As you may have guessed by the name, seven string guitars come with an additional string to the conventional six string. Yet these guitars are so much more than just an extra string. They offer benefits sound wise. With an extra string helping to extend the treble and the bass range of the guitar. In this post we review some of the best 7 string guitars available, and bring you a buyers guide.
Best 7 String Guitars
In this section of the post we’ll explore what we consider to be some of the top models available to date. We’ve selected options from a variety of price ranges so you should find something to match your budget.
Here is a list of the best 7 string guitars to date.
Schecter Hellraiser C7 7-string
First on the list we’ve got a slight step up from the previous Schecter model we reviewed, meet the Hellraiser C-7. Since it made it on to our list, it’s safe to say it lives up to its name.
Constructed with a mahogany body, and quilted maple top. This comes with a 3 peice mahogany neck, it’s a real beauty. Hardware wise you get a rosewood fingerboard, grover tuners and an EMG Active 81-7/Sustainiac pickup set. With the Floyd Rose 100 Series bridge system.
With this guitar you’ll love the great tone you get, a squeaky clean, yet aggressive combination that’s unrivalled. It plays great too and you really feel like you can raise hell with it in your hands.
This is a brilliantly put together guitar. It has answers to many of the flaws associated with 7 string guitars. You will notice that this is significantly pricier than the other models on our list. This is because it’s not intended to be an entry level option.
We wouldn’t recommend this for someone looking for a first 7 string guitar. It’s more purposed towards those of you looking to step up and get a top quality 7 string guitar.
Schecter Omen Extreme-7
Next up we’ve got what has to be one of the best looking guitars on the list. But looks aren’t everything right? Lets see if this thing is built and plays as nicely as it looks.
Lets start off with the body. Which is made from Mahogany and has a Maple neck. On the hardware side you get a rosewood fingerboard and Schecter Diamond Plus coil tapped pickups.
The hardware has a blacked chrome finish which appears to be durable. The GraphTech nut will work to help reduce broken strings and helps contribute to the wow factor.
Sound wise this is a very impressive guitar. Acoustically you get a nice low action, and when plugged in it sounds great too.
The only thing worth noting is the pickups can be a little loud.
When it comes to the playability of this guitar it’s an absolute joy. Not only do you feel great playing it, you look great too with this thing in your hands.
Here we’ve got a fantastic entry level 7 string; the RG7421 from Ibanez.
The construction of this guitar is impressive. It’s got a strong Wizard II-7 maple neck combined with a very sleek rosewood fretboard.
The neck is thin which helps boost the guitars playability.
Moving on to the guitars hardware it comes with two pickups engineered by Ibanez. The tone and volume can be adjusted using the chrome dome control knobs.
There’s a five way pick up selector switch along with a fixed bridge which is an unusual trait for an RG.
With the RG7421 you get a very well built guitar that does exactly what it sets out to. It’s an affordable option that looks great as well as sounds great.
Next up on the list we’ve got a 7 string guitar that’s price isn’t just reasonable, it’s almost unbeatable. With a basswood body and a maple neck.
When it comes to the hardware of this guitar you get a rosewood fingerboard with jumbo frets. These are great for boosting ease of playing.
Often stock pickups can be underwhelming. Yet the humbuckers on offer with the JS22-7 aren’t bad at all. Unfortunately the stock tuners aren’t great. For a guitar in this price range we really can’t complain too much.
Acoustically you get a very balanced tone which we’re sure you’ll be impressed with. When plugged in we’d recommend using the middle position of the pick up selector. Especially if you’re looking for a cleaner tone.
The JS22-7 gives you a great choice if you’re looking for something on a tight budget. It plays better than you’d expect, and there’s always room to upgrade it later down the line.
ESP LTD MH-17
This is another 7 string guitar that comes at a very reasonable price. This makes it an attractive model for those looking to dip their feet into the 7 string guitar world. It comes with a double cutaway basswood body. It’s got a glossed black finish and comes with a maple neck.
The hardware that comes with this model is near enough stock. Yet when you consider the reasonable price tag this seems like a fair trade off. You get two passive LH-100 humbuckers at the bridge and neck. You can adjust these using the single tone/volume controller knob. Also equipped with a three way pickup selector switch as well as a fixed bridge.
