Best 7 String Guitars of 2019 – Complete Round-up

Whether you are a blues, rock, metal, or country player, you might consider taking your game to the next level and invest in a high-quality 7-string guitar. However, this is not an easy job, since they are all quite unique. 

What makes it more difficult is that most players claim that playing a 7-string is much more troublesome. Let’s find out the truth and check out the best 7-string guitars!

Comparison Chart of the Best 7-String Guitars

PRODUCT DETAILS
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Schecter Banshee Elite-7FR

  • Best 7 string guitar overall
  • High-quality build with wide tonal range
  • Body made of swamp ash with a flamed maple top
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Jackson HT7 Misha Mansoor Pro Series Juggernaut

  • Ebony fingerboard with Luminlays
  • Basswood body guitar with 2 humbuckers
  • Massive tones, versatile and comfortable to play
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Jackson JS Series Dinky JS22-7

  • Best Budget 7 String Guitar
  • Poplar body with a maple neck and amaranth fingerboard
  • Enhanced ease of playing and affordability, ideal for entry-level players
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Sterling By MusicMan JP70

  • Best 7 String Electric Guitar
  • Highly accurate with smooth operation
  • Mahogany body and rosewood fretboard with a maple neck
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ESP E-II Horizon FR-7

  • Best 7 String Guitar for Metal
  • Active pickups and controls for volume, tone
  • Solidly built with an alder body, ebony fingerboard, and a maple neck
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​ Schecter Omen-7

  • Best 7 String Guitar Under $500
  • Amazing fretwork, with a smooth polish
  • Thin neck for easy transitioning to 7-string guitars
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​ Sterling By MusicMan JP157

  • Best 7 String Guitar Under $1000
  • Comes with Ernie Ball strings for durability and optimal performance
  • High-quality design with a mahogany body, maple neck, and smooth fretwork
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What Purpose Does a 7-String Guitar Serve?

This popular question pops immediately when someone recommends you switch to a 7-string guitar. Here are the main uses:

Take Your Heavy Metal Songs to Another Level

The major benefit of 7-string punches through especially for metal and heavy metal players, but also for jazz, rock, progressive rock, and classical. For metal players, you will be able to drop tune it into drop A, but remaining the high E string, which can come in handy in most songs. 

Diversify the Tonal Range

A 7-string guitar is so much more than a regular 6-string one. The additional string improves the range of the guitar lower, so it adds some more voice to the instrument. Additionally, some less common 7-string guitars extend the high note range; they are very common with jazz, classical, and rock, apart from progressive rock and heavy metal. 

Experiment a Versatile Instrument

You can also use a 7-string as a regular 6-string, by simply removing it, add a high A, or just ignore the extra string and play the E string below. This can diversify your songs since you can play ‘two’ instruments in one and add tonal depth to your tunes only when you wish to. 

How to Choose a 7-String Guitar

Here are some aspects you need to consider when choosing the ideal 7-string guitar:

Neck Size

This is a crucial aspect of a 7-string since the added string will result in a larger neck size. Therefore, if you have small hands, make sure you go for the thinnest neck available, so you won’t struggle to reach the tones. If you have larger hands, you might actually enjoy the jumbo neck size of 7-strings, which usually is wider than 6-string to accommodate the extra string. 

Tone-wood

Tone-wood can make a serious impact on how your guitar behaves and lasts through time, so you should know different types of tone-woods and their tonal abilities. Alder is the most balanced one, with clear tones, somewhere between bright and dark, and an emphasis on upper-mids. 

Swamp ash is lightweight, highly resonant, and produces bright, sweet sounds; this tone-wood is highly tweakable. Basswood leans towards warmth, while mahogany is exquisite with mellow tones, excellent low frequencies, and powerful lower mids. Lastly, maple has a strong, bright attack and sustain.

