It’s a very good time for all guitar freaks out there – Fender recently released some new guitars from the Vintera II Series! As a huge fan of the old series, I’m very interested to see the new Fender Vintera II Telecaster.
This Mexican-made vintage Tele has pretty much everything you need from a guitar of this type – it feels and sounds old, but at the same time it’s really modern. The versatility of that thing is awesome! But there’s a catch – it tends to be quite pricey. It comes in three versions – ’60s, ’60s Thinline and ’70s.
So in today’s post, we’re going to take a close look on that famous model. There will be a few sound demos included as well, so you can also grab your pair of headphones to fully understand what makes this axe so cool.
I’ll try to be as unbiased as possible, but you have to be aware that I REALLY like Teles. Let’s start with a bit more info about prices and specs (I recommend getting it from either Amazon or Thomann).
Fender Vintera II 60s Tele
Body & Neck
The ’60s Tele has an alder body, a maple neck and a rosewood fingerboard. There are only two colors available: Fiesta Red (visible on photos) and Sonic Blue. I like both of these versions but in my opinion the red one looks far better.
The use of alder isn’t surprising – in the end, it’s a pretty iconic tonewood. Every alder guitar that I had in the past sounded very resonant and clear, so that’s definitely a good thing for a Tele.
The neck is also very cool here due to the 7.25″ radius. This is a vintage setting, so it means that this axe feels very old-school. It’s really important and I think that it’s one of the most important factors that make this guitar so cool and vintage.
Fender also used rosewood as a fretboard, which never fails. I wonder how would it feel and sound with Pau Ferro or maple, but I guess I’ll never know!
Pickups also deserve a lot of attention – it has the vintage-style ’60s single-coils. They sound AWESOME!
They have a lot of twang and punch, so they can be used for a lot of different styles of music. I’m sure that they will be great for rock, blues and indie.
I also have a feeling that this guitar will be perfect for anyone who’s looking for the famous Nashville sound. If you know that style of music, you probably know what I’m talking about.
Bear in mind that this is a Mexican-made Fender, so it’s not the highest quality possible. I know that quite often people with MIM Fenders decide to swap pickups, but in this case that won’t be necessary.
Obviously, it’s really hard to create a brand new guitar that has hardware similar to the guitar from the actual ’60s. But somehow Fender managed to recreate it pretty well.
The Vintera II Tele has vintage-style tuners and oldschool 3-saddle bridge with slotted steel saddles. There’s also a classic 3-way pickup switch, so it’s all very simple to use.
What else can I say about the hardware? Well, it works fine! You most likely won’t experience any issues with tuning stability. And that’s a really good sign.
Overall, I’d give this axe 4.5 stars out of 5. Why not 5? Well, it’s all about the price. I wish it was a bit cheaper!
Not everyone likes the feel of a neck with that kind of radius, so I don’t think that it will be a good fit for all guitarists. But if you like that vibe – you’re going to love it.
Here’s what you can expect from that Tele. Sounds pretty cool, right?
Fender Vintera II ’60s Thinline Telecaster
The Thinline version is slightly different, but it’s equally awesome. As you can imagine, a semi-hollow body gives you a bit different tone. The pickguard looks different and the controls are placed in different spots too. There are two colors available: Black and 3-tone Sunburst. Watch out though – this one is the most expensive.
Body & Neck
Instead of alder, the Fender Vintera II ’60s Thinline Telecaster has an ash body. It’s a fairly light tonewood, so this axe will be definitely lighter than the previous one.
As you can see on the photo above, it has a maple fretboard instead of rosewood. The neck is made of maple, but it has a different shape too – it’s the late ’60s C-shape. While the previous neck has more of a V shape, this one is more like a C. It will definitely feel different.
I’d say that this neck would be more appealing to a wider range of guitarists. Not everyone likes vintage ’50s necks, so I’m sure that most of you will find the ’60s one comfortable to use.
When it comes to pickups, according to the manufacturer this model has a set of vintage-style single-coil pickups just like the previous model.