As you can see from the appearance of the guitar the tuners are chrome.
Soundwise you’ll be impressed with the M-17. You get clear and bright tones which are pleasantly clean.
You get a great bang for your buck with this option. We would recommend it if you’re looking for good quality without breaking the bank.
Finding a Seven String Guitar
A Little Background
The 7 string guitar was first introduced into mass production in the early 90s by Ibanez. Ibanez partnered with co-collaborator Steve Vai to become one of the music industry’s first to mass produce and sell it’s original 7 string guitar. The solid body Universe UV7.
Since the original introduction of the first UV7, the 7 string guitar has become widely known for its additional string. It creates its adaptable sounds that change the playing range entirely. The additional string that is added to this versatile instrument is often tuned to a low “B”. This in order to lower the bass line on the guitar and extend the playing range.
The additional seventh string that is added to the 7 string guitar adds five additional notes to this dynamic and melodic instrument. The specially designed guitars use their entire range in order to provide enhanced performances for those who own and play them.
The use of the 7 string guitar allows for variation in roles and genres. They provide serious guitarists and guitar enthusiasts with a noticeable edge. 7 string guitars are used across all genres to produce a variety of sounds.
Why Use a Seven String Guitar?
Innovative guitarists will love the increased range and variability of sound provided. Versatile musicians will definitely gain and edge with a 7 string.
The 7 string guitar’s variable sound will definitely make your sound stand out from the crowd. This family of guitars boasts a slightly wider range than it’s six-stringed counterparts.
The average range for 7 stringed guitars falls between 25.5 – 27 inches. Those few more inches can make all of the difference when it comes to sound. This is part of what makes this uniquely stringed instrument so popular with serious guitarists.
The Pros and Cons of 7 String Guitars
While the 7 string guitar is ideal for seasoned musicians who are looking to extend their range and playability. There are also some downsides to owning a 7 stringed guitar.
One of the major issues that players have to contend with is this guitar’s unusually thin neck. Which that may give the musician the impression that their instrument is unstable. Following are a few additional pros and cons for you to consider before buying your first or your next guitar.
- Extended Playing Range
- Extended Sonic Range
- Available in All Price Ranges to Accommodate Most Budgets
- Extended Tuning Range
- Additional Attributes Must Be Considered When Selecting This Guitar
- Special Adjustments Required For Riffs, Solos, Cords, and Rhythm
- Can Require Extended Customization
- Flat Thin Neck Profile Can Feel Cumbersome
- Less Expensive Models Can Be Prone to Breakage Due to String Weight
What Makes a Good 7 String?
A good 7 string guitar will come equipped with all of the features of a standard six-stringed guitar. With a few added bonus features that deliver enhanced performance. 7 stringers provide the added benefit of being completely customizable to your playing style, genre, and role.
A good 7 stringer will feel comfortable when you try it on standing in your preferred playing position. It will also provide a balanced feel when worn with a strap. This helps make sure that you can physically handle your instrument and that it remains stable during play.
Of course, you will need to consider the regular factors when buying a guitar. These include things such as sound quality, aesthetic appeal as well as value for money.
Tips for Buying a 7 String Guitar
7 string guitars are available in acoustic, electric, and hybrid designs. These popular 7 stringed beauties are available at all price points in order to accommodate most budgets. One important factor to consider when purchasing a less expensive model is the construction. As well as how the model supports your selected string weight.
Be sure to choose your strings carefull. To help accommodate for the weight of the stings and the flatter, thinner neck. The 7 string guitar has an unusually flat and thin construction. This can cause breakage, if the weight of the strings is out of alignment with your instrument.
Look for established brands that have a history of producing quality instruments. Ibanez is a safe bet along with other similar counterparts in their class. Do your homework and check ratings and reviews on the models that resonate with your playing style and budget.
Final Thoughts on 7 String Guitars
7 string guitars have been on the scene for almost the last 30 years and they are here to stay. Since their initial introduction, these guitars have grown and shifted with the times. They provide us with beautifully crafted guitars. With extended range that produce a timeless sound.
You should now feel comfortable in buying a guitar with 7 strings. Don’t be afraid to ask questions if you need further information or even do more research. This wikipedia post has some useful information on 7 string guitars. As with anything, you need to know what to look for before making your purchase.