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Strandberg Boden Standard NX 6 Amber
ESP Horizon-I
VS
Playability
78
Sound
82
Build
69
Value
71
Score
76
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Playability
80
Sound
81
Build
79
Value
65
Score
80
FIND IT ON:
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Add more to comparison

Strandberg Boden Standard NX 6 Amber vs ESP Horizon-I

Reasons to Get
Strandberg Boden Standard NX 6 Amber over ESP Horizon-I

Fret Material
Stainless Steel vs Nickel Silver
Best fret material that will last forever
Release Year
2022 vs 2017
From a more recent year
Type of Frets
Medium Jumbo vs XL Jumbo
You'll feel the fretboard when pressing down the strings
Scale Length
25.5" to 25" vs 25.5"
Less fret buzz with less string stiffness
Neck Profile
EndurNeck vs Thin U
Comfortable neck that works for most people
Pickup Mods
Series Split vs None
Connects pickups in series to imitate a humbucker
Switch Positions
5 vs 3
More tone options
Neck Thickness at 1st Fret
1.2'' (30.5mm) vs 0.787'' (20mm)
More comfortable open chords for big hands
Neck Thickness at 12th Fret
1.1'' (27.9mm) vs 0.866'' (22mm)
More comfortable at higher frets for big hands
Nut Width
1.417'' (36mm) vs 1.654'' (42mm)
Favors small hands, easier bar chords and other shapes
Luminescent Sidedots
Yes vs None
Assists you when playing in dark environments
Bridge
Fixed vs Floyd Rose
Good sustain and needs no set-up
Fretboard Radius
20'' (508mm) vs 12'' (304.8mm)
Flatter fretboard makes it easier to play single notes and bend
Value Score
71 vs 65
Better price/quality relationship

Reasons to Get
ESP Horizon-I over Strandberg Boden Standard NX 6 Amber

Country of Manufacturing
Japan vs Indonesia
Built with higher quality standards
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
Scale Length
25.5" vs 25.5" to 25"
Easier to adapt to
Retainer Bar
Yes vs None
Assists you so tuning doesn't change when locking the nut
Neck Profile
Thin U vs EndurNeck
Comfortable neck with more grip
Neck Joint
Neck-Through vs Bolt-On
Stronger neck and easier access to upper frets
Locking Tuners
Yes vs None
Easier to change strings
Neck Thickness at 1st Fret
0.787'' (20mm) vs 1.2'' (30.5mm)
More comfortable open chords for small hands
Neck Thickness at 12th Fret
0.866'' (22mm) vs 1.1'' (27.9mm)
More comfortable at higher frets for small hands
Nut Width
1.654'' (42mm) vs 1.417'' (36mm)
Less likely to mute strings by accident and more space for fingerstyle
Bridge
Floyd Rose vs Fixed
Allows intense vibratos and techniques like Dive Bombs
Fretboard Radius
12'' (304.8mm) vs 20'' (508mm)
More curved fretboard helpful to play chords without muting strings

Other Key Differences
Strandberg Boden Standard NX 6 Amber vs ESP Horizon-I

Bridge Pickup
Strandberg custom OEM bridge humbucker vs Seymour Duncan Custom Shop JB/Custom Hybrid Trembucker
Different Bridge Pickup
Neck Pickup
Strandberg custom OEM neck humbucker vs Seymour Duncan Cool Rails
Different Neck Pickup
Body Wood
Basswood vs Alder
Different Body Wood
Fretboard Wood
Maple vs Ebony
Different Fretboard Wood
Headstock
Headless vs 6
Different Headstock

Shared Features
Strandberg Boden Standard NX 6 Amber vs ESP Horizon-I

Neck Wood
Maple
Same Neck Wood
Nut Material
Locking
Same Nut Material
Strings
6
Same playing style
Body Type
Solid Body
Feedback free
Volume Knobs
1
Same volume control
Tone Knobs
1
Same tone control
Pickups
HH
High output without hum
Number of Frets
24
Same maximum octave
Paint Finish
Poly
Resistant paint that ages well
Pickups Power
Passive
Cleaner sound and no battery needed

Common Strengths

  • High-Quality Nut
  • Top Pickup Brand

Common Weaknesses

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

Table of Contents

Price History Comparison

Strandberg Boden Standard NX 6 Amber Prices

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Which One is Better Overall?

