Wednesday, June 17, 2015

NGD: Fender AV65 Jazzmaster in Firemist Silver!

At the risk of guitar posts taking over my blog, I've got at least one more to get out of the way, because a New Guitar Day is always one of the most exciting days of the year!

That's a brand new Fender AV65 Jazzmaster - top of the line - in Firemist Silver with matching headstock. Supposedly there are only 150 of these out there, although you can still find them if you look hard enough. (I'm guessing they're expensive enough that they sit for a while before selling.)

I'm a sucker for matching headstocks and the only other AV65 Fender makes (or has ever made) with one is in Olympic White, which is both incredibly common and incredibly vanilla (literally). So it was love at first sight when I got turned on to the existence of these Firemists - a unique metallic color that's never been mass produced.

When I first opened the case, my reaction was this. In person, it is exquisitely beautiful. It's beautiful in a way that I've never seen a Fender be beautiful before. It's downright elegant. It's the classiest lady at a chic dinner party.

I have an earlier AVRI, the 1962 reissue that was the precursor to the AV65's. I knew that there were a few minor upgrades in the AV65's - a bound neck, redesigned pickups, and a "flash coat" nitro finish that's supposed to wear more like vintage - but I'm surprised at how different this guitar both looks and feels.

The neck is chunkier, for one. And the fretboard feels flatter, although it's not supposed to be - it's probably the binding that's tripping me up. The fretboard itself is bone dry, whereas my AVRI has what seems like some sort of light but hardened oil finish on it. It's hard to tell if the finish on the guitar body is really thinner than on my AVRI, but it does seem to be on the neck, where I swear I can actually feel the grain through the nitro.

I do seem to have a knack for picking up motley guitars, though. It's actually more pronounced in real life than this photo, but my fretboard looks weird:

That's not an illusion or a trick of the light - the left side really is a lot lighter. In sunlight, it almost doesn't even look like rosewood, it's like half of it's maple! I actually think it's kinda cool, though. (In fact, a few days on now, I kinda love it.)

Also, I'm gonna have to update my pickup cover post:

Fender changed the color! These new ones look a lot better - they're more of an off-white than the yellowish "aged white" of the AVRI's. I'm trying to find out now if these have replaced the packaged ones you can buy separately.

Anyway, between my CIJ, AVRI and now this AV65 (not to mention my Mami Stratomaster), I feel like I'm pretty set for life for Jazzmasters... at least until the itch strikes again. Who knows, maybe the next one will be vintage!

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About This Blog

This is increasingly not a blog about Alphabet City, New York. I used to live in the East Village and work on Avenue B, but I no longer do. Why don't I change the name if I'm writing about Japan and video games and guitars? Because New Yorkers are well-rounded people with varied interests, and mine have gone increasingly off the rails over the years. And I don't feel like changing the name. I do still write about New York City sometimes.


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