Best 7 String Guitar – Round Up Review and Buying Guide

A seven string guitar can be a great way to expand your low end. Playing one is a little like playing a six string, but there's a low B added above the low E. And while these guitars are often used for metal, there's no reason you can't use one in virtually any other genre as well.

That said, selecting the best 7 string guitar for you can be a challenge, especially if you've never purchased one before. In this article, we'll help you decide what to look for before choosing the best guitar for you.

Top 10 Best 7 String Guitars

Make

Model

Rating

Price

Full Review

Schecter

C-7 FR-S

Cell

ESP

LTD EC-257

Cell

Schecter

Reaper-7 Multiscale

Cell

Ibanez

Gio GRG7221QA

ESP

LTD M-1007 HT

Cell

ESP

E-II M-II-7 NT

Cell

Ibanez

Axion Label RGD71ALMS

Cell

ESP

LTD SCT-607B

Cell

Schecter

Hellraiser C-7

Jackson

Pro Series Signature Misha Mansoor Juggernaut HT7

Cell

Review of our Top Picks

Best Tone -- Schecter C-7 FR-S

Important Features

  • Swamp ash body and maple set neck provides warm tone with lots of sustain
  • Combination of Sustainiac and Apocalypse neck and bridge pickups gives you lots of tonal options, as does the three-way Sustainiac mode switch and three-way pickup switching
  • Thin C-shaped neck and ebony fingerboard make it highly playable, and the tremolo bridge offers plenty of tonal options
  • In terms of price, this is one of the more expensive 7 string guitars on the list

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Tonal versatility is great for genre-bending players
  • A stunning finish, Roman numeral inlays, and high-end appointments make it a visual standout
  • Unique Sustainiac pickup gives you more tonal options than most metal guitars
  • Grover locking tuners and Floyd Rose tremolo offer tuning stability along with plenty of opportunities for expression

Cons

  • The price of this 7 string may be too much for some players
  • Players who prefer a thicker tone may prefer mahogany as a tonewood

Brief Review & Star Rating

Review

Schecter is known for its great metal axes, and this one is no exception. It stands out tonally thanks to the Sustainiac pickup at the neck -- this pickup lets the notes you play ring indefinitely, which opens up a world of opportunities on stage or in the studio. The bridge pickup is an Apocalypse humbucker with Alnico V magnets. This pickup gives you an incredibly detailed tone (which is hard to get from cheaper humbuckers).

In terms of tonewoods, this 7 string is also a standout. The body is made of swamp ash, which is a high-quality tonewood often seen on Fender guitars. However, swamp ash's balanced, warm tone also works well for metal. The maple neck is capped with a highly-playable ebony fingerboard. The scale is 26.5", and this 7 string has 24 frets.

Our Star Rating

We think this 7 string has the best tone (and tonal versatility) on the list. We give it five out of five stars.

Best Mid Range Option -- ESP LTD EC-257

Important Features

  • Shorter scale length and larger frets are great for players with larger hands
  • Price-wise, it's one of the most affordable options on the list
  • All-mahogany build offers lots of sustain and just enough bite
  • Three-way pickup switching gives you plenty of tonal options

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • This guitar is one of the best-value options on the list
  • Set neck design increases sustain and is often seen on higher-end guitars
  • Thin U-shaped neck makes it easy to play quickly when needed
  • The tune-O-Matic bridge helps ensure excellent intonation and tuning stability

Cons

  • As is the case with some cheap 7 string guitars, some of these guitars have some quality control issues
  • Some players may prefer a 7 string with a tremolo bridge

Brief Review & Star Rating

Review

If you love the dark, warm tone of mahogany, then this 7 string is a great option. It's also a wise choice if you're looking for a more affordable 7 string guitar. The body and the set neck are both mahogany, which offers a classic metal tone with great sustain. You get two ESP humbuckers and a Tune-o-Matic bridge, which offers excellent tuning stability.

Looks-wise, this is also a great axe. The body style is essentially ESP's take on the Les Paul, and its single-cutaway makes fret access easier. You also get all-black hardware, which complements the striking black satin finish well. This 7 string has a shorter scale length than most -- it's 25.5", and there are 22 extra jumbo frets.

Our Star Rating

We think that this is the best midrange 7 string on the list. We give it three and a half out of five stars.

