Best Multiscale Guitars for Metal

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Seeking the best multiscale guitar for metal music? You’ve probably heard they provide exceptional tone and ease of play.

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Mutliscales are becoming more common with multiple production options under $1,000 and $2,000. That said, it can seem daunting to find the perfect fit. So what’s the best multiscale guitar for metal? Read on for a guide on ten outstanding multiscale guitars ideal for ripping through metal riffs. (I personally own #2 but have played guitars by many of these brands.)

Brogan’s Quick Take

Multiscale guitars are ideal for metal music due to their enhanced tuning stability, improved string tension, and comfort for playing heavy riffs and solos. The Ibanez RGDMS8, Schecter Omen Elite-8, and Larada Legion 8 Stealth are among the top choices for metal enthusiasts.

What Is a Multiscale Guitar?

Multiscale guitars are a product of the late 70s. John D. Starrett invented the first modern version in 1977 and called it the StarrBoard. The multiscale layout is designed to enhance tuning stability and intonation precision – both crucial for any guitar player.

The key characteristic of a multiscale guitar is its fanned frets. This design yields several advantages, like improved string tension and a more comfortable grip while playing chords. The low strings possess a longer scale length, which bolsters tuning stability, especially for lower tunings – a necessity for metal music.

On the other hand, the high strings are shorter in scale, guaranteeing accurate intonation for those notes. This means when you’re ripping through solos, you’ll remain perfectly in tune. This mix of design and functionality makes multiscale guitars a metal enthusiast’s dream.

Why Use Multiscale Guitars for Metal?

Multiscale guitars aren’t just a fancy choice for metal fans. They offer concrete perks that make them a go-to for those playing heavy music. These benefits include better tuning stability, improved string tension, and more comfort in upper and lower registers. They’re versatile, making them ideal for various metal sub-genres. When it comes to heavy music, multiscale guitars are king.

9 Best Multiscale Guitars for Metal

Next we’ll take a look at nine great multiscale metal guitar options including the Ibanez RGDMS8 Multi-Scale Electric Guitar, Schecter Omen Elite-8 Multiscale Electric Guitar, Larada Legion 8 Stealth, Ibanez SML721 Multi-scale Electric Guitar, and the Strandberg Boden Original NX 8, among others.

At the end of the day, all of these instruments have pros and cons, so spend some time getting into the details to find out which would work best for you.

1. Ibanez RGMS8 Multi-Scale Electric Guitar

Ibanez RGMS8 from zZounds

The Ibanez RG has been a staple in metal for decades, and the RGMS8 Multi-Scale Electric Guitar keeps the tradition alive. Its extended range and tonal versatility are prime for the genre.

There’s also another version, the RGDMS8 that adds a beveled wood top and more color options. The multiscale design enhances playability for comfortable chording and soloing on all eight strings. The dual humbucker pickups produce a powerful, clear tone ideal for heavy metal.

Although it’s not the cheapest option, the quality of the RGMS8 makes it worth it. You’re not merely buying a guitar, you’re investing in a musical instrument that can take your sound to new levels. Don’t hold back, this Ibanez is worth every penny.

2. Schecter Omen Elite-8 Multiscale Electric Guitar

Schecter Omen Elite-8 Multiscale from zZounds

The Schecter Omen Elite-8’s attributes are hard to ignore. It has a mahogany body, producing a sound that’s rich, warm, and focused. The guitar also has amazing sustain. Additionally, its multi-scale construction enhances intonation and string tension. The contoured neck joint allows for easier access to the upper frets.

I personally own this model and found it’s a great deal for the price. There are a few minor cosmetic imperfections on my model, like the nut being a millimeter too wide. However, for an 8-string multiscale under $1,000, it’s reliable.

The Heretic-8 humbuckers on this guitar produce a high output sound, a tight low end, and clear note separation. The sound quality is decent for stock pickups.

Overall, the Omen Elite-8 offers great bang for your buck. With its superior features and performance, it is quite reasonably priced. Any metal enthusiast would find it a worthy investment.

