You probably heard about Fender – it’s one of the most important guitar brands of all time! They recently announced a new series of their vintage-style guitars – the Vintera II Series. Of course, I couldn’t miss that, so I decided to buy a brand new Fender Vintera II 50s Stratocaster.
This Strat made a very good first impression on me – it looks beautiful, it sounds awesome with a bit of overdrive and it feels like a real vintage axe due to its chunky oldschool neck. It’s quite expensive for a Mexican-made Strat, but it’s worth the money.
So today I want to share some of my thoughts with you and tell you a bit more about that cool new model. Of course, all sound samples and photos below are mine. Who knows, maybe this article will inspire someone to get it too?
Let’s start with some more info about the prices and a quick sound demo.
About My Fender Vintera II Strat
As you can see on the pictures, I’ve got the 50s model with a maple fretboard and black finish. But if you don’t like that color, that’s fine too – there’s also 2-Tone Sunburst and Ocean Turquoise Metallic finish.
I was specifically looking for a Strat with a maple fingerboard and I was convinced that the 50s version is the only one that has it. I wasn’t aware of that, but it seems that the Vintera II 70s Strat is also available with that fretboard.
Nevertheless, I’m very glad that I got this one. The package from Thomann arrived very quickly (and safely), so now I can enjoy this Strat and jam on it pretty much every single day.
Body & Neck
Just like in the old Vintera series, this 50s Strat has an alder body. And I’m very happy with that! It’s not a lightweight material but I wouldn’t say that it’s a heavy guitar. The truth is that you can never go wrong with alder.
And I have to say that I REALLY like the shape of that maple neck. Fender decided to use the mid-50s soft V-shaped neck in this model, which feels awesome. It’s not that thin and it’s actually a bit chunky, but personally I love that. The edges are slightly rounded which makes it even better.
The gloss finish isn’t my favorite (I prefer satin finishes), but at least it’s not sticky. And look at that fretboard! It’s easy on the fingers and it looks awesome with these black dots.
I also have to mention that Fender used Vintage Tall frets here (there are 21 of them), which also seem to be oldschool. Overall, these materials are great!
All guitars from these series are based on real axes from the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s so the hardware is also vintage-styled. That means oldschool tuners and the vintage-style tremolo bridge
The nut is made of synthetic bone (which isn’t ideal), but it’s not a big deal. But I’m sure that a lot of people would expect the nut to be made of real bone, especially in guitars at this price level.
There’s not much to say about the pickguard – it’s just a standard white Stratocaster pickguard. I’m sure that you’ve seen thousands of these in the past!
Believe it or not, but I immediately fell in love with the pickups used in that model. They sound AWESOME! Whether you like clean tones, subtle overdrive or a lot of distortion and fuzz, you’ll totally love their sound.
Fender decided to put three vintage-style ’50s single-coil pickups in here and to be honest, they sound good in all positions. I love using the one that activates the neck and the middle pickup, I think it’s one of my favorites.
But again, it all depends on your preferences. You’ll be able to hear the sound difference in a minute, but overall you can get a huge variety of tones with that thing. The possibilities are endless!
I know that some people often upgrade their Strats with better single coils (such as Fender Ultra Noiseless or Pure Vintage pickups), but honestly, the ’50s ones used in that model are on a very high level so it won’t be necessary.
I took some time and I recorded a few sound demos for you so grab your headphones, sit comfortably and check out what you can expect from that awesome Strat!
Clean Tone (Pickup Comparison)
Here’s the comparison of all pickup settings (neck, neck+middle, middle, middle+bridge, bridge).
Overdrive & Reverb
Chorus (Walrus Julia Pedal)
Reverb (Walrus Slo Pedal)
If you want to check out the full sound demo and my video review of that model, you can watch the video below.
Vintera vs Vintera II 50s Strat
I know that some of you may wonder whether you should choose the brand new Vintera II 50s Strat or maybe you should stick to the old Vintera Strat from the previous series. Well, that’s tough. As always – it depends.
When you take a close look at the specs, it seems pretty clear that these two guitars aren’t that different. The sound and the general comfortability is on a similar level, so there’s no clear winner.
Here’s some more info about the old Vintera Strat.
But there’s a few things that you should keep in mind. The old Vintera 50s Strat isn’t available in that beautiful black finish! So if you’re really digging that kind of vibe, the newer version will be a better fit for you.
