Gear

Inside the Parallel Universe '51 Telecaster PJ Bass

Looking like it just stepped out of a DeLorean time machine, the limited-edition ’51 Telecaster PJ Bass updates a classic design with thunderous modern tone and enhanced feel.

The debut of the Precision Bass in 1951 was one of the most important milestones in the history of music.

Its invention gave bass players a way to be heard clearly without having to port around a heavy and fragile upright bass. But the Precision Bass that we know today, with its contoured edges and large headstock, did not look much like the original model, which featured a slab body, Telecaster-style headstock and single-ply black pickguard.

Now, through the Parallel Universe Collection, you can go back to those early days with the limited-edition '51 Telecaster PJ Bass. This time with a few modern touches.


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Just like several other offerings in the Parallel Universe Collection, such as the Jaguar Strat, the Jazz Tele and Strat-Tele Hybrid, the Telecaster PJ Bass mixes and matches several elements from Fender's history.

The authentic style extends from the slab body, distinctive single-ply black pickguard to the dual-concentric volume knobs and vintage spaghetti logo on the Telecaster-style headstock — original-era touches brought into the present.

What's more, the neck recalls the time of James Jamerson, as it's based on a '63 P Bass profile ideal for funky, thumb-over playing, and the 9.5"-radius fingerboard makes for fast, low action.

But in addition to the Custom Shop '60s P Bass split-coil middle pickup, the Telecaster PJ Bass also boasts a Custom Shop '60s Jazz Bass single-coil bridge pickup to give you even more tonal options.

"A lot of people like the versatility that you can get out of a P Bass that has both styles of pickups," noted Allen Abbassi, Senior Product Manager for Fendr Electric Guitars and Basses.

To control each pickup, there is a stacked volume knob, where the top knob adjusts the volume of the Precision Bass pickup and the bottom adjusts the Jazz Bass pickup.

Other premium accoutrements include a nitrocellulose lacquer finish that lets the body breathe for true tonal character and a vintage HiMass bridge with enough heft for rock-solid sustain and intonation.

In all, the '51 Telecaster PJ Bass has the look of the bass that started it all, but several contemporary trappings.

The result is a bass that is punchy, growling, seismic and like nothing you've heard or seen before.

Check out the entire Parallel Universe Collection here and purchase the '51 Telecaster PJ Bass here.