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Fender Ought Regularly Visit the Parallel Universe

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by Veeseaczar, Jan 12, 2018.

  1. Veeseaczar

    Veeseaczar TDPRI Member

    Oct 28, 2016
    Chattanooga, TN
    By now youve seen the article.

    If you haven't:

    I want to talk about the interesting fact that series like this are limited, short-run, nonpermanent additions to the lineup, which I find silly from an instrumentalist and customer perspective.

    It speaks volumes to me about the chances a wealthy company like Fender is *not* willing to take that instruments like this are considered weird or groundbreaking. The combinations theyve presented seem largely pretty functional and most have a market.

    Take maybe chiefly the Jazz and Troublemaker Telecasters. These are both fantastic ideas that should already be on the market. The Jazzmaster platform is sought after sound, and being able to have those features in a Telecaster body makes it more attractive to those offput by offset bodies. (Heh.) Honestly they need nor have included the floating tremolo, instead using a hardtail bridge with the same Jazzmaster pickups and pickguard. Id buy that. Hell I want that right now. Add the ability to choose between 25.5 and 24.75 scale? Ooooo buddy.

    And the Troublemaker Tele gives them a direct bead on the shorter scale length, 2 humbucker crowd. The bodies are not wildly different between this and an LP. If it were about 700$, I'd be much more prepared to buy it than ever shell out for a Les Paul. Its a very useful set up, and again if they were sold at varying scale lengths, that would be ideal as a player. Maybe I want the warmth of PAF type humbuckers, but the articulation from a more taughtly wound instrument.

    This is the kind modularity that could benefit Fender a lot, and give me an excuse to buy a ****-ton. Maybe theyve been paying attention to Reverend's approach of having (roughly) two solid body shapes, and providing a very wide range of pickup selections--to wit, you can get their single cutaway with either 3 strat style pickups, 2 P90s, a Tele Bridge/ Filtertron-style neck combo, or PAF style humbuckers. All of those with the same scale length and body shape. For just around 700 dollars.

    These are meaningfully different options, and too often do I see Fender splitting hairs between 50s or 60s reissues, the same guitars with these infintesimal changes, changed to the point where we're scarcely dealing with the old instruments anyway in anything but some calling card aesthetics. A change that aesthetically and tonally significant is a marketable one, and helps the players identify the nuances that make an instrument sound so different than another, especially at a mid-tier price point (where I live). As a recording artist, I want to be able to find instruments that have the elements I need to play comfortably, but also the broad-strokes tonal differences that will translate cognitively to an audience. As a performing artist, having a distinct instrument helps creates a distinct perception, and arguably a distinct style of playing.

    The Parallel Universe series is emblematic of the type of game I think Fender ought play more often, at least with the T and S body types. I think they'd find a solid market. Id buy so many if I had the money.

    Whaddya think?
  2. AAT65

    AAT65 Friend of Leo's

    Yeah I’m with you! They’re a slightly mixed bunch looks-wise but I think most people would find one or more appealing options there. Clearly it’s not for the buyer / player who wants a vintage-accurate instrument, but that’s not everybody by a long shot (after all if it was the American Vintage series wouldn’t now be on its last legs).

    I don’t mind them coming out as Limited Editions but I would like to see the more popular ones transitioning to a longer production run (maybe with minor spec tweaks, or a move from USA to Mexico, so that the Limited Edition buyers have something to show for going in first).
  3. Dacious

    Dacious Poster Extraordinaire

    Mar 16, 2003
    Wait and see how they sell. Instruments like this don't cause people to sell their Gretsch or Les Paul any more than the McCarty caused people to sell their Lesters for a PRS. Fender knows their market. They know guys with a Strat or Tele might buy one as a curio.

    Most people will just shrug shoulders and say 'why'?

    If I wanted a JM (owned two) I'd buy one.
  4. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Telefied Ad Free Member

    I'm sure if a limited run guitar was wildly popular, it would make it into the standard lineup.
  5. eedwards

    eedwards Tele-Meister

    Aug 17, 2007
    Alabaster, AL
    These strike me as similar to the Pawn Shop series they had a few years ago. I like playing with the formula like this.

