The 7-string guitar, which offers the expanded range required to play anything from djent to death metal and, of course, nu-metal, has long been the instrument of choice for the forerunners of doom. Then one of the greatest 7-string guitars is exactly what you need to offer the booming low-end that these extreme genres demand if you find that your present instrument simply isn’t cutting it.
Although seven-string acoustic guitars have been around since the early 19th century, Ibanez, a Japanese guitar manufacturer, introduced the first mass-produced electric version in 1990. The Universe model, created in collaboration with shred master Steve Vai, would influence a whole new generation of guitarists.
Thankfully, things have improved from the days when 7-string guitars were scarce. The pioneers of this design, Ibanez, have long been at the forefront, but Jackson, Schecter, and even PRS have models that are deserving of consideration for guitar players. These models, build quality and more are discussed in our guide to the best 7-string guitars.
Ibanez Premium Steve Vai Universe UV70P
- Neck type: Wizard-7 5-piece Maple/Walnut neck with KTS TITANIUM rods
- Body: American Basswood body
- Fretboard: Rosewood fretboard w/Green dot inlay
Ibanez’s UV70P Steve Vai Premium Signature solidbody electric guitar is built to the highest standards and offers total 7-string playability and tone like no other instrument. For starters, a 5-piece maple/walnut Premium Wizard 7 neck – probably one of Ibanez’s fastest neck designs ever – provides excellent playability. With epic bass, clearly articulated highs, and gently scooped mids, a trio of DiMarzio Blaze pickups boost the ante, giving your UV70P a pre-EQ’ed hi-fi tone. Finish it off with a high-performance Edge Zero II-7 tremolo bridge.
Even if it took a bit for the extended-range trend to catch on, the Ibanez Universe was undoubtedly the guitar that launched it. It was released in 1990 and was a game changer, an avant-garde Super Strat – but now much of its popularity is due to its retro cache. It was developed with Steve Vai and would become a game changer, an avant-garde Super Strat – but now much of its appeal is due to its retro cache.
The HSH pickup arrangement, along with five-way switching, provides a huge range of tones. For those who believe the 7-string’s progress was perfected the first time around, this reissue is a superb option. It contains DiMarzio Blaze pickups, which are passive but quite hot – after all, Vai likes a lot of gain and bringing it to heel is an important aspect of his approach. The Wizard-7 neck profile is flat and wide, providing a stable foundation for navigating the panga panga fretboard. Is it a panga panga or a panga panga? Wenge is a rosewood replacement that behaves similarly to rosewood.
When DiMarzio’s Blaze pickups first appeared on the scene in the early 1990s, the sound of virtuoso rock was permanently changed. This Ibanez UV70P recreates that breakthrough sound in all of its vintage grandeur. The bass response is remarkable, with thunderous overtones in the low B. Simultaneously, the UV70P produces brilliantly clear highs that cut well when distorted and shine when clean. This pair of DiMarzio Blaze pickups give the front-and-center hi-fi sound that any lead guitarist can get into, thanks to a strong midrange scoop. This is the Best 7 String Guitar in 2023.
Jackson Pro Series Dinky DK2 Modern Ash HT7 7-String Electric Guitar
- 2 Fishman Fluence Humbucking Pickups - Baked Blue
- 7-string Electric Guitar with Ash Body
- Maple/Wenge/Maple Neck
The Jackson Pro Series Dinky DK Modern Ash HT7 includes a lightweight design and a plethora of technical features. The ash body of this 7-string electric guitar emits a beautiful blend of warmth, brightness, and ear-tickling mids even before you plug it in. When you plug it in, the multi-voiced Fishman Fluence Open Core humbuckers produce a wide range of tones.
The hyper-ergonomic design of this Dinky is top-notch all the way, with a graphite-reinforced satin-finished neck and compound-radius ebony fingerboard that will ensure you reach your maximum potential. The Pro Series Dinky DK Modern Ash HT7 offers a high-performance experience that current guitarists will appreciate, with aggressive-looking black hardware and an eye-catching sandblasted finish.
A resonant lump of ash is used to create the Pro Series Dinky DK Modern Ash HT7. Because ash is an open-grained wood, it’s a good choice for transparent treatments like the sandblasted effect on this Dinky. Ash produces a one-of-a-kind blend of warmth, brightness, and a liberal serving of ear-tickling mids, and is prized for its ultra-musical overtones.
