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OPinions on '57 Fender AVRI 1983 US

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by OldSchool50, Feb 9, 2014.

  1. OldSchool50

    OldSchool50 OldSchool50 Supporting Member

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    I'm looking for some opinions on the '57 Fender Reissue 1983 made in U.S. I've read many good things about the American Vintage Series but wonder if the ones from early 80s are as good or better than later.
    HOw do they play? Is the Pbass neck of that era thicker than the 70s and more recent? I've read the tone is DEEEEEP and the bass heavy.
    What has been the experience of anyone who'se owned one?
    I've seen book value on these that are quite high. What would a player be worth in 8/10 cosmetic condition and great playing condition, all original?

    Thanks for any help
  2. uOpt

    uOpt Supporting Member

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    My 1983 '62 is very different from newer ones. The sound is much rounder and softer.

    I don't have the original pickup for mine, so that test is with identical pickups.

    Old wood rules.
  3. OldSchool50

    OldSchool50 OldSchool50 Supporting Member

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    Thanks for that response but I don't understand the last part exactly.
    DId you replace with a Fender pickup or some upgrade.

    I'd be curious if anyone has opinions on those original pickups.
  4. the art guy

    the art guy Supporting Member

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    Most people (myself included) value the early '80s 57RI's higher than recent ones. They're all good, but the "Fullerton"-era ones are spectacular in my experience (and my main player is one). I believe it's the closest thing you can get to an actual '57 Fender.

    Neck is wide at the nut and pretty flat (thin front to back). I find it extremely comfortable, but your results may vary of course.

    Prices on these at the moment would typically range from about 1500-2500 depending on condition and originality. I would spend 2K on one of these way before spending it on any '70s Fender, and I've owned several.

    Edit: my main player has Fralins because the original was long gone when I got it, but others that I've played with original pickups tend to be very warm and bassy, yes. Very "vintage", so to speak.
  5. uOpt

    uOpt Supporting Member

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    I received mine without the original pickup.

    I put in an Antiquity 1 which is still in. I also tried the SPB-1 but in this particular bass the Ant1 is better because it is brighter and balances the warm wood better.

    I don't think fuzzing about the original pickup is worth it. Between SD, Lollar, Fralin and all the others you can get a huge range of split style P pickups and one of them is bound to be better for your personal taste than the original ever was.

    Pickup choice also depends on what strings you have on there. So I think the "original electronics" thing is overrated. Just have a drawer of pickups you flip.
  6. WoodyJ

    WoodyJ Supporting Member

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    Generally, the '82-84 Fullerton-built reissues are great instruments. They are highly sought after for a reason.

    Regarding the weight, as with any Fender bass they can vary but most of them seem to be on the lighter side of "medium". My very early 1982 '57 AVRI Precision is 8.7 lbs.which is pretty light.

    The neck profile is wide like a normal P-bass with a 1.75" nut width and not baseball bat thick. However the profiles on the Fullerton '57's I've played really aren't 100% era correct..."real" '57's have a soft V-profile. At least mine does.

    I had an older (early '90's) Corona built '57 AVRI and it was an excellent bass as well but I prefer the slightly less chunky neck on the '82 version. Mine has a Lindy Fralin pickup which is outstanding, so I can't comment on how one with the original PU compares.

    Hope this helps! :)

    [​IMG]
  7. jamminology101

    jamminology101 Gold Supporting Member

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    +1000 on the slew of pickups choices bound to fit most tastes. There are so many superior pickups out there for fender basses that your best bet is to get one that feels really great and is a joy to play. Slap some new pickups in them and you have your new #1 player(till u get ur next one!!). Putting new pickups in fender basses is a breeze and the first time I dropped an aftermarket set in.....I could not believe the difference. With all the varieties of pickups out there, there isnt any reason why all the basses you own can't be tone machines.
  8. uOpt

    uOpt Supporting Member

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    I also bet that there is a reason why so many old AVRI's had their pickups dumped ;)
  9. landau roof

    landau roof Reupholstered User Supporting Member

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    Because the late-'50s/early-'60s sound wasn't popular at the time.
  10. christopherogut

