17 Best 7 String Guitars in 2021 (All Price Ranges)

The electric guitar is easily one of the most interesting instruments of our time. And since its invention back in the first half of the 20th century, things have changed a lot. However, some basic principles that we see even today have been established back in the 1950s, with classic guitars like Fender Stratocaster, Fender Telecaster, and Gibson Les Paul. These models are not only still in production, but their features remain almost unchanged to this very day.

Best 7 String Guitars (Featured Image)

But things needed to be more interesting, right? While having 6 strings, 21 to 24 frets and two or three pickups seemed enough to many, some felt that there’s more to this great instrument. Knowing how unusual the 1980s were, this is the decade when we saw the rise and commercial success of 7 string guitars. The idea of an extended-range guitar actually goes a long way back, even before the 20th century. However, when it comes to standard solid-body electric guitars, they finally came to fruition as an “official” instrument in 1983 when Kirk Sand built an instrument according to the idea that Lenny Breau came up with. However, this instrument, which was presented in NAMM, had a high A string and not the bottom B one that we’re used to seeing today.

The concept of extending the range in lower territories was one of the popular ideas among metal musicians. In the late 1980s, Steve Vai teamed up with Ibanez for his proposed idea of a 7 string guitar. Released in 1990, Ibanez UV7 was the first-ever commercially available 7 string solid-body electric guitar. However, it was only in the mid-1990s that they saw significant success when James “Munky” Shaffer and Brian “Head” Welch of Korn started using them. And it’s pretty interesting that a band that does riff-based music starts using guitars originally intended for virtuoso shredders.

As its fame grew, 7 string electric guitars became more widespread and plenty of other companies began making them. In fact, there are so many different models that it gets hard to choose the right one for you. This is exactly why we decided to step in and help you out by bringing you a list of the best 7 string guitars. You can’t go wrong with any of these!

Name of ProductImage of ProductDescriptionPrice RangeFull Review
1. PRS SE Mark Holcomb SVN (Best For The Money)PRS SE Mark Holcomb SVN GuitarBody Wood: Mahogany body with a maple top
Finish: Satin Walnut or Holcomb Burst
$1050Read Full Review Below
2. Jackson Pro Series Chris Broderick Soloist HT7 (Best Under $1000)Jackson Pro Series Chris Broderick Soloist HT7Body Wood: Mahogany
Finish: Gloss metallic, comes in few color variants
$1000Read Full Review Below
3. Ibanez RG7421 (Best Under $500)Ibanez RG7421Body Wood: Meranti
Finish: Multiple options
$500Read Full Review Below
4. Jackson Dinky JS22-7 (Best Cheap)Jackson Dinky JS22-7Body Wood: Poplar
Finish: Different variants of satin and gloss finishes
$200Read Full Review Below
5. ESP E-II M-II 7 NT (Best For Metal)ESP E-II M-II 7 NTBody Wood: Mahogany
Finish: Purple Natural Fade, Dark Brown Natural Burst
$2300Read Full Review Below
6. ESP LTD Stephen Carpenter SCT-607BESP LTD Stephen Carpenter SCT-607BBody Wood: Alder
Finish: Glossy Green Sparkle
$1300Read Full Review Below
7. Ibanez RGD Prestige RGD3127Ibanez RGD Prestige RGD3127 7 String GuitarBody Wood: Basswood
Finish: Roadster Orange Flat, Pearl White Flat
$1800Read Full Review Below
8. Sterling by Music Man MAJ270XFM John Petrucci MajestySterling by Music Man MAJ270XFM John Petrucci MajestyBody Wood: Mahogany with flame maple top
Finish: Glossy, Royal Red
$1500Read Full Review Below
9. Schecter Hellraiser C-7Schecter Hellraiser C-7Body Wood: Mahogany
Finish: Glossy white
$1050Read Full Review Below
10. Schecter Banshee Elite-7Schecter Banshee Elite-7Body Wood: Swamp ash
Finish: Cat’s Eye Pearl, Natural
$1050Read Full Review Below
11. Dean RC7X Rusty Cooley SignatureDean-RC7X Rusty Cooley SignatureBody Wood: Alder
Finish: Trans Black
$1300Read Full Review Below
12. ESP LTD EC-1007 EclipseESP LTD EC-1007 EclipseBody Wood: Mahogany
Finish: Black
$1100Read Full Review Below
13. ESP LTD Viper-7ESP LTD Viper-7Body Wood: Mahogany
Finish: Black satin
$1050Read Full Review Below
14. Schecter Reaper-7Schecter Reaper-7Body Wood: Swamp ash
Finish: Satin Charcoal Burst, Satin Inferno Burst, Satin Sky Burst
$950Read Full Review Below
15. Ibanez Iron Label RGIX7FDLBIbanez Iron Label RGIX7FDLBBody Wood: Ash with a laurel burl top
Finish: Northern Lights Burst
$900Read Full Review Below
16. Ibanez FR807Ibanez FR807Body Wood: Nyatoh
Finish: Black satin polyurethane
$1200Read Full Review Below
17. Ernie Ball Music Man Majesty 7Ernie Ball Music Man Majesty 7Body Wood: Alder, mahogany, and maple combination
Finish: Multiple options
$4000Read Full Review Below

Here Are the Best 7 String Guitars

1. PRS SE Mark Holcomb SVN (Best For The Money)

PRS SE Mark Holcomb SVN Guitar

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Estimated Price: $1050

Body Wood: Mahogany body with a maple top
Finish: Satin Walnut or Holcomb Burst
Neck: Maple
Neck Profile: Wide Thin
Fretboard: Ebony
Fret Count: 24
Pickups: Seymour Duncan Alpha in the neck and Seymour Duncan Omega in the bridge position

My Review: Mark Holcomb of Periphery is one of the most famous modern progressive metal musicians. While PRS might have been an unusual choice for such a guitar player, there’s no doubt that his signature model with the company covers all the necessary aspects that 7 string virtuoso players prefer. There’s an obvious accent on ergonomic features, especially with the indentations around its cutaways. What’s really interesting is that we have a super-flat fretboard radius of 20 inches, as well as 24 frets. Its scale length is 26.5 inches, which is slightly below the average for 7 string guitars.

