Swap
Swap
Epiphone Marty Schwartz ES-335
Fender Kenny Wayne Shepherd Stratocaster
VS
Playability
73
Sound
71
Build
66
Value
75
Score
70
FIND IT ON:
Reverb logoSweetwater logo
Playability
73
Sound
77
Build
69
Value
63
Score
73
FIND IT ON:
Reverb logoSweetwater logoMusician's Friend logoFender logo
Add to Compare
Discuss or ask a question
Add to Compare
Discuss or ask a question
Side to side spec comparison >

Epiphone Marty Schwartz ES-335 vs Fender Kenny Wayne Shepherd Stratocaster

Reasons to Get
Epiphone Marty Schwartz ES-335 over Fender Kenny Wayne Shepherd Stratocaster

Decorative Top
5-ply Layered Maple; AAA Flame Maple Veneer vs None
Finished with beautiful natural wood patterns
Release Year
2023 vs 2020
From a more recent year
Type of Frets
Medium Jumbo vs Jumbo
You'll feel the fretboard when pressing down the strings
Pickup Mods
Multiple vs None
Body Type
Semi-Hollow vs Solid Body
Lighter and allows more gain than a hollowbody
Volume Knobs
2 vs 1
More volume control
Pickups
HH vs SSS
High output without hum
Number of Frets
22 vs 21
Allows to reach higher notes
Locking Tuners
Yes vs None
Easier to change strings
Nut Width
1.693'' (43mm) vs 1.654'' (42mm)
Less likely to mute strings by accident and more space for fingerstyle
Bridge
Fixed vs Tremolo
Good sustain and needs no set-up
Scale Length
24.75'' (628.7mm) vs 25.5'' (647.7mm)
Easier bending, shorter fret separation and warmer natural tone
Fretboard Radius
12'' (304.8mm) vs 7.25'' (184.2mm)
Flatter fretboard makes it easier to play single notes and bend
Value Score
75 vs 63
Better price/quality relationship

Reasons to Get
Fender Kenny Wayne Shepherd Stratocaster over Epiphone Marty Schwartz ES-335

Country of Manufacturing
United States vs China
Built with higher quality standards
Frets Height
Taller vs Shorter
Easier to press down strings and bend them
Type of Frets
Jumbo vs Medium Jumbo
You won't feel the fretboard when pressing down the strings
Pickups Brand
Fender vs None
Pickups from a renown brand
Neck Joint
Bolt-On vs Set
Allows you to detach and swap the neck
Body Type
Solid Body vs Semi-Hollow
Feedback free
Switch Positions
5 vs 3
More tone options
Pickups
SSS vs HH
Beautiful cleans and good tone versatility
Nut Width
1.654'' (42mm) vs 1.693'' (43mm)
Favors small hands, easier bar chords and other shapes
Bridge
Tremolo vs Fixed
Simple vibratos without too much maintenance
Scale Length
25.5'' (647.7mm) vs 24.75'' (628.7mm)
Lower action and brighter natural tone
Fretboard Radius
7.25'' (184.2mm) vs 12'' (304.8mm)
Easier to play chords without muting strings

Other Key Differences
Epiphone Marty Schwartz ES-335 vs Fender Kenny Wayne Shepherd Stratocaster

Bridge Pickup
Alnico Classic PRO vs Fender Custom-Voiced Kenny Wayne Shepherd Single-Coil Strat
Different Bridge Pickup
Neck Pickup
Alnico Classic PRO vs Fender Custom-Voiced Kenny Wayne Shepherd Single-Coil Strat
Different Neck Pickup
Body Wood
Flame Maple vs Ash
Different Body Wood
Neck Wood
Mahogany vs Maple
Different Neck Wood
Fretboard Wood
Laurel vs Rosewood
Different Fretboard Wood
Headstock
3-3 vs 6
Different Headstock
Nut Material
Ivory Tusq vs Bone
Different Nut Material

Shared Features
Epiphone Marty Schwartz ES-335 vs Fender Kenny Wayne Shepherd Stratocaster

Strings
6
Same playing style
Tone Knobs
2
Same tone control
Paint Finish
Poly
Resistant paint that ages well
Pickups Power
Passive
Cleaner sound and no battery needed
Neck Profile Type
C
Comfortable neck that works for most people