Schecter Banshee Elite-7FR

Comfort

Comfort is key, especially when you are transitioning from 6-string to 7-string guitars. You need a comfortable, balanced, and lightweight, highly portable guitar – and that’s precisely what you will find in the next section!

Diversify the Tonal Range

A 7-string guitar is so much more than a regular 6-string one. The additional string improves the range of the guitar lower, so it adds some more voice to the instrument. Additionally, some less common 7-string guitars extend the high note range; they are very common with jazz, classical, and rock, apart from progressive rock and heavy metal. 

Review of the Best 7-String Guitars

Once you have worked out what you are looking for in a 7-string guitar, take a look at the models below to find one that suits your needs.

Schecter BANSHEE ELITE-7 FR Sustainiac 7-String Solid-Body Electric Guitar

PROS

  • High-quality hardware
  • Outstanding tuning stability
  • Sturdy build and exquisite finish
  • Professional quality with infinite sustain
  • Solid tone-woods for unique tonal ranges
  • Maple walnut neck with black chrome hardware

CONS

  • Packaging could be improved
  • Quite bulky and heavy due to the solid wood body

What Recent Buyers Report

This guitar offers an insane range of tonal capabilities. Not only the construction from swamp ash makes it very stable and highly resonating, but the Sustainiac Pickups and the Schecter USA Supercharger Mach7 offer bountiful versatility. In addition to this, it also packs in a great tremolo system for the best results!

Why it Stands Out to Us

The Schecter Banshee Elite has the right feel to it. It packs in all the premium features you would expect from a professional instrument: solidly built, high-quality materials, exquisite fit, and finish and endless attention to details. All you need to do is pick it up and see for yourself!

Who Would Use This Most

If you decided to go for a professional quality 7-string guitar, then this product is specially crafted for your needs. For any guitarists with a taste for quality, affordability, and endless tonal versatility, the choice takes shape as the Schecter guitars are all you need!

Bottom Line

All in all, if you want more than the average day-to-day guitar, Schecter Banshee Elite is here to breathe life and color into your performances. You get endless sustain, tonal range, and high-quality built-in a reasonably priced instrument. This is a performer’s wish come true –reliability, quality, and beauty!

Jackson Pro Series Misha Mansoor Juggernaut HT7FM 7-String Electric Guitar Ocean Burst

PROS

  • Extra thin, comfortable neck shape
  • Exquisite dark blue color looks amazing
  • Highly stable, can handle aggressive picking styles
  • Highly versatile for any music genre, from alt-rock to technical metal
  • Luminlays highlight the fretboard’s side for visibility in low light settings

CONS

  • High price range

What Recent Buyers Report

This guitar is worth its place among your favorite instruments! The neck is unbelievably thin for a 7-string, which enhances ease of play, while the Luminlays on the fretboard is great for those who perform on dim stages. This guitar has all it takes to become your primary new guitar!

Why it Stands Out to Us

The Juggernaut might seem like a gamble in the beginning with its high price range, but it is all worth it. The humbuckers are crystal clear and well balanced, with the ideal combination of punch and fluidity. Stock tuners are smooth, and tuning stability is impressive.

Who Would Use This Most

This amazing instrument is amazingly lightweight for its size, the tones and resonance are outstanding, and all components are premium quality. These features highly recommend it for stage performers, beginners, and it is definitely worth every buck! It is a truly powerful, rock-solid electric 7-string guitar.

Bottom Line

Overall, this guitar is an ideal instrument for entry-level 7-string players due to its featherweight, comfortable structure. It encourages you to experiment and take down all the barriers towards a flawless, outstanding, and exceptional performance every time you touch this instrument. You’ll never regret adding this guitar to your collection!

