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The Best Seven String Guitars by Budget

The Best Seven String Guitars by Budget

Despite being largely associated with metal guitarists and music, seven-string guitars are far removed from a contemporary development in guitar design. 

Originally created for acoustic and classical guitarists in the Renaissance period in Europe, the earliest electric seven-strings were developed for jazz musicians in the 1930s, finding a wider use there in the 60s.

The 90s brought Steve Vai’s UV7, made by Ibanez, the first mass-produced seven-string. It later found favor with mid-to-late nu-metal pioneers such as Korn and Limp Bizkit.

If you want to find the best seven-string guitar for you on a budget, stay here as we’ll look at the best seven string guitars by budget that are currently available, considered in terms of parts, construction, tones, and playability.

How I Chose These Guitars

There are quite a few guitars here, all at different price points. With so many great seven-strings out there, compiling a list of the best ones was difficult. To condense this list, I considered these factors:

  • Playability: While every guitar player will have something different to say about playability. I care as much about the comfort of holding the guitar as I do its performance. I considered the factors that guitar players care about, such as the construction, pickups, wood types, string spacing, fret size, and if it’s easy to upgrade.
  • Neck feel: This one is huge for me since I have small hands. Even if you don’t have minuscule hands like me, a thinner and smoother neck is easier to play–especially when it comes to those complex solos. Since seven strings have wider necks, I still ensured the necks were thin for their size and playable.
  • Finishes: The way a guitar looks matters as much as it plays–especially for touring and gigging guitar players. I included different finishes, from sleek black guitars to ones with more artistic designs and bright colors.
  • Body and neck materials: The wood a manufacturer uses impacts each note’s overall sound, clarity, and enunciation. You will find different types of wood features on this list since I know all guitar players have their preferences.

Best Seven String Guitars for Under $500

1. Schecter Omen 7: Best Budget Pick

Schecter has established itself as a brand for metallers, and brands targeting metallers generally have a number of seven strings in their range. I personally like Schecter because the neck is thinner. I have small hands, so their guitars are easier to play than the other seven strings on this list.

Best Seven String Guitars by Budget

As is obvious from the outset, the Omen Extreme-7 is an incredibly beautiful guitar and looks a lot more expensive than it is. The guitar only costs $499 at Guitar Center, making it the perfect guitar for those new to seven strings. 

Why does the Omen 7 look more polished than other guitars on this list? This is largely thanks to the carved, quilted maple top on a mahogany body. Although the guitar is well-made at this price, it doesn’t have the same quality of mahogany used on a $2,000 instrument.

For a budget guitar, the fingerboard inlays are quite elaborate. It also comes loaded with coil-tapped Schecter pickups. Hopefully, this will give players a wide range of tones to work with and maybe step out of that metal shadow.

The construction of the guitar is very solid. It doesn’t feel like it will fall apart and reflects Schecter’s quality control well. The various pieces of black chrome hardware are securely attached, and the neck joint is very clean.

That said, this guitar is made with stock pickups. While the pickups are fine, they may not match your preference. If you choose the Omen 7, I suggest replacing them with pickups you normally play.

Plugging into a 100-watt solid-state amp head, through a half-stack cab, and cranking up the distortion, this thing roars. It’s ideal for thrashing out metal riffs. Lead playing isn’t bad, but it can get a little muddy in any budget guitar with humbuckers.

Schecter Guitar Research Omen Extreme-7 Electric Guitar See-Thru Black | Guitar Center

Schecter's Omen Extreme-7 boasts a mahogany body with a quilted maple top, supercharged with a pair of Schecter Diamond Plus humbuckers that deliver the hard rock crunch needed to cut through today's modern metal and rock mixes.

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On a smaller valve amp with a gentle overdrive, tapping the humbuckers into single coil mode helps clarity of tone, but it can bite. Not necessarily in an unpleasant way, but it’s not what a professional music man would want.

A dedicated humbucker or single coil pickup will always sound superior to a pickup trying to do both.