3. Larada Legion 8 Stealth

Next, let’s take a look at the Larada Legion 8 Stealth. This guitar is proof of Abasi Concept’s dedication to inventiveness. The Legion 8 model showcases distinct features like a basswood body, wenge neck, and an ebony fingerboard. The Stealth version really shines, showing it’s tough enough for metal music. Plus, the Legion 8 is built for the best player comfort and performance.

Tosin has done some incredible things on his drop-tunned 8-string guitar, and the Larada multiscale makes his design accessible to a legion of fans.

To sum it up, the Larada’s special features and the Stealth’s benefits make it one of the finest multiscale guitars for metal.

4. Ibanez SML721 Multi-scale Electric Guitar

Ibanez SML721 from zZounds

I’ve always loved Ibanez’s S series. It’s like a slimmed-down super strat with super comfy playability. The Ibanez SML721 Multi-scale Electric Guitar is a great example. Its distinct design and quality materials ensure exceptional sound and playability. It’s perfect for metal music.

Its multi-scale design offers a crisp tone, ideal for hard-hitting riffs and sizzling solos.

The Ibanez SML721 has a user-friendly neck profile and potent pickups, ensuring a balanced tone on all strings. This means the Ibanez SML721 could be a great investment in your music. It provides unbeatable playability and sound quality that can take your metal performance to the next level.

5. Strandberg Boden Metal NX 8

Strandberg Boden Metal NX 8 from zZounds

The Strandberg Boden Metal NX 8 is turning heads with its groundbreaking design and superior sound. You’ll instantly see the perks of a multiscale guitar, including better intonation, tension balance, and comfort for your fingers.

The NX 8’s vibrant, well-balanced character showcases the sound benefits of multiscale guitars, providing excellent clarity for both rhythm and lead guitar parts.

What makes the Strandberg Boden Metal NX 8 stand out are its ergonomic design aspects, such as the patented EndurNeck™, which allows for comfortable, long playing sessions, and the lightweight chambered swamp ash body.

Playing this guitar isn’t just about making music – it’s about experiencing innovation.

6. ESP LTD M-1000 Multi-Scale Electric Guitar

ESP LTD M-1000 from zZounds

You don’t have to have 7 or 8 strings to take advantage of multiscale guitar design. The ESP LTD M-1000 Multi-Scale Electric Guitar has six strings but a fanned fretboard all the same.

This guitar has several advantages. Its scale length varies between 26.5 and 25.5 inches, which helps maintain the perfect string tension, enhances articulation, and boosts playing comfort. You can downtune without any issues.

It’s got a bolt-on style with a flamed maple veneer on a mahogany base, which not only looks great but also broadens your tone choices. Personally, I think it looks badass in the dark grey finish with its slightly elongated neck.

The custom Seymour Duncan Sentient and Nazgul pickups offer a mix of old school PAF and modern tones for strong output and crisp note articulation.

A Macassar ebony fretboard constructed from high-density wood gives a smooth playing experience.

The ESP LTD M-1000 is designed with the player’s comfort in mind, making it a dream for any progressive musician.

7. Legator G7FOD Ghost Overdrive 7-String Multi-Scale Electric Guitar Arctic

The Legator G7FOD Ghost Overdrive is a 7-string electric guitar gaining popularity in the music scene. This guitar brings an array of design elements to the table to improve your playing experience, like its super slim headless neck and ultra-light body.

There’s a lot to love about this guitar, but we’ll center on four main benefits:

  1. The buckeye burl top is not only a feast for the eyes, but it also plays a role in the guitar’s featherlight design.
  2. Fishman Fluence Modern pickups give you a broad spectrum of tone choices, adding variety to your sound.
  3. The fanned fret layout improves playability, making movements like sliding, sweeping, and bending effortless.
  4. Users have praised the ease of play and light design as noteworthy characteristics.

In brief, the Legator G7FOD Ghost Overdrive is a potent instrument for any musician.

8. GOC Materia

The GOC Materia is a guitar designed for modern and progressive guitarists on a budget. This headless wonder is a treat for metal enthusiasts, with its Northern American Ash body and Micarta neck. Its solid, non-chambered body enhances its feel and tone.

