In praise of my Fender Vintera Telecaster Custom 70

mimmo

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DISCLAIMER: this is NOT a thread about MIM vs MIA.

I bought this guitar four months ago as a sort of 'special son', a tele with different tonal capabilities if compared to classic ss telecasters.
I soon replaced the original WRHB with a new Fender CuNiFe one, and man! This thing came to life!
It is 'just' a MIM Fender, nothing too fancy, with the three bolt neck plate, the gibson-ish 4 way control, the pickup switch in the 'wrong' position, the medium (described as thin) maple neck. I mean, in my book it shouldn't work, I much prefer nitro finish, bigger necks, more classic configurations etc. but for some reason this guitar just works for me. It puts a smile on my face each time I play in the neck position and an even bigger one when I am in the middle, I do love this sound!

I will put it as simple as possible: I have recently gifted myself with an amazing Esquire 70th anniversary in LPB because of a great personal achievement, and despite the (supposed) better quality, it lives in its case. The Custom on the other hand, lives outside its bag and is always ready to bring me to 'magic tonal land'.
For dirtier tones I have my beloved AV52, for clean-ish tones the Custom: it is actually quite embarrassing, but it seems that the Esquire has no place in my heart, which is quite shocking for me.

Maybe I should simply sell it, buy a nice acoustic and enjoy the two great teles I have, with their almost endless tonal spectrum.

Have you ever had such experience?
And now, for pics-or-it-didn't-happen's sake, here are two pics of the Esquire killer. Sorry for the low quality.

20220115_160720.jpg


20220115_160300.jpg
 

msalama

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Mimmo, you're clearly a man of good taste. So congrats for acquiring a fine looking Custom, because THEY RAWK!!!
 

Jensen

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Great looking guitar. Not surprised you like it. An interesting story to read.
 

ponycar

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I buy expensive Fenders and they hang on the wall where I can look at them, while I play my short scale home brew lightweight creations. I know where you're coming from. They are musical instruments so it's good to pick up the ones that feel right.
 

WelhavenTW

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I agree, the Vintera Custom is a great guitar.

B02E527B-3599-4A32-9DEF-743A43656D01.jpeg
Mine also had some changes;
- CuNiFe WR neck pup
- Amber Blues bridge pup
- Mastery M3 bridge
- VIPots (550k)
- Black pickguard
- black strap locks
- reversed pickupswitch (up is bridge)

It’s the one I’m using in my band right now. It’s made for rock’n roll!
 

mimmo

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I agree, the Vintera Custom is a great guitar.

View attachment 942952 Mine also had some changes;
- CuNiFe WR neck pup
- Amber Blues bridge pup
- Mastery M3 bridge
- VIPots (550k)
- Black pickguard
- black strap locks
- reversed pickupswitch (up is bridge)

It’s the one I’m using in my band right now. It’s made for rock’n roll!

That's a real beauty, I'm in love!

Could you please argument about the bridge pickup? Why have you chosen this one? How do they match?

My tech is pushing me in that direction, he really wants me to get a better pickup to go with the amazing CuNiFe WRHB. I am trying to understand what kind of pickup would go better with the humbucker. Thanks.
 

adjason

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Sweet guitar! Yeah I would probably sell the esquire and get a nice acoustic- unless you already own one....but that same rabbit hole is there- My lower end Martin never leaves and I would not trade it for many a more expensive acoustic. I am digging my vintera 50's tele
 

mimmo

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Sweet guitar! Yeah I would probably sell the esquire and get a nice acoustic- unless you already own one....but that same rabbit hole is there- My lower end Martin never leaves and I would not trade it for many a more expensive acoustic. I am digging my vintera 50's tele

Thank you. Yes, it is a sweet little guitar indeed.
I have already started looking for an acoustic, what is your 'lower end' Martin? I am trying to figure out what I really want and a Martin always sounds good to my ears.
 

drmordo

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Y'all have lovely guitars. I can relate to your Esquire dilemma. I recently put together a Tele Deluxe partscaster and it plays and sounds so amazing I struggle to put it down. I have a couple dozen other guitars, many of which are nicer, yet my Deluxe is my current fav.

I think it's because guitars have a personality, and sometimes you find a guitar that you just get along with really well.

telecaster gray.jpg
 

mimmo

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Y'all have lovely guitars. I can relate to your Esquire dilemma. I recently put together a Tele Deluxe partscaster and it plays and sounds so amazing I struggle to put it down. I have a couple dozen other guitars, many of which are nicer, yet my Deluxe is my current fav.

I think it's because guitars have a personality, and sometimes you find a guitar that you just get along with really well.

View attachment 942994

Why why have posted this? I am a sucker for 70s fender telecasters, notably the custom and the deluxe. I am in the process of selling several stuff, if everything goes well I could have enough money to buy a nice acoustic and a deluxe - I love the mocha deluxe in the vintera series, but yours is just great looking.

What have you put in this beauty?
 

adjason

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Thank you. Yes, it is a sweet little guitar indeed.
I have already started looking for an acoustic, what is your 'lower end' Martin? I am trying to figure out what I really want and a Martin always sounds good to my ears.
I've got a martin dcme I think it cost me about 500 used 20 years ago- I seem to go through lots of electrics but for whatever reason I am totally happy with that Martin. I wanted an acoustic I could plug in and play out with. I also like that its not expensive so I never put it in a case, humidify it etc. I just leave it on a stand and play it just about every day. I probably play 60% acoustic and 40% electric. Did you change the pots in the tele custom or leave them stock-do you know what value they are on that humbucker?
 

