Back in 2019, Fender debuted the Vintera Series, which was marketed as a suite of vintage-inspired instruments that paid homage to “the style, sound and swagger of the past” with an assortment of period-correct specs, all while catering to the modern player.
As such, you won’t be surprised to hear it’s a similar story for the upgraded Vintera II family, which looks to appease those Fender fans who, according to Fender’s EVP of Product Justin Noverall, “still gravitate to our most iconic offerings”.
“The Vintera II Series strikes a harmonious chord between tradition and evolution,” Norvell explains, “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.”
To do this, Fender has bolstered its arsenal of Mexican-made models by way of freshly crafted, vintage-spec’d Stratocasters, Telecasters, Jazzmasters and Jaguars inspired by ’50s, ’60s and ’70s models – all of which arrive with era-correct neck shapes and vintage-voiced pickups.
However, at first glance the Vintera II line seems to go above and beyond its predecessor, introducing a handful of previously unavailable guitars and models that pay homage to cult classic six-strings.
Specifically, in light of recent Beatles-related developments, the new-and-improved range brings back the Bass VI to an accessible format, as well as offering up a Kurt Cobain-esque Competition Mustang and historic Nocaster.
Enough preamble, let’s get stuck in…
Fender Vintera II ’50s Nocaster
Taking things a decade at a time, the Vintera II’s ‘50s department is headlined by the Nocaster – a recreation of the brand’s single-cut from 1951 that was stripped of its original Broadcaster name following a legal dispute with Gretsch. Since the Telecaster name wouldn’t be adopted until later in ‘51, there was a short period of time when these guitars carried only the Fender logo on the headstock.
This ultra-rare example is brought to the masses thanks to this model, which offers an alder body, ‘50s U-shape maple neck and 7.25” fingerboard radius. Other functional specs include a three-saddle bridge and vintage-style tuners.
Tones come by way of vintage-style ‘50s pickups, which deliver “all the crystal-clear chime and raw, steely twang that made Fender famous”.
Available for $1,149, the Nocaster arrives in Blonde or Two-Color Sunburst finishes.
Fender Vintera II ’50s Stratocaster
Of course, a good ol’ fashioned ‘50s Strat makes the cut. Here, Black, Ocean Turquoise and Two-Color Sunburst colorways are on tap, with each variant boasting an alder body and a soft V-shape neck.
Other notable era-specific appointments include a 7.25” radius, maple neck and fingerboard, and a trio of ‘50s-style single-coils, as well as a six-screw tremolo bridge.
Fender Vintera II ’50s Jazzmaster
The final ‘50s electric is a Jazzmaster. At its core, the offset features an alder body, and recruits a period-accurate late ‘50s C-shape neck and 7.25” radius. A floating tremolo system, a pair of ‘50s single-coils and all the versatile switching options of an original late-’50s Jazzmaster can also be found.
In terms of color, the $1,249 model arrives in Desert Sand or Sonic Blue.
Fender Vintera II ’50s Precision Bass
For bass guitar players, a ‘50s Precision Bass has been included in the drop. At $1,499, the four-string once again concerns itself with a C-shape maple neck and alder body, as well as a split-coil pickup. Desert Sand and Black versions are available.
Fender Vintera II ’60s Bass VI
The second standout six-string from the drop, the Vintera II ‘60s Bass VI takes advantage of the drastically increased interest surrounding the hybrid guitar/bass model that emerged thanks to the recent Get Back Beatles documentary.
A greater microscope on the gear used by the Fab Four led to a resurgence of Bass VI fanatics last year, and now the ultra-rare model is back on a mainstream platform for players, weighing in at a cool $1,399. Not bad, considering the real deal goes for up to $20,000 on the second hand market.
Unlike the Squier version, though, this beauty is spec’d faithfully to the original, offering a mid-’60s C-shape neck profile, a 7.25” radius and a trio of early ‘60s single-coils.
