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Fender Made in Japan Limited International Color Telecaster
Harley Benton ST-57DG
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Playability
68
Sound
72
Build
67
Value
69
Score
69
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Playability
70
Sound
74
Build
59
Value
78
Score
68
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Side to side spec comparison >

Fender Made in Japan Limited International Color Telecaster vs Harley Benton ST-57DG

Reasons to Get
Fender Made in Japan Limited International Color Telecaster over Harley Benton ST-57DG

Country of Manufacturing
Japan vs China
Built with higher quality standards
Release Year
2023 vs 2017
From a more recent year
Neck Profile
U Shape vs Harley Benton C
Comfortable neck with more grip
Pickups
SS vs SSS
Beautiful cleans
Nut Width
1.615'' (41mm) vs 1.654'' (42mm)
Favors small hands, easier bar chords and other shapes
Bridge
Fixed vs Tremolo
Good sustain and needs no set-up
Fretboard Radius
9.5'' (241.3mm) vs 13.78'' (350mm)
Easier to play chords without muting strings

Reasons to Get
Harley Benton ST-57DG over Fender Made in Japan Limited International Color Telecaster

Neck Profile
Harley Benton C vs U Shape
Comfortable neck that works for most people
Switch Positions
5 vs 3
More tone options
Tone Knobs
2 vs 1
More tone control
Pickups
SSS vs SS
Beautiful cleans and good tone versatility
Nut Width
1.654'' (42mm) vs 1.615'' (41mm)
Less likely to mute strings by accident and more space for fingerstyle
Bridge
Tremolo vs Fixed
Simple vibratos without too much maintenance
Fretboard Radius
13.78'' (350mm) vs 9.5'' (241.3mm)
Flatter fretboard makes it easier to play single notes and bend
Value Score
78 vs 69
Better price/quality relationship

Other Key Differences
Fender Made in Japan Limited International Color Telecaster vs Harley Benton ST-57DG

Bridge Pickup
Fender Vintage-Style Single-Coil Tele vs Roswell SK52 True Vintage Staggered Alnico-5
Different Bridge Pickup
Neck Pickup
Fender Vintage-Style Single-Coil Tele vs Roswell SK52 True Vintage Staggered Alnico-5
Different Neck Pickup
Body Wood
Basswood vs Alder
Different Body Wood
Nut Material
Bone vs Ivory Tusq
Different Nut Material

Shared Features
Fender Made in Japan Limited International Color Telecaster vs Harley Benton ST-57DG

Neck Wood
Maple
Same Neck Wood
Fretboard Wood
Maple
Same Fretboard Wood
Headstock
6
Same Headstock
Strings
6
Same playing style
Body Type
Solid Body
Feedback free
Volume Knobs
1
Same volume control
Number of Frets
21
Same maximum octave
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
You'll feel the fretboard when pressing down the strings

Common Strengths

  • High-Quality Nut
  • Top Pickup Brand

Common Weaknesses

  • Neck-Through Build
  • Pickup Alter Switch/Knob
  • Weight Relief
  • Locking Tuners
  • Stays in Tune (Evertune)
  • High-Quality Frets
  • Compound Radius Fretboard
  • Luminescent Sidedots
  • Strap Lock
  • Expensive Wood
  • 21:1 Tuner Ratio
  • Active/Passive Preamp

Price History Comparison

Fender Made in Japan Limited International Color Telecaster Prices

SET PRICE ALERT

Harley Benton ST-57DG 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 Harley Benton ST-57DG 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

Harley Benton ST-57DG
  • Comfortable shape
  • Easy-to-use bridge
  • Tall frets
  • Narrow nut
  • Comfortable neck
  • Comfortable fretboard
  • Short scale
  • Locking tuners

Nevertheless, when it comes to choosing an instrument, you should pick the one more compatible with your personal style. Still, below we'll try you to give you our results as objectively as it's possible to help you decide.

Sound Quality Comparison

The wood used in an electric guitar or bass is not as important to determine the final tone. However, some people prefer specific wood types, so we'll take a look at those first. Then, we'll take a look at the electronics to determine the versatility and sound quality of each instrument.

Woods Used in Both

Maple wood pattern used for guitar building
Maple

Maple is one of the most popular necks for good reasons. It is a strong wood that is relatively cheap to make and looks beautiful. The highest quality maple is the hardest that comes from North America. Find out more about Maple.

Woods Used in the Fender 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 Harley Benton ST-57DG

Alder wood pattern used for guitar building
Alder

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.

Winner: Tie.

Pickup Configuration

The Fender Made in Japan Limited International Color Telecaster has an SS configuration while the Harley Benton ST-57DG has SSS 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, SSS is perfect for players who like to play clean. The definition you get between notes and the crispiness is unmatched by most other configurations. You can still use it for distortion, but you won't get the same kind of output and power compared to a humbucker, and the hum they produce also makes them less adequate for high gain.

Pickups Quality

Both come with some of the top pickups on the market. You can't go wrong with either of them. You'll probably never need a pickup upgrade.

