Given that Canadian newcomer Sparrow is staffed by 10 nostalgists with ceiling-scraping quiffs who profess a love of “classic ‘50s greasy stuff”, the omens are good for this guitar.
The more expensive Twangmaster Boss and Kustom models boast aftermarket pickups, but the £329 Pro employs the same tonewoods and looks like better value to us.
With an ash body, it’s actually more faithful to the Teles of the ‘50s than modern Fenders, while Sparrow is keen to flag up the adaptable voicings of its own-brand single-coils: “Go from twang to bang with the flick of a switch… The Twangmaster can be bright and jangly with the traditional rich bell tone, or snarl, bark and bite like a hellcat.”
A couple of quibbles. First, our Twangmaster looks a little anaemic without the optional finish. Second, the bridge single-coil on this specific model is a bit wonky (probably why its output is noticeably quieter). Both are outweighed by a great pound-for-pound performance.
True to the Tele mission statement, this is uncluttered simplicity par excellence, with an accommodating body, neck profile and fingerboard that make good players soar. Tonally, the bridge singlecoil redefines ‘twang’ - you’ll almost want to soften it with your amp’s bass EQ - but the neck item makes good on claims of “rich bell tone”, with a droolsome voice for rhythm. You could do a lot worse.
Pros: Characterful voice, biting tone.
Cons: Bridge can be shrill.