Fender Vintera II ’60s Stratocaster
Another Strat, this time with the rosewood fingerboard typical of ‘60s models, as well as a more rounded C-shape neck profile. Build-wise, the usual alder body and maple neck are here, with updated ‘60s single-coils also making the cut.
Lake Placid Blue, Olympic White and Three-Color Sunburst are the finish options for this model, which weighs in at $1,149.
Fender Vintera II ’60s Telecaster
Hopefully you’re not tired of the word “vintage” yet, because there’s plenty more to come: the ‘60s Telecaster features a rosewood fingerboard (again, with a 7.25” radius) that sits atop a late ‘60s C-shape maple neck. Other specs include a three-saddle bridge, ‘60s-style single-coils and vintage-style tuners.
Fender Vintera II ’60s Thinline Telecaster
The ‘60s Thinline Telecaster follows a similar formula to the above, though drafts in a semi-hollow ash body. Otherwise, its functional and tonal specs all remain the same. With a price tag of $1,299, this model arrives in Black or Three-Color Sunburst.
Fender Vintera II ’60s Precision Bass and ’60s Jazz Bass
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Two bass guitars to cap off the Vintera II’s ‘60s collection. Both the Precision and Jazz Bass models feature alder bodies and early ‘60s neck profiles, as well as a 7.25” fingerboard radius. Of course, body shapes set these two apart, but so do the pickups: the P Bass has a sole split-coil, while the Jazz has a pair of ‘60s-style single-coils.
Price-wise, the Precision Bass is slightly more expensive at $1,499, while the Jazz Bass is available for $1,249.
Fender Vintera II ’70s Competition Mustang
The final decade of the Vintera II Series isn’t short of flashy six-strings, but the ‘70s Competition Mustang just edges it for us. With its bona fide Nirvana vibe (Kurt Cobain used a Competition Mustang in the Smells Like Teen Spirit music video, which later sold for $4.5 million), the striped offset offers an alder body, maple neck and an altered ‘70s neck profile. A floating tremolo, F-stamped tuners and ‘70s-voiced single-coils cap off the spec sheet.
Fender’s Vintera II Competition Mustang carries a price tag of $1,149.
Fender Vintera II ’70s Stratocaster
The third and final Vintera II Strat flaunts the oversized head that became the norm during this decade, though otherwise remains true to the precedent set by its ‘60s sibling. Sure, it’s got a thicker U-shape neck profile, but the build schematics remain the same – save the trio ‘70s single-coils.
Surf Green, Vintage White and Three-Color Sunburst are the finishes on offer for this $1,149 example.
Fender Vintera II ’70s Jaguar
The Vintera II ‘70s Jaguar comes equipped with statement piece black block inlays on its black-bound, 7.25”-radius maple fingerboard, which lines up alongside a late ‘70s C-shape neck. It’s also worth noting the vintage-style floating tremolo, and the fact this $1,499 model arrives in either Black or Vintage White.
Fender Vintera II ’70s Telecaster Deluxe
The last Telecaster of the Vintera II range (and, indeed, the last six-string) is a ‘70s Telecaster Deluxe – a radical take on Fender’s flagship single-cut that offers dual humbucker performance and a tremolo bridge. With a Les Paul-esque control layout, this example comes loaded with ‘70s wide-range humbuckers, a thicker U-shape neck profile and a 7.25” radius.
Fender Vintera II ’70s Mustang Bass
A spiritual sibling to its six-string counterpart, the Vintera II ‘70s Mustang Bass carries the same offset vibe as the electric version, though caters to low-end lovers by way of a split-coil pickup. The Mustang Bass weighs in at $1,179.
Fender Vintera II ’70s Telecaster Bass
And finally, the $1,179 Vintera II ‘70s Telecaster Bass isn’t really a Telecaster at all, but instead a double-cut that arrives with (you guessed it) a period-accurate neck profile, vintage-voiced pickups and a choice of either Vintage White or Surf Green finishes.
To find out more about all of the new Vintera II models, head over to Fender.com.