Supercharged Classic: Inside the Parallel Universe American Elite Tele
Hear and see this show-stopping modified Telecaster in action.
By Mike Duffy
When Fender announced the Parallel Universe Collection in early 2018, the goal was to dive into the company's rich history and splice the DNA of classic platforms to create otherworldly hybrids.
With the American Elite Telecaster HSS, that's just what happened.
This limited-edition model started with the American Elite Telecaster as a base, so it boasted the Elite appointments like a compound-radius fingerboard, a compound "C"-to-"D" shaped neck, contoured neck heel and unique truss rod adjustment wheel. From there, it gets supercharged with an interesting HSS pickup configuration.
"A lot of professional players over the years have added an extra pickup to their Telecasters so they can get more tonal range," said Senior Product Development Manager for Fender Guitars and Basses Allen Abbassi. "And one of the most popular mods for a Telecaster is to put a Stratocaster pickup in the middle position."
But this middle pickup on the Parallel Universe Elite Tele is no Strat pickup. Instead, it is a Telecaster bridge pickup mounted in the middle position at the same angle it would be in the bridge position. In addition, a Fender ShawBucker humbucking pickup is mounted directly to the body.
"With the tonal options of the ShawBucker, it gives you the ability to create heavy sounds, clean sounds and nice soaring leads," said Abbassi. "You can also get Telecaster-style sounds."
The Parallel Universe Elite Tele's switching system unlocks a variety of pickup configurations.
"We included a five-way switch that gives you all the pickup configurations of a Strat, but we also have the S1 switch that allows you to add the neck pickup in positions where it's notrmally not on," explained Abbassi. "So you can engage the standard Tele bridge and neck pickups at the same time, or all three at once."
Rounding out the Parallel Universe Elite Tele is an eye-catching Aged Cherry Burst nitrocellulose lacquer finish that lets the body breathe, a hardtail bridge with polished saddles and a bevel carved into the top so players can comfortable rest their forearms.
All in all, the Parallel Universe Elite Tele offers stunning looks, easy playing feel and flexible sound can scratch any musical itch.
Learn more about the entire Parallel Universe Collection here.