Fender Vintera II ‘60s Stratocaster and ‘50s Nocaster review: keenly priced Strat and Tele models that evoke the golden age of guitar building

The original 2019 Fender Vintera models offered a fine and affordable snapshot of Fenders from a particular ‘vintage era’. So, what do the Mk II class of 2023 Vinteras bring to the table?

Fender Vintera II '50s Nocaster
(Image: © Future / Phil Barker)

Guitar World Verdict

They might need a setup tweak or two, but this Nocaster and Stratocaster combine the most sought-after features of their respective decades into models that are highly evocative of Fender‘s golden era, especially tonally.


  • +

    A great amalgamation of the old and some of the new. Excellent overall build.

  • +

    Totally believable tones.

  • +

    Keen pricing.


  • -

    Action and pickup heights a little low but simple to fix.

  • -

    The Nocaster’s big neck is a matter of taste.

You can trust Guitar World Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing guitar products so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

It might surprise you to learn that Fender’s facility in the Mexican town of Ensenada, on the Baja California peninsula, has been producing guitars for well over 30 years. And if you’ve ever wondered why they look and feel, well, a bit Japanese, there’s a very good reason.

At the time of the Mexican operation’s inception, Fender brought in its Japanese manufacturing partner, Fujigen, to train the new workforce. They came with their own machinery, production and finishing methods and, as Fender’s CEO from 2005 to 2010, Bill Mendello, later reported, “The manufacture of guitars in Mexico was more Japanese-like than it was US-like.”

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Neville Marten

In the late '70s and early '80s Neville worked for Selmer/Norlin as one of Gibson's UK guitar repairers, before joining CBS/Fender in the same role. He then moved to the fledgling Guitarist magazine as staff writer, rising to editor in 1986. He remained editor for 14 years before launching and editing Guitar Techniques magazine. Although now semi-retired he still works for both magazines. Neville has been a member of Marty Wilde's 'Wildcats' since 1983, and recorded his own album, The Blues Headlines, in 2019.