#1
So I searched through the forums to make sure there wasn't a thread exactly the same as this. I didn't really see one. Sorry if I am reposting.

I was wondering, if you guys knew the difference between the Fender Custom Shop and Fender American.

I mean if I can get a Custom Shop guitar for a couple hundred bucks more than a nice production Fender American, is it worth it? Or is the difference really negligible.
#2
You're talking used right?

Or are you talking about the AVRI and CS? New they're like $3000+. Plus there's a difference between the Custom Shop guitars.

American Strats are around $1000.
AVRI are around $1800-$2300.
CS are $3000+, depending on the the Builder they can go for $5,000+.

It's not negligible at all. My AVRI 56 is much much nicer than my old MIA. Nicer neck, nitro finish, rolled fingerboard, 50's profile, vintage tuners.
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Last edited by Mephaphil at Mar 20, 2013,
#3
Custom Shop is a step-up in every way over a production MIA guitar.

The production line are just that, produced on a big production line. No different from a MIM guitar, only made on the other side of the border and with nicer wood, hardware and electronics.

A Custom Shop guitar is made using only the very best wood. Depending on the type you get they can be first shaped by CNC and finished by hand or they can be entirely made by hand. They can also be made by a team of people or by one single 'master builder'.

Each Custom Shop guitar will be considerably different, even if made to the same specifications. Productions guitars can vary too (Gibson and PRS are notorious for this), but nowhere near as much. You can buy a Fender American Standard online and be quite confident in the knowledge that it will fele and sound as you would expect. A Custom Shop guitar is not something you ever buy online, you need to play it in person.

A special note should be made about the Fender American Deluxe line, though. These use woods that are nicer than the Standards but often not quite as nice as that used in a Custom Shop guitar. They also come with a wide range of features and basic upgrades that neither American Standards not Custom Shop models have; contoured heels, S-1 switching, LSR nuts, locking and staggered tuners, abalone inlays and various other upgrades.
If you can afford a Deluxe then there is little point in buying a Standard; if you can buy a Custom Shop guitar then it's a tougher call. Get to some shops and try out some Custom Shop guitars. They won't have the features of the Deluxe but they should be made a little better. If you can find one that feels good to your hands and gives you the sound you want then go with that. Otherwise, consider the Deluxe your 'default'. In fact for many people the Deluxe is the better guitar anyway.
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#4
What could he mean for a 'few hundreds bucks more' though? Can't be a MIA.
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#5
Sorry.

Yes used. I figure I am going to make a huge purchase and have a guitar that will be my #1 for the rest of my life I might as well spend some cash on it.

You are saying the American Vintage Series is good in comparison to the CS? I'm looking at a '62 Tele from that series. I really liked the way it played but it was in white. I've never actually played a Custom Shop Tele. There aren't any in stores near me.
#6
Well they are comparable to the CS.

Also, there was a CS Timeline series they did a couple of years ago. Actually Custom Shop.

They stopped the line and released it as a AVRI. So it was the same guitar pretty much, just no decals. People were pretty annoyed when they played one.

I bought my guitar on the basis that lots of people said that it compared easily to their Custom Shop guitars. When I played it I understood.

There are some MIMs that compare to MIAs. There are many AVRIs that compare to Custom Shop.

I definitely feel that the quality of my one is of CS level with the rolled board, finish, attention to detail, perfect fretwork etc. I've played a couple of master build guitars and I felt that they played as good as the stock ones they send out anyway. I feel that there's a really high level in the AVRIs and CS guitars and comparison becomes somewhat negligible when you hit that threshold.

Others may disagree. Anyway, I'll have a look at the 62 and post back in a bit.
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Go ahead and spend your money, I don't care. It won't make you sound better.


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Sure upgrading your gear will make you sound better.


Last edited by Mephaphil at Mar 20, 2013,
#7
The 62s look pretty good.

They have the thin skin finish on it, so it's a nitro finish. Not as thin as the new Flash Finish, but pretty close.

You need to be careful because it will chip very easily, but lots of people like that.

Slim neck profile, custom shop pickups, 9.5" radius.

It looks pretty cool. You can get it in surf green, which is ridiculously cool and rare. The sunburst looks great with the binding and the black is just a classic look. If it's good enough for Joe Strummer its good enough for anyone. I've seen a couple of pictures where the black has white binding which would be the one I'd grab.