Best Budget 7 String Guitar:
Jackson JS Series Dinky JS22-7

Jackson JS Series Dinky Arch Top JS22-7 DKA HT 7-String Electric Guitar

PROS

  • Improved tuning stability
  • Outstanding tones with enhanced playability
  • Affordable price range and high value for money
  • Simple, yet stylish design with a black satin finish
  • Lightweight body with a comfortable neck for quick, accurate action

CONS

  • Stock strings feel a bit too light
  • Professional players might find it a bit too simple, but great for beginners

What Recent Buyers Report

This working-level priced guitar is a fantastic 7-string, perpetuating the famous Jackson look of ‘strat-like’ but with a few modifications. It plays well right out of the box, although you might want to change the stock strings with a heavier gauge for better performance. It packs in all the great Jackson features at an affordable price!

Why it Stands Out to Us

This is a high-quality guitar with carefully selected components. The choice of tone-woods complements the design and fit of the guitar with a polyurethane finish. For its price range, it is easy to see why it has all it takes to be on our list – simplicity, quality, and great value for money!

Who Would Use This Most

If you are an entry-level guitarist looking to experiment with the wonders of 7-string guitars, this Jackson is the best starting point you’ll ever get. Buy this and expect quality tones, comfort, ease of play, and enjoyable experimentation all the way around! This Jackson is also incredibly light on your pocket, so there’s no chance you’ll regret it!

Bottom Line

All in all, the JS22 Dinky is a great low-budget 7-string guitar that packs all the necessary features. The humbuckers and tone-woods enforce its ability to deliver a great tonal spectrum, especially for rock and metal players. It is a great instrument that offers high value for money, and it ticks all the boxes!

Best 7 String Electric Guitar:
​ Sterling By MusicMan JP70

Sterling By MusicMan 7 String Sterling by Music Man, JP70, John Petrucci Signature Guitar, Trans Green Burst, JP70-TGB)

PROS

  • Impressive tuning stability
  • Highly comfortable due to the contoured forearm scoop
  • Ideal spacings between strings and fret-board for easy action
  • Hardware is reliable and improves playability and tonal qualities
  • Fast neck, outstanding tuning stability, and highly accurate intonation
  • Signature guitar with high-quality components and padded gig bag included

CONS

  • Quality control issues with the bridge pickup
  • Tonal range quite limited for more experienced players

What Recent Buyers Report

This guitar takes your skills to a whole new level. The depths and the highs of this instrument are unlimited. The soft cutaways, unique design, and lightweight construction are all it needs to take you a step back in time, all in comfort and joy. This is by far one of the most comfortable 7-string guitars out there!

Why it Stands Out to Us

This guitar is well-thought-out, has impressive sounds and quick action. The custom humbuckers and the mahogany body have great resonance, with accurate intonation and interesting tonal abilities. It is one of the most comfortable 7-string guitars on the market, and it also comes with a padded gig bag!

Who Would Use This Most

This signature guitar from John Petrucci is a great instrument with a fast neck, simple features, and comfortable frame. All fans of Dream Theater and John Petrucci have to give it a try, and you will soon be amazed at the quality features, playability, and versatility of this great instrument.

Bottom Line

Overall, the JP70 takes you through new highs in your musical journey. The special design favors high-quality sounds, versatility, and it is a guitar that purely wields a lot of power in a lightweight, comfortable design. If you are a fan of John Petrucci, this is your cue to take your experience to a whole new level!

Best 7 String Guitar for Metal:
ESP E-II Horizon FR-7

ESP E-II Horizon FR-7 - Black 7-String Guitar

PROS

  • Thin U-shaped neck for playability
  • Gotoh tuners ensure tuning stability
  • High-quality sounds and top-notch humbuckers
  • Includes a hardshell case for protection and portability
  • Heavy crunch and string-stretching leads ideal for metal
  • Alder body with flamed maple top and neck, ebony fingerboard

CONS

  • High price range

What Recent Buyers Report

This is exactly the type of guitar you need when you are chasing professional quality. This guitar cuts no corners; it is solid from top to bottom and purely a superior quality instrument! The fretwork and the action are spotless, while the assortment of hardware and electronics is more than you ever ask for.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The E-II Horizon FR-7 is simply a masterpiece. All you need is a little peek, and you will fall deeply in love with this work of art. The hardware, electronics, fit, and finish create the perfect combination you expect in a high-end, professional guitar for metal players.

