Squier Paranormal Super Sonic Walk-Around and Under-Hood Peek

Discussion in 'Squier Offset Guitars' started by strat81, Jun 25, 2020.

  1. strat81

    strat81 Squier-Meister

    Age:
    38
    170
    May 27, 2020
    Nebraska
    I picked up a new Squier Paranormal Super Sonic at Dietze Music in Lincoln, NE yesterday. Great store, friendly staff, and good prices.

    When the original Vista Series Super Sonic came out in the late 90s, I was in high school and *really* wanted one. But I was broke from having bought a Gibson Les Paul and still on my NGD honeymoon with the LP, so no Super Sonic for me. Fast forward 20+ years and I am blessed that if I want a new guitar, I can buy one.

    I wasn't thrilled with the current color choices when announced, but I'll say the graphite metallic looks MUCH better in person. I've seen some Dodge Challengers in this color and a computer monitor doesn't do it justice. That said, I'll gladly buy another if Squier releases one in Glitter Metallic Blue that looks like it fell out of David Bowie's butt.

    [​IMG]

    First thing I noticed when I played was the neck. It's a glossy finish and is a medium C shape. The fretwork is impeccable. It was just as good as the American Fenders that were on display. Fender describes the frets as "Narrow Tall" whereas I'd call them "Medium Tall". The other interesting thing about the neck is where it connects to the body. It's pretty high up (numerically) on the fretboard so it makes reaching the higher frets much easier. It's not a shredder neck, but access is easy.

    [​IMG]

    Fender's website lists width at the allegedly bone nut as 40mm. I don't know if it's bone, but it does not have the feel of the cheap plastic nut on my Squier Bullet Mustang. The neck doesn't feel crazy narrow, but I do have very small hands.

    [​IMG]

    The headstock is CBS-era large and is reversed (i.e., a lefty style neck). The Squier portion of the logo has gold lettering which is a nice departure from the commonly scene plain black that looks so cheap on many other Squiers.

    [​IMG]

    The tuners look pretty but after two days with the guitar... I hate them. They're vintage style tuners so they have that goofy hole in the top to retain the string. They're also quite stiff. I have some locking Kluson Revolution tuners on order.

    [​IMG]

    I'll take this time to mention that the tuning problems experienced in two Youtube reviews are very real. I had tuning problems in the store despite the bridge being flush with the body and not using the trem at all. Since getting it home, I ran some 400 grit through the nut slots and put some graphite in the slots which helped quite a bit. The high E is still really bad - I think the string is slipping on the post despite stretching the strings. If I poke the wraps with my pick, pitch will drop 1/2 step. Those locking Klusons can't get here fast enough.

    The fretboard is Indian Laurel and has a nicer color than some others I've seen. Mine has a small blemish (which looks huge in the pic, it's really not that bad) but hey, it's wood and wood has character. The dot inlays are the finest mother-of-toilet-seat Chinese sweatshop labor can install and are quite attractive.

    [​IMG]

    The top strap button is attached to the trapezoid neck plate via one of the neck screws. There is also a very official looking sticker apparently telling me this guitar can't be placed in a trash can. I wonder what the S means. Maybe it's S for snake or... dragon.

    [​IMG]

    The neck plate is recessed which is a nice touch. And the homemade case lube makes sizing .223 oh-so-easy.

    [​IMG]

    The heel of the neck is funky. Why not cut the pickguard back slightly and add another fret or two? (Who buys a 23-fret guitar???)

    [​IMG]

    Saddles are vintage style and are stamped Squier. They poke your wrist when you bust out the chugga-chuggas to play Thunderkiss '65.

    [​IMG]

    The saddles themselves measure just shy of 10.3mm.

    [​IMG]

    If we flip 'er over and check out the rear (ahem), we see a typical 3-spring arrangement. I added two more springs after this picture was talen as I don't whammy.

    [​IMG]

    Once we cracker open (crack or ropin? crack her hopin'?), we're greeted by the back of the two Atomic Humbuckers. I can confirm they are made of atoms. They are labeled N and B in honor of New Brunswick, New Jersey, birthplace of Rutger Hauer and home to his namesake university.

    [​IMG]

    The three-way switch (which means something completely different on the 'Hub):

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I tested the pots and they both measured between 500K and 520K. They're full size pots, not the little micros we see elsewhere. They have a good feel when turned, not too loose and not too tight. Eagle-eyed readers will notice the wiring colors heading from the pickups to the pots. The top knob controls the bridge volume while the bottom knob controls the neck volume. And you can't simply remove the retaining nuts and switch them because of the short ground wire to the output jack.

    [​IMG]

    The guitar exceeded my expectations. I thought I would hate the pickups, but I like them. I play stuff like AC/DC and Metallica with some occasional Beatles thrown in, so I want something a bit hotter but not face-melting hot. I thought I wouldn't mind the tuners but as I mentioned, those are being replaced pronto.

    As for the electronics, I ordered a 0.22 orange drop capacitor and will attempt to convert this to master volume/master tone. I'll also put in a Pure Tone jack as the stock jack is a bit wimpy. Those Pure Tone jacks hold cords very tightly.
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2020
  2. AllroyPA

    AllroyPA Squier-Axpert

    Age:
    51
    Dec 14, 2009
    Philadelphia
    Quite a dissection and cool review, enjoy your new Squier !
     
  3. TimTheViking

    TimTheViking Squier-holic

    Very nice review! Great to see what's under the hood. I always thought N&B was for Norman and Betty. So there's no tone control? I find that a bit odd. Seems like that would severely limit the tones you could dial in.
     