Best Finish -- Schecter Reaper-7 Multiscale

Important Features

  • Unique multiscale neck keeps your intonation perfect -- the scale length is 25.5"-27"
  • Hipshot hardtail string-through bridge maximizes sustain
  • Swamp ash body with poplar top delivers nuanced tone and stunning good looks
  • The set neck has an ultra-thin C profile, making it especially comfortable to play

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Stunning poplar burl top makes this one look like a custom-shop 7 string
  • Coil-tap with two high-end humbuckers makes it a tone machine
  • Contoured body is designed to be highly ergonomic to play
  • Ebony fingerboard and high-end hardware complete this guitar's eye-catching look

Cons

  • While there's nothing wrong with a hardtail bridge, many players prefer a tremolo bridge
  • The price may be a little steep for some players

Brief Review & Star Rating

Review

One of the first things you'll notice about this one is the finish -- it's crowned with a veneer of stunning poplar burl. The poplar gives the tone some additional bite, and the swamp ash body delivers a balance between clear highs, snarling lows, and a full midrange. But one of the most impressive things about this 7 string guitar is its coil-tapping capability. Though it has two Diamond Decimator humbuckers, you get a five-way pickup selector for maximal tonal opportunities.

Our Star Rating

We think this 7 string has the best finish on the list, and we give it four out of five stars.

Best Budget Option -- Ibanez Gio GRG7221QA

Important Features

  • The slim, comfortable maple neck has a 25.5" scale length and 24 frets for classic rock and metal playability
  • Hardtail bridge reduces the risk of tuning or intonation issues
  • Poplar body delivers balanced tone while still keeping this 7 string affordable
  • Quilted maple top makes this a beautiful instrument to look at

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • This is one of the most affordable 7 string options on the list, so it's a great choice even if you're on a budget
  • It comes from a well-known maker of rock and metal guitars
  • Five-way pickup selector offers plenty of tonal options
  • Translucent finish over quilted maple makes it beautiful to look at

Cons

  • This model does sometimes have quality control issues
  • Ibanez Infinity R neck and bridge pickups don't sound quite as good as the pickups in higher-end guitars

Brief Review & Star Rating

Review

If you love the 7 string electric guitar and just need a really affordable version, this model is a great option. And thanks to its quilted maple top, this guitar looks much more high-dollar than it is. The body is made of poplar, which is typical for more affordable metal guitars. You get two of Ibanez's Infinity R humbuckers. The neck and bridge pickups and all hardware are finished in black, giving this 7 string a look that's just mean enough.

Our Star Rating

We think this is the best budget option on the list. We give it three and a half out of five stars.

Best for Working Musicians -- ESP LTD M-1007 HT

Important Features

  • Three-piece maple through-neck has a thin U-shaped profile, which makes playing both leads and chords effortless
  • Alder body offers a pleasant, detailed tone
  • Hipshot string-through bridge increases sustain while maximizing tuning stability
  • 25.5" with 24 frets offers classic tone and playability

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Distinctive looks make this a standout stage guitar
  • Dual-voiced humbuckers offer amazing tonal flexibility
  • Ebony fingerboard and smooth satin-finished neck make it extremely playable
  • While it isn't cheap, this one is within reach of most working musicians

Cons

  • Some players may prefer a set neck to a neck-through design
  • You might prefer a tremolo bridge instead of a hardtail

Brief Review & Star Rating

Review

If you love ESP guitars but are looking for a higher-end model, this stunning 7 string might be for you. While it's finished in eye-catching Black Fade, it has the tonal wow factor to back up the aesthetic. It's equipped with two Fishman Fluence Modern humbuckers -- the neck pickup is alnico, and the bridge pickup is ceramic. This gives you unparalleled tonal versatility.

Our Star Rating

We think this is the best 7 string for working musicians on the list. We give it four out of five stars.

