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Fender Made in Japan Limited International Color Telecaster
ESP LTD Phoenix-7 Baritone Black Metal
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Playability
68
Sound
72
Build
67
Value
69
Score
69
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Playability
75
Sound
73
Build
74
Value
74
Score
74
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Side to side spec comparison >

Fender Made in Japan Limited International Color Telecaster vs LTD Phoenix-7 Baritone Black Metal

Reasons to Get
Fender Made in Japan Limited International Color Telecaster over LTD Phoenix-7 Baritone Black Metal

Country of Manufacturing
Japan vs Indonesia
Built with higher quality standards
Release Year
2023 vs 2022
From a more recent year
Type of Frets
Medium Jumbo vs XL Jumbo
You'll feel the fretboard when pressing down the strings
Nut Material
Bone vs Plastic
Good quality nut with rich tone
Strings
6 vs 7
Narrower neck and fewer strings to change
Switch Positions
3 vs 0
More tone options
Tone Knobs
1 vs 0
More tone control
Pickups
SS vs H
Beautiful cleans
Nut Width
1.615'' (41mm) vs 1.89'' (48mm)
Favors small hands, easier bar chords and other shapes
Scale Length
25.5'' (647.7mm) vs 27'' (685.8mm)
Easier bending, shorter fret separation and warmer natural tone
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
ESP LTD Phoenix-7 Baritone Black Metal over Fender Made in Japan Limited International Color Telecaster

Fret Material
Stainless Steel vs Nickel Silver
Best fret material that will last forever
Frets Height
Taller vs Shorter
Easier to press down strings and bend them
Type of Frets
XL Jumbo vs Medium Jumbo
You won't feel the fretboard when pressing down the strings
Pickup Mods
Multi-Voicing vs None
Changes the voice (tones or gain) of the pickups
Neck Joint
Neck-Through vs Bolt-On
Stronger neck and easier access to upper frets
Strings
7 vs 6
Allows you to play lower notes
Pickups
H vs SS
Hum-free with more right hand freedom and sustain
Number of Frets
22 vs 21
Allows to reach higher notes
Locking Tuners
Yes vs None
Easier to change strings
Nut Width
1.89'' (48mm) vs 1.615'' (41mm)
Less likely to mute strings by accident and more space for fingerstyle
Luminescent Sidedots
Yes vs None
Assists you when playing in dark environments
Scale Length
27'' (685.8mm) vs 25.5'' (647.7mm)
Lower action and brighter natural tone
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
74 vs 69
Better price/quality relationship

Other Key Differences
Fender Made in Japan Limited International Color Telecaster vs LTD Phoenix-7 Baritone Black Metal

Bridge Pickup
Fender Vintage-Style Single-Coil Tele vs Fishman Fluence Modern Ceramic
Different Bridge Pickup
Body Wood
Basswood vs Mahogany
Different Body Wood
Neck Wood
Maple vs Mahogany
Different Neck Wood
Fretboard Wood
Maple vs Ebony
Different Fretboard Wood
Headstock
6 vs R7
Different Headstock
Nut Material
Bone vs Plastic
Different Nut Material

Shared Features
Fender Made in Japan Limited International Color Telecaster vs LTD Phoenix-7 Baritone Black Metal

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
Neck Profile Type
U
Comfortable neck with more grip

Common Strengths

  • High-Quality Frets
  • Top Pickup Brand

Common Weaknesses

  • Weight Relief
  • Stays in Tune (Evertune)
  • Compound Radius Fretboard
  • Strap Lock
  • 21:1 Tuner Ratio
  • Active/Passive Preamp

Price History Comparison

Fender Made in Japan Limited International Color Telecaster Prices

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Which One is Better for Beginners?

The Fender Made in Japan Limited International Color Telecaster meets 6 out of our 8 criteria items for beginner friendliness, while the ESP LTD Phoenix-7 Baritone Black Metal meets only 5. 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 Made in Japan Limited International Color Telecaster
  • Comfortable shape
  • Easy-to-use bridge
  • Comfortable fretboard
  • Tall frets
  • Narrow nut
  • Comfortable neck
  • Short scale
  • Locking tuners

New Player Friendliness

ESP LTD Phoenix-7 Baritone Black Metal
  • Comfortable shape
  • Easy-to-use bridge
  • Locking tuners
  • Tall frets
  • Comfortable neck
  • Comfortable fretboard
  • Narrow nut
  • 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 Made in Japan Limited International Color Telecaster

Maple wood pattern used for guitar building
Maple
Basswood wood pattern used for guitar building
Basswood

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.

Basswood is a lightweight type of wood that isn't as expensive as other popular choices for guitar building. It gives more power to the mid-range frequencies. Its color can vary from pale white to light brown. Find out more about Basswood.

Woods Used in the ESP LTD Phoenix-7 Baritone Black Metal

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

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.

Winner: ESP LTD Phoenix-7 Baritone Black Metal.

