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A whimsically flipped and twisted Jag evolves into a minor classic on its own terms.

Slinky, fast playing feel. Balanced string-to-string response and output from pickups. High build quality. Great value. Show-stopping good looks.

Vibrato could be more tuning stable. Pickups can feel flattish in terms of headroom and dynamic response. Upper horn can be uncomfortable playing seated.

$429

Squier Paranormal Super-Sonic
fender.com

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The 1990s marked a time when the eclectic electric guitar underground saw the sun again. When the punk/indie/art tidal wave that gathered momentum over the two previous decades finally crested and crashed, it didn't just smash guitar-rock templates. It also swept aside a collector mentality that regarded almost everything apart from a few pre-CBS Fenders and '50s Gibsons as junk. And by the time the big builders caught up to their newly liberated customer constituency, there were a lot of open-minded buyers willing to get weird.

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John 5 on How He Gets Old-School Tones from His Metal-Friendly Tele | The Big 5

Plus, find out which guitar hero the Rob Zombie sideman “begs and pleads” with you to listen to.

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For at least a decade, the classic Ampeg SVT was the dominant bass amp for power and tone.

Photo courtesy of ampeg.com

From the giant, hefty beasts of yore to their modern, ultra-portable equivalents, bass amps have come a long way. So, what's next?

Bassists are often quite well-informed about the details of their instruments, down to the finest technical specs. Many of us have had our share of intense discussions about the most minute differences between one instrument and another. (And sometimes those are interrupted by someone saying, "It's all in the fingers.") But right behind our backs, at the end of our output cables, there is a world of tone-shaping that we either simply ignore or just don't want to dive into too deeply. Turning a gear discussion from bass to amp is a perfect way to bring it to an abrupt end.

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