#1
I'm considering getting a 7 string, partially because I'm curious, also because most of the music i listen to use them..

Something along the lines of a Strandberg Boden OS7, just maybe less expensive, a not-fanned fret, maybe has a headstock (headstock-less looks like its going to be difficult to change strings), guitar.
Basically a normal 7 string guitar, just with that guitar body shape

Any suggestions?
Thanks
Gear:
- ESP LTD MH-50
- Strandberg OS 7
- A cheap fender strat knock-off not worth naming
- Garageband
- Boss GT-1
- Potato
#2
Lots and LOTS of standard sevens around these days, so it really depends on your budget, what body shape you like, etc., etc. 

I've pretty much decided that my next seven (or eight?) is going to be a headless fan fret guitar. Carvin (Kiesel) is close enough to drive to, and they have the VM7, but I'd also like to take a look at the Strandberg version. I don't see a problem with changing strings at all, and I really like the fact that it's both lighter (in the six pound range and shorter than sevens with a 27" maximum scale length. Fan frets are far more comfortable to play than you'd expect, because the frets fan out in a direction that mimics the way your arm angles anyway.  For me the only remaining question will be price and a determination on whether I like that extra "scoop" that the Strandberg has on the bottom of the body. 
#3
Quote by dspellman
Lots and LOTS of standard sevens around these days, so it really depends on your budget, what body shape you like, etc., etc. 

I've pretty much decided that my next seven (or eight?) is going to be a headless fan fret guitar. Carvin (Kiesel) is close enough to drive to, and they have the VM7, but I'd also like to take a look at the Strandberg version. I don't see a problem with changing strings at all, and I really like the fact that it's both lighter (in the six pound range and shorter than sevens with a 27" maximum scale length. Fan frets are far more comfortable to play than you'd expect, because the frets fan out in a direction that mimics the way your arm angles anyway.  For me the only remaining question will be price and a determination on whether I like that extra "scoop" that the Strandberg has on the bottom of the body. 

I've only played non-fanned (is there a proper term for it?) fretted guitars up until now (I guess I've nearly played for 3 years now? Woo!), but fanned frets, wouldn't it make string bends a bit different (I wouldn't say difficult, though I'm not sure, never tried a fanned guitar before)? And wouldn't chords be a bit different to accommodate the fact that the frets aren't exactly parallel? Also, how would it be tuning wise? Would it still follow the normal Drop A (AEADGBE)? Or some other tuning because the distances between the nut and the bridge are all different..

I think the two main factors that I want something like a OS7 is that its so light, at around 5 - 6 pounds. My current guitar (LTD MH-50) feels definitely heavier than 5 pounds, and often if I play standing up, over time, it starts hurting my shoulder (not pain as in "its cutting my shoulder off", but more like it feels sore).
The second reason being that it looks so ergonomic (if thats the right term). When I'm playing sitting down, the part that holds my guitar strap (the one near the Neck, not the one near the output jack), it feels like its stabbing into my chest.

So I guess what I'm trying to get out of a guitar is something ergonomic, and 7-stringed, and now that you've mentioned fanned frets being more comfortable, I'd be curious to try and maybe get a guitar like it hmm...
Gear:
- ESP LTD MH-50
- Strandberg OS 7
- A cheap fender strat knock-off not worth naming
- Garageband
- Boss GT-1
- Potato
Last edited by Parac at Apr 19, 2017,
#4
So, what kinda budget are we talking here?

Carvin has their Vader headless line...but I don't know if it's going to be significantly less than a Boden OS last I looked.
Guitar/Bass:
Schecter: Damien 6/Stilletto Extreme 5, Squier: Bullet HSS*, Washburn RX10*/WG-587, Agile Septor 727
*mods

Amps/FX
Peavey: Vypyr 30/Max 112 (200W), ISP: Decimator

Quote by dannyalcatraz
Understood- I waste money on amps*, too.
#5
Well the ergonomics of the strandberg comes from being headless and being able to shrink the guitar body significantly. Most production guitars won't be that comfortable.
Prs se Holcomb is the answer
#6
Quote by Parac
I've only played non-fanned (is there a proper term for it?) fretted guitars up until now (I guess I've nearly played for 3 years now? Woo!), but fanned frets, wouldn't it make string bends a bit different (I wouldn't say difficult, though I'm not sure, never tried a fanned guitar before)? And wouldn't chords be a bit different to accommodate the fact that the frets aren't exactly parallel? Also, how would it be tuning wise? Would it still follow the normal Drop A (AEADGBE)? Or some other tuning because the distances between the nut and the bridge are all different..


