Swap
Swap
Fender Made in Japan Limited International Color Telecaster
Gibson Custom 1957 Les Paul Goldtop Ultra Light Aged
VS
Playability
68
Sound
72
Build
67
Value
69
Score
69
FIND IT ON:
Reverb logo
Playability
77
Sound
75
Build
72
Value
60
Score
75
FIND IT ON:
Reverb logoMusician's Friend logo
Add to Compare
Discuss or ask a question
Add to Compare
Discuss or ask a question
Side to side spec comparison >

Fender Made in Japan Limited International Color Telecaster vs Gibson Custom 1957 Les Paul Goldtop Ultra Light Aged

Reasons to Get
Fender Made in Japan Limited International Color Telecaster over Gibson Custom 1957 Les Paul Goldtop Ultra Light Aged

Release Year
2023 vs 2022
From a more recent year
Type of Frets
Medium Jumbo vs Narrow Tall
You'll feel the fretboard when pressing down the strings
Neck Profile
U Shape vs 50s Rounded Medium C
Comfortable neck with more grip
Neck Joint
Bolt-On vs Set
Allows you to detach and swap the neck
Pickups
SS vs HH
Beautiful cleans
Nut Width
1.615'' (41mm) vs 1.688'' (42.9mm)
Favors small hands, easier bar chords and other shapes
Paint Finish
Poly vs Aged
Resistant paint that ages well
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
Value Score
69 vs 60
Better price/quality relationship

Reasons to Get
Gibson Custom 1957 Les Paul Goldtop Ultra Light Aged over Fender Made in Japan Limited International Color Telecaster

Frets Height
Taller vs Shorter
Easier to press down strings and bend them
Type of Frets
Narrow Tall vs Medium Jumbo
You won't feel the fretboard when pressing down the strings
Neck Profile
50s Rounded Medium C vs U Shape
Comfortable neck that works for most people
Volume Knobs
2 vs 1
More volume control
Tone Knobs
2 vs 1
More tone control
Pickups
HH vs SS
High output without hum
Number of Frets
22 vs 21
Allows to reach higher notes
Nut Width
1.688'' (42.9mm) vs 1.615'' (41mm)
Less likely to mute strings by accident and more space for fingerstyle
Paint Finish
Aged vs Poly
Paint has been artificially aged
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

Other Key Differences
Fender Made in Japan Limited International Color Telecaster vs Gibson Custom 1957 Les Paul Goldtop Ultra Light Aged

Bridge Pickup
Fender Vintage-Style Single-Coil Tele vs Custombucker Alnico III (Unpotted)
Different Bridge Pickup
Neck Pickup
Fender Vintage-Style Single-Coil Tele vs Custombucker Alnico III (Unpotted)
Different Neck Pickup
Body Wood
Basswood vs Mahogany
Different Body Wood
Neck Wood
Maple vs Mahogany
Different Neck Wood
Fretboard Wood
Maple vs Rosewood
Different Fretboard Wood
Headstock
6 vs 3-3
Different Headstock
Nut Material
Bone vs Nylon
Different Nut Material

Shared Features
Fender Made in Japan Limited International Color Telecaster vs Gibson Custom 1957 Les Paul Goldtop Ultra Light Aged

Strings
6
Same playing style
Body Type
Solid Body
Feedback free
Switch Positions
3
Same pickups versatility
Bridge
Fixed
Good sustain and needs no set-up
Pickups Power
Passive
Cleaner sound and no battery needed

Common Strengths

  • High-Quality Nut
  • From a High-Quality-Standards Country
  • Top Pickup Brand

Common Weaknesses

  • Pickup Alter Switch/Knob
  • 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 Made in Japan Limited International Color Telecaster Prices

SET PRICE ALERT

Gibson Custom 1957 Les Paul Goldtop Ultra Light Aged Prices

SET PRICE ALERT

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

Which One is Better for Beginners?

The Fender Made in Japan Limited International Color Telecaster meets 6 out of our 8 criteria items for beginner friendliness, while the Gibson Custom 1957 Les Paul Goldtop Ultra Light Aged 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 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

Gibson Custom 1957 Les Paul Goldtop Ultra Light Aged
  • 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 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 Gibson Custom 1957 Les Paul Goldtop Ultra Light Aged

Mahogany wood pattern used for guitar building
Mahogany
Rosewood wood pattern used for guitar building
Rosewood

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.

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.

Winner: Gibson Custom 1957 Les Paul Goldtop Ultra Light Aged.

Pickup Configuration

The Fender Made in Japan Limited International Color Telecaster has an SS configuration while the Gibson Custom 1957 Les Paul Goldtop Ultra Light Aged has HH 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, 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 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:

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 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

Both are equal when it comes to the pickup switching option.

Neither of them come with some kind of coil split or pickup mod option. This makes both lacking in terms of versatility.

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
Gibson Custom 1957 Les Paul Goldtop Ultra Light Aged pickups switch and push knobs diagram
Gibson Custom 1957 Les Paul Goldtop Ultra Light Aged'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
Gibson Custom 1957 Les Paul Goldtop Ultra Light Aged
Pickups 90
Sustain 85
Versatility 53
Tuning Stability 70
Sound 75

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 Gibson Custom 1957 Les Paul Goldtop Ultra Light Aged.

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 Gibson Custom 1957 Les Paul Goldtop Ultra Light Aged is made in United States.

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.

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: 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 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 Gibson Custom 1957 Les Paul Goldtop Ultra Light Aged comes with a Nylon nut. It used to be one of the highest quality materials for nuts (and still is), but it's rare to find nowadays because it's hard to work with. It's a very resistant material with very low friction, so it will keep the guitar in tune and will last for a long time

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.

