Fender Player vs Vintera Electric Guitars: The Differences


The Fender Player and Vintera/ Vintera-Modified series are similarly priced but they have pretty different features. In this article, I’ll be comparing the Stratocaster, Telecaster, Jaguar, Jazzmaster and Mustang guitars from each series so you can decide which is the best option for you.

Contents:

  • Guitars Available in the Player and Vintera Series
  • Core Differences
  • Key Similarities
  • Stratocasters Compared
  • Telecasters Compared
  • Jaguars Compared
  • Jazzmasters Compared
  • Mustangs Compared

Guitars Available in the Player and Vintera Series

Both the Fender Player and Vintera series have Stratocaster, Telecaster, Jazzmaster, Mustang and Jaguar model available. However, only the Fender Player series also has left-handed models and the Duo Sonic and Lead shapes available. The pickup configurations also vary between series.

Here is a table showing the models and pickup configurations available in the Fender Player and Vintera series.

ModelFender PlayerFender Vintera
Stratocaster (SSS)Left and Right HandRight Hand Only
Stratocaster (HSS)Right Hand OnlyNot Available
Stratocaster (HSH)Right Hand OnlyNot Available
Telecaster (SS)Left and Right HandRight Hand Only
Telecaster (HH)Right Hand OnlyRight Hand Only
Telecaster (SH)Not AvailableRight Hand Only
Jaguar (SS)Not AvailableRight Hand Only
Jaguar (HH)Not AvailableRight Hand Only
Jaguar (HS)Right Hand OnlyNot Available
Jazzmaster (SS)Not AvailableRight Hand Only
Jazzmaster (HH)Right Hand OnlyNot Available
Mustang (SS)Not AvailableRight Hand Only
Mustang (P90)Right Hand OnlyNot Available
Duo Sonic (SS)Right Hand OnlyNot Available
Duo Sonic (HS)Right Hand OnlyNot Available
Lead (SS)Right Hand OnlyNot Available
Lead (HH)Right Hand OnlyNot Available
Models available in the Fender Player and Fender Vintera series

Core Differences

There are two main subtypes of Vintera guitars: modified and standard. The Modified Vintera models are share more similar features with the Fender Player models compared to the standard Vintera models. There are also ’50s and ’60s versions of the Vintera Stratocasters and Telecasters which have different neck shapes and pickups.

In this next section we’ll look at the most important differences between the Player, Vintera and Vintera Modified series. Later in the article I’ll be comparing specific models e.g. Tele and Strat., in some more detail to highlight additional differences.

Pickups

There are two things to consider here:

  • Pickup configuration
  • Pickup voicing

When looking at the Strat and Tele models, you’ll get the standard SSS/ SS pickup configurations in both series. However, there are also additional pickup configurations which you’ll only find in one of the two series (more on this later when looking at individual models). The pickup configurations are also completely different for the Jaguar, Jazzmaster and Mustang shapes.

In terms of voicing, there are several types of pickups to consider here. The Player Series uses standard Player Alnico pickups, whereas the Vintera standard models have vintage-style pickups and the Vintera-Modified models have vintage-hot pickups. You can also get ’50s and ’60s pickup variants of Vintera/ Vintera-Modified Teles and Strats.

Player series pickups sound more glassy and crisp whereas Vintera/ Vintera-Modified pickups sound slightly warmer. The Vintera-Modified pickups have a higher output and sound fuller and crunchier compared to the standard Vintera pickups.

Necks

The necks of Player series guitars are much similar to the Vintera-Modified series necks rather than the standard Vintera necks.

