Fender Squier Paranormal Cyclone Review & Prices

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Fender Squier Paranormal Cyclone Review
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  • From Fender Squier's 2020 Paranormal series
  • Made in China
  • 6 strings
  • 24.75"'' scale
  • 9.5" Fretboard Radius
  • Poplar body
  • Maple neck
  • Indian Laurel fretboard
  • Bridge pickup: Fender Designed Alnico Single-Coil (Single Coil/Passive)
  • Middle pickup: Fender Designed Alnico Single-Coil (Single Coil/Passive)
  • Neck pickup: Fender Designed Alnico Single-Coil (Single Coil/Passive)
  • 6-Saddle Vintage-Style Synchronized Tremolo bridge
  • 1 volume and 1 tone Dome knobs
  • 3-way Switch
  • C Shape Bolt-On neck
  • 22 Narrow Tall frets
  • Vintage-Style tuners
  • Compare Specs >
  • From Fender Squier's 2020 Paranormal series
  • Made in China
  • 6 strings
  • 24.75"'' scale
  • 9.5" Fretboard Radius
  • Poplar body
  • Maple neck
  • Indian Laurel fretboard
  • Bridge pickup: Fender Designed Alnico Single-Coil (Single Coil/Passive)
  • Middle pickup: Fender Designed Alnico Single-Coil (Single Coil/Passive)
  • Neck pickup: Fender Designed Alnico Single-Coil (Single Coil/Passive)
  • 6-Saddle Vintage-Style Synchronized Tremolo bridge
  • 1 volume and 1 tone Dome knobs
  • 3-way Switch
  • C Shape Bolt-On neck
  • 22 Narrow Tall frets
  • Vintage-Style tuners
  • Compare Specs >

Verdict: is The Fender Squier Paranormal Cyclone a Good Guitar?

Made with cheap labor to reduce costs, but that doesn't necessarily mean you'll get a bad product. It's a guitar with decent playability. It doesn't come with the best pickups, so you might want to upgrade them eventually. It's a well-balanced guitar for playing solos and chords. In general, it offers a good amount of features for the price. But you might want to check other guitars with a better score if you have the budget for it.

Final Scores and Tone Evaluation

Playability 73
Sound 71
Build quality 57
Value for money 77
Overall Score 67
Tone Evaluation
  • Heavy Metal
  • Hard Rock
  • Jazz
  • Blues
  • Funk
  • Country
Strengths & Weaknesses
Fender Squier Paranormal Cyclone
  • Synthetic Bone Nut
  • Killswitch Pickups
  • Tremolo
  • Cheap Fret Wire (NS)
  • No Locking Tuners
  • Made in China
  • No Expensive Woods
  • No Top Brand Pickups
  • No Neck-Through Build
  • No Weight Relief
  • No Luminescent Inlay
  • No Compound Radius Fretboard
  • No 21:1 Tuner Ratio
  • No Strap Lock

Videos

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Squier Paranormal Cyclone (2021) - EMPIRE MUSIC

Fender Squier Paranormal Cyclone Prices

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Is the Fender Squier Paranormal Cyclone a Good Deal?

Its average competitor's price is $220, which means that the Fender Squier Paranormal Cyclone costs around 68% more than the competition. It might be due to it having additional features, but know that you can find cheaper similar alternatives. This takes into account all guitars of the same category in our database with 6 strings and Tremolo bridge that are made in China.

Explore All Fender Squier Guitars >

Is The Fender Squier Paranormal Cyclone Easy to Play?

The Fender Squier Paranormal Cyclone meets 7 out of our 8 criteria items for beginner friendliness, which means that it's a good guitar to start with as a complete beginner. This takes into account the type of frets, scale length, nut width, bridge type, fretboard radius, and neck profile to determine the easiest combination for new players to get used to.

Fender Squier Paranormal Cyclone
New Player Friendliness
  • Comfortable shape
  • Easy-to-use bridge
  • Comfortable fretboard
  • Tall frets
  • Wide nut
  • Short scale
  • Comfortable neck
  • Locking tuners

Hand Size Comfortability

After taking into account the neck profile, scale size, fretboard radius, and nut width, we can conclude that the Fender Squier Paranormal Cyclone's construction is balanced for most hand sizes.

Nevertheless, this comes down in the end to personal preference. Make sure you test this guitar—or another one with similar characteristics—before buying.

