American Professional vs Vintera

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by Koln, Dec 11, 2019.

  1. Koln

    Koln TDPRI Member

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    I’m looking to buy my first telecaster and I’m deliberating whether to go for the cheaper Mexican Vintera or the more expensive American Professional.
    I’m not a great guitarist so I’m sure the Vintera would be good for me personally but I wondered if anyone would be prepared to offer any advice on any particular differences and if there is any benefit to the American over the Mexican.
    Hope you can offer some tips
     
  2. Fluddman

    Fluddman Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    Forget about the model and where they are made as either could be great or average.

    Best advice is to play as many as you can as one will usually stand out.

    good luck
     
  3. jfgesquire

    jfgesquire Tele-Holic

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    It looks like you can pick up an American Professional barely used for $1,000 or less, with a nice molded hardshell case..

    I would go that route, if I could play it first or return it (no warranty).

    Another benefit of used, if someone already put a ding in it I can actually enjoy it and not worry about the first one!

    Vintage bridge but compensated saddles, 22 frets, headstock instead of heel adjust... It's like the best of both worlds.

    And the body is routed for a neck mini humbucker and middle Strat so you can do your best Brent Mason impersonation, especially in a Sonic Gray.

    Sent from my LG-H932 using Tapatalk
     
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  4. whoanelly15

    whoanelly15 Tele-Holic

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    This is the golden age of the players’ guitar market. There are great - like, seriously great - instruments at every price point. Play a squier bullet, classic vibe, the player tele, the vintera, some American made and anything else you can get your hands on. Let the guitar choose you. Takes time, but it’s worth it. You might find what you’re looking for with enough left in your budget for more guitars, or an amp, or both.
     
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  5. qblue

    qblue Tele-Afflicted

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    If you like smaller frets, 3-way switch, and choice of alder or ash bodies, maple or rosewood boards, buy the American Professional. It comes with a Deep C shaped neck (what, no modern C necks), compensated 3-barrel saddles, 22 frets, and 9.5" radius.

    But if you like medium Jumbo frets, 4-way switch and S1, Pau ferro board, and alder body, get the 60's Vintera modified ( same as a Baja 60's model) A 9.5" radius 60's medium oval neck is included. Another 60's model is included with a 7.25" radius neck, alder or ash body, 3-way switch, and Bigsby tremolo, the Vintera '60's Telecaster. These MIM models all have 21 frets.

    If you like medium jumbo frets (21), 4-way switch and S1, maple board, and ash body, get the Vintera Modified 50's Tele. It's the same as a Baja '50's. A 9.5" radius soft V shaped neck is included. Custom shop designed pickups come with the modified model.

    If you like medium jumbo frets (21), 3-way switch, maple board, alder body, get the '50's Vintera model. This will have a vintage 7.25" radius fingerboard neck with a U shape.

    To me, it's curious they have only alder bodies on the 50's Vintera model, as most real 50's Tele guitars used ash. Also the pickups on the modified 60's model are not Custom shop designed, as on the prior Baja 60's. There is no rosewood for any MIM model.

    The basic difference is the $500-600 increase for the American model. I personally will be looking for a Squier model with rosewood neck. I have a Baja 50's and it plays and sounds as good as any American model. Sorry, but this is the world we live in.
     
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  6. thunderbyrd

    thunderbyrd Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    I was playing some new MIM Standard strats yesterday. they were excellent guitars. if the teles are up to that quality, that in many ways is as good a guitar as one could ask for or need.
     
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  7. Rockinvet

    Rockinvet Tele-Meister

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    I just found an American Professional used and I love it. They are out there.
     
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  8. Rumblur

    Rumblur Tele-Meister

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    My opinion - you'd have to be a fool to buy a USA Fender these days. Too expensive for what you're getting. Poorly made from the few I've seen at the local GC.
     
