HSS Tele: Modern Player Telecaster Plus -vs- Parallel Universe?

nsmith01tx

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Anybody checked out both of these & could give a play-by-play of how it went?

I suspect the Parallel Universe is going to win because a) it's cool looking, b) it's just weird enough to be cool looking, and c) it's a higher end guitar.
BUT, I'd really like to know what you think of the sounds each can produce - looks like they'd both provide a very interesting tone palette to play with.

So, I'm looking at HSS models, and this is what I'm seeing:

• The Modern Player Telecaster Plus:
- Bridge: Humbucker
- Middle: Strat middle PU
- Neck: Tele neck PU

• Fender Parallel Universe American Elite Telecaster HSS:
- Bridge: Humbucker
- Middle: Tele bridge PU
- Neck: Tele neck PU

Thanks
 

Blues Twanger

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I've seen the prices of the Modern Player guitars climb a lot recently which has surprised me because they were not great sellers, not of exceptional quality, when new on the market.

It seems Guitar Center always had a flood of them and kept on selling them for a couple of years after they were discontinued. I never owned one but picked up and played perhaps a dozen when they were being stocked and never once was all that impressed with the neck, the hardware, or the stock pickup tones.

If you weren't aware the Modern Player line was an attempt to add a Chinese sourced but Fender branded offering between the MIM and Squier stuff. (And yes, a Chinese factory could build a great guitar, but that's not what Fender was sourcing.)

There's the idea that with a good body and neck you could build one into something but 1) you might be looking for a while to find a good one and 2) the price is too high to justify the need to replace all hardware and pickups to make it what you want and still end up with an unpopular Chinese-built oddity from Fender's recent past.
 

nsmith01tx

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@Blues Twanger I'm mostly curious about the difference in the sounds that the 2 different middle pickups would give.

I only recently paid attention to the Modern Player line and sorta figured they were adding the Chinese made Fenders into the mix that way, like you said. I've heard good things, but I THINK the Modern Players also started out being produced in Mexico & then went to China, which makes reviews a little harder to gauge. I get the impression they weren't made in Mexico long though, and it's all been in China since, but I could be wrong about all of that.
 

Blues Twanger

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AFAIK these were never made in Mexico.

YouTube has a lot of demos of these, however. Unfortunately they didn't tend to end up in the most experienced hands so decent demos that really give you a sense of the tones are harder to find.

The neck and middle together are going to be similar to the neck and middle of a Nashville Tele, the middle and bridge together are going to sound more like an HSS Strat, perhaps that could get you started.

I have no experience with any guitar with a Tele bridge pickup in the middle.
 

Sparky2

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I owned and gigged the Modern Player Telecaster Plus for a few years.

PROS:
* Smooth and sublime neck. Finest I have ever felt.
* Versatile beyond belief. It does it all.
* Beautiful pine body beneath a gorgeous honey burst finish.
* Affordable. I paid $399 for it brand new in 2012. They go for around 600 bones now.

CONS:
* On the heavy side.
* The coil split feature was not to my liking. The bridge humbucker was fantastic, but when you switched to coil split, it didn't sound great, just weaker in volume.

I have since sold it to a friend who coveted it, and he LOVES that guitar.

The Parallel Universe American Elite looks really nice, and the features are well-reviewed.
Pricy though.
🙂
 




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