All Sounds of the Rainbow: the Best 7 String Guitars

There exist people in this world who are not afraid of challenge. People who believe that the extra mile is worth it for the results. The people that are willing to do a little extra work, a little extra adaptation to have the extraordinary results that come after – the best 7 string guitars and the 8 string guitars are for these people. The extra strings tend to take a little more practice to master, but as a reward you get the extra tone, the extra musicality that you knew you always wanted. My guess is, you are one of the the seekers of this unique sound.

The thing with looking for the best 7 string guitars is that you need to curb your expectations of price. It is rare to see 7 stringer that is both good and cheap. Thankfully, you have me. In this list you will see guitars ranging from just under 200 way up to just under 1000. All of them are worthy, but quality is reflected in the price. Even the best guitar under 200 will have a hard time standing up to any one guitar under 1000.

Another thing to remember is that a lot of the 7 string guitars will be alternative versions or at least sister guitars of already well know 6 stringers. Because of this you might see some style similarities and similarities in sound. This should not bother you much, unless you have a problem with having a bunch of guitars that look similar.

Top 10 Best 7 String Electric Guitars

#ImageGuitar Model
Rating
Check Price
1Schecter Hellraiser C-7 FR (4.9 / 5)Check on Amazon
2
Epiphone Matt Heafy signature Les Paul Custom 7 String (4.9 / 5)Check on Amazon
3Sterling by Music Man JP157 John Petrucci Signature (4.9 / 5)Check on Amazon
4Schecter 248 7-String (4.8 / 5)Check on Amazon
5Dean RZR7 255 MWHCBK Razorback 7 255 (4.8 / 5)Check on Amazon
6Ibanez GRG7221 7-string (4.8 / 5)Check on Amazon
7Dean C750X MRD Custom Series 7-String (4.8 / 5)Check on Amazon
8Schecter OMEN‌-7 (4.7 / 5)Check on Amazon
9ESP LTD M-17 7-String (4.6 / 5)Check on Amazon
10Jackson JS22-7 Dinky (4.6 / 5)Check on Amazon

Schecter Hellraiser C-7 FR

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Schecter Hellraiser C-7 FR

In one of the many reviews and lists I have written, I may have mentioned the Schecter Hellraiser a few dozen times. That is because this guitar is an incredibly high quality guitar. I might have called it a decadent piece of musical instrument simply because it feels so good to play it. So you must not be surprised that the Schecter Hellraiser C-7FR, aka the Hellraiser’s more brooding, complicated sister, is on this list. They might look the same, but don’t you dare think they are the same. This axe has pickups more suited to the needs of a 7 string guitar destined for glory on the metal scene. Made of mostly the same materials, the 7th string is easily accepted by a slightly larger fretboard. The materials remain the same, but the sound, thanks to the 7th string, will get more intense.

Pros:

  • Great Value
  • Awesome Pickups
  • Locking Nut

Cons:

  • Lots of broken strings
  • Heavy

Epiphone Matt Heafy Signature Les Paul Custom 7 String

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Epiphone Matt Heafy signature Les Paul Custom 7 String

This remix of the original Epiphone Les Paul Custom adds not only a seventh string, but a new level of fun to the guitar as well. EMG 707/87-1 humbucker pickups are better suited for the  added string, retaining the sound of the original and adding onto it with constructive reasoning. The design, as expected of a sister guitar, remains the same. This electric guitar offers everything the original does and more. It looks, feels and sounds just as classy as you do going through each and every string for your solo, blowing the minds of those expecting the music to be limited by the six strings of the average Les Paul Custom. Let the normies tremble in awe at your range and skill with one of the best 7 string guitars on the market.

Pros:

  • Great Bass Response
  • Active Pickups
  • Lovely Les Paul shape

Cons:

  • Plastic Nut
  • On the Heavy Side

Sterling by Music Man JP157 John Petrucci Signature

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Sterling by Music Man JP157 John Petrucci Signature

Based on the music man JP 15 series, this incarnation of the guitar will stand out in any crowd. Designed with African mahogany topped with roasted maple neck, the thin C double cutaway will look gorgeous in whichever color you choose to have it. The two specially designed humbuckers by music man sound just like your dream guitar, until the very moment you push the 12 dB boost, when it becomes something you never imagined possible. The modern tremolo bridge exclusive to the 7 string guitars will guarantee both stability and tone bending that you can love. All of this, topped with the John Petrucci signature make a promise that no matter where you play, Sterling by music man JP157 will keep the ears turned towards you.