Personally I'm not a fan of rosewood on Fenders. I don't like the feeling of it but lots of people do. And again, it's not too common on Teles.

If you can, also have a look at the new AVRIs if you have the money. I have one and it really is great. I have the 56 and you can get a 59 Strat in Faded Sonic Blue which is ridiculously cool. It has a smaller neck profile to the 56 and it's rosewood whereas the 56 is maple and a larger neck profile. (56 is 50's profile and the 59' is the slimmer 60's, so I read).

Many options for you!
Quote by Shredwizard445
Go ahead and spend your money, I don't care. It won't make you sound better.


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Last edited by Mephaphil at Mar 20, 2013,
#8
Has anybody happened to have seen and held a select series?

They are meant to bridge the gap between deluxe and custom shop, havent seen one around but they do look nice. Half tempted to take a punt on a telecaster.
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#9
I've got a MIM Strat which I love dearly, because it was my first "real guitar." Ya know, the guitar you get after you buy the Wal-Mart model.

I say that because I am not going to go after the Strats, because I own one. I already own an 80s Les Paul too. Body is beat to hell, if it could talk it, boy, the stories it would have. But she sure plays well.

This Telecaster that I am going to buy though. It's going to be a completely different sound from those two. I am very excited. Can you link me to where you see this information about the AVRI?
#10
They're pretty nice looking. I will try the one they have in store next time I'm in.

I think the Deluxe is a great guitar. I don't think it's better than the AVRI guitars when they create really good ones. They are aimed at different folk but still have their individual points that set them high above the MIA.

The Select seems to be an upgraded Deluxe without the S1 switching and pickups. Because of the flame top and select wood it is a bridge between the Deluxe and CS, but personally I'd say that the lots of the AVRI series are as good as some Custom Shop.

The AVRI and Select are similarly priced and I'm sure they're the highest production line models you can get.
Quote by Shredwizard445
Go ahead and spend your money, I don't care. It won't make you sound better.


Quote by Shredwizard445
Sure upgrading your gear will make you sound better.


Last edited by Mephaphil at Mar 20, 2013,
#11
Quote by MrFlibble
Custom Shop is a step-up in every way over a production MIA guitar.

The production line are just that, produced on a big production line. No different from a MIM guitar, only made on the other side of the border and with nicer wood, hardware and electronics.

A Custom Shop guitar is made using only the very best wood. Depending on the type you get they can be first shaped by CNC and finished by hand or they can be entirely made by hand. They can also be made by a team of people or by one single 'master builder'.

Each Custom Shop guitar will be considerably different, even if made to the same specifications. Productions guitars can vary too (Gibson and PRS are notorious for this), but nowhere near as much. You can buy a Fender American Standard online and be quite confident in the knowledge that it will fele and sound as you would expect. A Custom Shop guitar is not something you ever buy online, you need to play it in person.

A special note should be made about the Fender American Deluxe line, though. These use woods that are nicer than the Standards but often not quite as nice as that used in a Custom Shop guitar. They also come with a wide range of features and basic upgrades that neither American Standards not Custom Shop models have; contoured heels, S-1 switching, LSR nuts, locking and staggered tuners, abalone inlays and various other upgrades.
If you can afford a Deluxe then there is little point in buying a Standard; if you can buy a Custom Shop guitar then it's a tougher call. Get to some shops and try out some Custom Shop guitars. They won't have the features of the Deluxe but they should be made a little better. If you can find one that feels good to your hands and gives you the sound you want then go with that. Otherwise, consider the Deluxe your 'default'. In fact for many people the Deluxe is the better guitar anyway.


this sums things up pretty well. bottom line is to try a few different guitars out and see what works best for you. my main guitar is a late 80s Strat Plus deluxe. while in theory the new custom shop axes should be better this has always proven to be the case. honestly i'm pretty happy with my strat so don't have the urge to go custom shop. you can find really nice guitars at all the price points from the american lines with some patience and effort.
#12
You should also try a Squire, I'v seen blindfold tests where people couldn't tell the difference between Squires and Fender Custom Shops. Apparently Fender's custom shop guitars are about the same feel wise as 200 pound guitars. I don't see why people love Fenders so much.
Last edited by N1ghtmar3C1n3ma at Mar 20, 2013,
#13
N1ghtmar3C1n3ma,

The Squiers I've played weren't for me. I want a guitar that will outlast me. When I play a Squier it doesn't give me that feeling. If the custom shop guitars are anything like the $2000 52 RI Tele I played it would be light as air.
#14
Quote by N1ghtmar3C1n3ma
You should also try a Squire, I'v seen blindfold tests where people couldn't tell the difference between Squires and Fender Custom Shops. Apparently Fender's custom shop guitars are about the same feel wise as 200 pound guitars. I don't see why people love Fenders so much.