Pickup Configuration

The Fender Made in Japan Limited International Color Telecaster has an SS configuration while the ESP LTD Phoenix-7 Baritone Black Metal has H pickups.

SS is the classic Telecaster configuration. It's used mainly for playing clean or with low-gain distortion, and it's very popular for the country genre because of their brightness. It doesn't give you as much versatility as a Strat SSS configuration, but you might like the cleaner look of a guitar body with fewer pickups.

On the other hand, 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.

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 Made in Japan Limited International Color Telecaster has a slight sound quality advantage when taking into account other factors like the type of pickups, magnet, position, etc.

You can purchase similar pickups to the Fender Made in Japan Limited International Color Telecaster's and use them on any guitar:

We found the same or similar pickups to the ESP LTD Phoenix-7 Baritone Black Metal's online:

The Fender Made in Japan Limited International Color Telecaster's pickups are Passive while the ESP LTD Phoenix-7 Baritone Black Metal'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 Made in Japan Limited International Color Telecaster.

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 Made in Japan Limited International Color Telecaster gives you 3 switch options while the ESP LTD Phoenix-7 Baritone Black Metal gives you 0. This means that the Fender Made in Japan Limited International Color Telecaster gives you more options to find the right pickup combination for the type of sound you want to achieve

Only the ESP LTD Phoenix-7 Baritone Black Metal comes with some kind of pickup modification: Multi-Voicing.

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.

Fender Made in Japan Limited International Color Telecaster pickups switch and push knobs diagram
Fender Made in Japan Limited International Color Telecaster's switch options
ESP LTD Phoenix-7 Baritone Black Metal pickups switch and push knobs diagram
ESP LTD Phoenix-7 Baritone Black Metal'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 Made in Japan Limited International Color Telecaster.

Final Sound Quality Scores

Fender Made in Japan Limited International Color Telecaster
Pickups 100
Sustain 65
Versatility 54
Tuning Stability 70
Sound 72
ESP LTD Phoenix-7 Baritone Black Metal
Pickups 90
Sustain 85
Versatility 42
Tuning Stability 75
Sound 73

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 Made in Japan Limited International Color Telecaster compares to the ESP LTD Phoenix-7 Baritone Black Metal.

Country of Origin

The manufacturing country can tell a lot about the build quality of an instrument. The Fender Made in Japan Limited International Color Telecaster is built in Japan while the ESP LTD Phoenix-7 Baritone Black Metal is made in Indonesia.

Japan has a long history of high-quality guitar building. Little has changed in terms of their manufacturing and quality control over the years. Many guitars made in this country can be compared—and even beat—others made in the US.

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: Fender Made in Japan Limited International Color Telecaster

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 Made in Japan Limited International Color Telecaster has 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.

On the other hand, the ESP LTD Phoenix-7 Baritone Black Metal 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 Made in Japan Limited International Color Telecaster.

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.

In this comparison, the ESP LTD Phoenix-7 Baritone Black Metal is the only one that has stainless steel frets. These frets will basically last for the entire life of the guitar. They will never need polishing nor replacement. And not only that, but some people also notice that bending and vibratos are much easier to perform when they upgrade to stainless steel.

Winner: ESP LTD Phoenix-7 Baritone Black Metal.

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 ESP LTD Phoenix-7 Baritone Black Metal 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: ESP LTD Phoenix-7 Baritone Black Metal.

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 Made in Japan Limited International Color Telecaster 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 ESP LTD Phoenix-7 Baritone Black Metal comes with Neck-Through neck joint. This neck is a lot more resistant and lets builders give the neck joint a more comfortable shape for soloing at the upper frets. The disadvantage is that they're more expensive and that if you damage your neck, you can't simply replace it like with bolt-on necks.

Winner: ESP LTD Phoenix-7 Baritone Black Metal.

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

Strengths & Weaknesses
Fender Made in Japan Limited International Color Telecaster
  • Made in Japan
  • Bone Nut
  • Top Brand Pickups
  • Cheap Fret Wire (NS)
  • No Locking Tuners
  • No Expensive Woods
  • 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
ESP LTD Phoenix-7 Baritone Black Metal
  • Stainless Steel Frets
  • Locking Tuners
  • Expensive Wood
  • Top Brand Pickups
  • Neck-Through Build
  • Multi-Voicing Pickups
  • Luminescent Inlay
  • Made in Indonesia
  • No High-Quality Nut
  • No Weight Relief
  • No Tremolo
  • No Compound Radius Fretboard
  • No 21:1 Tuner Ratio
  • No Strap Lock

Final Build Quality Scores

Fender Made in Japan Limited International Color Telecaster
Quality of materials 66
Features 50
Quality Control 85
Build Quality 67
ESP LTD Phoenix-7 Baritone Black Metal
Quality of materials 66
Features 80
Quality Control 75
Build Quality 74

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 Made in Japan Limited International Color Telecaster Nut Width
Fender Made in Japan Limited International Color Telecaster Nut Width
ESP LTD Phoenix-7 Baritone Black Metal Nut Width
ESP LTD Phoenix-7 Baritone Black Metal Nut Width

