“We are greeted with a guitar that looks like it arrived here in a DeLorean”: Fender Vintera II '70s Competition Mustang review

Fender rolls back the clock for a vintage-inspired take on the classic budget short-scale, which remains tonal nirvana for a certain breed of guitarists

Fender's Vintera II '70s Competition Mustang guitar
(Image: © Future / Olly Curtis)

Guitar World Verdict

Cheerful, snappy and full of detail, these pickups are sure to cover a lot of musical ground. Whether it’s clean chords or aggressive fuzzed-out solos, this Mustang takes it all in its stride.

Pros

  • +

    Impeccable build.

  • +

    Very cool style and vintage vibe.

  • +

    Approachable playability.

  • +

    Top sounds.

Cons

  • -

    Nothing much but a short-scale isn't for everyone.

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.

Starting life as a budget-friendly student model, the Mustang galloped out of the classroom and straight into the hands of ’90s alt-rock heroes, cementing itself as the poster child of the grunge movement. 

Turning our attention to the latest Mustang offering from Fender, and we are greeted with a guitar that looks like it arrived here in a DeLorean. 

Fender has again nailed the ’70s aesthetic here – the vintage patina of the neck, the retro ‘F’-stamped machine heads with aged white buttons, and the period-correct black and gold decal all lead to a rather authentic-looking electric guitar indeed. 

Much like the Jaguar in the Vintera II series, this model features a 24” maple neck with C profile – although this time, it’s based on earlier examples – as well as the familiar 7.25” radius fingerboard and vintage-tall frets. 

If you’ve never had the joy of playing a short-scale Fender, we’d highly recommend seeking one out, as they are a lot of fun – and this one is no different. The shorter nature of the neck results in a much more elastic feel to the strings and once-impossible bends are now a total breeze. 

Again, like the Jag, the build quality here is top-notch. The hardware feels robust, the tremolo unit is as smooth as you like and the machine heads are perfectly responsive.

Fender's Vintera II '70s Competition Mustang guitar

(Image credit: Future / Olly Curtis)

The tonal heart of this miniature offset is a set of vintage-inspired ’70s single-coil pickups and they sound fantastic.

Cheerful, snappy and full of detail, these pickups are sure to cover a lot of musical ground. Whether it’s clean chords or aggressive fuzzed-out solos, this Mustang takes it all in its stride.

Specs

Fender's Vintera II '70s Competition Mustang guitar

(Image credit: Future / Olly Curtis)
  • PRICE: $1,149 / £1,049
  • BODY: Alder 
  • BODY FINISH: Gloss Polyester 
  • NECK: Maple 
  • NECK SHAPE: Early ‘70s C 
  • FINGERBOARD: Rosewood 
  • PICKUPS: Vintage-Style ‘70s Single-Coil Mustang
  • CONTROLS: Master Volume, Master Tone, 2-On/Off Slide Switches 

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Daryl Robertson

First and foremost, I'm a guitar enthusiast – a fanatic, some might say. I'm a firm believer that most of the world's problems can be solved with a Gibson SG and a catastrophically loud amp. As a Senior Deals Writer on Guitar World, I write about guitars for a living, but in a past life, I worked in music retail for 7 years, advising customers on the right guitars, basses, drums, pianos, and PA systems for their needs. I also have a passion for live sound; I'm a fully qualified sound engineer with experience working in various venues in Scotland, where I live with my wife and dog.