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Fender Limited Edition Tom DeLonge Stratocaster
Cort KX500 Etched
VS
Playability
68
Sound
69
Build
64
Value
67
Score
67
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Playability
75
Sound
76
Build
60
Value
75
Score
70
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Side to side spec comparison >

Fender Limited Edition Tom DeLonge Stratocaster vs Cort KX500 Etched

Reasons to Get
Fender Limited Edition Tom DeLonge Stratocaster over Cort KX500 Etched

Release Year
2023 vs 2020
From a more recent year
Frets Height
Taller vs Shorter
Easier to press down strings and bend them
Neck Profile
Modern C vs D
Comfortable neck that works for most people
Nut Material
Synthetic Bone vs Plastic
Good quality nut with rich tone
Pickups
H vs HH
Hum-free with more right hand freedom and sustain
Nut Width
1.65'' (41.9mm) vs 1.654'' (42mm)
Favors small hands, easier bar chords and other shapes
Fretboard Radius
9.5'' (241.3mm) vs 15.75'' (400.1mm)
Easier to play chords without muting strings
Pickups Power
Passive vs Active
Cleaner sound and no battery needed

Reasons to Get
Cort KX500 Etched over Fender Limited Edition Tom DeLonge Stratocaster

Decorative Top
Ash Burl(Sand Blasted) vs None
Finished with beautiful natural wood patterns
Neck Profile
D vs Modern C
Thin and flat neck for playing fast
Pickup Mods
Multiple vs None
Switch Positions
3 vs 0
More tone options
Tone Knobs
1 vs 0
More tone control
Pickups
HH vs H
High output without hum
Number of Frets
24 vs 21
Allows to reach higher notes
Locking Tuners
Yes vs None
Easier to change strings
Nut Width
1.654'' (42mm) vs 1.65'' (41.9mm)
Less likely to mute strings by accident and more space for fingerstyle
Fretboard Radius
15.75'' (400.1mm) vs 9.5'' (241.3mm)
Flatter fretboard makes it easier to play single notes and bend
Pickups Power
Active vs Passive
More output
Value Score
75 vs 67
Better price/quality relationship

Other Key Differences
Fender Limited Edition Tom DeLonge Stratocaster vs Cort KX500 Etched

Bridge Pickup
Fender Seymour Duncan Invader SH8 Humbucking vs Fishman Fluence Modern
Different Bridge Pickup
Body Wood
Alder vs Mahogany
Different Body Wood
Neck Wood
Maple vs Purpleheart
Different Neck Wood
Fretboard Wood
Rosewood vs Ebony
Different Fretboard Wood
Headstock
6 vs 3-3
Different Headstock
Nut Material
Synthetic Bone vs Plastic
Different Nut Material

Shared Features
Fender Limited Edition Tom DeLonge Stratocaster vs Cort KX500 Etched

Strings
6
Same playing style
Body Type
Solid Body
Feedback free
Volume Knobs
1
Same volume control
Paint Finish
Poly
Resistant paint that ages well
Bridge
Fixed
Good sustain and needs no set-up
Scale Length
25.5'' (647.7mm)
Same string tension and fret separation
Neck Joint
Bolt-On
Allows you to detach and swap the neck
Type of Frets
Medium Jumbo vs Medium
You'll feel the fretboard when pressing down the strings

Common Strengths

  • Top Pickup Brand
  • Expensive Wood

Common Weaknesses

  • Neck-Through Build
  • Weight Relief
  • Stays in Tune (Evertune)
  • High-Quality Frets
  • Compound Radius Fretboard
  • From a High-Quality-Standards Country
  • Luminescent Sidedots
  • Strap Lock
  • 21:1 Tuner Ratio
  • Active/Passive Preamp

Price History Comparison

Fender Limited Edition Tom DeLonge Stratocaster Prices

SET PRICE ALERT
SET PRICE ALERT

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Which One is Better for Beginners?

