Would a guitar that is neck thru alder body, flamed maple top and a 5 piece maple/walnut neck with an ebony fretboard be overly bright? How would that combination be for a 7 string guitar.

Also how would that combination stack up to a mahogany body, flamed maple top guitar with a neck thru mahogany/maple 5 piece neck and ebony fretboard for a 7 string guitar?

I know that alder is bright, and maple tops tend to make a guitar a little brighter and that mahogany is a warm wood. I just want to know if the first combination would be too bright for a 7 string and how it would compare to the second choice for a 7 string guitar and which would be better for playing stuff like Dream Theater, Nevermore, Trivium, Fear Factory, Scar Symmetry, and pretty much any good 7 string guitar song/band.
First up, alder isn't ''bright'', it's very balanced. Secondly, whether or not a maple top effects the tone much depends on the nature of that top; some guitars have a thick carved top made of maple which effects the tone a lot, other guitars have just a thin veneer of maple which is there purely for looks and doesn't effect the tone at all (or at least it only effects the tone such a tiny amount that nobody can notice it).

In general, both guitars will sound the same. A neck-through guitar which has a maple/walnut neck and body core will always sound very bright since maple is one of the brightest-toned woods and walnut is fairly bright-toned too. The body wings of a neck-through guitar tend to make very little difference, although a carved top can make a considerable impact on the tone. Since most carved tops are made of maple though, usually this just adds to the sustain and depth of the guitar's tone if the neck/body core is already mostly maple too. The body wings will really have very little effect on the tone, especially on a seven-string playing metal. What little warmth the mahogany would add over the alder will be utterly lost on the seventh string and once you get past medium gain you're really not going to notice any difference at all.

Will either guitar be too bright for a seven-string or for metal? No. Given that countless metal players use neck-through guitars with maple necks/bodies and most high-end seven-strings are made using maple, it's really not at all unusual. In fact it would be more unusual if your guitar didn't have a maple core.

The main thing you have to worry about with seven-string guitars is the pickups, not the wood. That seventh string can get awfully muddy awfully fast if your pickups don't have the low-end clarity to respond to it properly.
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Wow, that was really helpful, thanks. OK then what would be a good pickup set for a 7 string guitar? I have been looking at the Bareknuckle Painkillers and DiMarzio Blaze sets.
This should answer several of your questions.


Like mentioned above, alder is a very balanced wood. Maple tends to sound rather bright. Ebony, however, is the brightest sounding wood. I've played several guitars with ebony fingerboards and they do have an apparent bright sound.

Also take into consideration the other factors that could determine your tone, i.e., pickups, amps and other things.
Quote by SCopeland24
Wow, that was really helpful, thanks. OK then what would be a good pickup set for a 7 string guitar? I have been looking at the Bareknuckle Painkillers and DiMarzio Blaze sets.

Are you limited to Passive or Actives or do you not care?
Well it's going to be a carvin guitar so anything goes except for EMG actives. But yeah I don't care, passives or SD Blackout actives. Whatever sounds good.
Maybe a Blaze Custom or Crunch Lab in the bridge with a LiquiFire in the neck. You mentioned Dream Theater so I kind of thought you might like Petrucci's tone. Seems suitable for Metal and fast leads.
How does the Blaze Custom stack up against the Blaze Bridge (original Blaze bridge pup)?
I honestly don't know about that one. If you're interested in getting some pickups from Dimarzio I suggest emailing the company's guitar tech (tech@dimarzio.com). Just give him a detailed description of the tone you're looking and he should help you out just fine.
Ah, Carvin. Thought it might be. You have a problem there which is that Carvin's stock pickups are slightly smaller than regular pickups; if you want to put in aftermarket pickups, you need to get the guitar re-routed. DiMarzio pickups are, I believe, the only pickups on the market which are just small enough that you can fit them in without needing actual routing, you can just sand the edges back a little and they'll fit properly. Apparently you can get uncovered DiMarzios to fit by just pushing them in and forcing them a little, but personally I wouldn't be comfortable doing that.

Do remember though that Carvin have been making pickups for just as long as DiMarzio and EMG and for longer than Seymour Duncan (at least, Seymour Duncan the company; not the man specifically). Their stock pickups aren't too bad (at least going by the six-string models I've tried). You may find you like their stock pickups just fine as they are, so don't go buying new pickups untily you've got the guitar in your hands and you've given them a fair try.

If you're set on switching pickups, I would suggest a Seymour Duncan Custom in the bridge and a Jazz in the neck. They both have the bright, tight response needed to keep the seventh string from getting muddy. A DiMarzio D Activator 7 in the neck and either an Evo 7 or D Activator 7 in the bridge can also work out well. It really would be worth considering getting the guitar re-routed for active pickups. If your have a suitable amp, active pickups are the best choice for seven-string guitars; their wide and even frequency response means the seventh string is just as clear as the first string. When you get the guitar, very carefully measure the dimensions of the pickup routs. If you're going to have to get the guitar re-routed for any aftermarket pickups at all, I would suggest you go ahead and get it re-routed for actives.

Also, the tops of the Carvin seven-strings is a flat veneer, so the flame maple top won't effect the tone in the slightest. Also, I would strongly suggest you consider going for ash body wings instead of alder or mahogany; ash has a slightly more precise low-end than either alder or mahogany so even though the body wings don't effect the tone too much anyway, it will still help a little to clear up that often muddy low-end.
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Wow again thanks for the help. Now I got one last question. If I got a maple neck with ash or alder which would complement the guitar more: maple and walnut neck or maple and koa? Or would there even be much of a difference? I know koa is a bit darker/warmer than walnut, but as two strips would it even make much of a difference in tone or weight?
Generally when a neck is made in a laminate style, the added stripes are just their for their appearance and to stiffen the neck. In that regard walnut is the better choice, since it's just a little denser than koa. I'm not entirely sure how much walnut/koa Carvin would use on their necks though; if the stripes are quite thick then that could have a bigger impact on tone, in which case I would go for koa. Try to find some pictures of the back of a Carvin seven-string with a laminate neck and if the stripes look quite thick, go for koa. If they're quite thin, go for walnut.
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They are fairly small so I'm pretty sure I have my order down pretty good, I just need to decide between the alder and the ash for the wings, but I am leaning towards the ash. Thanks for all the help everyone and especially you MrFibble, you pretty much answered all of my questions thoroughly.