Fender has begun shipping the last model in the Fender Parallel Universe Vol II series, the new Strat Jazz Deluxe. This guitar amalgamates two classic designs, the Jazzmaster and the Stratocaster, into one chimerical beast that’s bound to divide opinion.
Fender Parallel Universe Vol II Strat Jazz Deluxe
Fender has just announced the Strat Jazz Deluxe model, almost a year after it was first announced back during Winter NAMM 2020.
Texas Special Case
I might be being overly harsh, but visually it looks like a dog’s dinner. Combining a Jazzmaster offset body with a set of three Stratocaster single-coil pickups may sound like a good idea. But to me, the three Texas Special Stratocaster pickups and that two-point American Pro Strat bridge look out of place on such a large offset body. And the colour scheme doesn’t help, either.
The three pickups wired via a 5-way blade switch to a single Volume and Tone control. Compared to the regular Stratocaster, that limits your options, tone-wise. I’d prefer regular Stratocaster wiring setup on a guitar like this.
Let’s breeze through the rest of the specs. The Strat Jazz Deluxe has a figured flame maple top with nitrocellulose Transparent Faded Seafoam Green topped off with a gold pickguard and a white bound alder body. The neck is solid rosewood with block inlays and a Modern C profile, with a 9.5” radius. The fretboard is factory-fitted with Narrow Tall frets and a set of Fender ClassicGear tuners. The price includes a custom COA and Surf Green Parallel Universe II Deluxe Hardshell case.
These kinds of designs are always going to divide opinion. To me, this one doesn’t cohere well. It’s a mix of different hardware choices thrown together, just to be different. It’s my least favourite guitar from the whole range. Sorry, Fender, but this is one parallel universe I would not want to live in. My favourite from this series is the Troublemaker, which made it onto our list of top guitars of 2020.
What do you think of the Strat Jazz design? Let us know in the comments below.