Fender Vintera ‘70s Telecaster Deluxe

Christian Wissmuller • November 2019Top Gear • November 8, 2019

My 2008 (or 2007?) Alpine White Fender
Telecaster Deluxe alongside 2019’s
Vintera Tele Deluxe in Mocha

How often do you get to review an updated version of an already-beloved guitar you own? My own “Alpine White” Tele Deluxe dates from around 2008 and I’m happy to say that this newest iteration – my review copy came in the quite lovely “Mocha” finish – has most of the features I love on my own, earlier model, along with some improvements. While I can’t accurately speak to all of the actual measurements, specs, and metrics (manually measuring the radius of the fingerboards on the two guitars is above my pay-grade. Sorry), I can vouch that the current version of this guitar is a joy to play in virtually any setting.

Much is made – both online and in Fender’s promotional materials – about the so-called “Thin C” shaped neck on the Vintera and it unquestionably is a very nice, fast, slippery neck. Truth be told, those same qualities apply to my own Tele Deluxe from a decade-plus ago. Not a bad thing! And, who knows: get the measuring tape out (these apparently have a 9.5” fretboard radius. I believe it! Why not?) and it’s likely this newer guitar is, in fact, more in keeping with those from the ‘70s. How about the pickups? Are these new ones more in keeping with those from “back in the day” than my own? I’m told the 2019 Wide Range humbucking PUPs have been recreated, “to sound more like the originals.” While I don’t have a ’72 Tele Deluxe to use as a point of reference, I can say that while I love the punchy, full tone of these humbuckers (as well as their absolutely dope embossed pickup covers), they don’t strike me as all that different from those on my ’08 (or ’07. I’m not on trial) version. In no way microphonic, these are still a little prone to feedback at high volume. Still: a Fender Tele with humbuckers (albeit a little noisy), a four-knob control set, three-way pickup switching, and a six-saddle Stat-style bridge for fine-tuned intonation? This is sort of the “best of all worlds” dream that the original, vintage guitars promised.

The Vintera Telecaster Deluxe is gorgeous, smooth, and comfortable to play, with a number of period-correct touches. Add to that an MSRP ($899) that puts instruments of similar quality from most of FMIC’s primary competitors (names withheld to protect the… well, the competitors) to shame and you’ve got an instrument that leaves many in its wake. If you don’t already stock these guitars, you’re likely missing out.

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