  4. strat81

    strat81 Squier-Meister

    Age:
    38
    170
    May 27, 2020
    Nebraska
    No tone control. OTOH, with the way it's wired now, you can leave one pickup off and use the 3-way switch as a kill switch or for staccato tremolo effects.

    Either way, it's nothing a capacitor and some solder burns can't remedy.

    I briefly considered concentric volume and tone pots to get independent control like a Les Paul, but master volume and tone work fine for my needs.
     
    TimTheViking likes this.
  5. Best1989

    Best1989 Squier-holic

    Apr 25, 2019
    Arequipa
    Cool review and HNGD!

    It looks really nice, hopefully I'll be able to try one at some point.
     
  6. ScoobySnacker

    ScoobySnacker Squier-Meister

    Age:
    62
    460
    Dec 4, 2018
    Never-reach, NY
    Hmmm. What could an "S" on the neck plate of a Squier guitar stand for, I wonder. /s
     
  7. drewcp

    drewcp Squier-holic

    Age:
    36
    Dec 14, 2018
    Saint Paul, MN
    Those pots look like the ones in the contemporary series guitars. And if they added an extra fret people couldn't geek out over the long-tenon. That's all I got.

    Nice write up. Dietze is rad. Well done.
     
    strat81 likes this.
  8. strat81

    strat81 Squier-Meister

    Age:
    38
    170
    May 27, 2020
    Nebraska
    drewcp likes this.
  9. backporchmusic

    backporchmusic Squier-Nut

    524
    Sep 6, 2014
    Va
    Thanks for the detailed review and pics. I've got a blue one on my GAS short list...
     
    strat81 likes this.
  10. smallerthings

    smallerthings Squier Talker

    Age:
    33
    49
    Jun 7, 2019
    USA
    It's a shame these don't come in a hardtail version. I actually think the colors look nice.
     
  11. RoyalWe

    RoyalWe Squier-holic

    Sep 5, 2012
    Western Oregon
    Neat, very detailed! With the strap button being so high up on the body, does it suffer from neck dive?
     
  12. strat81

    strat81 Squier-Meister

    Age:
    38
    170
    May 27, 2020
    Nebraska
    I checked last night and it does not.
     
    radiotech and RoyalWe like this.
  13. blackspider57

    blackspider57 Squier-holic

    Age:
    62
    Mar 11, 2017
    Montana
    A very nice detailed review. Squier should send you a check for your efforts.
    Well done!!!
     
    strat81 likes this.
  14. Dana Rudd

    Dana Rudd Squier-Meister

    Age:
    71
    184
    Mar 9, 2020
    Greybull, WY
    Congrats on your new guitar. Appreciate the pics and great review. Enjoy your playing time.
     
    strat81 likes this.
  15. RobX

    RobX Squier Talker

    Age:
    56
    15
    Apr 16, 2020
    ireland
    ...I had one of the original blue sparkles up until a few years back....this looks exactly the same construction wise,can't see any difference except for the IL fingerboard(why didn't Squier adopt Jotoba?...much nicer wood),build quality looks really good!
    I guess hardware will be a little chunkier close up but its a great job...the originals were much pricier in comparison.
    I'd prefer a tinted the neck finish though....
    IIRC these had the honour of being the first Squier model to get a Fender copy later on!.....I believe there was some thought originally of badging them Fender (Japan)
    Hope they come out with some more finish options..
     
    strat81 likes this.
  16. broomhandle

    broomhandle Squier Talker

    91
    Feb 9, 2012
    Cal
    nice review. I also really wanted a sparkle blue in 1997. I remember they were 99.99 and I could not afford it. haha.

    When fender released the pawn shop series I grabbed one. It is one of my faves. I was looking to pick one of these up as a player. I was also bummed of the color choices. I feel they went a little too conservative. The pickups in the fender super sonic are way too hot. I tapped them with a push pull and I love how they sound tapped. Does anybody here have a japan SS, or a pawn shop SS to compare?
     
  17. corn

    corn Squier-holic

    Feb 27, 2013
    San Diego
    Cool guitar and great review thanks for posting. I have a hard time believing that it is the tuners that are causing the tuning problem, I’ve used a whole pile of junk tuners and never once had a problem with the tuners actually being the problem. Those are pretty cool guitars, I have been half heartedly building my own super sub sonic short scale copy of one of these, but I have had so many mistakes NF ups and dings, mistakes and things that just won’t go right I have almost given up hope on this one,, almost ;) corngrats HNGD
     
  18. corn

    corn Squier-holic

    Feb 27, 2013
    San Diego
    Dbl post
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2020 at 10:00 AM
  19. strat81

    strat81 Squier-Meister

    Age:
    38
    170
    May 27, 2020
    Nebraska
    After re-stringing the high E, I've realized the vintage tuners are very picky about how they are strung and are not tolerant of sloppy string jobs.

    Obviously the design works and has been in use for 60+ years, but there's a reason modern tuners exist.

    For tuning problems, like most guitars equipped with Strat-style trems, tuning stability is improved if you:
    -Lubricate the nut
    -Lubricate the string trees
    -Set the tremolo flush against the body (i.e., not let it float)
    -Stretch the strings
     
  20. so1om

    so1om Squier-Axpert

    Age:
    52
    Feb 10, 2010
    Chicago now Sarasota
    I always float my trems. Sounds like a string is stuck in a slot.

    and what’s a “sloppy string job”? Does anybody do that? Take the time and do it right. String end in the hole, bend around the slot and nice neat windings. Should never be a problem.