Finally, things are rounded up with interesting design options, including PRS’s classic bird inlays, as well as two finish options, “Holcomb Burst” and “Satin Walnut”. Its neck is also accompanied by simple white binding.

Build Materials: The body, which features a shape based on the company’s classic SE one, is made out of mahogany and comes with a quilted maple top. The neck is a standard maple one and comes with an ebony fretboard.

Hardware, Electronics, and Controls: The guitar comes with a fairly simple configuration of hardware and electronics. We have a fixed bridge, Seymour Duncan’s Alpha and Omega pickups, a 3-way selector switch, a volume knob, and a tone control. The tone control is accompanied by a “push/pull” feature for coil splitting. The pickups allow for some very diverse tone-shaping options, anything from smooth cleans and up to soaring razor-sharp leads.

Bottom Line: While this is a virtuoso-oriented instrument, some may be dissatisfied with its overall simplicity, especially the fixed bridge. However, for this price level, all of the components are top-notch. It’s a pretty diverse instrument and comes in handy for many different musical styles. If you don’t know what to buy, PRS is always a safe bet. Overall, I’d say this is the best 7 string guitar for the money.

2. Jackson Pro Series Chris Broderick Soloist HT7 (Best Under $1000)

Jackson Pro Series Chris Broderick Soloist HT7

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Estimated Price: $1000

Body Wood: Mahogany
Finish: Gloss metallic, comes in few color variants
Neck: Maple
Neck Profile: Speed Neck
Fretboard: Rosewood
Fret Count: 24
Pickups: Two Direct Mount DiMarzio Chris Broderick CB7

My Review: Jackson’s Christ Broderick signature 7 string guitar is not just your other average 7 string Super-Strat. Both visually and functionally, it delivers what a metal guitarist needs. The neck is pretty comfortable, but, interestingly enough, comes with a radius of 12 inches, which is not as flat as you’d expect. Jackson’s specially designed Speed Neck profile makes it a great extended-range instrument for lead players in metal music. Along with its unique design that combines ergonomic and aesthetic qualities, there’s nothing stopping you from blasting some of the heaviest metal solos.

Build Materials: With Chris Broderick Soloist HT7, we have the classic choice of mahogany, which is accompanied by a maple neck. Now, this is a neck-through body design, which increases the tuning stability and sustain, especially with its added graphite reinforcement. Combine this with the indents on the front side of the cutaways and the specially designed heel where the body meets the neck.

Hardware, Electronics, and Controls: Although this is yet another guitar with a hardtail bridge, Jackson has its magic with individual saddles that allow extra tweaking for action and intonation. What’s more, strings go through the body, which adds its twist to the tone. Combined with Jackson’s die-cast tuning machines, strings will remain stable even after extensive use.

Then we have DiMarzio’s CB7 Chris Broderick signature pickups, designed for 7-string guitars that can deliver quite a heavy punch. What’s more, we even have a coil-split feature for more versatility. And if that wasn’t enough, its master tone control can be switched on or off, and there’s even a killswitch that shuts the signal off completely.

Bottom Line: For a 7 string-loving metalhead, this guitar has everything you’ll need. Well, except for a 2-point bridge, which can be a downside to some. However, the main focus here was to have a guitar with a heavy punch and great tuning stability at its price level.

3. Ibanez RG7421 (Best Under $500)

Ibanez RG7421

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Estimated Price: $500

Body Wood: Meranti
Finish: Multiple options
Neck: 3-piece maple
Neck Profile: Wizard II-7
Fretboard: Jatoba
Fret Count: 24, jumbo
Pickups: Two Ibanez Quantum 7 humbuckers

My Review: We’ve already mentioned some budget-friendly 7 string guitars on this list. And if you still feel tired of all the head-spinning prices, or super-cheap bottom-tier alternatives, then Ibanez has one pretty great guitar for you, the RG7421 model. It’s a simple stripped-down 7-string guitar with more than just decent qualities, both in terms of playability and tone. Its design features make playing complex lead sections fairly comfortable, including its Wizard II-7 neck profile and a pretty flat fretboard radius of 15.75 inches. To some extent, pickups are the weak point, although you can’t expect to have everything perfect on a guitar at this price level.

Build Materials: Cheaper RG series usually come with the same type of materials. The body on the RG7421 guitar is made out of mahogany, while the neck is a maple one with a jatoba fretboard. On it, we can find 24 jumbo frets and simple pearl dot inlays. In the end, the neck forms a bolt-on construction with the body, although the heel is a bit smoothened and contoured, making it feel decent under your fretting hand.

Hardware, Electronics, and Controls: Two Quantum humbucking pickups are standard for this price-tier of the RG series. They’re decent, although we would recommend that you give just a slightly bigger accent on your amp’s and distortion pedal’s treble knobs. While the guitar comes with conventional master volume and master tone controls, you can add some of those chimey bell-like tones typical of Stratocasters using its 5-way pickup selector switch.

The hardware is what you usually see on guitars like these, with a 7-saddle fixed bridge, a string-through construction, and simple stock tuners. The only important part here is that you can easily intonate the guitar and change its action.