Pros:

  • Good Pickups
  • Detailed Sound
  • Relatively Affordable

Cons:

  • Possible Neck Stability Issues
  • Bolt on neck
  • Need a better nut

Schecter 248 7-String

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Schecter 248 7-String

Schecter makes good guitars. That is a fact and that is why Schecter is featured in this list not twice, but three times (yes more to come). Schecter 248 is both overt in its sonic superiority and covert in its beauty pageant looks. Solid, swamp ash body, with a solid color of choice, an ultra thin C neck and an ebony fretboard are what your eyes will not be able to get away from. So much so, you might find yourself standing in front of the mirror while playing this guitar more often than you think. The good stuff doesn’t end there though, because the sound on this is picked up by Seymour Duncan Nazgul and Seymour Duncan Sentient, fitting names for some of the best humbucking, metal oriented pickups to exist.

Pros:

  • Beautiful Orange Model
  • Swamp Ash Body
  • Powerful Output, Detailed Sound

Cons:

  • Tuning Stability Issues
  • Limited Controls
  • Limited Tone Flexibility

Dean RZR7 255 MWHCBK Razorback 7 255

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Dean RZR7 255 MWHCBK Razorback 7 255

Everytime I look at the razorback I want to put on some leather pants, a lot of black and white makeup on my face, stick my tongue out and glam rock the night away. The way Dean RZR7 255 looks is the way it sounds, meaning metal, hard rock and all the glamour you want.  The details of the mahogany body, rosewood fretboard and mahogany set neck seem to fade to the background when you look at this jagged axe. The humbucking setup does not though – the moment you start playing this guitar is the moment you realize, don’t judge a book by its cover. The guitar will have you rocking hard and hitting metal more than you ever dreamed you would. The moment you get the guitar and play it is like being possessed by all of the KISS at the same time, and it feels amazing.

Pros:

  • Unique, Fun Design
  • Great Sound
  • Tonal Flexibility

Cons:

  • Heavy
  • Bulky

Ibanez GRG7221 7-string

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Ibanez GRG7221 7-string

Remember how I mention I’d give you a good range of prices? Well this Ibanez GRG7221 7-String electric guitar is the incredible performance wolf in the skin of affordable sheep (really stretching the metaphor there but bear with me).  The solid poplar body has a double cutaway, maple neck that transitions into an a wide, easily accessible rosewood fretboard. The two humbucking pickups muscle their way into making this guitar a stand out instrument. The guitar sounds like a hungry tiger communicating to the hunted that yes, they are in fact, going to be eaten. So grab yourself this incredibly affordable axe and slash through the now sheepish audience as you perform like the true hunter you are.

Pros:

  • Very cheap
  • Adequate Sound
  • Simple Design

Cons:

  • Bad Nut
  • Tuning Stability Issues
  • Short lifespan humbuckers
  • Possible neck issues

Dean C750X MRD Custom Series 7-String

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Dean C750X MRD Custom Series 7-String

Imagine what can happen in a 7 string guitar if it was wholeheartedly devoted to being a hard rock weapon for a rock’n’rolla shredding machine. You are right, it would be the Dean C750X MRD Custom Series 7-string electric guitar. Affordable, but efficient, well designed and sonically incredible, this guitar is a good pick for anyone looking for a 7 string guitar under 300 dollars. A basswood body with a C neck and a wide but easily accessible rosewood fretboard the guitar delivers all the comfort and ease of access you need. All the while it’s DMT Design humbuckers give you all sustain, hardness and heat of a rock being crushed into gravel. It is the perfect 7 stringer to add to your collection if you are not looking to spend too much. One of the best affordable seven string guitars available on the market.

Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Great Output
  • Flexible Sound

Cons:

  • Soft Body
  • Bolt on neck joint
  • Cheap Nut

Schecter OMEN‌-7

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Schecter OMEN‌-7

Imagine standing at a concert and hearing heavy guitar riffs, without being able to locate the source. The feeling is ominous because the guitar is gruff, heavy, going lower and lower, beyond anything you expected. The lights flash on and you see the guitar, played by someone who is not worthy of it. A black, gold bound piece of menacing beauty, a solid, basswood body with a C shaped, maple neck and a rosewood fretboard, that sounds like a melodically snoring, sleeping tyrannosaurus rex, thanks to its Schecter diamond plus humbuckers. After all this it might be surprising to find out that Schecter Omen-7 is under 400 dollars. This is why I keep coming back to Schecter on this list. This company knows what you want and it also knows how cheap you want it for.

Pros:

  • Great Value
  • Awe-inspiring low tone
  • Amazing Action

Cons:

  • Body dents, scratches easily
  • Bolt On Neck

ESP LTD M-17 7-String

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ESP LTD M-17 7-String

If you ever think that there is no value in electric guitars if they are under 200, go and take a look at an ESP LTD M-17 7-string electric guitar. This is one of those guitars that will forever seem to be under-priced. It has a respectable basswood, semi glossy, solid body, with a double cutaway C neck and a comfortable Fretboard. Where this guitar really shines is it’s sound, a result of two LH-107 humbuckers that bedazzle this guitar. The sonic boom you’ll be hearing coming out of this instrument is worthy of guitars way up the price ladder.  Get your favorite metal head (yourself) a nice little gift of 7 strings and fierce sound and nobody, other than people living with you, will regret this choice.