After going through our comparison algorithm, the results show that the ESP Horizon-I is probably the better product overall with its final score of 80 compared to the Strandberg Boden Standard NX 6 Amber's 76 score, although not by a lot.

The ESP Horizon-I wins when it comes to playability, build quality. On the other hand, the Strandberg Boden Standard NX 6 Amber has the upper hand when it comes to sound, value for the money.

If you got small hands, none of these instruments will make a big difference when it comes to comfortability.

Which One is Better for Beginners?

Both meet 5 out of our 8 criteria items for beginner friendliness. This takes into account the type of frets, scale length, nut width, bridge type, fretboard radius, and neck profile to determine the easiest combination for new players. If you're looking for your first guitar to learn how to play, you can't go wrong with either of them.

New Player Friendliness

Strandberg Boden Standard NX 6 Amber
  • Comfortable shape
  • Easy-to-use bridge
  • Tall frets
  • Narrow nut
  • Comfortable neck
  • Comfortable fretboard
  • Short scale
  • Locking tuners

New Player Friendliness

ESP Horizon-I
  • Comfortable shape
  • Locking tuners
  • Tall frets
  • Narrow nut
  • Comfortable neck
  • Comfortable fretboard
  • Short scale
  • Easy-to-use bridge

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.

Strandberg Boden Standard NX 6 Amber Overview

  • From Strandberg's 2022 Boden Standard series
  • Made in Indonesia
  • 6 strings
  • 25.5" to 25"'' scale
  • 20" Fretboard Radius
  • American Basswood body
  • Maple neck
  • Maple fretboard
  • Bridge pickup: Strandberg custom OEM bridge humbucker (Humbucker/Passive)
  • Neck pickup: Strandberg custom OEM neck humbucker (Humbucker/Passive)
  • 1 volume and 1 tone Dome knobs
  • 5-way Switch
  • Strandberg EGS Rev 7 fixed & string locks bridge
  • EndurNeck Bolt-On neck
  • 24 Medium Jumbo Stainless Steel frets
  • At bridge tuners
  • Compare Specs >

ESP Horizon-I Overview

  • From ESP's 2017 Horizon series
  • Made in Japan
  • 6 strings
  • 25.5"'' scale
  • 12" Fretboard Radius
  • Alder body
  • 3pc Maple neck
  • Ebony fretboard
  • Bridge pickup: Seymour Duncan Custom Shop JB/Custom Hybrid Trembucker (Humbucker/Passive)
  • Neck pickup: Seymour Duncan Cool Rails (Humbucker/Passive)
  • 1 volume and 1 tone Dome knobs
  • 3-way Switch
  • Floyd Rose Original bridge
  • Thin U Neck-Through neck
  • 24 XL Jumbo frets
  • Gotoh Locking tuners
  • Weight around 7.55lbs (3.4kgs)
  • Compare Specs >

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 Strandberg Boden Standard NX 6 Amber

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 ESP Horizon-I

Ebony wood pattern used for guitar building
Ebony
Alder wood pattern used for guitar building
Alder

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.

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: ESP Horizon-I.

Pickup Configuration

Both pickup configurations are HH. 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.

We found the same or similar pickups to the ESP Horizon-I's online:

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 Strandberg Boden Standard NX 6 Amber gives you 5 switch options while the ESP Horizon-I gives you 3. This means that the Strandberg Boden Standard NX 6 Amber gives you more options to find the right pickup combination for the type of sound you want to achieve

Only the Strandberg Boden Standard NX 6 Amber comes with some kind of pickup modification: Series Split.

The Series Split feature allows it to split and connect some of the pickups in series. When wired in series, the resulting tone is similar to a Humbucker's. The pickups will work together and produce a fuller tone with more output than single-coils, but less than Humbuckers.

The Strandberg Boden Standard NX 6 Amber doesn't come with pickup switching options.

ESP Horizon-I pickups switch and push knobs diagram
ESP Horizon-I'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: Strandberg Boden Standard NX 6 Amber.