Bottom Line: Overall, we can easily say that the guitar is “business as usual” for Ibanez’s lower-priced RG models. Although it’s not a luxurious instrument, we’ve decided to put it on this list for its awesome price to quality ratio. The pickups are okay, they might be a bit better, but you can always play around with it and add a new set of pickups after a while, which can significantly improve its output. I’d say the Ibanez RG7421 is the best 7 string guitar under 500 dollars.

4. Jackson Dinky JS22-7 (Best Cheap)

Jackson Dinky JS22-7

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Estimated Price: $200

Body Wood: Poplar
Finish: Different variants of satin and gloss finishes
Neck: Maple
Neck Profile: Flat “C” profile
Fretboard: Amaranth
Fret Count: 24, jumbo
Pickups: Jackson’s stock 7 string pickups

My Review: Hey, if you’re tired of high prices but still want to play a 7 string guitar, there’s still some awesome stuff for you. A great example is a 7 string twist to Jackson’s classic Dinky guitar, the JS22-7 model. The main idea is to have a simple guitar with all the simple features, all while keeping it at the best possible quality level at this price. To put it simply, the instrument definitely outperforms its cost, especially with unexpected additions like its arched top and ergonomic indents at cutaways.

Build Materials: Jackson Dinky JS22-7 comes with a poplar body and a standard bolt-on maple neck. Although this is a standard configuration for a cheap instrument, we have yet another surprise in form of a compound radius on its amaranth fretboard, going from 12 to 16 inches.

Hardware, Electronics, and Controls: While the fixed bridge on this guitar is not as advanced compared to the previous example mentioned above, it’s still a standard one, providing you with fairly decent tuning stability. Pickups are the standard deal with two stock 7-string humbuckers and controls for 3-way pickup switching, volume, and tone.

Bottom Line: Do you feel like keeping it cheap but still want a reliable instrument? Dinky JS22-7 is probably the best choice. Sure, the guitar could use a better pair of pickups and the access to higher frets is not as comfortable as with some other guitars. However, for this price, you can’t really find a better 7 string guitar.

5. ESP E-II M-II 7 NT (Best For Metal)

ESP E-II M-II 7 NT

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Estimated Price: $2300

Body Wood: Mahogany
Finish: Purple Natural Fade, Dark Brown Natural Burst
Neck: 3-piece maple
Neck Profile: Thin U
Fretboard: Ebony
Fret Count: 24, extra-jumbo
Pickups: Two Bare Knuckle Warpig 7ST humbuckers

My Review: While LTD has some awesome stuff, ESP’s main guitars include some top-level professional-grade instruments of all kinds. These are mostly focused on metal music, although a lot of them can come in handy for a lot of different musical styles as well. When it comes to 7 string guitars, we’d single out their E-II M-II 7 NT model. While the designated name might seem a bit weird, this guitar has all the necessary elements to bring it here as one of the best instruments that you can find on the market today.

Overall, they kept its functionalities rather simple, although every single component is done with great care (to which we’ll get in a second). As a result, we have one pretty fine 7-string electric guitar that every virtuoso can adore. The design, playability, tone – this one has it all.

Build Materials: To start off with its body, we have mahogany of impeccable quality, which is accompanied by a burl maple top. This is then followed by the company’s two awesome finish options, either “Purple Natural Fade” or “Dark Brown Natural Burst”.

Up next, the neck is a maple one with a Thin “U” profile, carrying an ebony fingerboard with 24 extra-jumbo frets and a radius of 12 inches. This configuration is a pretty “balanced” one, giving a great feel for both lead and rhythm parts. Finally, the neck forms a “set-thru” configuration with the body, allowing for an awesome feel with special contours where these two parts meet and providing you with a pretty nice sustain.

Hardware, Electronics, and Controls: This fine ESP guitar comes with a fixed Hipshot bridge with 7 individual saddles. It’s designed in such a way to provide you with maximum tuning stability and enhance the instrument’s sustain. On the other side of the instrument, we have Gotoh tuners placed neatly on an “upside-down” headstock, with tuning machines pointing downwards.

Like we already mentioned, the guitar has pretty simple electronics. There are two Bare Knuckle Warpig 7ST humbucking pickups that are specially designed to bring articulation and clarity for all strings, including the bottom B one. With the standard three pickup combinations and volume and tone controls, you’ll have the basic tone-shaping options. While mostly focusing on higher mids and high-ends, you can soften things up with the master tone knob.

Bottom Line: It’s obvious from its price tag that ESP E-II M-II 7 NT is intended for very experienced and professional players. The main focus is on prog metal, or generally metal music. However, with a pretty nice punch and a somewhat crunchy tone, the guitar can find a lot of use in many other genres as well.

6. ESP LTD Stephen Carpenter SCT-607B

ESP LTD Stephen Carpenter SCT-607B

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Estimated Price: $1300

Body Wood: Alder
Finish: Glossy Green Sparkle
Neck: 3-piece maple
Neck Profile: Thin U
Fretboard: Ebony
Fret Count: 24, extra-jumbo
Pickups: Two Fishman Fluence SRC humbuckers

My Review: ESP and their subsidiary LTD have always been one of the guitar manufacturers at the forefront of innovation. And this is exactly what we can see with their ESP LTD SCT-607B, which is a signature model of Deftone’s Stephen Carpenter. Officially marketed as a “baritone” guitar, it comes with 7 strings and a scale length of 27 inches. But what really attracts attention is the combination of vintage and modern features. The guitar features the classic Telecaster shape, although we have a neck-through formation, very easy access to higher frets, as well as a very eye-catching design and finish. Meanwhile, the controls look as if they are off of a standard old Fender Telecaster.

Build Materials: This absolutely unconventional beast has a body made out of alder, a 3-piece maple neck, and an ebony fretboard with 24 frets. The instrument’s sparkling green finish is also enhanced with a pearl pickguard, as well as pearl binding on the body and neck.

