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Fender Limited Edition Tom DeLonge Stratocaster
Ibanez AR420
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Playability
68
Sound
69
Build
64
Value
67
Score
67
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Playability
73
Sound
65
Build
53
Value
69
Score
64
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Side to side spec comparison >

Fender Limited Edition Tom DeLonge Stratocaster vs Ibanez AR420

Reasons to Get
Fender Limited Edition Tom DeLonge Stratocaster over Ibanez AR420

Country of Manufacturing
Mexico vs China
Built with higher quality standards
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 AR
Comfortable neck that works for most people
Pickups Brand
Fender vs None
Pickups from a renown brand
Nut Material
Synthetic Bone vs Plastic
Good quality nut with rich tone
Neck Joint
Bolt-On vs Set
Allows you to detach and swap the neck
Pickups
H vs HH
Hum-free with more right hand freedom and sustain
Neck Thickness at 1st Fret
0.82'' (20.8mm) vs 0.79'' (20.1mm)
More comfortable open chords for big hands
Nut Width
1.65'' (41.9mm) vs 1.693'' (43mm)
Favors small hands, easier bar chords and other shapes
Scale Length
25.5'' (647.7mm) vs 24.75'' (628.7mm)
Lower action and brighter natural tone
Fretboard Radius
9.5'' (241.3mm) vs 12'' (304.8mm)
Easier to play chords without muting strings

Reasons to Get
Ibanez AR420 over Fender Limited Edition Tom DeLonge Stratocaster

Decorative Top
Flamed Maple vs None
Finished with beautiful natural wood patterns
Neck Profile
AR vs Modern C
Thin neck for playing fast
Pickup Mods
Tri-Sound vs None
Grants 3 ways to modify the sound of the pickups
Switch Positions
3 vs 0
More tone options
Volume Knobs
2 vs 1
More volume control
Tone Knobs
2 vs 0
More tone control
Pickups
HH vs H
High output without hum
Number of Frets
22 vs 21
Allows to reach higher notes
Neck Thickness at 1st Fret
0.79'' (20.1mm) vs 0.82'' (20.8mm)
More comfortable open chords for small hands
Nut Width
1.693'' (43mm) vs 1.65'' (41.9mm)
Less likely to mute strings by accident and more space for fingerstyle
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 9.5'' (241.3mm)
Flatter fretboard makes it easier to play single notes and bend
Value Score
69 vs 67
Better price/quality relationship

Other Key Differences
Fender Limited Edition Tom DeLonge Stratocaster vs Ibanez AR420

Bridge Pickup
Fender Seymour Duncan Invader SH8 Humbucking vs Super 58
Different Bridge Pickup
Body Wood
Alder vs Okoume
Different Body Wood
Fretboard Wood
Rosewood vs Jatoba
Different Fretboard Wood
Nut Material
Synthetic Bone vs Plastic
Different Nut Material

Shared Features
Fender Limited Edition Tom DeLonge Stratocaster vs Ibanez AR420

Neck Wood
Maple
Same Neck Wood
Headstock
6
Same Headstock
Strings
6
Same playing style
Body Type
Solid Body
Feedback free
Neck Thickness at 12th Fret
0.87'' (22.1mm)
Same neck comfortability
Paint Finish
Poly
Resistant paint that ages well
Bridge
Fixed
Good sustain and needs no set-up
Pickups Power
Passive
Cleaner sound and no battery needed
Type of Frets
Medium Jumbo vs Medium
You'll feel the fretboard when pressing down the strings

Common Weaknesses

  • Weight Relief
  • Locking Tuners
  • Stays in Tune (Evertune)
  • High-Quality Frets
  • Compound Radius Fretboard
  • 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?

The Fender Limited Edition Tom DeLonge Stratocaster meets 6 out of our 8 criteria items for beginner friendliness, while the Ibanez AR420 meets only 4. 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.

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

Ibanez AR420
  • Comfortable shape
  • Easy-to-use bridge
  • Tall frets
  • Comfortable neck
  • Comfortable fretboard
  • Narrow nut
  • 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 Both

Maple wood pattern used for guitar building
Maple

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.

Woods Used in the Fender Limited Edition Tom DeLonge Stratocaster

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

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 Ibanez AR420

Jatoba wood pattern used for guitar building
Jatoba
Okoume wood pattern used for guitar building
Okoume

Jatoba is a hard and dense wood that emphasizes the mid-lows, giving a fuller, more round sound than, for example, Mahogany. However, it also has a lot of clarity in the top end. Find out more about Jatoba.

Okoume is an affordable wood and one of the first to replace Mahogany when the prohibitions started. It's generally softer than Mahogany and the tone has warmer lows.

Winner: Fender Limited Edition Tom DeLonge Stratocaster.

Pickup Configuration

The Fender Limited Edition Tom DeLonge Stratocaster has an H configuration while the Ibanez AR420 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

The Fender Limited Edition Tom DeLonge Stratocaster has pickups from a more specialized brand than the Ibanez AR420. Its pickups should simply give you a better, fuller sound, although it all depends on what type of music you're going to play. We recommend these pickups for Hard Rock 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 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 Ibanez AR420 gives you 3 switch options while the Fender Limited Edition Tom DeLonge Stratocaster gives you 0. This means that the Ibanez AR420 gives you more options to find the right pickup combination for the type of sound you want to achieve

Only the Ibanez AR420 comes with some kind of pickup modification: Tri-Sound.

