For musically daring performers, having one of the greatest 8-string guitars on hand could alter everything. The 8-string guitar is where the action is for those serious about djent or progressive modern metal, even if the 7-string guitar is loaded with promise for low-end chug and unconventional chord voicings.
The eighth string, which is usually tuned down a step to drop E, makes a musical incursion into frequencies that were once the unique domain of bassists. It is typically tuned low-to-high: F#, B, E, A, D, G, B, E. Holidaying in such registers can be thrilling for typical six-stringers.
It needs new ways of thinking about your playing and modifying your approach when you play an 8-string guitar, but the point is that new ways of thinking lead to new musical ideas. Here are some guidelines to help you choose the best 8-string guitar for your needs and the best 8-string guitars to fit all price ranges.
Schecter OMEN-8 8-String Electric Guitar
- Pearloid Semi Goth Inlays
- Basswood Body
- Maple Neck w/ Carbon Fiber Reinforcement Rods
The Schecter OMEN-8 electric guitar is a good choice for beginners who are transitioning to an eight-string guitar. Everything on this guitar works together to give you a great sound when you’re writing songs, practicing, or performing live.
The Omen-8 has been around for what feels like an eternity, but it continues to be a favorite because to its affordable pricing, robust build, and outstanding feel. This would be a fantastic first 8-string. The Omen-8 comes standard with a set of Ernie Ball strings in the 010-.074 gauge, with the heavy low eighth string providing a perfect balance between the manageable 26.5” scale length and the string tension required to withstand intense riffing.
This eight-string guitar is at the top of this list because it has an intriguing design that will entice you to play it every day. Diamond plus pickups, volume and tonal controls, the bridge, and the saddle are all housed in the basswood body. Color-conscious players can choose between a black or a white body, depending on their preference.
The neck is made of maple and has a consistent grain pattern. If you don’t like necks that stick, maple is a good option. The fingerboard is also rosewood, with semi-Goth inlays for metal rockers. The weight and balance are perfect. The maple neck feels good and robust thanks to the carbon fiber reinforcement, and when combined with the fairly flat 16” rosewood fingerboard with 24 extra-jumbo frets, it makes for one highly shreddable 8-string.
Although a pair of Schecter’s overwound passive humbuckers may not excite you as much as a pair of active Fishman Fluence pickups, they do an excellent job of translating low-tunings and high-gain scenarios into something that is simply musically devastating, which is useful to know given the design brief.
Some guitars have a proclivity for going out of tune. Such occurrences can be quite aggravating during performances. This is not the case with the Schecter OMEN-8. It stays in tune for a long time, and you may tune it using a variety of eight-string standard tunings.
Jackson X Series Soloist Arch Top SLATX8Q MS Multiscale 8-String Electric Guitar
- 8-string Electric Guitar with Arched Poplar Body
- 2 Humbucking Pickups - Trans Black Burst
- Laurel Fingerboard
The ergonomic design and build of the Jackson X Series allows you to shred in elegance and comfort. This is an 8-string electric guitar with a fingerboard that fits two scale lengths while enhancing playability, comfort, intonation, and tension.
The Jackson Soloist is a hot-rodded S-style guitar, so it’s no surprise that it handles the extended range guitar configuration admirably. With a robust neck-through construction that almost ensures sustain, the Soloist’s body form is reassuringly familiar.
Given that the Jackson Soloist is one of the most iconic hot-rodded S-styles, it’s no surprise that it performs admirably in the extended range format for shredding session. The Soloist body shape is reassuringly familiar, and the none-more-solid neck-through construction is as good a guarantee of sustain as you’ll get.
That neck feels like it’s not going anywhere, thanks to a scarf joint and two graphite rods. The nut width is a large 53.85mm, so the rosewood fretboard doesn’t seem crowded, and the 12″-16″ compound radius is gently bent low down for chord fretting and flattens out for lead fretting. It’s a really friendly offer for 8-string newbies, and the multi-scale fretboard may be confusing at first, but it’ll make sense under your fingertips, especially with that low F.