On the other hand, if you really care about cash, the older Strat will be better for you wallet. I’m pretty sure that Fender will eventually stop makingthe old series, so if you want to check it out, you better hurry up.
I’m glad that I chose the new one. For real – it’s awesome! But I’m also aware that I can’t say that it was a cheap price.
There are only two things that I don’t like about that Strat. That includes:
- quite high price (considering it’s a MIM Stratocaster)
- no hardshell case included
I know that Fender never adds hard cases to their Mexican axes but I’m sure that anyone who pays more than a grand for a new guitar would love it to arrive in a high quality hardshell case.
Apart from that – there’s nothing to complain about. No factory flaws, no problems with the setup, no issues with the string action – it was all fine and ready to go straight after unboxing.
This is a brand new Strat so I won’t be able to tell you anything about my long-term maintenance, but I can only mention what I’m planning to do in order to keep it in mint condition.
Maintaning this Strat won’t be difficult – it all comes down to the basics. That includes:
- changing the strings every couple of months
- cleaning hands every time before playing
- wiping the guitar body and neck from time to time to clean the dust and stains
- fixing potential issues (if they ever occur)
- keeping the guitar inside of the case
- making sure that the room where I’m keeping it isn’t too humid
These things aren’t difficult to do – it’s basically the common knowledge that any guitarist should be aware of. Just clean your hands, clean your guitar from time to time, make sure it’s safe for traveling and you’ll be fine for years to come.
Who Should Consider Getting It?
I’m convinced that anyone who’s looking for a solid, classic Stratocaster will be very happy with this model. It doesn’t really matter whether you’re a pro or not – this guitar is awesome for both playing alone in the bedroom or performing for stage for hundreds of people.
It also doesn’t matter what kind of music you’re into too. Of course, since it’s a Strat, it will work particularly well for blues and rock, but even if you’re into neo-soul, worship, indie, alternative rock, dream pop or punk – Fender Vintera II 50s Stratocaster will be perfect.
And you know what? That’s exactly what I love about Fenders. You just can never go wrong with their gear. They’re appealing for everyone, no matter how advanced they are.
And although this Strat can be classified as an expensive guitar, it’s not ridiculously expensive. Like come on, there are more expensive guitars out there.
So if you’re thinking about getting a Strat and this one seems to be a good fit for you – you’ll love it!
All detailed specs can be seen here on official site of Fender.
But obviously, for some people this price will be a bit too much – and that’s totally fine. I can think of a few alternative options though.
- old Fender Vintera 50s Stratocaster – which is a bit cheaper than the Vintera II Strat
- Squier Classic Vibe 50s Stratocaster – which is 2-3 times cheaper and still ridiculously good
- Squier Sonic Stratocaster – which is the most affordable Strat at the market (it’s not as good as Vintera, but it will get you going if you’re a beginner)
Choosing between these guitars is easy if you know your budget and you know what you’re looking for.
If you’re a complete noob and you don’t know anything about guitars, you probably don’t need a Fender and you can choose a Squier Sonic Strat instead.
If you’re on a tight budget and you still want a quality Strat, getting a Classic Vibe Squier may be a good choice too.
And of course, we already discussed the difference between Vintera and Vintera II series earlier in the article.
I also want to encourage you to check out my guide about 6 BEST Squier Guitars (not all of them are Strats, but who knows, maybe you don’t necessarily need a Strat in the end). I tested all of these axes and they were awsome.
I’m extremely happy that I decided to get the Vintera II Strat, because it quickly became on of my favorites. And although I’m more of a Jazzmaster and Jaguar guy, this one will definitely have a special spot in my heart.
Was it worth the money? Yeah! I mean I wouldn’t complain if the price would be a bit cheaper, but there’s nothing I can do about that. I’m sure that any lover of vintage gear will appreciate the feel of that chunky 50s neck and the sound of these vintage pickups.
I’m aware that a lot of you may be sceptical about paying such a big amount of cash for a Mexican-made axe and that’s totally understandable. You could save up a bit more and eventually get a Japanese or even American-made Strat instead.
But I can’t say that this is a bad guitar. It’s sick! So if you have the budget for it, go for and you won’t regret it. If you do end up with getting this model for yourself, leave a comment under this post and share your thoughts with my readers. Who knows, maybe you’ll help somebody on the other side of the globe!