The other two Fender Vintera guitars that are almost winners
While these aren't as good as the Strats, they're still really good... except for just a few minor things.
I'm going to talk about two Telecasters from the new Fender Vintera series, that being the '70s Telecaster Custom in Fiesta Red seen above, and the '70s Telecaster Thinline in Vintage Blonde seen below.
A Tele in Fiesta Red? Pure awesome. But what's not awesome are those skirted amp knobs and the bridge saddle color.
Yes, these are the only two things keeping the guitar from being a total winner. While I understand the knobs and saddles are period-correct, if the guitar had white knobs or knurled traditional Tele knobs, that would look better. And a little splash of gold color on the saddles also really would have worked well here.
Of course, you can do these mods yourself as it would be stupidly easy to do so. All you have to do is buy the parts. A Fender Pure Vintage Tele Brass saddle set is dirt cheap. Or if you want better intonation, the Gotoh compensated saddle set is also quite nice. For knobs, the Ernie Ball chrome plated set is inexpensive and look awesome. You have to buy two sets to get 4, but still, very nice.
Even though the mods are easy, my gripe is that you have to spend some cash after getting the guitar to make it look just right. Granted, the cash spent will be very small, but still, it's annoying you have to do that.
A Tele in Vintage Blonde? Again, pure awesome. This is a yellow with some transparency so you can see the wood grain through it. Very nice color.
My gripe with this one isn't the appearance. It's price and pickups. The guitar is over 4 figures to get it, the pickups don't have CuNiFe magnets in them, and I doubt the guitar has 1meg pots (probably 500K).
Currently there is no way to get CuNiFe magnet pickups new for a Thinline Tele. The last guy who was making them ceased production due to supply issues. Fender can't make them either, so don't ask.
What you get is the modern interpretation of the Wide Range Humbucker. Nice pickup, but it's not CuNiFe.
This means the extra cost is for the privilege of getting the semi-hollow ash body over the other Telecaster which has the alder solid body.
For me, this is a hard sell, especially for a Mexico build.
Granted, yes there are other Fender Mexico builds that bust over 4 figures. And I understand that the guitar is for all intents and purposes a '70s reissue with 3-bolt plate, bullet truss rod and all. But again, hard sell at over 4 figures.
The Custom is the better buy over the Thinline. Cooler color, less in price, and with some very cheap mods does make it into a winner.
One final note about the Custom. This is one of those instances where the pau ferro fretboard actually works to the guitar's advantage over rosewood. The board color better agrees with the Fiesta Red finish.