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: 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 Harley Benton ST-57DG gives you 5 switch options while the Fender Made in Japan Limited International Color Telecaster gives you 3. This means that the Harley Benton ST-57DG 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
Harley Benton ST-57DG pickups switch selector and push knobs diagram
Harley Benton ST-57DG'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: Harley Benton ST-57DG.

Final Sound Quality Scores

Fender Made in Japan Limited International Color Telecaster
Pickups 100
Sustain 65
Versatility 54
Tuning Stability 70
Sound 72
Harley Benton ST-57DG
Pickups 100
Sustain 60
Versatility 72
Tuning Stability 65
Sound 74

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 Harley Benton ST-57DG.

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 Harley Benton ST-57DG 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 Harley Benton ST-57DG comes with a Ivory Tusq nut. Ivory used to be considered the best material for guitar nuts due to its beauty, durability, and the rich harmonics and sustain you could get from a guitar with it. However, the way to obtain it is simply unethical. Enter TUSQ ivory nuts, which are made synthetically to imitate ivory. Technically, it's better than ivory because it is consistent piece-to-piece, while natural materials can vary a lot, even if they're made from the same.

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 Made in Japan Limited International Color Telecaster'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 Harley Benton ST-57DG'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

Both come with regular tuners. The Fender Made in Japan Limited International Color Telecaster's are Fender Vintage F Stamped while the Harley Benton ST-57DG's are Kluson Style Machine Heads

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.

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 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
Harley Benton ST-57DG
  • Ivory Tusq Nut
  • Top Brand Pickups
  • Tremolo
  • Cheap Fret Wire (NS)
  • No Locking Tuners
  • Made in China
  • No Expensive Woods
  • No Neck-Through Build
  • No Push Knob or Extra Switch Option
  • No Weight Relief
  • No Luminescent Inlay
  • 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
Harley Benton ST-57DG
Quality of materials 66
Features 55
Quality Control 55
Build Quality 59

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
Harley Benton ST-57DG Nut Width
Harley Benton ST-57DG Nut Width

The nut width will affect the separation between strings at the nut. In this comparison, the Harley Benton ST-57DG has the wider nut with 42mm (1.654'') vs 41mm (1.615''). This is a 1mm (0.039'') difference

This means that it will be more difficult to do bar chords on the Harley Benton ST-57DG, 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 Harley Benton ST-57DG'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
Harley Benton ST-57DG Neck Profile
Harley Benton ST-57DG'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 Harley Benton ST-57DG, 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
Harley Benton ST-57DG Fingerboard Radius
Harley Benton ST-57DG'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 Harley Benton ST-57DG'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 Harley Benton ST-57DG.

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 Harley Benton ST-57DG.

Fender Made in Japan Limited International Color Telecaster:
Big Hands
Small Hands
Harley Benton ST-57DG:
Big Hands
Small Hands

Fret Size

Fender Made in Japan Limited International Color Telecaster and Harley Benton ST-57DG 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
Harley Benton ST-57DG
Bending & Vibrato Ease 70
Chord Playability 70
Solo Playability 70
Playability 70

Specs Side-by-Side

Fender Made in Japan Limited International Color Telecaster vs Harley Benton ST-57DG
General Fender Made in Japan Limited International Color Telecaster Harley Benton ST-57DG
Brand: Fender Harley Benton
Year: 2023 2017
Configuration: SS SSS
Strings: 6 6
Made in: Japan China
Series: Made in Japan Limited International Tribute
Colors: Black
Left-Handed Version: No No
Body
Type: Solid Body Solid Body
Body Material: Basswood Alder
Bridge: 3-Saddle Vintage-Style Strings-Through-Body Tele with Chrome Barrel Saddles Harley Benton Tremolo
Neck
Neck Joint: Bolt-On Bolt-On
Tuners: Fender Vintage F Stamped Kluson Style Machine Heads
Fretboard: Maple Maple
Neck Material: Maple Maple
Decoration: Black Dot
Scale Size: 25.5" 25.5"
Shape: U Shape Harley Benton C
Frets: 21 Medium Jumbo Nickel Silver 21 Medium Jumbo Nickel Silver
Fretboard Radius: 9.5" 13.78"
Nut: Bone Ivory Tusq
Nut Width: 41mm (1.615'') 42mm (1.654'')
Electronics
Bridge Pickup: Fender Vintage-Style Single-Coil Tele (Single Coil / Passive) Roswell SK52 True Vintage Staggered Alnico-5 (Single Coil / Passive)
Middle Pickup: Roswell SK52 True Vintage Staggered Alnico-5 (Single Coil / Passive)
Neck Pickup: Fender Vintage-Style Single-Coil Tele (Single Coil / Passive) Roswell SK52 True Vintage Staggered Alnico-5 (Single Coil / Passive)
Switch: 3 Way 5 Way
Knobs: Dome Bell
Pickup Mods: None None
Volume Controls: 1 1
Tone Controls: 1 2