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AVRI '59 vs New American Elite

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by IvanC, May 2, 2018.

  1. IvanC

    IvanC Strat-Talk Member

    Age:
    23
    12
    May 2, 2018
    Berlin
    Hey there good people. Just wanted to know your opinion in comparing these two models, in particular the playability and ease of adjustments and maintenance in general. I recently purchased one of the last AVRI '59 late 2017 model. Having tried out a few vintage spec guitars for a very brief moment in stores (not the 59) I felt fine with the neck radius and short frets and all the pros and cons you can expect from a vintage spec instrument. Long story short, when I actually received my 59' it took me a really long time to set it up to a somewhat acceptable comfort and feel. The truss rod was vibrating, saddles were all over the place, the body was so resonant I had to take out the pickguard and rearrange the wires so that they won't rattle inside. Took the guitar apart numerous times before I felt I can play it without anything bothering me or making noise. And all of that within a course of several weeks when any time I had to practice there was some kind of adjusting involved. So my question is, as an every day guitar wouldn't you say that a modern Elite Strat would be much easier to maintain and readjust on the move plus providing all the modern comfort and feel? I couldn't try one since I'm away for a while but I still have some doubts. I just realized that I much much prefer comfort and feel while playing rather than the esthetics and all the vintage vibes from AV series. The noisless pickups I can live with. So would you guys say there is any sense in swapping the 59 for the Elite?
     

  2. Paperback Rocker

    Paperback Rocker Nitro-mancer Strat-Talk Supporter

    Sep 18, 2014
    Lewisville, TX
    I think you will find the Elite equally frustrating.
     

  3. Count Glockula®

    Count Glockula® Strat-O-Master

    Age:
    107
    544
    Aug 16, 2009
    Fenderland, CA
    I'm in the same boat, but chose something different.

    I'm all about classic and vintage stuff, but practicality, modernism and newness wins the fight. I did try out an Elite and I have a deep respect for it, but my playabilities on it wasn't up to my expectations. Until I tried out an American Professional and it was night and day. I now have an Am Pro, despite wanting an RI and Elite. I see that you'll end up getting an Elite, but give the Pro a test drive. Good luck!
     
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  4. LeicaBoss

    LeicaBoss Senior Stratmaster Strat-Talk Supporter

    Sep 4, 2015
    New Jersey
    I own a '59 AV.
    It is also crazy resonant. A solid 90 minutes on the bench (like most guitars) and it plays exactly how I like it.

    I've played a few Elites, and they certainly are the same level of instrument - but would require the same 90 minutes of my time to get how I like things.

    IbreI re see no reason for jumping ship unless there is some specification that really endears you to the Elite
     
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  5. Fuzzpop

    Fuzzpop Ryan-Ola Silver Member

    Age:
    36
    Aug 14, 2012
    Washington, D.C.
    I've never heard of those specific problems with an AV '59 (I own one). But I'd imagine a comprehensive setup would alleviate those problems pretty easily. I do that for every guitar I buy, regardless of price or build quality. Even a Custom Shop masterbuilt doesn't play perfect out of the box. Things shift in shipment, temperatures change and throw the neck out of wack. It's a rough ride from the factory to the showroom!

    Now if you're not happy with the vintage specs then that's a different story and the Elite might work better.
     
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  6. IvanC

    IvanC Strat-Talk Member

    Age:
    23
    12
    May 2, 2018
    Berlin
    Good point! I'll definitely think about the Pro as well. To be honest I was looking at the Elites just cause they are in the same price range give or take. But really, at the end of a day I just want a good workhorse Strat. If Pro will provide it, I will go for it. I would also imagine that for AmPros it is much easier to find parts for and repair if needed.
     

  7. IvanC

    IvanC Strat-Talk Member

    Age:
    23
    12
    May 2, 2018
    Berlin
    I will give it some time since I've finally got it to a good playing condition. I guess my expectations were a bit too high upon receiving it.
     
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  8. Fuzzpop

    Fuzzpop Ryan-Ola Silver Member

    Age:
    36
    Aug 14, 2012
    Washington, D.C.
    Nothing wrong with high expectations! I just think every guitar needs a good setup and a little love upon receipt. But like I said, don't keep it if you're not satisfied in the end. Get the guitar you love and want to play everyday.
     

  9. Brian H

    Brian H Senior Stratmaster

    Feb 7, 2016
    Delaware
    I haven't played an AV59 so I can't compare...but I have an Elite and love it. I got without playing it, knowing I could return it, but the after an hour or so I knew I loved it. The only thing I did was adjust the neck relief a little to work with my playing better.

    The neck heel....the compound neck and shape change from D to C let me use it on things I used to struggle a little with on Strats. From about the 12th fret up its so much easier to play on.




    The cutout on the back is longer and maybe a little deeper than other Strats...I noticed that right away and it also makes it easier to play. I have no problem with modernizing the guitar....its made it better for me.


    The pickups are fine. And noiseless of course..which I wanted. The truss rod adjustment I ugly, but its very easy to access and turn. I'm not sure its worth the ugliness though because its to something I need to do all the time. I also like the trem on it..the vintage trem with the saddles bother my hand as I rest it there and will press down on the floating trem there.