Big Hands
Balance
Small hands

Scale Length

Scale length is the distance the strings will span between the bridge and the nut. It can tell you a lot about the overall playability and tone of the instrument. A longer scale length means longer distance between frets, brighter tone and more string tension—which means lower action, but more difficult bending of the strings.

Here's the Fender Squier Paranormal Cyclone's 24.75" scale length compared to other common sizes:

Fender Squier Paranormal Cyclone Scale Length Comparison
Fender Squier Paranormal Cyclone's scale length (at the top) compared to other popular sizes

This is the scale length used in most Gibson guitars. If you like the playability of a Gibson, this guitar will feel pretty similar. It's a lot shorter than the typical Stratocaster (25.5'')

As you can see from the picture above, a shorter scale length also means shorter separation between frets. If you got really small hands, you probably will feel more comfortable playing this guitar than a Fender Stratocaster.

This scale length also allows for easier bends and vibratos because the strings will have lower tension due to the shorter scale.

Finally, another thing affected by scale length is tone. A shorter scale will give less room for the harmonics, thus resulting in a warmer, more 'bassy' tone.

Still, remember that you string gauge plays an important part in all of this. A lighter gauge will make it easier to perform bends, vibratos and will also give you a brighter tone.

More guitars with the same scale length:

Neck Profile

Fender Squier Paranormal Cyclone Neck Profile
Fender Squier Paranormal Cyclone's neck profile

The neck profile tells you the thickness (neck depth) and shape in cross section. Every difference will completely change the feeling and comfortability of the neck. This is a highly subjective thing, but most players indeed prefer certain types of necks (like Cs and Ds) because they feel nice in most hands.

The Fender Squier Paranormal Cyclone's neck thickness is approximately 0.84'' (21.3mm) at the first fret, and 0.89'' (22.6mm) at the twelfth.

These measurements were taken either from the official Fender Squier website, or, in case this information wasn't provided, by researching multiple online marketplaces and forums where owners of this model have posted their measurements.

It has a C type neck. C-shaped necks like this have been the most popular for the last years. The reason is that they feel good in most hands. It's generally a thin neck that doesn't get in your way when playing fast, but that also has enough mass to give your hands a comfortable grip for chords if they aren't too big.

Thin necks like this make it easier to move your hand across the neck and it helps when playing fast solos, especially if you like to leave your thumb free while playing high on the fretboard. However, thinner necks are also weaker and will need adjustment more often than a thicker neck.

More guitars for different hand sizes

Fretboard Radius

When it comes to fingerboard radius, personal preference will dictate which one is better for you. However, most people seem to agree that a more curved (lower) radius will make it easier to play chords while a less curved (higher) radius is better for soloing and bending.

The Fender Squier Paranormal Cyclone has a 9.5" fingerboard radius. Here's an image comparing this guitar's fretboard radius to other popular choices:

Fender Squier Paranormal Cyclone Fretboard Radius Comparison with Fender Stratocaster and Gibson Les Paul
Fender Squier Paranormal Cyclone's fretboard radius compared to other guitars

This is the most common radius for Stratocaster guitars. It's considered curved when compared to most other models. This allows you to play chords very easily without muting strings accidentally and gives you more space between strings for fingerpicking. However, this curve also gives the guitar less allowance for lower action. If you bend too hard at the high frets, some of your notes might get muted because the curve will make the string fret out.

Compound radius fingerboards give the best of both worlds. Unfortunately, the Fender Squier Paranormal Cyclone has the same radius across the board.

More guitars with the same fretboard radius:

Nut Width

Fender Squier Paranormal Cyclone Nut Width
Fender Squier Paranormal Cyclone Nut Width

The Fender Squier Paranormal Cyclone has a nut width of 41.9mm (1.65''). This is narrower than the typical 43mm (1 11/16") width. This means that this guitar will have a narrower string separation at the nut, which will affect your fretting hand.

If you are a player with big hands, you might find it difficult to play chords without muting strings. However, this is good for players who have smaller hands, as it will allow them to reach each string much easier at the nut.

More guitars with the same nut width:

Frets

The Fender Squier Paranormal Cyclone has 22 frets. Even though 24 frets has become really popular, there's still a good reason to get fewer frets; the pickup at the neck position will be further away from the bridge. This makes the neck pickup achieve a warmer tone. You might want this if you're playing Jazz or similar genres.

However, if you don't care about the warmer neck pickup, more frets will always be better. It's always nice to have the option to play higher notes if you want to.