Final Sound Quality Scores

Strandberg Boden Standard NX 6 Amber
Pickups 85
Sustain 75
Versatility 83
Tuning Stability 85
Sound 82
ESP Horizon-I
Pickups 85
Sustain 80
Versatility 65
Tuning Stability 95
Sound 81

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 Strandberg Boden Standard NX 6 Amber compares to the ESP Horizon-I.

Country of Origin

The manufacturing country can tell a lot about the build quality of an instrument. The Strandberg Boden Standard NX 6 Amber is built in Indonesia while the ESP Horizon-I is made in Japan.

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.

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.

Winner: ESP Horizon-I

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.

In this case, both have Locking nuts. Instead of a regular nut, this guitar has a locking system that will lock down the strings at the nut, preventing it from getting out of tune. It removes one of the disadvantages of tremolo bridges, tune stability.

However, only the ESP Horizon-I has a retainer bar for the locking nut, which is a helpful addition. Without it, the Strandberg Boden Standard NX 6 Amber's strings will change pitch once you lock down the nut, so you'll have to make more micro-adjustments at the bridge to tune it correctly.

Winner: ESP Horizon-I.

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 Strandberg Boden Standard NX 6 Amber 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: Strandberg Boden Standard NX 6 Amber.

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 Strandberg Boden Standard NX 6 Amber'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 ESP Horizon-I's is a Floyd Rose. This is a double-locking bridge system that allows you to perform techniques like dive bombs and pinch harmonics. The locking nut allows your guitar to stay in tune even after the most intense tremolo usage. The disadvantage is that it takes more work to change the strings and set up everything correctly.

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: ESP Horizon-I.

Tuners

The ESP Horizon-I 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.

Nevertheless, the Strandberg Boden Standard NX 6 Amber has a locking nut, so it should have even better tune stability and doesn't need locking tuners.

Winner: ESP Horizon-I.

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 Strandberg Boden Standard NX 6 Amber 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 Horizon-I 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 Horizon-I.

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

Strengths & Weaknesses
Strandberg Boden Standard NX 6 Amber
  • Stainless Steel Frets
  • Locking Nut
  • Top Brand Pickups
  • Series Split Pickups
  • Luminescent Inlay
  • Made in Indonesia
  • No Expensive Woods
  • No Neck-Through Build
  • No Weight Relief
  • No Tremolo
  • No Compound Radius Fretboard
  • No 21:1 Tuner Ratio
  • No Strap Lock
Strengths & Weaknesses
ESP Horizon-I
  • Locking Tuners
  • Made in Japan
  • Expensive Wood
  • Locking Nut
  • Top Brand Pickups
  • Neck-Through Build
  • Tremolo
  • Retainer Bar
  • Cheap Fret Wire (NS)
  • 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

Strandberg Boden Standard NX 6 Amber
Quality of materials 61
Features 65
Quality Control 80
Build Quality 69
ESP Horizon-I
Quality of materials 51
Features 85
Quality Control 100
Build Quality 79

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

Strandberg Boden Standard NX 6 Amber Nut Width
Strandberg Boden Standard NX 6 Amber Nut Width
ESP Horizon-I Nut Width
ESP Horizon-I Nut Width

The nut width will affect the separation between strings at the nut. In this comparison, the ESP Horizon-I has the wider nut with 42mm (1.654'') vs 36mm (1.417''). This is a 6mm (0.237'') difference

This means that it will be more difficult to do bar chords on the ESP Horizon-I, especially closer to the nut. However, it's also easier to play without muting strings accidently. This favors people with big hands.

Scale Length

Strandberg Boden Standard NX 6 Amber's Scale Length
Strandberg Boden Standard NX 6 Amber's Scale Length
ESP Horizon-I's Scale Length
ESP Horizon-I'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.

In this case, the Strandberg Boden Standard NX 6 Amber features a multi-scale of 25.5" to 25" while the ESP Horizon-I has a regular scale of 25.5".

A multi-scale fingerboard incorporates two scale lengths at the same time. This is present in some instruments with long scale to give a different tension to the lower strings than the higher strings. The thickest strings need more tension to avoid fret buzz (especially when tuned low), so the scale is longer for these strings, while the thinnest strings will need less tension (because they have a lower gauge), so they have a shorter scale to reduce stiffness for bends.