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 Made in Japan Limited International Color Telecaster's are Fender Vintage F Stamped while the Gibson Custom 1957 Les Paul Goldtop Ultra Light Aged's are Kluson Single Line, Single Ring

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 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 Gibson Custom 1957 Les Paul Goldtop Ultra Light Aged 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 Made in Japan Limited International Color Telecaster.

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
Gibson Custom 1957 Les Paul Goldtop Ultra Light Aged
  • Made in United States
  • Expensive Wood
  • Nylon Nut
  • Top Brand Pickups
  • Cheap Fret Wire (NS)
  • No Locking Tuners
  • 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

Final Build Quality Scores

Fender Made in Japan Limited International Color Telecaster
Quality of materials 66
Features 50
Quality Control 85
Build Quality 67
Gibson Custom 1957 Les Paul Goldtop Ultra Light Aged
Quality of materials 66
Features 50
Quality Control 100
Build Quality 72

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
Gibson Custom 1957 Les Paul Goldtop Ultra Light Aged Nut Width
Gibson Custom 1957 Les Paul Goldtop Ultra Light Aged Nut Width

The nut width will affect the separation between strings at the nut. In this comparison, the Gibson Custom 1957 Les Paul Goldtop Ultra Light Aged has the wider nut with 42.9mm (1.688'') vs 41mm (1.615''). This is a 1.9mm (0.073'') difference

This means that it will be more difficult to do bar chords on the Gibson Custom 1957 Les Paul Goldtop Ultra Light Aged, 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
Gibson Custom 1957 Les Paul Goldtop Ultra Light Aged's Scale Length
Gibson Custom 1957 Les Paul Goldtop Ultra Light Aged'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 Made in Japan Limited International Color Telecaster has the longest scale: 25.5". The Gibson Custom 1957 Les Paul Goldtop Ultra Light Aged 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 Made in Japan Limited International Color Telecaster Neck Profile
Fender Made in Japan Limited International Color Telecaster's neck profile
Gibson Custom 1957 Les Paul Goldtop Ultra Light Aged Neck Profile
Gibson Custom 1957 Les Paul Goldtop Ultra Light Aged'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 Made in Japan Limited International Color Telecaster has a U type of 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.

The Gibson Custom 1957 Les Paul Goldtop Ultra Light Aged, on the other hand, has a C neck. This is what you'll find in most modern guitars. Most people feel like the thickness of a C neck is simply the less intrusive one for playing fast, while at the same time allowing you to grab the neck easily for resting if you want to.

Fretboard Radius

Fender Made in Japan Limited International Color Telecaster Fingerboard Radius
Fender Made in Japan Limited International Color Telecaster's Fingerboard radius
Gibson Custom 1957 Les Paul Goldtop Ultra Light Aged Fingerboard Radius
Gibson Custom 1957 Les Paul Goldtop Ultra Light Aged'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 Gibson Custom 1957 Les Paul Goldtop Ultra Light Aged'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 Gibson Custom 1957 Les Paul Goldtop Ultra Light Aged.

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 Made in Japan Limited International Color Telecaster favors large hands more than the Gibson Custom 1957 Les Paul Goldtop Ultra Light Aged.

Fender Made in Japan Limited International Color Telecaster:
Big Hands
Small Hands
Gibson Custom 1957 Les Paul Goldtop Ultra Light Aged:
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
Gibson Custom 1957 Les Paul Goldtop Ultra Light Aged Frets Size
Gibson Custom 1957 Les Paul Goldtop Ultra Light Aged's Frets Size

The Gibson Custom 1957 Les Paul Goldtop Ultra Light Aged has Narrow Tall 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
Gibson Custom 1957 Les Paul Goldtop Ultra Light Aged
Bending & Vibrato Ease 95
Chord Playability 55
Solo Playability 80
Playability 77

Specs Side-by-Side

Fender Made in Japan Limited International Color Telecaster vs Gibson Custom 1957 Les Paul Goldtop Ultra Light Aged
General Fender Made in Japan Limited International Color Telecaster Gibson Custom 1957 Les Paul Goldtop Ultra Light Aged
Brand: Fender Gibson Custom
Year: 2023 2022
Configuration: SS HH
Strings: 6 6
Made in: Japan United States
Series: Made in Japan Limited International Murphy Lab
Colors: Gold
Left-Handed Version: No Yes
Body
Type: Solid Body Solid Body
Body Material: Basswood 1-Piece Lightweight Mahogany
Bridge: 3-Saddle Vintage-Style Strings-Through-Body Tele with Chrome Barrel Saddles No-Wire ABR-1
Neck
Neck Joint: Bolt-On Set
Tuners: Fender Vintage F Stamped Kluson Single Line, Single Ring
Fretboard: Maple Indian Rosewood
Neck Material: Maple Mahogany
Decoration: Black Dot Aged Cellulose Nitrate Trapezoid
Scale Size: 25.5" 24.75"
Shape: U Shape 50s Rounded Medium C
Frets: 21 Medium Jumbo Nickel Silver 22 Narrow Tall Nickel Silver
Fretboard Radius: 9.5" 12"
Nut: Bone Nylon
Nut Width: 41mm (1.615'') 42.9mm (1.688'')
Electronics
Bridge Pickup: Fender Vintage-Style Single-Coil Tele (Single Coil / Passive) Custombucker Alnico III (Unpotted) (Humbucker / Passive)
Middle Pickup:
Neck Pickup: Fender Vintage-Style Single-Coil Tele (Single Coil / Passive) Custombucker Alnico III (Unpotted) (Humbucker / Passive)
Switch: 3 Way 3 Way
Knobs: Dome Bell
Pickup Mods: None None
Volume Controls: 1 2
Tone Controls: 1 2