It’s a lovely guitar to play, and if you’re looking for something that will look sharp on stage on a budget, it’s certainly worth a look. Given the potential range of tones available through coil tapping, it would be an ideal instrument for prog-rock musicians on a budget.

This has a nice low action out of the box, and the neck has a comfortable feel, even if you’re not used to an extra string.

Don’t forget to check out the full review on the  Schecter Omen Extreme-7 to learn more about this impressive seven-string. 

2. Schecter Demon-7 FR: Best for Playing Lead Guitar

Schecter Guitar Research Demon-7

With the famed Schecter C body shape, a fast maple neck with smooth wenge fingerboard with gothic cross inlays, the Demon-7 is waiting to unleash your music on the world. 

Also from Schecter is the Demon-7 FR Sharing the curvaceous body top of the Omen. This has simpler parts and configuration but more options regarding finishes and including a Floyd Rose.

The Floyd Rose is the standout feature here, especially if you want to play solos. With the extended range of a seven-string, you’ll be able to play more complex solos and use various techniques without compromising the tone and tuning of your guitar.

As a Schecter guitar, this is the perfect option for metal players. With its sleek black body, it looks edgy yet classy on stage. With the extra strings, you can down-tune to achieve that heavy sound integral to metal guitar playing. And with the humbucker pickups, the tone is clean yet heavy.

That said, it’s still not a professional guitar. I suggest using this one if you’re looking for a backup seven-string or want a cheap one for playing lead.

Best Affordable 7-String
Schecter Guitar Research Demon 7 String

With the famed Schecter C body shape, a fast maple neck with smooth wenge fingerboard with gothic cross inlays, the Demon-7 is waiting to unleash your music on the world. 

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3. Ibanez RG Series RG7421 7-String Electric Guitar:  Best First Seven-String Guitar

Ibanez RG Series

The RG is the most recognizable and distinctive guitar in the Ibanez line. Three decades of metal have forged this high-performance machine, honing it for speed and strength.

At this price, we see the appearance of Ibanez’s RG range, with the RG7421. Their focus here seems to be keeping the parts and construction as basic as possible to make that famous RG range accessible.

One aspect that most of these guitars have in common is they have imperfections, such as stock pickups and strings. While the guitars themselves are fine, they’re still better for a seasoned player so they can make the modifications that fit their needs.

But the Ibanez RG range stands out because it’s perfect out of the box. They’re made with humbucker pickups at the bridge and neck and come with D’Addario strings. I recommend this Ibanez to a beginner since it’s great out of the box. Or, it’s a good fit for the lazy seasoned player!

Ibanez RG Series RG7421 7-String Electric Guitar | Guitar Center

The RG is the most recognizable and distinctive guitar in the Ibanez line. Three decades of metal have forged this high-performance machine, honing it for both speed and strength.

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I always liked Ibanez guitars since they’re lightweight. They’re easy to carry around and play on stage, perfect for serious players and the occasional gig musician.

The lightweight body comes from the use of meranti wood and not mahogany; meranti is still a quality wood and has a balanced sound. 

However, I know some guitar players don’t think Meranti wood produces a pronounced sound and lacks the projection of high-end mahogany. These are things to keep in mind if you’re a serious player. Again, these are tiny details that won’t affect the beginner. And at $449, you can’t beat the price

Best Seven String Guitars Under 2000 – Intermediate/Professional

1. ESP LTD M-17: Best 7-String for Rhythm Playing


There are quite a few budget seven-strings available – it’s probably the most populated price point. This makes sense because seven-strings aren’t as popular as six-string models, so manufacturers must be incredibly certain of their viability before committing to several high-end models. Still, more guitarists are playing seven-string models because of their extended range, raising the bar for seven-string standards and quality.This offering from ESP’s LTD offshoot epitomizes modern eastern guitar manufacturer: a solidly built, highly playable instrument

This is an ideal instrument for beginners on a budget or seasoned guitar players just looking to experiment and don’t want to spend much money on an instrument they may or may not gel with long term.

