Best 7-String Guitars for Metal

The best 7-string guitars for metal include the Schecter Omen Elite 7, Ibanez RG7421, Jackson Pro Series SL7, and ESP Eclipse 1007.

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Using the best 7-string guitar for metal can inspire you to write challenging riffs and get a heavy sound. I’ll take you though my top picks below.

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The best 7-string guitar for metal is the Schecter Omen Elite 7 for its combination of value and features. You get a great looking top wood veneer with some great color options plus reliable pickups and good construction from the longstanding brand.

1. Schecter Omen Elite 7

The Schecter Omen Elite 7 is an excellent 7 string electric guitar for metal music. Its mahogany body provides warm, full tones that are perfect for heavy riffs and powerful chords. The maple neck offers stability and bright attack, while the 24 extra jumbo frets on the rosewood fingerboard allow for fast and precise soloing up and down the neck.

Some key features of the Schecter Omen Elite 7 include:

  • Mahogany body
  • Maple neck with rosewood fingerboard
  • 24 extra jumbo frets
  • Diamond Plus pickups
  • TonePros T3BT TOM bridge and string thru body
  • Schecter locking tuners
  • Thin C neck profile
  • 26.5″ scale length

Pros and Cons of the Schecter Omen Elite 7:

ProsCons
Warm mahogany toneSlightly heavier than some other 7 strings
Fast maple neckNo locking tremolo option
Affordable price pointStock pickups may require upgrading for some
Reliable hardwareNo case included

Compared to other 7 string guitars in its price range like the Ibanez RG7421 and Jackson JS22-7, the Schecter Omen Elite 7 stands out for its use of mahogany rather than basswood for the body. This gives it a thicker, meatier tone that many metal guitarists prefer. Its 26.5″ scale length also provides better string tension and definition for the low B string than 25.5″ scale guitars.

In summary, the combination of tonewoods, construction, hardware and affordability make the Schecter Omen Elite 7 a top choice for metal guitarists looking to add a 7 string axe to their arsenal. Its rich mahogany body, fast maple neck, and reliable components deliver the powerful sound and playability needed for demanding metal styles.

2. Ibanez RG7421

The Ibanez 7421 is a 7-string metal machine. This instrument has several key features that make it ideal for the genre:

  • Nyatoh body wood for rich, full tone
  • 5 piece Maple/Walnut Wizard III-7 neck for fast playability
  • Jatoba fretboard for bright attack and sustain
  • Jumbo frets for easy bending and vibrato
  • DiMarzio Fusion Edge pickups for high output
ProsCons
Fast, thin Wizard III-7 neck for excellent playabilityNot the cheapest 7 string option
Powerful DiMarzio pickups for great toneLimited finish options
Well-constructed with quality tonewoods

The Ibanez RG7421 provides the quintessential metal guitar experience. Its sleek Wizard neck, constructed of 5 alternating pieces of maple and walnut, enables lightning fast runs and riffs. The nyatoh body, a lesser known but highly musical tonewood, yields a rich and full sound perfect for chunky rhythms and singing leads. Ibanez adorned this axe with a pair of DiMarzio Fusion Edge humbuckers – high output beasts that can handle the heaviest tones while maintaining definition and clarity.

When compared to other 7 strings like the Jackson JS22-7 Dinky or ESP LTD M-17, the Ibanez RG7421 comes out ahead. It uses higher quality tonewoods than the cheaper poplar and basswood found in those models. The DiMarzio pickups also outclass the generic stock humbuckers in those other guitars. Only pricier options like the Schecter Omen Extreme 7 or ESP E-II M-II 7 can go toe-to-toe with the RG7421 in terms of construction and components.

In summary, the Ibanez RG7421 is a beast of a guitar, a veritable metal machine with its fast neck, powerful pickups, and quality construction. While not the cheapest 7 string, it punches well above its price point, making it perhaps the top value for a mid-range 7 string built for metal. Any metalhead looking to dive into extended range guitars should put this Ibanez at the top of their list.

