Inside the Fender Parallel Universe Whiteguard Strat
Read how a Strat and Tele come together in this out-of-this world mashup.
By Mike Duffy
1954 was a landmark year for Fender.
Of course, that was the year the space-age Stratocaster body style launched and began to turn heads with its sleek curves. But '54 also marked a significant milestone in the storied history of the Telecaster.
After building a steady following in the three years since debuting in 1951, the Telecaster model was ready to undergo several changes. Two of the most noticeable changes were a new creamy blonde finish that moved away from the Tele's original Butterscotch Blonde finish and a white pickguard that replaced the black pickguard found on early models.
This striking "whiteguard" version is still one of the most coveted iterations of the Telecaster.
Now, however, you can pay homage to the whiteguard Tele and the Stratocaster with which it shares a birthyear in the form of the Parallel Universe Whiteguard Strat.
The limited-edition Parallel Universe Collection combines the DNA of classic Fender models of yore to create off-the-wall hybrids.
"The Parallel Universe Collection is all about mixing and matching elements of different Fender models," said Senior Product Development Manager for Fender Guitars and Basses Allen Abbassi. "We had a Telecater with a Stratocaster pickguard on it, and this is almost the inverse of that."
The Whiteguard Strat is definitely one of those hybrids, as it marries the biting twang of a Telecaster with the ergonomic contours of a Stratocaster.
It starts with a classic ash-bodied Strat. Known for its strong lows and chiming highs, the dense ash boasts plenty of resonance. In addition, the nitrocellulose lacquer Vintage Blonde finish reveals an eye-catching grain pattern.
The Tele touches are unmistakable, though. In addition to a Tele headstock, the Whiteguard Strat is outfitted with Custom Shop '51 Nocaster pickups, period-correct single-coil pickups with tight low end and clear, balanced midrange.
An American Professional Telecaster bridge offers vintage style and modern feel and performance, as it sports three compensated brass barrel saddles for accurate intonation.
The playability is furthered by a modern 9.5" fingerboard radius and a "Modern C"-shaped neck built for comfort and speed.
For the player in search of the unmistakable sound of the Telecaster and the smooth comfort of a Stratocaster, the Whiteguard Strat is truly the best of both worlds.