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Fender Reissues the Reissues

Since the mid-1980’s the Fender Vintage Reissue series Telecasters have been one of the mainstays of the product line. Periodically, Fender has reformulated the Vintage Reissues for greater accuracy and more period correct specs. Each time this is has been both good and sometimes controversal. See, Leo Fender was always changing his guitars right on the production line. If he found what he thought was a better way to do things, he would make the running change regardless of the point they were in in that model year. Not only that, but feedback from players, dealers and salesmen would spur various changes to make the guitar sell better, look better, play better and last longer. And, these too were incorporated as running changes.

What this means is that the true “vintage Telecaster” is not just one thing. It’s a wide range of ever changing specs. To this end, Fender has revamped the entire American Vintage Reissue line — and not just Telecasters, but Stratocasters, jaguars and Jazzmasters, too. I probably should note that Fender quit calling this series the “Reissue” series a while back. They are now called the American Vintage Series guitars even though many of us still call them the Reissues.

Since the TDPRI is a Telecaster website, we’ll cover the Teles and you can check out our other sites for more detailed info about the other models. The big news here is now there are a number of new American Vintage Telecasters to choose from: the American Vintage ’52 Telecaster, the American Vintage ’58 Telecaster and the the American Vintage ’64 Telecaster.

The lovely Pauline France of Fender’s PR department says this about the new models, “All the new American Vintage Series guitars feature thick and slim necks with profiles and edges carefully re-sculpted to reflect even greater period-correct authenticity, with both maple and rosewood fingerboards, vintage-style frets and bone nuts; all-new vintage-style pickups wound to period-correct specs and sound to accurately reflect specific model years, and even specific periods within specific model years; retooled pickguards, parts and hardware designed to accurately reflect specific model years (and again, even specific periods within specific model years), and standard and custom-color finishes re-formulated for even greater period-correct authenticity.

Here are some more of the details of each model:







American Vintage ’52 Telecaster (and left-handed model)

  • Ash body with slightly lighter Butterscotch Blonde finish and singe-ply black pickguard.
  • Large maple neck with re-sculpted U-shaped profile and comfortably rolled edges.
  • All-new pickups wound to period-correct specs and sound.
  • “Barrel” switch tip and knurled chrome domed control knobs.
  • Vintage-style bridge with three brass saddles.

MSRP $2,499.99 – $1,999.99 “Street” Price (MAP)







American Vintage ’58 Telecaster®

  • Lightweight ash body with single-ply white pickguard.
  • Early-1958 large maple neck with comfortable “D”-shaped profile.
  • All-new pickups wound to period-correct specs and sound, with early-1958 staggered bridge pickup pole magnets.
  • Solid steel “barrel” bridge saddles.
  • “Top-hat” switch tip and flat-top knurled aluminum chrome control knobs.

MSRP $2,499.99 – $1,999.99 “Street” Price (MAP)







American Vintage ’64 Telecaster (and left-handed model)

  • Lightweight alder body (ash on White Blonde model) with three-ply white pickguard with eight holes.
  • Slimmer, more rounded maple neck with “C”-shaped profile and round-laminated rosewood fingerboard with larger pearl dot inlays.
  • All-new pickups wound to period-correct specs and sound, with staggered bridge pickup pole magnets.
  • Threaded steel “barrel” bridge saddles.
  • “Top-hat” switch tip and flat-top knurled chrome control knobs.

MSRP $2,499.99 – $1,999.99 “Street” Price (MAP)

Watch for these to be available soon at dealers everywhere. And look for the “old” model American Vintage Series guitars to be reduced in price right now as well. Left-handed players will no doubt notice the inclusion of lefty models for the ’52 and ’64 Vintage guitars… but not the ’58 Vintage guitar in the series.




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18 Responses to “Fender Reissues the Reissues”
  1. I’m loving the idea of this. I plan to buy a ’52 very soon. it’s what we’ve asked for and now we got it.

  2. ringodingo ringodingo says:

    The Tele has come a long way. It’s better than it used to be.

  3. Ed Lin Ed Lin says:

    They raised the price quite a bit too, I don’t think in today’s economy that makes too much sense… Maybe the type of people who buy the reissues aren’t the type of people who’re hurting. 😉

    • kedj11 says:

      I couldn’t AGREE more. This is the second $400 price increase for Vintage series guitars in about 5 years. While I agree with comments below about the great quality to dollar value of Fender’s lower price point guitars, their upper level production guitars are TOO EXPENSIVE in a Recession/Depression Economy where 99% of the public has seen their purchasing power steadily decrease. Don’t even get me started on Custom Shop prices. I am just glad I bought my American Series B-Bender, ’62Ri and CS Nocaster BEFORE the latest two rounds of Price Gouging, uh I mean Market Driven Upward Adjustments. While Fender still isn’t Gib$on, they are well on their way. To add insult to injury, they have discontinued the Double Bound Telecaster Custom (which was as we all know manufactured in ’64) which in my opinion is Double BAD !! Fender Japan makes both versions of the 62ri, why can’t Corona?

      • howlin howlin says:

        One thing you have to keep in mind is that Fender’s market base is aging. Add to that the seismic shifts that have hit the music industry in recent years. A double whammy to be sure. If you read their IPO they are acutely aware of this.

