Vintera 50's Modified Tele: The First Week (NGD)

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by FORQ, Jul 14, 2020.

  1. FORQ

    FORQ TDPRI Member

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    Hi!

    I got a Vintera 50's Modified Telecaster in butterscotch blonde last Wednesday, and I've essentially been playing it non-stop since. Here are my impressions--including a couple of minor (I hope) complaints or issues--for which it'd be cool to get some feedback from other players, particularly those who own or who've spent some time with this model.

    But first, the giddy buying experience...(feel free to skip ahead two paragraphs to get to the 'meat'.)

    I found what I believe is a sweet deal on a "mint" model that was marked down 15%. When I got it, it was definitely mint, but essentially brand new. I think the vendor only opened the box to photograph it and it was not strummed much, if at all, because the plastic pick-guard protector had no pick marks, no finger prints, smudges, or any observable signs of use. (I guess that makes it mint, duh.)

    Prior to buying this guitar, I had been seeking the highly-regarded Baja Tele because of a) the pickup configuration, b) the substantial neck, and c) the "vintage treatments". As you know, Bajas are discontinued, harder to come by, and not that much less expensive than what I paid for the new Vintera, so it was a relatively easy decision for me to make. And of course, this particular Vintera is essentially the "new" Baja Telecaster.

    My impressions on the Vintera 50's Modified Tele after close to a week of playing it are overwhelmingly positive. All the reasons that drew me to it (pickup configuration/tone, neck, "vintage vibe" including ash body, tuners, bridge plate, BSB Blackguard, etc.) are satisfying. I've yet to set it up and put 10's on it, but it's definitely playable out of the box and I'm pretty stoked. My other two guitars are a 2005 Highway One Tele (pictured in my avatar with the new Vintera), and a Korean Epiphone Sheraton. I like that all three guitars look, sound, and feel different...my amp actually bit the dust over the weekend (in the shop now), but I was able to play all three enough to know that I have good options for tone and styles especially with the Vintera 4-way switching and S1 button.

    I have some complaints/issues about the Vintera, but I think they're relatively minor, and I would like your feedback or suggestions from your experience.

    Firstly, the fret edges are somewhat rough/sharp, however it's not really impeded my playing or I've quickly adapted. Anyone else experience that and what have you done about it, or not? I'm also used to a 15-year-old, worn-in telecaster with smaller frets, so that could be a perception thing.

    Secondly, the high e string jumps out from the string tree(!) every now and then. It's happened four times while playing since I got the guitar. I do strum heavy sometimes, but not always, and I think that contributes to the issue. Have you experienced this, and if you have, how did you fix it? I know a different string tree might help, but I'd prefer to leave the vintage style round string tree on there, and I wonder if the nut could be an underlying issue? What's your experience with this?

    Lastly, I don't love the gloss polyester finish and the butterscotch color is a hair "too rich" for my preference. I do like the more "vintage" nitrocellulose finish on my Highway One and the somewhat more pale/yellow butterscotch color on, say the American Vintage '52 Tele...I certainly love the vibe and idea of the BSB Blackguard tele, and perhaps it's the newness of this guitar as with the frets that I'm getting accustomed to, but what are you thoughts on this purely cosmetic matter of preference?

    In conclusion, this guitar is definitely a keeper for the near-to-mid term. Checks all the (important) boxes, and the complaints/issues have reasonably easy solutions or I am just getting accustomed to a nice, shiny, unseasoned, new guitar, so I really have nothing to complain about!! Ha!

    Thanks for reading.
     
  2. EspyHop

    EspyHop Tele-Holic

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    Great review.

    I have a ‘50s Classic Series parts Tele and I agree about the poly finish. While the neck is miles ahead of my Squier ‘50s CV, I don’t understand why they can’t use a thinner poly, like on the American Professional/Standard necks.
     
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  3. Zepfan

    Zepfan Poster Extraordinaire

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    What? No pic?
     
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  4. FORQ

    FORQ TDPRI Member

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    Thanks! This Vintera actually has a satin finish on the neck and I really like it. I don't mind the gloss on the fretboard, either, but it was the gloss polyester finish on the body that I was referring to. Sorry I didn't make that clear. If you dislike the heavy poly finish on the necks of your guitars, you might dig the satin finished necks.
     
  5. FORQ

    FORQ TDPRI Member

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    My bad! First post! Also, the lighting does affect the appearance of the color quite a bit. Is that science?

    IMG_20200709_002209.jpg MVIMG_20200709_152143.jpg IMG_20200708_200057.jpg


    Felt cute, might delete later. lol...
    IMG_20200711_024717.jpg
     
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  6. ben smith

    ben smith Tele-Holic

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    the round string tree i own has grooves on the bottom so the string wont pop out, ill try find it and take a pic. fixing sharp fret ends on a maple board for me is always a pain in the arse! i like to tape off the whole board just in case tool marks happen. i also don't have fret files so i just run fine sandpaper down the edge off the fretboard. does your string tree have grooves on the bottom? if not i know they come in different heights also i bought the shorter of the two making more tension downwards on the string obviously. SAM_0766.JPG
     
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  7. FORQ

    FORQ TDPRI Member

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    That's helpful, thanks! I hadn't considered that there might be a round string tree with grooves on the bottom; I'll look into it, because I'm pretty sure the string tree on my guitar does not have grooves.