You have proven to be a complete dumb ass in your posts, just stop while your ahead
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#16
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Why are you a fag also?
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#17
I'm not trying to hate, was just pointing out something I have seen, the guys genuinely couldn't tell what was what between a Squire Tele, MiM Tele, MiA Tele and Custom Shop Tele, all they could really notice was the weight differences, please don't call me a dumbass, you have no clue of my intelligence, and it is very narrow minded to make assumptions of one's intelligence based on guitar preference.

My biggest issue with Fender is how they justify still bolting a neck on with 1000 pound + guitars. Also if some professional musicians and guitar shop owners couldn't really tell the difference by feel, what does that really say about Fender's quality?

To be honest I have seen the same sort of issues with Epi and Gibby, Epiphone Les Pauls that can sustain a note about 3 times as long as a Gibson Les Paul.
#18
Quote by N1ghtmar3C1n3ma
My biggest issue with Fender is how they justify still bolting a neck on with 1000 pound + guitars. Also if some professional musicians and guitar shop owners couldn't really tell the difference by feel, what does that really say about Fender's quality?

Don't believe the hype about set necks being better, they aren't. There is no downside to a bolt on neck, so why should Fender do anything else?
#19
Quote by W4RP1G
Don't believe the hype about set necks being better, they aren't. There is no downside to a bolt on neck, so why should Fender do anything else?


To be honest, I can see the benefits of wood on wood contact logically, over wood, glue wood like in a set neck. It's just when you plug the bad boys in, set necks/neck throughs just always have the edge with sustain etc, plus out of the Les Paul and Strat, which is known for it's epic sustain? I'm using the LP and Strat comparison because they form the basis for pretty much every electric out there.

For negative points about bolt on I can say it looks horrible for a start, the plates and screws just look so out of place to me. One of the major reasons I'm GASing so hard right now is cos I'm sick of the fugly neck joint on my current and only guitar. (I had to sell my other nicer guitars due to financial difficulties, now I wish I just sold the HDTV and PS3 haha)
Last edited by N1ghtmar3C1n3ma at Mar 21, 2013,
#20
Quote by N1ghtmar3C1n3ma
To be honest, I can see the benefits of wood on wood contact logically, over wood, glue wood like in a set neck. It's just when you plug the bad boys in, set necks/neck throughs just always have the edge with sustain etc, plus out of the Les Paul and Strat, which is known for it's epic sustain? I'm using the LP and Strat comparison because they form the basis for pretty much every electric out there.

For negative points about bolt on I can say it looks horrible for a start, the plates and screws just look so out of place to me. One of the major reasons I'm GASing so hard right now is cos I'm sick of the fugly neck joint on my current and only guitar. (I had to sell my other nicer guitars due to financial difficulties, now I wish I just sold the HDTV and PS3 haha)

I have a PRS CE22 bolt thru neck and it will sustain as long as 99% of the guitars I have played. Sustain has a lot to do with your vibrato tech, not so much the instrument

So your uninformed conclusion is wrong
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Morley Bad Horsie 2
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Last edited by Robbgnarly at Mar 21, 2013,
#21
Quote by N1ghtmar3C1n3ma
To be honest, I can see the benefits of wood on wood contact logically, over wood, glue wood like in a set neck. It's just when you plug the bad boys in, set necks/neck throughs just always have the edge with sustain etc, plus out of the Les Paul and Strat, which is known for it's epic sustain? I'm using the LP and Strat comparison because they form the basis for pretty much every electric out there.

For negative points about bolt on I can say it looks horrible for a start, the plates and screws just look so out of place to me. One of the major reasons I'm GASing so hard right now is cos I'm sick of the fugly neck joint on my current and only guitar. (I had to sell my other nicer guitars due to financial difficulties, now I wish I just sold the HDTV and PS3 haha)


There are far more differences between a Les Paul and a strat than just the neck joint. Everything matters. You said it yourself, the glue acts as a barrier between the woods, so how could it be superior? And why would you assume that the neck joint is the only thing affecting the sustain?
#22
I'm a Fender fan, but I do debate how much better the custom shops feel over an MIA.
I've played a LOT of strats in my day (including custom shops) and to be perfectly honest the only neck I've liked better than the MiA neck is the SRV sig model.

