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Strandberg Sälen Jazz NX 6 Black
Gibson Slim Harpo Lovell ES-330
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Playability
78
Sound
82
Build
72
Value
67
Score
77
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Playability
73
Sound
72
Build
69
Value
56
Score
71
FIND IT ON:
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Strandberg Sälen Jazz NX 6 Black vs Gibson Slim Harpo Lovell ES-330

Reasons to Get
Strandberg Sälen Jazz NX 6 Black over Gibson Slim Harpo Lovell ES-330

Fret Material
Stainless Steel vs Nickel Silver
Best fret material that will last forever
Release Year
2023 vs 2021
From a more recent year
Scale Length
25.5" to 25" vs 24.75"
Less fret buzz with less string stiffness
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
Body Type
Solid Body vs Semi-Hollow
Feedback free
Switch Positions
5 vs 3
More tone options
Pickups
HH vs P90P90
High output without hum
Number of Frets
24 vs 22
Allows to reach higher notes
Neck Thickness at 1st Fret
1.2'' (30.5mm) vs 0.88'' (22.4mm)
More comfortable open chords for big hands
Neck Thickness at 12th Fret
1.1'' (27.9mm) vs 1'' (25.4mm)
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
Value Score
67 vs 56
Better price/quality relationship

Reasons to Get
Gibson Slim Harpo Lovell ES-330 over Strandberg Sälen Jazz NX 6 Black

Country of Manufacturing
United States vs Indonesia
Built with higher quality standards
Scale Length
24.75" vs 25.5" to 25"
Easier to adapt to
Body Type
Semi-Hollow vs Solid Body
Lighter and allows more gain than a hollowbody
Volume Knobs
2 vs 1
More volume control
Tone Knobs
2 vs 1
More tone control
Pickups
P90P90 vs HH
Vintage tone with decent versatility
Neck Thickness at 1st Fret
0.88'' (22.4mm) vs 1.2'' (30.5mm)
More comfortable open chords for small hands
Neck Thickness at 12th Fret
1'' (25.4mm) 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

Other Key Differences
Strandberg Sälen Jazz NX 6 Black vs Gibson Slim Harpo Lovell ES-330

Bridge Pickup
Strandberg Classic Bridge vs Gibson P-90 Dog Ear
Different Bridge Pickup
Neck Pickup
Strandberg Classic Neck vs Gibson P-90 Dog Ear
Different Neck Pickup
Body Wood
Mahogany vs Maple
Different Body Wood
Headstock
Headless vs 3-3
Different Headstock
Nut Material
Locking vs Ivory Tusq
Different Nut Material

Shared Features
Strandberg Sälen Jazz NX 6 Black vs Gibson Slim Harpo Lovell ES-330

Neck Wood
Mahogany
Same Neck Wood
Fretboard Wood
Rosewood
Same Fretboard Wood
Strings
6
Same playing style
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
Neck Profile Type
C
Comfortable neck that works for most people
Type of Frets
Medium Jumbo
You'll feel the fretboard when pressing down the strings

Common Strengths

  • High-Quality Nut
  • Top Pickup Brand
  • 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 Gibson Slim Harpo Lovell ES-330's 71 score, although not by a lot.

The Strandberg Sälen Jazz NX 6 Black wins when it comes to sound, playability, build quality, value for the money. This means that it wins over the Gibson Slim Harpo Lovell ES-330 in every aspect.

If you got small hands, you'll probably feel more comfortable playing the Strandberg Sälen Jazz NX 6 Black.

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 Gibson Slim Harpo Lovell ES-330 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

Gibson Slim Harpo Lovell ES-330
  • 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 >

Gibson Slim Harpo Lovell ES-330 Overview

  • From Gibson's 2021 Artist Collection series
  • Slim Harpo Signature
  • Made in United States
  • 6 strings
  • 24.75"'' scale
  • 12" Fretboard Radius
  • 3-ply Maple / Poplar / Maple body
  • Mahogany neck
  • Rosewood fretboard
  • Bridge pickup: Gibson P-90 Dog Ear (P90/Passive)
  • 2 volume and 2 tone Bell knobs
  • 3-way Switch
  • ABR-1 Tune-O-Matic bridge
  • Rounded C Set neck
  • 22 Medium Jumbo frets
  • Vintage Deluxe with white buttons 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 Both

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 Gibson Slim Harpo Lovell ES-330

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.

Winner: Tie.

Pickup Configuration

The Strandberg Sälen Jazz NX 6 Black has an HH configuration while the Gibson Slim Harpo Lovell ES-330 has P90P90 pickups.

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.

On the other hand, P90P90 gives you two P90s for a crunchy vintage tone. The tone sits somewhere in the middle between typical single-coils and humbuckers. They also produce less hum than single-coils, but they don't cancel it completely like humbuckers.

Pickups Quality

Both come with very good pickups from at least one of the specialized brands in the market. With pickups like these, you probably won't need an upgrade anytime soon.

However, the Gibson Slim Harpo Lovell ES-330 has a slight sound quality advantage when taking into account other factors like the type of pickups, magnet, position, etc.

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: Gibson Slim Harpo Lovell ES-330.

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 Gibson Slim Harpo Lovell ES-330 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.

Gibson Slim Harpo Lovell ES-330 pickups switch and push knobs diagram
Gibson Slim Harpo Lovell ES-330'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
Gibson Slim Harpo Lovell ES-330
Pickups 100
Sustain 65
Versatility 54
Tuning Stability 70
Sound 72

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 Gibson Slim Harpo Lovell ES-330.

