NGD Critique of New Paranormal Cabronita Thinline

Discussion in 'Squier Tele Forum' started by Randypttt, Sep 5, 2020.

  1. Randypttt

    Randypttt Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    This looks like a model Squier had way back in the day modeled after the TA-90 which is now the Fender JA-90 the big difference is the number of pots and where the switch was. But basically a Thinline with P-90s.

    I almost pulled the trigger on a JA but the cost was a bit much for a Korean made guitar imo.
    Now this "Cabronita" is more to my liking in every way. I like the simplicity of the controls, maple neck, the P-90s that look like JM pups. It's a nice mash up of stuff.

    The Paranormal series is kind of hit and miss for me but this one is a hit fer sure.

    This came set up close to how I like it and I wasn't expecting that. I like a little fight in my Teles but the lower action is surprisingly fun and effortless. No string buzz either.

    I'm not a fan of white finishes but this is more subdued than the Artic white on the JA.
    I didn't see any flaws or scratches in the finish. It looks great back and front.

    The fretboard has an amazing amount of grain all through it and some on the back. Looks nice.
    I'm not obsessed with that kind of thing I just usually don't see much of that at this price point. Very lightly stained or maybe not at all. I like how they didn't stain it all dark and orange like my CV 50. Fret ends are fairly atrocious.

    The pups are solid sounding and come with that "humbucker with more note clarity" that I like. Noisy to be sure but I'm not gigging so I don't really care. Not sure they're any worse than any single coil.

    The switch and pots are all cheap but functional. I didn't have any grounding issues like someone mentioned on the "Cabronita Rides Again" thread. I looked in the cavity and am not sure how someone replaces the pots and switch but I suppose it can be done. Tiniest pots I've ever seen.

    Wiring is all good, clean and not sloppy with the solder (you should see the inside of my 03 Squier Stan Strat. Whoa). I'm hoping it's one of those inexpensive guitars that work forever. Unlike my CV. The pots on that lasted about 8 months.

    One note on the wiring: I'm not sure about this but it sounds like they wired the middle position as parallel...maybe. I'm not familiar with that whole 'series/parallel thing but I know what it sounds like. Kinda honky as opposed to clucky like a Tele. There's also a small drop in volume. Not a deal breaker for me but I'd like to know if that's the case. I don't use that position often but might if it was pretty. This isn't.

    Otherwise, I really like this guitar and it more than makes up for my stupidly selling my Fender Modern Player Thinline.

    Here are a few pics. Sorry for the poor quality Anyone who would like to join in here, add some pics, critique your own or mine, feel free. More the merrier.

    IMG_2678.JPG IMG_2684.JPG
    IMG_2686.JPG IMG_2687.JPG Cabpots.jpg

    Sorry about all the glare. Not a pro photographer obviously.
    I know the red model will be the more popular one so I thought I'd get my 2cents of pics in before the deluge. I like the red but it's not me.
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2020
  2. ReverendRevolver

    ReverendRevolver Tele-Afflicted

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    Nice review, and good looking guitar.

    How do the frets feel?

    Most of that series are guitars I wish would've gotten MIM/MIJ runs in the fender equivalent series'.

    My Toronado was my first guitar I could never part with, also my first Mexican fender. The cyclone II was on teenage men's bucket list. I loved the first run of squier 51s. And adult me loved the Japanese "tele with a jazzmaster body" stuff.
    I'm limiting my additional solid body purchases, but itd be hard to refuse any of those for the right price.

    FWIW, I like the white finish on those models more. Classy looking.
     
  3. rangercaster

    rangercaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    That is a gorgeous guitar !!!


    I'm jealous ...

    I like your houseplant also ...
     
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  4. harpdog

    harpdog Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    Thanks, nice to hear some things as I wait on my red one. By the way, I’m not a flashy red guitar guy, and the white is my favorite shade, but the cream touches on the red one got to me.

    If anybody takes off the pickups, I would love to see pics of what is really under the plastic!
     
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  5. Macrogats

    Macrogats Friend of Leo's

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    That’s a beauty. I love the whole Cabronita vibe - don’t think I’ve seen one with P90’s. Sounds interesting, cos I love the sounds on my P90 Strat I built.

    I wouldn’t know series from parallel from a ducks backside, but I’d be swapping those pots out and wire it what I call normal. With a three way switch that’s just neck, both and bridge.

    Enjoy.
     
  6. DjimiWrey

    DjimiWrey Tele-Meister

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    that IS a rockin' fern!
     
  7. 68Telebass

    68Telebass Tele-Afflicted

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    Great looking Thinline I LOVE the “reverse Tuxedo” look of the white with black pickguard and pickup covers!!

