The Best 7 String Guitars - $200 to $2000

The Highest Rated 7 String Guitars

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7 String guitars aren't new: some examples date back to the Renaissance period! However, 7 String Electric guitars are a more recent development. There have been custom made 7 string electric guitars since the late 1970s but they added a high "A" string instead of the modern Low "B" string.

The first mass produced 7 String Electric guitar was the Ibanez UV7 Universe. Released in 1990, the Ibanez Universe was made as a Signature guitar for Steve Vai. Metal bands would soon discover the tonality of the Low "B" string and tune it down even further such as the case with bands like Korn and Meshuggah. Tony MacAlpine is also known for his experimentation with 7 String Electrics on his solo albums and studio session work.

Choosing the right 7 Stringer depends on a few factors and most people tend to want different things out of an extended range instrument. If you want to learn more about what you may want to look for, head to the Things to Consider section below.

Without further ado, here are The Best 7 String Guitars at all prices up to $2,000.

The Best 7 String Guitars

Best 7 String Guitars Under $500

Ibanez Gio GRG7221M

89
GEARANK

89 out of 100. Incorporating 50+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$200
Ibanez Gio GRG7221M 7 String Electric Guitar

The GIO line is Ibanez's budget line composed of offshore-constructed guitars (usually Indonesia) aimed towards the beginning guitarist.

The current GRG7221M differs from the previous version as it now has a Maple fingerboard.

The GRG7221M is equipped with a fixed bridge, Ibanez Infinity R Humbuckers and finished in a gloss Metallic Light Blue.

Specifications

  • Body: Poplar
  • Finish: Metallic Light Blue
  • Bridge: Ibanez F107 Fixed Bridge
  • Pickups: Infinity R Humbuckers
  • Neck: Maple (Bolt-on "C" shape)
  • Scale Length: 25.5”
  • Fingerboard: Maple
  • Fingerboard Radius: 15.75"
  • Frets: 24 Medium Jumbo
  • Nut Width: 1.889"
  • Controls: 1-volume, 1-tone
  • Pickup Selector: 5-way blade pickup switch

Pros

Given the general expectation that the Ibanez GIO line consists of beginner's guitars with historically less than stellar quality, users were surprised to feel such a well made guitar at the price. Forums were abuzz about the GRG7221m being a great modding platform.

Cons

The neck feels a bit cheaper than Ibanez's usual offerings. Electronics are also cheap and the pickups could be better for a stock guitar. Needs a string change and professional setup from the box.

Overall

The GRG7221M presents a great value for the beginning 7 string user or someone who wants to trick it out with mods. With a proper setup, it can be made to play as well as other guitars costing twice as much.

Ibanez RG7421PB

92
GEARANK

92 out of 100. Incorporating 30+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$500
Ibanez RG7421PB 7 String Electric Guitar

At publication time this was the Highest Rated 7-String Electric Guitar Under $500.

The RG shape is one of the most recognizable body shapes in the industry. Building on this time tested and aggressive looking shape, Ibanez outfits the RG7421PB with a solid fixed bridge and two Quantum Ceramic Humbuckers.

The Wizart II-7 Profile has a flat and thin shape to facilitate fast playing. The Jatoba fingerboard provides a solid attack with good, warm sounding sustained notes.

Aesthetically, the RG7421PB Comes in a stunning Sapphire Blue Flat finish that won't look out of place when applied to custom boutique guitars costing several times more.

Specifications

  • Body:Mahogany with Poplar Burl top
  • Finish: Sapphire Blue Flat
  • Bridge: Fixed Bridge 7
  • Pickups: Quantum Ceramic Humbuckers (Neck and Bridge)
  • Neck: 3-piece Maple (Wizard II-7 Profile)
  • Scale Length: 25.5”
  • Fingerboard:Jatoba
  • Fingerboard Radius: 15.75"
  • Frets: 24 Jumbo
  • Nut Width: 1.89"
  • Controls: 1-volume, 1-tone
  • Pickup Selector: 3-way blade pickup switch

Pros

"Jazz to funk to Djent, this guitar does it all" says one reviewer. And it's a sentiment that seems echoed in other reviews. Users praise the guitar's versatility both tonally and aesthetically. One user noted that he could even use his guitar in his local Church without looking out of place. The stock pickups were surprisingly good according to a few owners and they felt that a pickup swap wasn't necessary from the get to.

