Squier Paranormal Super-Sonic
Total Guitar|November 2020
It’s one of the most bonkers guitars you can buy, but is this oddball truly super?
Michael Astley-Brown

Short-scale guitars are having a moment right now. Whether it’s because of the influx of new guitarists during the pandemic, or the raft of musicians playing guitar alongside other instruments, more accessibly proportioned models seem to be hitting the market now than ever before. But while the format lends itself to quirky-by-nature offset bodies, none are quite so bizarre as the late-’90s Squier Super-Sonic, which received a reissue this year as part of the Paranormal Series.

Before you ask; no, we haven’t accidentally flipped the image. The legend goes that former Squier marketing manager Joe Carducci was so inspired by an image of Jimi Hendrix playing a Jazzmaster upside-down, he took it upon himself to recreate this aesthetic for right-handed players. The result is certainly a curious creature, with a back-to-front body and colossal reverse CBS-era headstock. But the differences between the Super-Sonic and the rest of the Fender stable run deep.

For starters, the two own-brand Atomic humbuckers – one of which is offset – are controlled by a pair of volume controls, without a tone knob insight. As guitarists increasingly turn to pedals rather than tone controls to change their sound, that’s no great loss – and it even means you can switch one pickup off to get your Morellian toggle-switching on. The bridge volume is located nearest to the player, a quirk which could be a pro or a con depending on which pickup you use most frequently. There’s also a Strat-style vibrato, as opposed to the typical Jaguar/ Jazzmaster floater you might expect, an ‘S’-stamped neck plate with integrated strap pin screw, and a heel that’s so highly contoured it rivals even Fender’s big-ticket American Ultra series.

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