The Soloist’s tone is uncompromising, thanks to a pair of active EMG 909 humbuckers in the bridge and neck positions. That bridge humbucker has a savage bite to it, while also mellowing down some of the neck’s high-end crackle. The midway position, with both fully engaged, gives your riffs a lot of texture.
Ibanez RG8 8-String Guitar
- 8-string model neck type Wizard II-8 5pc Maple/Walnut neck body Mahogany body fretboard Rosewood fretboard w/White dot inlay fret Jumbo frets bridge...
- The RG8 Electric Guitar brings Ibanez 8-String research and design to a price point that's hard to resist
- It features all of the advantages of the Ibanez RG series including the famous slim, fast, and ultra-playable Wizard neck
The Ibanez RG8 has a lot going for it. First and foremost, it has a stunningly distinct appearance. But, looks aside, the humbuckers on this instrument make it enticing. It has everything a guitarist might want in terms of articulation, tonal diversity, and sustain.
The RG8 has a five-piece maple/walnut neck and an all-meranti body. The Ibanez Wizard II-8 neck shape allows for rapid mobility and easy access to the higher frets. This guitar will allow you to play at a high speed. With a scale length of 27 inches, this guitar falls exactly in the middle of the pack when it comes to scale length. Is it a wise decision or a safe bet? You make the decision.
The RG8 has the capacity to tune in to a variety of tuning standards. D#, A#, F#, C#, G#, D#, A#, and F are the factory settings. Nonetheless, if you believe it suits your playing style, you can adjust it to your liking. The string gauge is another component that aids this ability. The string gauge for the RG8 is 9-65. As a result, the strings achieve the desired tension without sacrificing intonation.
The pickups, which appear to be active EMGs, are actually a pair of passive IBZ-8 (H) Ceramic pickups. I believe it was a wise decision by Ibanez to preserve the notion of simple essentials by omitting batteries from the mix. Universal volume and tone controls, as well as a three-way pickup selector, control the pickups. All of the hardware is black, including the fixed bridge and tuners. They really stand out on the white models, in my opinion.
ESP LTD Javier Reyes JR-208 Signature Series Electric Guitar
- Construction: Bolt-On
- Body: Mahogany; Neck: Maple; Fingerboard: Roasted Jatoba
- Bridge: LTD Fixed Bridge w/ string thru
Javier Reyes of Animals As Leaders and his signature ESP LTD JR-208 8-string solidbody electric guitar go a long way toward demonstrating the potential of eight strings, both in terms of craftsmanship and tone. The LTD JR-208 is a genuinely open palette for the sonically adventurous at a low price, with appointments for high-level performance like as a slender U-shaped neck with 24 extra-jumbo frets and bespoke inlays.
Reyes places his guitar high on his chest to achieve the extremely technical style of playing for which he is recognized. With his picking arm, this caused a problem. So, instead of only giving a carved top on the JR-208, ESP went a step further. The carving is designed to give the guitar a very pleasant contour just where the strumming armrests are without interfering with the exquisite lines of the top. The LTD JR-208 is an ergonomic, comfortable guitar with a carved top for a high-class aesthetic.
The Animals As Leaders riff-master has chosen an offset double-cutaway body with ergonomically rounded corners, a bolt-on maple neck with a low-profile heel joint, and chamfering in both cutaways to improve upper-fret access. The Pelham Blue finish harkens back to famous Gibson guitars of the past, and the gold hardware complements it wonderfully, but this sense of tradition masks the fact that this is not a bass guitar that is pushing the boundaries of 8-string guitar design.
The JR-208 has a full 27” baritone scale length, which keeps those bass strings nice and tight so you can really dig in, but once you get used to a neck length that’s more bowling lane than Les Paul, the thin U-profile neck and judiciously flat 15.7” fretboard radius, you’ll find the thin U-profile neck and judiciously flat 15.7” fretboard radius a very comfortable platform for musical adventure.