Cons

For the price, not much. Some have experienced scratchy electronics from the box but nothing a spray of contact cleaner can't fix.

Overall

It's hard not to recommend the RG7421PB. It may have very basic features but they come together in a guitar that is better than the sum of its parts. Get it if you want a modestly priced 7 string that punches above its weight.

(Note that the current run of this model is offered only in the Sapphire Blue Flat Finish.)

Ibanez RGA742FM

89
GEARANK

89 out of 100. Incorporating 30+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$500
Ibanez RGA742FM 7-String Electric Guitar

The RGA742FM is a fixed-bridge, dual humbucker guitar with a Mahogany body, an arched Flamed Maple top, Maple neck and Jatoba fingerboard.

On paper the specifications may be simple but the way Ibanez chose to construct the guitar is given more attention.

Having a satin finish on the neck and body gives it an upmarket, almost boutique look.

The fixed bridge is of Ibanez standard fare and the pickups are updated versions of the Ibanez Quantum pickups.

Specifications

  • Body: Mahogany with Flamed Maple top
  • Finish: Dragon Eye Burst ( Satin Urethane )
  • Bridge: Fixed Bridge
  • Pickups:Quantum Humbucker (Neck and Bridge)
  • Neck: Maple ( Wizard II-7 )
  • Scale Length: 25.5”
  • Fingerboard: Jatoba
  • Fingerboard Radius: 15.75"
  • Frets: 24 Jumbo
  • Nut Width: 1.889"
  • Controls: 1-volume, 1-tone
  • Pickup Selector: 5-way blade pickup switch

Pros

Many were amazed at the finish and construction of the RGA742FM. Users noted that the finish quality feels more like an upmarket guitar than what they thought would be in the price range. The 5 position switch for various coil split sounds was also praised.

Cons

Frets needed polishing. Requires a setup to get it playing well. Pickups too hot for some cleaner playing styles.

Overall

If you want a great value guitar that you can enjoy stock or for future modding, the RGA742FM is a great example of being better than the sum of its parts.

(Video review is in Hungarian but gives you an idea of the tones)

Best 7 String Guitars Under $1000

Schecter Reaper-7 Multiscale

94
GEARANK

94 out of 100. Incorporating 40+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$949
Schecter Reaper-7 Multiscale 7-String Electric Guitar

At publication time this was the Highest Rated 7-String Electric Guitar between $500 and $1000 and the Highest Rated overall Under $2000.

The Schecter Reaper-7 Multiscale features a Swamp Ash body with a Poplar Burl veneer top that looks gorgeous at any angle.

The scale length ranges from 25.5" at the high e string to 27" at the low B string.

This gives it a nice balance between upper range playability and tone (higher tension thins out the tone on the higher strings).

The set-in neck has an ebony fingerboard with a 20" radius and features a thin C neck profile. 24 narrow extra jumbo frets allow for effortless playing.

Specifications

  • Body: Swamp Ash/Poplar Burl Veneer
  • Finish: Satin Inferno Burst, Satin Charcoal Burst, Satin Sky Burst
  • Bridge: Hipshot Hardtail String-thru
  • Pickups: Diamond Decimator Humbuckers (Neck and Bridge)
  • Neck: Maple/Walnut (Set-Neck, Ultra Thin C profile)
  • Scale Length: 25.5"-27" Multi-scale
  • Fingerboard: Ebony
  • Fingerboard Radius: 20"
  • Frets: 24, Narrow Extra Jumbo
  • Nut Width: 1.889"
  • Controls: 1 x master volume, 1 x master tone (push/pull coil-split)
  • Pickup Selector: 3-way blade pickup switch

Pros

Users note that despite the guitar's multi-scale fitting, it wasn't too difficult to adjust because of there the neutral fret is (12th fret). The neutral fret is the one that sits parallel to the frets of a regular scale guitar. Some multi-scale guitars have a different position for the neutral fret and it affects the playability. The Reaper-7 gets praise for playability and tone; the stock pickups being tuned for modern metal helped it gain many positive reviews. The looks and design of the guitar also gets positive comments.

