Fender American Vintage II 1951 Telecaster Review & Prices

Fender American Vintage II 1951 Telecaster Review
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  • From Fender's 2022 American Vintage II series
  • Made in United States
  • 6 strings
  • 25.5"'' scale
  • 7.25" Fretboard Radius
  • Ash body
  • 1-Piece Maple neck
  • Maple fretboard
  • Bridge pickup: Fender Pure Vintage 51 Single-Coil Tele (Single Coil/Passive)
  • Neck pickup: Fender Pure Vintage 51 Single-Coil Tele (Single Coil/Passive)
  • 1 volume and 1 tone Dome knobs
  • 3-way Switch
  • Pure Vintage 3-Saddle Tele with Brass Barrel Saddles, Serialized bridge
  • 1951 U Bolt-On neck
  • 21 Vintage Tall frets
  • Pure Vintage Single Line Fender Deluxe tuners
  • Compare Specs >

Our Scores and Tone Evaluation

Playability 72
Sound 72
Build quality 70
Value for money 61
Overall Score 71
Tone Evaluation
  • Heavy Metal
  • Hard Rock
  • Jazz
  • Blues
  • Funk
  • Country
Strengths & Weaknesses
Fender American Vintage II 1951 Telecaster
  • Made in United States
  • Expensive Wood
  • Bone Nut
  • Top Brand Pickups
  • Cheap Fret Wire (NS)
  • No Locking Tuners
  • No Neck-Through Build
  • No Push Knob or Extra Switch Option
  • No Weight Relief
  • No Luminescent Inlay
  • No Tremolo
  • No Compound Radius Fretboard
  • No 21:1 Tuner Ratio
  • No Strap Lock

Price Overview

Its average competitor's price is $3900, which means that the Fender American Vintage II 1951 Telecaster is around 37% cheaper than the competition. This takes into account all instruments of the same category in our database with 6 strings and Fixed bridge that are made in United States.

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Videos

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Your feedback

Not all instruments are created equally. That's why it's important to have different opinions. Here's what our users who have played this instrument say. If you've played it before, help others by voting below!

Weight

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Tuning stability

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Neck access to high frets

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Neck profile shape

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Is it Easy to Play?

The Fender American Vintage II 1951 Telecaster meets 5 out of our 8 criteria items for beginner friendliness, which means that it's a good guitar to start with as a complete beginner. This takes into account the type of frets, scale length, nut width, bridge type, fretboard radius, and neck profile to determine the easiest combination for new players to get used to.

New Player Friendliness

Fender American Vintage II 1951 Telecaster
  • Comfortable shape
  • Easy-to-use bridge
  • Tall frets
  • Narrow nut
  • Comfortable neck
  • Comfortable fretboard
  • Short scale
  • Locking tuners

Hand Size Comfortability

After taking into account the neck profile, scale size, fretboard radius, and nut width, we can conclude that the Fender American Vintage II 1951 Telecaster's construction is balanced for most hand sizes.

Nevertheless, this comes down in the end to personal preference. Make sure you test this guitar—or another one with similar characteristics—before buying.

Big Hands
Small Hands

Scale Length

Scale length is the distance the strings will span between the bridge and the nut. It can tell you a lot about the overall playability and tone of the instrument. A longer scale length means longer distance between frets, brighter tone and more string tension—which means lower action, but more difficult bending of the strings.

Here's the Fender American Vintage II 1951 Telecaster's 25.5" scale length compared to other common sizes:

Fender American Vintage II 1951 Telecaster Scale Length Comparison
Fender American Vintage II 1951 Telecaster's scale length (at the top) compared to other popular sizes

This is the same scale length used in Stratocaster guitars, and it's one of the main reasons they have such a bright sound. It's considered a long scale when compared to most non-baritone guitars.

Since the distance between bridge and nut is relatively long, you'll need to give the strings more tension to get them in tune. This higher tension will allow for a couple of things. First, you can get a lower action (get the strings closer to the fretboard) because the strings won't 'wiggle' too much when pluck and won't cause fret buzz. This can allow you to use lower tunings without increasing your string gauge, and it will make it easier to press down the strings fast.

However, the frets will also have a wider separation between each other, which can make it harder to play, especially if you got small hands. The higher tension will also make the strings feel stiffer, so bending will require more strength.

More with the same scale length:

Neck Profile

Fender American Vintage II 1951 Telecaster Neck Profile
Fender American Vintage II 1951 Telecaster's neck profile

The neck profile tells you the thickness (neck depth) and shape in cross section. Every difference will completely change the feeling and comfortability of the neck. This is a highly subjective thing, but most players indeed prefer certain types of necks (like Cs and Ds) because they feel nice in most hands.