Hardware, Electronics, and Controls: Here’s where things get even weirder. The guitar comes with super-innovative Fishman Fluence pickups, two SRC Stephen Carpenter signature humbuckers. These are active pickups that allow more tone-shaping options through the voicing control engaged through the “push/pull” action on the volume pot. And the shocking part is that these pickups are positioned in the bridge and middle positions, instead of bridge and neck. This way, you get a fairly interesting and unique sonic landscape.

As far as its bridge goes, things are fairly simple. There’s a tune-o-matic bridge without a tailpiece, with strings going down through the body after it.

Bottom Line: This is one of the best choices for those who want to go even lower and use drop A or standard A tunings. Meanwhile, Fishman pickups really breathe a new life into this instrument, especially with the unusual setup with bridge and middle positions. What’s more, the guitar is very comfortable to play, both for the fretting and the picking hand. The instrument is not cheap, it’s not super-expensive, but it’s more than worth its price.

Popular Related Article: Our Favorite 12 String Guitars (All Price Ranges)

7. Ibanez RGD Prestige RGD3127

Ibanez RGD Prestige RGD3127 7 String Guitar

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Estimated Price: $1800

Body Wood: Basswood
Finish: Roadster Orange Flat, Pearl White Flat
Neck: 5-piece maple and wenge with titanium rods
Neck Profile: Wizard-7 Prestige RGD
Fretboard: Birdseye maple
Fret Count: 24, jumbo
Pickups: Two DiMarzio Fusion Edge 7 humbuckers

My Review: Look, we all know how awesome Ibanez guitars can get. However, their Prestige line offers way more than one would even imagine. With a model like their RGD3127, it seems that all of the important aspects are checked. In short, this is a 7 string guitar that comes in handy for pretty much any musical style. It’s not a cheap one, but it’s what you’d expect of a fully professional instrument. And aside from awesome build quality and impeccable design (that covers both aesthetic and functional aspects), we have some of the “bells and whistles” that a true shredder wants to see.

One of the best parts is how cutaways are designed, giving a lot of room to play in higher frets. And even though it has a bolt-on neck construction, the heel on the instrument’s back side feels pretty great.

Build Materials: First off, we have a body made out of basswood that also comes in two different finish variants, Roadster Orange Flat and Pearl White Flat. Then we have an impressive 5-piece maple and wenge neck that’s further enhanced with titanium rods in its construction. The fingerboard is made from birdseye maple and comes with black “dot” inlays.

Hardware, Electronics, and Controls: One of the high points of this guitar is its 2-way tremolo bridge, Ibanez’s famous Lo-Pro Edge adapted to 7 string guitars. Accompanied by Ibanez’s Top-Lok III nut, you can use it as much as you want and there’s hardly any chance that strings will go out of tune.

Meanwhile, the pickup combination is pretty simple, including all the controls that come with it. However, we have two awesome DiMarzio Fusion Edge 7 humbuckers that not only provide you with a lot of sonic nuances but also help you with all the dynamic nuances in your playing.

Bottom Line: Just to get one thing straight, all of the guitars from Ibanez’s Prestige series are professional-tier instruments. RGD3127 is not exactly what a beginner or intermediate player would want. But with this said, pretty much everyone would notice this guitar’s greatness, which is not a surprise for Prestige models.

8. Sterling by Music Man MAJ270XFM John Petrucci Majesty

Sterling by Music Man MAJ270XFM John Petrucci Majesty

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Estimated Price: $1500

Body Wood: Mahogany with flame maple top
Finish: Glossy, Royal Red
Neck: 3-piece mahogany
Neck Profile: Thin C
Fretboard: Ebony
Fret Count: 24, medium-jumbo
Pickups: DiMarzio LiquiFire and DiMarzio Crunch Lab humbuckers

My Review: Knowing the greatness of Ernie Ball Music Man, it’s only obvious that their subsidiary company Sterling also has some jaw-dropping guitars to offer. Although cheaper than Music Man guitars, these are still mostly pro-level instruments, which is also the case with the MAJ270XFM model. This is a cheaper alternative to John Petrucci’s Majesty by Ernie Ball.

Build Materials: We have a somewhat simpler construction compared to the Music Man Majesty. However, we still have a flamed maple top as an addition to its mahogany body. Accompanying it is a 3-piece mahogany neck with an ebony fretboard, 24 stainless steel medium-jumbo frets, and a relatively short scale length for a 7 string guitar, measuring at 25.5 inches. Additionally, the fretboard has a radius of 16 inches, which makes it rather flat and useful for lead players.

Hardware, Electronics, and Controls: Its hardware is significantly different compared to the Music Man Majesty. There’s Sterling’s “Modern Tremolo” bridge that includes a fairly simple 7-saddle construction without fine-tuning machines. We also have a dual-action truss rod which allows for some additional precise adjustments.

As for the pickups, we have DiMarzio’s LiquiFire and Crunch Lab humbuckers, which are Dream Theater guitarist’s signature models. Aside from standard volume, tone, and 3-way switching controls, you can also add a clean boost to the signal with the “push/pull” action on the volume knob.

Bottom Line: Although not the full-blown Majesty like the one made by Ernie Ball, this is still one pretty awesome 7-string guitar. You’ll get a full package that’s capable of delivering both heavy and soft tones for pretty much any genre. What’s more, we’d say that its design is above its price league.

9. Schecter Hellraiser C-7

Schecter Hellraiser C-7

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Estimated Price: $1000

Body Wood: Mahogany
Finish: Glossy white
Neck: 3-piece mahogany
Neck Profile: Thin C
Fretboard: Rosewood
Fret Count: 24, extra-jumbo
Pickups: Two EMG 707TW humbuckers

My Review: Schecter is most often associated with metal music and doesn’t get all the credit that it deserves. Just looking at a wonderful and reasonably-priced guitar like their Hellraiser C-7, you’ll get what we’re saying. In the world of 7 strings, this is one of the finest examples of how looks can go well with functionality. This Super-Strat keeps things simple, yet very effective.