Cons

One user had trouble intonating his instrument though it may be attributed to old strings. Given that, it is best to always take your new guitar for string replacement and setup.

Overall

With a boutique-looking fit and finish, the Reaper-7 Multiscale is an aggressive, modern looking and feeling 7 string electric guitar. If you want to dip your toes into multiscale instruments, the Reaper-7 Multiscale is one of the most recommended instruments in the ERG (Extended Range Guitar) community.

Schecter Hellraiser C-7

90
GEARANK

90 out of 100. Incorporating 60+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$999
Schecter Hellraiser C-7 7 String Electric Guitar

The Schecter Hellraiser C-7 has been in production for a while now but still is one of Schecter's most popular models.

Featuring a mahogany body and set-in 3 piece mahogany neck with Schecter's signature C neck profile that's just big enough to fill out the hands without getting in the way.

A pair of EMG 707tw Humbuckers gives the Hellraiser C-7 a powerful but tight voice for high gain applications while being clean enough for ambient and delayed soundscapes with the coil tap.

Specifications

  • Body: Mahogany
  • Finish:Gloss White
  • Bridge:TonePros TOM bridge, string-thru-body
  • Pickups: EMG Active 707tw Humbucker (Neck and Bridge)
  • Neck: 3-piece Mahogany (Set Neck "C" shape)
  • Scale Length: 26.5"
  • Fingerboard: Rosewood
  • Fingerboard Radius: 16”
  • Frets: 24 X-Jumbo
  • Nut Width: 1.889"
  • Controls: 2 x volume (coil-tap), 1 x tone
  • Pickup Selector: 3-way blade pickup switch

Pros

People are consistently amazed by the Hellraiser C-7's build quality and upon extensive research, there have only been a few cases of any flaws like minor millimeter-sized finish specks. The EMG707TW loaded onto the guitar gets praise for its surprising versatility as Active pickups usually get a bad rep at clean tones. The 707tw's coil tap enable it to mellow down and provide great cleans for arpeggiated chords with delay and reverb.

Cons

Some units tend to be heavy. Others didn't get along with the stock pickups and neck profile. The latter of which is a little thicker than most guitars on the market.

Overall

The Hellraiser C-7 gets a lot of things right for the most amount of people. With its excellent build quality, versatile tone and class aesthetic, you'd be hard pressed to find a better, more consistently built 7 string guitar at this price range.

Best 7 String Guitars Under $1500

Ibanez Axion Label RGD71ALMS

91
GEARANK

91 out of 100. Incorporating 40+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$1100
Ibanez Axion Label RGD71ALMS 7 String Electric Guitar

At publication time this was the Equal Highest Rated 7-String Electric Guitar between $1000 and $1500 along with the Ibanez Axion Label RGA71AL.

Ibanez launched the Axion Label line targetted towards the modern progressive / fusion / metal guitarist. The RGD71ALMS is A multiscale 7 String guitar equipped with groundbreaking multi-voice Fishman Fluence Modern ceramic pickups.

The voicing can be changed via the push-pull volume pot. It is not a coil split, but rather a revoicing mode that makes the most out of Fishman's Fluence technology. The 5-piece Panga Panga/Walnut "Nitro Wizard" neck is lightly finished giving it a natural wood feel.

Specifications

  • Body: Nyatoh
  • Finish: Black Aurora Burst Matte
  • Bridge: Ibanez Mono-rail Bridge
  • Pickups: Fishman Fluence Modern Humbucker (Neck and Bridge)
  • Neck:5-piece Panga Panga/Walnut "Nitro Wizard" neck profile
  • Scale Length: 25.5"-27"
  • Fingerboard: Macassar Ebony
  • Fingerboard Radius: 15.75"
  • Frets: 24, Jumbo, Sub Zero Treatment
  • Nut Width: 1.65”
  • Controls: 1-volume, 1-tone
  • Pickup Selector: 3-way blade pickup switch

Pros

People have been scratching their heads in unison at how Ibanez managed to pull of boutique level appointments on a mass production guitar. Up until its introduction, many users note that the specifications on the RGD71ALMS can only be had from boutique guitars. With this, there comes many praises for its tone, neck profile, and specifications.

