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Strandberg Sälen Jazz NX 6 Black
Epiphone Les Paul Custom
VS
Playability
78
Sound
82
Build
72
Value
67
Score
77
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Playability
73
Sound
65
Build
57
Value
70
Score
65
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Strandberg Sälen Jazz NX 6 Black vs Epiphone Les Paul Custom

Reasons to Get
Strandberg Sälen Jazz NX 6 Black over Epiphone Les Paul Custom

Weight Relief
Yes vs None
Lighter Body
Country of Manufacturing
Indonesia vs China
Built with higher quality standards
Fret Material
Stainless Steel vs Nickel Silver
Best fret material that will last forever
Release Year
2023 vs 2020
From a more recent year
Scale Length
25.5" to 25" vs 24.75"
Less fret buzz with less string stiffness
Neck Profile
EndurNeck vs 60s Slim Taper
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
Neck Joint
Bolt-On vs Set
Allows you to detach and swap the neck
Switch Positions
5 vs 3
More tone options
Number of Frets
24 vs 22
Allows to reach higher notes
Neck Thickness at 1st Fret
1.2'' (30.5mm) vs 0.82'' (20.8mm)
More comfortable open chords for big hands
Neck Thickness at 12th Fret
1.1'' (27.9mm) vs 0.93'' (23.6mm)
More comfortable at higher frets for big hands
Nut Width
1.417'' (36mm) vs 1.693'' (43mm)
Favors small hands, easier bar chords and other shapes
Luminescent Sidedots
Yes vs None
Assists you when playing in dark environments
Fretboard Radius
20'' (508mm) vs 12'' (304.8mm)
Flatter fretboard makes it easier to play single notes and bend

Reasons to Get
Epiphone Les Paul Custom over Strandberg Sälen Jazz NX 6 Black

Scale Length
24.75" vs 25.5" to 25"
Easier to adapt to
Neck Profile
60s Slim Taper vs EndurNeck
Thin and flat neck for playing fast
Volume Knobs
2 vs 1
More volume control
Tone Knobs
2 vs 1
More tone control
Neck Thickness at 1st Fret
0.82'' (20.8mm) vs 1.2'' (30.5mm)
More comfortable open chords for small hands
Neck Thickness at 12th Fret
0.93'' (23.6mm) vs 1.1'' (27.9mm)
More comfortable at higher frets for small hands
Nut Width
1.693'' (43mm) vs 1.417'' (36mm)
Less likely to mute strings by accident and more space for fingerstyle
Fretboard Radius
12'' (304.8mm) vs 20'' (508mm)
More curved fretboard helpful to play chords without muting strings
Value Score
70 vs 67
Better price/quality relationship

Other Key Differences
Strandberg Sälen Jazz NX 6 Black vs Epiphone Les Paul Custom

Bridge Pickup
Strandberg Classic Bridge vs Epiphone ProBucker 3
Different Bridge Pickup
Neck Pickup
Strandberg Classic Neck vs Epiphone ProBucker 2
Different Neck Pickup
Fretboard Wood
Rosewood vs Ebony
Different Fretboard Wood
Headstock
Headless vs 3-3
Different Headstock
Nut Material
Locking vs NuBone
Different Nut Material

Shared Features
Strandberg Sälen Jazz NX 6 Black vs Epiphone Les Paul Custom

Body Wood
Mahogany
Same Body Wood
Neck Wood
Mahogany
Same Neck Wood
Strings
6
Same playing style
Body Type
Solid Body
Feedback free
Pickups
HH
High output without hum
Paint Finish
Poly
Resistant paint that ages well
Bridge
Fixed
Good sustain and needs no set-up
Pickups Power
Passive
Cleaner sound and no battery needed
Type of Frets
Medium Jumbo
You'll feel the fretboard when pressing down the strings

Common Strengths

  • High-Quality Nut
  • Expensive Wood

Common Weaknesses

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

Table of Contents

Price History Comparison

Strandberg Sälen Jazz NX 6 Black Prices

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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 Epiphone Les Paul Custom's 65 score, which is a significant difference.