There’s nothing remarkable about the parts. It comes with a basswood body, which is not a dense wood. The parts are all standard – two humbuckers, a three-way selector switch, and only two knobs – one for volume, one for tone.

All these parts are solidly put together. For a budget guitar, you can’t fault the craftsmanship that’s gone into it – hat-tip to ESP’s quality control team! There’s no sharpness along the fingerboard, and the higher frets are comfortably accessible.

I plugged the M-17 into a 100-watt, solid-state head with a half-stack cab, as that seems the likely amp to be used by the younger demographic of its market. The pickups do a fine job for low-end riffing but don’t cut it so well for lead playing – it was just a bit muddy.

Plugging into a 30-watt valve combo to see if anything else could be teased out of it proved fruitless. The bridge pickup with a gentle overdrive wasn’t terrible, but even still, it’s a pretty specific point to need to be if you have visions of great sonic adventures.

Although this guitar is fun to play, ultimately, it’s cheap and feels like it. With the limited range of the pickups, it sounds it too. If you’re playing dirty and loud, no problem. If you’re looking for a more experimental path, the sounds here aren’t particularly refined, so you may want to look elsewhere.

Before I give you some alternatives, please read my ultimate, full review on the ESP LTD M-17 here with more specs and features to love! 

2. Schecter Reaper-7 Multiscale: Best Pick for Playing Metal

There are many reasons why I recommend playing the Schecter Reaper-7 for metal. First, multiscale guitars are better for playing in drop-tuning. You’ll also experience better intonation, tension, and tuning stability.

The Reaper-7 especially shines here. Even if you don’t switch out the pickups, the stock pickups are still made to play metal. As I said, I love how Schecter guitars have a thin neck, and it’s easy to play fast and solo on these guitars.

I love the look of this guitar. I attached the charcoal burst finish, which would look cool on stage. It also comes in sky burst and infernoburst; these finishes are more on the artsy side, which I like.

However, I only recommend this guitar to professionals and those experienced with modifications. Most string sets aren’t made for multiscale guitars, and it can be difficult to find the right pickups if you’re unsatisfied with the stock option.

3.Ibanez Prestige RGR752AHBF: Great for Playing Shows

Ibanez Prestige RGR752AHBF

Still looking at Ibanez’s RG models in their Prestige range, the RG752 is perhaps a bit more traditional. It lacks the RGD’s contouring and is loaded with DiMarzio PAF pickups. If you want an RG for more than shredding, this offers a wider range of tones that might work.

There are a few reasons why I recommend using this as your gigging guitar. The neck is thin, and the body is light, perfect for playing long sets. Because the neck is thin, playing fast and complex riffs and solos is a breeze.

Plus, this guitar just looks cool. The weathered black finish has natural grooves and is very subtle yet beautiful on the black coloring.

I also like this guitar as a higher-quality transition to seven strings. Because the guitar is well-made and comfortable to play, it’s a seamless switch from a six-string to a seven.

4. Misha Mansoor Juggernaut HT7: Best for Tone

Misha Mansoor Juggernaut HT7

Djent progenitor and Periphery guitarist Misha Manor is long acclaimed for his speedy fretwork and powerful playing.

Jackson has their USA-made, Dinky-inspired Misha Mansoor Juggernaut HT7. This is made in the USA. It has a lightweight alder body, a maple top, an ebony fingerboard, and coil-tapped Bareknuckle pickups.

The tone stands out with this guitar–that shouldn’t be a surprise, considering it’s a Misha Mansoor signature guitar. 

This guitar is made with Jackson MM1 humbucker pickups that Mansoor designed himself. They’re high-output pickups, delivering a tight sound that still doesn’t sound cluttered. You can also use the five-way pickup selector to add more versatility to your sound. That said, you can change or upgrade the pickups to your liking.

This guitar is also super lightweight, made with a basswood body, with a maple neck and a fingerboard. It’s a smooth and playable guitar, comfortable in various settings.

I’m shocked about the price for how perfect it is out of the box. $949 is affordable for a signature model, especially the quality you’re getting.