  • Neck Shape: Player and Vintera Modified guitars both have C necks (except the ’60s Vintera-Modified Tele which has a soft-V neck). Standard Vintera models have a variety of neck shapes including V, C and U which are model specific.
  • Neck Finish: Player series and Vintera Modified guitars have a satin neck finish whereas standard Vintera models have a gloss neck finish.
  • Fingerboard Radius: Player series and Vintera Modified guitars have a 9.5″ fingerboard radius whereas standard Vintera models have a narrower 7.25″ radius. The larger radius makes bending the strings easier for most players.
  • Fret Number: Player series guitars all have 22 frets whereas Vintera/ Vintera-Modified Stratocasters, Telecasters and Jazzmasters have 21 frets. Vintera/ Vintera-Modified Mustangs and Jaguar have 22 frets.
  • Fretboard Wood: Vintera ’50s guitars have a maple fretboard whilst Vintera ’60s guitars have a Pau Ferro fretboard. Player series guitars have either option depending on the color of the body.
  • Fret Size: Player and Vintera-Modified guitars have medium jumbo frets whereas standard Vintera guitars have vintage frets. They are similar widths with the medium jumbo frets being a bit wider. However, vintage frets are significantly taller.

Other Key Differences

  • Vintera guitars come with a gig bag unlike Player series guitars.
  • Cosmetic differences such as plastic colors, and pickguard thickness.
  • Vintera guitars use vintage-style tuners and truss rods, whereas Player guitars have standard cast tuners and 3/16″ hex adjustment truss rods.
  • The neck plate has an “F” stamp on Fender Player guitars but not on Vintera guitars.
  • Color options.

There are also several other model specific differences including the bridge designs and controls.

Key Similarities

  • Scale length
  • Alder bodies and maple necks
  • Gloss body finish
  • Synthetic bone nut
  • 1.65″ nut width
  • Dot inlays
  • Fender USA 9-gauge strings
  • Chrome/ nickel hardware

Check out my comparison between Fender Player and Player Plus guitars.

Fender Player vs Vintera/ Vintera-Modified Stratocasters

Fender Player and Vintera Stratocasters have different neck shapes, neck finishes, fingerboard radiuses, fret numbers, fret sizes, pickups, tuning machines and bridge designs. Fender Player and Vintera Modified Stratocasters have different fret numbers, fret sizes, tuning machines and pickups.

Available pickup configurations:

  • SSS: Player, Vintera and Vintera-Modified
  • HSS: Player only
  • HSH: Player only

Colors:

  • Player: Black, Polar White, Sunburst, Buttercream, Tidepool, Capri Orange, Silver.
  • ’50s Vintera: Sonic Blue, Seafoam Green.
  • ’60s Vintera: 3 Color Sunburst, Surf Green, Ice Blue Metallic.
  • ’50s Vintera Modified: 2 Color Sunburst, Daphne Blue.
  • ’60s Vintera Modified: Burgundy Mist Metallic, Olympic White.

Fender Player

Fender Vintera

Images link to Amazon

Check out this table comparing the Fender Player, Vintera and Vintera-Modified versions of the Stratocaster.

FeaturePlayerVintera ‘50s/ ‘60sVintera ‘50s/ ’60s Modified
FretboardMaple/ Pau FerroMaple (‘50s)/ Pau Ferro (‘60s)Maple (‘50s)/ Pau Ferro (‘60s)
Neck FinishSatinGlossSatin
Neck ShapeModern CSoft V (‘50s)/ Mid ‘60s C (‘60s)Modern C
Fingerboard Radius9.5”7.25”9.5”
Fret Number222121
Fret SizeMedium JumboVintageMedium Jumbo
Truss Rod Nut3/16” Hex AdjustmentVintage-StyleVintage-Style
PickupsPlayer Series Alnico VVintage Style ‘50s/ ‘60sVintage Style ‘50s/ ‘60s Hot
Push/ Pull Tone PotNoNoOnly on ‘60s
Bridge2-Point Tremolo6-Point Tremolo2-Point Tremolo
Tuning MachinesStandard CastVintage StyleVintage Style (Locking on ’50s)
Pickguard3-Ply1-Ply (‘50s)/ 3-Ply (‘60s)1-Ply (‘50s)/ 3-Ply (‘60s)
Switches/ Pickguard ColorParchment WhiteAged WhiteAged White
F-Stamped Neck PlateYesNoNo
Gigbag IncludedNoYesYes
Fender Player vs Vintera/ Vintera-Modified Stratocasters

Considering other Stratocasters? Check out my complete guide to the different Stratocaster models to make sure you get the best option.