The Strandberg Sälen Jazz NX 6 Black wins when it comes to sound, playability, build quality. On the other hand, the Epiphone Les Paul Custom 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 Epiphone Les Paul Custom 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

Epiphone Les Paul Custom
  • Comfortable shape
  • Easy-to-use bridge
  • Tall frets
  • Comfortable neck
  • Comfortable fretboard
  • Narrow nut
  • Short scale
  • Locking tuners

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

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 >

Epiphone Les Paul Custom Overview

  • From Epiphone's 2020 Epiphone Inspired by Gibson series
  • Made in China
  • 6 strings
  • 24.75"'' scale
  • 12" Fretboard Radius
  • Mahogany body
  • Mahogany neck
  • Ebony fretboard
  • Bridge pickup: Epiphone ProBucker 3 (Humbucker/Passive)
  • Neck pickup: Epiphone ProBucker 2 (Humbucker/Passive)
  • 2 volume and 2 tone Speed knobs
  • 3-way Switch
  • Epiphone LockTone Tune-O-Matic bridge
  • 60s Slim Taper Set neck
  • 22 Medium Jumbo frets
  • Grover Rotomatic 18:1 tuners
  • Weight between 8.55lbs (3.9kgs) and 9.25lbs (4.2kgs)
  • 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

Mahogany wood pattern used for guitar building
Mahogany

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.

Woods Used in the Strandberg Sälen Jazz NX 6 Black

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.

Woods Used in the Epiphone Les Paul Custom

Ebony wood pattern used for guitar building
Ebony

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.

Winner: Tie.

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 Epiphone Les Paul Custom. 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 Epiphone Les Paul Custom 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.

Epiphone Les Paul Custom pickups switch and push knobs diagram
Epiphone Les Paul Custom'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
Epiphone Les Paul Custom
Pickups 60
Sustain 75
Versatility 54
Tuning Stability 70
Sound 65

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 Epiphone Les Paul Custom.

Country of Origin

The manufacturing country can tell a lot about the build quality of an instrument. The Strandberg Sälen Jazz NX 6 Black is built in Indonesia while the Epiphone Les Paul Custom is made in China.

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.

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: Strandberg Sälen Jazz NX 6 Black

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 Strandberg Sälen Jazz NX 6 Black has a Locking nut. 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.

On the other hand, the Epiphone Les Paul Custom comes with a NuBone nut. It's made by the same company that makes TUSQ nuts. It's slightly softer but hard enough to give you a brighter sound when playing open strings. It's also self-lubricating, so it's good for tuning stability.

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.

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.

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

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.

The Strandberg Sälen Jazz NX 6 Black 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 Epiphone Les Paul Custom 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: Strandberg Sälen Jazz NX 6 Black.

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
Epiphone Les Paul Custom
  • Expensive Wood
  • NuBone Nut
  • Cheap Fret Wire (NS)
  • No Locking Tuners
  • Made in China
  • No Top Brand Pickups
  • No Neck-Through Build
  • No Push Knob or Extra Switch Option
  • No Weight Relief
  • No Luminescent Inlay
  • No Tremolo
  • No Compound Radius Fretboard
  • No 21:1 Tuner Ratio
  • No Strap Lock

Final Build Quality Scores

Strandberg Sälen Jazz NX 6 Black
Quality of materials 61
Features 70
Quality Control 85
Build Quality 72
Epiphone Les Paul Custom
Quality of materials 61
Features 50
Quality Control 60
Build Quality 57

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
Epiphone Les Paul Custom Nut Width
Epiphone Les Paul Custom Nut Width

The nut width will affect the separation between strings at the nut. In this comparison, the Epiphone Les Paul Custom has the wider nut with 43mm (1.693'') vs 36mm (1.417''). This is a 7mm (0.276'') difference

This means that it will be more difficult to do bar chords on the Epiphone Les Paul Custom, 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
Epiphone Les Paul Custom's Scale Length
Epiphone Les Paul Custom'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 Epiphone Les Paul Custom has a regular scale of 24.75".

