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Squier Paranormal Offset Telecaster - is it worth it?


400 bucks isn't exactly cheap for one of these (see current listings here).

I recently went to Guitar Center to try out two guitars, the latest Squier Affinity Telecaster and Squier Bullet Stratocaster HT (I'll write more about that later.) While there, I spotted not one but two Squier Paranormal Offset Telecaster models. One in Natural and the other in Surf Green as shown above.

If you're on the fence whether to get this guitar or not, here are my impressions of it.

This guitar uses the Jazzmaster body shape, so of course it's ridiculously comfortable to play seated or standing.

The neck felt a bit on the thin side but was also comfortable. It's your standard thin C shape, and if you've played a Classic Vibe Telecaster, then you pretty much already know what this neck feels like. The neck finish is high gloss.

Action on the knobs was good but the pickup selector felt somewhat stiff. This is probably something that could be easily cured with a quick spray of DeoxIT D5.

The tone of the guitar sounded like typical Telecaster, which was expected.

I liked the tuners because they are the slotted vintage style, and the round tuner buttons definitely go along well with the guitar since there are curves everywhere.

What I didn't like...

...can be boiled down to just two things.

First, I just can't get used to seeing a Telecaster headstock shape on a Jazzmaster body. I understand the design decision here since the model of the guitar is literally a Telecaster, but this would have looked so much better with a Jazzmaster headstock.

Second, I wasn't feeling the magic with this one, and I know exactly why. There really wasn't any tonal difference between this and a regular Squier Telecaster. To my ear, the guitar felt like it needed something a little extra and it just wasn't there.

But is it worth it?

This is going to sound weird after what I just said, but yes, it is worth buying one.

While I wasn't feeling the sound and didn't like the headstock shape on this particular body design, the fact of the matter is that this guitar is different in a positive way.

Also, the Jazzmaster shape is the ultimate as far as a sit-down guitar is concerned, since the original Fender Jazzmaster was designed to be played seated first.

Ultimately, if you want something Tele that's different and plays easier sitting down, then you want one of these.

On a final note, I can see this model having actual collector value at some point. This is going to be one of those guitars where a bunch of guitar players will say "I should have bought one of these when I saw it" five years from now. It's probably true this guitar won't have crazy-good collector value, but still, I'm fairly certain it will appreciate in just a few years. It's not like this model will be coming back after its run is completed.

Published 2020 Oct 13

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