I wrote earlier this year about the four 7-string guitars I wouldn’t mind owning. I’m yet to get a 7-string guitar and of course want one. With an impending trip to the USA on the cards, I thought I’d look at the most affordable 7-string options I could find that I could then bring back with me. Amazingly, I found five top-name guitars all under $200USD.
I am clearly living in the wrong country.
In no particular order I shall list the 7-string options I discovered. In all honesty, I’d be happy as Larry to own any one of these guitars. From what I hear about Larry, that is a pretty high level of happiness. I don’t know how he does it.
Dean Vendetta VNXM 7-string
The Dean Vendetta VNXM is a nice looking string-though-body design built in Paulownia which I believe is incredibly light but with the wood strength of cedar. The body finish is a nice trans-black which shows the wood grain while retaining that feature I love in a guitar—blackness.
The VNXM features two Dean humbuckers, rosewood fretboard (24 frets), maple neck (bolt on) and a tune-o-matic bridge. It’s a simple guitar and at the time of writing it’s available for $180.00USD. That is an insanely affordable 7-string guitar option. I’d be happy to own this and get my wings (as Dean owners get to say).
ESP LTD M-17 7-string
This is not the first time I’ve said this and it won’t be the last. I really dislike the 12th fret inlays on most ESP and LTD guitars. Headstocks are for branding. With that out of the way, this is a sweet looking 7-string guitar. It has the reversed headstock (something I’m yet to add to my collection), ESP designed humbuckers, basswood body and rosewood fretboard (on a U shaped neck).
This guitar has a beautiful super-strat look to it and the string-through-body design is awesome. For my playing style, this is almost perfect. I’d simply swap the master volume and tone for individual volume controls and get that three-way switch working for me. Also, it’s black. Win.
Currently you can pick this guitar up for $199USD from Sam Ash. Bargain.
Ibanez Gio GRG7221 7-string
While I’m saying things I’ve already said before, let me say again that Ibanez has one of the coolest headstock designs around. I’ve loved that headstock for decades. Perhaps I need another one.
The GRG7221 is a 24 fret beast that features two PSND-7 pickups (Ibanez designed) in a Poplar body. The neck is maple with a rosewood fretboard. The guitar is black. The hardware is black. The entire guitar is black. I love it. I also love the fixed bridge design. Most of the guitars in this range feature tune-o-matic style bridges (which are mighty fine). I like that this is a little different. Actually, this is almost the style of my current Ibanez (except mine is like this on account of me never using the tremolo).
For $199.99USD, this guitar is just in range, but looks like it should be worth a heap more. I’m glad it’s not.
Jackson JS22-7 DKA Dinky JS Series 7-string
For many years Jackson meant one thing to me. The Rhoads model. Obviously they do a lot more than that, but that’s the guitar I loved that they introduced to the world. What they’ve done with the super-strat market is phenomenal though. Makes sense they’d create a wicked looking 7-string option like the JS22-7 DKA Dinky JS Series.
Like the Ibanez, the Jackson features all-black hardware (including the fixed bridge), 24 frets, rosewood fretboard (on a maple neck), super-strat body style and two humbuckers. What sets the Jackson apart is the fretboard inlays. I love the offset miniature shark inlays. It’s the simple things.
Like the Ibanez, this guitar can be picked up for $199.99USD currently. Another bargain in my opinion.
Schecter Guitar Research SGR C-7 7-string
Finally, the Schecter Guitar Research (SGC) C-7. Apparently this is a Guitar Center only special purchase. I’ve seen it elsewhere online, but the official page suggests it’s a Guitar Center thing. The SGR range is Schecter’s entry model range. I’d be OK with that. I bought one of their Omen 6 models a few years back and that guitar remains one of my favourites (performing better than many guitars twice its price range).
Keeping that in mind, I’m sure the 24 frets on the SGR C-7 (with a wicked 12th fret inlay design), twin humbuckers (Schecter Dimaond Plus x 2), tune-o-matic bridge and black chrome hardware would play like a dream. It also looks like a champion.
This guitar is the least black of all the options in this article, but in my opinion it’s black enough. And at $199.99 from Guitar Center, it is in the right price range.
OK. I told a lie earlier. There was an order to that list. It’s called alphamabetical. Or alphabetical. Alphamabetical sounds fancier.
Regardless, it seems to me that if you’re in the market for your first 7-string guitar and you’re not currently at the gigging/band playing skill level, all five of these options would be worthwhile purchases. I wonder if I can bring all five back with me from the US of A. That’s logical right?
Of course it is.
That won’t happen, but one of them could come back with me. If it was you, which one would you purchase and take to the other side of the planet to its new home?