Tom Anderson Vs Suhr: What’s the Difference and Which Is Better?

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If you’re interested in learning more about the Tom Anderson vs Suhr boutique guitar brands, you’ve come to the right post!

Tom Anderson Guitars

Background

Tom Anderson Guitars, or Anderson Guitarworks, is a brand that started working in the mid-1980s. Initially, they focused on individual guitar parts. But it wasn’t long before they started manufacturing full instruments as well.

At this point, they’re one of the high-end guitar builders on the market. It’s what you’d refer to as a boutique guitar manufacturer. From top to bottom, these are all prestigious instruments.

Sure, there are some standard models. But they are highly customizable guitars. You can choose finishes, design details, as well as pickup and hardware combos.

There’s a somewhat limited annual production of instruments. According to certain sources, they manufacture around 750 guitars per year. But this is accompanied by high-quality manufacturing and an awesome reputation.

Guitar Models and Options

Anderson Guitarworks has seven basic guitar series. These are:

  • The S: or a Stratocaster-shape guitar
  • The T: or a Telecaster shape
  • Angel: a slightly modified Strat
  • Raven: an offset model in the style of Jazzmaster
  • Cobra: Strat and Tele shapes
  • Bobcat: a single-cutaway model
  • Crowdster: electro-acoustic single-cutaway guitars

Of course, each of these guitars is available in different variants. You can choose different bodies and top woods. The same goes for necks.

You can also choose between two different scale lengths. These are 25.5-inch and 24.75-inch options. While they offer four neck profile shapes, fretboard radius options are somewhat limiting. You can choose anything between 12 and 14 inches. However, there are five fret sizes to choose from as well.

As far as hardware goes, they have some great options. These are Fender-style bridges with six individual string saddles. But there are a few different options within this category. For instance, you can choose from fixed, vintage tremolo, a recessed floating tremolo, and a double-locking bridge.

As far as pickups and electronics go, you have a lot of options. Humbuckers and single-coils come in all shapes and sizes. Along with this, you also have countless switching options.

Here’s one of their custom-made guitars in action:

Suhr Guitars

Background

At this point, Suhr is probably the most famous of the so-called boutique guitar brands. This California-based company was founded by builder John Suhr in the 1990s. However, his work goes way back. Before that, he teamed up with Rudy Pensa for Pensa-Suhr guitars, making instruments for Mark Knopfler and plenty of other guitar legends.

After a while, Suhr also started making guitar amps. They’ve also ventured into the world of guitar pedals. Nonetheless, guitars are still their top priority.

For the most part, it seems that these guitars imitate classic Strats and Teles with advanced features added to them and some obvious modern twists.

Guitar Models and Options

Just like Tom Anderson guitars, Suhr also has seven guitar series. These are:

  • Classic: a Strat-shape guitar
  • Classic T: Telecaster-style guitar
  • Standard: Strat gravitating towards Superstrat
  • Classic JM: a Jazzmaster-style guitar
  • Modern: a Superstrat
  • Modern T: just like the previous one but Tele-shaped
  • Aura: a single-cutaway Les Paul-style guitar (I’m not sure about their current status)

Suhr has more standardized models. Nonetheless, you can change some of the features as you please. This usually comes down to the finish, pickup configuration, and fretboard material.

Other than that, they have classic features for every model. But for the most part, they have some pretty outstanding shred-friendly features. But perhaps the most obvious distinction between this brand and Tom Anderson is that Suhr has a wider choice of fretboard radiuses. And these are all compound-radius guitars meaning that the radius changes with higher frets.

In some way, these are all Fender-style guitars. The only exception is the Aura series. But I’m not sure whether they’re doing anything with them at this point.

They also have Fender-style bridges. This includes vintage Telecaster ones. And they even have tune-o-matic bridges on the JM models.

As far as pickups go, they have an incredible variety. From vintage single-coils to modern metal hot output humbuckers, you’ve got a lot of choices. 

Here’s a deeper look into some of their recent guitars:

Tom Anderson Vs Suhr: Which Is Better?

It’s not a secret that both of these are pretty awesome. You can’t really go wrong with either of these. These are two extremely versatile and high-end brands. So there isn’t a clear winner When comparing them.

That said, there are some differences that I think are important. For instance, Anderson guitars offer more custom options for their models. You can pick different tonewoods, tops, and even neck materials. Plus, you can choose between two scale lengths too.

But Suhr, on the other hand, has more standardized models. You can’t choose tonewoods or scale lengths. However, you still get a wide variety of options. And, what’s more, vintage-oriented models come with rounder fretboard radiuses. Overall, I really love their genuine vintage feel. At the same time, Suhr still has modern-oriented models. 

But other than that, almost all models by either of these two companies are super versatile. Firstly, you have such a great choice of models. And secondly, almost all of their models give a wide variety of sonic options. This is all thanks to their pickups and controls.

Tom Anderson Vs Suhr: Conclusion

I hope this article has helped clarify which of these guitar brands might be better for you!

And if you want to read more about brand comparisons on this blog, check out:

Lastly, feel free to message me in the comments below if you have further questions about this or another guitar-related topic!

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