Again, they will give you access to a wide range of tones. Blues, rock, alternative rock, grunge, punk – you name it. It has the twang and that’s what really matters! And the thinline construction makes it even more resonant.
There’s nothing unusual about the hardware in this case – it’s vintage-style just like in all other Vintera II guitars. You can expect an old-school feel and a very high quality. That’s what really matters in the end!
Here’s how it sounds.
Fender Vintera II ’70s Telecaster
The ’70s version is completely different than previous two guitars – you can notice that it has a classic seventies large headstock. Instead of single-coils, there are two wide-range humbuckers which are awesome for overdrive and distortion. This is a killer axe for all lovers of fuzzy sounds of the ’70s!
It’s available in two colors: Vintage White and Surf Green. The first one looks far better in my opinion, but it’s totally my subjective opinion.
Body & Neck
This model has a body from the same material as the ’60s one – the alder. The neck is made of maple and there’s a maple fingerboard. Out of my experience, this combination never fails.
As you can imagine, it has a different neck shape too. It’s actually the ’70s U-shape neck which is quite chunky and well rounded. Choosing this one will be definitely a good idea for players with larger hands and longer fingers.
I’d say that these kind of necks are great for playing fast. If that’s your kind of vibe, you’ll definitely enjoy playing some solos on that one.
These two humbuckers really make a difference. We all associate Telecasters with the famous twang, but these wide-range pickups give you access to more powerful and punchy tones.
Think of your favorite rock bands from the ’70s and listen to that tone. This is the kind of stuff that you can expect from that axe. And that’s sick!
Again, just like all Vintera II guitars, the ’70s Tele has vintage-style hardware. But there’s one slight difference – there’s also a synchronized tremolo bridge. A bit odd for a Tele, right? It’s definitely not a common solution, but it makes that axe even more versatile.
Personally, I’d love to see the Bigsby bridge here instead, but it’s only my own preference. That bridge kind of looks and feels like a Strat, and it just seems weird to me. But maybe it’s just me! I’m sure it’s functional.
Here are some tones!
Vintera vs Vintera II – What’s New?
As you’re already aware, Vintera II is a brand new series of guitars that will eventually replace the old Vintera series.
New models are similar to the previous ones when it comes to quality, but obviously – there’s quite a few things that are different. New colors, different settings, new models (such as Fender Nocaster) – it’s all out there!
Is the Vintera II Series better than the previous one? Well, I think that it’s too early to clearly answer that question. I know that in the past people quite often complained about the factory setups of the original Vintera guitars. This time it seems that Fender learned their lesson and they stepped up their game a bit.
So if you stumble upon people who say that Vintera II guitars are same as before – that’s not exactly true. They have the same vintage spirit, but in my opinion, they have a very strong potential to be even better (and potentially well-respected worldwide for several years to come).
Who Should Get It?
There are a lot of guitarists who will benefit from getting one of these Telecasters. That includes:
- guitarists who play in bands (these Telecasters are perfect for live gigs)
- advanced players who want high-quality instruments
- lovers of the ’60s and ’70s
- anyone who’s looking for an axe that will last them for years to come
If you’re a complete guitar noob, choosing a cheaper guitar will probably make more sense for you. Don’t get me wrong though – if you have the budget for it, go for it!
I’d be very happy to add all of these Teles to my collection. If I had to choose just one, I’d probably choose the ’60s version. There’s something very unique about that red finish. I don’t know why, but I have a thing for red guitars!
Summing up, the brand new Vintera Tele is a killer guitar, but if you want to add it to your collection – your wallet is not going to like it.
To be honest, it doesn’t surprise me. New models always cost more than usual. I’m expecting this price to drop slightly in a few months (or years, who knows).
I’d say that this Tele is made for passionate guitarists who know what they’re looking for. If you’re new in this game, you probably want to look for something more affordable. But if you want a vintage-style Telecaster and you already have some experience, you’re going to absolutely love it.
Quick thought – is buying new Fenders worth it when you can get killer Squier guitars that cost three times less? I guess that’s very debatable. I’m curious what you guys think, so don’t hesitate to leave a comment under this post!
Thanks for reading this article, hopefully it was helpful to some of you!