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Strandberg Sälen Jazz NX 6 Black
Ibanez RGIB21 Iron Label
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Playability
78
Sound
82
Build
72
Value
67
Score
77
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Playability
75
Sound
75
Build
62
Value
76
Score
71
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Strandberg Sälen Jazz NX 6 Black vs Ibanez RGIB21 Iron Label

Reasons to Get
Strandberg Sälen Jazz NX 6 Black over Ibanez RGIB21 Iron Label

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 2020
From a more recent year
Type of Frets
Medium Jumbo vs Jumbo
You'll feel the fretboard when pressing down the strings
Scale Length
25.5" to 25" vs 28"
Less fret buzz with less string stiffness
Neck Profile
EndurNeck vs Nitro Baritone
Comfortable neck that works for most people
Nut Material
Locking vs Plastic
Best tuning stability for intense tremolo usage
Pickup Mods
Series Split vs None
Connects pickups in series to imitate a humbucker
Switch Positions
5 vs 3
More tone options
Tone Knobs
1 vs 0
More tone control
Neck Thickness at 1st Fret
1.2'' (30.5mm) vs 0.79'' (20.1mm)
More comfortable open chords for big hands
Neck Thickness at 12th Fret
1.1'' (27.9mm) vs 0.91'' (23.1mm)
More comfortable at higher frets for big hands
Nut Width
1.417'' (36mm) vs 1.77'' (45mm)
Favors small hands, easier bar chords and other shapes
Fretboard Radius
20'' (508mm) vs 16'' (406.4mm)
Flatter fretboard makes it easier to play single notes and bend
Pickups Power
Passive vs Active
Cleaner sound and no battery needed

Reasons to Get
Ibanez RGIB21 Iron Label over Strandberg Sälen Jazz NX 6 Black

Frets Height
Taller vs Shorter
Easier to press down strings and bend them
Type of Frets
Jumbo vs Medium Jumbo
You won't feel the fretboard when pressing down the strings
Scale Length
28" vs 25.5" to 25"
Easier to adapt to
Neck Profile
Nitro Baritone vs EndurNeck
Very thin baritone neck profile
Locking Tuners
Yes vs None
Easier to change strings
Neck Thickness at 1st Fret
0.79'' (20.1mm) vs 1.2'' (30.5mm)
More comfortable open chords for small hands
Neck Thickness at 12th Fret
0.91'' (23.1mm) vs 1.1'' (27.9mm)
More comfortable at higher frets for small hands
Nut Width
1.77'' (45mm) vs 1.417'' (36mm)
Less likely to mute strings by accident and more space for fingerstyle
Fretboard Radius
16'' (406.4mm) vs 20'' (508mm)
More curved fretboard helpful to play chords without muting strings
Pickups Power
Active vs Passive
More output
Value Score
76 vs 67
Better price/quality relationship

Other Key Differences
Strandberg Sälen Jazz NX 6 Black vs Ibanez RGIB21 Iron Label

Bridge Pickup
Strandberg Classic Bridge vs EMG 81
Different Bridge Pickup
Neck Pickup
Strandberg Classic Neck vs EMG 60
Different Neck Pickup
Body Wood
Mahogany vs Nyatoh
Different Body Wood
Neck Wood
Mahogany vs Maple
Different Neck Wood
Headstock
Headless vs 6
Different Headstock
Nut Material
Locking vs Plastic
Different Nut Material

Shared Features
Strandberg Sälen Jazz NX 6 Black vs Ibanez RGIB21 Iron Label

Fretboard Wood
Rosewood
Same Fretboard Wood
Strings
6
Same playing style
Body Type
Solid Body
Feedback free
Volume Knobs
1
Same volume control
Pickups
HH
High output without hum
Number of Frets
24
Same maximum octave
Paint Finish
Poly
Resistant paint that ages well
Bridge
Fixed
Good sustain and needs no set-up
Neck Joint
Bolt-On
Allows you to detach and swap the neck

Common Strengths

  • Luminescent Sidedots
  • Top Pickup Brand
  • Expensive Wood

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

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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 Ibanez RGIB21 Iron Label's 71 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 Ibanez RGIB21 Iron Label 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?

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 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

Ibanez RGIB21 Iron Label
  • Comfortable shape
  • Easy-to-use bridge
  • Locking tuners
  • Tall frets
  • Comfortable neck
  • Comfortable fretboard
  • Narrow nut
  • Short scale

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 >

Ibanez RGIB21 Iron Label Overview

  • From Ibanez's 2020 RG series
  • Made in Indonesia
  • 6 strings
  • 28"'' scale
  • 16" Fretboard Radius
  • Nyatoh body
  • 3pc Maple/Bubinga neck
  • Rosewood fretboard
  • Bridge pickup: EMG 81 (Humbucker/Active)
  • Neck pickup: EMG 60 (Humbucker/Active)
  • 1 volume and 0 tone Dome knobs
  • 3-way Switch
  • Gibraltar Standard II bridge
  • Nitro Baritone Bolt-On neck
  • 24 Jumbo frets
  • Gotoh MG-T locking machine heads 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

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 Strandberg Sälen Jazz NX 6 Black

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 Ibanez RGIB21 Iron Label

Maple wood pattern used for guitar building
Maple
Nyatoh wood pattern used for guitar building
Nyatoh

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.

Nyatoh has been replacing Mahogany for guitar building. It's fairly hard, durable, more sustentable and common than Mahogany. Find out more about Nyatoh.

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

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 Ibanez RGIB21 Iron Label's online:

The Strandberg Sälen Jazz NX 6 Black's pickups are Passive while the Ibanez RGIB21 Iron Label's are Active.

