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Fender Made in Japan Limited International Color Telecaster
Gretsch G100BKCE Synchromatic Archtop
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Playability
68
Sound
72
Build
67
Value
69
Score
69
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Playability
68
Sound
70
Build
58
Value
70
Score
65
FIND IT ON:
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Side to side spec comparison >

Fender Made in Japan Limited International Color Telecaster vs Gretsch G100BKCE Synchromatic Archtop

Reasons to Get
Fender Made in Japan Limited International Color Telecaster over Gretsch G100BKCE Synchromatic Archtop

Country of Manufacturing
Japan vs China
Built with higher quality standards
Release Year
2023 vs 2016
From a more recent year
Neck Joint
Bolt-On vs Set
Allows you to detach and swap the neck
Body Type
Solid Body vs Hollowbody
Feedback free
Switch Positions
3 vs 0
More tone options
Pickups
SS vs XXH
Beautiful cleans
Number of Frets
21 vs 20
Allows to reach higher notes
Nut Width
1.615'' (41mm) vs 1.688'' (42.9mm)
Favors small hands, easier bar chords and other shapes
Fretboard Radius
9.5'' (241.3mm) vs 12'' (304.8mm)
Easier to play chords without muting strings

Reasons to Get
Gretsch G100BKCE Synchromatic Archtop over Fender Made in Japan Limited International Color Telecaster

Decorative Top
Arched Laminated Spruce vs None
Finished with beautiful natural wood patterns
Body Type
Hollowbody vs Solid Body
Warm tone, lighter and acoustic sound
Pickups
XXH vs SS
Single pickup at the neck for jazzy warmth
Nut Width
1.688'' (42.9mm) vs 1.615'' (41mm)
Less likely to mute strings by accident and more space for fingerstyle
Fretboard Radius
12'' (304.8mm) vs 9.5'' (241.3mm)
Flatter fretboard makes it easier to play single notes and bend
Value Score
70 vs 69
Better price/quality relationship

Other Key Differences
Fender Made in Japan Limited International Color Telecaster vs Gretsch G100BKCE Synchromatic Archtop

Neck Pickup
Fender Vintage-Style Single-Coil Tele vs Gretsch Mini Humbucking
Different Neck Pickup
Body Wood
Basswood vs Maple
Different Body Wood
Fretboard Wood
Maple vs Rosewood
Different Fretboard Wood
Headstock
6 vs 3-3
Different Headstock
Nut Material
Bone vs Synthetic Bone
Different Nut Material

Shared Features
Fender Made in Japan Limited International Color Telecaster vs Gretsch G100BKCE Synchromatic Archtop

Neck Wood
Maple
Same Neck Wood
Strings
6
Same playing style
Volume Knobs
1
Same volume control
Tone Knobs
1
Same tone control
Paint Finish
Poly
Resistant paint that ages well
Bridge
Fixed
Good sustain and needs no set-up
Scale Length
25.5'' (647.7mm)
Same string tension and fret separation
Pickups Power
Passive
Cleaner sound and no battery needed
Neck Profile Type
U
Comfortable neck with more grip
Type of Frets
Medium Jumbo
You'll feel the fretboard when pressing down the strings

Common Strengths

  • High-Quality Nut
  • Top Pickup Brand

Common Weaknesses

  • Pickup Alter Switch/Knob
  • 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

Gretsch G100BKCE Synchromatic Archtop Prices

    SET PRICE ALERT

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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 Gretsch G100BKCE Synchromatic Archtop meets only 3. 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

    Gretsch G100BKCE Synchromatic Archtop
    • Comfortable shape
    • Easy-to-use bridge
    • Tall frets
    • Comfortable fretboard
    • Narrow nut
    • Short scale
    • Comfortable neck
    • 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 Made in Japan Limited International Color Telecaster

    Basswood wood pattern used for guitar building
    Basswood

    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 Gretsch G100BKCE Synchromatic Archtop

    Rosewood wood pattern used for guitar building
    Rosewood

    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: Gretsch G100BKCE Synchromatic Archtop.

    Pickup Configuration

    The Fender Made in Japan Limited International Color Telecaster has an SS configuration while the Gretsch G100BKCE Synchromatic Archtop has XXH 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, XXH means there's no pickup in the bridge or middle position. It's a rare pickup combination used for soloing. It's often found in acoustic-electric guitars to give you more power for soloing.

    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

    The Fender Made in Japan Limited International Color Telecaster gives you 3 switch options while the Gretsch G100BKCE Synchromatic Archtop 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

    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

    The Gretsch G100BKCE Synchromatic Archtop doesn't come with pickup switching 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
    Gretsch G100BKCE Synchromatic Archtop
    Pickups 90
    Sustain 75
    Versatility 44
    Tuning Stability 70
    Sound 70

    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 Gretsch G100BKCE Synchromatic Archtop.