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3. Jackson Pro Series SL7

The Jackson Pro Series SL7 is a great choice for a 7-string guitar for metal. Here are a few notable features of the instrument:

  • Neck-through-body construction enhances sustain and resonance
  • Ebony fretboard provides a smooth, fast playing surface
  • 24 jumbo frets allow easy access to high notes for solos and riffs
  • Seymour Duncan Nazgul and Sentient humbucking pickups deliver powerful, aggressive tones
  • Floyd Rose 1000 Series double-locking tremolo enables dive bombs and other expressive techniques
  • Luminlay side dots improve fretboard visibility on dark stages

Pros and Cons of the Jackson Pro Series SL7:

ProsCons
High-quality components and constructionRelatively expensive compared to some other 7-strings
Versatile pickups cover a range of metal stylesFloyd Rose requires extra setup and maintenance
Fast, comfortable neck facilitates quick playingPointy body shape may not appeal to all players
24 jumbo frets provide easy access to high notes
Floyd Rose tremolo allows for expressive techniques

When put up against other 7-string guitars like the Ibanez RG7421 and ESP LTD SCT-607B, the Jackson Pro Series SL7 stands out for its premium features. The neck-through build using maple and mahogany woods gives this axe superior resonance and power compared to bolt-on designs. The Seymour Duncan Nazgul bridge humbucker has more output and aggression than stock pickups. And the Floyd Rose tremolo outclasses hardtail and vintage-style tremolos for metal performance.

In summary, the combination of high-end components, ideal woods, and purpose-built features make the Jackson Pro Series SL7 a formidable instrument for dedicated metal guitarists. Though it carries a higher price tag than budget metal guitars, its quality and performance justify the cost for serious players.

4. ESP LTD EC-1007 Evertune

The ESP LTD EC-1007 Evertune the best 7-string for metal if you don’t want to worry about tuning the instrument.

Features:

  • Mahogany body for warm, full tone
  • Maple neck with ebony fingerboard for bright attack and smooth feel
  • EMG 81-7 (bridge) and 60-7 (neck) active pickups for high output
  • Evertune bridge for constant tension and stable tuning
  • 24 extra-jumbo frets for easy access to high notes
  • Black satin finish for sleek look

Pros and Cons:

ProsCons
Evertune bridge keeps guitar in tuneEvertune bridge adds some weight
Active EMG pickups ideal for high-gain metal tonesActive pickups require battery
24 frets allows playing in high registers7 strings can have learning curve for 6 string players
Smooth ebony fretboard feels great for fast playingMore expensive than entry level 7 strings

The combination of a warm mahogany body, bright maple neck, and active EMG pickups gives the EC-1007 a powerful metal voice. The Evertune bridge is a standout feature, using a constant tension system to keep the guitar in near-perfect tune even with heavy use.

Compared to other 7 strings like the Ibanez RG or Jackson Pro series, the EC-1007 has a more traditional single-cutaway Les Paul shape rather than a pointy superstrat style. The EMGs compete well with the DiMarzio and Seymour Duncan pickups common in other metal-focused 7 strings. The EC-1007’s mahogany body may provide a thicker tone than basswood RGs, while its maple neck should snap more than the Pro series’ mahogany.

Overall, the ESP LTD EC-1007 Evertune packages high-end metal-oriented features into a well-built 7 string with innovative tuning stability. Its tonewoods, pickups, and appointments make it a formidable choice for modern metal guitarists seeking an extended range instrument.

5. Ibanez Premium UV70P

The Ibanez Premium UV70P is a legendary guitar with awesome features for metal. This instrument has a basswood body, a 5-piece maple/walnut neck, and a bound Panga Panga fingerboard. The UV70P comes equipped with DiMarzio Blaze pickups, an Edge-Zero II tremolo bridge, and Gotoh tuning machines.

Some of the key features that make the Ibanez Premium UV70P stand out for metal include:

  1. Extra low 7th string for extended range
  2. High output DiMarzio Blaze humbucking pickups
  3. Fast, thin Wizard 7 neck profile
  4. Durable Edge-Zero II tremolo bridge for aggressive playing styles
  5. Premium components and construction

Here is a comparison of the pros and cons of the UV70P:

ProsCons
Versatile 7 string designMore expensive than basic models
High quality componentsTremolo requires more maintenance
Fast, comfortable neckMay have too many features for beginners
Ideal for metal genresLess suitable for other styles

The combination of the basswood body, maple and walnut neck, and Panga Panga fingerboard creates a balanced, resonant tone. Basswood provides warm lows and good sustain, while the 5-piece maple and walnut neck offers stability and brightness. The Panga Panga fingerboard, similar to rosewood, adds richness to the overall sound.

