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My newish American Original 60’s - the good and bad

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by _Hawk_, Oct 9, 2019.

  1. _Hawk_

    _Hawk_ Strat-Talk Member

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    Had this for almost a month and have passed the honeymoon phase. Good news is I still love the guitar.

    Some pics:

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    I ordered this blind from GC, since I was able to get a decent discount and it would be easy to return if needed. Couldn’t ever find one to try locally, but it did have specs I liked on paper.

    Out of the box the CAR was just beautiful. What’s under the nitro top coat doesn’t matter to me. I really, really like the look and feel of the finish.

    Relatively light - haven’t bothered weighing it, but based on an educated guess it’s somewhere in the 7’s. The neck is finely sized for me - I’ve got a mix ranging from modern C’s to Musikraft monsters. This sits in the middle - a fuller C, but nothing that will make me an internet legend. The board edges and frets were rounded nicely.

    I’m not a big “how’s it sound unplugged” guy, but it’s lively.

    I wanted an excellent neck pickup and it’s got that. Beautiful, beautiful sounding neck pickup. Pos 2 is also quite nice, and I’m usually not a fan. I like Strat bridge pickups, especially in a band mix and this one doesn’t disappoint me. Having the tone control is a bonus. It’s predictably bright, but capable of plenty of great Rock sounds.

    Now, the not-as-good stuff.

    The fretboard was bone dry and kind of chalky at first. Had some gunk on it that needed cleaning. Really took well to an oiling though - it’s nice and dark now.

    The high E was too close to the fretboard, so I had to adjust the neck to fix that.

    Too much relief and a turd setup out of the box. Not sure who did it, but the tremolo wasn’t set up well either. That’s been fixed too.

    Probably the most disappointing thing from a consumer standpoint was the fret-level job, considering this is Fender’s top-of-the-line production guitar. There were a few high frets in between 17 &21 that really impeded the ability to play up the neck without fretting out. Seems pretty ridiculous to let a $2k guitar go out the door like that, but what do I know. Since I like how it sounds and looks so much, I just decided to keep the guitar and do a level and crown. Did that yesterday and it didn’t take much effort to get it right. I’m happy to report that it rings out perfectly now.

    Anyway, glad I picked this model. I’m pretty easy-going and work on my own guitars, so while the setup issues were mildly annoying, they haven’t kept me from loving an otherwise excellent instrument.
     
  2. CephasG

    CephasG Senior Stratmaster

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    Congrats, very nice choice. It's is a shame a $2K guitar needs a fret level.
     
  3. Chont

    Chont Most Honored Senior Member

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    Thought this said Jewish American Original

    carry on

    Beautiful guitar
     
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  4. abnormaltoy

    abnormaltoy Mouth breathin' knuckle dragger Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Sweet guitar...I need one or two minor tweaks, oddly my trem was set up beautifully (until I change gauges). I'm glad to hear what it's like after a bit.
     
  5. Stratoskater

    Stratoskater Most Honored Senior Member

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    I bought and returned 3 Am Orig 60's Tele for the same issue with high frets from 13-21. The first I bought off the rack in GC. Their tech said no way should a new $2K guitar need that much work and to return it and order a new one. 2nd one came straight from GC warehouse in it's original box never opened or played. Same issue. 3rd came directly from Fender (2.5 week wait) and was worse than the first 2. They all went back.

    Oddly enough my Am Orig 50's Tele was spot on off the shelf and is able to have the lowest action I have ever been able to get without buzz or fretting out. Same with My EJ, perfect right out of the box from Sweetwater and able to go crazy low on the action with no buzz or fretting issues.
     
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  6. LOSTVENTURE

    LOSTVENTURE Strat-O-Master

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    I miss the good old AVRI days. I've had several different models over the years, and they were pretty much perfect, with minor tinkering, as they arrived. Particularly the 2014 re-issue 54.
     
  7. Ash-Man

    Ash-Man Senior Stratmaster

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    I just can't understand why FENDER of all companies does not invest in a PLEK to at least run on their $1500 and up stuff, and yes I would rather have a good luthier do a level by hand but that is something increasingly hard to find and the PLEK would be a good bit more efficient from Fenders "get em out the door" mindset
     
  8. integra evan

    integra evan Strat-O-Master

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    Great choice on the color! Enjoy it!
     
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  9. _Hawk_

    _Hawk_ Strat-Talk Member

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    Yea, I can’t disagree with this, even having the ability to do the work myself.

    I’ve bought two lower-tier Gibsons in the last two years. Both were plek’d and both came ready to accept a very low action.
     
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  10. BallisticSquid

    BallisticSquid Senior Stratmaster

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    That's a gorgeous guitar!! Glad you got it up to your standards. It is a shame when it's set up so poorly out of the box and requiring some fret leveling. I've been through similar things with some of my LPs. Once it's taken care of, you move on and just enjoy the heck out of it!!
     
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  11. _Hawk_

    _Hawk_ Strat-Talk Member

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    Yep! It’s kind of a reverse honeymoon in that I seem to like it more every day. It really does sound fantastic.
     
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  12. abnormaltoy

    abnormaltoy Mouth breathin' knuckle dragger Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Now that sounds more like a true marriage than a reverse honeymoon. :)
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2019
  13. roadhog96

    roadhog96 Strat-O-Master

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    Glad it worked out for you, CAR is beautiful it’s my favorite. That Ampeg is sweet also, looks like it could be a 65 Reverbrocket II.
     
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  14. _Hawk_

    _Hawk_ Strat-Talk Member

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    Good eyes! It’s a 66 - fun amp!
     
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  15. Raphael256

    Raphael256 Strat-Talker

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    Nice CAR , i mean guitar :D
     
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  16. 79olympicwhite

    79olympicwhite Strat-O-Master

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    Very nice... Congrats.... sux about the frets but at least you knew what to do yourself.... lve been jonesing for one of these forever. .... enjoy
     
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  17. henderman

    henderman Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

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    great looking guitar, congrats !

    i had a new CAR/rosewood 2014 classic series 60's tele shipped to me from guitar center.

    the fit and finish was amazing but the setup was horrible and the fretwork was worse. the tops of the frets were flat and coarse, you could see sanding scratches galore.

    i returned the guitar and i bought the exact guitar used off the bay and it was identical!

    but after doing a fret level and full setup i still play it more than my other 2 electrics.
     
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  18. sonny wolf

    sonny wolf Senior Stratmaster

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    Those are great Strats...congratulations!!
     
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  19. Nate D

    Nate D Most Honored Senior Member

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    Congrats on the new guitar!!! It’s gorgeous!!!


    I find most Fenders require fretwork. It’s the geometry of it. Bad fretwork shouldn’t necessarily be a gripe on a guitar in my opinion. Maybe I’m just used to it from Fender and Gibson guitars at this point after 25 years of playing.

    I mostly find that all Fenders need to have the proper drop off as you go higher up the neck, particularly if you like a low action like I do.
     
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  20. Smokey3

    Smokey3 Strat-O-Master

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    I always like to see peoples new guitar, proud for you. Take care
     
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