The Pro Series Dinky DK Modern Ash HT7 is a high-performance extended-range electric guitar with optimum clarity, sustain, and sonic power, designed by Jackson. The fast-playing ebony compound-radius fingerboard is great for heavy riffing and high-speed soloing, and the graphite-reinforced bolt-on 3-piece maple/wenge/maple neck has a hand-rubbed satin finish for ultimate low-drag comfort. Your fretting hand will cherish the 12 down low “For natural, relaxed chord work, use a radius that maintains things smooth and comfy. A 16-footer sits atop the structure “For smooth, low-action, lightning-fast runs and huge string bends without fretting out, radius lays it all out flat.
The Fishman Fluence Open Core humbuckers on the Jackson Pro Series Dinky DK Modern Ash HT7 are multi-voiced. Three distinct voices are available with these groundbreaking active pickups: a classic PAF, a hot-rodded humbucker, and an overwound single-coil. The Fluences, unlike most wire-wound pickups, offer these classic tones with no noise or inductance problems. You may switch between voices one and two by using the tone control’s push-pull pot with this Dinky’s 5-way blade in pickup positions one (full bridge) or five (full neck). Voice three’s single-coil tone can be heard in positions two, three, and four.
Ernie Ball Music Man John Petrucci Majesty 7-String Electric Guitar
With the new Ernie Ball Music Man John Petrucci Majesty 7 solidbody electric guitar, Ernie Ball and Dream Theater’s John Petrucci have once again pushed the envelope. The streamlined body type features a neck-through design for massive sustain and tone. With quality tonewoods, DiMarzio pickups with onboard piezo, a Custom JP Music Man tremolo bridge, and custom switching, this guitar is ready to rock any stage. The Ernie Ball Music Man Majesty 7 is the latest in a long series of shredders from the accomplished guitarist and guitar manufacturer.
The Ernie Ball Music Man JP Majesty 7 has two hand-picked DiMarzio humbuckers — a Dreamcatcher bridge and a Rainmaker neck — that take it from chimey cleans to terrifying, face-melting shred. But there’s more: a proprietary piezo floating vibrato bridge allows for powerful whammy action while maintaining absolute tuning integrity, as well as access to a wide spectrum of beautiful, subtle acoustic sounds. There’s not much this magnificent axe can’t do for you in terms of tone.
The Ernie Ball Music Man Majesty 7 transforms you into a tonal kingpin. It has a mahogany neck-through design with a maple-capped mahogany and okoume body — a rich tonal cocktail that gives you warmth and resonance you wouldn’t expect from a solidbody guitar. It also gives you a tremendous amount of endurance.
The Majesty 7 features Schaller M6-IND locking tuners on the headstock, making string changes a breeze. Simply place the string in the clamp, tighten the clamp screw, and tune it to pitch. Because the strings aren’t twisted around the shaft, your tuning will remain consistent no matter how hard metal guitarists play. This is the Best 7 String Guitar for Metal in 2023.
PRS SE Mark Holcomb SVN Electric Guitar
- 20” Fingerboard Radius
- 26.5” Scale Length
- Signature Seymour Duncan “Alpha & Omega” Pickups
The PRS SE Mark Holcomb SVN is a cost-effective solution to play Holcomb’s Periphery’s prog-metal tones. The SE SVN has a patented fixed PRS bridge and a 20″ fingerboard radius, which allows Holcomb thrive at his technical playing style. Drop-A riffs have more power and clarity because to the ebony-capped, 26.5″-scale Wide Thin maple set neck. The SE Mark Holcomb SVN has 24 frets on the board, making large octave runs and sweeps a breeze. The Paul Reed Smith script headstock and Birds inlays on the SE SVN add added “cool” to PRS players who know what they’re talking about. The PRS SE Holcomb SVN also features a pair of Mark’s trademark Seymour Duncan pickups for exceptional tone, especially in high-gain conditions.
Mark Holcomb is a big reason why Periphery has helped to set the standard for current progressive metal music. Exotic note runs, powerful jack-hammer riffs, and fluty single-note melodies are all part of his technique, which necessitates the use of a highly specialized instrument. While Mark’s Maryland-made Limited Edition signature model has been a big hit for PRS, the SE SVN brings his signature instrument to a far broader audience.
The Mark Holcomb trademark Alpha and Omega Seymour Duncan passive humbucking pickups are the heart of the SE Mark Holcomb SVN’s operation. Each pickup was created with a certain outcome in mind. The Omega bridge pickup is concentrated and aggressive in the mids and lows for lots of punch, while maintaining sufficient highs for high-gain note clarity. The Alpha neck pickup has the fat and glossy sound of other neck humbuckers, but with more pick attack and clear fretting-hand phrasing. A single-coil type tone is added to the guitar’s sound via a push-pull tone knob.