Bends are the same, chords are exactly the same, tuning is the same. 
#7
Quote by AcousticMirror
Well the ergonomics of the strandberg comes from being headless and being able to shrink the guitar body significantly. Most production guitars won't be that comfortable.

Ditto the Carvin (the body's significantly smaller than their standard superstrats). The Strandberg is probably shaped better for seated classical position playing, but the Carvin won't tip over if you lean it up against your amp. 
#8
Budget I'd say maybe no more than $1000 (maybe 1 or 2k more if I manage to sell my old viola.. but thats not guaranteed)

When i googled "Carvin Vader", it showed something about Kiesel V7, is that the right brand?
Gear:
- ESP LTD MH-50
- Strandberg OS 7
- A cheap fender strat knock-off not worth naming
- Garageband
- Boss GT-1
- Potato
#9
I absolutely loved the Strandberg when I played it. It was a 6 however, but I'm sure their 7's are really nice as well.
Super comfortable, light and fanned frets are wonderful. When you look at the fretboard while you play, it's a bit weird at first, but it feels really natural playing without looking and you're used to it in a pinch. At least, I was.
#10
Quote by I K0nijn I
I absolutely loved the Strandberg when I played it. It was a 6 however, but I'm sure their 7's are really nice as well.
Super comfortable, light and fanned frets are wonderful. When you look at the fretboard while you play, it's a bit weird at first, but it feels really natural playing without looking and you're used to it in a pinch. At least, I was.

Kind of curious, how light is light? Is it about as heavy as a picking up a laptop? or heavier than that?
And the fanned frets, wouldn't they kind of hurt your wrist if you're playing bar chords (like 3-3-3) depending on how high said chord is?
Sorry about the questions, I've never seen or tried a fanned fretted guitar in person before

I'd love to get a Strandberg Boden OS7, but its currently out of stock, and at about $1500, it makes me want to consider other possible guitars, but with a similar body shape. I looked into the Carvin/Kiesel Vader7, its certainly cheaper, but as someone learning guitar without a teacher (i.e self taught, minus a few youtube videos), there's so many wood choices, fret designs, scale lengths (why?) [...] there's so many options and choices I don't know what to do.
Gear:
- ESP LTD MH-50
- Strandberg OS 7
- A cheap fender strat knock-off not worth naming
- Garageband
- Boss GT-1
- Potato
Last edited by Parac at Apr 20, 2017,
#12
Quote by Parac
Budget I'd say maybe no more than $1000 (maybe 1 or 2k more if I manage to sell my old viola.. but thats not guaranteed)

When i googled "Carvin Vader", it showed something about Kiesel V7, is that the right brand?

Right. Kiesel is the name of the founder, and Carvin was a combination of the names of his two oldest sons, Carson and Gavin. 
A couple of years ago, Carvin split into two companies: One is the Kiesel guitar and bass company and the other is Carvin Pro Audio. 

Here's the standard headless seven: http://www.kieselguitars.com/catalog/guitars/v7
#13
Quote by Parac
Kind of curious, how light is light? Is it about as heavy as a picking up a laptop? or heavier than that?
And the fanned frets, wouldn't they kind of hurt your wrist if you're playing bar chords (like 3-3-3) depending on how high said chord is?
Sorry about the questions, I've never seen or tried a fanned fretted guitar in person before

These guitars (depending on the woods chosen) are right around 6 pounds, give or take. A standard LP probably averages 2.5 - 3 pounds heavier. 
As for your wrist and fanned frets, it's just the opposite. It's actually easier on your wrist since the frets point pretty much the same way your arm and wrist do. 
#14
Quote by Parac
Kind of curious, how light is light? Is it about as heavy as a picking up a laptop? or heavier than that?
And the fanned frets, wouldn't they kind of hurt your wrist if you're playing bar chords (like 3-3-3) depending on how high said chord is?
Sorry about the questions, I've never seen or tried a fanned fretted guitar in person before

I'd love to get a Strandberg Boden OS7, but its currently out of stock, and at about $1500, it makes me want to consider other possible guitars, but with a similar body shape. I looked into the Carvin/Kiesel Vader7, its certainly cheaper, but as someone learning guitar without a teacher (i.e self taught, minus a few youtube videos), there's so many wood choices, fret designs, scale lengths (why?) [...] there's so many options and choices I don't know what to do.