It comes with nickel silver frets, so they won't last as long as stainless steel frets. If you use your instrument a lot, you might need to replace the frets after a few years. But this is unlikely as most people change instruments before this happens.

More guitars with the same amount of frets:

Fret Size

Fender Squier Paranormal Cyclone Fret Size Comparison
Fender Squier Paranormal Cyclone's fret size (in orange) compared to other popular sizes

Finally, let's talk about fret size. Some people prefer tall frets because it's easier to press the strings and perform bends since there's less friction against the fretboard. On the other hand, some people like shorter frets because they like to touch the fretboard when playing, or because they got heavy hands and tend to press too much on the string and alter the of the note pitch accidently.

The Fender Squier Paranormal Cyclone's frets are Narrow Tall size. These are similar to Jumbos, but they might be slightly shorter (or taller, depending on the maker), and they tend to have a narrower crown width. You'll be able to press the strings easily, but if you're not used to them, you might get the notes out of pitch if you press down too hard on the strings since their height won't let you feel the fretboard.

More guitars with the same type of frets:

Playability Score

Bending & Vibrato Ease 80
Chord Playability 70
Solo Playability 70
Playability 73

Does the Fender Squier Paranormal Cyclone Sound Good? Tone Analysis

Wood will have little influence in the final tone of an electric guitar. Instead, the hardware, especially the pickups, will be the most important thing to look at. Bur first, let's see the quality of the wood.

Wood Used in the Fender Squier Paranormal Cyclone

Poplar wood pattern used for guitar building
Poplar Body
Maple wood pattern used for guitar building
Maple Neck
Laurel wood pattern used for guitar building
Laurel Fretboard

Poplar Body: It's similar to Alder in terms of tone as it has a fat low-end with strong mids, but it's a lot cheaper and softer. It's a bit heavier so it's mostly used for tops.

Maple Neck: This is one of the most popular types of wood used in all kinds of guitars. It's heavy, strong and compact, which makes it great for necks. However, it's also used for fretboards, bodies and tops due to its light color, resistance and beautiful patterns. When it comes to tone, it highlights the mid and high frequencies.

Laurel Fretboard: There are many types of Laurel, but East Indian is the most common for guitar building. Its color can vary from dark to light brown with black lines. Many people find its tonality similar to Rosewood, which favors the warmer frequencies.

More guitars made with the same wood:

Pickups

Unfortunately, it doesn't come with pickups from one of the top brands. This doesn't mean you will get bad pickups, but you might want to consider a pickup upgrade after some time.

These are passive pickups, so you can expect a moderade level of hot output instead of the overwhelming output that distinguises active pickups in metal.

The Fender Squier Paranormal Cyclone's configuration is SSS. This is the pickup configuration made famous by the Stratocaster. It gives you beautiful clean tones, but also a vintage-sounding distortion. This pickup combination will sound chimey, but you might be surprised at the warmness that you can get from a single-coil at the neck position on a 22-fret guitar. The disadvantage of this configuration is the hum noise that single-coils produce due to their nature.

More guitars with the same pickups

22 Frets
Tremolo Bridge
Fender Designed Alnico Single-Coil Bridge Pickup
Fender Designed Alnico Single-Coil Middle Pickup
Fender Designed Alnico Single-Coil Neck Pickup
22 Frets
Tremolo Bridge
Fender Designed Alnico Single-Coil Bridge Pickup
Middle Pickup
Fender Designed Alnico Single-Coil Neck Pickup
22 Frets
Tremolo Bridge
Fender Designed Alnico Single-Coil Bridge Pickup
Middle Pickup
Fender Designed Alnico Single-Coil Neck Pickup
21 Frets
Tremolo Bridge
Fender Designed Alnico Single-Coil Bridge Pickup
Middle Pickup
Fender Designed Alnico Single-Coil Neck Pickup
21 Frets
Tremolo Bridge
Fender Designed Alnico Humbucking Bridge Pickup
Fender Designed Alnico Single-Coil Middle Pickup
Fender Designed Alnico Single-Coil Neck Pickup

Versatility

It comes with the popular 3-way switch that is present in most guitars. For more versatility, guitarists tend to prefer a 5-way switch, although it all depends on what you want to use your guitar for.

It has a Killswitch option. When engaged, it will disengage the pickups and turn them off instantly. This is useful when playing live, and it allows you to perform some cool sound effects with your pickups.

