#1
I'm looking at purchasing my first 7-string guitar. I've been playing on an ESP LTD-400 6-string for several years and am constantly tuning it down and therefore tuning it a lot to keep it in tune. Anyway, here are three I'm considering and I'm wondering if some of you can give me your two cents on these three or make other suggestions within this price-range or close to it (more below).

FWIW, I play mostly Death Metal, Thrash, etc. Heavier the better.

1.
http://www.guitarcenter.com/ESP-LTD-MH-417-7-String-Electric-Guitar-106233729-i1503630.gc#

While it would be nice to have a tremolo setup, I'm not much into lead playing. This is the one I'm leaning toward so far. I like the pickups, as I currently use EMG active-81's. I like the neck and fret-markers, the paint, everything about this one, really. If I get an ESP w/out tremolo, this is probably the one.

2.
http://www.guitarcenter.com/ESP-LTD-H-1007-7-String-with-Tremolo-Electric-Guitar-106691801-i1797734.gc#
Here is a similar guitar but with a tremolo setup.
My big concern, and a big reason for this post is about further tuning and the tremolo setup. I assume the guitar comes tuned in B-Standard. I will want to tune down from that, at times, to at least Drop-A. Will the tremolo setup handle this? Is this a cheap, PITA (Pain In....) tremolo that I just shouldn't bother with?

3.
http://www.guitarcenter.com/ESP-LTD-H-1007-7-String-Electric-Guitar-106530538-i1797696.gc#

Very similar to guitar 1 (or 2 except w/out tremolo), but with different paint and head. This one appears to only cost more for it's looks and I actually prefer guitar 1. Am I missing anything better here?

>Finally, if you have some 7-string guitar recommendations in the $500-$900 range, feel free to post them and tell me why their better or you like them. Thanks in advance.
Last edited by Misfit74 at Nov 15, 2011,
#2
A Schecter Hellraiser C-7 sits at about the same price as an LTD H-1007, and also comes with a Floyd Rose option. Their Floyd Rose, however, is an OFR versus the LTD's 1000-series Floyd, so we can assume it will be of higher quality.

The Hellraiser's pickups also have coil splitting, whether or not that's something you might use I don't know, but it certainly can't hurt.

It also has a 26.5" scale as opposed to ESP's 25.5" scales they use on their 7 strings. The 26.5" scale would better accommodate dropped tunings.

There's my two cents worth. ESP and Schecter both make wonderful products, you really couldn't go wrong buying any of the guitars you mentioned, assuming it's the right guitar for you.

PS You might also consider a Schecter Blackjack ATX C-7 or any of their other numerous 7-string models, although the Hellraiser and Blackjack ATX would be their highest-quality products. If you're into sigs, Jeff Loomis has his signature C-7 and a new JLV-7 coming out soon I believe.
Last edited by samjbow at Nov 15, 2011,
#3
Quote by samjbow
A Schecter Hellraiser C-7 sits at about the same price as an LTD H-1007, and also comes with a Floyd Rose option. Their Floyd Rose, however, is an OFR versus the LTD's 1000-series Floyd, so we can assume it will be of higher quality.

The Hellraiser's pickups also have coil splitting, whether or not that's something you might use I don't know, but it certainly can't hurt.

It also has a 26.5" scale as opposed to ESP's 25.5" scales they use on their 7 strings. The 26.5" scale would better accommodate dropped tunings.

There's my two cents worth. ESP and Schecter both make wonderful products, you really couldn't go wrong buying any of the guitars you mentioned, assuming it's the right guitar for you.

PS You might also consider a Schecter Blackjack ATX C-7 or any of their other numerous 7-string models, although the Hellraiser and Blackjack ATX would be their highest-quality products. If you're into sigs, Jeff Loomis has his signature C-7 and a new JLV-7 coming out soon I believe.


Yeah, I think I will add the Schecter to the considerations list. I didn't know some of what you posted, particularly the scale difference, and earlier couldn't find a Schecter with EMGs that was also a 7-string. Bingo! The C-7. This one is $649 (no tremolo). With my tunings changing I may likely go tremolo-less unless I can be convinced otherwise - mainly that they/it will handle dropping to A or G in addition to the original setup of B-standard.

Here's the Schecter:

http://www.guitarcenter.com/Schecter-Guitar-Research-Hellraiser-Special-C-7-Electric-Guitar-H64903-i1559923.gc
#5
Also keep in mind that the standard Hellraisers are of higher quality than the Hellraiser Specials, and the Hellraisers and Blackjack ATXs are pretty much Schecter's flagship metal guitars. So you're getting excellent quality.
#6
How about this one, I suspect a bit less quality ($500), but if going Schecter no-trem, this is basically the similar one to my OP: guitar 1. And, gotta love those bat-wings, lol.

Schecter Damien 7 7-String Electric Guitar - Satin Black
http://www.americanmusical.com/Item--i-SCE-DAMIEN7-LIST

Also: holy shite! Anyone play an 8-string? That might be fun...I'll have to do some digging now that I've stumbled here.

