The Fender American Vintage series has long been one of the most desirable ranges that the Californian manufacturer has to offer. Their initial unveiling post-CBS in the 80s was a statement of intent that attention to detail, a respect for the player and astonishing tone were at the top of Fender's priority list.
It has been a shock - albeit a very nice one indeed - to learn of the complete revamp of the American Vintage series, which sees a host of new techniques and appointments that make these guitars the most authentic and true vintage reissue guitars Fender has ever produced.
Recreating the American Vintage Icons
Fender tracked down not only examples of original vintage models to work from, but also vintage guitar designers themselves to ensure that the processes they were working with would best represent the original guitars. This included restoring and using the original tooling dies (cutting and shaping blocks mounted into presses and applied to the wood), voicing entirely new pickups that better recreate the classic era of Fender electric guitars and starting from fresh to create finishes that are the closest tributes yet to the early colours.
The attractive Fender American Vintage 1959 Stratocaster in Faded Sonic Blue
There are of course Stratocaster, Telecaster, Jazzmaster and Jaguar models to choose from, all of which have their inspiration picked from mid-50s to mid-60s models, (early '50s in the case of the glorious '52 Tele). What's significant is that the new Fender American Vintage models have been based very specifically on guitars from a certain year - the '59 Stratocaster for instance has pickups wound to match that exact period of manufacturing, and finishes, along with pickguard designs that have identical production values have been added.
Some of the USA Vintage guitars have small but significant differences - larger dot inlays, witch hat control knobs (in the case of the utterly astonishing Aztec-gold '65 Jazzmaster), and C-, U-, soft V- and D neck shapings, depending on the year paid tribute to.
Fender Vintage American Series Guitars
There are multiple finishes for the majority of the Fender American Vintage guitars, some of which will be on sale as limited edition models. Every Fender American Vintage instrument is a faithful and painstaking reproduction of a piece of guitar history that any player would be proud to own.
By Rob Sandall