First seen back at Winter NAMM 2020, the new Fender Parallel Universe Volume II Series Jazz Strat has now finally been released. One thing’s for sure: its looks will almost certainly divide opinions. This jazz cat is – depending on your taste – either an ugly duckling or hipster darling.
Fender Parallel Universe Volume II Series Jazz Strat
Before I tell you my personal opinion on its aesthetics, let’s take a look at the specs on this limited-edition Jazz Strat. It’s got an alder body finished in Mystic Surf Green nitrocellulose lacquer that will certainly turn heads. It comes with a pair of Fender’s Pure Vintage ’65 single-coil Jazzmaster pickups, which I actually quite like and already have in one of my guitars already. They sound really nice, so this guitar already has something going for it. In the official demo video below it sounds pretty good!
The Medium C shaped bound neck with big block inlays is a nice touch, as is the matching painted headstock. But for me it all goes wrong with the pickguard, described as a “Custom Decoboom Streamline Ivory Pickguard with Green Flake Pinstripes”. Those two honking great silver control knobs don’t sit right to my eye, either.
So here goes: On first look, this guitar made me feel pretty sick. And not in a good way. But I know that is just my opinion. And it is certainly an oddball of a guitar, and I’m sure many players will adore its quirky looks.
Overall, I am not convinced it is the Best Buy for the best part of 2 grand, but your mileage may vary on that one. It could grow on me, though. In the past I have disliked guitars before – and then fallen in love with them after playing one. So you never know, this could be one of those. I love Strats and offset guitars, so I should be loving this new Jazz Strat. Just not feeling the magic yet.
RRP – GBP 1799 inc deluxe hard case