        So, even in a recession/depression they are $ ahead to make fewer guitars at a higher price over all. The other thing to keep in mind is that they will make most, if not all, of their $ on the first 50-75% or so of guitars sold. After that its all gravy, which is on reason you see guitars remaindered at the end of their run. With Fender having the legacy that they have they are smart to revamp their classic model lines from time to time giving their [potential] customers what they want – or at least what they say they want. At the end of the day any manufacturer has to do what they can to stave off a potential miss-step with regard to their product offerings. So far, Fender’s [and Gibson’s] saving grace has been their legacy but, with an aging market base, there are no guaranties. Especially in this recession/depression we’re in.

  4. Changeless says:

    Fender has done more for the entry level player than anyone else in the industry, IMHO.
    Sure, top Line Quality will always cost top dollar… and will always be had by players who gotta have it, hurting or not, and they aren’t sorry for spending the bucks (nor do they miss what they sacrificed to get it).
    Today, there is something called the “Fender Modern Player” Telecaster that lists for $559 and can be had for $349 on-line. I bet it is a good one too.
    WOW! $349 is what I paid for my “North American Made” (Mex) Fender Telecaster back in 2001 from the same online dealer. Mine still plays and sounds great, and even at that I never felt my Amp and my Playing were even coming close to getting full potential out of that Dirt Cheap Telecaster.

    • Ed Lin Ed Lin says:

      Oh, I agree they’re not ignoring the entry level players. The continued vitality of their Squires and Fender-branded Mexican guitars are a testimony to that. I was just commenting on the increasing prices (by quite a bit) of their reissues aka “vintage”.

  5. RDblues says:

    i cant pay $2000 bucks for vintage frets that yo cant bend strings on

  6. Combsie Combsie says:

    Save your money…by a real Fender….that being a G&L…they are sill made by hand and are far above current fenders in quality etc……. and in the long run will probably appreciate more…

  7. Silverface Silverface says:

    In reverse order:

    G&L is irrelevant, and no more a “real” Fender than a Musicman amp. We’re discussing a brand, not a person. As far as string bending, that really got a head of steam when guitar players started putting lighter-gage banjo strings on their guitars – which had vintage small frets. Players nowadays are conditioned to large frets so “period correct” frets seem harder to play. Actually, it’s the player who never learned how to play with them who’s at fault – if you spent $30k on a 50’s Tele with original frets I guess you couldn’t bend on those either.

    As far a pricing goes, you have to look at these reissues from a marketing standpoint. They are not being marketed to the average Joe bar-band player, and certainly not to the bedroom guitar jockey. The market for these is the same group that would buy Andersons or Suhrs – high-end player guitars – or the collectors who want a pristine example from each era but can’t afford originals.

    As far as “player” guitars Fender has more models available for more price points/player types than ever before. In the past, there was a stigma attached to playing a Squier in public; that’s really changed over the last 5 years or so, just as as has the perception of Epiphone players. Both have become more acceptable as “working man’s” instruments. Many “Boomers” still stick their noses up in the air when they see a Squier or Epi on stage, but many younger players Don’t care because they don’t consider those brands the “cheap crap” produced by the “big company”, but see them more as standalone lines of guitars they can afford.

    As far as why Corona can’t make a guitar if Japan and Mexico are – maybe it’s simply because Japan and Mexico fill the projected demand. On the one hand you have players complaining about the redundancy of too many similar models being made in multiple locations, on the other hand a few players who complain that there are not U.S. versions of some models. But given the quality of Japanese output over the last decade or two – would a U.S. model offer anything other than a “Made in USA” tag? I doubt it.

  8. KyAnne says:

    MIM cheap????????????? The MIM ’69 thinline is $900 bucks! Hell, when I bought mine in ’07, it was $940 from Musicians Friend!
    You call that CHEAP???? Granted……….. I did not look at any other MIMs but…….still…. that is a lot of money “to me”.

    • I love my ’69 RI MIM thinline though…upgraded a few parts on it and it’s fantastic. I was lucky though, I found someone locally who didn’t like the thinline aspect of it and wanted to straight trade for a MIM standard top-loader tele.

  9. BFcaster BFcaster says:

    You know, the Telecaster has long been billed as the ‘workingman’s guitar’. They were originally a reasonably-priced and affordable guitar for almost anyone to get their hands on and start playing. Certainly more affordable that their rivals Gibson and Gretsch at the time.
    Personally, I’d love to see RI’s priced at RI prices for maybe just 6 months or 1 year. Talk about sales!! New players would then invest in an amp….a Fender amp? Wasn’t that all the plan that Leo and Doc Kauffman had?

  10. RDblues says:

    when people say the neck on the hot rod tele is nice to play I don’t get it ? its all sticky and slippery?

  11. dharleyfan dharleyfan says:

    I looked and played all the top of the line “production line” Tele’s, 52 RI, Select, American Deluxe, American Standard and bought NONE of them. For $400 less then a 52 RI, I got a custom built G&L ASAT Classic-S. Its a 3 pickup Tele, with a very comfortable shaved and shaped body, 1 piece Swamp Ash, Unlike Fenders 2, 3, even four piece bodies they are putting out now, Bone Nut, Deluxe locking tuners, Reverse wound Strat pickup in the middle position, 5 way selector switch, push/pull pot for even more sound options, SIX BRIDGE SADDLES, 1 for each string, DUH, try REALLY setting the intonation on a tele with three barrels. Nearly impossible, unless you modify it. Fit & Finish as good or even better then Fender and a deluxe G&G case. Pretty easy decision, if your not all caught up in your guitar “having to say Fender” on it. Don’t get me wrong I LOVE Fender, I have a Strat and several Fender Amps, that you would have to kill me to get. But there ARE better options out there in some cases.

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