    Unless the rough fret edges get in the way of my hands, I may just let that be. So far, it hasn't been an impediment as far as I can tell, but I definitely noticed since I'm used to only one other tele for so long. And I'd probably consult someone in-person that has experience filing/smoothing frets. Thanks!
     
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  8. Twang Tone

    Twang Tone Friend of Leo's

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    Yep, with the strings still tuned to pitch, just loosen off the string tree screw a little, and then rotate the round part with your thumb and index finger until you hear the 'ping' of the strings falling into the grooves. Then carefully tighten the screw again so it's secure.
     
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  9. lgherb

    lgherb TDPRI Member

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    Congrats on the guitar and welcome to TDPRI.

    I was lucky enough to stumble onto a Baja Telecaster recently that was essentially new. I just went and looked at my string tree (round) and my 1st string was popped out, I just had not noticed that.

    I'll see if I notice it again.
     
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  10. StevesBoogie

    StevesBoogie Tele-Meister

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    Hi FORQ, congrats on a beautiful guitar. That was a well written post.

    I have my eye on that very same one in Daphne Blue.

    I am curious. What really gravitates me to this model are the neck specs....thick soft V, 9.5 radius, and medium jumbo frets. I have the medium jumbos frets on a Strat and love the height of them. Do you know if your model for sure has the medium jumbo frets? Where are they sharp...are they sharp where the fret metal meets the wood, or are they sharp along the side of the neck, or both?

    Depending on the answer and severity I wonder if there is something that you can DYI or pay a luthier a small amount to do it for you. Also, is every single fret suffering from being sharp?

    I've looked at your pics and have to say that the tone of the BSB is beautiful! But I tend to like the darker BSB tones so that's personal preference. Nice looking collection!
     
  11. gwjensen

    gwjensen Friend of Leo's Platinum Supporter

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    I love my unmodified Vintera 50s. No issues with fret work or jumping E string... Fit and finish is very good... At 7lbs,5ozs its on the light side...Love the shade of Fiesta Red, which strikes me as a tad darker than what I expected, but very attractive. The stock pickups are good, but I experimented with Bill Lawreence Keystones, Microcoils, and Texas Specials that I already had. I ended up keeping the Microcoils. Great guitars for the buck, IMO.
     
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  12. Dana Rudd

    Dana Rudd Tele-Meister

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    Congrats on the guitar and the fine write-up on it. Enjoy.
     
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  13. FORQ

    FORQ TDPRI Member

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    Hey @Twang Tone, that was exactly it! After @ben smith shared that picture of the grooves under the string tree, I inspected the string tree on my guitar and discovered the issue. Easy fix, and a lot more piece of mind. Thanks!
     
  14. Crobbins

    Crobbins Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    Congrats.
     
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  15. FORQ

    FORQ TDPRI Member

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    Thanks, @StevesBoogie! Daphne Blue color was a close second for me!

    Yes, the frets are medium jumbo. I really like the neck specs, too. And don't forget the satin finish on the neck...really smooth, comfortable, and feels "broken in"...that is, not "sticky". See the difference in sheen between neck and fretboard in the pictures below.

    The frets feel a little sharp all along the side of the neck, but they are well-set and not sharp where the fret metal meets the wood on the fretboard (see attached pics for an idea). You're right, I might look into a little DIY or luthier rounding of the edges. But frankly, as I mentioned before, the edges have not impeded to my playing. Thanks for the suggestion!

    I dig the tone of the BSB too, it's more the super glossy finish I don't prefer. Overall, I can see why--when the Vintera was known as the Baja and sold for $200-$300 dollars less--the Baja won the affection of many players. Cheers.


    IMG_20200716_124150.jpg IMG_20200716_124258.jpg IMG_20200716_124319.jpg
     
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  16. FORQ

    FORQ TDPRI Member

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    @gwjensen Thanks for your feedback. I agree this model is very solid, and the modified has "hot-rodded Custom Shop pickups" that are also to my liking, so I'll keep it stock. I might try some Lollar pickups in my Highway One Tele...I've never tried them, but they're local to me and carry a good reputation. Cheers!
     
  17. StevesBoogie

    StevesBoogie Tele-Meister

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    Great minds think alike! Thanks for posting the pics. I honestly did not know the neck finish was satin, my goodness, even more attractive! I see what you mean about the fret edges. You're right, they definitely look roughed out a bit. Should be a straightforward fix, I would imagine. I see your string tree issue is fixed now. This forum is great.
     
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  18. tce63

    tce63 Tele-Afflicted

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    HNGD, looks great
     
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