Jackson USA Signature Misha Mansoor Juggernaut HT7 Electric Guitar | Sweetwater

Djent progenitor and Periphery guitarist Misha Manor is long acclaimed for his speedy fretwork and powerful playing. 

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Best Seven String Guitars Under 4000 – High-End Selections

1. Jackson Pro Series Signature Josh Smith Soloist SL7 ET 7-String Electric Guitar: Best for Pickup Configuration

Jackson Pro Series Signature Josh Smith Soloist SL7 ET 7-String

This Jackson Soloist SL7 is part of their Pro Series line and is the signature guitar from Northlane guitarist Josh Smith. 

The tone is crushing; it’s made with a Bare Knuckle humbucker set and single-coil pickups, which results in a heavy tone that isn’t muddy. While this guitar is perfect for achieving that down-tuned Northlane sound, the pickups result in lots of clarity, making this guitar perfect for nearly any style.

While this guitar is popular among Northlane fans, it’s versatile enough for any player. The guitar holds tuning well and intonates better than many seven strings on this list. As I mentioned previously, the pickups sound clear, and this guitar can work with numerous playing styles.

The overall structure of the guitar is firm, with a smooth neck that’s perfect for soloing. The finish is a dark surf green with a matching Strat-style headstock.

The downside is the price, but at nearly $2,700, you get your money’s worth for this guitar.

2. Caparison Guitars Dellinger 7-WB-FX EF 7-String Electric Guitar:  Best Boutique Guitar

If you’re looking for a high-end guitar from a boutique brand, I recommend the Caparison Dellinger 7-String. This is a handcrafted guitar made with a walnut/blackwood body for a well-balanced sound, and you can choose between an ebony or maple fingerboard.

The guitar is made with excellent hardware, specifically the Gotch locking tuners, so you won’t have any problems with intonation. The Dellinger comes with original Caparison humbucker pickups and sounds edgy enough for the heaviest band. Still, with the push-pull control on the single-coil pickups, and can work with any style you play.

The Dellinger is available in three finishes on Sweetwater: natural, charcoal black, and transparent white. 

3. ESP E-II Horizon FR-7: Best for Quality

If quality is what you’re after–and you don’t mind spending a few extra bucks–then I suggest this ESP E-II. With the E-II series, ESP bridged the gap between mass production and custom; professional luthiers make these guitars in Japan. While the $2,699+ price tag may be off-putting to some, this is a quality guitar at a great price.

The ESP ES-11 FR-7 is made with EMG 707 humbuckers that produce a great sound while out of the box. While this is the perfect guitar for djent, the sound is versatile enough for jazz to death metal.

I also love the construction of this guitar. The neck-through-body construction enhances the clarity and articulation of each note. The “U” neck is thin and features an ebony fingerboard, making this a comfortable guitar for playing solos and complex riffs.

4. Caparison TAT Special 7: Best for a Wide Tonal Range 

Sticking with brands that are not massive, Caparison are a high-end brand, started in 1995, by former employees of Jackson/Charvel. Instead of ripping off their former employers, they aim to apply engineering knowledge that will serve the player better.

With a traditional Superstrat body shape, at first glance, the TAT Special (link to website) looks like just another shred machine, except maybe a bit fancier – it’s hard to miss that flamed maple top!

The neck is a maple/walnut ply, which fits the body via through-neck construction. An ebony fingerboard sits on the neck. The neck has an unusual 27 frets.

The fingerboard has some pretty elaborate inlays. Shaped like an italicized “o”, on closer inspection, you can see that they are, in fact, clocks. The time on each clock indicates the fret number, so the inlay on the first fret shows one o’clock, the third fret shows three o’clock, and so on.

Caparison Guitars TAT Special FM Electric Guitar Transparent Black Stain | Guitar Center

Its beautifully unique body structure, the Caparison Tat curve top, is an asymmetrical 27-fret design with an arched body top, resulting in a more comfortable, complimentary playing experience beyond the 12th fret.

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Wouldn’t it be shameful if an expensive, elaborate guitar sounded awful? No such concern here. Through a 100-watt valve head and half-stack cab, the notes shimmer and sing out with all the clarity and sustain you’d want and expect.

