The Best 7 String Guitar – $200 to $2000

7 String Guitars

Before we talk about the best 7 string guitar, let’s explore some history. You might think that with the popularity of downtuned heavy music these days that the seven string guitar was a fairly recent invention. The idea of adding an extra string to the 6 string guitar dates back as far as 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. Originally popularized in the jazz scene by musicians like George Van Eps and Bucky Pizzarelli, the seven-string guitar has also found its way into nu-metal, thanks to bands like Korn. These guitars offer a broader range of notes, allowing for more complex and varied compositions.

The seven-string guitar has been instrumental in jazz as well. Jazz musicians like George Van Eps and Bucky Pizzarelli utilized the seven-string guitar for its unique capabilities, creating a new dimension in jazz music.

The Ibanez UV7 Universe was the first mass-produced 7 String Electric guitar. Released in 1990, it was made as a signature guitar for then-Whitesnake guitarist Steve Vai.

Metal bands would soon discover the dense 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 ranging from Jazz Fusion to Metal, giving the 7-String guitar some applications outside of Rock and Metal.

The seven strings on these guitars provide an extended range and versatility, making them ideal for various music genres. If you want to learn more about what you may want to look for, head to the Things to Consider section below.

Ready to add more range to your playing? Read on.

Sweetwater carries a variety of seven-string guitars that beginners might find to be just what they are looking for.

The Best Seven String Guitars

Author & Contributors

Standard Scale

Ibanez GRG7221WH

92 out of 100. Incorporating 250+ ratings and reviews.


  • Stock tuners can be replaced for more stable tuning.
  • Pickups can sound muddy


  • Affordable and a good value for the price.
  • Comfortable and easy to play neck.
  • Stock pickups sounds good both on clean and overdriven settings.
  • Good build quality, despite the low price.

The Ibanez GRG7221WH is a 7-string guitar known for offering excellent value for its price. It features a poplar body, maple neck, and rosewood fretboard with white dot inlay. One of its standout features is the inclusion of passive PSND-7 humbucker pickups, which provide a thick sound suitable for rock and metal genres.

This Ibanez seven string guitar earns points for its comfortable playability, decent bridge, and surprisingly good-sounding pickups. It's considered a solid choice for those looking to enter the world of 7-string guitars without breaking the bank. However, some users have reported issues with the nut quality and tuning stability, as well as the need to replace the stock humbuckers.

Despite the reported drawbacks, the Ibanez GRG7221WH has been positively received for its affordable price point, comfortable playability, and good sound quality. There aren't that many affordable 7 string guitars, so this guitar is special.

If you are considering exploring the world of 7-string guitars without significant financial investment, this is the best budget 7 string guitar to get. It is a solid choice, provided that you know the potential issues mentioned.


  • Body:Poplar
  • Finish: Gloss Polyester
  • Bridge: F107 bridge
  • Pickups: Infinity R (H) pickupPassive/Ceramic
  • Neck: Maple GRG Shape
  • Scale Length: 25.5”
  • Fingerboard: Bound Purpleheart fretboardWhite dot inlay
  • Fingerboard Radius: 15.74"
  • Frets: 24 Jumbo
  • Nut Width: 1.89"
  • Controls: 1-volume, 1-tone
  • Pickup Selector: 5-way blade pickup switch

Ibanez RG7421PB

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


  • Stock pickups can be improved.
  • Tuners needs upgrading as well.


  • Impressive sound quality, especially after making some modifications such as changing pickups.
  • Smooth and fast neck.
  • Versatile tone with its 5-position switch.
  • Offers great value for an entry level 7 string guitar.

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 Wizard II-7 Profile has a flat and thin shape to facilitate fast playing with a seventh string. 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.

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.

"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 go.

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

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.)


  • 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

Schecter C-7 FR-S Apocalypse

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


  • Guitar required adjustments out of the box.
  • Subpar Floyd Rose bridge. Plus steep learning curve setting it up.


  • Visually appealing, with top-notch craftsmanship, attention to detail, and stunning finish.
  • Incredibly comfortable and smooth ideal for playing even for extended periods.
  • Sustainiac pickup provides exceptional sustain.
  • Reliable tuning stability.

Even though the instrument is getting quite popular in today's heavy music scene, it's still rare to see a floating tremolo bridge on a 7 string guitar even though the first production 7 string, the Ibanez Universe had one.

The Schecter C-7 FR-2 Apocalypse is equipped with a Floyd Rose 1500 Series Tremolo as well as a Sustainiac pickup in the neck pickup. The Sustainiac is an active electronic pickup that makes your notes sustain indefinitely.

Couple these specs with neck-through construction and you have an extended range instrument fit for crushing low notes with infinite sustain for leads and drones.

