Swap
Swap
Strandberg Sälen Jazz NX 6 Black
ESP LTD KH-202
VS
Playability
78
Sound
82
Build
72
Value
67
Score
77
FIND IT ON:
Sweetwater logo
Playability
77
Sound
73
Build
59
Value
75
Score
70
FIND IT ON:
Amazon logoSweetwater logoAmazon logo
Add more to comparison

Strandberg Sälen Jazz NX 6 Black vs LTD KH-202

Reasons to Get
Strandberg Sälen Jazz NX 6 Black over LTD KH-202

Weight Relief
Yes vs None
Lighter Body
Fret Material
Stainless Steel vs Nickel Silver
Best fret material that will last forever
Release Year
2023 vs 2009
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 Extra Thin U
Comfortable neck that works for most people
Pickups Brand
Strandberg vs None
Pickups from a renown brand
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 0.748'' (19mm)
More comfortable open chords for big hands
Neck Thickness at 12th Fret
1.1'' (27.9mm) vs 0.827'' (21mm)
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 13.78'' (350mm)
Flatter fretboard makes it easier to play single notes and bend

Reasons to Get
ESP LTD KH-202 over Strandberg Sälen Jazz NX 6 Black

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
Extra Thin U vs EndurNeck
Comfortable neck with more grip
Volume Knobs
2 vs 1
More volume control
Neck Thickness at 1st Fret
0.748'' (19mm) vs 1.2'' (30.5mm)
More comfortable open chords for small hands
Neck Thickness at 12th Fret
0.827'' (21mm) 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
13.78'' (350mm) vs 20'' (508mm)
More curved fretboard helpful to play chords without muting strings
Value Score
75 vs 67
Better price/quality relationship

Other Key Differences
Strandberg Sälen Jazz NX 6 Black vs LTD KH-202

Bridge Pickup
Strandberg Classic Bridge vs ESP Designed LH-301B
Different Bridge Pickup
Neck Pickup
Strandberg Classic Neck vs ESP Designed LH-301N
Different Neck Pickup
Body Wood
Mahogany vs Basswood
Different Body Wood
Neck Wood
Mahogany vs Maple
Different Neck Wood
Fretboard Wood
Rosewood vs Jatoba
Different Fretboard Wood
Headstock
Headless vs R6
Different Headstock

Shared Features
Strandberg Sälen Jazz NX 6 Black vs LTD KH-202

Nut Material
Locking
Same Nut Material
Strings
6
Same playing style
Body Type
Solid Body
Feedback free
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
Neck Joint
Bolt-On
Allows you to detach and swap the neck

Common Strengths

  • High-Quality Nut

Common Weaknesses

  • Neck-Through Build
  • Stays in Tune (Evertune)
  • Compound Radius Fretboard
  • From a High-Quality-Standards Country
  • Strap Lock
  • 21:1 Tuner Ratio
  • Active/Passive Preamp

Table of Contents

Price History Comparison

Strandberg Sälen Jazz NX 6 Black Prices

SET PRICE ALERT
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 Overall?

After going through our comparison algorithm, the results show that the Strandberg Sälen Jazz NX 6 Black is probably the better product overall with its final score of 77 compared to the ESP LTD KH-202's 70 score, although not by a lot.

The Strandberg Sälen Jazz NX 6 Black wins when it comes to sound, playability, build quality. On the other hand, the ESP LTD KH-202 has the upper hand when it comes to 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?

If you're looking for your first guitar to learn how to play, the Strandberg Sälen Jazz NX 6 Black is the better choice.

The Strandberg Sälen Jazz NX 6 Black meets 5 out of our 8 criteria items for beginner friendliness, while the ESP LTD KH-202 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

Strandberg Sälen Jazz NX 6 Black
  • Comfortable shape
  • Easy-to-use bridge
  • Tall frets
  • Narrow nut
  • Comfortable neck
  • Comfortable fretboard
  • Short scale
  • Locking tuners

New Player Friendliness

ESP LTD KH-202
  • Comfortable shape
  • Tall frets
  • Narrow nut
  • Comfortable neck
  • Comfortable fretboard
  • Short scale
  • Locking tuners
  • 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 Sälen Jazz NX 6 Black Overview