Compared to other 7 string guitars, the Ibanez Premium UV70P stands out for its high-end features and construction quality. While guitars like the Jackson JS22-7 Dinky or ESP LTD SC-207 offer affordable options for 7 string players, they may not have the same level of craftsmanship or premium components as the UV70P.

On the other hand, even more expensive 7 string guitars like the ESP E-II Horizon FR-7 or Music Man John Petrucci JP17 may offer additional features or different wood choices, but the UV70P remains a top contender in its price range for metal players seeking a reliable, high-performance instrument.

6. PRS SE Mark Holcomb SVN

The PRS SE Mark Holcomb SVN is another great 7 string electric guitar for playing heavy metal. Here are a few features that are to Periphery guitarist Mark Holcomb’s specs:

  • Mahogany body with figured maple veneer top
  • 25.5″ scale length maple neck with 24 fret ebony fretboard
  • 20″ radius fretboard for comfortable playing
  • PRS 7 string tremolo bridge for excellent tuning stability
  • Signature Seymour Duncan Alpha and Omega 7 string pickups for powerful tone
ProsCons
Versatile metal tonesHigher price point
Excellent playabilityPickups might be too hot for some
High quality hardware

Compared to other 7 string guitars like the Ibanez RG7421, Schecter Omen-7, and ESP LTD M-17, the PRS SE Mark Holcomb SVN is a more premium instrument. Its combination of a mahogany body, figured maple top, ebony fretboard, signature pickups and PRS tremolo put it in a higher category in terms of tone, playability and versatility.

For the serious metal guitarist looking for a professional level 7 string, the PRS SE Mark Holcomb SVN is among the best options for the price. Its construction, hardware and electronics make it an excellent choice for the studio and the stage.

7. Jackson JS22-7 DKA Dinky HT

The Jackson JS22-7 DKA Dinky HT is an excellent choice for a 7 string guitar suited for playing metal music. This instrument delivers impressive features, solid construction, and great value that make it stand out among other 7 string options on the market.

Key features of the Jackson JS22-7 DKA Dinky HT include:

  • 26.5″ scale length for improved string tension and definition
  • HT7 hardtail bridge for precise intonation and sustain
  • High-output Jackson humbucking pickups for powerful, aggressive tones
  • Pointed 7-in-line headstock for straight string pull and visual flair
  • Piranha tooth inlays for metal-inspired aesthetics
ProsCons
Affordable price for the specs and qualityMade in Indonesia, not USA
Well-suited for metal genres and down-tuningPickups may be too high-output for some
Comfortable neck shape and 12″-16″ compound radiusDot inlays, not binding or premium fretboard
HT7 bridge is reliable and stableNo locking tuners stock

Compared to pricier 7-strings like the Ibanez RG or ESP LTD series, the Jackson JS22-7 delivers very respectable performance at a lower cost. The basswood body and hot pickups can hang with more expensive alternatives for metal rhythm and lead work. While it may lack some higher-end appointments, the core elements are all solidly executed.

In summary, the Jackson JS22-7 DKA Dinky HT offers aspiring and experienced metal guitarists a formidable 7 string axe that’s ready to chug, shred and djent. Its combination of playability, dependable hardware, and mean tone make it a top contender in its price range for extended range guitars.

Best 7 String for Metal: Buyer’s Guide

When searching for the perfect 7 string guitar for metal, there are several key factors to consider. This guide will help you navigate the various attributes, features, and options available, ensuring you find the instrument that best suits your playing style and musical needs.

Scale Length

One of the most crucial aspects to consider when choosing a 7 string guitar is the scale length. The scale length affects both playability and tone.

  • Shorter scale lengths (25.5 inches): Offer a balanced feel and bright tone, making them comfortable for players transitioning from 6 string guitars.
  • Longer scale lengths (27 inches or more): Provide tighter string tension and a fuller low-end response, ideal for heavy metal styles. However, they may require some adjustment for players with smaller hands.