    My favorite is the "Tele Thinline Super Deluxe"
    hellopike likes this.
  6. hellopike

    hellopike Tele-Afflicted

    Oct 3, 2015
    Yeah it’s definitely a similar feel like the Pawn Shop series. I think I preferred that series though. If I have a favorite from this crop it’d be the troublemaker Tele, or Meteora (if the offered different colors and pickup layout).
  7. tfarny

    tfarny Tele-Afflicted

    Sep 4, 2008
    Hudson Valley, NY
    Eh - They'll sell a bunch of them until everyone who wants one, has one. Like the Cabronita. Guitarists are soo conservative - the market for this stuff is not as big as you might think. Just look at the -maybe- majority of people on here who say things like if it has six saddles it ain't a tele.
    Second - the crowd who is into this, is already open to buying an ASAT, a partscaster, etc. It's actually kind of dangerous from a branding standpoint to try and be all things to all people. Long term, having a limited notion of what a "strat" means probably has benefits for Fender strat sales and Fender in general.
    The guitars themselves mostly seem cool but on the Warmoth forum (and here) people have been doing way more interesting stuff for years and years.
  8. schotter611

    schotter611 Tele-Holic

    Aug 1, 2012
    hmmm. jag-strat sounds sweet...but l’d prefer it the other way around.
  9. adjason

    adjason Friend of Leo's

    Jan 9, 2010
    Dang I am digging that whiteguard strat
  10. tfarny

    tfarny Tele-Afflicted

    Sep 4, 2008
    Hudson Valley, NY
    Oh, and one other thing: WHY DOESNT FENDER JUST MAKE A DANG HARDTAIL STRAT? They offered it in 1954!
  11. Owenmoney

    Owenmoney Tele-Holic

    Oct 20, 2012
    Oley Pa
    I do like the strat tele hybrid, the tele body with strat pickguard and electronics
  12. ifallalot

    ifallalot Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    Feb 24, 2012
    Huntington Beach, CA
    That's basically what the Jaguarillo was
    Fiesta Red likes this.
  13. Anode100

    Anode100 Friend of Leo's

    May 9, 2014
    Behind my beard.
    Can you imagine if anyone with any authority at Fender was actually on this list?

    If they were, the smartest thing they could do would be to keep quiet.

    p.s. MIM / MIA Esquire Blackguard....pretty please!
    El Tele Lobo likes this.
  14. Fiesta Red

    Fiesta Red Friend of Leo's

    Nov 15, 2010
    As a committed anti-purist, non-traditionalist, a couple of these designs intrigue me.

    They seem to be variants of the Pawn Shop and Modern Player designs, except made in America...I've seen similar concepts come out of the Custom Shop as well.

    Funny all the shade being thrown here...a lot of people were upset that the "Fender name" was put on those foreign-made instruments (Pawn Shop and Player Series), and a lot of people post complaints about, "They keep making the same thing over and over..." yet when Fender tries something different, some of those same people howl and whine in outrage.

    But as I said, I'm not a traditionalist nor a purist.

    If you don't like them, don't buy them, don't look at them and they'll either go away or they won't...if you want something traditional, you won't have to look far, whether you try old or new instruments, but give Fender props for taking a swing.
  15. RedRiverII

    RedRiverII TDPRI Member Silver Supporter

    Oct 5, 2017
    Gonna get one, if not two.
  16. Lupo

    Lupo Tele-Holic

    May 19, 2014
    Some of the designs are "custom shop inspired"... some are new, and apparently the "parallel universe" definition is quite coherent: all appear somehow "fenderish" and "classic" even if are new design that mixes in an arbitrary way. How would have been Fender evolution in a parallel universe?
    I think I like not a few of these designs. The real questions is: how will them sound? We will see, but if you look a the enthusiasm that there was around the Cabronita here just few years ago, I think this could be a good commercial move.
    El Tele Lobo likes this.
  17. beyer160

    beyer160 Tele-Afflicted

    Aug 11, 2010
    On Location
    1. Because hardtail strats are an abomination.
    2. Because all you need to do is stick a chunk of wood in the trem cavity and BOOM- hardtail. On US models they could include the wood block in the case, though.
  18. Wrighty

    Wrighty Tele-Holic

    Aug 17, 2013
    Essex UK
    Strange how, on the Othercaster forum, they’re being pretty much panned by everyone.
  19. Widerange Hum

    Widerange Hum Tele-Holic

    May 14, 2016
    San Diego, CA
    They immediately remind me of the work of builders like Creston Lea, who mix and match Fender DNA all the time and charge $3-$4K for it. For some sliver of the people in that market, a similar Fender (though without all the extra bells and whistles you get from the boutiques) at half the price will be worth it. I like a few of those.
  20. tfarny

    tfarny Tele-Afflicted

    Sep 4, 2008
    Hudson Valley, NY
    Hardtail strats are an abomination, but these are...interesting? Come on. That's like saying an esquire is an abomination. The strat was originally offered in hardtail or trem versions. And blocking a trem is not the same as an actual hardtail - it's a clunky solution to something that shouldn't be a problem.
    El Tele Lobo likes this.
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