Common Strengths

  • High-Quality Nut
  • Expensive Wood

Common Weaknesses

  • Stays in Tune (Evertune)
  • High-Quality Frets
  • Compound Radius Fretboard
  • Luminescent Sidedots
  • Strap Lock
  • 21:1 Tuner Ratio
  • Active/Passive Preamp

Price History Comparison

SET PRICE ALERT
SET PRICE ALERT

These are affiliate links. We may earn a fee if you purchase after clicking. These prices are prone to error. Make sure you're buying the right product after clicking on a link from our site. We are not liable if you buy the wrong product after following these links. As an Amazon Associate site we earn from qualifying purchases.

Which One is Better for Beginners?

Both meet 5 out of our 8 criteria items for beginner friendliness. This takes into account the type of frets, scale length, nut width, bridge type, fretboard radius, and neck profile to determine the easiest combination for new players. If you're looking for your first guitar to learn how to play, you can't go wrong with either of them.

New Player Friendliness

Epiphone Marty Schwartz ES-335
  • Comfortable shape
  • Easy-to-use bridge
  • Locking tuners
  • Tall frets
  • Comfortable neck
  • Comfortable fretboard
  • Narrow nut
  • Short scale

New Player Friendliness

Fender Kenny Wayne Shepherd Stratocaster
  • Comfortable shape
  • Easy-to-use bridge
  • Tall frets
  • Narrow nut
  • Comfortable neck
  • Comfortable fretboard
  • Short scale
  • Locking tuners

Nevertheless, when it comes to choosing an instrument, you should pick the one more compatible with your personal style. Still, below we'll try you to give you our results as objectively as it's possible to help you decide.

Sound Quality Comparison

The wood used in an electric guitar or bass is not as important to determine the final tone. However, some people prefer specific wood types, so we'll take a look at those first. Then, we'll take a look at the electronics to determine the versatility and sound quality of each instrument.

Woods Used in the Epiphone Marty Schwartz ES-335

Mahogany wood pattern used for guitar building
Mahogany
Laurel wood pattern used for guitar building
Laurel
Flame Maple wood pattern used for guitar building
Flame Maple

Mahogany is a fairly rare wood nowadays. It's used mostly for bodies due to its relatively lightweight. Gibson popularized it with their Les Paul guitars during their golden years, so this wood has a lot of good reputation behind it. The most expensive type comes from South America and it's still used by Gibson even today. Find out more about Mahogany.

There are many types of Laurel, but East Indian is the most common for guitar building. Its color can vary from dark to light brown with black lines. Many people find its tonality similar to Rosewood, which favors the warmer frequencies. Find out more about Laurel.

This wood has beautiful patterns only found in specific types of maple.

Woods Used in the Fender Kenny Wayne Shepherd Stratocaster

Maple wood pattern used for guitar building
Maple
Rosewood wood pattern used for guitar building
Rosewood
Ash wood pattern used for guitar building
Ash

Maple is one of the most popular necks for good reasons. It is a strong wood that is relatively cheap to make and looks beautiful. The highest quality maple is the hardest that comes from North America. Find out more about Maple.

Rosewood is an almost purple-looking wood that is used mainly for fretboards since it's heavy, rare, and expensive. It's sometimes used on acoustic guitar bodies to create stronger warm tones. Find out more about Rosewood.

Ash is a type of wood that Fender used almost exclusively in the 50s, and it's still used by many brands. It's a dense wood with a light color that works well for a transparent, natural finish because of its beautiful patterns. In terms of sound, it's known for emphasizing the mid and high frequencies, but with strong low end. Find out more about Ash.

Winner: Tie.

Pickup Configuration

The Epiphone Marty Schwartz ES-335 has an HH configuration while the Fender Kenny Wayne Shepherd Stratocaster has SSS pickups.

Double Humbucker (HH) is the choice for people who want a fuller, more round sound with tons of mids and lows. Humbuckers also get rid of the hum noise that plague single-coil pickups. They can work out for almost any genre going from Djent to even Jazz.