Weighing its pros and cons, the sound quality is a major plus. The Paragon Alnico pickups produce rich and dynamic tones, ideal for metal. The distinctive design, featuring a duo-lok headpiece and 2-way trussrod, improves playability. However, some users have reported minor fit and finish issues.

9. Jackson SLATX7Q X Soloist Arch Top Multi-Scale Electric Guitar

Jackson SLATX7Q from zZounds

Last up on my list of best multiscale guitars for metal is the Jackson SLATX7Q X Soloist Arch Top Multi-Scale Electric Guitar. This is a high-performing instrument designed to enhance comfort, tension, and intonation. Its standout feature is a multi-scale design, which blends two scale lengths on a single fingerboard, resulting in a markedly ergonomic play experience.

Customers have shared their thoughts on this guitar, highlighting both its strengths and weaknesses.

Pros

  1. Tone Versatility: The guitar’s uncovered 7-string blade humbucking pickups provide a balanced and flexible tone.
  2. Comfort: The multi-scale design significantly improves play comfort.

Cons

  1. Complexity: Some players might find the multi-scale design a bit challenging to adapt to.
  2. Price: A few users mentioned that it’s a bit more expensive compared to other models.

In a nutshell, the SLATX7Q X Soloist is a well-designed guitar with impressive playability and tone versatility, making it a solid consideration for any musician.

Multiscale Guitar Buyer’s Guide

Prepare for a bit of a challenge as you enter the realm of multiscale guitars. Grasp the concept of the straight fret or neutral point, a pivotal part of your journey.

It’s vital to test a multiscale firsthand before you commit to purchasing one, bearing in mind that multiscale guitars can exhibit either mild or severe angles.

Get Ready for a Learning Curve

You’ll need to brace yourself for a learning curve when you start strumming a multiscale guitar for metal. The initial challenges might be steep, but don’t let that discourage you. Here’s a helpful guide to steer you through:

  1. Adjust your technique: Multiscale guitars call for a unique playing style. You’ll have to refine your finger placement and pick handling.
  2. Master the intonation: These guitars might need varied intonation methods. It might be complex at the start, but practice brings perfection.
  3. Alter hand positioning: The fanned frets on these guitars will change your hand’s natural position. This might feel odd at the start.
  4. Practice is paramount: Regular and focused practice is the key to mastering this instrument.

Just remember, it’s all about the journey, not the speed. Accept the challenges and revel in the process.

What Is the Straight Fret or Neutral Point?

The straight fret or neutral point is a key element in multiscale design. It’s essential to get it, as it optimizes fretboard use and boosts your comfort when playing.

A neck with a neutral fret around the fifth to seventh fret will have a more natural fan angle on the lower frets and a more extreme one on the higher frets. Likewise, if the 12th fret is neutral, chords will feel very different because the lower frets are at a more extreme angle.

You should be able to judge where the neutral fret is in pictures so you can estimate how the guitar would feel.

Try To Play a Multiscale In Person Before Buying

Always give a multiscale instrument a test run before buying. This way, you can make sure it’s a comfortable fit for your individual playing style. Here are four important points to keep in mind:

  1. Testing Multiscale Instruments: Check the sound quality, intonation, and playability of the guitar. Listen out for buzz or inconsistencies in tone.
  2. Feel: Feel if the fretboard and neck are comfortable for your hand size and playing technique.
  3. Affordability of Multiscale Guitars: Stick to your budget. The priciest option may not always be the right one for you.
  4. Maintenance of Multiscale Guitars: Make sure to understand the maintenance required. Check if replacement strings and parts are easily available.

Playing an instrument before buying is crucial for choosing a multiscale that suits you perfectly.

Best Multiscale Guitar for Metal: Conclusion

You’ve got the rundown on multiscale guitars and their key role in metal music. Armed with a list of nine great picks and a handy buyer’s guide, you’re all set to make a smart choice.

Remember, the optimal multiscale guitar for you hinges on your individual needs and style.

Further Reading