Build Materials: Here, we have a body made out of mahogany and featuring an arched top construction. The instrument’s 3-piece maple neck forms a set-neck joint with the body, along with the company’s special “Ultra Access” design for playing comfortably in higher frets. We also have a rosewood fretboard with a 16-inch radius and 24 extra-jumbo frets. Visually, the most exciting part is the multi-ply black-white-black abalone binding on the body and headstock. Rounding things up, there are abalone Gothic cross inlays on the fretboard.

Hardware, Electronics, and Controls: While simplicity was also one of the main goals, this guitar’s EMG 707TW pickups are accompanied by individual volume knobs, a tone knob, a 3-way switch, as well as the “push/pull” feature on both volume controls. This way, you get those single-coil “twangy” tone options as well.

The instrument’s bridge is a simple TonePros tune-o-matic one. There’s no tailpiece and the strings go towards the body at a soft angle and then straight to the other side. There are, however, some versions with a classic Floyd Rose bridge, with the guitar’s body design adapted to is, although these are not that common.

Bottom Line: If you’re a heavy-riffing metal musician, Schecter is always a safe bet. Aside from its overall simplicity, the Hellraiser C-7 model still provides some sonic versatility and an all-around awesome design.

10. Schecter Banshee Elite-7

Schecter Banshee Elite-7

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Estimated Price: $1050

Body Wood: Swamp ash
Finish: Cat’s Eye Pearl, Natural
Neck: Maple and walnut combination
Neck Profile: Ultra Thin C
Fretboard: Ebony
Fret Count: 24, extra jumbo
Pickups: Two Schecter USA SuperCharger Mach-7 humbuckers

My Review: Knowing how awesome their stuff is, it’s impossible not to have yet another Schecter 7 string guitar on this list. Up next, we’re looking at their Banshee Elite-7 guitar. It’s interesting how some simple twists to the instrument’s design and finish options can make a world of difference. Then there’s also its great body design, as well as a headstock that keeps strings at an almost straight line from the tuners and to the neck, providing better tuning stability. We can easily say that the Elite-7 model is one notch ahead of the Hellraiser C-7. This goes for all of its aspects, and it’s pretty obvious with its build quality and design traits.

Build Materials: This fine instrument has a swamp ash body paired up with a flamed maple top. Complementing the body, there’s a multi-piece maple and walnut neck with an ebony fretboard on top, featuring 24 extra-jumbo frets. The addition of maple multi-ply binding with a black-creme-black pattern brings a lively note to its aesthetic aspect, covering headstock and fretboard edges. Meanwhile, the body has a slightly simpler binding, although it balances things out.

Hardware, Electronics, and Controls: With two Schecter SuperCharger Mach-7 humbucking pickups, the tone can get super-heavy, although it’s not hard to control. Although not height-adjustable, pole pieces on them are wide, which broadens their magnetic field. And although these are humbucker pickups, we have a 5-way switch for more sonic options.

In the end, Banshee Elite-7 has a hard-tail bridge with 7 individual saddles, and its strings go straight down through the guitar’s swamp ash body. Paired with Schecter locking tuners, the guitar stays in tune really well.

Bottom Line: Keeping some of the simple features, Banshee Elite-7 brings this mid to high-priced 7 string concept to a new level. SuperCharger pickups are an interesting twist, as well as the guitar’s eye-catching design.

11. Dean RC7X Rusty Cooley Signature

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Estimated Price: $1300

Body Wood: Alder
Finish: Trans Black
Neck: Maple
Neck Profile: Custom Rusty Cooley profile
Fretboard: Ebony
Fret Count: 24, medium-jumbo
Pickups: Two EMG 707 humbuckers

My Review: If you know Rusty Cooley, you definitely know how he’s very picky with his instruments. And for a good reason, as his impeccable playing technique requires an all-around great guitar. He teamed up with Dean a while back for a pro-level 7 string guitar that’s unlike anything else you’d find on the market. From top to bottom, Dean’s RC7X model has all the necessary ingredients that a 7 string shredder would need.

Build Materials: Starting off with the body, we have the classic mahogany construction with a flamed maple top. Meanwhile, we have a bolt-on maple neck with an ebony fretboard with 25 full frets, as well as a 26th fret that covers only the first three strings (E, B, and G). Interestingly, its scale length is short for a 7-string, measuring at 25.5 inches. The guitar is also equipped with nice-looking binding all over the body edges, fretboard, and even the headstock.

Hardware, Electronics, and Controls: This fine Dean has two EMG 707 active pickups, and the one in the neck position is slanted, giving a “bassier” tone to the bottom strings. We can also see an original Floyd Rose bridge, accompanying locking nut, and Grover tuners, all painted black.

Bottom Line: While it might seem that the aesthetic aspect is the main thing here, Dean’s RC7X is mostly focused on ergonomic qualities. This is especially noticeable with the backside design at its cutaways. With this said, this guitar is a useful tool for all of those who play neo-classical and prog metal music.

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12. ESP LTD EC-1007 Eclipse

ESP LTD EC-1007 Eclipse

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Estimated Price: $1200

Body Wood: Mahogany
Finish: Black
Neck: 3-piece mahogany
Neck Profile: Thin U
Fretboard: Macassar ebony
Fret Count: 24, extra-jumbo
Pickups: EMG 81-7H humbucker in the bridge and EMG 60-7H humbucker in the neck position

My Review: Knowing that ESP LTD can make some surprisingly great and mostly metal-oriented guitars, we’re looking at another one of their great models, the EC-1007 Eclipse. It’s a fairly “unusual” combination of a single-cutaway body shape in the style of a Les Paul and the inclusion of 7 strings. Nonetheless, the design is conceived in such a way to make your playing in higher frets more comfortable. It also comes with a few pleasant surprises in all aspects, making it a very unique model.