Tri-Sound gives you the choice of using the pickup coils at the same time, splitting them or connect them im parallel for a brighter sound.

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

Ibanez AR420 pickups switch and push knobs diagram
Ibanez AR420'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: Ibanez AR420.

Final Sound Quality Scores

Fender Limited Edition Tom DeLonge Stratocaster
Pickups 90
Sustain 75
Versatility 42
Tuning Stability 70
Sound 69
Ibanez AR420
Pickups 60
Sustain 70
Versatility 63
Tuning Stability 65
Sound 65

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 Ibanez AR420.

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 Ibanez AR420 is made in China.

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.

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.

Winner: Fender Limited Edition Tom DeLonge 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 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 Ibanez AR420 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

Both come with regular tuners. The Fender Limited Edition Tom DeLonge Stratocaster's are Fender Vintage-Style while the Ibanez AR420's are Ibanez

Winner: Tie.

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 Fender Limited Edition Tom DeLonge Stratocaster has 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.

On the other hand, the Ibanez AR420 comes with 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.

Winner: Fender Limited Edition Tom DeLonge Stratocaster.

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
Ibanez AR420
  • Tri-Sound Pickups
  • Cheap Fret Wire (NS)
  • No Locking Tuners
  • Made in China
  • No Expensive Woods
  • No High-Quality Nut
  • No Top Brand Pickups
  • 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
Ibanez AR420
Quality of materials 45
Features 55
Quality Control 60
Build Quality 53

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
Ibanez AR420 Nut Width
Ibanez AR420 Nut Width

The nut width will affect the separation between strings at the nut. In this comparison, the Ibanez AR420 has the wider nut with 43mm (1.693'') vs 41.9mm (1.65''). This is a 1.1mm (0.043'') difference

This means that it will be more difficult to do bar chords on the Ibanez AR420, 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's Scale Length
Fender Limited Edition Tom DeLonge Stratocaster's Scale Length
Ibanez AR420's Scale Length
Ibanez AR420'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 Limited Edition Tom DeLonge Stratocaster has the longest scale: 25.5". The Ibanez AR420 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

Fender Limited Edition Tom DeLonge Stratocaster Neck Profile
Fender Limited Edition Tom DeLonge Stratocaster's neck profile
Ibanez AR420 Neck Profile
Ibanez AR420'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 Ibanez AR420, on the other hand, has a SA neck. Like most Ibanez necks, it's thinner than most modern C necks. It's very similar in thickness and shape to their unique Wizard profile.

Fretboard Radius

Fender Limited Edition Tom DeLonge Stratocaster Fingerboard Radius
Fender Limited Edition Tom DeLonge Stratocaster's Fingerboard radius
Ibanez AR420 Fingerboard Radius
Ibanez AR420'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 Ibanez AR420'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 Ibanez AR420.

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.

After taking into account the scale length, nut width, neck profile and fretboard radius, we can conclude that both in this comparison favor small hands .

Fender Limited Edition Tom DeLonge Stratocaster:
Big Hands
Small Hands
Ibanez AR420:
Big Hands
Small Hands

Fret Size

Fender Limited Edition Tom DeLonge Stratocaster Frets Size
Fender Limited Edition Tom DeLonge Stratocaster's Frets Size
Ibanez AR420 Frets Size
Ibanez AR420's Frets Size

The Fender Limited Edition Tom DeLonge Stratocaster has Medium Jumbo frets, which should be taller than the Ibanez AR420'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
Ibanez AR420
Bending & Vibrato Ease 85
Chord Playability 65
Solo Playability 70
Playability 73

Specs Side-by-Side

Fender Limited Edition Tom DeLonge Stratocaster vs Ibanez AR420
General Fender Limited Edition Tom DeLonge Stratocaster Ibanez AR420
Brand: Fender Ibanez
Year: 2023 2020
Configuration: H HH
Strings: 6 6
Made in: Mexico China
Series: Limited Edition Tom DeLonge Stratocaster AR
Colors: Sunburst
Left-Handed Version: No No
Body
Type: Solid Body Solid Body
Body Material: Alder Okoume
Bridge: 6-Saddle String-Through-Body Hardtail With Block Saddles Gibraltar Performer
Neck
Neck Joint: Bolt-On Set
Tuners: Fender Vintage-Style Ibanez
Fretboard: Slab Rosewood Bound Jatoba
Neck Material: Maple 3pc Maple
Decoration: White Dot Acrylic & Abalone block
Scale Size: 25.5" 24.75"
Shape: Modern C AR
Thickness: 1st Fret: 0.82'' (20.8mm) - 12th Fret: 0.87'' (22.1mm) 1st Fret: 0.79'' (20.1mm) - 12th Fret: 0.87'' (22.1mm)
Frets: 21 Medium Jumbo Nickel Silver 22 Medium Nickel Silver
Fretboard Radius: 9.5" 12"
Nut: Synthetic Bone Plastic
Nut Width: 41.9mm (1.65'') 43mm (1.693'')
Electronics
Bridge Pickup: Fender Seymour Duncan Invader SH8 Humbucking (Humbucker / Passive) Super 58 (Humbucker / Passive)
Middle Pickup:
Neck Pickup: Super 58 (Humbucker / Passive)
Switch: 0 Way 3 Way
Knobs: Bell Speed
Pickup Mods: None Tri-Sound
Volume Controls: 1 2
Tone Controls: 0 2