Squier Contemporary Stratocaster Special HT and Paranormal Toronado review

Think Squier only offers budget-friendly versions of Fender designs? Here are two electric guitars that prove the brand has more going on than meets the eye

Squier Contemporary Stratocaster and Paranormal Toronado
(Image: © Fender)

Guitar World Verdict

Offering classy styling and unique tones, these highly affordable new Squier models are equally perfect for beginners seeking outstanding value as well as experienced players looking to expand their sonic options without compromising quality and playability.


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    Both guitars offer different but thrilling sounds.

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    Cool finish options.

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    No argument with the price.


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    Well, these are obviously not for purists.

You can trust Guitar World Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing guitar products so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

40 years ago, Fender introduced the Squier brand to provide affordable versions of the company’s flagship instruments like the Stratocaster and Telecaster and compete with low-priced import copies of those instruments. 

Since then, both beginning players looking for an inexpensive first instrument and experienced guitarists looking for great value have turned to Squier guitars, which have consistently delivered exceptional bang for the buck.

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Chris Gill

Chris is the co-author of Eruption - Conversations with Eddie Van Halen. He is a 40-year music industry veteran who started at Boardwalk Entertainment (Joan Jett, Night Ranger) and Roland US before becoming a guitar journalist in 1991. He has interviewed more than 600 artists, written more than 1,400 product reviews and contributed to Jeff Beck’s Beck 01: Hot Rods and Rock & Roll and Eric Clapton’s Six String Stories.