, the bridge and pickups need to be updated if you want serious tone that competes with most anything. I always do that and add a bone nut and the Classic series strats and teles i've owned have been fantasitc aside from one. You CAN get the odd mediocre one but thankfully they;'re quite consistent. Someone here mentioned the mexican factory was recently updated and the quality had been upped. I have a 2014 classic 50's tele and a '06 classic 60's. the '14 is far and away better. The build, and this is no exaggeration, is all the way from one end of the spectrum (the 60's on the low end) to the other. They aren't even close. The new one is so good in every way i seriously have not seen a better built fender at any price. Don't get me wrong, the '06 sounds and plays great but if you take it apart the build errors can't be counted on both hands ! The '14 is utterly perfect, and i mean literally perfect. So i think if you;re looking at a classic series strat you cannot go wrong, but like my teles and my strat they need upgrading to be as good as i'm talking. I recommend keeping the trem but changing the block out for a callaham, and get some good pups. You're still on the cheap even then tho.
     
  6. monty

    monty Member

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    I tried one of the new laquer ones, very nice but I like a 7.25 board. You really need to try one first though.
     
  7. Boris Bubbanov

    Boris Bubbanov Member

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    This MIM model uses a real nice Cyclovac nut.

    Unless it has been broken, mis-cut or ruined, the stock nut should stay.
     
  8. budglo58

    budglo58 Member

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    I appreciate the input. It sounds to me as if my suspicions are correct. I had planned on probably changing out the pickups with some vintage sounding ones and the trem block as well. I never cared for any ceramic mag pickups that I have played. I had been looking at the 54 avri thinskins at wildwood guitars , but I already have a guitar with fat 50s in it already. This seems like a great option especially for the price, a case and surf green in nitro.
     
  9. 73Fender

    73Fender Member

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    With your lineup, you may need a Tele.. FWIW
     
  10. dazco

    dazco Member

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    +1. As a lifelong strat player i tried several teles thru the years but never bonded. But they were all thinlines or other variants. But once i got a traditional 50's then after that a 60's, thats all she wrote ! Talk about a where have u been all my life moment. My strat is as good as it gets IMO, and i love it. But all i every pick up now are my 2 teles ! It's the better wider dynamics with extra snap that just makes them irresistible. I can't imagine ever being w/o them. They made me put all my guitars up for sale cept the strat, and thats only out of nostalgia and my long time relationship with it.
     
  11. Doctor Morbius

    Doctor Morbius Member

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    They're nice guitars if you like the fretboard radius and small frets. Your thin skin and American Standard are probably nicer guitars though so there will be nothing gained by purchasing one.
     
  12. budglo58

    budglo58 Member

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    Thanks for the input. I actually had a chance to try a Classic 60s out this afternoon and they are great guitars, but the curved fretboard and small frets are not for me unfortunately. I will continue to stick with the 12" of my Gibsons and 9.5 for my strats.
     
  13. Doctor Morbius

    Doctor Morbius Member

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    That would be a problem for me too. I just can't bond with that radius and the smaller frets. I'd have to sell the neck and replace it with a Warmoth or something as I did with a '62 AVRI Jazzmaster.
     
  14. bigtone23

    bigtone23 Member

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    I'm in the same boat as finding that model to be great, overall. The radius and fret size are the deal breaker, however. 9.5 and a medium jumbo just transforms a Fender for me, especially when playing up the neck and doing any sort of lead work.
     
  15. dazco

    dazco Member

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    I prefered flatter radius and bigger frets all my life till recently. But after using 7.25 teles for a while i now like them so much i prefer it. In fact, i flattened the radius and but jumbos in my classic 60's strat years ago. Now i'm actually debating if i should buy one of fender's vintage 60's necks to replace it. Probably would definitely do it if i still played it much, but as i said i play my teles pretty much exclusively.
     
  16. budglo58

    budglo58 Member

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    II know a tele has been on my radar for some time. Seems right now my go to guitar is a 335 or a strat. Not as big fan of the Modern C as some. I find it fatigues my left hand if I play bar chords too long. Not true of my 59 thin skin or my 335.
     
  17. 64 Tele

    64 Tele Member

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    I previously had a '57 Strat RI (made in 1983) that never played sounded as good as I was expecting. Had it from 1983 to 2002 and finally sold.
    2012 I bought a Deluxe Roadhouse Strat and about a year ago started looking at the the lacquer Classic 60's Strats, but couldn't handle the feel of the lacquer finish (and I'd had two lacquer finish Fenders previously).
    I ended up ordering one of the poly finish Classic Series 60's and it has become my favorite (way nicer than the '57 RI). Initially changed the tone control from middle pickup to bridge, but ended up swapping it back. Changed from the 10-46's to 9-42's and that literally is all I've done from stock.
    I'd buy another in a heartbeat.......:aok I like the vintage (7.25) radius and vintage frets.
     

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