Schecter Blackjack ATX C8 8-String Electric Guitar - Aged White
http://www.americanmusical.com/Item--i-SCE-BJATXC8-LIST

The tuning on that is: F#/B/E/A/D/G/B/E
That might be even too low for me...surely not. But, I think I'd be fairly content with B and A tunings. I like to play other people's stuff and that tuning is pretty rare for what I listen to - at least as far as I know.


Tangent aside, I am curious about the Schecter Damien 7 if anyone is familiar with them.

Also: can anyone else speak to the 'scale issue'?

"It also has a 26.5" scale as opposed to ESP's 25.5" scales they use on their 7 strings. The 26.5" scale would better accommodate dropped tunings."

How important or how much better would the 26.5 be? Deal-breaker for anyone?
Last edited by Misfit74 at Nov 15, 2011,
#7
8 strings are weird as hell coming from a six string. Damien has a god-awful giant bolt on neck.
Current Gear:
LTD MH-400 with Gotoh GE1996T (EMG 85/60)
PRS SE Custom 24 (Suhr SSH+/SSV)
Ibanez RG3120 Prestige (Dimarzio Titans)
Squier Vintage Modified 70s Jazz V
Audient iD22 interface
Peavey Revalver 4, UAD Friedman BE100/DS40
Adam S3A monitors
Quote by Anonden
You CAN play anything with anything....but some guitars sound right for some things, and not for others. Single coils sound retarded for metal, though those who are apeshit about harpsichord probably beg to differ.
#8
Indeed, the significant difference between the Damien and your first choice guitar is that the Damien has a bolt-on neck and a basswood body, whereas the LTD MH-417 has a neck-thru construction and a mahogany body. Some people would prefer bolt-on and basswood, (Steve Vai anyone?) but not I. Also, the Damien comes with passive EMGs as opposed to their more popular active pickups, and although I've never played them myself, I've heard mixed reviews about them.
#9
Also: holy shite! Anyone play an 8-string? That might be fun...I'll have to do some digging now that I've stumbled here.


Agile (and I would imagine other brands?) make 9-string guitars xD because who needs a bassist anyway?
#10
The MH-417 is neck-through while the H-1007s are both set necks. So the MH-417 will have a brighter tone. The MH-417 also has a totally matte finish while the 1007s are glossy. So that's something to consider.

The 1007s are made in Korea and the 417 can come from either China or Indonesia.

The trems that ESP use are good ones, even on their lower quality guitars. A trem on a 7-string is just the same as one on a 6-string. It's fine with any tuning just remember that if you want to change tuning or change to a different string gauge then the trem needs to be set up for it. The springs need to be rebalanced. That's an easy task but a boring one that can take an afternoon of reptitive tuning, adjusting, re-tuning, adjusting, re-tuning, adjusting and so on. If you are only going to set it up once and stick to that tuning then it's not a big deal. If you change tunings any more than once every couple of weeks then it becomes a huge bore.

Considering that you've not had a 7-string before I think the 417 is the best choice. The H-1007 NT is good if you want a slightly warmer tone and are sure you're going to stick with 7-string playing as it is a higher quality guitar. I wouldn't advise the H-1007 FR as if you're new to 7-strings then throwing a Floyd in too just complicates things. Better to take it one step at a time.
#11
Great feedback. That's precisely the tremolo info I was looking for. I'd rather have the ability to change tunings at will vs. having the trem option. The 417 is looking great right now, though I still have to sort out the 25.5 vs. 26.5 scale issue.

That said, baring being completely convinced that Schecter is a better guitar and the 26.5 scale is a big enough difference, I would go w/ the ESP.
Last edited by Misfit74 at Nov 16, 2011,
#12
the first ltd u have up there is one solid 7 string dude. really comfortable and i love it everytime i play it (cousin owns it)

its a solid buy
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#13
Basically, the longer scale of the Schecter provides more string tension, making it arguably better for the low B string for clarity. Most people will say 25.5 is fine, depending on your sting gauges. I used to have a Schecter C-7 Hellraiser. Loved it to pieces, great tones from the EMGs. I'm sad i had to sell it :/
#14
I have two recommendations.

The Ibanez RGA7, which I own. The pickups are a tad muddy, but this is easily fixed in the EQ(my Tubescreamer clears it up nicely as well).

And any of the Agile 7 strings. I haven't played one personally but they all sound awesome from the demos that I've heard. I also own 3 guitars from the company(Rondo Music) and they're each fantastic, so logically an Agile 7 string will probably be a good bang for your buck. They're also pretty inexpensive as far as good quality guitars go.
#15
Get the 417 and get it 2nd hand.

Great guitar and the neck is to die for.

1977 Burny FLG70
2004 EBMM JP6
2016 SE Holcolmb
#16
Thanks for all the feedback. I've ordered a new ESP LTD MH-417 7-String. Can't wait to get my hands on it. Couldn't beat $105.00 off with a 'CyberMonday' sale.
#17
Very happy with the ESP LTD MH-417 7-String. Plays like a dream; the neck is awesome, and it's sound is exactly what I had hoped for - even more so. It's very clean sounding and stays in tune. It easily handles down-tuning to A or G thus far, and I'll test even lower turnings at some point. String-tension is great at those two lower tunings, as well, which is great. (It's stock tuning is B std.). I couldn't be happier.

I'd highly rec this guitar to anyone considering a new 7-string. The price + quality for me.