Both meet 6 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

Fender Limited Edition Tom DeLonge Stratocaster
  • Comfortable shape
  • Easy-to-use bridge
  • Comfortable fretboard
  • Tall frets
  • Narrow nut
  • Comfortable neck
  • Short scale
  • Locking tuners

New Player Friendliness

Cort KX500 Etched
  • Comfortable shape
  • Easy-to-use bridge
  • Locking tuners
  • Tall frets
  • Narrow nut
  • Comfortable neck
  • Comfortable fretboard
  • Short scale

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 Fender Limited Edition Tom DeLonge Stratocaster

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

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.

Alder is the most popular wood that Fender uses in most of their guitars nowadays. Even though they say it's because of its balanced tone with an emphasis in the upper midrange, it probably is because it isn't too expensive, and it's also pretty lightweight—more than Mahogany. Find out more about Alder.

Woods Used in the Cort KX500 Etched

Purpleheart wood pattern used for guitar building
Purpleheart
Ebony wood pattern used for guitar building
Ebony
Mahogany wood pattern used for guitar building
Mahogany

Purpleheart (also known as Amaranth) is a hard, dense wood with a brilliant tone. As its name suggests, the purple color makes this wood look exotic.

Ebony is a high-end wood, so it is not cheap. It's only used for fretboards because it's also very heavy. It does an excellent job as a durable material while looking elegant. Find out more about Ebony.

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.

Winner: Cort KX500 Etched.

Pickup Configuration

The Fender Limited Edition Tom DeLonge Stratocaster has an H configuration while the Cort KX500 Etched has HH pickups.

A single H pickup gives you the advantage of having a little longer sustain (all other things being equal) because there will be less magnetic fields from other pickups affecting the strings' vibration. However, they also give you the least versatility because you won't have other pickups at different distances from the bridge to create different tones. A single humbucking pickup is used for noiseless high output, which is used mainly for Hard Rock genres.

On the other hand, 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.

Pickups Quality

Both come with very good pickups from at least one of the specialized brands in the market. With pickups like these, you probably won't need an upgrade anytime soon.

However, the Fender Limited Edition Tom DeLonge Stratocaster has a slight sound quality advantage when taking into account other factors like the type of pickups, magnet, position, etc.

We found the same or similar pickups to the Cort KX500 Etched's online:

The Fender Limited Edition Tom DeLonge Stratocaster's pickups are Passive while the Cort KX500 Etched's are Active.

Passive pickups are what most guitars use. These have a normal output that works well for most genres. However, Active pickups are the preferred choice of heavy metal players because they offer extra output thanks to their 9v battery, which results in a heavier, more distorted sound. Bear in mind that achieving a completely clean tone with them won't be easy. So if you want to also use clean tones, you might want to avoid Active pickups.

Winner: Fender Limited Edition Tom DeLonge 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 Cort KX500 Etched gives you 3 switch options while the Fender Limited Edition Tom DeLonge Stratocaster gives you 0. This means that the Cort KX500 Etched gives you more options to find the right pickup combination for the type of sound you want to achieve

Only the Cort KX500 Etched comes with some kind of pickup modification: Coil Split, Multi-Voicing.

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.

Multi-Voicing means the pickups come with multiple ''voices'', which means they can change the tone and gain by a simple switch or knob. Piezo, Fishman and similar are considered multi-voicing pickups.

The Fender Limited Edition Tom DeLonge Stratocaster doesn't come with pickup switching options.

Cort KX500 Etched pickups switch and push knobs diagram
Cort KX500 Etched'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: Cort KX500 Etched.

Final Sound Quality Scores

Fender Limited Edition Tom DeLonge Stratocaster
Pickups 90
Sustain 75
Versatility 42
Tuning Stability 70
Sound 69
Cort KX500 Etched
Pickups 85
Sustain 75
Versatility 69
Tuning Stability 75
Sound 76

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 Fender Limited Edition Tom DeLonge Stratocaster compares to the Cort KX500 Etched.