This Shecter 7 string guitar gets a lot of praise for its build quality and features. The Floyd Rose 1500 is often cited as a favorite among floating bridge aficionados, even buying them aftermarket to replace stock trems. This one comes with it so a lot of people are happy to see such a good quality trem system on the guitar. One of the drawbacks with floating trem systems is the compromise of sustain. To counteract this, Schecter cleverly spec'ed the guitar with a Sustainiac pickup to not only extend the sustain, but make it run indefinitely. This was seen as a great move by many users who bought and enjoy the guitar. There was also praise for the fretwork consistent between reviewers.

A common complaint about Schecter guitars is their weight. . Some models reach up to 8-9lbs. The inlay design felt a bit too much for some.

The Schecter C-7 FR-S Apocalypse is as feature rich as it is a mouthful of a model name to say out loud. That being said, this 7 string guitar with floyd rose if a lot of guitar for just the right amount of money. Get it if your playing style involves a lot of heavy riffs AND sustained leads.


  • Body: Swamp Ash
  • Finish: "Red Reign" color-shifting finish, Natural back and neck
  • Bridge: Floyd Rose 1500 Series Tremolo
  • Pickups: Schecter USA Apocalypse Humbucker (Bridge), Sustainiac Pickup (Neck)
  • Neck: 5-ply Maple/Bubinga ( Neck-through Thin C )
  • Scale Length: 26.5"
  • Fingerboard: Ebony
  • Fingerboard Radius: 12"-16" compound radius fretboard
  • Frets: 24 Jumbo
  • Nut Width: 1.889"
  • Controls: 1 x volume, 1 x tone, 1 x intensity, 2-way on/off Sustainiac switch, 3-way Sustainiac mode switch
  • Pickup Selector: 3-way blade pickup switch

ESP LTD Brian (Head) Welch SH-7 Evertune

94 out of 100. Incorporating 50+ ratings and reviews.
ESP Guitars


  • Actual color of the guitar is a bit darker than the stock photos.
  • Unusual knob positioning, with one too close to the strings, and the other more far back.


  • Impressive pickups delivering a sublime tone, with gritty, clear, and crunchy sounds on demand
  • Super smooth and effortless neck feel.
  • Affordable electric guitar, for a signature model.

The ESP LTD Brian (Head) Welch SH-7 Evertune is associated Brian "Head" Welch. He plays guitar in Korn and is the lead singer of Love and Death.

The ESP LTD SH-7 Evertune has innovative features that make it a standout guitar. The Evertune Bridge System ensures constant tension, providing consistent tuning essential for studio work and live performances. The Fishman Fluence Modern Pickups offer clear, precise tones with multiple voicings, adding to the guitar's versatility.

The guitar boasts impressive sustain and resonance and is constructed with a basswood body and flame maple top. The three-piece maple neck with an ebony fretboard enhances playability, catering to intricate riffs and solos. Its see-thru purple finish looks stunning and highlights the natural grain of the flame maple top, making each guitar unique.

While this LTD seven string guitar is praised for its tuning stability and tonal versatility, some users find it slightly heavy for extended playing sessions. Additionally, some design choices like the knob placement may be too close to your playing position.

Overall, the ESP LTD SH-7 Evertune caters to the needs of metal players, offering reliable performance in both studio and live settings.


  • 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


Ibanez RGMS7

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


  • Unstable tuners.
  • Pickup height needs adjustment out of the box.


  • Super low action factory setup.
  • Comfortable multiscale design.
  • Most affordable multiscale electric guitar in this guide.
  • Double humbucker pickups, ideal for Djent, Prog, or Metal.

The Ibanez RGMS7 is a straightforward multiscale 7 string guitar with Ibanez's own individually isolated Mono-rail bridge assembly for better string-to-string separation.

A pair of specially designed Ibanez Array 7 MS Humbuckers occupy the neck and bridge pickup slots. A 5-way pickup selector switch enables in-between sounds and coil tapping for added versatility.

The body is made of Nyatoh and the neck is 5-piece Maple/Walnut with a Jatoba fingerboard.

Many users are fans of this guitar in forums, groups and communities for its great price point, scale length range and playability after setup. The neck profile was praised as one of the best 7 string necks, rivaling more expensive offerings from other brands. A minor plus is the truss rod adjustment is at the neck heel as opposed to the headstock. This makes setup easier and tweakable with minimal tools.

"It only comes in black" is a common complaint. While there are some retailers that offer the natural finish variant, it's uncommon enough to warrant a bit more variety for users. Another is how it's difficult to find replacement pickups for the specially designed Array 7 MS pickups. You will need to either modify the instrument or get a custom wind from a boutique pickup maker as many who own this guitar have done.