So really the Custom Shop is about building a guitar that is right for you. I would debate whether the team built models are worth it over the Select or Deluxe models.
#23
Quote by W4RP1G
There are far more differences between a Les Paul and a strat than just the neck joint. Everything matters. You said it yourself, the glue acts as a barrier between the woods, so how could it be superior? And why would you assume that the neck joint is the only thing affecting the sustain?


Ok I will elaborate :p. I'm sure the combination of a thicker body, TOM Bridge and Tailbar effect the sustain vs a thinner body with a tremolo unit, hell even the fact LP's predominantly have humbuckers vs a Strat's single coils. But it's like I said, when I'v plugged these guitars in, or even acoustically, the one thing set necks/neck through has always had over a bolt on model is sustain.

You can theory craft as much as you want over the benefits of wood on wood contact and wood/glue/wood, as I have, but you can't deny what is happening right in front of your ears when you actually play.

I'm not saying it makes sense, I'm just saying it happens xD
#24
Quote by N1ghtmar3C1n3ma
the one thing set necks/neck through has always had over a bolt on model is sustain.

Horse shit. Every set neck/neck thru isn't going to out sustain every bolt on neck.

I wish this myth would die already.
#25
You should quote a more full section of what I wrote, rather than the smallest part, missing off the prefix of my sentence which contained key phrases such as "When I've plugged them in".

Minimal quoting to get a chunk of speech which misses the context entirely, then calling it horse shit is a sure fire way to make yourself come off as a pretentious ****** who is desperately clutching at straws to try and get your point across.

I don't see why you have so much beef with another human being's findings, views and opinions, do people calling out potential flaws of your beloved bolt on make you that butthurt?
Last edited by N1ghtmar3C1n3ma at Mar 21, 2013,
#26
Quote by N1ghtmar3C1n3ma
You should quote a more full section of what I wrote, rather than the smallest part, missing off the prefix of my sentence which contained key phrases such as "When I've plugged them in".

Minimal quoting to get a chunk of speech which misses the context entirely, then calling it horse shit is a sure fire way to make yourself come off as a pretentious ****** who is desperately clutching at straws to try and get your point across.

I don't see why you have so much beef with another human being's findings, views and opinions, do people calling out potential flaws of your beloved bolt on make you that butthurt?


It's just your first post reeked of an anti-fender agenda. In a thread directed at fender veterans, what'd you expect?

As for your sustain argument, you could take one guitar, have a guy play it, give it to another guy and have him play the same instrument and it could sound quite different. There's more than to it than just X instrument has Y quality. Not quite as broad is you make it seem. Besides, there's ways around sustain alone. You make it sound like such a huge issue.
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#27
I can understand why people who are given two guitars blindfolded might confuse them. They weren't playing them in that Chappers video, they were just feeling them, mostly the neck and by weight. Strats are light, they generally all weigh similarly, it's just a matter of ounces. The naturally superior acoustic of the higher quality guitar would render the test unfair if they could sit there playing them for ages.

It was a largely pointless video and not a basis for any kind of evidence on the issue.

If anyone thinks a Squier Bullet is even in the same category as a CS gitar is ****ing mental.

I suspect they can't afford anything other than a Squier, which is fine, but shouldn't be a reason to talk bullshit based on envy and justification of your own purchase.
Quote by Shredwizard445
Go ahead and spend your money, I don't care. It won't make you sound better.


Quote by Shredwizard445
Sure upgrading your gear will make you sound better.


Last edited by Mephaphil at Mar 21, 2013,
#28
Quote by N1ghtmar3C1n3ma
You should quote a more full section of what I wrote, rather than the smallest part, missing off the prefix of my sentence which contained key phrases such as "When I've plugged them in".

What changes when you plug in a guitar? The pickups are being used. That is is. So how they hell do you come to the conclusion that the neck joint affects the sustain only when the guitar is plugged in?

Think instead of senselessly typing nonsense.
#29
If the neck wood and body wood vibrates really good together you get a lot of sustain. If the two woods dosent match each other you dont get good sustain. It dosent matter what the neck joint it.

Vibrasions maaan.