Who Would Use This Most

This is undoubtedly our top recommendation for metal players. It comes with heavy crunches, and it is ideal for string-stretching leads. It also comes with a hardshell case, locking tuners, and a strap lock, which makes the E-II Horizon a bundle worth every cent. If you want the highest level of performance, this is your next buddy.

Bottom Line

Overall, E-II is an ideal metal electric guitar. It comes with serious tonal delivery, and it looks as fine as a collectible. It is sturdy, playable, and made from the best materials available. This guitar is solid in every way you can think of, and it includes a hardshell case, perfect for the gigging musician and touring!

Best 7 String Guitar Under $500:
Schecter Omen-7​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Schecter OMEN-7 7-String Electric Guitar, Black

PROS

  • Design stands out and is eye-catching
  • Flawless, smooth fretwork for great action
  • Thin, comfortable neck, ideal for beginners
  • Great sustain, low action, and fantastic feel due to bolt-on neck
  • Black TUSQ XL ivory nuts make tuning smoother and more stable

CONS

  • Selector switch is a bit flimsy
  • Volume and tone knobs are a bit stiff
  • Selector switch position is uncomfortable if you do many volume swells

What Recent Buyers Report

Schecter knows how to combine high-quality with affordability! This instrument is built with great attention to detail, from the smooth polish on the frets to the bolt-on neck with great sustain and playing comfort. It has low action, and it is a great guitar to transition from 6-string to 7-string.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The Schecter Omen-7 is a phenomenal instrument. From fretwork to tuners and the finish, all is high shine. Tuners are high-quality, the pickups sound great: the bridge pickup is meaty, full, and the output is loud, while the one located at the neck is a bit warmer, great for the bluesy lead.

Who Would Use This Most

This guitar is highly recommended to players of all levels, whether you’ve played 7-strings before or not. It is impossible to beat this price range and score higher on playability and quality. Schecter delivers great consistency in all of their instruments, which makes them very valuable to a guitar player.

Bottom Line

Overall, if you want an exceptional, high-quality guitar at an affordable price range, Schecter never fails to impress! The craftsmanship of this guitar is impressive, it has good sustain, tuning stability, you can finely tune it, and the pickups offer all the versatility you need to achieve a wide range of tones.

Best 7 String Guitar Under $1000:
Sterling By MusicMan JP157

Sterling By MusicMan 7 String Sterling by Music Man John Petrucci Signature Guitar, JP157, Neptune Blue, JP157-NBL)

PROS

  • Powerful, loud output and nice sustain
  • Sounds are detailed, versatile and intricate
  • High-quality pickups with impressive performance
  • Comes with a padded gig bag for portability and protection
  • Comes with a tremolo/vibrato bridge great for string bending
  • Simple knobs with controls for tone and volume and pickup level

CONS

  • Poor quality control
  • Neck stability is not great
  • Might need a better-designed nut

What Recent Buyers Report

This guitar has two great quality stock humbuckers, which offer a wide tonal range. This guitar delivers powerful, loud output and has great sustain. The controls are simplistic and intuitive, which makes it easy to play and control. The sounds are intricate, detailed, and lovely.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Sterling By MusicMan 7-string guitar is an affordable, highly precise instrument made with a mahogany body and a maple neck. The action is smooth, it has a bold feel to it, and it is highly playable. What is more, the guitar comes equipped with a padded, sturdy gig bag and Ernie Ball strings, which are well known for durability and high performance.

Who Would Use This Most

Fortunately for all 7-string beginners, this affordable guitar sounds far better compared to other guitars in this price range. The tonality is powerful, detailed, which makes this instrument an ideal companion for rehearsals and gigs. The stock pickups will help you deliver a great, consistent performance to your audience.

