Fender Vintera ’50S Precision Bass Review…
Wow, the Fender Vintera is a fun bass to play!
Even though most of us, if not all of us have been stuck at home during Covid-19, I have to say, I’ve been having fun being ‘locked up’ with this gem of a bass.
With the Vintera, Fender has brought the vintage style of the 50s Precision bass to modern times, with still the great feel and tones of those 50s “P” basses we all love.
Things are starting to open up around Nashville and I can’t wait to get to gigging on the Fender Vintera® ’50S Precision Bass®. Everything down to the body shape, neck radius, and pickups sound and feel authentic to that 50s Precision tone.
The body for the Vintera Bass is Alder with a gloss polyester finish.
It has a 34” scale 20 fret maple neck with the vintage “C” shape and a radius of 7.25”. All of the hardware has a nickel/chrome finish with the bridge, the 4 saddle vintage American bass saddle, American vintage reverse open-gear tuners, and a 1 ply gold anodizes aluminum pickguard.
The strings are the Fender® 7250M Nickel-Plated Steel Roundwound, Long Scale, .045-.105 strings, which sound great on the bass.
I want to mention that as most of you may already know, quite a few bassists prefer flat wounds on their Fender precision basses, and a great set to complement the bass with is the Fender Stainless Steel Flatwound strings. Flatwounds typically last longer than round wounds and have a warmer tone, and for string choice, it really gets down to what you prefer.
The Fender Vintera comes in three colors, Seafoam Green, Dakota Red, and Vintage Blond.
I had the opportunity to speak with the R&D folks at Fender and this is what they had to say about the Vintera:
- Body shape and neck
- Fender R&D, Engineering, Manufacturing and Quality teams routinely analyze body and neck dimensions and radii in our factories to be sure we’re delivering the correct spec and great playing instruments – if it’s meant to be a vintage-style instrument, then it will look, play and sound that way. Bear in mind that each guitar and bass has a lot of handcrafting to it – body sanding, neck shaping, finish, buff & polish and more – as they did in the ‘50s and ‘60s through now, which means that though every Fender instrument passes stringent sound, playability and consistency testing, each is unique and special.
- The Vintage “C” neck shape on the Vintera ‘50s Precision bass is built to emulate a ‘50s vintage neck we found that starts somewhat thin at the 1stfret building to a nice medium thickness at the 12th fret. Some vintage ‘50s “C” necks we’ve seen get thicker at the 12th fret, but we chose this particular shape for its feel and comfort.
- Much of the hardware we use on Fender instruments is built in our Corona or Ensenada factories. Some parts are built to our exacting specifications and imported. Whether a modern or vintage-style part, they’re designed to feel and sound like they should – and in the case of the Vintera ‘50s P Bass – vintage!
- Fender Vintera pickups are built to deliver vintage-accurate sound. Designed by pickup guru Tim Shaw, the Vintera ‘50s split P Bass pickup is inspired by the 1957 Fender original and features formvar-coated wire, alnico 5 magnets and traditional winding specs for full, clear P Bass tone.
All said, you can’t go wrong with the Fender Vintera® ’50S Precision Bass®.
Just take a look at the list of bassists that have used them over the years including James Jamerson, Peter Cetera, Donald “Duck” Dunn, Pino Palladino, Steve Harris, Tony Franklin, Duff McKagan, Nate Mendel, John Entwistle, Sting, and many others.
Be sure to check out the Fender Vintera® ’50S Precision Bass® online or at a Fender retailer near you!
David C Gross has been the bassist for a lot of folks. He has written 14 bass books and 3 instructional videos, hosts “The Bass Guitar Channel Radio Show” on www.cygnusradio.com Monday nights 8 PM EDT, and hosts the “Notes From An Artist” podcast. He also teaches online and through a correspondence course @ www.thebassguitarchannel.com