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Fender Limited Edition Tom DeLonge Stratocaster
Music Man Luke 3 HSS
VS
Playability
68
Sound
69
Build
64
Value
67
Score
67
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Playability
70
Sound
78
Build
75
Value
59
Score
74
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Side to side spec comparison >

Fender Limited Edition Tom DeLonge Stratocaster vs Music Man Luke 3 HSS

Reasons to Get
Fender Limited Edition Tom DeLonge Stratocaster over Music Man Luke 3 HSS

Release Year
2023 vs 2013
From a more recent year
Frets Height
Taller vs Shorter
Easier to press down strings and bend them
Neck Profile
Modern C vs Steve Lukather
Comfortable neck that works for most people
Pickups
H vs HSS
Hum-free with more right hand freedom and sustain
Nut Width
1.65'' (41.9mm) vs 1.625'' (41.3mm)
Less likely to mute strings by accident and more space for fingerstyle
Bridge
Fixed vs Tremolo
Good sustain and needs no set-up
Fretboard Radius
9.5'' (241.3mm) vs 12'' (304.8mm)
Easier to play chords without muting strings
Value Score
67 vs 59
Better price/quality relationship

Reasons to Get
Music Man Luke 3 HSS over Fender Limited Edition Tom DeLonge Stratocaster

Country of Manufacturing
United States vs Mexico
Built with higher quality standards
Neck Profile
Steve Lukather vs Modern C
Great if you like to hang your thumb over the fretboard
Pickup Mods
Boost vs None
Increases the output of the pickup
Switch Positions
5 vs 0
More tone options
Tone Knobs
1 vs 0
More tone control
Pickups
HSS vs H
High output with beautiful cleans and tone versatility
Number of Frets
22 vs 21
Allows to reach higher notes
Locking Tuners
Yes vs None
Easier to change strings
Nut Width
1.625'' (41.3mm) vs 1.65'' (41.9mm)
Favors small hands, easier bar chords and other shapes
Bridge
Tremolo vs Fixed
Simple vibratos without too much maintenance
Fretboard Radius
12'' (304.8mm) vs 9.5'' (241.3mm)
Flatter fretboard makes it easier to play single notes and bend

Other Key Differences
Fender Limited Edition Tom DeLonge Stratocaster vs Music Man Luke 3 HSS

Bridge Pickup
Fender Seymour Duncan Invader SH8 Humbucking vs Music Man Custom Humbucker
Different Bridge Pickup
Neck Wood
Maple vs Figured Maple
Different Neck Wood
Headstock
6 vs 4-2
Different Headstock
Nut Material
Synthetic Bone vs Compensated
Different Nut Material

Shared Features
Fender Limited Edition Tom DeLonge Stratocaster vs Music Man Luke 3 HSS

Body Wood
Alder
Same Body Wood
Fretboard Wood
Rosewood
Same Fretboard Wood
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
Scale Length
25.5'' (647.7mm)
Same string tension and fret separation
Pickups Power
Passive
Cleaner sound and no battery needed
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

  • High-Quality Nut
  • Top Pickup Brand
  • Expensive Wood

Common Weaknesses

  • Neck-Through Build
  • Weight Relief
  • 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

Music Man Luke 3 HSS Prices

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

Music Man Luke 3 HSS
  • 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 Both

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 Fender Limited Edition Tom DeLonge Stratocaster

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 Music Man Luke 3 HSS

Figured Maple wood pattern used for guitar building
Figured Maple

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

Winner: Music Man Luke 3 HSS.

Pickup Configuration

The Fender Limited Edition Tom DeLonge Stratocaster has an H configuration while the Music Man Luke 3 HSS has HSS 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, HSS provides a great balance if you like to play with a lot of distortion, but also love to use clean tones. You'll get a lot of output at the bridge position, but you'll be able to play bright clean tones at the other positions.

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.

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: Tie.

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 Music Man Luke 3 HSS gives you 5 switch options while the Fender Limited Edition Tom DeLonge Stratocaster gives you 0. This means that the Music Man Luke 3 HSS gives you more options to find the right pickup combination for the type of sound you want to achieve

Only the Music Man Luke 3 HSS comes with some kind of pickup modification: Boost.

A Boost will give your pickups more output, similar to an active pickup. It's great if you like to use a lot of output for heavy genres, but also like to use a cleaner tone often.

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

Music Man Luke 3 HSS pickups switch selector and push knobs diagram
Music Man Luke 3 HSS'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: Music Man Luke 3 HSS.

Final Sound Quality Scores

Fender Limited Edition Tom DeLonge Stratocaster
Pickups 90
Sustain 75
Versatility 42
Tuning Stability 70
Sound 69
Music Man Luke 3 HSS
Pickups 90
Sustain 65
Versatility 80
Tuning Stability 75
Sound 78

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 Music Man Luke 3 HSS.

