Ever wondered what a cross between a Stratocaster and Jazzmaster would look like? The Parallel Universe Series has you covered.
By Mike Duffy
What would happen if you crossed a Jazzmaster and a Stratocaster?
Or, what if you put three humbucking pickups in a Telecaster?
Those questions - and more - will be answered in Fender's 2020 Parallel Universe Series.
As the second iteration of the Parallel Universe line, which originally debuted two years ago, these crazy combinations mine Fender's DNA by mixing and matching body shapes, parts and design elements to give players the most exciting and rare instruments they only could have dreamed of.
"The Parallel Universe celebrates the modular nature of Fender guitars, splicing together DNA from various Fender models to create off-the-wall hybrids," said Fender Senior Vice President of Products Justin Norvell.
Can't wrap your head around what these could look like? Take a closer look below at some photos of the Parallel Universe Collection from the 2020 NAMM Show below.
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Understated elegance – the elusive quality of an exquisitely crafted tool, produced of the finest components and designed to do one thing exceedingly well – the Spark-O- Matic Jazzmaster is a high-performance no-nonsense rock machine with unlimited range. The high-performance engine at the heart of Spark-O-Matic is a calibrated triple set of chrome-covered Seymour Duncan SM-1N and SM-3BMini-Humbuckers. Paired with a five-way switch, these tightly-tuned and punchy pickups are a pure joy to shift through – going from smooth growl to full-throttle roar.
Boutique appointments, offset elegance, and Stratocaster versatility come together in this extraordinary instrument with looks, tones and playability that are out of this world. Its figured flame maple top-on-bound slab Jazzmaster body is stunning in a Transparent Faded Seafoam Green finish. And with three Texas Special Stratocaster pickups and a 2-point American Pro Strat bridge, the Strat Jazz Deluxe delivers proven sound – versatile enough to cover almost any genre and familiar like an old friend.
With its bold Olympic White lacquer finish and swanky gold hardware, the Troublemaker Tele Deluxe is sure to cause an uproar. The body is a solid chunk of mahogany, known for its mid-range growl and sustain. A 12” radius neck with ebony fingerboard and 22 medium-jumbo frets promises smooth action even with the most aggressive playing, and its custom Double Tap humbucking pickups give the Troublemaker its rowdy-yet-refined voice.
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Designed with Fender Custom Shop Master Builder Ron Thorn, the Tele Mágico exudes cowboy class with its extravagant appointments, figured woods and custom pickups. Pearloid pervades – generously used for binding, inlays, tuning pegs, custom pickup rings and the Cabronita pickguard. The neck is flame maple and the Thinline swamp ash body is accentuated by the Transparent Daphne Blue or Transparent Surf Green gloss finish choices in a twist on classic Fender color conventions. Teamed with two custom-designed Fender Gold Foil pickups, the Tele Mágico delivers crystalline highs, expressive mids and creamy lows.
Elegant in gloss black lacquer finish, the Troublemaker Tele Deluxe Bigsby features pearloid block inlays and white binding throughout for a dashing “tuxedo” look. Three custom-calibrated Double Tap humbucking pickups can be smooth and suave or raucous and rebellious, as the job requires. And a Bigsby vibrato assures you'll add the deepest bends to your repertoire.
One of the most outlandish models offered by Fender over the years, the Maverick – also known as the Custom – may just be the boldest of them all. Comprised of leftover 12-string necks, bodies and pickups and transformed into a very unique six-string, it was like nothing else on the market — with a kind of misfit glamour that made it greater than the sum of its parts. A pair of Tim Shaw designed Filter’Tron-style humbucking pickups, a Bigsby vibrato and dark ebony fingerboard kicks up the swagger of this guitar.
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Dapper and bold – the Uptown Strat commands attention when it enters a room. Eye-catching Static White lacquer highlights and accentuates the Fijian mahogany body. A bound and block inlaid rosewood fingerboard radiates class and a pair of chrome Double Tap humbucking pickups draw the eye.
Cosmically stunning in Mystic Surf Green lacquer, the limited-edition Jazz Strat is a sublimely surreal celebration of classic Fender design, transmuting the known into something new and curiously beautiful. Combining a sleek and comfortable contoured Stratocaster body with the neck, vibrato and pickups of a Jazzmaster – and capped with a custom Decoboom Streamline Pinstriped pickguard and aluminum radio knobs – the Jazz Strat is a potent fusion of classic Fender design and extraterrestrial intervention, creating something altogether extraordinary.