More guitars with the same mods:

Diagram

Fender Squier Paranormal Cyclone pickups switch and push knobs diagram
Fender Squier Paranormal Cyclone's switch options

What music genre is the Fender Squier Paranormal Cyclone good for?

As a 6 strings, Solid Body guitar with SSS configuration and Passive pickups, we'd recommend it for genres like Funk or similar. However, you can use almost any guitar for any genre. This is just the typical type of music for this kind of guitar.

Sound Score

Pickups 70
Sustain 70
Versatility 78
Tuning Stability 65
Sound 71

How well is the Fender Squier Paranormal Cyclone Built?

Where is the Fender Squier Paranormal Cyclone Made?

Knowing where the guitar is produced is a good way to know how well it's built. Some manufacturing countries are known for having higher quality standards. For example, most expensive guitars are made in the US or Japan, but there are some exceptionally great countries—like South Korea—that are building a good reputation.

The Fender Squier Paranormal Cyclone is made in China. So you can expect lower build quality when compared to others made in Korea, Japan or the United States. Guitars made in this country are meant for mass production, which translates into less attention to detail and quality control. This doesn't mean the product is made poorly at all. Chinese products have a bad reputation since long ago, but they've definitely improved a lot the last few years.

More guitars made in China

Bridge

6-Saddle Vintage-Style Synchronized Tremolo: This type of bridge allows you to change the pitch of the notes by pulling the bridge with the attached bar, which gives you better versatility. Also, since the bridge is not fixed to the guitar body, the bridge will move as you bend the strings. So you'll have to increase the distance of your bends to reach the same tension (note) compared to a fixed bridge. This allows you to perform smoother bends but will also make you slower. Finally, remember that this type of bridge requires a bit more maintenance than fixed ones, especially when changing strings.

More guitars with the same type of bridge:

Nut Material

Another important thing to analyze is the nut material, as it's one of the most important aspects that can affect the sound and playability of your guitar. A well-cut nut will make sure the guitar stays in tune and will make it more comfortable to play.

In this case, the Fender Squier Paranormal Cyclone has a Synthetic Bone nut. One of the best nuts you can have is a Bone nut thanks to their rich tonality and resistance. The problem is that they're a natural material, so different bone nuts will have inconsistent tonal properties. In other words, one bone nut might not sound as well as the other even when they're made from the same piece. Synthetic bone helps with this by giving you a high-quality, consistent nut that resembles the tone produced by bone.

More guitars with the same nut material:

Neck Joint

The neck joint is the part where the neck of the guitar meets the body. There are three main techniques to attach both parts together: Set-In, Bolt-On and Neck-Through. The latter two provide different advantages, although neck-throughs are the most expensive.

This guitar has a Bolt-On neck joint. Even though this type of neck was looked down upon for a long time, nowadays bolt-on necks are well built and provide just as much sustain as any other join method. First of all, it's cheap to make because it consists of simply 4 bolts that attach the neck to the body. And you can travel with the guitar more easily, swap out the neck if you damage it, or upgrade to a more comfortable neck later on.

More guitars with the same build:

Build Quality Score

Quality of materials 56
Features 60
Quality Control 55
Build Quality 57

Most Popular Comparisons With The Fender Squier Paranormal Cyclone

Fender Squier Paranormal Cyclone Specs

General
Brand: Fender Squier
Year: 2020
Configuration: SSS
Strings: 6
Made in: China
Series: Paranormal
Colors: White, Red
Left-Handed Version: No
Body
Type: Solid Body
Body Material: Poplar
Bridge: 6-Saddle Vintage-Style Synchronized Tremolo
Neck
Neck Joint: Bolt-On
Tuners: Vintage-Style
Fretboard: Indian Laurel
Neck Material: Maple
Decoration: Pearloid Dot
Scale Size: 24.75"
Shape: C Shape
Thickness: 1st Fret: 0.84'' (21.3mm) - 12th Fret: 0.89'' (22.6mm)
Frets: 22 Narrow Tall
Fretboard Radius: 9.5"
Nut: Synthetic Bone
Nut Width: 41.9mm (1.65'')
Electronics
Switch: 3 Way
Knobs: Dome
Pickup Mods: Killswitch
Volume Controls: 1
Tone Controls: 1
Bridge Pickup: Fender Designed Alnico Single-Coil (Single Coil / Passive)
Middle Pickup: Fender Designed Alnico Single-Coil (Single Coil / Passive)
Neck Pickup: Fender Designed Alnico Single-Coil (Single Coil / Passive)