Best High-End Option -- ESP E-II M-II-7 NT

Important Features

  • The 25.5" scale length with 24 frets works well in standard or drop tunings
  • The thin-U maple neck profile with ebony fretboard is supremely playable and comfortable
  • Gotoh locking tuners, Schaller strap locks, and other high-end appointments finish off this guitar's distinctive look
  • BareKnuckle Warpig 7 humbuckers and three-way pickup switching give you plenty of options for assertive, biting tone

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • High-end build quality means this 7 string is both beautiful and a joy to play
  • Set-through neck combines the best of a set neck and a neck-through design, resulting in an incredibly rich tone
  • The double-cutaway design gives you superior fret access
  • Distinctive fretboard inlays help this 7 string guitar stand out

Cons

  • The price of this guitar may make it out of reach for some players
  • Just like with many hardtail guitars, some players may prefer a Floyd Rose tremolo

Brief Review & Star Rating

Review

If you're looking for a 7 string guitar that can handle rock, metal, and everything in between, this is the option for you. This one has a mahogany body with an eye-catching spalted maple top for great sustain -- and that sustain is enhanced by the Hipshot string-through bridge. A set-through neck design gives you unparalleled tone and sustain.

Our Star Rating

We think this is the best high-end 7 string guitar on the list. We give it 4.5 out of five stars.

Best Playability -- Ibanez Axion Label RGD71ALMS

Important Features

  • Multi-scale neck ranges from 25.5" to 27", and it allows for a more natural playing experience
  • Fishman Fluence Modern pickups let you easily change humbucker voicings with easy onboard controls
  • Stunning Black Aurora Burst Matte finish gives this 7 string guitar a memorable look
  • The body is made of lightweight nato

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • The unique finish makes this 7 string guitar a visual standout
  • Dual-voiced pickups with three-way pickup switching give you plenty of tonal options
  • Multi-scale neck keeps intonation pristine
  • Fast-playing Nitro Wizard-7 neck is fast and effortless to play

Cons

  • Given the price, it's surprising that the body is made of cheap wood like nato
  • The price may be a little much for some players

Brief Review & Star Rating

Review

You probably already know that Ibanez makes plenty of affordable metal guitars, but they also make high-end options that are played by Steve Vai and other world-famous guitarists. While this one isn't Ibanez's most expensive 7 string guitar, it's certainly a high-end option -- it comes equipped with Fishman Fluence Modern multi-voice humbuckers. And the slim-profile, multiscale neck makes it one of the most playable guitars out there.

Our Star Rating

We think this one has the best playability on the list. We give it four out of five stars.

Best Baritone Guitar -- ESP LTD SCT-607B

Important Features

  • It's equipped with Fluence SRC Signature active pickups, which were designed specifically for this guitar. They have multiple voicings, making this guitar especially versatile
  • 27" longer scale length is perfect for drop tunings, and the thin U-shaped neck is fast and easy to play
  • LTD locking tuners and Tune-O-Matic hardtail bridge help preserve intonation
  • Distinctive Telecaster-style body with sparkle finish makes it a truly distinctive instrument

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Longer scale length is ideal for players who like to explore alternate tunings
  • Specially-designed multi-voiced humbuckers give you lots of tonal opportunities
  • Alder body provides a balanced tone with defined highs
  • Neck-through construction offers great sustain and stability

Cons

  • Baritone guitars may not be ideal for all genres
  • This is one of the more expensive 7 string guitars on the list, so it may not be ideal for all players

Brief Review & Star Rating

Review

This is the first signature 7 string on the list -- it was developed with Stephen Carpenter of Deftones. It's also one of the most unique options here. While the body looks like a Telecaster, the tone is unmistakably punishing. As a baritone guitar, this one can be tuned down easily for growling lows.

This 7 string guitar also features active pickups, which are a great advantage for some players. Active pickups increase your output, and they can be great when you need a louder, more powerful tone.

Our Star Rating

We think this is the best baritone guitar on the list. We give it five out of five stars.

Best Appointments -- Schecter Hellraiser C-7

Important Features

  • Mahogany body and mahogany neck deliver thick, beefy tone perfect for power chords
  • Extended scale length helps keep the sound of the lower B string extra tight
  • String thru body design with Tune-O-Matic bridge enhances sustain and preserves intonation
  • Rosewood fingerboard and slim C-shaped neck are comfortably playable

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • High-quality tonewoods at this price point make this guitar a steal
  • The double-cutaway design gives you great fret access
  • Gloss white finish and abalone inlays make this one a visual standout
  • Between three-way switching and coil tap capabilities, you have plenty of tonal opportunities

Cons

  • There are a few quality control issues -- usually involving knobs eventually falling off
  • As is the case with most hardtail guitars, some players may prefer a Floyd Rose or other tremolo system

Brief Review & Star Rating

Review

If you've been looking for a metal 7 string guitar equipped with coil-tap, this well-known model from Schecter is worth a look. Its unique longer 26.5" scale length is great for drop tuning without reaching baritone guitar status. You get two EMG Active 707tw humbuckers with three-way pickup switching, and this guitar's stunning good looks are highlighted by abalone Gothic cross inlays on the rosewood fretboard.

