PHOTO: Josh Giroux
Splicing Fender DNA: Inside the Strat-Tele Hybrid
Learn more about the Strat-Tele Hybrid, the first member of Fender's limited-edition Parallel Universe Collection.
By Mike Duffy
If you had a clean sheet of paper and the ability to create a hybrid guitar splicing together the DNA of two of Fender's most iconic models, a Stratocaster and Telecaster mashup would be a good place to start.
That's exactly what the minds behind Fender product development did with the new Strat-Tele Hybrid, the first offering in the limited-edition Parallel Universe Collection.
Boasting the unmistakable body of a Telecaster and timeless Stratocaster accoutrements, this guitar truly melds two time-tested instruments.
"It's everything you'd want in a Strat tone," said guitarist Todd Wisenbaker after he got to put the Strat-Tele Hybrid through the paces. "It was obviously, when I plugged it in, a Strat pickup, the best tone there is.
"It's kind of wrong, but it's right. It's cool!"
The "wrong-but-right" ethos runs through the entire Parallel Universe Collection, which will see a new guitar and bass model released each month throughout the rest of 2018.
"We wanted to do something fresh and different, something exciting and interesting to consumers that wasn't just a typical Strat or Tele," Fender Senior Product Development Manager of Electric Guitars and Basses Allen Abbassi said. "We've mixed and matched different models in the past, and this is still very much in Fender's wheelhouse."
The Parallel Universe Strat-Tele Hybrid was initially inspired by a limited run of similar models produced by Fender Senior Master Builder and Custom Shop Director Chris Fleming in 2006.
Fender has also placed three pickups in a Telecaster in the past, like the Nashville Tele.
This version features professional touches like three Custom Shop '69 Aged Strat pickups, Stratocaster controls (single volume, two tone controls and a five-way switch), a Strat synchronized tremolo bridge, a lacquer finish and comfortable contours.
"These use the best of the best parts we have," said Fender Vice President of Fender Electric Guitars and Basses Product Development Joey Brasler. "Whatever premium specs we had at our disposal, we used. We spared nothing."
With the Strat-Tele Hybrid combining the beloved specs of two of Fender's legendary guitars into one, don't be surprised if more Telecaster players come over to the Stratocaster side of the road soon.
"There are Strat people and Tele people, and we wanted to give a Tele guy a Strat," Brasler said with a laugh. "Some people just aren't comfortable on a Stratocaster, so this is an opportunity to expand their palette."
Get a preview of the entire Parallel Universe Collection here.