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 Epiphone Les Paul Custom's 24.75" regular scale means it has a fixed scale for all the strings.This is the scale length that Gibson uses for most of its Les Paul guitars. It's a smaller scale than the typical Stratocaster's 25.5''. Short scale lengths like this make it easier to bend the strings, which is pretty important if you have a fixed bridge. They also have a shorter fret separation, which makes it easier to change position fast at the fretboard.

On the other hand, a shorter scale like this one will make fret buzz more likely, which can affect you if you want to use thicker string gauges.

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
Epiphone Les Paul Custom Neck Profile
Epiphone Les Paul Custom'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 Epiphone Les Paul Custom, on the other hand, has a D neck. This is a thin and flat neck that is made for playing fast. If you prefer a neck that doesn't get in your way when soloing, this is the shape you should use. Guitarists that prefer to have a bit more grip won't like this type of neck.

Fretboard Radius

Strandberg Sälen Jazz NX 6 Black Fingerboard Radius
Strandberg Sälen Jazz NX 6 Black's Fingerboard radius
Epiphone Les Paul Custom Fingerboard Radius
Epiphone Les Paul Custom'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 Epiphone Les Paul Custom'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
Epiphone Les Paul Custom:
Big Hands
Small Hands

Fret Size

Strandberg Sälen Jazz NX 6 Black and Epiphone Les Paul Custom 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

Strandberg Sälen Jazz NX 6 Black
Bending & Vibrato Ease 80
Chord Playability 75
Solo Playability 80
Playability 78
Epiphone Les Paul Custom
Bending & Vibrato Ease 85
Chord Playability 65
Solo Playability 70
Playability 73

Specs Side-by-Side

Strandberg Sälen Jazz NX 6 Black vs Epiphone Les Paul Custom
General Strandberg Sälen Jazz NX 6 Black Epiphone Les Paul Custom
Brand: Strandberg Epiphone
Year: 2023 2020
Configuration: HH HH
Strings: 6 6
Made in: Indonesia China
Series: Sälen Epiphone Inspired by Gibson
Colors: Black, Red, Natural White, Black
Left-Handed Version: No No
Body
Type: Solid Body Solid Body
Body Material: Chambered Mahogany Mahogany
Bridge: Strandberg EGS Series 7 fixed & string locks Epiphone LockTone Tune-O-Matic
Neck
Neck Joint: Bolt-On Set
Tuners: At bridge Grover Rotomatic 18:1
Fretboard: Rosewood Ebony
Neck Material: Mahogany Mahogany
Decoration: Illuminlay dots Pearloid Block
Scale Size: 25.5" to 25" 24.75"
Shape: EndurNeck 60s Slim Taper
Thickness: 1st Fret: 1.2'' (30.5mm) - 12th Fret: 1.1'' (27.9mm) 1st Fret: 0.82'' (20.8mm) - 12th Fret: 0.93'' (23.6mm)
Frets: 24 Medium Jumbo Stainless Steel 22 Medium Jumbo Nickel Silver
Fretboard Radius: 20" 12"
Nut: Locking NuBone
Nut Width: 36mm (1.417'') 43mm (1.693'')
Electronics
Bridge Pickup: Strandberg Classic Bridge (Humbucker / Passive) Epiphone ProBucker 3 (Humbucker / Passive)
Middle Pickup:
Neck Pickup: Strandberg Classic Neck (Humbucker / Passive) Epiphone ProBucker 2 (Humbucker / Passive)
Switch: 5 Way 3 Way
Knobs: Dome Speed
Pickup Mods: Series Split None
Volume Controls: 1 2
Tone Controls: 1 2