PRS Guitar has been designed in every way to enable for free gameplay. The 20″ fretboard radius aids in wide bends and quick string-to-string playing, while the maple neck is crowned with a stunning piece of ebony that feels silky under the fingertips. The neck also features PRS’s famous Wide Thin neck carve, which is full enough to keep you comfortable while remaining thin enough to allow you to fly up and down the frets.
The Holcomb SVN’s rich-yet-balanced tone comes from a classic tonewoods combination: mahogany crowned with a solid maple top, presented with a gorgeous walnut veneer for a great playing experience. The natural warmth of the mahogany body is well balanced by the lighter tone of the maple top. These tonewoods work together to provide a sound that is extremely well balanced. Smooth playability and a two-octave range on every string are provided by the set maple neck and 24-fret ebony fretboard.
Jackson JS Series Dinky Arch Top JS22-7 DKA HT Electric Guitar
- Dinky Poplar Body w/ Satin Black Finish, 26.5" 1-Piece Maple Neck
- Amaranth Fingerboard w/ Piranha Tooth (Small Sharkfin) Inlays
- Jackson HT7 String-Through-Body Hardtail
The Jackson JS22 7 Dinky solidbody electric guitar was designed to wreak havoc on the listener’s ears. The JS22 Dinky’s arched basswood body, tremolo tailpiece, and two high-output ceramic humbuckers deliver enormous tone and killer sustain at an incredibly low price. The maple speed neck’s playability, as well as the fat-fretted, compound-radius amaranth fingerboard, make it easier to switch between rhythm and lead playing. The Jackson JS22 Dinky will wow you whether it’s your first electric guitar or you’re simply looking for a good deal.
Are you looking for a strong metal tone? The Jackson JS22 Dinky is a solid performer. That’s because the JS22 Dinky comes with a set of Jackson’s custom-built ceramic-magnet humbuckers. Whether you’re using amp modeling or plugging into a tube amp, these high-output humbuckers have plenty of punch and bite.
For maximum playability, the JS22 Dinky has a 12″-16″ compound-radius fretboard. This bound amaranth fingerboard is rounder at the nut for easy rhythm playing (along with classic Jackson shark fin inlays). The radius flattens out as your playing progresses up the JS22 Dinky’s fretboard, allowing for simpler runs and huge string bends. You’ll be up at the 24th fret in no time with a neck that plays so well. The Dinky body design alone is enough to express instant attitude if you’re looking for a guitar that looks as bad as it sounds. With the arched top, Jackson’s signature headstock, black hardware, and shark fin inlays, this guitar has a confrontational appearance.
ESP LTD EC-1007 Eclipse Evertune
- An extended range 7-string guitar designed to meet the highest standards of quality for pro recording and touring needs
- Features the EverTune constant tension bridge system
- EverTune keeps the guitar in perfect tuning and intonation at all points on the neck in nearly every environment
The ESP EC-1007 EverTune extended-range guitar is a high-performance instrument. It has a maple-capped mahogany body that provides resonance, bite, and sustain, as well as a Thin U mahogany neck and Macassar ebony fingerboard for fluid playability. Even in high-gain conditions, the dual active EMG humbuckers offer amp-punishing volume while maintaining note definition. The EverTune bridge on this guitar provides incredible intonation. Long-lasting sustain and good articulation are provided by the set-neck structure. The EC-1007 EverTune’s powerful tone and aggressive flair will put a grin on your face, thanks to its appealing black hardware.
The EC-1007’s EverTune bridge EverTune is a mechanical mechanism that allows you to stay in tune for longer in any situation. Small springs maintain continuous tension on your strings, ensuring long-term tuning stability and pinpoint intonation. You can even control how much your pitch changes when you bend a string by adjusting it. Your tune will be more consistent regardless of your playing style, temperature, or other circumstances, even if you’re playing a long gig or recording session.
The iconic Eclipse body shape from ESP shouts hard rock. The EC-1007 EverTune’s increased mass produces genuinely epic sustain, while its slightly arched top provides comfortable hand positioning no matter your picking style. You’re all set to shred with a super-sharp cutaway that allows you open access to the EC-1007 EverTune’s upper frets.