Build Materials: As is the case with heavy-oriented guitars, we have a mahogany body with a glossy black finish. There’s also a 3-piece mahogany neck with a Macassar ebony fingerboard, 24 extra-jumbo frets, and a 350-millimeter radius (13.78 inches). With a Thin U shape, the neck provides you with some fairly comfortable performance qualities. It’s also worth noting that the guitar comes with some very fitting and pretty-looking binding on body edges, headstock, and the fretboard.

Hardware, Electronics, and Controls: Complementing the instrument’s design, all the hardware on EC-1007 is painted black. And the most exciting component here is the Evertune bridge that’s well-known for being able to keep your guitar in tune all the time. The pitch even remains the same if you bend any of the strings, although it can also work as a regular bridge.

For the pickups, we have the classic EMG active combo of 81 and 60 pickups. However, these are special 7-string versions that are designed to keep the “muddiness” away from the 7th string. This particular combination is known for bringing “sharper” tones with a stronger attack, all while keeping the thickness in the bottom-end.

Bottom Line: Super-stylish, great-sounding, reliable, and comfortable to play, ESP LTD EC-1007 is a guitar that every 7 string-loving metal player can find useful. It’s as simple as that.

13. ESP LTD Viper-7

ESP LTD Viper-7

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Estimated Price: $1050

Body Wood: Mahogany
Finish: Black satin
Neck: 3-piece mahogany
Neck Profile: Thin U
Fretboard: Macassar ebony
Fret Count: 24, extra-jumbo
Pickups: One Seymour Duncan Black Winter humbucker

My Review: Going deeper into their arsenal of awesome guitars, ESP LTD’s Viper-7 is another great 7 string guitar for metal. Bearing a slightly morphed SG body shape, the guitar is as heavy-sounding as it looks. The instrument, marketed as a baritone guitar, comes with the simplest features. However, all of its qualities are at a fairly high level, it’s only that this is a “stripped-down” instrument.

Build Materials: And as is usually the case with all SG and SG-style models, Viper-7 has a mahogany body, as well as a 3-piece mahogany neck with a Macassar ebony fingerboard. Aside from having 24 extra-jumbo frets, the body and neck joint forms a very smooth joint that lets you access high frets with ease. What’s more, it’s a pretty thin and relatively light guitar, making it very comfortable to play, especially with all the body contours. It’s also important to note that the neck features a Thin “U” profile.

Hardware, Electronics, and Controls: This is one of the simplest commercially available guitar models. There’s the standard tune-o-matic bridge with a Gibson-style tailpiece, just like the ones you find on regular SGs. Meanwhile, on a cleverly designed “4 + 3” headstock we have LTD locking tuners.

Viper-7 is equipped with just one humbucking pickup. This is Seymour Duncan’s Black Winter humbucker, which comes with a pretty high output level. Also, this one comes with ceramic magnets, which brings quite a punch with pronounced mids, and a fair amount of clarity with sizzling high-ends. It’s pretty heavy and crunchy-sounding for a passive pickup. Of course, there obviously aren’t any pickup selector switches, and the only control is a volume knob.

Bottom Line: With its very simplistic design and functionalities, ESP LTD Viper-7 is just a straightforward guitar for metal music or any genre where you need those low chugging heavy notes. It’s pretty useful for rhythm players since it comes with just one humbucker.

14. Schecter Reaper-7

Schecter Reaper-7

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Estimated Price: $950

Body Wood: Swamp ash
Finish: Satin Charcoal Burst, Satin Inferno Burst, Satin Sky Burst
Neck: Maple and wenge combination
Neck Profile: Ultra-Thin C
Fretboard: Ebony
Fret Count: 24, narrow extra-jumbo
Pickups: Two Schecter Diamond Decimator humbuckers

My Review: This third Schecter guitar that we’re including here has some pretty surprising and special features for its price tier. In a few aspects, it’s kind of superior to Hellraiser and Banshee Elite-7 models. And it takes just one glance to realize it, with its fanned frets and some pretty unconventional yet very appealing finish options. Additionally, the design focuses way more on the ergonomic aspect, making it feel really good to both fretting and picking hands. The multi-scale design (from 25.5 to 27 inches) and fanned frets are what takes the cake here, especially for virtuosic lead guitar players. And as if this wasn’t enough, the fretboard radius is pretty flat, standing at 20 inches.

Build Materials: The essence of this guitar is its swamp ash body with a poplar blur top. Then along with it comes a neck made out of maple and walnut and fitted with an ebony fingerboard. But it’s not just the materials that make it great, but also the build quality. The instrument’s Ultra-Thin “C” neck profile, as well as the set-neck construction with very comfortable access to higher frets really step up the game here.

Hardware, Electronics, and Controls: Aside from a very simplistic choice of hardware that includes a Hipshot Hardtail bridge (made especially for multi-scale guitars), the Reaper-7 model is equipped with two Diamond Decimator humbuckers. But aside from a standard 3-way pickup selector switch, the tone pot has the classic “push/pull” action for coil splitting. Additionally, the hardware and pickups are all black, complementing the unusual “burst” color patterns.

Bottom Line: Aside from its jaw-dropping looks and multi-scale neck, this is a relatively simple instrument. And we mean that in the best possible way. It’s a real mean shred and chugging machine that’s really easy to play.

