by Jef | 5,0 / 5,0 | Approximate reading time: 2 Minutes
Fender Jazz-Tele Limited Edition 2018 Parallel Universe Series

Fender Jazz-Tele Limited Edition 2018 Parallel Universe Series  ·  Source: Fender/YouTube

Fender Jazz-Tele Limited Edition 2018 Parallel Universe Series

Fender Jazz-Tele Limited Edition 2018 Parallel Universe Series  ·  Source: Fender


Back in January, we write about the leak of Fender’s NAMM 2018 line-up, including the Parallel Universe series. Fender is now releasing one of those unusual instruments, the Limited Edition Jazz Tele. A Telecaster with Jazzmaster hardware. My first thought was: Good that it’s limited…



The Fender Jazzmaster with Telecaster hardware is so last year. We’ve all done that one, it seems (myself included, I own three of them).

Now, though, we all want a Telecaster with Jazzmaster hardware. At least that is what Fender appears to think. The body shape is from the Telecaster, the rest from the classic Jazzmaster offset: a Jazzmaster-style headstock, the signature Fender USA Pure Vintage single coil pickups, floating tremolo with trem lock button, input on the top of the pickguard, pickup selector switch and a bridge with custom Mustang saddles. But no ‘Rhythm circuit’, which the Jazzmaster is infamous for (the one no one ever uses, except as a kill switch!). (And except me! Ed.)

Yes, I’m a big fan of the Jazzmaster and I also love the Telecaster, I own multiples of both instruments already. But this combination makes me feel a little queasy. I’m getting the urge to ‘kill it with fire’…

Fender Limited Edition Jazz-Tele

Fender Limited Edition Jazz-Tele Two-Tone Sunburst

Ugly Duckling

It reminds me a little of the Deluxe Tele with Wide Range humbuckers. But that Tremolo sits so far down on the body that the look just does not go away. It looks squashed, somehow. Even the unfamiliar headstock makes the guitar look smaller and compressed.

The Fender Jazz-Tele is available in either Two-Tone Sunburst and Surf Green nitrocellulose lacquer. The maple neck has a Mid-60s C-profile and the bound rosewood fingerboard has a 9.5 “radius.

Fender Limited Edition Jazz-Tele

Fender Limited Edition Jazz-Tele Surf Green

Limited Edition 2018

Luckily for us, it is a limited edition, so there won’t be many available. But I suppose they will become collectable for many people. Thankfully, these Parallel Universe guitars are all limited to this year. Some of them, in my opinion, look pretty awful. I do love the ’60s aesthetic, but these just don’t work for me and I wouldn’t go out of my way to buy one, especially at the price listed.

I doubt I would ever actually play one, other than in a guitar store. I’m especially interested in how the pickups help or destroy the Telecaster character. Sorry Fender, I think this guitar is a bit of an ugly duckling, so I will politely pass.

What about you? Let us know your thoughts on this, ahem, unusual guitar in the comments section below.

RRP – USD 1999  including case


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Fender Jazz-Tele Limited Edition 2018 Parallel Universe Series

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13 responses to “Fender Parallel Universe Jazz-Tele: Love it or hate it?”

    Manfred Knauthe says:

    Trying to destroy a product without having even heard or played it? Certainly not every product is worth a positive verdict, but a Fender Guitar with a certain pricetag is for shure no complete looser. So this is a totally unprofessional hatespeech approach to the item by the author.. This guy should do somthing else but not write for gearnews. He is simply not good enough as a journalist.

      Jef says:

      I’m just not afraid to say I think it is ugly and somewhat overpriced, sorry if you find this hard to swallow. But as an avid Fender fan and owner of many of their guitars, I can still state when I think something isn’t great. It is called having an objective opinion. Like I said in the article, I would like to try one out, but it doesn’t appeal to my own personal taste at all. On paper, it should, as I own lots of Jazzmasters and Telecasters, but to me eye that trem system looks out of place and the whole guitar looks squashed.

      So from a design aesthetic, I personally think it doesn’t work. I doubt Leo Fender would have been impressed either.

