'62 American Vintage Reissue v. Hot Rod

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by Axis29, Jan 17, 2012.

  1. Axis29

    Axis29 Strat-O-Master

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    Well, I've been eying these two models for a while... Was in the vicinity of a shop that has a better selection of guitars than I usually have access to and was perusing the 'stack'. Glanced at some Gretsches, nothing really caught my eye and I wandered to the Strats. A decent looking 3 tone Sunburst, with a little wavy american flag on the pickguard caught my eye. I pulled it down, nice full neck, but no other indication of model was apparent, hang tangs were missing, etc. I plugged it into a DRRI and it sounded deliciously Stratty. The neck was nice and full and felt about 9.5 radius. Frets were not too big. Vintage appointments, I liked it. As I got up to put it back on the wall (I had an appointment shortly) I asked one of the employees if he knew what model it was, He looked at it, wrapped his fingers around the neck and said, yeah, that's an American Vintage Hot Rod. We talked a few more minutes before I had to go. Even though the guitar was kinda dirty, it left me with a very good impression.

    Now, I've been torn for a while on these two models... both have seen my shopping cart a few times, only to be pulled and left aside for another day because I just cannot decide which model I like better, which specs are the ones I want. And, I had never heard the 'American Vintage Single Coil' pickups. I loved my CP50's 57/62 pickups immensely. Now I have heard the Hot Rod's pickups, it's an even harder decision. I love the Tex-Mex in my 60's Roadworn a lot. I love my RW a lot in fact. But, I'd like to take another step up in quality.

    Well, now that I know this particular store has several of each model in stock, I will go play them all and try to decide that way. However, it will be several months before I return to that vicinity.

    So my question is, for those who have tried both, and decided on one, or neither, what was the deciding factor(s) for you? Why do you prefer one over the other? I've got a couple of months to obsess and research... Help a brother out! All conjecture is welcome!
     
  2. stratman323

    stratman323 Dr. Stratster

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    I haven't tried the Hot Rod, but if you get the chance to play one of the earliest AVRIs (from 1982 to 1986), do try it. I reckon the early ones are something special, though they're hard to find. But you did say you're not in a hurry......

    And they sound great through a Vibroverb too. ;)
     
  3. sonny wolf

    sonny wolf Most Honored Senior Member

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    I own both models and love them for different reasons.The AVRI 62 is a rawer playing guitar...7.25 radius and small frets are less forgiving but channel the vibe of playing music associated with the 1950s and 1960s.Jimi Hendrix made magic playing that type of neck spec.The Hot Rod is easier to bend on with it's 9.5 radius and large frets(although the large neck profile might be too much for some)....it seems to address the more S.R.V. style of big Blues string bending.I am a fan of both models because I am used to either feel and have no problem navigating between them.
     
  4. sonny wolf

    sonny wolf Most Honored Senior Member

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    I played some early 1980s reissues and while they are nice guitars,I don't think they are better than the current AVRIs...I prefer the post 1998 AVRIs because they are more vintage accurate.The early 1980s reissues had a wrong body shape that I dislike...the top forearm contour is very small.The current ones have the forearm contour reaching down to the strap button which is more vintage correct.All of this doesn't affect quality of course but was never blown away by the early 1980s reissues which were made in the dark days of C.B.S..I think Fender these days is making some of their best guitars ever.
     
  5. Shades of Blue

    Shades of Blue Most Honored Senior Member

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    That is refreshing to hear!

    I own a 62 AVRI, and I really do have issues with the neck. So much so that I've considered selling it and pickup up the Hot Rod neck. I gig every guitar I own and I don't like the fact that I can't bend and move around as well on this guitar.

    That aside, either one is going to sound great, look sexy as heck, and give you the vibe you are looking for. It really is a question of 7.25 vs 9.5.
     
  6. stratman323

    stratman323 Dr. Stratster

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    Well, a larger neck & medium jumbo frets would make more difference to me than the radius. How much bigger is the neck on the Hot Rod? And are the pickups the same as on the AVRI?
     
  7. Shades of Blue

    Shades of Blue Most Honored Senior Member

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    I have a John Mayer Strat which is based on a fat neck 63 strat, and it is very comfy in my hands. It is however, a good bit chunkier than my AVRI. I've heard the Hot Rod neck is close to a Mayer neck, but even a little bigger maybe.

    Pickups wise, I think my AVRI has 57/62 pickups, but I don't know whats in the Hot Rod.
     
  8. mutato

    mutato Senior Stratmaster

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    I have an '86 AVRI '62 and my only nag would be the small frets. So the Hot Rod is supposed to make that better. Luckily, they are on their way out (recent fret leveling has made them even smaller!) and I will do a refret in a few years.
     