    christopherogut Supporting Member

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    I have an '82. The build quality and attention to detail is excellent. Mine is surprisingly lightweight, super resonant, and a real joy to play. The neck is wide though not too chunky from front to back, definitely not a baseball bat. I'm primarily a narrow, skinny, Jazz neck kinda guy but somehow find the '57 really easy to play. Stock pickups (as compared to a new '58 RI and a CS '59 that I had) are warm and mellow in my opinion, not the most versatile tone output when sweeping the tone knob but it nails the sound it's meant to achieve. Overall, it's one of my most favorite basses to date and will be with me for a very long time. If you find one with replaced or non-original parts, snag it for a good deal and play the crap out of it. If you find one that's all-original, hold on to it as an awesome player and a guaranteed investment.
  11. Lublin

    Lublin Supporting Member

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    They're the bomb. I miss mine. TB'er christoperogut is now enjoying my old '82.

    ;)
  12. Lou Bottini

    Lou Bottini Supporting Member

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    My 1983 Fullerton built '62 reissue Jazz is my favorite all time bass. These basses were hand built and what I consider the Custom Shop before there was a Custom Shop. I love mine.

    Attached Files:

  13. uOpt

    uOpt Supporting Member

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    Fair enough point.

    Still makes you wonder whether the AVRI pickups from 82 were really all that highly developed to do the right thing.
  14. markoSirec

    markoSirec

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    I love my 84 pbass reissue (the 62 model). I too have changed the pickups to a vintage set from 1960 i scored on ebay for 500$. That set is a little hotter and midrangier than the fullertons,but still vintage. Like an old grandla yelling...i still have the originals from 84 - good pickup, sort of tame and warm but not aggresive. If the vintage set dies someday i will put the fullertons back in without hesitation. So there is that.

    My reissue is built very well, 8.5 pounds, tight neck pocket and the finish is missing in places from all the playing. Lots of dings. I had the back of the neck refinished in nitro because the original finish was dirty and sticky from the previous owner and it was already missing in places.

    One more thing - the necks on these are different, may not be everybodies cup of tea. Very shallow... i recently found out mine developed a slight twist, maybe from the labella flatwound strings (the heaviest, jamerson set). Hope it stays like that. i changed to rounds and the bass just screams now...plays great either way. As i said,the twist is very slight,almost microscopic,but a heads up to the other fullerton RI owners sporting super heavy flats.

    I sold all my other basses because everytime i picked up something else, it just felt meh... i guess i really got used to the fullertons neck and playability. Or it is all in my head :) it's my birthday year bass.. Still thinking about finding a 57 model for flatwounds.

    Oh yeah,what i sometimes don't like on my fullerton - they didn't match the body wood really well,the middle piece is darker and now that the finish is slowly getting thinner you can really see it. But i see this on a lot of the 62 fullerton reissues. I guess it makes them special :)
  15. jamminology101

    jamminology101 Gold Supporting Member

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    Man I cant believe you sold her dude.....I know gas doesn't go away..
  16. Lublin

    Lublin Supporting Member

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    It couldn't have gone to a nicer dude, though.

    I'll live to GAS another day!
  17. OldSchool50

    OldSchool50 OldSchool50 Supporting Member

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    Thanks all for the great input. Obviously there is some improvement to be had with difference pickup choice. Naturally, more input is welcome.
  18. JimB52

    JimB52 User Gold Supporting Member

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    I have one built in August '82, when they were still working out some details. It has plastic wiring insulation instead of cloth, the finish is kind of goopy, it is a 3 piece body, not well matched.

    It also has an amazing, wide flat neck, great tone and weighs exactly 8 lbs. A R&R machine. By '83 the build quality was far more consistent. A better value,in my opinion, than most '70s Precisions, especially those built after 1973 or so.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
  19. christopherogut

    christopherogut Supporting Member

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    Wow... Gorgeous checking and a super-low serial number... I'm in love!
  20. uOpt

    uOpt Supporting Member

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    Yeah the neck is wide but shallow. Makes it kind of floppy, when you change strings to something else you will have to adjust the truss rod.

    I think it contributes to the sound. Too stiff can sound boxy.

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