15. Ibanez Iron Label RGIX7FDLB

Ibanez Iron Label RGIX7FDLB

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Estimated Price: $1000

Body Wood: Ash with a laurel burl top
Finish: Northern Lights Burst
Neck: 3-piece maple and purpleheart combination
Neck Profile: Nitro Wizard
Fretboard: Ebony
Fret Count: 24, jumbo
Pickups: Two DiMarzio Fusion Edge 7 humbuckers

My Review: Ibanez’s classic RG series really stepped up the game in the entire guitar industry. One model that we’re looking at for this list is the company’s Iron Label RGIX7FDLB. Bringing a classic Super-Strat shape with a mind-blowing “Northern Lights Burst” finish, this instrument is as pretty-looking as it is potent. And with its scale length of 25.5 inches, it’s mostly intended for standard B tuning.

Build Materials: Looking into its specs, Iron Label RGIX7FDLB has an ash body combined with a laurel burl top. Then accompanying it is a multi-piece neck made out of maple and purpleheart that also carries an ebony fretboard with 24 jumbo frets on it. The neck forms a classic bolt-on construction with the body, although the backside design comes with a smooth heel.

Body edges, fretboard, and the instrument’s headstock are all covered in simple white bounding. Accompanying this, we have “offset” dot inlays on the fretboard.

Hardware, Electronics, and Controls: Although relatively simple, things are pretty interesting with hardware and electronics. The guitar comes with a fixed bridge, the Gibraltar Standard II-7. It’s designed in such a way to ensure tuning stability and yet provide some detailed tweaking options.

Looking at the pickups, we have two DiMarzio Fusion Edge 7 humbucker, accompanied by volume and tone controls, a 3way selector toggle switch, and a separate coil-splitting switch. These pickups have a slightly “softer” tone and are designed in such a way to support the bottom string.

Bottom Line: You can’t ever go wrong with the RG series, especially a guitar like this one. However, bear in mind that many have complained about the Fusion Edge pickups. No, they’re not bad at all, they just have specific characteristics of their own, mostly focusing on smoother and darker tones. Other than that, the guitar feels pretty great to play and comes with some pretty outstanding design features.

16. Ibanez FR807

Ibanez FR807

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Estimated Price: $1100

Body Wood: Nyatoh
Finish: Black satin polyurethane
Neck: Maple
Neck Profile: Wizard II-7
Fretboard: Pau ferro
Fret Count: 24, jumbo
Pickups: Two Bare Knuckle Aftermath-7 humbuckers

My Review: We mostly remember Ibanez for their classic “Super-Strat” body shapes and somewhat stereotypical shred-oriented instruments. However, their FR807 is a bit of a different guitar, especially with its unusual body design, mostly based on the classic Telecaster shape. Although not as widely known as their classic guitars, this is a fairly versatile instrument with some great ergonomic features.

Build Materials: The instrument’s uniquely-designed body is made out of Nyatoh wood and rocks some contours that make the playing experience much more comfortable. This is all accompanied by a wonderful-looking satin finish that fits nicely with the roasted maple neck with a light-brown pau ferro fretboard.

Hardware, Electronics, and Controls: This is yet another example of a guitar that keeps all the features pretty simple. There’s a 7-saddle fixed “Mono-rail” bridge, with the strings going directly down and through the body. As far as the electronics go, the guitar is equipped with two Bare Knuckle Aftermath-7 humbucking pickups, one master volume knob, and a 3-way toggle switch. But although a simplistic approach, the instrument delivers some pretty “beefy” tones with pronounced yet very articulate bottom-ends.

Bottom Line: To us, it’s really a mystery how this guitar gets overshadowed by some other 7 string models. If you need a simple and versatile 7 string guitar with pro-level qualities and a fairly reasonable price, FR807 is definitely something you’ll want to check out. While it can cover some pretty heavy stuff, you can also use it for softer musical styles.

17. Ernie Ball Music Man Majesty 7

Ernie Ball Music Man Majesty 7

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Estimated Price: $4000

Body Wood: Alder, mahogany, and maple combination
Finish: Multiple options
Neck: Mahogany and maple combination
Neck Profile: Custom thin profile
Fretboard: Ebony
Fret Count: 24, medium-jumbo
Pickups: DiMarzio Dreamcatcher in the bridge, DiMarzio Rainmaker in the neck, Fishman Powerbridge under-saddle piezo

My Review: And here comes the Majesty in all her greatness. For quite some time, Ernie Ball has been cooperating with Dream Theater’s John Petrucci, delivering his great signature guitars. However, the Majesty is just a whole new level. Here, we’re checking out the 7 string version called Majesty 7. And it comes with the same features and impeccable qualities that we can see on the standard 6-string edition.

Knowing the great musicianship of a guitar master like John Petrucci, it’s not a surprise to see that this instrument is not only filled with different tone-shaping features but also comes with great ergonomic qualities that make playing a breeze. Additionally, the design is unlike anything else we’ve ever seen. With this said, the Majesty 7 costs as much as a decent used car. But it’s a professional-grade electric guitar that worths every single penny.

Build Materials: Here we have a standard configuration that we see on metal-oriented guitars, with a mahogany body and a maple top. However, these tonewoods are significantly better compared to what you see on most of the guitars on the market. Then we have a mahogany neck with an ebony fretboard which forms a neck-through formation. And here’s the most important part: the joint and cutaways are designed in such a way to bring easy access to higher frets. Even the cutaways, with unevenly-sized horns, meet the neck near one another.

Hardware, Electronics, and Controls: Just like with the design, hardware and electronics also come with their own exciting twists. Aside from DiMarzio Rainmaker and Dreamcatcher humbuckers, we also have a piezo under the saddle in the bridge. There’s even a 3-way switch that allows you to choose between magnetic pickups, the piezo pickup, and the combination of both. This third combo gives some pretty unique tones, making it sound as if an acoustic guitar is playing along with an electric one. This combo is especially useful with clean settings.