Bottom Line

All in all, the Sterling by MusicMan 7-string guitar is a high-quality, affordable instrument, ideal for beginners, but also for intermediate players. It can help you craft unique tones, with great comfort and ease of play. It also comes with a padded gig back and high-quality Ernie Ball strings, so it is a hard to miss bundle!

Advantages and Disadvantages of 7-String Guitars

The main advantages of 7-string guitars are:

  • More tuning freedom, with better quality lower tunings
  • You can play it either as a 7-string or a 6-string
  • Comfortable for people with large hands

7-string guitars have the main advantage of flexibility, which means that you can buy one and treat it as a 6-string guitar whenever you feel like it. Additionally, it allows you to dive deeper into lower tunings without losing sonic qualities; they have lower note ranges without having to tune it down all the time. 

Players with larger hands will enjoy 7-string guitars since they have wider necks to accommodate the additional strings, but there are also thin-neck options for people with tiny hands. 

The main disadvantages of 7-string guitars are:

  • Less choice than 6-string guitars
  • Difficult to buy new strings

The main drawbacks of 7-string guitars are that there is nowhere near as much variety as you get with regular 6-string guitars, so it might be challenging to find what you need. Additionally, purchasing new strings might also be tricky with 7-string guitars as there is less choice available. 

How to String a 7-String Guitar

Restringing a 7-string guitar follows the same steps as a regular 6-string guitar. One pro tip is to have a look for locking tuners – this might prevent you from getting the strings out from the head-stock, so make sure you take that into account if the strings seem stuck. 

Otherwise, follow the next steps to restring your guitar like a professional:

  1. Use a winder to loosen up your guitar’s strings; 
  2. Once a bit loose, cut them with wire cutters and remove them from the instrument; alternatively, you can unwind them until you can pull them out by hand following their course. 
  3. Optional – take advantage of this moment to properly clean your guitar, brushing the dust with a soft brush and clean the fret-board – if you have a rosewood fret-board, you can apply some lemon oil to it for best results. 
  4. Thread the first string through the bridge and then thread it into the tuning peg. 
  5. Take the string from both sides of the tuning peg and curl it into an S shape. 
  6. Wrap the other end of the string around the other half to fix the string.
  7. Press the string down lightly as you tighten it.
  8. Repeat the steps until you have placed all of the remaining strings.
  9. Tune your guitar.

Conclusion

Overall, getting a 7-string guitar sounds somewhat exciting and even a bit exotic, especially for metal players, but also for jazz, country, rock, and others. What is truly great about our 7-string guitars is that they are comfortable, high-quality, and any player would love these models. If you are looking for versatility, increased depth, and a whole new universe to be explored, they check all the boxes and then some!

People Also Ask

Here is a short FAQ section to ease your transition from 6-string guitars to 7-string ones:

What is the Difference Between a 7-String and 6-String Guitar?

Since the 7-string can play an additional note at the same time, the main difference comes from the wider range of lower tonalities. Often, 7-string guitars have impressive depth, without having to compromise on intonation. A 7-string can support lower tunings with the increased quality compared to 6-strings.

Who Invented the 7-String Guitar?

The history of the 7-string guitar goes back more than two centuries. Many people used 7-string instruments, but Lenny Breau is considered the inventor because, as opposed to other 7-strings, he added a treble string, which was tuned to the A above and high E. 

Is a 7-String Guitar Harder to Play?

It might be trickier to play in the beginning, but it is not exactly an impossible task to do. Some players consider it harder to play because they usually have longer scales, and if you’re used to 6-strings, you might also have trouble selecting the right string with your pick in the beginning. 

How Many Octaves Does a 7-String Guitar Have?

A 24-fret guitar usually has about 4 octaves, but the number of frets can modify the number of octaves on your instrument, and the same goes with the added string to the guitar. Therefore, you will have more or less depending on the number of frets on your instrument.