      But I do really like this one from the Parallel Universe Series

        guest says:

        You state, “It is called having an objective opinion.” Then you state, “I doubt Leo Fender would have been impressed either.”

        First of all, there is no such thing as having an opinion that is objective, you can not separate the observer from that whcih is being observed, so no, this is not objective. Second, how can you possibly know what Leo Fender may have been thinking?

        Your article is an Epic Fail as far as product reviews are concerned. Sad.

          Jef says:

          As a one-eyed engineer I think Leo Fender would have spotted the badly placed tremolo system and since writing my ‘opinion’ I have had the opportunity to play a few of these guitars and will say ‘hand on heart’ that I’m not impressed with the design or the way these guitars play. Sorry, but even as a Fender player myself I cannot like this guitar and in my 34 years of playing them I still think this design sucks balls.

          p.s. I don’t ‘review’ guitars, I write my opinions. We are a’ news’ site and the clue is in our name Gear News

      William Paxson says:

      Funny, as a Yank, I find Jef’s reviews (and especially this one) quite balanced and informative and am glad he approaches them in part from a player’s/consumer’s viewpoint which is something almost nonexistent over here in the music media in the States. I see no “hate” or “unprofessional” approach here and vastly prefer it to the typical “puff piece” review which paints every new product in glowing terms no matter how silly or overpriced it actually is. If a new product can’t stand a point/counterpoint discussion, then it is a pretty poor effort in my opinion. And if you are offended by Jef’s criticisms, you would be “fit to be tied” with what passes for “gentle criticism” of guitars etc. over here on the guitar forums in the States, notwithstanding what we REALLY say about stuff when we take the gloves off.

    Josh says:

    I think it’s a great concept myself. The reason I don’t gig with JMs is because if you lean them against your amp and walk away for a minute or two, there’s a good chance you’ll find it on the floor when you get back. Honestly, it’s what keeps me from taking any of my offset guitars out. I’m too lazy to carry a guitar stand everywhere I play.

    I don’t think it’s ugly, by the way. But the most important thing is how does it play and sound? I’m very curious to try this guitar and will probably buy one.

    Mark Pertain says:

    Hey, I own one of these, and I love it. It feels and plays great and I LOVE the look! It’s cheesy in a good way. Mine is 2 tone sunburst. Gonna replace the 1 meg pots with 500k ones though. The 1 meg ones will slit your eardrums if you are not careful…..

      Sean Looby says:

      Hello mate, i’ve got the same, did the 1 meg pots make much of a difference? I was hope it would even though its ash wood.

    Name* says:

    You probably suck in bed!!

    Jonathan says:

    This would seem to be the perfect guitar for someone (like myself) who loves the sound of a Jazzmaster, but finds the it uncomfortable to play because of its length. I don’t really care how it looks if it satisfies that criterion.

      Jef says:

      I’ve played a few since I wrote this article and think they are pretty poor. Should be about £600-£700 tops. Just not as well made as you would hope. But I’ve only played two (in different stores), so maybe others are have a nicer setup and better finished?

        Bdub says:

        I just bought one, and I have built guitars and professionally toured with a few notable bands you may have heard of… I am not here to name drop. The one I received is an incredibly constructed instrument. Further more the trem is not at all in an awkward location in my opinion. To be honest this might be the best constructed Fender guitar I have ever owned. I do currently have a houseful of Gibsons, so my love for this guitar could simply be due to Gibson’s quality control lacking so much for the last twenty years. I can see how this guitar may not be for every player, but I am completely thrilled with it.

          Jef says:

          The two I tried both played pretty poorly, both were at different stores and so I only have those models to go on. In theory, it should be my ‘dream guitar’ as I love Jazzmasters and Telecasters, just neither guitar really did it for me. I found them to be both pretty dead sounding and neither of them sounded great plugged it either.

          As with all guitars, some examples just aren’t great and others can sing. I’ve had to play a lot of Jazzmasters / Telecasters to find ones that sounded and felt great. Glad you like them and I will try and find some more to play myself.

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