    So its great for me. I can see why others may not be all that into it though.

    It gets some Strat tones also





    and the required Pink Floyd tone isn't too bad :thumbd:

     
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  10. The Birdman

    The Birdman Strat-Talker

    I owned an AVRI 59, recently got rid of it, because I wasn't playing it. I own Elites and play them regularly. I personally find the Elites easier to play, and I like the N4 pickups. If you're not happy with the 59, I absolutely would part with it for an Elite. It's a completely different animal, but that may be what you are looking for.

    I had American Pros, got rid of all of them but one. I found the V-Mod pickups did not wear well with me.....too much "presence", for lack of a better word. They seemed hard to play clean, at least the clean I like.
     

  11. IvanC

    IvanC Strat-Talk Member

    Age:
    23
    12
    May 2, 2018
    Berlin
    The V Mods pickups are my biggest concern when it comes to American Professional. All the demos I heard they sound way too dry and over the top, dare I say compressed. I absolutely love the '59 pickups but to me it feels like I have to sacrifice way too much for it. I know that to play a Start you have to fight it as they say, but I sure wouldn't mind extra comfort while doing it.
     

  12. IvanC

    IvanC Strat-Talk Member

    Age:
    23
    12
    May 2, 2018
    Berlin

    Absolutely great jams sir! I love the new truss rod wheel on Elites, in my opinion way better looking than typical Bi-Flex. My mind is so torn apart, I am new to this forum and am so happy how constructive the replies are! Helps a great deal! You review really got me thinking.
     

  13. The Birdman

    The Birdman Strat-Talker

    "Over the top" is a good way to put it regarding the V-Mod pickups. The 59 pickups are great pickups, but I didn't care for playing the guitar they were in.
     

  14. Paperback Rocker

    Paperback Rocker Nitro-mancer Strat-Talk Supporter

    Sep 18, 2014
    Lewisville, TX
    What prior Strat models have you been happy with?

    The problems you mentioned, truss rod and saddles, are essentially the same on all Strats.

    I've never heard of anyone complaining that a guitar is too resonant.

    I've seen enough people on this site obsessing with minutiae that I have observed that most of those people will be unhappy with most any guitar.

    Hopefully I misjudged your situation.
     

  15. IvanC

    IvanC Strat-Talk Member

    Age:
    23
    12
    May 2, 2018
    Berlin
    I was playing a Standard MIM Strat.

    I was really excited about getting a vintage spec guitar, since most players I like do play vintage Strats and there is a HUGE fanbase of AVRI. And I guess I got caught up in the old "Vintage sound vs playability" issue. So I was telling myself, maybe there is something I am still missing, that special thing people like about Vintage Spec Strats. I know that every guitar will have issues when it's a brand new from factory. And I posted this to see if someone will agree that modern guitars are just as good and there's not that much of a difference after all. Because so far, I haven't really noticed this special thing and all of those issues I had with the set up could've been fixed much quicker on a modern one. So I just wanted to see if I'm not the only one thinking that.
     

  16. The Birdman

    The Birdman Strat-Talker

    I personally have found that I prefer a more "modern" Strat than the AVRIs. I had a 59, a 62 and a 70s. I didn't play them that much, although I thought they all had great pickups and sound. But I found that my taste has gone more to the American Deluxe/American Elite Strat.
     
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  17. IvanC

    IvanC Strat-Talk Member

    Age:
    23
    12
    May 2, 2018
    Berlin
    Same. I have huge respect for Vintage guitars, and AVRI great guitars for sure. But when playing one, I find myself thinking that all the new specs Fender is having now are there for a reason. And turns out they play a much bigger role, rather than just the fact of knowing I'm playing a vintage spec. guitar.

    And I think if Jimi was still alive till this day for example he would've gotten the newest most modern ones he could get. Frusciante on the other hand completely refuses to play a modern guitar, which I just don't get. But I guess the magic is in what you actually like.
     

  18. h4ck.b0x7

    h4ck.b0x7 Strat-Talker

    177
    Jan 13, 2012
    Detroit, MI
    Does the AV '59 have a slot between the neck pickup rout and the neck rout for adjusting the truss rod without removing the neck? Or is it solid and covering about 80% of the truss rod nut?
     

  19. IvanC

    IvanC Strat-Talk Member

    Age:
    23
    12
    May 2, 2018
    Berlin
    There is a slight curve in the pickguard, however it doesn't make it accessible at all. Unless there are some magic tools I don't know of. Taking the pickguard off also doesn't help. To adjust it you have to take the neck off, sadly.
     

  20. h4ck.b0x7

    h4ck.b0x7 Strat-Talker

    177
    Jan 13, 2012
    Detroit, MI
    I’m not asking about the pickguard. Look at this picture of one of my Teles. You can see the slot I’m talking about. The truss rod can be adjusted by only removing the pickguard.

    81EA9849-12B3-4D9E-BC75-C627A65A7416.jpeg