Vintera 50's Telecaster Review

Fendereedo

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I want to love theses guitars ! I got the Vintera modified 50's Telecaster in Daphne blue... and after one week... I'm very happy with the sound... But half happy with craftsmanship. The body is perfect and gorgeous ! The problem is the neck. Frets ends show thick spots of amber lacquer or Glue ? Not sure. And some gap under frets are not filled. I checked with my other Fenders and they are all perfect on that point. Even my Mexican Duo Sonic ! I don't know if I should return it or try to fix it. That means fill the Gap under the Tang on a finished neck and file the end frets to remove that thick stuff.
Philosophical question : should I fix a brand new 1299$ Canadian Fender Guitar or just return it for an exchange (my dealer is willing to send it back to Fender and provide me a new one).
I had a similar issue with the frets although on the 60s pau Ferro board. No ends covered in lacquer or glue, but razor sharp frets all the way along the the high E edge. Luckily I bought a file a few weeks before for one of my Jazzmaster' s.
It really sucks that these are getting through quality control at Ensenada. These are supposed to be top end MIM Fender guitars, people shouldn't have to piss around filing frets on upmarket products. Come on Fender if you read these forums and address the issue. You are quick enough to take our money, make the goods up to standard, it's not much to ask?
 

MuggleFingers

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I've played a number of Teles over the last many years including 60's; 70's; 80's Standard; Classics, Vintage Vibes, Squiers and my favourite Roadworn.

These Vinteras have just arrived in the UK - I had to try them out to see if the publicity rang true regarding specs and pickup changes etc - or were they just the Classic series updated? I did find the Classic series well made but a little lacking in character.

Pleased to say this Fiesta Red 50's Vintera is a "proper" vintage-style Tele with decently upgraded specs. By "proper" I mean: Old style bridge and through body stringing. Brass saddles, Vintage 7.25" radius board and small vintage frets; no fancy switching - just a three-way. The only vintage appointment I don't like is the thin white shiny 5 screw guard that is already warping - but that's what they used to do - so really "vintage!"

The neck is big. Fairly deep but with a lot of shoulder so a "U" shape and beautifully blended into the headstock. Some say a big neck is a key to tone - well you have one here but, even with my small hands, I don't find it uncomfortable; I'm a "thumb -over-the-top" player and this shape I find a good fulcrum for bending. But whether you are comfortable with a neck like this is personal preference - you need to try one; others in the series have different shapes. Very nicely lacquered; it looks right, not OTT!

The pickups are said to have been "doctored" by Tim Shaw for each period and yes, I can certainly detect a real improvement on the general vintage spec of the old Classics. On this 50's model - they are not high gain so if that's your thing you need to look at others in the series, What they are, is clear as a bell and don't suffer from over loud bass strings. I think the bridge p.u. is alnico 3 - the weakest of the magnets.
The neck p.u. is also quite clean and not too bassy as you often find. Turning down the volume control knocks off high end, so there isn't a bypass cap and resistor to retain this; the tone control is a bit muddy too and neither pot has a great deal of usable range so these are things to target when the warranty runs out - but everything works as it should and there isn't much to go wrong.

Straight out of the box, setup was pretty good with a well cut nut, perfect fretting and compromise action because of the small radius but I found the action would go quite low without choking. Personally I like to feel the fingerboard and prefer the original radius and small frets but the "modified" models in the series have 9.5" radius and bigger frets if that is your preference.This one really plays very well, excellent sustain and rings all the way up the fingerboard.

Sounds. We might all have ideas on what a 50's Tele is supposed to sound like but I guess Fender ought to know. This is not a high gain guitar but wonderful for clear and clean with a great ring and snap and as twangy as you like - very expressive and great for dynamics. Of course you might like some gain but here you are starting with a the clean basics rather than over wound pickups (as on some other models) which already have impacts on tone.

This is a very good clean, well playing Telecaster with a convincing vintage vibe. Mexican? Who cares it's as well made as any USA model I've had and better than a few! Here in the UK we have to pay the £ prices for what you pay in $ so we are about £740 here. I don't think that's too bad for a genuine Fender product as good as this is. It also comes in sonic Blue and Sunburst.



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MuggleFingers

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I’ve just ordered a 50’s Vintera in Sonic Blue. It is my first and only Fender Guitar, since my first USA strat in 1998. I still kick myself for selling it around 2005, to finance a Gibson I’d wanted for years, but couldn’t afford. I should have kept the strat.

Anyway, I’ve played several USA teles owned by friends, over the years and loved them, but I just can’t justify the $2k price tag. However, I’ve known that Mexi models are often of comparable quality and some players actually prefer them. I’ve played a few, and found them equal to the USA models.

Your review did help me decide on this model.

Thanks for your review.
 

MuggleFingers

TDPRI Member
Joined
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Posts
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Location
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I had a similar issue with the frets although on the 60s pau Ferro board. No ends covered in lacquer or glue, but razor sharp frets all the way along the the high E edge. Luckily I bought a file a few weeks before for one of my Jazzmaster' s.
It really sucks that these are getting through quality control at Ensenada. These are supposed to be top end MIM Fender guitars, people shouldn't have to piss around filing frets on upmarket products. Come on Fender if you read these forums and address the issue. You are quick enough to take our money, make the goods up to standard, it's not much to ask?
If it were me, I’d return it for a replacement, and go from there.
 

HootOwlDude

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Dec 11, 2013
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Wilmington, NC
I've played a number of Teles over the last many years including 60's; 70's; 80's Standard; Classics, Vintage Vibes, Squiers and my favourite Roadworn.