  • From Strandberg's 2023 Sälen series
  • Made in Indonesia
  • 6 strings
  • 25.5" to 25"'' scale
  • 20" Fretboard Radius
  • Chambered Mahogany body
  • Mahogany neck
  • Rosewood fretboard
  • Bridge pickup: Strandberg Classic Bridge (Humbucker/Passive)
  • Neck pickup: Strandberg Classic Neck (Humbucker/Passive)
  • 1 volume and 1 tone Dome knobs
  • 5-way Switch
  • Strandberg EGS Series 7 fixed & string locks bridge
  • EndurNeck Bolt-On neck
  • 24 Medium Jumbo Stainless Steel frets
  • At bridge tuners
  • Compare Specs >

ESP LTD KH-202 Overview

  • From ESP LTD's 2009 Signature series
  • Kirk Hammett Signature
  • Made in Indonesia
  • 6 strings
  • 25.5"'' scale
  • 13.78" Fretboard Radius
  • Basswood body
  • Maple neck
  • Roasted Jatoba fretboard
  • Bridge pickup: ESP Designed LH-301B (Humbucker/Passive)
  • Neck pickup: ESP Designed LH-301N (Humbucker/Passive)
  • 2 volume and 1 tone Dome knobs
  • 3-way Switch
  • Floyd Rose Special bridge
  • Extra Thin U Bolt-On neck
  • 24 XL Jumbo frets
  • LTD tuners
  • 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 the Strandberg Sälen Jazz NX 6 Black

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.

Woods Used in the ESP LTD KH-202

Maple wood pattern used for guitar building
Maple
Jatoba wood pattern used for guitar building
Jatoba
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.

Jatoba is a hard and dense wood that emphasizes the mid-lows, giving a fuller, more round sound than, for example, Mahogany. However, it also has a lot of clarity in the top end. Find out more about Jatoba.

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.

Winner: Strandberg Sälen Jazz NX 6 Black.

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

The Strandberg Sälen Jazz NX 6 Black has pickups from a more specialized brand than the ESP LTD KH-202. Its pickups should simply give you a better, fuller sound, although it all depends on what type of music you're going to play. We recommend these pickups for Heavy Metal and similar genres.

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: Strandberg Sälen Jazz NX 6 Black.

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 Sälen Jazz NX 6 Black gives you 5 switch options while the ESP LTD KH-202 gives you 3. This means that the Strandberg Sälen Jazz NX 6 Black gives you more options to find the right pickup combination for the type of sound you want to achieve

Only the Strandberg Sälen Jazz NX 6 Black 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 Sälen Jazz NX 6 Black doesn't come with pickup switching options.

ESP LTD KH-202 pickups switch and push knobs diagram
ESP LTD KH-202'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 Sälen Jazz NX 6 Black.

Final Sound Quality Scores

Strandberg Sälen Jazz NX 6 Black
Pickups 85
Sustain 75
Versatility 83
Tuning Stability 85
Sound 82
ESP LTD KH-202
Pickups 55
Sustain 80
Versatility 72
Tuning Stability 85
Sound 73

Build Quality Comparison

When it comes to build quality, we like to take into account everything used to build the instrument. This includes materials, hardware and the quality control expected depending on the country where it was built. Let's see how the Strandberg Sälen Jazz NX 6 Black compares to the ESP LTD KH-202.

Country of Origin

The manufacturing country can tell a lot about the build quality of an instrument. Both in this comparison where made in Indonesia.

Indonesia is becoming the most popular country for guitar building because they can make good instruments for a low price. Some people think that they're 'the new China' when it comes to build quality. But the truth is that Indonesian guitars are more consistent, although Chinese quality has improved a lot in the last few years.

Winner: 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.

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 LTD KH-202 has a retainer bar for the locking nut, which is a helpful addition. Without it, the Strandberg Sälen Jazz NX 6 Black'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 LTD KH-202.

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 Sälen Jazz NX 6 Black 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 Sälen Jazz NX 6 Black.

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 Sälen Jazz NX 6 Black'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 LTD KH-202'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 LTD KH-202.

Tuners

In this case, the Strandberg Sälen Jazz NX 6 Black has no machine heads because it is a headless guitar. Instead, the strings are tuned at the bridge. This gives the guitar a better balance and will prevent neck dives. It also makes it more travel friendly.