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  9. Koln

    Koln TDPRI Member

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    Thanks so much for the great replies.
    That’s a lot of very thoughtful advice.
    I think I like the idea to go out and Play as many as possible and then let the guitar find me
     
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  10. DougM

    DougM Friend of Leo's

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    Play as many as you can until you find the one that says "I love you, take me home". I personally think the Vintera guitars are overpriced. I've played several of the Strats, and although they're nice, you can get an Am Performer for $100 more. And they really cost no more to make than the Player series. My Am Performer Strat (my avatar) is every bit as good as my Am Pro. And, contrary to some other comments, they are the two best Strats I've ever owned, having had literally dozens over the last 50 years. However, I also like my Player Strat and my Squier CV 70s Strat. Although they don't feel as nice as my American guitars, they sound darn close, for a lot less money.
     
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  11. tlsmack

    tlsmack Tele-Afflicted

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    I like everything about the Vintera except the stupid name!!:)
     
  12. EsquireOK

    EsquireOK Friend of Leo's

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    Build quality on both is good, at the very least.

    The largest playability differences are radius, frets, and fretboard edges.

    – Vinteras have classic Fender neck specs: skinny frets and curvier board...however, they have sharp, unrounded fretboard edges, and sharply filed, unrounded fret ends.

    – American Professionals have a flatter board and wider frets...however, they have more rounded over fretboard edges and fret ends. I.e. better fit, finish, and playability on the frets and fretboard edges.

    I like the fret size and the board radius better on the Vinteras, but the fretboard edges and the fret ends could really use some smoothing over.

    If you need to do two stop bends up high the board, while also having very low string height, you're not gonna want the Vintera. Personally, I've never needed to to that sort of "maneuver" a single time in my life, I set my strings high anyhow, and I appreciate the extra comfort of the curvier board and skinnier frets.

    My personal preference would be a Vintera, and $40 or $50 to a tech to round over the fret ends and polish the frets – plus maybe another $50 for a handmade nut. Do that, and you're pretty much good to go; you have an AV quality instrument, but with a poly finish instead of lacquer (and no hard case).
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2019
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  13. RadioFM74

    RadioFM74 Friend of Leo's

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    American Vs Mexican does not matter that much. It’s the specs: modern vs vintage and the hybrids in-between. The AmPro and the Vintera are two slightly different beasts. While you go out and try as many as you can, try to understand
    - what neck shape you like
    - what fretboard radius (if it makes a difference at all for you) and frets your hands like
    - what sounds best to your ears (but factor in that you’ll be comparing lots of guitars played in different amps on different days… no real way to compare)
    - what you like the most aesthetically… colors, fretboard wood, old-school vs modern-school appointments (look at tuners and bridge for that).

    Once you get an idea of what kind of tele you like, you’ll find you have plenty of options at pretty much all price points, especially if you also consider used guitars (which I’d recommend!). Favorites of mine (but I love old-school teles)
    - American Vintage RI anything (older 52s tend to be a bargain and spectacular “one and only tele”)
    - Vintera 50s, non mod. The couple I tried were comparable to my AV52 in feel and sound… very nice!
    - used Bajas, especially the Baja 60s with its lovely aesthetics and great pickups (not replicated on the Vintera Mod 60s, sadly)
    - Classic series, Road worn, Classic series lacquer … I like them less than the Vintera 50s because they have slimmer necks, but they are great teles and you can probably get one used for a good price.

    If I went out looking for a “modern” tele, the Pro or Performer would likely be my first port of call due to their having the 3-saddles bridge. But old American Standards (and all their special edition variants) are also great. As are old American Specials.
     
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  14. SixStringSlinger

    SixStringSlinger Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    First of all, lose your idea of "I'm not a great player" therefore you should get a "lower tier" guitar. If things were so simple as that then the newest/worst players should by definition have the most expensive, "best" guitars to compensate.

    Also, not that you stated this explicitly, but don't fall into the trap of thinking that the American Professional is better simply because it's more expensive or made in the USA. One guitar is not more expensive than the other because it's necessarily "better"; it's more expensive because it costs more to bring those particular features to you in an instrument made by people living/working in a particular place. Throw a little marketing on top of that and you've got your higher price.