Cons

Build quality tends to be inconsistent with some users receiving guitars with minor finish flaws and blemishes, particularly on the burst. Neck profile is great but may not be for everyone.

Overall

A few years ago, if you mentioned any of the specifications and features of the RGD71ALMS, the resounding chorus would be "get a custom built guitar". Ibanez brings its "A" game answer with the RGD71ALMS. It is uncommon for new guitars to surpass the hype they build but this one sets the bar a little bit higher.

Ibanez Axion Label RGA71AL

91
GEARANK

91 out of 100. Incorporating 10+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$1400
Ibanez Axion Label RGA71AL 7 String Electric Guitar

At publication time this was the Equal Highest Rated 7-String Electric Guitar between $1000 and $1500 along with the Ibanez Axion Label RGD71ALMS.

Yet another entry on our list comes from the Ibanez Axion Label. The RGA71AL takes Ibanez' signature RGA shape (which in turn is adapted from the original RG shape) and gives it an in-house upgrade.

At its core are two Bareknuckle Pickups Aftermath 7 neck and bridge humbuckers. Famously used by Periphery guitarist Misha Mansoor on the band's Icarus EP, The Aftermath was the basis for his future signature pickups. They offer a tight, chunky low end and an dry and clear sound with no excess frequencies on the bass and treble.

It is also spec'ed with Gotoh locking tuners, a Gibraltar fixed bridge, strap locks and cryogenically treated frets for better fret life.

Specifications

  • Body: Nyatoh with Flamed Maple top
  • Finish: Indigo Aurora Burst
  • Bridge: Gibraltar Standard II-7 Hardtail
  • Pickups: Bare Knuckle Aftermath-7 (Neck and Bridge
  • Neck: 5-piece Panga Panga/Walnut ( Nitro Wizard shape)
  • Scale Length: 25.5”
  • Fingerboard: Macassar Ebony
  • Fingerboard Radius: 15.75"
  • Frets: 24 Medium Jumbo
  • Nut Width: 1.889"
  • Controls: 1 x master volume, 1 x mini-switch (coil-tap),
  • Pickup Selector: 3-way blade pickup switch

Pros

Users were glad to have the Bareknuckle Pickups stock. It also helps that the guitar gets good ratings for its other specifications like the locking tuners and gibraltar bridge. They also admire the aesthetic. Some also noted that it is a very light but resonant guitar.

Cons

None at this price

Overall

The Ibanez RGA71AL was designed with the modern Progressive Metal musician in mind. It is spec'ed to the brim with the typical upgrades that adorn a guitar built for the genre. Get it if you want an off-the-shelf guitar with everything already upgraded with top tier components.

Best 7 String Guitars Under $2000

ESP LTD Brian (Head) Welch SH-7 Evertune

92
GEARANK

92 out of 100. Incorporating 20+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$1599
ESP LTD Brian (Head) Welch SH-7 Evertune 7 String Electric Guitar

At publication time this was the Equal Highest Rated 7-String Electric Guitar between $1500 and $2000 along with the Ibanez Prestige RG752AHM.

Just a little over 4 years after the release of the Ibanez Universe, Korn took their 7 strings and released their debut self-titled album in 1994. With this release, they undoubtedly thrust the 7 string guitar from obscure virtuoso instrument into mainstream consciousness as an instrument for heavy riffs.

Fast forward over 25 years later, Brian (Head) Welch has since migrated to ESP LTD. His signature guitar, the SH-7 is equipped with an Evertune bridge and Fishman Fluence Modern pickups (Ceramic Bridge, Alnico Neck).