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 Music Man Luke 3 HSS is made in United States.

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.

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: Music Man Luke 3 HSS

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 Music Man Luke 3 HSS comes with a Compensated nut. Each hole where the string sits at the nut is cut at a different distance from the bridge, which compensates for the different amount of tension that each string is subject to. This fixes most intonation issues across the fretboard, so it gives great tuning stability.

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 Fender Limited Edition Tom DeLonge Stratocaster'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 Music Man Luke 3 HSS'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 Music Man Luke 3 HSS 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: Music Man Luke 3 HSS.

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
Music Man Luke 3 HSS
  • Locking Tuners
  • Made in United States
  • Expensive Wood
  • Compensated Nut
  • Top Brand Pickups
  • Boost Pickups
  • Tremolo
  • Cheap Fret Wire (NS)
  • No Neck-Through Build
  • No Weight Relief
  • No Luminescent Inlay
  • 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
Music Man Luke 3 HSS
Quality of materials 56
Features 70
Quality Control 100
Build Quality 75

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
Music Man Luke 3 HSS Nut Width
Music Man Luke 3 HSS Nut Width

The nut width will affect the separation between strings at the nut. In this comparison, the Fender Limited Edition Tom DeLonge Stratocaster has the wider nut with 41.9mm (1.65'') vs 41.3mm (1.625''). This is a 0.6mm (0.025'') difference

This means that it will be more difficult to do bar chords on the Fender Limited Edition Tom DeLonge Stratocaster, 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 Music Man Luke 3 HSS'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
Music Man Luke 3 HSS Neck Profile
Music Man Luke 3 HSS'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 Music Man Luke 3 HSS, on the other hand, has a V neck. This neck shape was more common during Fender's early years. Some people like it because they use their thumb over the edge of the fretboard to press the lower strings. It's rather thicker than most modern necks, so it's not usually used for playing fast solos.

Fretboard Radius

Fender Limited Edition Tom DeLonge Stratocaster Fingerboard Radius
Fender Limited Edition Tom DeLonge Stratocaster's Fingerboard radius
Music Man Luke 3 HSS Fingerboard Radius
Music Man Luke 3 HSS'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 Music Man Luke 3 HSS'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 Music Man Luke 3 HSS.

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
Music Man Luke 3 HSS:
Big Hands
Small Hands

Fret Size

Fender Limited Edition Tom DeLonge Stratocaster Frets Size
Fender Limited Edition Tom DeLonge Stratocaster's Frets Size
Music Man Luke 3 HSS Frets Size
Music Man Luke 3 HSS's Frets Size

The Fender Limited Edition Tom DeLonge Stratocaster has Medium Jumbo frets, which should be taller than the Music Man Luke 3 HSS'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
Music Man Luke 3 HSS
Bending & Vibrato Ease 70
Chord Playability 80
Solo Playability 60
Playability 70

Specs Side-by-Side

Fender Limited Edition Tom DeLonge Stratocaster vs Music Man Luke 3 HSS
General Fender Limited Edition Tom DeLonge Stratocaster Music Man Luke 3 HSS
Brand: Fender Music Man
Year: 2023 2013
Configuration: H HSS
Strings: 6 6
Made in: Mexico United States
Series: Limited Edition Tom DeLonge Stratocaster Steve Lukather
Colors: Blue, Green, Pink
Left-Handed Version: No No
Body
Type: Solid Body Solid Body
Body Material: Alder Alder
Bridge: 6-Saddle String-Through-Body Hardtail With Block Saddles Music Man floating vintage tremolo
Neck
Neck Joint: Bolt-On Bolt-On
Tuners: Fender Vintage-Style Schaller M6-IND locking
Fretboard: Slab Rosewood Rosewood
Neck Material: Maple Select figured roasted maple neck
Decoration: White Dot Dot Inlay
Scale Size: 25.5" 25.5"
Shape: Modern C Steve Lukather
Thickness: 1st Fret: 0.82'' (20.8mm) - 12th Fret: 0.87'' (22.1mm) 1st Fret: - 12th Fret:
Frets: 21 Medium Jumbo Nickel Silver 22 Medium Nickel Silver
Fretboard Radius: 9.5" 12"
Nut: Synthetic Bone Compensated
Nut Width: 41.9mm (1.65'') 41.3mm (1.625'')
Electronics
Bridge Pickup: Fender Seymour Duncan Invader SH8 Humbucking (Humbucker / Passive) Music Man Custom Humbucker (Humbucker / Passive)
Middle Pickup: Music Man Custom Single Coil (Single Coil / Passive)
Neck Pickup: Music Man Custom Single Coil (Single Coil / Passive)
Switch: 0 Way 5 Way
Knobs: Bell Dome
Pickup Mods: None Boost
Volume Controls: 1 1
Tone Controls: 0 1