    Grab a sanding sponge and dress up those prickly fret ends...and swap out those “dime size” pots if you wish- or wait- if they work, why mess with em??
    Congrats!! THAT is exactly the Paranormal model and color I would go for!! (Oh, and that 50s telecaster Jazz Bass in vintage blond...):cool:
     
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  8. DougM

    DougM Friend of Leo's

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    On 99.9% of Teles, Strats. LPs, SGs, 335s, and all other guitars, when using more than one pickup at a time, they are in parallel, not series. You'll only find them in series on a guitar that has special additional switching, like a 4 way switch on a Tele, which is usually used to give you the normal setup of both pickups in parallel, and also the non-standard setup of both pickups in series.
     
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  9. EsquireOK

    EsquireOK Friend of Leo's

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    Definitely eyeballing those. Thanks for posting your review on it.

    I did not realize that the pickups are "secret" P90s. That makes it less interesting to me...but I would probably be changing pickups anyhow, and Jazzmaster pickups can be installed, so it's no that bad.
     
  10. Randypttt

    Randypttt Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    I think they're using vintage tall fret wire. It doesn't say that on anyone's site but I've played something like them on the Professional a few years back when they were making them. Slim like vintage wire but taller like a jumbo. These don't seem to be as tall as the Pro's but tall in any case.
    Plays great.
     
  11. Randypttt

    Randypttt Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    Its actually a Norfolk Island pine. But my wife appreciates your kindness :):D
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2020
  12. FortyEight

    FortyEight Tele-Meister

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    Very nice!!!!!
     
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  13. tah1962

    tah1962 Friend of Leo's

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    Very nice. Congratulations.
     
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  14. Randypttt

    Randypttt Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    Thanks all who have read and/or posted. Still enjoying this guitar immensely.

    I do have one niggling problem, that I cited at the top, and that is the middle position. I watched again the youtube of the one vid of this guitar. It did seem that his mid position was what one might expect of a LP or Tele; straight up cluck.

    Mine is no where like that. I'm thinking of doing a vid of my own or a sound bite of some kind. It sounds a lot like the 4th position on a Baja. Except not full sounding. In fact there's a bit of a volume drop.

    I just think it was wired wrong somehow. Have any of you other Paranormal Thinline owners have a similar experience? I can take this in to my GC and have them look at it but I'm in the risk category for Covid so I'd rather not if I don't have to.

    Anybody?
     
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  15. SixStringSlinger

    SixStringSlinger Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Could the pickups be out of phase? I don't know how the "4th position on a Baja" part jives with this, But the volume drop and "not full sounding" fits.

    I had a similar issue with my Jazzmaster, which I detailed here: https://www.tdpri.com/threads/are-my-jazzmasters-pickups-out-of-phase.1043897/

    Different pickups, but I think you'll get the idea and be able to tell if it applies to you.
     
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  16. Randypttt

    Randypttt Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    That's exactly it. Honky not clucky. Did you resolve it? I suspect it's wires on the wrong terminals.
    Thanks for that. Good to know I'm not alone.
     
  17. harpdog

    harpdog Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    BA4762D4-1DDA-4D14-8AD9-F641563BB912.jpeg Mine arrived today. Just got done working out with it. All pickup positions are strong on this one. The mid position is good and probably will be my go-to, but bridge is a hair louder, or maybe that’s the treble effect. No complaints. I like the sound, just enough different than a Tele. While it pushes distortion nicely, the cleans are my favorite so far...very Beach Boyish. Construction nice, tuners fine, hardware good, action good, only negative is pokey fret ends. The red color is not so much classic but kind of “Coral” and blends nicely with the cream plastics and pale maple board.
    I saw the review you referred to, and he thought neck pickup was weak and made the middle unusable. I am thinking maybe some are not done right. Mine is fine.
    I WOULD be curious, if anyone ever checks, to see the back side of the pickups and see if they are really JM or P-90. I have never played either.
     
  18. SixStringSlinger

    SixStringSlinger Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I did, and I like the middle position a lot more now.

    It's as simple as choosing a pickup (either will do) and flipping where the two wires are soldered. So say a white wire is soldered to point A and a black to point B, switch 'em so that white goes to B and black to A.

    I'm no pro at soldering and the wiring in my JM is an absolute rat's nest, but that cleaned up the issue nicely. And I suppose it's an easy enough thing to get wrong at the factory.
     
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  19. Randypttt

    Randypttt Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    Check out @BorderRadio's response in Cabronita Thinline rides again! thread. He has pics and everything.

    The short story is that they are P-90s with JM covers. His post will explain why.
    I'm thinking I should have gotten the red one ;)

    Cheers
     
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  20. Dana Rudd

    Dana Rudd Tele-Holic

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    Congrats to you new owners, enjoy those guitars.
     
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