I've never held a guitar that was as light as a laptop, but I can say the Stranberg was lighter than any guitar I've ever owned. My SG and Tele both weigh more than a Strandberg and I'd consider my SG especially a light guitar. A V and a Strandberg might be close in weight.

Fanned frets don't pose problems, apart from very elaborate chords in my opinion.
#15
A number of guitars weigh less then a 17 inch MacBook Pro. Beastly laptop
Prs se Holcomb is the answer
#16
I too have looked for affordable 7's with Strandberg-like ergonomics except with a headstock (I strongly dislike the "amputee" look), and found that market is nonexistent right now, so I went with a Schecter 7. Classic shape, but I'm pretty happy with it.

If you're bent on that ergonomic design with that budget, it boils down to what was mentioned so far in this thread. The type of wood can affect weight (Strandberg uses Swamp Ash a lot because it's light), but doesn't matter much otherwise. There's not much to scale length choice other than if your hands are really small avoid anything longer than 26.5" and if they're really large avoid anything shorter—most 7 strings come in 26.5" or 27" and that should be fine for you.
The more you say 'epic' the less it means.
#17
Quote by Dynamight
I too have looked for affordable 7's with Strandberg-like ergonomics except with a headstock (I strongly dislike the "amputee" look), 


I *used to* strongly dislike the "amputee" look.  It's moved to "whatever."  Practicality has reared its ugly head (uh...no head...stock). The bodies are smaller, the headstock is missing, the overall guitar length is a solid 10" shorter, the guitars are significantly lighter, but I'm getting 24 frets free, a full 27" scale and they're easier to cart around and less likely to get bashed by some brain-dead boingo-ing bass player on stage.  I think it's a case of learning to love them, deformations and all, for what they CAN do. 
#18
Quote by Dynamight
There's not much to scale length choice other than if your hands are really small avoid anything longer than 26.5" and if they're really large avoid anything shorter—most 7 strings come in 26.5" or 27" and that should be fine for you.


There are a number of absolutely spectacular female players out there who have tiny hands but who thrive on 7 and 8-string guitars with fairly long scales. 
I don't think they're going to do really complicated wide-range Brubeck-style jazz chords, but their fingers somehow manage to be on the correct fret before the pick gets to that string every time. so they've worked it out. 

Check out Sarah Longfield, who started playing at around 12 years old.  https://www.youtube.com/user/MissSmiles4u

That's her personal Strandberg 8 fan-fret she's playing in the bathtub (she did the paint job on the body) in the second vid.This may also answer some questions about fan frets and bending (particularly in the last video).



Last edited by dspellman at Apr 22, 2017,
#19
Quote by dspellman
I *used to* strongly dislike the "amputee" look.  It's moved to "whatever."  Practicality has reared its ugly head (uh...no head...stock). The bodies are smaller, the headstock is missing, the overall guitar length is a solid 10" shorter, the guitars are significantly lighter, but I'm getting 24 frets free, a full 27" scale and they're easier to cart around and less likely to get bashed by some brain-dead boingo-ing bass player on stage.  I think it's a case of learning to love them, deformations and all, for what they CAN do. 

To each his own. I borrowed a Boden OS once last year and while I do love the contours for seating (it was comfortable to play even on my office chair which my other guitars are not), I'm not concerned with the weight difference, and I found it less playable than my Schecter anyway.

Also, headstocks do not have to be huge like most manufacturers make them, but apparently there's low demand for small ones. Some are getting close though (GNG, Jackson, Mayones...)

Quote by dspellman
There are a number of absolutely spectacular female players out there who have tiny hands but who thrive on 7 and 8-string guitars with fairly long scales. 
I don't think they're going to do really complicated wide-range Brubeck-style jazz chords, but their fingers somehow manage to be on the correct fret before the pick gets to that string every time. so they've worked it out.