EMG active pickups have been used by hard rockers and aggressive musicians for years because of their great tone, exceptional dynamic response, and consistent performance. The EC-1007 EverTune comes with EMG 60-7H and EMG 81-7H humbucking pickups, ready to sound as clean or as mean as your style demands.
The Schecter Demon-7 might be exactly what you’re looking for if you’re seeking for a no-nonsense metal guitar. Schecter guitars have been a fixture for many performers, from Synyster Gates and Zacky Vengeance to Dan Donegan and Jerry Horton, so you’ll be in excellent company.
Schecter Diamond Active HB-1055 humbuckers are installed in this stunningly basic guitar. With plenty of low-end and a reasonable bit of clarity in the higher frequencies, these high-output pickups really impress. The wenge fretboard is embellished with gothic cross inlays to finish the aesthetic, just in case this guitar wasn’t completely metal enough for you. We have to say, at this price point, the 24-fret maple neck feels pretty comfortable for a 7-string and would fit most 6-string players.
So, if you’re looking for a guitar that gets right to the point with no frills that get in the way of your playing, one of these guitars is worth looking into.
ESP LTD SCT-607B Stephen Carpenter Baritone
- Designed to celebrate the 20th anniversary of innovative guitarist Stephen Carpenter's first ESP Signature guitar
- Handles extremely low tunings, while still maintaining string tension expressive playing and excellent tones
- Offers a comfortable alder body and a three-piece maple neck, with an unadorned ebony fingerboard
ESP and their subsidiary LTD have always been at the forefront of innovation in the guitar industry. And this is exactly what we can observe with their ESP LTD SCT-607B, which is a Stephen Carpenter signature model from Deftones. It has seven strings and a scale length of 27 inches, and is officially marketed as a “baritone” guitar. The combination of historic and modern features, however, is what really stands out. The guitar has a typical Telecaster shape, but with a neck-through construction, very easy access to the higher frets, and a striking design and finish. Meanwhile, the controls appear to be taken from a vintage Fender Telecaster.
The body is built of alder, the neck is made of three pieces of maple, and the fretboard is made of ebony with 24 frets. A pearl pickguard, as well as pearl binding on the body and neck, add to the instrument’s gleaming green finish.
Two SRC Stephen Carpenter trademark humbuckers are included in the guitar’s super-innovative Fishman Fluence pickups. These are active pickups with greater tone-shaping choices thanks to the voicing control activated by the volume pot’s “push/pull” action. The most surprising aspect is that these pickups are placed in the bridge and center positions, rather than the bridge and neck locations. This creates a sonic landscape that is both interesting and unusual.
Things are quite straightforward in terms of its bridge. There’s a tune-o-matic bridge that doesn’t have a tailpiece, and strings run down the body following it.
For those who want to go even lower and employ drop A or normal A tunings, this is one of the better options. Meanwhile, the Fishman pickups give this instrument a whole new lease on life, especially with the odd layout of bridge and center positions. Furthermore, both the fretting and picking hands find the guitar to be quite pleasant to play. The instrument isn’t cheap, nor is it overpriced, but it’s well worth the money.
Ibanez Gio GRG7221QA
- Quilted Maple Art Grain top
- 24 frets
- High output Infinity R pickups
Looking for a terrific way to get started with 7-string guitars? If that’s the case, you’ll enjoy the GRG7221QA. The poplar body of this extended range guitar, based on Ibanez’s RG series 7-string models, has a balanced, resonant sound, while the dual humbuckers produce a spectrum of furious tones. Thanks to a quilted maple art grain top, it looks as good as it sounds. The hardtail bridge of the GRG7221QA ensures optimum tuning stability, while the maple neck and bound purpleheart fingerboard provide the kind of smooth playing that placed Ibanez on the map in the metal world. The design is completed by aggressive-looking black hardware. Are you ready to take your game to the next level? Get yourself a GRG7221QA.
The Ibanez GRG7221QA is equipped with a pair of Infinity R humbuckers that provide a wide spectrum of tones. The humbucker in the neck position has been voiced for a warmer, deeper tone, while the humbucker in the bridge position is a fantastic lead pickup: lively, but growling, with increased midrange output when pushed. If you want your amplifier to have the most tonal tenacity, the Ibanez GRG7221QA is the way to go.
Although dive-bombs are entertaining, many guitarists prefer the ultimate steadiness of a hardtail bridge – multitudes of superb guitarists refuse to use a whammy bar. If this describes you, the Ibanez GRG7221QA is the axe for you. The fixed bridge of the GRG7221QA anchors the strings, providing a rock-solid foundation for your song.