The nut width will affect the separation between strings at the nut. In this comparison, the ESP LTD Phoenix-7 Baritone Black Metal has the wider nut with 48mm (1.89'') vs 41mm (1.615''). This is a 7mm (0.275'') difference

This means that it will be more difficult to do bar chords on the ESP LTD Phoenix-7 Baritone Black Metal, 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 Made in Japan Limited International Color Telecaster's Scale Length
Fender Made in Japan Limited International Color Telecaster's Scale Length
ESP LTD Phoenix-7 Baritone Black Metal's Scale Length
ESP LTD Phoenix-7 Baritone Black Metal'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 ESP LTD Phoenix-7 Baritone Black Metal has the longest scale: 27". The Fender Made in Japan Limited International Color Telecaster is only 25.5" long. This is a 1.5'' (38.1mm) 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 Made in Japan Limited International Color Telecaster Neck Profile
Fender Made in Japan Limited International Color Telecaster's neck profile
ESP LTD Phoenix-7 Baritone Black Metal Neck Profile
ESP LTD Phoenix-7 Baritone Black Metal'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 Fender Made in Japan Limited International Color Telecaster and the ESP LTD Phoenix-7 Baritone Black Metal have a U-shaped neck. This is also referred to as ''baseball neck'' because of its shape. It's usually thick, which is why some people with big hands like it. However, they can also be thin, similar to a C shape, but with more shoulders for a better grip.

Fretboard Radius

Fender Made in Japan Limited International Color Telecaster Fingerboard Radius
Fender Made in Japan Limited International Color Telecaster's Fingerboard radius
ESP LTD Phoenix-7 Baritone Black Metal Fingerboard Radius
ESP LTD Phoenix-7 Baritone Black Metal'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 Made in Japan Limited International Color Telecaster's fingerboard radius is smaller, which means it's more curved than the ESP LTD Phoenix-7 Baritone Black Metal'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 ESP LTD Phoenix-7 Baritone Black Metal.

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 ESP LTD Phoenix-7 Baritone Black Metal favors large hands more than the Fender Made in Japan Limited International Color Telecaster.

Fender Made in Japan Limited International Color Telecaster:
Big Hands
Small Hands
ESP LTD Phoenix-7 Baritone Black Metal:
Big Hands
Small Hands

Fret Size

Fender Made in Japan Limited International Color Telecaster Frets Size
Fender Made in Japan Limited International Color Telecaster's Frets Size
ESP LTD Phoenix-7 Baritone Black Metal Frets Size
ESP LTD Phoenix-7 Baritone Black Metal's Frets Size

The ESP LTD Phoenix-7 Baritone Black Metal has XL Jumbo frets, which should be taller than the Fender Made in Japan Limited International Color Telecaster'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

Fender Made in Japan Limited International Color Telecaster
Bending & Vibrato Ease 65
Chord Playability 90
Solo Playability 50
Playability 68
ESP LTD Phoenix-7 Baritone Black Metal
Bending & Vibrato Ease 85
Chord Playability 60
Solo Playability 80
Playability 75

Specs Side-by-Side

Fender Made in Japan Limited International Color Telecaster vs LTD Phoenix-7 Baritone Black Metal
General Fender Made in Japan Limited International Color Telecaster LTD Phoenix-7 Baritone Black Metal
Brand: Fender ESP LTD
Year: 2023 2022
Configuration: SS H
Strings: 6 7
Made in: Japan Indonesia
Series: Made in Japan Limited International Black Metal
Colors: Black
Left-Handed Version: No No
Body
Type: Solid Body Solid Body
Body Material: Basswood Mahogany / Maple Cap
Bridge: 3-Saddle Vintage-Style Strings-Through-Body Tele with Chrome Barrel Saddles Tonepros Locking TOM w/ String Thru
Neck
Neck Joint: Bolt-On Neck-Through
Tuners: Fender Vintage F Stamped LTD Locking
Fretboard: Maple Macassar Ebony
Neck Material: Maple 3Pc Mahogany
Decoration: Black Dot
Scale Size: 25.5" 27"
Shape: U Shape Thin U
Frets: 21 Medium Jumbo Nickel Silver 22 XL Jumbo Stainless Steel
Fretboard Radius: 9.5" 15.75"
Nut: Bone Plastic
Nut Width: 41mm (1.615'') 48mm (1.89'')
Electronics
Bridge Pickup: Fender Vintage-Style Single-Coil Tele (Single Coil / Passive) Fishman Fluence Modern Ceramic (Humbucker / Active)
Middle Pickup:
Neck Pickup: Fender Vintage-Style Single-Coil Tele (Single Coil / Passive)
Switch: 3 Way 0 Way
Knobs: Dome Dome
Pickup Mods: None Multi-Voicing
Volume Controls: 1 1
Tone Controls: 1 0