Squier Jim Root Telecaster Review
Fans of the guitarist can now get their hands of his signature model more affordably – but how does the Squier Jim Root Telecaster fare?
Jim Root has been one of the key players in two of rock’s most noteworthy bands over the past two decades, with Slipknot and Stone Sour. His musical contribution was recognised back in 2007, when Fender honoured him with his own signature Telecaster.
As you might expect, this was a sonically supercharged affair. Now, a more affordable Squier version has been made- a move guaranteed to please the hordes of fans. How does it stack up against its ‘full-fat’ Fender version?
We take a look in our Squier Jim Root Telecaster review.
Looks and construction
The Squier Jim Root Telecaster is, as the name suggests, based on a Telecaster. The hardware and electronics onboard this guitar makes it a very different instrument from an average telecaster, however.
The body is the familiar, Telecaster Silhouette, crafted, slightly more unusually, from solid Mahogany, and is finished in the same, satin, ‘flat’ style of the original, in either black or white, with contrasting white or black scratchplate, respectively. A modern ‘C’ profile maple neck is equipped, which feels a bit slimmer than a typical Tele (to me, anyway…)
The pickups on the Squier are twin, passive humbuckers with plain, black covers. Though they look like active pickups, they’re actually passive.
A black, 6-saddle bridge with through-body design, and black tuners finish the guitar’s dark, rock aesthetic nicely.
Picking it up, the Jim Root immediately feels like a very well put together instrument. In particular, the neck is a bit of a treat. It has a really nice ‘just so’ profile, that is not ultra-thin, but certainly feels fast. In part, this is due to the satin matte finish, which is a real pleasure to play.
I suspect that it you regularly play to sweaty mosh-pits (likely, given whose signature model this is…), then this is a feature you’ll grow to love- no sticky, gloss finishes here.
You may be disappointed that the two pickups aren’t active, but before you start writing to your MP about it, hear me out… It’s true that the pickups don’t have the same level of gain as the active counterparts on the Fender version. However, they still put in an admirable performance, and are plenty hot.
The flipside is that they’re actually pretty versatile, too. Specifying active pickups would have increased cost, or reduced the high quality of build elsewhere, so it’s easy to see why Squier did it. Clean tones are nice and thick, and it has plenty of gain for when you need to turn things up to ‘metal’ levels…
When affordable versions of signature models appear, it’s easy to be cynical, or a bit suspicious. It’s nice to be able to report that the Squier Jim Root Telecaster is a really great guitar that stands up as a superbly playable, well-built and great sounding instrument, regardless of the celebrity tie-in.
Yes, it doesn’t have the active pups of the Fender, but the passive models sound great anyway, and look at the price!! A great spin on the classic Tele and a worthy foil to the more expensive Fender version.