Guitars, basses, pedals, amps, and more … high-quality gear kept arriving in 2023 at a record pace. Here are the past 12 months’ Premier Gear Award winners.

Read on to see which debut tone toys of 2023 reaped Premier Gear Awards from our editors and expert reviewers!

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The Rascal returns in an affordable, stylish format—this time with hot humbuckers driving the works.

Gorgeous lines. Balanced, comfortable design. Super playable. Excellent quality. Sweet value. Varied high-output tones.

Humbuckers mean less vintage headroom.


Squier Paranormal Rascal HH


Whether you’re a bassist or a guitarist who occasionally fills in as one, short scale basses can be a source of joy, ease, and worlds of expressive potential. Great ones feel like lightning under the fingers. They pack a punch in the fundamentals. And the right ones look and feel a little less like an oversized Viking war ax if you are not a towering Viking. In the case of the newest version of the Rascal, the Paranormal Rascal Bass HH, all of those attributes come together in a bass that’s potent and cuts a unique and beautiful silhouette. And though it may be an amalgam of elements from less iconic but beautiful Fender shapes (not least the Fender version that preceded it nearly a decade ago), the Paranormal Rascal Bass HH is a striking, well-proportioned instrument that looks gorgeous and fits like a glove.

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Squier announces five new additions to the Paranormal Series.

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