It has a U type neck. This shape usually has more 'shoulders' than a C neck. It's great for guitarists who love the feel of a vintage neck. Most of them are thick, which makes it better for people with big hands. However, some of them can be thin like a C neck but with more mass to the sides for a better grip.

More for different hand sizes

Fretboard Radius

When it comes to fingerboard radius, personal preference will dictate which one is better for you. However, most people seem to agree that a more curved (lower) radius will make it easier to play chords while a less curved (higher) radius is better for soloing and bending.

The Fender American Vintage II 1951 Telecaster has a 7.25" fingerboard radius.

Here's an image comparing this fretboard radius to other popular choices:

Fender American Vintage II 1951 Telecaster Fretboard Radius Comparison with Fender Stratocaster and Gibson Les Paul
Fender American Vintage II 1951 Telecaster's fretboard radius compared to others

This type of radius is considered vintage because it's a lot shorter than what is used in modern guitars. It'll make chords easy to play without muting the strings because the curve will give more space for your fingers, and it adapts more naturally to your hand. However, this comes at a disadvantage. Bending the strings will be more difficult because you will have to adapt your bends to the curve. Also, you won't be able to set the action of the strings low because your strings will ''fret out'' and get muted when bending due to the curve making the string hit the other frets.

Compound radius fingerboards give the best of both worlds. Unfortunately, the Fender American Vintage II 1951 Telecaster has the same radius across the board.

More with the same fretboard radius:

Playability compared to main competitors

25.5'' Scale Length
U Neck Profile
1.65'' Nut Width
7.25'' Fretboard Radius
25.5'' Scale Length
D Neck Profile
1.685'' Nut Width
Compound Fretboard Radius
25.5'' Scale Length
D Neck Profile
1.685'' Nut Width
Compound Fretboard Radius
25.5'' Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.65'' Nut Width
Compound Fretboard Radius
25.5'' Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.625'' Nut Width
7.25'' Fretboard Radius

Nut Width

Fender American Vintage II 1951 Telecaster Nut Width
Fender American Vintage II 1951 Telecaster Nut Width

The Fender American Vintage II 1951 Telecaster has a nut width of 41.9mm (1.65''). This is considered a narrow width for a 6-string guitar. This means that this guitar will have a narrower string separation at the nut, which will affect your fretting hand.

If you are a player with big hands, you might find it difficult to play chords without muting strings. However, this is good for players who have smaller hands, as it will allow them to reach each string more easily at the nut.

Frets

The Fender American Vintage II 1951 Telecaster has 21 frets. Even though 24 frets has become really popular, there's still a good reason to get fewer frets; the pickup at the neck position will be further away from the bridge. This makes the neck pickup achieve a warmer tone. You might want this if you're playing Jazz or similar genres.

However, if you don't care about the warmer neck pickup, more frets will always be better. It's always nice to have the option to play higher notes if you want to.

It comes with nickel silver frets, so they won't last as long as stainless steel frets. If you use your instrument a lot, you might need to replace the frets after a few years. But this is unlikely as most people change instruments before this happens.

More with the same amount of frets:

Fret Size

Fender American Vintage II 1951 Telecaster Fret Size Comparison
Fender American Vintage II 1951 Telecaster's fret size (in orange) compared to other popular sizes

Finally, let's talk about fret size. Some people prefer tall frets because it's easier to press the strings and perform bends since there's less friction against the fretboard. On the other hand, some people like shorter frets because they like to touch the fretboard when playing, or because they got heavy hands and tend to press too much on the string and alter the of the note pitch accidently.

The Fender American Vintage II 1951 Telecaster's frets are Vintage Tall size. This is a confusing name for a fret size because vintage frets are known for being short. However, this size usually means that the crown width is narrower than most modern frets, but the height is a bit taller than the usual vintage fret. You should feel the fretboard when playing with these frets, but they're not as hard to press as real vintage frets.

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Playability Score

Bending & Vibrato Ease 65
Chord Playability 100
Solo Playability 50
Playability 72

Tone Analysis

Wood will have little influence in the final tone of an electric guitar or bass. Instead, the hardware, especially the pickups, will be the most important thing to look at. Bur first, let's see the quality of the wood.

Wood

Ash wood pattern used for guitar building
Ash Body
Maple wood pattern used for guitar building
Maple Neck, Fretboard

Ash Body: The most popular Ash wood for guitars is swamp Ash. It has a really light color with beautiful patterns, which makes it perfect for a natural-looking finish. It's not as lightweight as Alder, but also not as heavy as Mahogany. It's known for producing a bright tone with solid mids and lows.

Maple Neck and Fretboard: This is one of the most popular types of wood used in all kinds of guitars. It's heavy, strong and compact, which makes it great for necks. However, it's also used for fretboards, bodies and tops due to its light color, resistance and beautiful patterns. When it comes to tone, it highlights the mid and high frequencies.

