The new Fender American Vintage II series was recently released with a selection of 50’s, 60’s and 70’s guitars and basses in the line. These instruments feature nitrocellulose lacquer finishes, ash and alder bodies, vintage hardware & cases, vintage neck profiles, year specific pickups and original specs. Maverick received the 1951 Telecaster for review, and I was totally blown away by the attention to detail, fit and finish. Right out of the vintage styled tweed case it was apparent that the Tele was constructed with flathead screws instead of Phillips head screws like a period correct ’51 Tele should be. The neck profile has a vintage feel to the shape but not too chunky as some of the later 50’s models were. The blonde finish is stunning and allows the wood grain to seep through in all the right places. Sound wise the ’51 Fender American Vintage II has plenty of bark and twang when you play it, but not piercing highs or too then sounding. This is an incredible instrument that you will want to play at live gigs and in the studio constantly. Other Teles in the American Vintage II line include ’63 Telecaster, ’72 Telecaster Thinline, ’75 Telecaster (double humbucker) and the ’77 Telecaster (single humbucker). Next up they have included a ’66 Jazzmaster, ’57 Strat, ’61 Stratocaster, ’73 Stratocaster, ’54 Precision bass, ’60 Precision and the ’66 Jazz bass. What appeals to me about the American Vintage II series is that it allows you to achieve a vintage correct Fender instrument without going through the extra cost of the custom shop. These are American made instruments based on the most popular years for each model. I think the American Vintage II series will be a big hit for Fender, just like the original models were.
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Eric Dahl, Editor