Tools of the Trade: new Vintera series from Fender
Fender products are always of interest, so Lifestyle Editor Eric Dahl couldn’t wait to get his hands on their new Vintera series
Fender Musical Instruments showcased their best and newest products at Summer Namm in Nashville and one of these was the Vintera Series, with years of development going into creating a line of vintage-inspired iconic instruments from the ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘70s.
Speaking with Al Abbassi, Fender Senior Product Development Manager, examples of each model were sought out, compared and used as the basis for creating the Vintera instruments – from period correct neck shapes, pickups, hardware and expanded finish options.
The major models reflected include the Stratocaster, Telecaster, Jazzmaster, Jaguar, Mustang, Precision bass, Jazz bass and Mustang bass, while some models are “Modified” versions, meaning that they have modern player updates that were not offered in the time period they were originally made.
I’m a fan of the original designs, but I like the “Modified” designs because players through the years had specific needs for modifications to their guitars and Fender embraced those in the Vintera line.
Another expansion in the line that originally launched in the ‘70s was the addition of the Deluxe, Custom and Thinline Telecasters. I played all of the ones that I could at the Fender booth but didn’t have enough time to play them all – and believe me I wanted to!
For a hands-on review, Maverick Country received the Vintera Series ‘60s Telecaster with Bigsby B5 vibrato in white blonde with a Pau Ferro fretboard. When it first arrived at the office and I removed it from the Fender gig bag, the guitar was a real stunner that everyone wanted to see and play!
Having played an actual 1960s Fender Telecaster, the neck profile of the Vintera model felt almost identical to vintage pieces I have handled. The Bigsby vibrato adds to the weight of the body, but since it is factory installed, the setup was amazing.
The attention to detail, such as the pickups, pickguard and hardware truly shine through on this guitar, while the tuners are much more efficient than vintage models and I prefer the attachment method Fender is utilising now on the back of the headstock to make it seamless.
The ‘60s style C neck is very comfortable to play and I prefer the density of Pau Ferro over rosewood. The body is available in the White Blond we received, or 3-Colour Sunburst and Alder or Ash wood.
The ‘60s style single-coil tele pickups offer a wide gambit of sounds with the standard 3-way selector, volume and tone and pickup guru Tim Shaw was involved in re-voicing the pickups for many of the Vintera guitars.
This Fender Vintera ‘60s Telecaster Bigsby also came with a Fender deluxe gig bag and I was astonished at the fit and finish of this Telecaster’s playing, all while looking like a custom shop model at a much more reasonable price.
If I owned a 1960s Fender Tele, I would leave it at home and take the Vintera on the road as my player. Whatever your taste in the Fender line, you can find a guitar or bass that will fit your needs or desires in the Vintera series.
Fender put a vast amount of research and development into this line and players like us are the beneficiaries of their toil. Play one of the Vintera models for yourself – vintage Fender sound and feel without the price tag!