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 Gibson Slim Harpo Lovell ES-330 is made in United States.

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.

The United States is considered one of the best electric guitar manufacturers in the world. A guitar made in this country is supposed to have world-class quality control. Nowadays, guitars made in other countries can beat some of the ones made in the US, but most of the time, this country offers the best you can get. Of course, that comes at a price.

Winner: Gibson Slim Harpo Lovell ES-330

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 Gibson Slim Harpo Lovell ES-330 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.

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 Gibson Slim Harpo Lovell ES-330 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
Gibson Slim Harpo Lovell ES-330
  • Made in United States
  • Expensive Wood
  • Ivory Tusq Nut
  • Top Brand Pickups
  • Cheap Fret Wire (NS)
  • No Locking Tuners
  • No Neck-Through Build
  • No Push Knob or Extra Switch Option
  • No Luminescent Inlay
  • No Tremolo
  • No Compound Radius Fretboard
  • No 21:1 Tuner Ratio
  • No Strap Lock

Final Build Quality Scores

Strandberg Sälen Jazz NX 6 Black
Quality of materials 61
Features 70
Quality Control 85
Build Quality 72
Gibson Slim Harpo Lovell ES-330
Quality of materials 51
Features 55
Quality Control 100
Build Quality 69

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
Gibson Slim Harpo Lovell ES-330 Nut Width
Gibson Slim Harpo Lovell ES-330 Nut Width

The nut width will affect the separation between strings at the nut. In this comparison, the Gibson Slim Harpo Lovell ES-330 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 Gibson Slim Harpo Lovell ES-330, 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
Gibson Slim Harpo Lovell ES-330's Scale Length
Gibson Slim Harpo Lovell ES-330'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 Gibson Slim Harpo Lovell ES-330 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 Gibson Slim Harpo Lovell ES-330'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
Gibson Slim Harpo Lovell ES-330 Neck Profile
Gibson Slim Harpo Lovell ES-330's neck profile

No single neck shape is better than others. However, most people tend to prefer a thinner necks because it doesn't get in their way when playing fast and most hand sizes can adapt to it pretty well. However, some people still prefer thicker necks for a better grip, especially if they have big hands.

Both the Strandberg Sälen Jazz NX 6 Black and the Gibson Slim Harpo Lovell ES-330 have a C-shaped 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

Strandberg Sälen Jazz NX 6 Black Fingerboard Radius
Strandberg Sälen Jazz NX 6 Black's Fingerboard radius
Gibson Slim Harpo Lovell ES-330 Fingerboard Radius
Gibson Slim Harpo Lovell ES-330'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 Gibson Slim Harpo Lovell ES-330'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.

And after taking into account the scale length, nut width, neck profile and fretboard radius, we can conclude that the Gibson Slim Harpo Lovell ES-330 favors large hands more than the Strandberg Sälen Jazz NX 6 Black.

Strandberg Sälen Jazz NX 6 Black:
Big Hands
Small Hands
Gibson Slim Harpo Lovell ES-330:
Big Hands
Small Hands

Fret Size

Strandberg Sälen Jazz NX 6 Black and Gibson Slim Harpo Lovell ES-330 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
Gibson Slim Harpo Lovell ES-330
Bending & Vibrato Ease 85
Chord Playability 65
Solo Playability 70
Playability 73

Specs Side-by-Side

Strandberg Sälen Jazz NX 6 Black vs Gibson Slim Harpo Lovell ES-330
General Strandberg Sälen Jazz NX 6 Black Gibson Slim Harpo Lovell ES-330
Brand: Strandberg Gibson
Year: 2023 2021
Configuration: HH P90P90
Strings: 6 6
Made in: Indonesia United States
Series: Sälen Artist Collection
Colors: Black, Red, Natural Sunburst Burst
Left-Handed Version: No No
Body
Type: Solid Body Semi-Hollow
Body Material: Chambered Mahogany 3-ply Maple / Poplar / Maple
Bridge: Strandberg EGS Series 7 fixed & string locks ABR-1 Tune-O-Matic
Neck
Neck Joint: Bolt-On Set
Tuners: At bridge Vintage Deluxe with white buttons
Fretboard: Rosewood Rosewood
Neck Material: Mahogany Mahogany
Decoration: Illuminlay dots Small block
Scale Size: 25.5" to 25" 24.75"
Shape: EndurNeck Rounded C
Thickness: 1st Fret: 1.2'' (30.5mm) - 12th Fret: 1.1'' (27.9mm) 1st Fret: 0.88'' (22.4mm) - 12th Fret: 1'' (25.4mm)
Frets: 24 Medium Jumbo Stainless Steel 22 Medium Jumbo Nickel Silver
Fretboard Radius: 20" 12"
Nut: Locking Ivory Tusq
Nut Width: 36mm (1.417'') 43mm (1.693'')
Electronics
Bridge Pickup: Strandberg Classic Bridge (Humbucker / Passive) Gibson P-90 Dog Ear (P90 / Passive)
Middle Pickup:
Neck Pickup: Strandberg Classic Neck (Humbucker / Passive) Gibson P-90 Dog Ear (P90 / Passive)
Switch: 5 Way 3 Way
Knobs: Dome Bell
Pickup Mods: Series Split None
Volume Controls: 1 2
Tone Controls: 1 2