Passive pickups are what most guitars use. These have a normal output that works well for most genres. However, Active pickups are the preferred choice of heavy metal players because they offer extra output thanks to their 9v battery, which results in a heavier, more distorted sound. Bear in mind that achieving a completely clean tone with them won't be easy. So if you want to also use clean tones, you might want to avoid Active pickups.

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 Sälen Jazz NX 6 Black gives you 5 switch options while the Ibanez RGIB21 Iron Label 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.

Ibanez RGIB21 Iron Label pickups switch and push knobs diagram
Ibanez RGIB21 Iron Label'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
Ibanez RGIB21 Iron Label
Pickups 85
Sustain 85
Versatility 53
Tuning Stability 75
Sound 75

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 Ibanez RGIB21 Iron Label.

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.

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 Ibanez RGIB21 Iron Label comes with a Plastic nut. This is a low-quality nut that you might want to consider upgrading soon. Bone and TUSQ nuts are the best for guitars with a fixed or simple tremolo bridge.

Winner: Strandberg Sälen Jazz NX 6 Black.

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

The Ibanez RGIB21 Iron Label 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 Sälen Jazz NX 6 Black has a locking nut, so it should have even better tune stability and doesn't need locking tuners.

Winner: Ibanez RGIB21 Iron Label.

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
Ibanez RGIB21 Iron Label
  • Locking Tuners
  • Expensive Wood
  • Top Brand Pickups
  • Luminescent Inlay
  • Cheap Fret Wire (NS)
  • Made in Indonesia
  • No High-Quality Nut
  • No Neck-Through Build
  • No Push Knob or Extra Switch Option
  • No Weight Relief
  • 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
Ibanez RGIB21 Iron Label
Quality of materials 51
Features 65
Quality Control 70
Build Quality 62

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
Ibanez RGIB21 Iron Label Nut Width
Ibanez RGIB21 Iron Label Nut Width

The nut width will affect the separation between strings at the nut. In this comparison, the Ibanez RGIB21 Iron Label has the wider nut with 45mm (1.77'') vs 36mm (1.417''). This is a 9mm (0.353'') difference

This means that it will be more difficult to do bar chords on the Ibanez RGIB21 Iron Label, 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
Ibanez RGIB21 Iron Label's Scale Length
Ibanez RGIB21 Iron Label'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 Ibanez RGIB21 Iron Label has a regular scale of 28".

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 Ibanez RGIB21 Iron Label's 28" regular scale means it has a fixed scale for all the strings.

This is a scale used for baritones and guitars with more than 6 strings. Since the scale is so long, the tension of the strings will be higher. This means that bending will require a lot more strength than with a shorter scale. However, it also allows you to use really low tunings without causing fret buzz and without needing to increase your string gauge too much.

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
Ibanez RGIB21 Iron Label Neck Profile
Ibanez RGIB21 Iron Label'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 Ibanez RGIB21 Iron Label, on the other hand, has a Nitro Baritone neck. This is Ibanez's version of the Wizard neck but for baritones. It's slightly thicker than a Wizard but still thinner than most modern C necks.

Fretboard Radius

Strandberg Sälen Jazz NX 6 Black Fingerboard Radius
Strandberg Sälen Jazz NX 6 Black's Fingerboard radius
Ibanez RGIB21 Iron Label Fingerboard Radius
Ibanez RGIB21 Iron Label'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 Ibanez RGIB21 Iron Label'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
Ibanez RGIB21 Iron Label:
Big Hands
Small Hands

Fret Size

Strandberg Sälen Jazz NX 6 Black Frets Size
Strandberg Sälen Jazz NX 6 Black's Frets Size
Ibanez RGIB21 Iron Label Frets Size
Ibanez RGIB21 Iron Label's Frets Size

The Ibanez RGIB21 Iron Label has 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
Ibanez RGIB21 Iron Label
Bending & Vibrato Ease 85
Chord Playability 50
Solo Playability 90
Playability 75

Specs Side-by-Side

Strandberg Sälen Jazz NX 6 Black vs Ibanez RGIB21 Iron Label
General Strandberg Sälen Jazz NX 6 Black Ibanez RGIB21 Iron Label
Brand: Strandberg Ibanez
Year: 2023 2020
Configuration: HH HH
Strings: 6 6
Made in: Indonesia Indonesia
Series: Sälen RG
Colors: Black, Red, Natural Black
Left-Handed Version: No No
Body
Type: Solid Body Solid Body
Body Material: Chambered Mahogany Nyatoh
Bridge: Strandberg EGS Series 7 fixed & string locks Gibraltar Standard II
Neck
Neck Joint: Bolt-On Bolt-On
Tuners: At bridge Gotoh MG-T locking machine heads
Fretboard: Rosewood Rosewood
Neck Material: Mahogany 3pc Maple/Bubinga
Decoration: Illuminlay dots Off-set white dot
Scale Size: 25.5" to 25" 28"
Shape: EndurNeck Nitro Baritone
Thickness: 1st Fret: 1.2'' (30.5mm) - 12th Fret: 1.1'' (27.9mm) 1st Fret: 0.79'' (20.1mm) - 12th Fret: 0.91'' (23.1mm)
Frets: 24 Medium Jumbo Stainless Steel 24 Jumbo Nickel Silver
Fretboard Radius: 20" 16"
Nut: Locking Plastic
Nut Width: 36mm (1.417'') 45mm (1.77'')
Electronics
Bridge Pickup: Strandberg Classic Bridge (Humbucker / Passive) EMG 81 (Humbucker / Active)
Middle Pickup:
Neck Pickup: Strandberg Classic Neck (Humbucker / Passive) EMG 60 (Humbucker / Active)
Switch: 5 Way 3 Way
Knobs: Dome Dome
Pickup Mods: Series Split None
Volume Controls: 1 1
Tone Controls: 1 0