Consider your playing style and comfort level when deciding on the scale length that works best for you.

Pickups

Pickups play a vital role in achieving the desired heavy metal tone. Look for high-output options designed specifically for 7 string guitars.

  • Active pickups: Models like the EMG 707 deliver powerful, aggressive tones with exceptional clarity. Newer options with wider tone applications include the Fishman Fluence series.
  • Passive pickups: Options such as the Seymour Duncan Nazgul and Bare Knuckle Juggernaut provide tight low-end response, searing high-end definition, and versatile tones.

Choose pickups that align with your preferred tonal characteristics and playing style.

Hardware

Durable and reliable hardware is essential for withstanding the rigors of metal playing.

  • Bridges: Look for sturdy, high-quality bridges that offer excellent tuning stability and intonation. Popular options include the Ibanez Gibraltar Standard II and the Hipshot Hardtail.
  • Tuning machines: Opt for high-quality, precise tuning machines to ensure stable tuning and easy string changes.

Neck Profile and Fretboard

The neck profile and fretboard material can significantly impact the guitar’s playability and feel.

  • Neck profiles: Thin profiles like the Ibanez Wizard II-7 and the Schecter Ultra Thin C are popular among metal players for their fast, comfortable playing experience.
  • Fretboard materials: Rosewood and ebony are common choices for their smooth feel and durability.

Test different neck profiles and fretboard materials to find the combination that feels most comfortable and responsive to your playing style.

Body Construction and Aesthetics

Consider the guitar’s body construction and aesthetics to ensure it aligns with your preferences and stage presence.

  • Body styles: Popular options for metal include superstrats, V-shapes, and explorers, each offering distinct visual appeal and ergonomics.
  • Tonewood: Look for tonewoods that provide the desired resonance, sustain, and tonal characteristics. Common choices include mahogany, alder, and basswood.

Choose a guitar that not only sounds great but also inspires you visually and feels comfortable to play.

Best 7-String Guitar for Metal: Conclusion

Wrapping up, you can’t go wrong with a Schecter Omen Elite 7 for the price. It offers decent stock pickups and good attention to detail. I also like that the top grain offers a different look than many other options out there.

Best 7-String Metal Guitar: FAQ

Below are a few frequently asked questions about 7-string metal guitars:

Are 7 string guitars only good for experienced players?

No, 7 string guitars are not limited to experienced players. While they may require some adjustment and practice, players of various skill levels can enjoy and benefit from using a 7 string guitar. Beginners can start their learning journey on a 7 string, while experienced players can explore new creative possibilities.

Can 7 string guitars be used for genres other than metal?

Yes, 7 string guitars are versatile instruments that can be used across various genres, not just metal. They are popular in styles such as progressive rock, jazz fusion, and experimental music. The extended range allows for unique chord voicings, basslines, and melodic exploration in diverse musical contexts.

Is the low B string only for chugging and heavy riffs?

Yes. OK, just joking. No, the low B string offers more than just chugging and heavy riffs. While it excels at creating deep, powerful rhythms, the low B string can also be used for melodic playing, complex chord progressions, and even solo work. Guitarists can explore a wide range of musical expressions with the added string.

Are 7 string guitars more difficult to play compared to 6 string guitars?

7 string guitars may present some initial challenges for players accustomed to 6 string instruments. The wider neck and additional string require slight technique adjustments, such as stretching fingers further and adapting to new chord shapes. However, with practice and dedication, players can quickly develop comfort and proficiency on a 7 string guitar.

Do I need to use thicker strings on a 7 string guitar?

String gauge is a matter of personal preference and playing style. Some guitarists prefer thicker strings for increased tension and stability, particularly when tuning to lower pitches. However, others may find thinner strings more comfortable for fast playing and bending. Experiment with different string gauges to find the optimal balance for your needs.

What are the benefits of multi-scale (fanned fret) designs for 7 string guitars?

Multi-scale or fanned fret designs offer several benefits for 7 string guitars. By having different scale lengths for each string, multi-scale guitars provide better intonation, improved string tension balance, and a more comfortable playing experience. The longer scale length on the lower strings enhances clarity and definition, while the shorter scale length on the higher strings maintains playability and reduces hand fatigue.

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