Fender's New Parallel Universe Series Runs Strats, Teles and Other Classic Models Through a Bizarre Blender

No, you don’t need to get your eyes checked. The striking axe at the top of this page is, in fact, one of Fender’s new Parallel Universe models. First unveiled at the 2018 Winter NAMM Show, the limited-edition Parallel Universe series is the byproduct of Fender sending some of its most iconic designs on a direct collision course with one another. The results—an eye-catching blend of the familiar, the retro and the unconventional—have caused a major buzz in guitar land ever since images of the new models started circulating in January.

With its direct hybrid models, the Parallel Universe line truly lives up to its name. The Strat-Tele Hybrid imagines a world where a guitar with a Telecaster body comes replete with the controls, synchronized tremolo bridge, pickups and contours of a Strat. The Jazz-Tele Hybrid, on the other hand, takes a Tele Deluxe body and tosses in the single-coil pickups and floating vibrato of an American Vintage ’65 Jazzmaster. The switching system of the Jaguar—which Fender already combined with the Mustang in the Nineties at the behest of Kurt Cobain—joins forces with the electronics of the Strat on the appropriately named Jaguar Strat.

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Jackson Maxwell

Jackson is an Associate Editor at GuitarWorld.com. He’s been writing and editing stories about new gear, technique and guitar-driven music both old and new since 2014, and has also written extensively on the same topics for Guitar Player. Elsewhere, his album reviews and essays have appeared in Louder and Unrecorded. Though open to music of all kinds, his greatest love has always been indie, and everything that falls under its massive umbrella. To that end, you can find him on Twitter crowing about whatever great new guitar band you need to drop everything to hear right now.