FENDER LAUNCHES VINTERA SERIES: VINTAGE-ERA STYLE & TONE
Today Fender announced the launch of the Vintera Series, a line of vintage-inspired electric guitar and bass models that embody a period-specific vibe, including the Stratocaster®, Telecaster®, Jaguar®, Mustang®, Jazzmaster®, Jazz Bass®, Precision Bass® and Mustang Bass. Each model delivers the authentic look and feel of its era, as well as decade-specific tones from the `50s, `60s and `70s.
“The Vintera series celebrates the different vintage eras of Fender with the fundamental design of the Stratocaster, Telecaster and Precision Bass remaining largely the same, but with each decade assuming its own unique feature sets,” said Justin Norvell, EVP of Product at Fender. “Depending on your feature preferences, bands you love and the era that you grew up in, each of these decades has a different appeal in terms of sound, colours and pickups.”
Selected international media were treated to a Vintera Series preview last week in which Allen Abbassi, Fender Product Manager for Electric Guitars and Basses talked us through the range. The Vintera name is an amalgam of the words Vintage and Era and that’s exactly what these instruments provide in both look and sound. There are 15 new models in the Vintera Series, and as Allen outlined last week, “This is the Classic series evolved … Vintera replaces the Classic Series.” There are actually 21 different new models in total, however, six of those are Modified (Currently known now as Classic Player model).
Allen explained that the Classic series was an umbrella that contained many sub-series such as Road Worn, Classic, Classic Player and even some lacquer models. With the new Vintera series, Fender is narrowing it down to two major families of models. A vintage style model, such as a Vintera Vintage Strat and a Modified model like a Vintera Strat Modified (pictured below). “The Road Worns and lacquer stuff is going away and won’t be part of the Vintera series,” Allen said. “However in the near future, they’ll be carrying on the legacy of Road Worn models but releasing them only as limited editions.”
“The vintage models are obviously just that, “ Allen said before describing the new series in more detail. “If you get a Vintera 5os Strat, 6os Strat, Vintera 50s Tele, you’re going to get very era-specific specs, so that means 7.25-inch radius, gloss finishes on the neck, vintage style frets. One thing that you will notice is that all of the pickups have been upgraded. We worked with our pickup guru Tim Shaw… There’s really some important nuances between the different decades that actually effect the tone and in this new Vintera Series, we were very careful to make sure that was represented here…. If you look at a 50s Strat, that means it’s using formvar wire, bevelled magnets … they’re staggered. All this stuff goes into the construction of the pickups. So you are going to notice that if you pick up the 50s, 60s, or 70s Strat, each one has a distinct take on the Fender tone. As you move into the 60s, it changes from the formvar wire into enamel wire, the stagger remains the same but we lose the bevel on the Strat pole pieces. Then in the 70s, it’s flat stagger pole pieces on the Strat pickups… Each model from the Strat to the Jag to the Jazzmaster and all the basses has a Tim Shaw designed, upgraded pickup that sounds a lot more 50s, 60s, or 70s than it did when it was in the Classic series …The Modified models feature the same era-specific pickups but wound a little bit hotter for more of a modern sound, still vintage but a little more gain and oomph.”
Not only has Fender put a lot of time and effort into the sound of the instruments but they’ve also thought a lot about the look and more specifically the colour range. Fender’s Vintera Series models feature a wider breadth of vintage colours, including Mocha, Fiesta Red, Seafoam Green, Inca Silver, Burgundy Mist and Ice Blue Metallic. For nearly every decade correct model, there’s also a counterpart “modded” version that offers fresh features not available at the time of the first release.
For the promotion of the new range, Fender has come up with a wonderful 30-second digital commercial that introduces the instruments and overall feel of the Vintera Series, plus three artist performance videos, releasing on a later date, featuring contemporary, eclectic musicians. Each performance harkens back to a specific decade to showcase the vintage-inspired guitars and basses as well as the sound and style of the era. In addition to the performance videos, Fender captured each artist’s influences from the era of their performance, individual music style and what compelled them to pick up their first guitar and play.
Christone “Kingfish” Ingram taps into his blues roots, bringing viewers back to the `50s with a classic Seafoam Green Stratocaster and a cover of “I Put A Spell On You” by Screamin’ Jay Hawkins. Singer-songwriter Curtis Harding brings back the soul of the `60s playing a cover of Tommy James and The Shondells’ “Crimson and Clover” on the Ice Blue Metallic `60s Jazzmaster. Reminiscent of the Woodstock Era, Mexican garage punk band Le Butcherettes, shredded on the `70s Telecaster Deluxe in Mocha for their punk rendition of “Ever Fallen In Love” by The Buzzcocks.
• Vintera Series `50s Stratocaster – $1,799 – $1,899
• Vintera Series `50s Stratocaster Modified – $1,999
• Vintera Series `50s Telecaster – $1,799
• Vintera Series `50s Precision Bass – $1,799 – $1,899
• Vintera Series `60s Stratocaster – $1,799
• Vintera Series `60s Telecaster Modified – $1,799 – $1,999
• Vintera Series `60s Telecaster Bigsby ® – $1,999 – $2,099
• Vintera Series `60s Jazzmaster – $1,999
• Vintera Series `60s Jazzmaster Modified – $2,199
• Vintera Series `60s Jaguar – $2,099
• Vintera Series `60s Jaguar Modified – $2,299
• Vintera Series `60s Mustang – $1,799
• Vintera Series `60s Mustang Bass – $1,899
• Vintera Series `60s Jazz Bass – $1,999
• Vintera Series `70s Stratocaster – $1,899
• Vintera Series `70s Telecaster Deluxe – $1,799
• Vintera Series `70s Telecaster Custom – $1,799
• Vintera Series `70s Telecaster Thinline – $2,099
• Vintera Series `70s Jazz Bass – $2,099 – $2,199
For detailed specs, additional information on new Fender products or to find a retail partner near you, visit www.fender.com. Join the conversation on social media by following @Fender.
- Josie Morrison