Pros:

  • Incredibly Affordable
  • Good for the Price

Cons:

  • Easy to dent and scratch
  • Cheap Plastic Nut
  • Tuning Stability Issues

Jackson JS22-7 Dinky

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Jackson JS22-7 Dinky

Funny name does not mean funny sound. It actually means quite the opposite. This Jackson JS22-7 Dinky demonstrates this with great skill. Or show? Or sound? Either way, the basswood body of this guitar is lightweight as can be, perfectly balancing the slight increase of weight that comes as a result of the seventh string. The double cutaway neck and the wide, rosewood fretboard provide extra comfortable access to the sounds you want to make. Two humbuckers give it the perfectly heavy, hot sound to warm your heart. All of this serves as proof that sometimes the only thing funny about a guitar is its price, which on this guitar, is comfortably low.

Pros:

  • High Value
  • Sound better than it should

Cons:

  • Soft Body
  • Tuning Stability Issues
  • Plastic Nut

Selecting the best 7 string guitar for yourself is not much different a process from selecting a 6 string guitar. You need to take into account the price, design, the sound, and all the little details we’ve discussed in the other guitar buying guides.

Beyond that you also need to understand what comes with the seventh string. There are some design accommodations, technique implications and an expanded tonal range to be aware of. It is important to understand and to make use of these changes, otherwise, what is the point of buying the best 7 string guitar?

One more string means change

Some of the changes that come with the guitar might be more subtle than others, but all in all, the 7th string gives you the chance to not only test your skill, but to push it to a level beyond where you were before. The best guitars allow the transition to be smooth. Playing the 7th string should not feel like trying to bend an extra toe, but more like using a superpower like telekinesis. Here are some of the changes you’ll have to accommodate to thoroughly enjoy your 7 stringer.

Design

Seven string guitars feature thicker Fretboards. This means several things:

  • Heavy – The weight will increase thanks to the need for a bigger fretboard, as well as potentially more electronics. Getting used to weight might take time, so don’t be afraid to start practicing your guitar sitting down until you are more comfortable carrying it.
  • Hard to reach – because the fretboard is wider, some of the notes, especially on the new string, will be hard to reach. For those of you with long fingers this might not seem like a problem, but for people like me, whose fingers are on the shorter side, this might mean a longer adjustment period.
  • Different Pickups – the 7th string on the guitar offers a number of new tones and sounds that might not be optimal for some pickups. If buying a “sister guitar” based on another model, do not panic if the 7 string version is using different pickups. This will not result in the guitar sounding any worse than the 6 string version. If anything, the guitar is more optimized to be payed as a 7 stringer.

Technique

  • Chords – The added string gives you a chance to explore a whole world of new chords. So why not dive in and explore? You might have a hard time getting used to new chords in the beginning, but remember your 6 string beginner days. Those chords were hard as all hell to learn. This should not pose much of a problem. Remember this though: you might be tempted to remain in the low pitch sounds forever but don’t. Exploration means going beyond what is tempting and discovering the true beauty of the 7 string electric guitar.
  • Finger Practice – Some of the notes and tones you will try to reach on the 7 string will be much harder than on a 6 string. This is a result of a new fretboard. The best thing to do here is to keep practicing and get accustomed to the new fret. If you are having a hard time playing standing up, sitting down and providing yourself the extra space is a good idea.
  • Unneeded Noise – an extra string means extra string noise. Try to learn to get better at eliminating this so your music sounds cleaner.

Sound

  • Tuning – The 7 string guitar has several tuning options, but most often it is tuned in the lower Bs. Here are some of the options that you will find on the internet:
    • B1–E2–A2–D3–G3–B3–E4
    • A1–E2–A2–D3–G3–B3–E4
    • E2–A2–D3–G3–B3–E4–A4
    • There are other ways to tune your guitar, so go ahead and look them up, experiment a little
  • Range – Increased range of sounds the 7 string allows you to produce, might be a little scary at first, but the more you delve into it and the more you experiment, the more likely you are to fall in love the guitar
  • Genre – A lot of people think that 7 string guitars are exclusively for metal. This is not true. A 7 string guitar can be used in many different genres and is only limited by your expectations of what the guitar can and will do for you.

Conclusion

The seven string guitar has a long and beautiful history of being a part of the rock and roll world. Used by remarkable musicians such as Steve Vai, John Petrucci, Matt Bellamy, and Munky and Head of Korn. All of these people found new ways to use the guitar, be it alternative tuning, riffing alternative Chords…

By joining this team of musicians you are also joining an army of men looking to find the best way to use a 7 string electric guitar. Currently the guitar holds a dear place in the hearts of many metal bands. The thing is, there are many uses for it beyond metal, as the potential for an expanded range of sounds could benefit many different genres of music.

The list above was created for the purpose of assisting you in finding the best 7 string guitar. Because no musician or explorer should start their mission with an inferior weapon at their side. Good luck!

 

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