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Making Mischief: Inside the Parallel Universe Troublemaker Tele

Take a closer look at the latest offering from Fender's Parallel Universe Collection.

When you need someone to offer their insights into a never-before-seen model of a Fender Telecaster, there aren't many people more qualified than John 5.

The prolific guitarist has a collection that boasts one Telecaster for nearly every year the iconic guitar has been made.

So when Fender announced the new Troublemaker Tele from the limited-edition Parallel Universe Collection, they brought in the expert.


Embedded content: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R7RGmIiYWY8&t=11s


What ensued was a blindfolded test that managed to stump even John 5 at first.

"It feels good, but weird," he said with a laugh. "But I like cool and weird."

True, the Troublemaker Tele has some interesting and mischievous features. Its mahogany body boasts a bound and bookmatched maple top with a premium lacquer finish and a custom Cabronita pickguard.

The American Profesional Telecaster neck has an eye-catching Stratocaster-style headstock, while Shawbucker 1T and 2T humbucking pickups add a little roar to the bridge and neck positions, respectively.

What's more, and Adjusto-Matic bridge and vintage-style stop tailpiece gives the Troublemaker Tele perfect string placement and tuning stability.

"It feels to me like a '77, '76 Fender Telecaster Deluxe-type of headstock," said John 5. "The neck is very skinny, which I love. It feels beautiful. Double humbucker, which I love."

To John 5, the Troublemaker Tele would be perfect for the stage, right out of the box.

"I think the look of it is incredible," he said after putting the Troublemaker Tele through the paces. "And I love the color scheme. But most importantly, how it plays.

"I could go play this in a show right now and wouldn't make an adjustment. It plays like a dream."

Check out the entire Parallel Universe Collection here.