These Vinteras have just arrived in the UK - I had to try them out to see if the publicity rang true regarding specs and pickup changes etc - or were they just the Classic series updated? I did find the Classic series well made but a little lacking in character.

Pleased to say this Fiesta Red 50's Vintera is a "proper" vintage-style Tele with decently upgraded specs. By "proper" I mean: Old style bridge and through body stringing. Brass saddles, Vintage 7.25" radius board and small vintage frets; no fancy switching - just a three-way. The only vintage appointment I don't like is the thin white shiny 5 screw guard that is already warping - but that's what they used to do - so really "vintage!"

The neck is big. Fairly deep but with a lot of shoulder so a "U" shape and beautifully blended into the headstock. Some say a big neck is a key to tone - well you have one here but, even with my small hands, I don't find it uncomfortable; I'm a "thumb -over-the-top" player and this shape I find a good fulcrum for bending. But whether you are comfortable with a neck like this is personal preference - you need to try one; others in the series have different shapes. Very nicely lacquered; it looks right, not OTT!

The pickups are said to have been "doctored" by Tim Shaw for each period and yes, I can certainly detect a real improvement on the general vintage spec of the old Classics. On this 50's model - they are not high gain so if that's your thing you need to look at others in the series, What they are, is clear as a bell and don't suffer from over loud bass strings. I think the bridge p.u. is alnico 3 - the weakest of the magnets.
The neck p.u. is also quite clean and not too bassy as you often find. Turning down the volume control knocks off high end, so there isn't a bypass cap and resistor to retain this; the tone control is a bit muddy too and neither pot has a great deal of usable range so these are things to target when the warranty runs out - but everything works as it should and there isn't much to go wrong.

Straight out of the box, setup was pretty good with a well cut nut, perfect fretting and compromise action because of the small radius but I found the action would go quite low without choking. Personally I like to feel the fingerboard and prefer the original radius and small frets but the "modified" models in the series have 9.5" radius and bigger frets if that is your preference.This one really plays very well, excellent sustain and rings all the way up the fingerboard.

Sounds. We might all have ideas on what a 50's Tele is supposed to sound like but I guess Fender ought to know. This is not a high gain guitar but wonderful for clear and clean with a great ring and snap and as twangy as you like - very expressive and great for dynamics. Of course you might like some gain but here you are starting with a the clean basics rather than over wound pickups (as on some other models) which already have impacts on tone.

This is a very good clean, well playing Telecaster with a convincing vintage vibe. Mexican? Who cares it's as well made as any USA model I've had and better than a few! Here in the UK we have to pay the £ prices for what you pay in $ so we are about £740 here. I don't think that's too bad for a genuine Fender product as good as this is. It also comes in sonic Blue and Sunburst.



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I love my ‘60s Vintage Modified, though am a little jealous of your hog leg neck!
 

Colo Springs E

Doctor of Teleocity
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I generally prefer Mexican Teles over all others. I tried a relic Vintera 50s recently and was disappointed. The look was fantastic-- relic job was really nice. Super high action, jagged fret edges, I think the nut probably needed some work, buzzing and fretting out, and was very heavy. It was on sale at GC, had it been a decent player that I could've gotten set up well (not convinced I could have) I probably would have bought it. Didn't plug it in, but assume it would have sounded like a Tele should.
 
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takauya

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Apr 2, 2011
Posts
281
Location
Forest
So, here's a question to you Vintera owners. Are your Vintera neck's fretboard edges sharp or "slightly" rounded (I mean not like the rolled edges on relic guitars)?

I just want to make sure if MIM completely stopped this little nice treatment or not. I've had three Baja Teles (two 50s and one 60s), and only one of them (2014), which I still own has nice rounded edges, other two (both late 2010s) had razor sharp edges, which were unplayable for me.
I also have a Classic 50s lacquer Strat (2017), which has nicely rounded edges, and Classic player lacquer Strat (2012), which had sharp edges on a lower position, which I smoothed with a pick. This inconsistency bugs me a lot. I kept asking to sellers if their Vintera necks had rounded edges, and so far they all answered they had sharp edges...
 
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adjason

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Jan 9, 2010
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Location
virginia
I pickup up a used one recently and I am liking it- it has the classic tele sound with that thin bridge and three saddles. The pickups are a bit quieter than the typical alnico 5 ones out there but it sounds good. I raised them up pretty high and I usually like them low on most guitars. Yep its got a fairly fat neck. I would not describe the fretboard as rolled edges but they are not real sharp either- they feel normal to me for lack of a better word. Maybe i got lucky but mine is set up well and plays nice without issues. It is a bit louder with its hum when not touching the strings -even more so than other non shielded teles I own but its not beyond the realm of normal either. Its a nice tele. Here is the bridge pickup in action straight into a late 60's super reverb at fairly low volume
 

mimmo

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Mar 18, 2010
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Paris France - Rome Italy
My 2019 Vintera 50s does not have sharp edges. They are comfortable to me. They're not rounded like my CS Esquire, but they don't feel sharp.

@takauya

doctymie is absolutely right IME: I own a vintera telecaster custom 70s (not a 50s, sorry) and the neck edge is not razoe sharp at all, although not as rounded as my AV52 or 70th Esquire.
 

takauya

Tele-Meister
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Apr 2, 2011
Posts
281
Location
Forest
Thanks guys. Oh, so they are still doing the edge treatment on some of them. It's good to know. Apparently, a QC issue then. I'll keep trying to find another neck similar to my Baja's.

A couple of weeks ago, I asked a seller who was selling a 2015 Baja, assuming the neck had nice fat round shape like mine, and he answered it had 41mm nut width, yes not even 42mm and mine is 43mm, and edges were really sharp...
 




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