On the other hand, SSS is perfect for players who like to play clean. The definition you get between notes and the crispiness is unmatched by most other configurations. You can still use it for distortion, but you won't get the same kind of output and power compared to a humbucker, and the hum they produce also makes them less adequate for high gain.

Pickups Quality

The Fender Kenny Wayne Shepherd Stratocaster pickups from a more specialized brand than the Epiphone Marty Schwartz ES-335. Its pickups should give you a fuller, richer sound, although it all depends on what type of music you're going to play. We recommend these pickups for Funk and similar genres.

Both use Passive pickups. This is what's used for most music genres. They have a regular output and will serve you for both high-gain and clean tones. The alternative (Active pickups) offer a higher output that is mostly used for heavy music.

Winner: Fender Kenny Wayne Shepherd Stratocaster.

Versatility Comparison

Some instruments offer you more ways to explore your creativity than others. Below you'll find how both compare when it comes to versatility.

Switch Options

The Fender Kenny Wayne Shepherd Stratocaster gives you 5 switch options while the Epiphone Marty Schwartz ES-335 gives you 3. This means that the Fender Kenny Wayne Shepherd Stratocaster gives you more options to find the right pickup combination for the type of sound you want to achieve

Only the Epiphone Marty Schwartz ES-335 comes with some kind of pickup modification: Coil Split, Phase Out.

Coil Split lets you disconnect one of the pickup coils. When used with humbuckers, it turns them into single-coil with lower output and cleaner tone.

When the Phase Out option is activated, the pickups will ''work against each other'', meaning that they will cancel out their shared frequencies. The result is a very thin sound, instead of a full, rich tone. This is an interesting sound for genres like reggae or funk and has also been used in classic Hard Rock.

The Epiphone Marty Schwartz ES-335 doesn't come with pickup switching options.

Fender Kenny Wayne Shepherd Stratocaster pickups switch selector and push knobs diagram
Fender Kenny Wayne Shepherd Stratocaster's switch options

When evaluating versatility, we also take into consideration bridge and neck joint type, number of frets, switch options, amount of pickups and more.

Winner: Fender Kenny Wayne Shepherd Stratocaster.

Final Sound Quality Scores

Epiphone Marty Schwartz ES-335
Pickups 60
Sustain 75
Versatility 68
Tuning Stability 80
Sound 71
Fender Kenny Wayne Shepherd Stratocaster
Pickups 100
Sustain 70
Versatility 72
Tuning Stability 65
Sound 77

Build Quality Comparison

When it comes to build quality, we like to take into account everything used to build the instrument. This includes materials, hardware and the quality control expected depending on the country where it was built. Let's see how the Epiphone Marty Schwartz ES-335 compares to the Fender Kenny Wayne Shepherd Stratocaster.

Country of Origin

The manufacturing country can tell a lot about the build quality of an instrument. The Epiphone Marty Schwartz ES-335 is built in China while the Fender Kenny Wayne Shepherd Stratocaster is made in United States.

China has a bad reputation when it comes to building quality. However, times have changed and now respectable brands use China's cheap labor to build good instruments for a lower price. Don't discount a guitar only because it was built in China, but also expect more quality from countries like Korea.

The United States is considered one of the best electric guitar manufacturers in the world. A guitar made in this country is supposed to have world-class quality control. Nowadays, guitars made in other countries can beat some of the ones made in the US, but most of the time, this country offers the best you can get. Of course, that comes at a price.

Winner: Fender Kenny Wayne Shepherd Stratocaster

Nut Material

If you want your guitar to stay in tune and sound good, you need a well cut nut. Nut quality can be inconsistent even when comparing two copies of the same model. The best way to make sure you're nut will be well done is by getting a nut made by an expert company like TUSQ or Micarta.

The Epiphone Marty Schwartz ES-335 has a Ivory Tusq nut. Ivory used to be considered the best material for guitar nuts due to its beauty, durability, and the rich harmonics and sustain you could get from a guitar with it. However, the way to obtain it is simply unethical. Enter TUSQ ivory nuts, which are made synthetically to imitate ivory. Technically, it's better than ivory because it is consistent piece-to-piece, while natural materials can vary a lot, even if they're made from the same.