  9. 32soundz

    32soundz Senior Stratmaster

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    Axis, according to some people on this forum you should not buy any of the two.

    You should buy a Squier Classic Vibe, apparently it is no way inferior to the AVRI or the Hot Rod. In fact it just as good and you would be wasting your money if you buy a High End Fender as they are equally as good..

    I am not one of them.

    I havent played a Hot Rod but I have played countless other US and MIM MIJ Strats, I currently own an AVRI57 and AVRI62 and they are the best Stratocaster's I have ever owned or played.

    If you dont mind the frets and radius which you shouldn't really then I cant recommend it more.

    Fantastic guitars, guitars you can grow old with.
     
  10. stratman323

    stratman323 Dr. Stratster

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    :rolleyes: :rolleyes:
     
  11. SennaF1

    SennaF1 Senior Stratmaster

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    Roflmao !! Soo true.
     
  12. Shades of Blue

    Shades of Blue Most Honored Senior Member

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    32soundz has got a point :)
     
  13. Axis29

    Axis29 Strat-O-Master

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    Thanks so far for the responses. It seems the Hot Rod pickups are a true mystery!

    As for the Squiers, here's my call... I have nothing against Squiers. I used to own an Affinity, that was a really nice sounding Strat, believe it or not! I have a Classic Vibe Custom Tele. I love the stupid thing except for one thing, the neck. It feels really nice for noodling around and playing at home. But, for gigging, the neck is too skinny for my hands. I get cramps if I do a lot of rhythm work. I have long fingers and and skinny necks just don't work for me. I have one Tele that has an All Parts TMO-Fat neck.. It's one of the most comfortable necks I own. I also own a Les Paul with the big chunky 50's neck. I am gravitating more and more to thicker necks for all my guitars.

    My Roadworn does fine. It's not overly fat, but it's comfortable. I like 7.25 radius. I like 9.5 and I like 12 too... Don't really bother me. I have all of them and barely notice when I'm actually playing. It's probably 'cause I'm used to them all and have them setup for each guitar specifically.

    But, if the AVRI has a skinny neck... hmm, that might drive me towards the Hot Rod.
     
  14. 357mag

    357mag Senior Stratmaster

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    I just sold my Hot Rod 62. Great guitar. Thick and chunky neck. Medium Jumbo frets and a 9.5" radius. Very comfortable to play. The only reason I chose to sell it is because I've recently concluded that I prefer the sound of a maple fretboard instead of rosewood.

    The AVRI 62 is cool too but since that has a vintage radius you might have some trouble with fret rattle and bends. I'm not saying that those necks can't be set up to play cleanly, but I feel they are more prone to buzz.
     
  15. Gburst

    Gburst Senior Stratmaster

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    I own an AVRI62 and I can easily get a step and a half bend at the fifteenth fret on the high e string. The key is in the setup-frets must be leveled and you must be able to live with action slightly higher than Fender spec. The action at the seventeenth fret for me is 5/64th's on the high e string. I play 11's tuned down a half step. I also have a bit more neck relief than Fender spec as well. It may require a bit more attention setup-wise but oh is it worth it in the end. Mine plays like butter. If you can live with vintage frets, they can be setup for easy bends. All of the greats from the sixties and seventies played strats with similar specs and look at the results.
     
  16. sonny wolf

    sonny wolf Most Honored Senior Member

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    Oh man,that sarcasm is just rude by bringing our discussion of another thread into this one.This thread is about the difference between AVRI and HOT Rod Strats...not Squier CVs.And I never said an AVRI or a Hot Rod is not worth buying...I own several and love them...I would probably buy more in the future.But 32 soundz,why is it so hard for you to accept that someone can value a cheaper selling guitar as much an expensive one when it comes to performance?Get over it already.It's just opinions.
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2012
  17. stratomaster96

    stratomaster96 Banned

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    I prefer the Hot Rod because of the thicker, 9.5 neck with larger frets.
     
  18. mutato

    mutato Senior Stratmaster

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    I agree. I just had my old '86 AVRI leveled and setup. They set it to Fender spec and it was way too low for me. I never had it done before and assumed it would be great. Didn't know it was pretty low. I do blues leads and checked my other Strats/Guitars and I guess I set it, by feel, higher than that spec. When I measured (so the luthier would adjust), I found out it was about 3/32". That feels right with for me.
     
  19. stratman323

    stratman323 Dr. Stratster

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    I get the impression that some people set up Strats & Teles in the expectation that the player will never want to do any more than a semi-tone bend on the top string. If that's the case, it's quite feasible to set the action pretty low.

    But if you want choke free longer bends, the action needs to be a bit higher.
     
  20. 32soundz

    32soundz Senior Stratmaster

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    I'm sorry Sonny wolf, my bad. I have also apologized in the other thread.