by Jef | Approximate reading time: 1 Minute
NAMM 2019 Fender Alternate Reality Powercaster

Fender Alternate Reality Powercaster  ·  Source: Fender


Fender’s new Alternate Reality Powercaster is their latest new guitar for 2019 and launches at Winter NAMM. Okay, I love offset guitars, but man is this thing ugly!


Fender Alternate Reality Powercaster

This new Alternate Reality Powercaster by Fender looks to my eye like someone tried to copy Fender and failed miserably. Man is it ugly as sin, or is it me? Sorry Fender, but this new guitar is hideous!

The body is alder and comes on three finishes White Opal, Surf Green and 3-Colour Sunburst, but to be fair though it looks equally bad in all three options. It has a roasted maple neck with a 24.75” scale length and Modern C-profile with a Pau Ferro fretboard.

Fender Alternate Reality Powercaster in 3-Colour Burst

Fender Alternate Reality Powercaster in 3-Colour Burst

Fender AlAlternate Reality Powercaster in Opal White

Fender Alternate Reality Powercaster in Opal White

Fender AlAlternate Reality Powercaster

Fender Alternate Reality Powercaster in Surf Green


Hardware is an Atomic humbucking pickup in the bridge position and a soapbar single-coil pickup in the neck. These are controlled by a single Volume and Tone control, plus a three-way toggle switch. The Fender Adjusto-matic bridge with stop tailpiece holds it all down on this hardtail model.

I’m obviously not a fan of this guitar and think it looks pretty awful myself. Best internet forum comment I’ve read on it so far was this one by AwakentheDawn over on TGP forum, who is now my hero-

Looks like fender ate a spicy jazzmaster, drank some yaeger, stopped at taco bell after tokin a bowl and this came out

You may love it though, so I won’t say anything else bad about it. I just think I’m in the wrong Alternate Reality, Now, where are my matches?

RRP – USD 899

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14 responses to “NAMM 2019: Fender Alternate Reality Powercaster divides opinion”

  1. HIGHSTRUNG says:

    I really like the looks of this. I wish it had a normal Humbuckers or fender wide range , as i think it would look better to me, and that is personal preference .
    But over all i think this is a cool looking guitar. Nicer job fender !

  2. Unapologist says:

    somehow it seems to be woke to have a single P-90 style with a humbucker in the same guitar these days; I personally dont get it and dont know anyone who owns a guitar with such a setup. I agree on the ugliness

  3. Paul Busser says:

    Writer is being elitist ass. It’s a great looking guitar that isn’t exactly a traditional Jazzzmaster. So what? It’s a hard tail JM with an H/p90 pickup combo. Is it ugly because the controls are in a slightly different position or because the scratch plate is a different shape? Jeez. So much gatekeeping.

    • Jef says:

      It is called having an opinion and you are also entitled to yours. I think they suck visually and look like cheap knock-offs.

      • Gareth Byrd says:

        It’s Fender cutting the legs off Novos & Bilts fender redesigns business model. Pawnshop classics.

        Personally, I love it. Buy one, dick with it. Do what you like with it & it won’t cost you 2.5K.

      • Manfred Knauthe says:

        Talking a product bad (or good) before anybody has seen, touched or even played the real thing is lack of professionalism as a journalist, but certainly not an opinion….

  4. Rob Rex says:

    It looks like Fender tried to make a Reverse Firebird after having the design instructions sent over the phone by a person who knows nothign about guitars, design, or eyesight.

  5. Dan Amrich says:

    As you note, I might love it….and I do. I don’t know why it’s okay for Fano to reinterpret the JM but not Fender — it’s a great platform for mods and reinterpretations. These are classy and look like they are useful in a wide range of applications, so why not?

  6. Dean Alger says:

    You know, it is alright to have an opinion. But I really don’t understand what you find so offensive about this guitar. It’s a new take on a Jazzmaster, without calling it a Jazzmaster. Personally, I hope this makes it’s way into their roster of permanent guitars, because I think it’s a total winner. To call it hideous is very strange, unless of course you don’t like Jags or JM’s. I think you’re going to find a lot of people expressing their opinions on you being somewhat of a doofus for suggesting it isn’t worthy of the Fender name.

  7. Eddy says:

    The purpose of a guitar is to make music. So how does it sound? Any real journalists out there?

  8. Thomas says:

    How does it sound and play? You know, the things that actually matter. There are plenty of “pretty” guitars out there that the fancy folks can buy and hang around their necks if they need to keep up their poser cred.

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