And? I'm well aware people can do it—you can make anything work if you're dedicated enough to your craft. However, if someone comes to a forum for suggestions and doesn't know what they want, I'm going to give them a baseline for comfort and strain-reduction.
The more you say 'epic' the less it means.
Last edited by Dynamight at Apr 22, 2017,
#21
Quote by Dynamight
To each his own. I borrowed a Boden OS once last year and while I do love the contours for seating (it was comfortable to play even on my office chair which my other guitars are not), I'm not concerned with the weight difference, and I found it less playable than my Schecter anyway.

Also, headstocks do not have to be huge like most manufacturers make them, but apparently there's low demand for small ones. Some are getting close though (GNG, Jackson, Mayones...)


And? I'm well aware people can do it—you can make anything work if you're dedicated enough to your craft. However, if someone comes to a forum for suggestions and doesn't know what they want, I'm going to give them a baseline for comfort and strain-reduction.


And? I've sort of watched my "baselines" (which, honestly, have been in alignment with yours) get trashed over and over again over the last few years. What I thought I knew is being replaced by what I've seen and heard in person.  Humbling. 

Ever since Gibson insisted that their headstock was a trademark and that similar headstocks "confused the buyer," the simple utility of a flat paddle to hold tuners has been launched into design hell, with each builder forced to put a slightly different point, slant or bump in a silly place to avoid lawyers waving cease and desist letters.  Novax has copyrighted the words fan fret (in some particular combination), but the concept (and "prior art") dates back several hundred years, so he really can't complain there. 

As for Boden playability; in almost every instance, "playability" is a mutable situation. Carvin routinely offers three different neck thicknesses before they get into the dreaded Option 50 territory. They offer fretboard radii from 10" to 20", a wide variety of fret sizes and materials, several kinds of back-of-the-neck finishes. I use a tech who seems to be able to set the action of a guitar at any height from Way Up There to A soft breeze will fret the stupid thing, with greased lightning frets. I think the only thing you couldn't do with a Boden or a Carvin headless is relieve yourself of the compact "squinch" that the smaller body and shorter length produce when you're seated. 
#22
Alrighty, so I guess if Strandberg doesn't have any boden os7's in stock by june or july, I guess I'll go for Carvin Vader 7 (I like all that customizability options)

But the problem being, I'm mostly self-taught (minus occasionally going to Youtube to learn techniques) and have never really looked very much into tone stuff (minus Amp settings and pedal stuff)..

There's too many options for the Vader 7's; for example:

Hipshot/Tremolo upgrade, are there any pros of Hipshot vs the stock V7 bridge? (After the nightmare that is my MH50, I don't want to do floating bridges anymore)
Body options: I want to go swamp ash/maple, seeing as ash seems to be lightweight (or lighter compared to basswood (which my MH50 is made of))
Binding: Not really sure what that's for.
3 piece body or chambered body (what for?)
Neck options: 5 piece and 7 piece with a bunch of different wood combos (so many options I don't know what to do)
Fingerboard woods: I like the darker colors on fretboards because it seems to fit with my wanted color (deciding between just plain black, or aquaburst), but do I go ebony or rosewood?
Frets: There's a lot of options, how do I know which to choose?
Fingerboard radius: Which do I choose? and How do I choose?
Strings: choose between standard 0.10 - 0.62 or Elixer 942E
Misc Options: Not sure if they're included on the guitar or if I need to buy them, else my guitar comes looking strapless/knobless/cavity cover-less

This is my first time considering building a custom guitar, I think I need some help.
Gear:
- ESP LTD MH-50
- Strandberg OS 7
- A cheap fender strat knock-off not worth naming
- Garageband
- Boss GT-1
- Potato
#23
Parac
If you have no idea what you want, then getting a custom guitar is going to be a very silly purchase.
Quote by TheSennaj
And well yes, I'll enjoy the carpal tunnel and tendonitis, because trying to get one is clearly smarter than any word you have spoken thus far.
#24
Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Parac
If you have no idea what you want, then getting a custom guitar is going to be a very silly purchase.