    Don't get me wrong, an MIA Fender can be a fine instrument; I have one myself. I also have a fine Mexican Tele. And a fine Indonesian Squier. And a fine Korean Squier. Perhaps the quality is more consistent on the American Fenders (I really don't know), but the higher price is more down to the cost of where they're made and the cost of providing certain features you may or may not care about.

    So I'd suggest you read up on the different features of each of the guitars you're curious about and start getting ideas from there. Maybe read/watch some reviews for more information. Then, armed with that knowledge, go try out a few examples of each, if possible. You may or may not find a surprise, but you'll find the right guitar.

    Then post a lot of pics here, because we're like that.
     
  15. Wrighty

    Wrighty Tele-Afflicted

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    Totally disagree, if by ‘these days’ you mean in the last couple of years or so, my mid 2017 AmPro Tele is a fantastic instrument and a cut above my MIM Tele which itself was a good one.
     
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  16. unixfish

    unixfish Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Play a bunch, take note of what features you like and don't like, etc.

    Be prepared for the process to take a while. There are a TON of choices out there. My Tele journey took years, but I was not doing it full time. I played Teles for fun for a while. Then, once I got "more serious", it took about six months for me to narrow my preferences down to three models, then another six until I found a shop with all three in stock to play them back to back. From there, it was a while until I found just the right one in the model I had chosen.

    Mind you, I had a nice Strat at home, so I was not in a hurry. I probably could have done a "big push" approach and narrowed the field down to the model I wanted in a few months, but, like I said, I was in no hurry.

    Just - be prepared for this to take a while. It can be overwhelming if you let it be.
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2019
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  17. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

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    .

    Figure out if you like a Chunky or Skinny neck.

    Determine your budget

    Are you ok with used guitars? How much Mojo can you Handle? ;)

    Reserve a little of the guitar budget for a setup (typically $50) or go all-in with a full fret level ($100, which includes the setup so it's the best value you can spend on a guitar mod) and get a Custom Shop playing experience out of any guitar new or used.

    Get a traditional SS pickup layout (but install a 4-way switch! $12 or so for the switch to get a humbucker tone from a Tele). No humbuckers or noiseless pickups the first time out.

    I would suggest looking for used, get fretwork done (if it needs it), the 4-way switch mod, and have a fun time. And don't stress too much, you will get more Teles in the not too distant future as they are addictive.


    .
     
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  18. beninma

    beninma Friend of Leo's

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    There seems to be confusion about the Frets on these two guitars?

    The American Pro is "Narrow-Tall". These are taller frets that are narrower as they say.

    The Vintera "Modified" versions come with Medium-Jumbo just like the Player series. The Vintera non-modified come with vintage style frets which I'd assume are about the same width as Medium-Jumbo but shorter?

    This is all about consistency of production & which features speak to you. The different guitars have:

    - Different necks
    - Different frets
    - Different pickups
    - Different bridges in some cases

    You need to buy the one with the features you want and you should try to verify you're getting a good guitar.

    I'd buy an American Pro in a heartbeat personally. I am not sure I see a ton of value in the Vintera over the Player series.

    I think the big thing you're getting with the American Pro is more relevant if you're buying it online.. I think there's a higher chance the guitar is going to be perfect out of the gate. If you're buying in a store you can verify most of that stuff is not an issue.
     
  19. bettyseldest

    bettyseldest Friend of Leo's

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    Go and try as many as you can. If you find the guitar with the combination of features that does it for you then buy it. If not then come back and tell us what you did or did not like. When it comes to answering questions like "I tried the xXXX really liked the tone and radius of the neck, but it was too thick, what would give me the same guitar but with a slimmer neck?". This is the place to find out. Once you have narrowed things down there are plenty of folks here who can tell you everything you need to know about Telecaster specs, even down to which production years body weights were likeley to be heavier or necks thicker. The answer may even be a G&L rather than Fender. However, they do tend to overlook the fact that you are in the UK, so do keep reminding them. Best of luck, we need it.
     
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  20. FredDairy

    FredDairy Friend of Leo's

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    I would take the Vintera on specs alone.
    I have no use for the "updated" Fenders.
    I only buy American Fenders tho.
     
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