More made with the same wood:

Pickups

This guitar comes with pickups from one of the top brands: Fender. So you can expect well built pickups with great sound that shouldn't need an upgrade anytime soon.

These are passive pickups, so you can expect a rounder sound and a moderade level of output.

The Fender American Vintage II 1951 Telecaster's configuration is SS. This is the classic Telecaster configuration and it's used mainly for playing clean or with low-gain distortion. It doesn't give you as much versatility as a Strat SSS configuration, but you might like the cleaner look of a guitar body with fewer pickups.

Versatility

It comes with the popular 3-way switch that is present in most guitars. For more versatility, players tend to prefer a 5-way switch, although it all depends on what you want to use your guitar for.

Unfortunately, it doesn't come with more options for coil split or coil tapping. This makes it less versatile than some competitors.

Diagram

Fender American Vintage II 1951 Telecaster pickups switch and push knobs diagram
Fender American Vintage II 1951 Telecaster's switch options

What music genre is it good for?

As a 6 strings, Solid Body guitar with SS configuration and Passive pickups, we'd recommend it for genres like Country or similar. However, you can use almost any guitar for any genre. This is just the typical type of music for this particular one.

Sound Score

Pickups 100
Sustain 65
Versatility 54
Tuning Stability 70
Sound 72

Build Quality Analysis

Country of Origin

Knowing where the instrument is produced is a good way to know how well it's built. Some manufacturing countries are known for having higher quality standards. For example, most expensive instruments are made in the US or Japan, but there are some exceptionally great countries—like South Korea—that are building a good reputation.

The Fender American Vintage II 1951 Telecaster is made in United States. Guitars made in the USA have the reputation of being the best instruments you can get. This statement isn't as accurate as a few years ago, but you should still expect top-quality from a guitar made in this country.

Bridge

Pure Vintage 3-Saddle Tele with Brass Barrel Saddles, Serialized: The advantage of fixed bridges is that they don't require any kind of set-up. This makes it extremely easy when changing strings because you don't need to adjust anything besides tuning the guitar. Also, the fact that the bridge is directly attached to the body will help to increase sustain. The disadvantage is the lack of versatility since you can't create the same vibrato effects as with tremolo bridges.

More with the same type of bridge:

Nut Material

Another important thing to analyze is the nut material, as it's one of the most important aspects that can affect the sound and playability of your guitar. A well-cut nut will make sure it stays in tune and will make it more comfortable to play.

In this case, the Fender American Vintage II 1951 Telecaster has a Bone nut. This material is one of the highest quality you can get. It provides excellent sustain and tune stability if cut well. The only disadvantage is that it's an organic material, so it's not consistent. Two different bone nuts, even if made from the same bone, will probably sound slightly different. However, bear in mind that this is only relevant when playing open strings.

More with the same nut material:

Neck Joint

The neck joint is the part where the neck of the guitar meets the body. There are three main techniques to attach both parts together: Set-In, Bolt-On and Neck-Through. The latter two provide different advantages, although neck-throughs are the most expensive.

This guitar has a Bolt-On neck joint. Even though this type of neck was looked down upon for a long time, nowadays bolt-on necks are well built and provide just as much sustain as any other join method. First of all, it's cheap to make because it consists of simply 4 bolts that attach the neck to the body. And you can travel with the guitar more easily, swap out the neck if you damage it, or upgrade to a more comfortable neck later on.

More with the same build:

Build Quality Score

Quality of materials 66
Features 50
Quality Control 95
Build Quality 70

All Specs

Fender American Vintage II 1951 Telecaster
General
Brand: Fender
Year: 2022
Configuration: SS
Strings: 6
Made in: United States
Series: American Vintage II
Colors: Yellow
Left-Handed Version: Yes
Body
Type: Solid Body
Body Material: Ash
Bridge: Pure Vintage 3-Saddle Tele with Brass Barrel Saddles, Serialized
Neck
Neck Joint: Bolt-On
Tuners: Pure Vintage Single Line Fender Deluxe
Fretboard: Maple
Neck Material: 1-Piece Maple
Decoration: Black Dot
Scale Size: 25.5"
Shape: 1951 U
Frets: 21 Vintage Tall
Fretboard Radius: 7.25"
Nut: Bone
Nut Width: 41.9mm (1.65'')
Electronics
Switch: 3 Way
Knobs: Dome
Volume Controls: 1
Tone Controls: 1
Bridge Pickup: Fender Pure Vintage 51 Single-Coil Tele (Single Coil / Passive)
Neck Pickup: Fender Pure Vintage 51 Single-Coil Tele (Single Coil / Passive)

User Reviews

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1 user reviews:

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Guitarist
14/03/23 00:37:32

Unreal sustain!