Our Star Rating

We think this 7 string guitar has the best appointments on the list. We give it four out of five stars.

Best Signature Model -- Jackson Pro Series Signature Misha Mansoor Juggernaut HT7

Important Features

  • Thin U-shaped neck is fast and easy to play
  • A longer 26.5" scale length is great for drop tunings
  • Solid spruce top gives quality tone that improves over time
  • Eye-catching blue sky burst finish is a standout on stage

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • It's more affordable, making it good for those looking for guitars in a lower price range
  • Push-pull coil tap lets you expand tonal possibilities
  • The basswood body is lightweight while still keeping this seven-string affordable
  • The double-cutaway body provides superior fret access

Cons

  • Basswood is a cheaper tonewood and not all players like the sound of it
  • Given the bolt-on neck and the basswood construction, this guitar is a little expensive

Brief Review & Star Rating

Review

This guitar is the signature model of Misha Mansoor, the lead guitarist of the metal band Periphery. The basswood body is joined to a beautiful bolt-on caramelized maple neck. You get two Jackson MM1 humbuckers, which are custom-voiced for this guitar. And with a five-way pickup selection, you have plenty of tonal opportunities. While this isn't the fanciest 7 string on the list, it's a highly-playable metal machine for new players and experienced guitarists alike.

Our Star Rating

We think this is the best signature model on the list. We give it three and a half out of five stars.

Buying Guide: Choose the Best 7 String for You

Whether you're mostly looking for cheap 7 string guitars or aren't looking for any particular price point, it's important to keep a few things in mind as you shop.

Consider Scale And Neck Profile

One of the most important playability features on any guitar is the neck profile. Since most of the best 7 string guitars are made for shredders, most will have a neck profile that's designed to be fast and comfortable. Most of the guitars on this list have either a C-shaped neck (like the one found on many six-string electric guitars) or a thin U-shaped neck.

You'll also want to consider whether you want a standard or multi-scale neck. Multi-scale necks have frets that appear "fanned," and they let you hold your wrist more naturally when playing. On extended range guitars like 7 string models, a multi-scale neck also may help ensure optimal intonation, and the sound of the low B string will be tighter than on a standard scale.

Active Or Passive Pickups?

When choosing a 7 string, you'll also want to ask yourself whether you want active or passive pickups. Active pickups are commonly used by metal players, and they have the advantage of being very high-output without causing a lot of noise. However, passive pickups tend to be very sensitive to playing dynamics, which some players like.

In addition, you may want to think about whether you want a 7 string with coil-tapping. Coil tapping lets you effectively split a humbucker into two single-coil pickups, which gives you more tonal options. Often, this is done with a push-pull pot, which is why you see some 7 string guitars advertised as having push-pull coil tap capabilities.

Tonewoods And Build

The wood that a 7 string is made of has a major impact on its tone. Of course, what tonewood is best depends on your own preferences. Mahogany is a very popular wood for metal musicians, as it has a great combination of warmth, sustain, and just enough bite. If you prefer a slightly brighter sound, ash and alder are also commonly found on quality 7 string guitars.

Lastly, the way the neck connects to the guitar impacts tone in a major way. A 7 string with a set neck or neck through design will almost always have improved sustain over 7 string electric guitars with bolt-on necks. However, players routinely debate over whether the sound of a neck-through or a set neck design sounds better, so this is largely a matter of personal preference.

In Conclusion

If you're looking for the best 7 string guitar for you, we think you can't really go wrong with anything on this list. However, our top choice is the Schecter C-7 FR-S. This is an axe that will give you incredible tonal versatility -- a special sustain circuit in the neck pickup lets a note or chord ring indefinitely, which is an incredible feature to have when playing live or in the studio. Plus, the tremolo system gives you even more options when it comes to expression.

We think the best runner up is the ESP LTD SCT-607B. This seven string is ideal for players who both prefer the sound of active electronics and who like drop tunings. This baritone guitar is certainly different, and it has uniquely stunning looks to match.

Whichever 7 string you choose, be sure to do your research, consider what you think is important, and weigh your options before buying. Happy playing!

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