On the other hand, the Fender Kenny Wayne Shepherd Stratocaster comes with a Bone nut. It's a type of nut found in high-quality instruments. They sound similar to Ivory since they give a lot of sustain and a bright sound (at least when striking open strings). The only problem they can run into is that you may get a bone piece that simply doesn't sound as well as others because that's just how natural materials are.

Winner: Tie.

Fret Material

Most fret wire is made of nickel silver. This material eventually wears down after a lot of use and most instruments end up needing a complete fret replacement. However, some expensive models come with stainless steel frets. This is what you should aim for if you can afford it.

Unfortunately, none of them come with stainless steel frets.

Winner: Tie.

Bridge

The perfect bridge for you will depend on your playstyle because they all have advantages and disadvantages. However, some bridges are more expensive—like Floyd Roses and Evertunes—and thus add more value to a guitar.

The Epiphone Marty Schwartz ES-335's brige is a Fixed. It's a simple bridge that is very beginner-friendly since it doesn't require any set-up. You can swap strings easily. It might also give more sustain since it doesn't have complex moving parts that make the strings lose vibration. However, it doesn't have the same versatility as a tremolo bridge.

On the other hand, the Fender Kenny Wayne Shepherd Stratocaster's is a Tremolo. Tremolo bridges give you more versatility than fixed bridges. They let you perform the intense vibrato effects that would be impossible with a fixed bridge. However, since the bridge floats and there's less contact with the body, the strings lose sustain slightly faster. They can also be a bit harder to restring and set up correctly than fixed bridges.

Since we need to be objective, the most expensive type of bridge will be the winner of this section. In the end, this doesn't matter if you're not going to use the bridge for its original purpose, so choose the bridge that fits your playing style better.

Winner: Tie.

Tuners

The Epiphone Marty Schwartz ES-335 has the best tuners of the two because they are locking tuners. They'll help to keep your guitar in tune because they allow you to tune it without wrapping the strings around the posts. This avoids variations in the tuning due to the strings changing position at the post after a bend. They come at the disadvantage of being slightly heavier than regular tuners. Also, it makes it a lot easier to restring.

Winner: Epiphone Marty Schwartz ES-335.

Neck Joint

Contrary to popular belief, the difference in sustain and tone that some neck joints give to a guitar is simply unperceivable—if they're all well built. However, some of them do have advantages over the others.

The Epiphone Marty Schwartz ES-335 has a Set neck joint. This neck is tightly glued to the body. They give you the least versatility because you can't swap them for a neck that fits your hand better if you want to, unlike bolt-on necks. Some people think this gives more resonance and sustain, but there's no real difference if the bolt-on joint is well built.

On the other hand, the Fender Kenny Wayne Shepherd Stratocaster comes with Bolt-On neck joint. This neck is joined to the body by 4 bolts that you can simply unscrew. This allows you to replace the neck or take it off for travel. It's the most common and cheapest way to build a guitar.

Winner: Fender Kenny Wayne Shepherd Stratocaster.

Here is the list of features that were considered when choosing the winner in the Features subcategory:

Strengths & Weaknesses
Epiphone Marty Schwartz ES-335
  • Locking Tuners
  • Expensive Wood
  • Ivory Tusq Nut
  • Coil Split, Phase Out Pickups
  • Cheap Fret Wire (NS)
  • Made in China
  • No Top Brand Pickups
  • No Neck-Through Build
  • No Luminescent Inlay
  • No Tremolo
  • No Compound Radius Fretboard
  • No 21:1 Tuner Ratio
  • No Strap Lock
Strengths & Weaknesses
Fender Kenny Wayne Shepherd Stratocaster
  • Made in United States
  • Expensive Wood
  • Bone Nut
  • Top Brand Pickups
  • Weight Relief
  • Tremolo
  • Cheap Fret Wire (NS)
  • No Locking Tuners
  • No Neck-Through Build
  • No Push Knob or Extra Switch Option
  • No Luminescent Inlay
  • No Compound Radius Fretboard
  • No 21:1 Tuner Ratio
  • No Strap Lock

Final Build Quality Scores

Epiphone Marty Schwartz ES-335
Quality of materials 68
Features 70
Quality Control 60
Build Quality 66
Fender Kenny Wayne Shepherd Stratocaster
Quality of materials 51
Features 60
Quality Control 95
Build Quality 69

Playability Comparison

Let's now compare their playability. Bear in mind that the instrument will feel different depending on your hand size and play style. That's why you should always test before buying. But if you can't or want a second opinion on it, we can still take a look at each of the important measurements of the instrument for you. This way, we can predict how easy a guitar might be to play, or how different it will feel compared to the other.