That's true, but if Strandberg has Boden OS7 currently out of stock, and I want something 7 string and somewhat ergonomic, where else can I look?
Gear:
- ESP LTD MH-50
- Strandberg OS 7
- A cheap fender strat knock-off not worth naming
- Garageband
- Boss GT-1
- Potato
#26
Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Parac
If you have no idea what you want, then getting a custom guitar is going to be a very silly purchase.

True, but you can get something specced that will work for sure without anything out of the extraordinary.
#27
Quote by AcousticMirror
Kiesel Vader

Yea, the problem being Kiesel Vader is a custom built guitar, as mentioned by T00DEEPBLUE , if i have no idea what I want, [...] custom guitar is going to be a very silly purchase. 

So if OS7 is out of stock, and I have no idea what I want in a custom, Vader might be out of the question. What else can I go for a 7 string ergonomic electric guitar?

On a side note, where do I go if I want info on what to look for when building a custom guitar?
Gear:
- ESP LTD MH-50
- Strandberg OS 7
- A cheap fender strat knock-off not worth naming
- Garageband
- Boss GT-1
- Potato
#28
I don't see the problem with getting a Kiesel. They have a default build. Change what you want to change and leave what you don't know about.
#30
So i did a minimal cost combination for the Vader7, ended up somehow with 1750$ for it.

Nevermind, I'll just wait for the strandbergs to come out with the 2017 models or get an OS7 from their online store

On a side note, emg 707x, they have an OS7 in stock in the store, I've never tried actives before, and the Lace pickups I've never heard of (dunno how they sound)

For those with active pickup guitars (perferably with 707x's), how often does the battery have have to be changed? And do they stop working if you dont swap a new battery?
Gear:
- ESP LTD MH-50
- Strandberg OS 7
- A cheap fender strat knock-off not worth naming
- Garageband
- Boss GT-1
- Potato
#31
Now, I'm going to get loads of crap for this, I'm sure, but I have an Agile Interceptor 727 EMG, and it plays like a dream. If you're just experimenting with the idea of a 7 string, I would suggest not going all out at once with a super pricy guitar. The Agile I got is perfect introductory to the extended range world, running for about $600 while still offering the same features of high end guitars. Definitely got me hooked on 7 strings.
#32
Quote by claptrap2
Now, I'm going to get loads of crap for this, I'm sure, but I have an Agile Interceptor 727 EMG, and it plays like a dream. If you're just experimenting with the idea of a 7 string, I would suggest not going all out at once with a super pricy guitar. The Agile I got is perfect introductory to the extended range world, running for about $600 while still offering the same features of high end guitars. Definitely got me hooked on 7 strings.

My MH50's floyd rose gives me nightmares, I don't want another FR guitar
Also, is it possible to put fret markers on the frets? I sometimes have to look at the fret decorations to remember which fret I'm on. I think the no fret markers may get me lost (yes I know the dots on the sides exist, but then I'd have to look straight down the fretboard to know where I'm pressing)

And I kind of want a guitar where I can replace the neck, I don't think I can with that Agile guitar..
Gear:
- ESP LTD MH-50
- Strandberg OS 7
- A cheap fender strat knock-off not worth naming
- Garageband
- Boss GT-1
- Potato
Last edited by Parac at Apr 25, 2017,
#33
Parac The Agile Septor is a hardtail. There is no stock Agile guitar with a bolt on neck at the moment (their stock changes). The Septor has a neck thru with a beautiful, smooth finish, so there is no reason why you'd want to replace the neck. If that, for some reason, is a make or break with you, though, then Agile may not be for you because they hardly ever do bolt on necks. You may be able to find one that is, though.

As far as fret markers go, they do have a model with dots inlayed on the fretboard. However, I did not see this as being worth the price hike, being about a hundred dollars more than the ones without dots. I just got the one without dots and figured I could put decals on it if I really hated the blank fretboard. However, I got used to the side markers very quickly (despite being a Strat player) and I think it's actually made it easier to play while standing, since it's better to look on the side standing up. I don't have to look straight down the side. I just use peripheral vision.

On a side note, if you're interested in fanned frets, Agile also has a fanned fret guitar called the Pendulum. I personally think faned fret would be very hard to play though.
Last edited by claptrap2 at Apr 25, 2017,
#34
claptrap2 Of course, keep in mind that they're made in South Korea, so if this sh*t with North Korea blows up, it may affect out guitar shopping a bit XD