Fender launches the Vintera II series, offering new vintage-inspired models in rare custom colour finishes, and the return of rosewood fingerboards

Fender Vintera II
(Image credit: Fender)

Fender has unveiled the Vintera II series, and we had all best take a deep breath because there is a lot in here as the Big F comprehensively refreshes its vintage-inspired Mexican-built range of electric guitars and bass guitars

There are many highlights, so where to begin? What about the return of rosewood fingerboards to the Vintera line, now offered alongside maple as opposed to the pau ferro of previous models?

The series has also expanded to include the now cult classic Bass VI, a Telecaster Deluxe with a ‘70s Telecaster Deluxe offered with a tremolo, and there’s a ‘70s Jaguar with a maple fingerboard that Thurston Youth of Sonic Youth fame describes as “a rough-and-tumble best friend to my beloved Jazzmaster”.

The Vintera II launch reflects the enduring demand for vintage guitar design, and also the demand for a more affordable alternative. 

These are not cheap electric guitars per se but they are priced for the dedicated amateur and jobbing pro, and certainly have the specs to take to any stage whether there’s a fee coming at the end of it.

Taking a roll call of the new models is like reading through a greatest hits of Fender past, as though the brand is sketching out the evolution of its most-popular models in real life. 

There are three Stratocasters, one each from the ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘70s. There are four Telecasters; the aforementioned tremolo-equipped Deluxe, plus a Nocaster from the ‘50s, and two ‘60s models, one solid-bodied, one Thinline. All very cool.

Custom colour finishes have been applied throughout. The Nirvana fans might want to jump ahead to the ‘70s Competition Mustang. Other offset options include a ‘50s Jazzmaster, here offered in Sonic Blue and Desert Sand. 

And there is plenty for the bass players, too, with the ‘60s Bass VI joined by a ‘70s Telecaster Bass, ‘70s Mustang Bass, ‘50s and ‘60s editions of the Precision Bass, and a ‘60s Jazz Bass.

Justin Norvell, Fender’s EVP of product, said players, regardless of age or playing style, still want to play instruments with traditional vintage specs.

“A consistent trend that we’ve seen for decades now is that players, regardless of age or playing experience, still gravitate towards our most classic offerings – be it an iconic ‘60s Sunburst Strat or a ‘50s Blonde Tele,” he says. “Vintera II Series strikes a harmonious chord between tradition and evolution, giving the global playing community a chance to experience an authentic ‘60s P Bass or ‘50s Jazzmaster and more, with the same modern craftsmanship and playability they expect from Fender.”

It speaks to the enduring appeal of Leo Fender’s design acumen that Fender reports a 15 per cent increase in sales of Telecaster and Stratocaster models over the past three years. 

These Vintera II builds are classic fender, all solid alder with bolt-on maple necks, except the Thinline Telecaster which has a semi-hollow ash body. Neck profiles are based on the original profiles, and you have a more vintage feel on the fingerboards, with 7.25” radius ‘boards and narrow tall frets as standard.

The sounds should be old-school, too, with vintage-voiced pickups rolling the clock back to the decade that inspired the model. 

The hardware similarly offers clues as to the era the guitar is referencing, with the ‘70s models all equipped with F-branded tuners and a stamped heel plate.

The Vintera II Series is priced from £1,049/$1,149 to £1,249/$1,499. For more details and specs, head over to Fender.

Jonathan Horsley

Jonathan Horsley has been writing about guitars and guitar culture since 2005, playing them since 1990, and regularly contributes to MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitar World. He uses Jazz III nylon picks, 10s during the week, 9s at the weekend, and shamefully still struggles with rhythm figure one of Van Halen’s Panama.