Remember that, even though the difference might seem small, every inch counts when it comes to feeling of the instrument in your hands. Any variation can completely change how comfortable a guitar feels in your hands.

Nut Width

Epiphone Marty Schwartz ES-335 Nut Width
Epiphone Marty Schwartz ES-335 Nut Width
Fender Kenny Wayne Shepherd Stratocaster Nut Width
Fender Kenny Wayne Shepherd Stratocaster Nut Width

The nut width will affect the separation between strings at the nut. In this comparison, the Epiphone Marty Schwartz ES-335 has the wider nut with 43mm (1.693'') vs 42mm (1.654''). This is a 1mm (0.039'') difference

This means that it will be more difficult to do bar chords on the Epiphone Marty Schwartz ES-335, especially closer to the nut. However, it's also easier to play without muting strings accidently. This favors people with big hands.

Scale Length

Epiphone Marty Schwartz ES-335's Scale Length
Epiphone Marty Schwartz ES-335's Scale Length
Fender Kenny Wayne Shepherd Stratocaster's Scale Length
Fender Kenny Wayne Shepherd Stratocaster's Scale Length

The scale length is one of the things that influences playability the most. This is the distance between the nut and the bridge and will affect everything from low action allowance, difficulty to perform bends, fret separation, and even tone.

The Fender Kenny Wayne Shepherd Stratocaster has the longest scale: 25.5". The Epiphone Marty Schwartz ES-335 is only 24.75" long. This is a 0.75'' (19.1mm) scale length difference.

This longer scale means that the strings need more tension to get in tune. This is good if you want to avoid fret buzz, which can happen when the strings are too loose and touch the frets while vibrating. This is especially important when playing in lower tunings. This will also let you reduce the gap between fretboard and strings (low action) to make them easier to press down. However, this higher tension will also make it harder to perform bends and vibratos as the strings will feel stiffer.

This also means that the frets have a longer separation between each other, so this will make it harder for people with smaller hands when playing some chord positions.

Another characteristic of a longer scale is that it makes the guitar sound 'snappier' or brighter. This is due to the extra separation between harmonics and overtones produced by the tension. This influences tone more than any other factor (except the pickups).

Lastly, remember that you can also affect the tension of the strings by changing your string gauge. You can use a thicker gauge for more tension and a lighter one for less tension.

Neck Profile

Epiphone Marty Schwartz ES-335 Neck Profile
Epiphone Marty Schwartz ES-335's neck profile
Fender Kenny Wayne Shepherd Stratocaster Neck Profile
Fender Kenny Wayne Shepherd Stratocaster's neck profile

No single neck shape is better than others. However, most people tend to prefer a thinner necks because it doesn't get in their way when playing fast and most hand sizes can adapt to it pretty well. However, some people still prefer thicker necks for a better grip, especially if they have big hands.

Both the Epiphone Marty Schwartz ES-335 and the Fender Kenny Wayne Shepherd Stratocaster have a C-shaped neck. This is what you'll find in most modern guitars. Most people feel like the thickness of a C neck is simply the less intrusive one for playing fast, while at the same time allowing you to grab the neck easily for resting if you want to.

Fretboard Radius

Epiphone Marty Schwartz ES-335 Fingerboard Radius
Epiphone Marty Schwartz ES-335's Fingerboard radius
Fender Kenny Wayne Shepherd Stratocaster Fingerboard Radius
Fender Kenny Wayne Shepherd Stratocaster's Fingerboard radius

Most guitar fretboards are not flat; they usually have a curve or arc across their width. A curved fretboard will make it easier to perform chords without muting strings, while a flatter one will make it easier to play single notes, which is good for bending and soloing in general. The best fretboards have a compound radius that varies across the fingerboard, but they're not common since they take a lot more work to build.