Fender Player vs Vintera/ Vintera-Modified Telecaster

Fender Player and Vintera Telecasters have different neck shapes, neck finishes, fingerboard radiuses, fret numbers, fret sizes, pickups, tuning machines and bridge designs. Fender Player and Vintera Modified Telecasters have different fret numbers, fret sizes, tuning machines, bridge designs and pickups.

Check out my article comparing the 3-saddle and 6-saddle Telecaster bridge to learn about the pros and cons of each design.

Available pickup configurations:

  • SS: Player, Vintera and Vintera-Modified.
  • HH: Vintera-Deluxe.
  • SH: Vintera-Custom.

Colors:

  • Player: Butterscotch Blonde, Black, Tidepool, Polar White, Capri Orange, Sunburst.
  • Vintera ’50s: 2 Color Sunburst, Fiesta Red, Sonic Blue.
  • Vintera ’50s Modified: Surf Green, Daphne Blue.
  • Vintera ’60s Modified: Seafoam Green, Lake Placid Blue.

Fender Player

Fender Vintera

Images link to Amazon

Check out this table comparing the Fender Player, Vintera and Vintera-Modified versions of the Telecaster.

FeaturePlayerVintera ‘50sVintera ‘50s/ ‘60s Modified
FretboardMaple/ Pau FerroMapleMaple (‘50s)/ Pau Ferro (‘60s)
Neck FinishSatinGlossSatin
Neck ShapeModern CEarly ‘50s UThick Soft V (‘50s)/ ’60s C (’60s)
Fingerboard Radius9.5”7.25”9.5”
Fret Number222121
Fret SizeMedium JumboVintageVintage
Truss Rod Nut3/16” Hex AdjustmentVintage-StyleVintage-Style
PickupsPlayer Series Alnico VVintage Style ‘50sCustom Shop Vintage Style (‘50s)/ Vintage Style ‘60s Hot (‘60s)
Push/ Pull Tone PotNoNoOnly on the ‘50s
Bridge6-Saddle String-Through3-Saddle String-Through3-Saddle String-Through
Tuning MachinesStandard CastVintage StyleVintage Style
Pickguard3-Ply1-Ply1-Ply
Plastic ColorWhite/ BlackWhiteBlack (’50s)/ Aged White (’60s)
F-Stamped Neck PlateYesNoNo
Gigbag IncludedNoYesYes
Fender Player vs Vintera/ Vintera-Modified Telecasters

Fender Player vs Vintera/ Vintera-Modified Jaguar

Fender Player and Vintera Jaguar guitars have different pickup configurations, neck shapes, neck finishes, fingerboard radiuses, fret sizes, pickups and controls. Fender Player and Vintera Modified Jaguars have different pickup configurations, controls and bridges.

Available pickup configurations:

  • SS: Vintera
  • HH: Vintera-Modified
  • HS: Player

Colors:

  • Player: Tidepool, 3 Color Sunburst, Black, Capri Orange.
  • Vintera ’60s: 3 Color Sunburst, Ocean Turquoise.
  • Vintera ’60s Modified: Sonic Blue, Surf Green.

Check out this table comparing the Fender Player, Vintera and Vintera-Modified versions of the Jaguar.

FeaturePlayerVintera ‘60sVintera ‘60s Modified
Pickup ConfigurationHSSSHH
Neck FinishSatinGlossSatin
Neck ShapeModern C‘60s CModern C
Fingerboard Radius9.5”7.25”9.5”
Fret SizeMedium JumboVintageMedium Jumbo
Truss Rod Nut3/16” Hex AdjustmentVintage-StyleVintage-Style
PickupsPlayer Series Alnico IIIVintage-Style Single CoilAtomic Humbucking
Controls1 x Tone, 1 x Vol2 x Tone, 2 x Vol2 x Tone, 2 x Vol
Rhythm/ Lead CircuitNoYesYes
Coil SplitYesN/ANo
Mid-Cut SwitchNoYesYes
Bridge6-Saddle Vintage-Style w/ Floating Tail Piece6-Saddle Vintage-Style w/ Floating Tail PieceAdjusto-Matic with Vintage Style Floating Tailpiece
Pickguard3-Ply4-Ply3-Ply
F-Stamped Neck PlateYesNoNo
Gigbag IncludedNoYesYes
Fender Player vs Vintera/ Vintera-Modified Jaguars