    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 Gretsch G100BKCE Synchromatic Archtop is made in China.

    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.

    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 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 Gretsch G100BKCE Synchromatic Archtop comes with 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.

    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 Gretsch G100BKCE Synchromatic Archtop's are Die-Cast

    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 Gretsch G100BKCE Synchromatic Archtop 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
    Gretsch G100BKCE Synchromatic Archtop
    • Expensive Wood
    • Synthetic Bone Nut
    • Top Brand Pickups
    • Cheap Fret Wire (NS)
    • No Locking Tuners
    • Made in China
    • No Neck-Through Build
    • No Push Knob or Extra Switch Option
    • 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
    Gretsch G100BKCE Synchromatic Archtop
    Quality of materials 60
    Features 55
    Quality Control 60
    Build Quality 58

    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
    Gretsch G100BKCE Synchromatic Archtop Nut Width
    Gretsch G100BKCE Synchromatic Archtop Nut Width

    The nut width will affect the separation between strings at the nut. In this comparison, the Gretsch G100BKCE Synchromatic Archtop 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 Gretsch G100BKCE Synchromatic Archtop, 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 and Gretsch G100BKCE Synchromatic Archtop'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 Made in Japan Limited International Color Telecaster Neck Profile
    Fender Made in Japan Limited International Color Telecaster's neck profile
    Gretsch G100BKCE Synchromatic Archtop Neck Profile
    Gretsch G100BKCE Synchromatic Archtop'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 Gretsch G100BKCE Synchromatic Archtop 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
    Gretsch G100BKCE Synchromatic Archtop Fingerboard Radius
    Gretsch G100BKCE Synchromatic Archtop'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 Gretsch G100BKCE Synchromatic Archtop'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 Gretsch G100BKCE Synchromatic Archtop.

    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 Gretsch G100BKCE Synchromatic Archtop 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
    Gretsch G100BKCE Synchromatic Archtop:
    Big Hands
    Small Hands

    Fret Size

    Fender Made in Japan Limited International Color Telecaster and Gretsch G100BKCE Synchromatic Archtop Frets Size
    Both have a similar Medium Jumbo fret size

    Both have a Medium Jumbo fret size. These are slightly shorter than full Jumbo frets, so you'll still feel the fretboard when pressing down the strings. However, they interfere less with your fretting hand than medium-size frets. This is a good size if you like easy-to-press frets, but would still like to feel a bit of the fretboard when playing.

    Final Playability Scores

    Fender Made in Japan Limited International Color Telecaster
    Bending & Vibrato Ease 65
    Chord Playability 90
    Solo Playability 50
    Playability 68
    Gretsch G100BKCE Synchromatic Archtop
    Bending & Vibrato Ease 75
    Chord Playability 70
    Solo Playability 60
    Playability 68

    Specs Side-by-Side

    Fender Made in Japan Limited International Color Telecaster vs Gretsch G100BKCE Synchromatic Archtop
    General Fender Made in Japan Limited International Color Telecaster Gretsch G100BKCE Synchromatic Archtop
    Brand: Fender Gretsch
    Year: 2023 2016
    Configuration: SS XXH
    Strings: 6 6
    Made in: Japan China
    Series: Made in Japan Limited International Electromatic
    Colors: Black, Natural
    Left-Handed Version: No No
    Body
    Type: Solid Body Hollowbody
    Body Material: Basswood Laminated Maple
    Bridge: 3-Saddle Vintage-Style Strings-Through-Body Tele with Chrome Barrel Saddles Chromatic
    Neck
    Neck Joint: Bolt-On Set
    Tuners: Fender Vintage F Stamped Die-Cast
    Fretboard: Maple Rosewood
    Neck Material: Maple Maple
    Decoration: Black Dot Pearloid Big Block
    Scale Size: 25.5" 25.5"
    Shape: U Shape Standard U
    Frets: 21 Medium Jumbo Nickel Silver 20 Medium Jumbo Nickel Silver
    Fretboard Radius: 9.5" 12"
    Nut: Bone Synthetic Bone
    Nut Width: 41mm (1.615'') 42.9mm (1.688'')
    Electronics
    Bridge Pickup: Fender Vintage-Style Single-Coil Tele (Single Coil / Passive)
    Middle Pickup:
    Neck Pickup: Fender Vintage-Style Single-Coil Tele (Single Coil / Passive) Gretsch Mini Humbucking (Humbucker / Passive)
    Switch: 3 Way 0 Way
    Knobs: Dome Dome
    Pickup Mods: None None
    Volume Controls: 1 1
    Tone Controls: 1 1