If you're dipping your toes in multiscale territory and want a relatively affordable guitar that feels great, the Ibanez RGMS7 is the one to get (in any color as long as it's black).


  • Body: Nyatoh
  • Finish: Gloss Black
  • Bridge: Mono-rail Bridge
  • Pickups: Array 7 MS Humbuckers (Neck and Bridge)
  • Neck: 5-piece Maple/Walnut (Bolt - On, Wizard III-7 profile)
  • Scale Length: 25.5"-27" Multi-scale
  • Fingerboard: Jatoba
  • Fingerboard Radius: 15.75"
  • Frets: 24 Jumbo Frets
  • Nut Width: 1.889"
  • Controls: 1 x master volume, 1 x master tone (push/pull coil-split)
  • Pickup Selector: 3-way blade pickup switch

Schecter Reaper-7 Multiscale

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


  • Stock pickups are muddy and dull.
  • Extra thick stock strings.


  • Attractive and exotic appearance.
  • Fanned frets and multiscale neck feels natural, increasing playability.
  • Craftsmanship is comparable to much more expensive multiscale models.
At publication time this was the Highest Rated Multiscale 7-String Electric Guitar 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.

Users note that despite the guitar's multi-scale fitting, it wasn't too difficult to adjust because of the neutral fret location at the 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 comment.

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

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.


  • 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

Ibanez Axion Label RGD71ALMS

94 out of 100. Incorporating 125+ ratings and reviews.


  • Absence of a locking tremolo bar.
  • Unique pickup shape.


  • High-Quality Fishman Modern pickups.
  • Fast and comfortable Wizard Nitro neck ideal for shredding.
  • Maintains tuning well, even with extensive playing.
  • Visually stunning with its color-shifting finish.

Ibanez launched the Axion Label line targeted 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.

People have been scratching their heads in unison at how Ibanez managed to pull off 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.

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.

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.


  • 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

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 - and this is true even for guitars with 7 strings. 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 has 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. Note that 7-String Tuning also impacts string tension.

The best of both worlds is to get a 7 string Multiscale guitar. These usually have a regular scale on the high strings and a longer scale (often baritone) on the lower strings. This setup is perfect for extended range guitars, as it 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. And this is true for any type of guitar, be it a regular guitar, or a seven string guitar.

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 - especially since you are dealing with seven guitar strings. 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. Different guitar players have different tastes when it comes to neck profile, for example John Petrucci would prefer a wider and thinner neck, while jazz players would often go for a more chunky feeling neck.

Take into account 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 this single guitar specification before you choose the best one for you, and keep in mind that you have an addition string on your fretboard.

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 of the best electric guitars of all time 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, but the optimal choice of wood pairings would narrow down your ideal tone.

Stock Pickups

Much of the guitar sound is attributed to pickups. As such, stock pickups can make or break a guitar's tone. Some manufacturers tend to put cheaper pickups on some 7 string 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. Preferably, these are pickups that are designed to handle the extra low string,

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. Unplayable guitars are a no go, the right course of action is to focus on playability and feel - if you're planning on upgrading your pickups in the future.

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.

Best 7 String Guitar Selection Methodology

The first edition was published in August 2020. The current edition was published on June 18, 2024.

We looked at all the top rated 7 String Guitars available from major US online retailers that were priced up to $2,000 and put the 20 most promising ones on our short-list for closer examination - you can see most of 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 1,800 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 models for regular and multiscale to recommend and provided a summary of user and expert opinions in the descriptions of the ones recommended above.

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

About the Author and Contributors

Here are the key people and sources involved in this guide's production - click on linked names for information about their music industry backgrounds.

Lead Author & Researcher

Aside from endlessly window shopping and watching hours of gear reviews for leisure, he enjoys playing competitive FPS games, MMORPGs and caring for his 5 cats. He is primarily influenced by guitarists like Kurt Ballou and Paul Gilbert. His favorite pieces of gear are his Ibanez RG550RFR, Orange Brent Hinds Terror amplifier and EQD Acapulco Gold fuzz.


Alden Acosta: Product research.
Jason Horton: Editing and Illustrating.
Alexander Briones: Editing.


Main/Top Image: By using photographs of the Ibanez Gio GRG7221M, Ibanez RG7421PB, Ibanez RGA742FM, Schecter Hellraiser C-7, Ibanez Axion Label RGA71AL, Schecter C-7 FR-S Apocalypse, and Ibanez Prestige RG752AHM.

The individual product images were sourced from websites, promotional materials or supporting documentation provided by their respective manufacturers.

The videos have been embedded in accordance with YouTube's Terms of Service.

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