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
Strandberg Sälen Jazz NX 6 Black
  • Stainless Steel Frets
  • Expensive Wood
  • Locking Nut
  • Top Brand Pickups
  • Series Split Pickups
  • Weight Relief
  • Luminescent Inlay
  • Made in Indonesia
  • No Neck-Through Build
  • No Tremolo
  • No Compound Radius Fretboard
  • No 21:1 Tuner Ratio
  • No Strap Lock
Strengths & Weaknesses
ESP LTD KH-202
  • Locking Nut
  • Tremolo
  • Retainer Bar
  • Cheap Fret Wire (NS)
  • No Locking Tuners
  • Made in Indonesia
  • No Expensive Woods
  • No Top Brand Pickups
  • 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

Strandberg Sälen Jazz NX 6 Black
Quality of materials 61
Features 70
Quality Control 85
Build Quality 72
ESP LTD KH-202
Quality of materials 41
Features 65
Quality Control 70
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

Strandberg Sälen Jazz NX 6 Black Nut Width
Strandberg Sälen Jazz NX 6 Black Nut Width
ESP LTD KH-202 Nut Width
ESP LTD KH-202 Nut Width

The nut width will affect the separation between strings at the nut. In this comparison, the ESP LTD KH-202 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 LTD KH-202, 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 Sälen Jazz NX 6 Black's Scale Length
Strandberg Sälen Jazz NX 6 Black's Scale Length
ESP LTD KH-202's Scale Length
ESP LTD KH-202'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 Sälen Jazz NX 6 Black features a multi-scale of 25.5" to 25" while the ESP LTD KH-202 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 LTD KH-202'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 Sälen Jazz NX 6 Black Neck Profile
Strandberg Sälen Jazz NX 6 Black's neck profile
ESP LTD KH-202 Neck Profile
ESP LTD KH-202'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 Sälen Jazz NX 6 Black 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 LTD KH-202, 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 Sälen Jazz NX 6 Black Fingerboard Radius
Strandberg Sälen Jazz NX 6 Black's Fingerboard radius
ESP LTD KH-202 Fingerboard Radius
ESP LTD KH-202'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 LTD KH-202's fingerboard radius is smaller, which means it's more curved than the Strandberg Sälen Jazz NX 6 Black'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 Sälen Jazz NX 6 Black.

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 Sälen Jazz NX 6 Black:
Big Hands
Small Hands
ESP LTD KH-202:
Big Hands
Small Hands

Fret Size

Strandberg Sälen Jazz NX 6 Black Frets Size
Strandberg Sälen Jazz NX 6 Black's Frets Size
ESP LTD KH-202 Frets Size
ESP LTD KH-202's Frets Size

The ESP LTD KH-202 has XL Jumbo frets, which should be taller than the Strandberg Sälen Jazz NX 6 Black'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 Sälen Jazz NX 6 Black
Bending & Vibrato Ease 80
Chord Playability 75
Solo Playability 80
Playability 78
ESP LTD KH-202
Bending & Vibrato Ease 80
Chord Playability 70
Solo Playability 80
Playability 77

Specs Side-by-Side

Strandberg Sälen Jazz NX 6 Black vs LTD KH-202
General Strandberg Sälen Jazz NX 6 Black LTD KH-202
Brand: Strandberg ESP LTD
Year: 2023 2009
Configuration: HH HH
Strings: 6 6
Made in: Indonesia Indonesia
Series: Sälen Signature
Colors: Black, Red, Natural Black
Left-Handed Version: No No
Body
Type: Solid Body Solid Body
Body Material: Chambered Mahogany Basswood
Bridge: Strandberg EGS Series 7 fixed & string locks Floyd Rose Special
Neck
Neck Joint: Bolt-On Bolt-On
Tuners: At bridge LTD
Fretboard: Rosewood Roasted Jatoba
Neck Material: Mahogany Maple
Decoration: Illuminlay dots Skulls
Scale Size: 25.5" to 25" 25.5"
Shape: EndurNeck Extra Thin U
Thickness: 1st Fret: 1.2'' (30.5mm) - 12th Fret: 1.1'' (27.9mm) 1st Fret: 0.748'' (19mm) - 12th Fret: 0.827'' (21mm)
Frets: 24 Medium Jumbo Stainless Steel 24 XL Jumbo Nickel Silver
Fretboard Radius: 20" 13.78"
Nut: Locking Locking
Nut Width: 36mm (1.417'') 42mm (1.654'')
Electronics
Bridge Pickup: Strandberg Classic Bridge (Humbucker / Passive) ESP Designed LH-301B (Humbucker / Passive)
Middle Pickup:
Neck Pickup: Strandberg Classic Neck (Humbucker / Passive) ESP Designed LH-301N (Humbucker / Passive)
Switch: 5 Way 3 Way
Knobs: Dome Dome
Pickup Mods: Series Split None
Volume Controls: 1 2
Tone Controls: 1 1