Country of Origin

The manufacturing country can tell a lot about the build quality of an instrument. The Fender Limited Edition Tom DeLonge Stratocaster is built in Mexico while the Cort KX500 Etched is made in Indonesia.

Mexico has been for a long time where Fender has built their semi-premium series. If you don't want to overpay for a wellp-built instrument, a guitar built in this country by a good brand always offers good value for the money.

Indonesia is becoming the most popular country for guitar building because they can make good instruments for a low price. Some people think that they're 'the new China' when it comes to build quality. But the truth is that Indonesian guitars are more consistent, although Chinese quality has improved a lot in the last few years.

Winner: Tie

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 Fender Limited Edition Tom DeLonge Stratocaster has a Synthetic Bone nut. Bone is the best natural material for guitar nuts. However, its tonal properties can be inconsistent. That's the problem that synthetic bone fixes. This is much better than using a plastic nut because the nut is more slippery—which helps with tuning stability—, and it gives your open strings rich harmonics.

On the other hand, the Cort KX500 Etched comes with a Plastic nut. This is a low-quality nut that you might want to consider upgrading soon. Bone and TUSQ nuts are the best for guitars with a fixed or simple tremolo bridge.

Winner: Fender Limited Edition Tom DeLonge Stratocaster.

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.

Both come with a similar bridge: 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.

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 Cort KX500 Etched 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: Cort KX500 Etched.

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.

Both have a 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: Tie.

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

Strengths & Weaknesses
Fender Limited Edition Tom DeLonge Stratocaster
  • Expensive Wood
  • Synthetic Bone Nut
  • Top Brand Pickups
  • Cheap Fret Wire (NS)
  • No Locking Tuners
  • Made in Mexico
  • No Neck-Through Build
  • No Push Knob or Extra Switch Option
  • No Weight Relief
  • No Luminescent Inlay
  • No Tremolo
  • No Compound Radius Fretboard
  • No 21:1 Tuner Ratio
  • No Strap Lock
Strengths & Weaknesses
Cort KX500 Etched
  • Locking Tuners
  • Expensive Wood
  • Top Brand Pickups
  • Coil Split, Multi-Voicing Pickups
  • Cheap Fret Wire (NS)
  • Made in Indonesia
  • No High-Quality Nut
  • No Neck-Through Build
  • No Weight Relief
  • No Luminescent Inlay
  • No Tremolo
  • No Compound Radius Fretboard
  • No 21:1 Tuner Ratio
  • No Strap Lock

Final Build Quality Scores

Fender Limited Edition Tom DeLonge Stratocaster
Quality of materials 66
Features 50
Quality Control 75
Build Quality 64
Cort KX500 Etched
Quality of materials 45
Features 65
Quality Control 70
Build Quality 60

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

Fender Limited Edition Tom DeLonge Stratocaster Nut Width
Fender Limited Edition Tom DeLonge Stratocaster Nut Width
Cort KX500 Etched Nut Width
Cort KX500 Etched Nut Width

The nut width will affect the separation between strings at the nut. In this comparison, the Cort KX500 Etched has the wider nut with 42mm (1.654'') vs 41.9mm (1.65''). This is a 0.1mm (0.004'') difference

This means that it will be more difficult to do bar chords on the Cort KX500 Etched, especially closer to the nut. However, it's also easier to play without muting strings accidently. This favors people with big hands.

Scale Length

Fender Limited Edition Tom DeLonge Stratocaster and Cort KX500 Etched's Scale Length
Both have the same 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.

In this case, both have a scale length of 25.5".

This is the scale used in most Stratocasters. It's slightly longer than the typical 24.75'' size found in Les Pauls, and it's one of the main reasons why Stratocasters have such a bright sound in general. A longer scale also means that the strings will have higher tension. This will help you get lower action without suffering fret buzz, which will also be helpful when playing in lower tunings without having to increase your string gauge.

However, this also means that there will be more separation between frets, which can make it more difficult to play. Also, bending the strings will require more strengths due to the increased tension, but remember that a tremolo guitar will offset this difficulty.