Fender Player vs Vintera/ Vintera-Modified Jazzmaster

Fender Player and Vintera Jazzmaster guitars have different pickup configurations, neck shapes, neck finishes, fingerboard radiuses, fret sizes, fret numbers, pickups and controls. Fender Player and Vintera Modified Jazzmasters have different pickup configurations, fret numbers, controls, and bridges.

Available pickup configurations:

  • SS: Vintera and Vintera-Modified
  • HH: Player

Colors:

  • Player: Buttercream, Polar White, Capri Orange, 3-Color Sunburst.
  • Vintera ’60s: Olympic White, Ice Blue Metallic.
  • Vintera ’60s Modified: Surf Green, 3 Color Sunburst.

Fender Player

Fender Vintera

Images link to Amazon

Check out this table comparing the Fender Player, Vintera and Vintera-Modified versions of the Jazzmaster.

FeaturePlayerVintera ‘60sVintera ‘60s Modified
Pickup ConfigurationHHSSSS
Neck FinishSatinGlossSatin
Neck ShapeModern CMid ‘60s CModern C
Fingerboard Radius9.5”7.25”9.5”
Fret Number222121
Fret SizeMedium JumboVintageMedium Jumbo
Truss Rod Nut3/16” Hex AdjustmentVintage-StyleVintage-Style
PickupsPlayer Series Alnico IIVintage Style ‘60sVintage Style ‘60s Hot
Controls1 x Tone, 1 x Vol2 x Tone, 2 x Vol2 x Tone, 2 x Vol
Rhythm/ Lead CircuitNoYesYes
Coil SplitYesN/AN/A
Bridge6-Saddle Vintage-Style w/ Floating Tail Piece6-Saddle Vintage-Style w/ Floating Tail PieceAdjusto-Matic w/ Vintage Style  Floating Tailpiece
Pickguard3-Ply4-Ply4-Ply
Plastic ColorWhiteAged WhiteAged White
F-Stamped Neck PlateYesNoNo
Gigbag IncludedNoYesYes
Fender Player vs Vintera/ Vintera-Modified Jazzmasters

Fender Player vs Vintera Mustang

Fender Player and Vintera Mustang guitars have different pickups, neck shapes, neck finishes, fingerboard radiuses, bridge designs and controls.

Available pickup configurations:

  • P90 P90: Player
  • SS: Vintera

Colors:

  • Player: Burgundy Mist Metallic, Seafoam Green, Aged Natural.
  • Vintera ’60s: Lake Placid Blue, Seafoam Green, 3 Color Sunburst.

Check out this table comparing the Fender Player and Vintera versions of the Mustang.

FeaturePlayerVintera ‘60s
Pickup ConfigurationP90 P90SS
Neck FinishSatinGloss
Neck ShapeC-Shape‘60s C
Fingerboard Radius9.5”7.25”
Fret SizeMedium JumboVintage
PickupsMustang MP-90Vintage-Style ‘60s Single Coil
Pickup Selector3-Way SwitchSlider Control
Controls1 x Tone, 1 x Vol1 x Tone, 1 x Vol
Push/ Pull Tone PotYesNo
Bridge6-Saddle String-Through Hardtail6-Saddle Vintage Style Tremolo
Pickguard3-Ply4-Ply
HeadstockOversized ‘70sStandard
F-Stamped Neck PlateYesNo
Gigbag IncludedNoYes
Fender Player vs Vintera/ Vintera-Modified Mustangs

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Heather

Hey, I'm Heather. I started playing an electric guitar when I was given a Squier Strat for my birthday around 15 years ago. I now own an acoustic guitar and several electric guitars including my personal favourite, a PRS SE Custom 24.

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