Fender admits it has been using Epiphone bridges for the Squier Strat-O-Sonic – but says this Paranormal activity is just a blip

Squier Paranormal Strat-O-Sonic: Original runs used bridges branded with Epiphone
(Image credit: Fender; Landon Bailey/YouTube)

Squier’s Paranormal Series is all about getting weird with Fender’s electric guitar designs, mixing and matching and Frankensteining them together, presenting players with a quality but ultimately cheap electric guitar that sounds and feels like a custom build straight out of Eerie, Indiana. 

But recently, things have gotten really weird. That Strat-O-Sonic with the wraparound bridge and the P-90s? Well, it turns out it uses a bridge branded with Squier’s rival Epiphone’s logo. 

YouTuber Landon Bailey alerted us to this anomaly, and to what is the greatest crossover event in guitar history – arguably the ne plus ultra of Paranormal design logic – but Fender has released a statement saying that, yes, those bridges are Epiphone bridges but it was simply a case of both companies using the same factory for what is a similar design.

In a statement released to Guitar World, Fender said it would use unbranded versions of the wraparound in future production runs.

“It is common in the industry for contract manufacturers to produce products for multiple brands and for those brands to coincidentally share certain parts produced by third-party parts vendors,” said Fender. “While this particular bridge is not exclusive to Epiphone, they have used it and it is evident that for their products they prefer their logo to be present. This is a rare example of that specific part showing up in our production with their logo unintentionally.”

Landon Bailey

A still from YouTuber Landon Bailey's video with him showing the underside to the Squier Strat-O-Sonic's wrap-over bridge… with an Epiphone logo!  (Image credit: Landon Bailey / YouTube)

So there you have it. An accident. It won’t happen again. Things we have learned? Well, no much, except that maybe all this was kismet. After all, this is a guitar that explicitly references Gibson-esque design hallmarks. 

It has the shorter Gibson/Epiphone scale, 24.75” as opposed to the 25.5” most common to Fender guitars. Similarly, the Indian laurel fingerboard has a 12” radius. Again, very Gibson/Epiphone.


(Image credit: Fender)

The solid okoume body is also an off-menu choice, with okoume a decent lightweight alternative to mahogany, and not really in the alder/ash/poplar ballpark we are used to seeing on Fender and Squier guitars. Soapbar P-90 pickups complete the Stratocaster through-the-looking-glass vibe. 

There is, however, a bolt-on maple neck and the traditional Strat shape of the double-cutaway body. Some reminders of reality should you need it.

Will this Epiphone bridge make your Strat-O-Sonic more collectible? Probably not. But then this series is already collectible in its own right. These models tend not to stick around. 

For more details, head over to Epiphone—no, wait, sorry… Fender. That's with an F. The Strat-O-Sonic retails for a very approachable £369 street.

Jonathan Horsley

Jonathan Horsley has been writing about guitars and guitar culture since 2005, playing them since 1990, and regularly contributes to MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitar World. He uses Jazz III nylon picks, 10s during the week, 9s at the weekend, and shamefully still struggles with rhythm figure one of Van Halen’s Panama.