In this case, the Fender Kenny Wayne Shepherd Stratocaster's fingerboard radius is smaller, which means it's more curved than the Epiphone Marty Schwartz ES-335's. This extra arc will make playing chords easier in this model. You won't be as likely to mute the strings, especially if you have big hands. However, playing single notes and bending will be easier on the Epiphone Marty Schwartz ES-335.

Hand Size Comfortability

Everyone has a different hand size, and that's why it's recommended to try a guitar before buying, even if others tell you that it's comfortable to play. However, we can know whether a guitar favors small or large hands just by knowing its exact measurements.

And after taking into account the scale length, nut width, neck profile and fretboard radius, we can conclude that the Fender Kenny Wayne Shepherd Stratocaster favors large hands more than the Epiphone Marty Schwartz ES-335.

Epiphone Marty Schwartz ES-335:
Big Hands
Small Hands
Fender Kenny Wayne Shepherd Stratocaster:
Big Hands
Small Hands

Fret Size

Epiphone Marty Schwartz ES-335 Frets Size
Epiphone Marty Schwartz ES-335's Frets Size
Fender Kenny Wayne Shepherd Stratocaster Frets Size
Fender Kenny Wayne Shepherd Stratocaster's Frets Size

The Fender Kenny Wayne Shepherd Stratocaster has Jumbo frets, which should be taller than the Epiphone Marty Schwartz ES-335's Medium Jumbo frets.

Some people prefer taller frets because they result in more sustain since the strings get pressed cleanly without interference from the fretboard. However, if they're too tall—like Jumbo frets—, you might change the pitch of the strings accidentally if you press too hard because you won't be touching the fretboard with your fingers. This is also why some guitarists with a heavy grip prefer smaller frets. They like to feel the fingerboard to avoid pressing down too hard and getting out of pitch.

Final Playability Scores

Epiphone Marty Schwartz ES-335
Bending & Vibrato Ease 85
Chord Playability 65
Solo Playability 70
Playability 73
Fender Kenny Wayne Shepherd Stratocaster
Bending & Vibrato Ease 70
Chord Playability 80
Solo Playability 70
Playability 73

Specs Side-by-Side

Epiphone Marty Schwartz ES-335 vs Fender Kenny Wayne Shepherd Stratocaster
General Epiphone Marty Schwartz ES-335 Fender Kenny Wayne Shepherd Stratocaster
Brand: Epiphone Fender
Year: 2023 2020
Configuration: HH SSS
Strings: 6 6
Made in: China United States
Series: Artist Artist
Colors: Red Blue
Left-Handed Version: Yes No
Body
Type: Semi-Hollow Solid Body
Body Material: 5-ply Layered Maple; AAA Flame Maple Veneer Chambered Ash
Bridge: LockTone Stop Bar 6-Saddle Vintage-Style Synchronized Tremolo with Graph Tech Saddles
Neck
Neck Joint: Set Bolt-On
Tuners: Grover 502C Roto-Grip Locking Rotomatic Vintage-Style
Fretboard: Indian Laurel Rosewood
Neck Material: Mahogany Quartersawn Maple
Decoration: Pearloid Small Block White Pearloid Block
Scale Size: 24.75" 25.5"
Shape: 60s SlimTaper, Rounded C 60s C
Frets: 22 Medium Jumbo Nickel Silver 21 Jumbo Nickel Silver
Fretboard Radius: 12" 7.25"
Nut: Ivory Tusq Bone
Nut Width: 43mm (1.693'') 42mm (1.654'')
Electronics
Bridge Pickup: Alnico Classic PRO (Humbucker / Passive) Fender Custom-Voiced Kenny Wayne Shepherd Single-Coil Strat (Single Coil / Passive)
Middle Pickup: Fender Custom-Voiced Kenny Wayne Shepherd Single-Coil Strat (Single Coil / Passive)
Neck Pickup: Alnico Classic PRO (Humbucker / Passive) Fender Custom-Voiced Kenny Wayne Shepherd Single-Coil Strat (Single Coil / Passive)
Switch: 3 Way 5 Way
Knobs: Bell Bell
Pickup Mods: Coil Split, Phase Out None
Volume Controls: 2 1
Tone Controls: 2 2