Specifications

  • Body: Body Material:
  • Finish: Metallic Light Blue
  • Bridge: Evertune (F model)
  • Pickups: Fishman Fluence Modern Humbucker Ceramic Bridge, Fishman Fluence Modern Humbucker Alnico Neck
  • Neck: 3-piece Maple (Neck-Through Extra Thin U)
  • Scale Length: 25.5”
  • Fingerboard: Maple
  • Fingerboard Radius: 13.77"
  • Frets: 24 Medium Jumbo
  • Nut Width: 1.96"
  • Controls: 1-volume, 1-tone
  • Pickup Selector: 5-way blade pickup switch

Pros

Many users love the guitar for the combination of the Evertune Bridge, Fishman Fluence pickups and neck-through design. Even those who aren't fans of the guitar's namesake and band noted that the guitar's fit and finish are on par or better than guitars costing more. Having Fishman pickups stock with the guitar is another reason people rave about it.

Cons

Units are said to be consistently heavy. Evertune setup and restringing has a learning curve. The 25.5" scale might be too short for people accustomed to longer baritone scale/multi-scale 7 String Guitars,

Overall

The Brian (Head) Welch SH-7 Evertune by ESP/LTD is simply a great 7 string guitar whether you're a fan of the band or not. If you play heavy music and want great specifications, tuning stability and build quality, look no further.

Ibanez Prestige RG752AHM

92
GEARANK

92 out of 100. Incorporating 20+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$1700
Ibanez Prestige RG752AHM 7 String Electric Guitar

At publication time this was the Equal Highest Rated 7-String Electric Guitar between $1500 and $2000 along with the ESP LTD Brian (Head) Welch SH-7 Evertune.

It's become sort of an inside joke among ERG enthusiasts to automatically respond with "get a Prestige" to people asking for guitar recommendations. It's probably the best way to put to light the quality and craftsmanship that the Ibanez Prestige line offers. Each Ibanez Prestige instrument is handcrafted by a select team in Ibanez' Fujigen plant and carefully inspected for flaws several times over.

The RG752AHM has an ash body with a maple and wenge neck. The neck itself has a 24-fret birdseye maple fingerboard with black dot position markers and Gotoh tuners.

It also features the universally praised Lo-Pro Edge 7 double locking tremolo bridge. Rounding out the specs are two DiMarzio PAF7 humbucking pickups.

Specifications

  • Body: Ash
  • Finish: Nebula Green Burst
  • Bridge: Lo-Pro Edge 7 tremolo
  • Pickups: DiMarzio PAF 7 humbucker (Neck and Bridge)
  • Neck: Maple Wizard-7 shape)
  • Scale Length: 25.5”
  • Fingerboard: Maple
  • Fingerboard Radius:16.9"
  • Frets: 24 Jumbo
  • Nut Width: 1.889"
  • Controls: 1-volume, 1-tone
  • Pickup Selector:5-way blade pickup switch

Pros

The first thing users praise about the RG752AHM is the build quality. Aside from some reviews that mention unfortunate shipping and handling problems, the almost universal praise for the craftsmanship is probably the most commonly mentioned plus. The neck is also noted to be thin but comfortable without overbearing "shoulders" on the profile. Just enough to leverage big bends while still enabling fast playing. The pickups were noted to be an odd choice for a 7 string as many are equipped with high output pickups for metal. The RG752AHM has a pair of low output Dimarzio Paf 7 pickups which have a sparkling clean sound and an almost single-coil like distorted sound.

Cons

Others would have wanted more finish colors. The Prestige line is notorious for having bland finish variations compared to their lower priced siblings.

Overall

If you're looking for a 7 string that is versatile enough to play anything from sparkling cleans to the thickest sludge metal and everything in between, the RG752AHM is the guitar to get.

Things to Consider When Buying a 7 String Electric Guitar

  • Scale Length and Multiscale

    Scale length is the overall distance between the Bridge and Nut. Different scale lengths have varying tone, string tension and playability. If you are tuning below B standard, it is best to go for a longer scale length such as 26.5. Longer scale lengths also affect tone by having the strings more taut, resulting in a twangier and tighter tone. Regular 25.5 scale length have the advantage of having less string tension with the same string gauges. This makes leads and solos a bit easier on the fingers. Lower strings also tend to sound fatter and looser.