CustFan

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Mimmo, I'm so glad you're having such a great experience with your Custom. My experience of the Telecaster Custom has been similar - a hugh pallet of sounds on tap, which is even better when the neck pick-up is like it should be.

There are some here that don't care for a Telecaster that doesn't look like Leo's original and has differences such as the Gibsonesque control layout. For me it's just another way to enjoy a/the Telecaster, and demonstrates the versatility and 'rightness' of the original design.

As for the Esquire, maybe you'll grow to love it, sometimes it can take a while to bond.....
 

mimmo

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Thanks for the detailed answer, I'll have a look at this Martin.

I didn't change the pots, just the humbucker and honestly I couldn't be happier. I may change the bridge also in the future, but I can tell you that the middle position I get now is very sweet, I am developing an addiction! No idea about the value, sorry.
 

mimmo

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Mimmo, I'm so glad you're having such a great experience with your Custom. My experience of the Telecaster Custom has been similar - a hugh pallet of sounds on tap, which is even better when the neck pick-up is like it should be.

There are some here that don't care for a Telecaster that doesn't look like Leo's original and has differences such as the Gibsonesque control layout. For me it's just another way to enjoy a/the Telecaster, and demonstrates the versatility and 'rightness' of the original design.

As for the Esquire, maybe you'll grow to love it, sometimes it can take a while to bond.....

Very wise words, CustFan (cool nickname BTW!). You have described it very well, my 52 and the Custom are all the "telecasterness" I could ever want.
Yeah the Esquire could take some time to grow in me, but I am liking the idea of a nice acoustic. I'm not in a rush, I'll take my time.
 

WelhavenTW

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That's a real beauty, I'm in love!

Could you please argument about the bridge pickup? Why have you chosen this one? How do they match?

My tech is pushing me in that direction, he really wants me to get a better pickup to go with the amazing CuNiFe WRHB. I am trying to understand what kind of pickup would go better with the humbucker. Thanks.
The Amber Blues is quite hot (10.3 kΩ) and it is not too bright, so in my opinion it suits the WD in the neck perfectly.

Check out VIPots too:

I’m a huge fan of Amber pickups. They are made by Wolfgang Damm, who used to work for Gibson. He’s the guy behind the P94, humbucker sized P90s, apparently.

I used to have the Amber Blues in an Esquire that I had built to my specs, that I later regretfully sold. I‘ve owned close to ten guitars with Amber pickups, humbuckers, single coils and P90s (including Haar and Maybach guitars).
 

drmordo

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Why why have posted this? I am a sucker for 70s fender telecasters, notably the custom and the deluxe. I am in the process of selling several stuff, if everything goes well I could have enough money to buy a nice acoustic and a deluxe - I love the mocha deluxe in the vintera series, but yours is just great looking.

What have you put in this beauty?

Ha, I'm glad you like it! I had always wanted a Deluxe with Cunifes, but had a recent epiphany about how amazing the EVH Wolfgang PUs are and realized I could build a monster Deluxe with them.

Sidenote: I play blues/rock/fusion guitar. I like a bit of gain, but get it from a cranked amp rather than a distortion pedal. I don't play anything heavier than Led Zeppelin, though I might kick on a fuzz for a solo.

Back to the guitar - it's all used parts. I bought the PUs and the neck before I had a plan for them.

It is a MIM 60s profile neck with locking Fender tuners. I think I got the neck from here, but I cannot remember. It is killer. I have a 50s MIM neck that is also well made but a bit too thick for my tastes. The 60s neck is perfect for me. It's a big part of why I love the guitar so much. It's true the headstock isn't a "Deluxe" headstock, which bugs me a tiny bit, but the overall the guitar is so great that I'll live with the headstock. The Tele headstock design is almost my favorite Fender shape anyways.

The body is a Squier Deluxe body I got from ebay. It came loaded, so all I had to do was remove and toss the original PUs and install the EVHs. I thought it was black from the crappy ebay pics, so I was pleased that it turned out to be metal flake gray. It has a bit of damage on the top near the edge that was there when I got it.

I got the EVH Wolfgangs as a used set off ebay for $100. It's difficult for me to overstate how much I like these PUs. The specs are a bit difficult to suss out, but from what I can tell the Standard Wolfgang PUs use Alnico 2 magnets and 42 gauge wire. Both PUs have a 'cocked wah' vibe to them, so even though they are hot, they don't have the muddiness I have heard from other high gain PUs. To my ear, they are kind of like very hot Tele PUs, and I can even roll back the tone knobs and fatten them up just like with single coil Tele PUs. It seems that metal guys buy Wolfgangs but the PUs aren't 'metal' enough, so they replace them and sell them on ebay, so a few times a year it a set shows up for around $100 - this is the second used set I have bought for that. If you really want to to preserve the 70s vibe, you could get Wolfgangs with chrome covers, but I have never seen a used set, so you'll pay $300 for a set, which is too rich for my blood.

So I have under $600 in the guitar. The neck and PUs can be gotten used for ~$200 and ~$100 respectively if you wait for a deal. The tricky part would be the body as they don't seem to show up very often used. I paid $200 and mine was slightly damaged.

The only problem with it is I still want a Deluxe with real Cunifes. That's something to consider if you really want a guitar with a 70s vibe.

I suggest you go to a GC and check out a Wolfgang to see what you think about the PUs. They are what motivated the build. If you don't like them, I suggest you go for the Vintera and save up for some Cunifes.

Sorry for derailing the thread from the lovely Custom in the OP!
 




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