Beyond extra frets and clock-shaped inlays, the pickup configuration on the TAT Special is unusual. It’s got a regular three-way selector – just like any other regular twin humbucker instrument. However, in the middle position on the TAT, an additional rotary switch gives some additional options, such as coil tapping and parallel.

As with any guitar: it will sound brightest set to the bridge, in single mode, and thickest at the neck in humbucker mode. From those polar opposites, you can find four other tones in between.

In terms of playability, the main curiosity was those extra three frets. Did they make that much difference? Personally, no, not in the least. If I was to buy a high-end guitar, 27 frets are just not something I would look out for as a selling point, simply because that’s not how I play. Maybe remember before you borrow from your kid’s college fund!

Outside of that, it’s a great guitar, and with the wide range of tonal options, there’s a lot of fun.

Before I give you some alternatives, be sure to read the full Caparison TAT Special 7 if you want to know more

Comparison Table – Best 7 String Guitars Compared

ESP LTD M-17$284Bolt-onBasswoodMapleRosewoodESP-designed
ESP LTD M-17$439Bolt-onMahogany/ maple topMapleRosewoodSchecter Diamond Plus
Ibanez Prestige RGD2127FX$1999Bolt-onBasswoodMaple/ wengeRosewoodIbanez Vs
Mayones Setius 7 GTM$2,0175Bolt-onMahogany/ maple topMahogany/ mapleRosewoodSeymour Duncan, DiMarzio or EMG
Caparison TAT Special 7$3,449Through-neckMahogany/ maple topMaple/ walnutEbonyCaparison designed, made by Got

Tips When Choosing a Seven-String Guitar

When you first look for a seven-string, you’ll enter a world of different options. This new world can be daunting, so here are some bonus tips to make seven-string guitar shopping easier!

  • Brand notoriety: Most major guitar and niche brands make seven-string guitars. You should pay attention to brand reputability and only play from manufacturers you trust. Ibanez is my go-to, but I also like Schecter. There’s no right or wrong brand to play; every player has their favorite brands and the ones they prefer playing. Ensure you get a notable brand and buy the guitar from a trustworthy seller.
  • To multiscale or not to multiscale: I mentioned multiscale guitars here, and there are many reasons why musicians prefer this option. Also called fanned frets, multiscale guitars stand out because each individual string has its scale length. In other words, the bottom strings can have tighter tension while the top strings can be looser. Multiscale guitars also have better intonation and tuning stability. However, they can also develop a weird buzzing sound since the strings sit at an awkward angle. Every guitar player has their preference, and there’s no right or wrong answer.
  • Budget: There’s a reason why I separated this list by budget–guitars can be expensive. Plenty of excellent $500 guitars exist, so you don’t need to spend thousands on a new instrument. Still, cheaper guitars tend to be basic and only come with stock pickups and strings. I suggest looking in the upper pricing tiers if you need something more, say a new main-stage guitar.

FAQs About 7 String Guitars

Are 7 String Guitars harder to play?

7 String guitars are a bit more difficult to play if you have never tried one. It takes some time to adjust to such, but overall you will not have any issues if you are an experienced guitar player.

Are there online lessons for 7 string guitars?

If you are looking for online platforms to learn playing a 7 string guitars, you might have to dig deep to find one. However, there are some great free Youtube lessons to check and also specialized blogs that will help you learn playing.

What bands use 7 string guitars?

Nowadays bands are almost non existing but some of the 90’s and 00’s bands that have used 7 string guitars are: Deftones, Morbid Angel, Nevermore, Emperor etc.

The Final Note

Hopefully, this round-up of seven-string guitars has given you some further food for thought if you’ve been curious about the practicalities of adding that low B to your playing range.

I hope it will have inspired players outside of metal to be curious, whatever their budget. Internet reviews are great, but there’s no substitute for getting into your local guitar store, plugging in, cranking up, and finding the balance between aesthetics, what feels good, and what sounds great!

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