    The best of both worlds is to get a Multiscale guitar. These usually have a regular scale on the high strings and a longer scale (often baritone) on the lower strings. This keeps the high strings feeling great for lead work and the low strings tight and clear. Depending on the manufacturer, the fanning of the frets may take a bit of getting used to, especially those with large scale length range.

  • Neck: Construction, Material, Profile, Radius, and Fret Size.

    The material of the neck and fretboard determines a lot of how the guitar feels and responds in your hands. Aside from neck construction (we'll get to that in a bit), the way the neck and fretboard resonate will feel different for each type of wood. Neck woods like Maple tend to feel snappier and you feel more of the initial attack of the strings. Mahogany or other darkwoods tend to give you less of that attack but feel more "mellow" to the touch when you strike the strings.

    Fretboards also contribute to the tone and feel of a guitar. Maple fretboards emphasize the initial attack of the strings better than rosewood. Rosewood boards mellow out the attack but have a nice "bloom" to the notes and make for warmer tonalities. Ebony is somewhere between the two as Ebony is very dense and the resulting tone sounds a bit like maple fretboards but the resonance and feel is closer to rosewood boards.

    Another factor that affects tone, feel and sustain is neck construction. In general, bolt-on necks tend to feel snappier than set-neck and neck-through designs. Combined with a maple fretboard, you get the most attack from this combination. If you're worried about sustain, many well-constructed bolt-ons can even out-sustain the most massive of Les Paul type bodies. The difference will be how the guitar will feel as you play it. Set necks tend to have a more mellowed attack and fatter tone.

    Neck profile is also very important. Depending on your ergonomics and how you hold the neck, you may either prefer a thin, flat neck or a slightly thicker, more rounded C shape neck. Bear in mind that too thick and it might hinder playability. Having thick blocky shoulders on a guitar neck that's thicker than a 6 string will feel obstructing. An overly thin neck may cause wrist pain on some people, particularly those not accustomed to them. So take note of each product's neck profile before you choose the best one for you.

  • Body Wood

    Body woods tend to affect how the guitar resonates as well as provide the characteristics of its attack and sustain. A warm sounding body wood like mahogany is often paired with brighter neck woods like maple or ebony to give a more balanced tone. Some guitars have snappy sounding ash bodies paired with maple fretboards. In theory, the tone might sound overly bright and snappy but these are often paired with higher output pickups that have less high end. Proper pairing of woods and electronics result in a great feeling and great sounding guitar. Within these, every guitar will sound different even if they have the exact same specifications. it's a bit more subtle than that but the optimal choice of wood pairings would narrow down your ideal tone.

  • Stock Pickups

    Stock pickups can make or break a guitar's tone. Some manufacturers tend to put cheaper pickups on some models on the assumption that players will replace them anyway. Others prefer to put in their own choice of pickups in what they believe to be the most optimal set for the model. The reason why you should check the kind of pickups as your last decision-making factor is because a good feeling guitar can have a bad set of pickups that can easily be replaced. It is far better to get a great feeling guitar that you feel comfortable with then replacing the pickups, than choosing a guitar solely on the pickups and not being satisfied with how the guitar feels. Take note that if the guitar has active electronics and you want to replace them with passive pickups, you will have to purchase new potentiometers for the guitar. Aftermarket active pickups tend to have most of the electronics included.

7 String Guitar Selection Methodology

We looked at all 7 String Guitars available from major US online retailers that were priced below $2,000 and put the 20 most promising ones on our short-list for closer examination - you can see them in our Music Gear Database.

We then examined relevant rating sources including reviews, ratings and forum discussions about each model - this came to a total of more than 600 sources. We processed those data with the Gearank Algorithm to produce the rating scores out of 100 for each model that you see above. We selected the highest rated in each of the price brackets above to recommend and provided a summary of user and expert opinions in the descriptions of the ones presented.

For more information about our methods please read How Gearank Works.

Comments

Perfect article!!

Perfect article!!
I love the Ibanez 7 strings. The 752 is a killer axe:)

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