Schecter C-8 DELUXE 8-String Solid-Body Electric Guitar
- Basswood Body w/ Maple Neck
- Hardtail Bridge w/String Thru Body
- Schecter Diamond Plus-8 Pick ups
Looking for a Schecter guitar at a low price? For you, the C-8 Deluxe might be the ideal option. It boasts a solid basswood body with carbon fiber rods, a maple neck with carbon fiber rods, and 24 extra jumbo frets.
Guitarists with eight strings aim to sound excellent. However, you won’t be able to do so unless you have a guitar capable of doing so. In this scenario, the Schecter C-8 does not disappoint. It’s an electric eight-string guitar that can transform your rig and amplifier into a beast.
The overall design of this guitar may draw a lot of criticism from various eight-string lovers. Everything in this instrument, however, serves a purpose. A basswood body with a hardtail bridge, Diamond Plus- pickups, volume and tone controls, and a switch are included. The maple 28-inch neck is quite forgiving to your fingertips. For maximum tonality, it also has a 24-fret neck, dot inlays, and a rosewood fingerboard.
The Schecter is a fantastic instrument for musicians who want to use a range of songwriting styles. This is conceivable, for example, if you want to slap the bottom strings. The neck is also slender to allow you to reach the last fret.
Furthermore, the string through body is a fantastic addition to this instrument. It helps to maintain the music, so your strings vibrate more freely while you play. The melody is fantastic, and with the Diamond plus-8 pickups, you can be sure that you’ll be able to hear all of the tones clearly.
Schecter Banshee Elite-8
- Swamp Ash Body -Flamed Maple Top
- Maple/Walnut Multi-ply Neck w/ Carbon Fiber Reinforcement Rods
- Schecter USA SuperCharger Mach-8 Pickup set
The Schecter Banshee Elite 8 does exactly what it says on the tin. This guitar is in excellent condition. If you’re prepared to invest the money, it has a build quality that will last a lifetime and a sound that will keep you motivated along the way.
The natural gloss finish reveals a swamp ash body with a flamed maple top, making this the most beautiful of the guitars on the list. The Maple/Walnut Multi-ply neck is reinforced with carbon fiber reinforcement rods for enhanced stability. The ebony fingerboard contrasts nicely with the rest of the body’s natural finish. The offset mother-of-pearl fret markings are perhaps my favorite tiny element on this instrument. They’re both elegant and useful.
Two Schecter USA SuperCharger Mach-8 pickups come standard, with Volume, Tone, and a 5-Way megaswitch for control. Tuning stability is enhanced with the Hipshot hardtail bridge and Schecter locking tuners. Although the high strings may feel a little snug, the 28′′ scale offers an excellent halfway point. These specifications are straightforward, but they look and work nicely.
If the Banshee Elite 8 had a multi-scale design, it would have grabbed the #1 slot on this list. It sounds incredible, looks stunning, and is expertly built. If you’re willing to pay nearly twice as much as the other guitars on this list, you’ll be receiving a fantastic instrument.
ESP LTD EC-258 8-String Electric Guitar
- A great extended range guitar that doesn't have to cost an arm and a leg
- Affordable for just about any musician, and allow you to explore the depths of lower pitches for today’s modern sounds
- Feature excellent ESP Designed pickups, a comfortable mahogany body, and a three-piece mahogany necks
Looking for a budget-friendly guitar that allows you to experiment with low pitches and current sounds? You won’t have to pay a lot of money to accomplish so, thanks to the ESP LTD EC-258. Despite its stunning appearance, this guitar is more than simply a fashion statement. Aside from its comfy body and unique roasted Matoba fingerboard, this guitar is ideal for anyone looking for richer, deeper tones.
The body is primarily made of mahogany. It’s also a string-through body with ESP pickups in the bridge and neck, as well as three tone control knobs. The neck is made up of three pieces of mahogany with a satin fish. It’s extremely thin, allowing people with little hands to comfortably reach the full fretboard. There are 22 jumbo frets on the fretboard. As a result, you won’t accidentally play the erroneous notes or strings.
This has a very professional sound. It contains passive electronic pickups that accurately capture all tones. The strings have a buzz, according to some users. However, you need not be concerned because you can cope with this by applying a fret wrap.