Then there’s the Custom JP Music Man floating tremolo bridge that gives you maximum precision with the whammy bar action. The guitar’s Schaller M6-IND tuning machines not only provide maximum tuning stability but are also arranged in a “5 + 2” formation, allowing strings to go in one straight line all the way to the bridge.

Bottom Line: The Majesty just has it all. Honestly, if we were to pick one “perfect” guitar, then it has to be this model (yeah, we know that it’s not that simple, but still). And the 7-string model brings even more sonic options. It’s pretty expensive, but you can’t really expect anything else from an instrument like this one. With this in mind, the Majesty 7 model is what professional virtuoso players would want to check out. Of course, hobbyists are free to give it a try, but the expense might seem unnecessary. A viable cheaper alternative is Sterling’s MAJ270XFM Majesty.

Choosing the Right 7 String Guitar (Buying Guide)

Buying a 7 string guitar might be a bit tricker compared to a 6-string one. Although a lot of the features are very similar or identical to those that you’d find with regular guitars, there are a few important traits that you should get more acquainted with. After all, having this extra bottom string comes with some changes with not only the body and neck design, but also with pickups, hardware, and other components. We’ll walk you through all of the essentials and help you choose the best 7 string guitar for your needs.

Body and Neck Material Considerations

When it comes to body and neck materials, it’s what you’d see with most of the other solid-body electric guitars. With the body, you can have mahogany, basswood, alder, ash, and occasionally koa, walnut, and rosewood. Maple is not uncommon, although it’s mostly used as additional top (or “cap”) material with some guitars. Necks are usually made out of maple or mahogany and come with different fretboard materials that can include rosewood, ebony, maple, pau ferro, jatoba, or walnut. By rule, mahogany gives smoother and darker tones, while maple and ash are brighter. Some necks may also feature graphite or metal rod reinforcements, along with a “multi-piece” wood formation, allowing for better stability in the longer run.

In some rare examples, we have guitars made out of composite materials. However, this is still in experimental waters and only some premium custom guitar builders make them.

Neck Design

With one more string, necks on 7 string guitars are wider. Meanwhile, they’re usually about the same thickness as with 6-string guitars, although we’ve also seen some examples using special examples that bring an ultra-thin design.

But when necks are wider, joints with the body might feel more uncomfortable, especially with the bolt-on body and neck construction. It’s important to see whether the guitar has a contoured heel that allows for easier access to higher frets. Almost all guitars that we mentioned above have this.

What also impacts your performance is the fretboard radius. Rounder ones, that are 12 or 10 inches (sometimes even below), are more useful for chords. Flatter radiuses that go above 12, sometimes measuring even at 20 inches, are common with virtuoso-friendly guitars.

Set-in, set-neck, neck-thru, and set-thru formations are usually much more comfortable and are a trait of more expensive guitars. Thes can also bring a more pronounced sustain.

With more strings come larger headstocks. The “perfect” setting is to have strings going in a straight line from the tuners and all the way to the bridge. But we can only see that with Sterling and Music Man guitars that we mentioned here. In other cases, strings are usually at an angle, which can impact tuning stability.

Since there are more stings, the nut width is always bigger, usually going up to 51 millimeters. But some brands like to keep it narrower, usually at around 48 millimeters, which makes it closer to 6-string guitars. If you want to use thicker string gauges and tune your guitar below the standard B tuning, then go with wider nut width.

Scale Length Explained

This is where 7 string guitars differ significantly from 6-string ones. Having an additional significantly thicker string means that these guitars should have a longer scale length than usual. For those who are not familiar, the scale length is the distance between the nut and the bridge. With 7 string guitars, the shorter scale length is 25.5 inches, which is common with the standard B tuning (B-E-A-D-G-B-E). But it’s not uncommon for them to go up to 27 or even more inches, which enables those lower tunings like standard A. In the case of fanned-fret guitars, which is not unusual for 7 strings, we can see multi-scale formations where thicker strings have longer scale lengths and the bridge is slanted. This is usually common with high-end examples.

Hardware

As we’ve seen from this list, it’s quite common to see fixed bridges on 7 string guitars, even those expensive ones. It’s a bit difficult to keep the tuning stability with 2-way tremolo bridges when you have more strings in there, especially with thicker gauges. These are usually variations to standard hard-tail bridges, but you can also find tune-o-matic ones, sometimes without an additional stopbar tailpiece. On more high-end guitars, you’ll find hard-tail bridges with saddles that are easier to set up. If there’s Floyd Rose or any similar dual-action tremolo bridge, it’s important to know how well it works with the guitar and whether it stays in tune well. Evertune bridges are considered the most stable ones, although they significantly increase the instrument’s price.

Tuning machines are business as usual. Cheaper and mid-price models almost always come with stock tuners, while high-end guitars have Grover, Schaller, or any other branded tuners.

Pickups

With the emergence of 7 string guitars came specially-designed pickups. However, it’s more than just having additional magnet poles or extended “blades” on these pickups. One of the most common problems with older 7-string instruments was the “muddy” tone with the bottom string. Most of the modern pickups are made in such a way to enhance the tone of bottom strings, especially if you’re using lower tunings. Fishman is one of the most appreciated brands these days, although DiMarzio, Seymour Duncan, and EMG have great stuff to offer. EMGs and Fismans are fairly popular among metal musicians, mostly due to being active pickups and bringing a very powerful tone.

Meanwhile, single-coil pickups are not that common with 7 string guitars. But some of the models come with very useful coil-split or coil-tap features which make them far more versatile. This is usually a trait of more expensive models.

Cheaper 7 string guitars come with stock pickups. These are usually not that well-voiced for 7 strings. They’re not bad, but you’ll often expect a lack of high-end with bottom strings.

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