It can feel awkward if you've never played a multi-scale because the frets will have more separation for the higher strings, but a lot of people love their versatility.

On the other hand, the ESP Horizon-I's 25.5" regular scale means it has a fixed scale for all the strings.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

Strandberg Boden Standard NX 6 Amber Neck Profile
Strandberg Boden Standard NX 6 Amber's neck profile
ESP Horizon-I Neck Profile
ESP Horizon-I'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 Strandberg Boden Standard NX 6 Amber has a C type of neck. This is what you'll find in most modern guitars. Most people feel like the thickness of a C neck is simply the less intrusive one for playing fast, while at the same time allowing you to grab the neck easily for resting if you want to.

The ESP Horizon-I, on the other hand, has a U 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

Strandberg Boden Standard NX 6 Amber Fingerboard Radius
Strandberg Boden Standard NX 6 Amber's Fingerboard radius
ESP Horizon-I Fingerboard Radius
ESP Horizon-I'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 ESP Horizon-I's fingerboard radius is smaller, which means it's more curved than the Strandberg Boden Standard NX 6 Amber'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 Strandberg Boden Standard NX 6 Amber.

Hand Size Comfortability

Everyone has a different hand size, and that's why it's recommended to try a guitar before buying, even if others tell you that it's comfortable to play. However, we can know whether a guitar favors small or large hands just by knowing its exact measurements.

After taking into account the scale length, nut width, neck profile and fretboard radius, we can conclude that both in this comparison favor small hands .

Strandberg Boden Standard NX 6 Amber:
Big Hands
Small Hands
ESP Horizon-I:
Big Hands
Small Hands

Fret Size

Strandberg Boden Standard NX 6 Amber Frets Size
Strandberg Boden Standard NX 6 Amber's Frets Size
ESP Horizon-I Frets Size
ESP Horizon-I's Frets Size

The ESP Horizon-I has XL Jumbo frets, which should be taller than the Strandberg Boden Standard NX 6 Amber'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

Strandberg Boden Standard NX 6 Amber
Bending & Vibrato Ease 80
Chord Playability 75
Solo Playability 80
Playability 78
ESP Horizon-I
Bending & Vibrato Ease 80
Chord Playability 70
Solo Playability 90
Playability 80

Specs Side-by-Side

Strandberg Boden Standard NX 6 Amber vs ESP Horizon-I
General Strandberg Boden Standard NX 6 Amber ESP Horizon-I
Brand: Strandberg ESP
Year: 2022 2017
Configuration: HH HH
Strings: 6 6
Made in: Indonesia Japan
Series: Boden Standard Horizon
Colors: Green, Yellow Red, Gray, Blue and Purple
Left-Handed Version: No No
Body
Type: Solid Body Solid Body
Body Material: American Basswood Alder
Bridge: Strandberg EGS Rev 7 fixed & string locks Floyd Rose Original
Neck
Neck Joint: Bolt-On Neck-Through
Tuners: At bridge Gotoh Locking
Fretboard: Maple Ebony
Neck Material: Maple 3pc Maple
Decoration: Offset Luminlay Dots Offset Blocks
Scale Size: 25.5" to 25" 25.5"
Shape: EndurNeck Thin U
Thickness: 1st Fret: 1.2'' (30.5mm) - 12th Fret: 1.1'' (27.9mm) 1st Fret: 0.787'' (20mm) - 12th Fret: 0.866'' (22mm)
Frets: 24 Medium Jumbo Stainless Steel 24 XL Jumbo Nickel Silver
Fretboard Radius: 20" 12"
Nut: Locking Locking
Nut Width: 36mm (1.417'') 42mm (1.654'')
Electronics
Bridge Pickup: Strandberg custom OEM bridge humbucker (Humbucker / Passive) Seymour Duncan Custom Shop JB/Custom Hybrid Trembucker (Humbucker / Passive)
Middle Pickup:
Neck Pickup: Strandberg custom OEM neck humbucker (Humbucker / Passive) Seymour Duncan Cool Rails (Humbucker / Passive)
Switch: 5 Way 3 Way
Knobs: Dome Dome
Pickup Mods: Series Split None
Volume Controls: 1 1
Tone Controls: 1 1