The ESP LTD EC-258 is ideal for those making the transition to an eight-string guitar. This guitar will also be simple to play for experienced players. It’s worth noting that the lower string has a gauge of 74. As a result, you may rest assured that you will produce fantastic sounds.
Schecter 1925 Hellraiser Hybrid C-8 TBB Electric Guitars
- 8-string Solidbody Electric Guitar with Quilt Maple Top
- 2 Humbucking Pickups - Trans Black Burst
- Ebony Fingerboard
The Schecter 1925 Hellraiser Hybrid C-8 TBB is a stunning guitar that promises to provide an even better playing experience. This guitar is a mix of the infamous Schecter Hellraiser and SLS models, giving you the best of both worlds – what more could you ask for?
The guitar’s body is primarily made of mahogany, with quilted maple on the top. It also has a hipshort hardtail bridge with a string through body, active humbucker pickups in the neck and bridge, and volume, tone, and three-way switch controls. The neck is another work of art, having a three-piece maple neck with carbon reinforcement rods and a 20-inch radius ebony fretboard. For persons with small hands, the neck is also narrow.
When we say the Schecter C-8 is a hybrid, we also mean it has exceptional sound quality. Because it has locking tuners, tuning this guitar is a breeze. It also has no tuning issues. The active pickups’ sound quality ensures that each note is accurately and beautifully pronounced. Even though it’s a great shredder, it may also be used for other types of music.
If you’re new to eight-string guitars, the Schecter C-8 is a terrific place to start. Elite players will appreciate this guitar because it has a wide range big scale and is a great complement to your amplifier. This is best 8-string guitars under $500.
Jackson JS Series Dinky Arch Top JS32-8 DKA HT
- Dinky Arch Top Body w/1pc. Bolt-On Maple Neck w/Graphite Reinforcement and Scarf Joint
- 25.5" Scale Length; 12"-16" Compound Radius Amaranth Fingerboard w/24 Jumbo Frets and Pearloid Sharkfin Inlays
- Jackson High-Output Humbucking Pickups with 3-Position Blade, Master Vol, Master Tone
When you require the wide range of an 8-string guitar, the Jackson JS32-8 Dinky solidbody electric guitar’s value and musical intensity are hard to surpass. The JS32-8 Dinky is ideal for downtuned rock and metal, featuring Jackson’s famed neck carve, two high-output humbuckers, and that iconic headstock.
Thanks to the strings-through-body fixed bridge of laurel fretboard, you’ll get a lot of sustain and note definition. Despite its low price, the JS32-8 Dinky comes with high-end features including fretboard binding for a silky smooth feel. Are you looking for a low-cost, high-quality 8-string guitar that plays like a dream? The Jackson JS32-8 Dinky solidbody electric guitar will surprise you.
Although Jackson’s JS line lacks the bells and whistles, entry-level models like this one adhere to sound guitar design fundamentals. The neck has a player-friendly 12”-16” compound radius and a manageable 26.5” scale (only an inch longer than conventional Fender scale), but it’s also graphite-reinforced, which is typical of a build that focuses on the fundamentals.
The Jackson humbuckers go hot enough to produce harmonic squeals and a rhythm guitar tone that could ruin the guitar’s structure. The Dinky body is still one of the most comfortable S-style forms in guitar design. It’s a wonderful value, a lot of fun, and an excellent candidate for purchasing and modding.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who plays 8-string guitars?
Tosin Abasi of Animals as Leaders is a fantastic eight-string player. This is someone who fully exploits the instrument’s capabilities. He not only plays strong music, but he also composes superb clean guitar parts. He explains his approach to the instrument in a number of videos on Youtube and Reverb. Check out this video if you’re searching for some motivation.
Charlie Hunter is a great 8-string player as well. He performs everything from jazz to blues while also playing bass and harmony sections. He’s essentially a one-man show. Periphery, Meshuggah, Deftones, and Tesseract are some other great bands that use 8 strings. These are all motivating bands that demand a lot of low end and want to push the metal music envelope.