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

Fender Limited Edition Tom DeLonge Stratocaster Neck Profile
Fender Limited Edition Tom DeLonge Stratocaster's neck profile
Cort KX500 Etched Neck Profile
Cort KX500 Etched'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.

In this case, both have different neck shapes:

The Fender Limited Edition Tom DeLonge Stratocaster has a C type of 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.

The Cort KX500 Etched, on the other hand, has a D neck. This is a thin and flat neck that is made for playing fast. If you prefer a neck that doesn't get in your way when soloing, this is the shape you should use. Guitarists that prefer to have a bit more grip won't like this type of neck.

Fretboard Radius

Fender Limited Edition Tom DeLonge Stratocaster Fingerboard Radius
Fender Limited Edition Tom DeLonge Stratocaster's Fingerboard radius
Cort KX500 Etched Fingerboard Radius
Cort KX500 Etched'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 Limited Edition Tom DeLonge Stratocaster's fingerboard radius is smaller, which means it's more curved than the Cort KX500 Etched'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 Cort KX500 Etched.

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 Limited Edition Tom DeLonge Stratocaster favors large hands more than the Cort KX500 Etched. But it's still more comfortable for people with small hands, as you can see in the score meter below.

Fender Limited Edition Tom DeLonge Stratocaster:
Big Hands
Small Hands
Cort KX500 Etched:
Big Hands
Small Hands

Fret Size

Fender Limited Edition Tom DeLonge Stratocaster Frets Size
Fender Limited Edition Tom DeLonge Stratocaster's Frets Size
Cort KX500 Etched Frets Size
Cort KX500 Etched's Frets Size

The Fender Limited Edition Tom DeLonge Stratocaster has Medium Jumbo frets, which should be taller than the Cort KX500 Etched's Medium 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

Fender Limited Edition Tom DeLonge Stratocaster
Bending & Vibrato Ease 65
Chord Playability 80
Solo Playability 60
Playability 68
Cort KX500 Etched
Bending & Vibrato Ease 75
Chord Playability 70
Solo Playability 80
Playability 75

Specs Side-by-Side

Fender Limited Edition Tom DeLonge Stratocaster vs Cort KX500 Etched
General Fender Limited Edition Tom DeLonge Stratocaster Cort KX500 Etched
Brand: Fender Cort
Year: 2023 2020
Configuration: H HH
Strings: 6 6
Made in: Mexico Indonesia
Series: Limited Edition Tom DeLonge Stratocaster KX
Colors: Black, Purple
Left-Handed Version: No No
Body
Type: Solid Body Solid Body
Body Material: Alder Mahogany
Bridge: 6-Saddle String-Through-Body Hardtail With Block Saddles Single Hardtailwith String Thru Body
Neck
Neck Joint: Bolt-On Bolt-On
Tuners: Fender Vintage-Style Cort Staggered Locking Machineheads
Fretboard: Slab Rosewood Macassar Ebony
Neck Material: Maple 5pcs Maple & Purpleheart
Decoration: White Dot Tear Drop
Scale Size: 25.5" 25.5"
Shape: Modern C D
Thickness: 1st Fret: 0.82'' (20.8mm) - 12th Fret: 0.87'' (22.1mm) 1st Fret: - 12th Fret:
Frets: 21 Medium Jumbo Nickel Silver 24 Medium Nickel Silver
Fretboard Radius: 9.5" 15.75"
Nut: Synthetic Bone Plastic
Nut Width: 41.9mm (1.65'') 42mm (1.654'')
Electronics
Bridge Pickup: Fender Seymour Duncan Invader SH8 Humbucking (Humbucker / Passive) Fishman Fluence Modern (Humbucker / Active)
Middle Pickup:
Neck Pickup: Fishman Fluence Modern (Humbucker / Active)
Switch: 0 Way 3 Way
Knobs: Bell Dome
Pickup Mods: None Coil Split, Multi-Voicing
Volume Controls: 1 1
Tone Controls: 0 1