After playing guitar on a six string for a number of years I've considered moving to a 7 or 8 stringed guitar. I'm not doing this out of any need to play different more "brootal" metal or anything as 90% of the bands I listen to use standard guitars, but for a couple of odd reasons.

1st I hate retuning to switch, and the added string allows me to switch tunings easy, as the added string usually does the down tuning for me. Plus I'm horrible at set ups, don't ask.

2nd I love the string spacing on the wider neck. This is the big one for me, and I know it sounds dumb, but I like the string spacing on the neck better. I just find it easier. I owned one back 4 or so years ago, and loved how it felt, but didn't like the guitar itself and almost cost me the opportunities for my favorite guitar right now. I wanted to own one more as a status symbol and as a complete beginner owned one for a long while. I even took some lessons on it, I just didn't like a few odd things about it.

I am looking for any guitar around 500-600 US, hard tail, any pick up type except Ibanez Infinities (unless impossible). I will take any Ibanez, ESP (LTD) or Schecter except an avenger (I'm not explaining). Any ideas on where to start on this? I'm just looking for beginning shopping advice other then an LTD SC-207 at music go round. I've emailed guitar center concerning some special ordering, but have yet to get some prices from them (one is basically Nergal's custom model with a different set of tuners, fret board and paint job).

Any help appreciated. I will learn to use the extended range instrument properly, but it is an odd comfort preference for me.
I tried an sc 607 a while back, and they feel great. Quite light too for a 7. If you can get a good deal on that 207, and slide in some nice pickups, i'd look at actives for a 7 but passives can be a good choice too depending on your preference. Dimarzios make some good 7 string passives, and the Petrucci ones are really nice.

The RG MetalFriend recommended is nice too, a friend of mine has one and somehow gets a good tone out of a MG with it Its a reliable and solid guitar too, and won't give you problems.

Just depends on what sort of deal you can get on the LTD, really.
The LTD is 250 at a used store. They've had it for a long while, their stock changes selection slowly.
I'd go for either:
Agile Interceptor Pro ($750) - neck-thru, floating trem, but you can always block it with a tremol-no.
Ibanez RG7321 ($400ish) - hardtail, bolt on neck.
Schecter C-7 Hellraiser ($750) - hardtail, neck-thru.
It might be noted that the Schecter and Agile are slightly better than the Ibanez, especially if you plan on shredding up high past the 19th fret (bolt-ons suck for that, I've found). All of the guitars have 24 frets. I know that these are a bit higher than you asked, but they honestly are the best quality for the money, I've looked into this A LOT in the last year.
The main quality difference in the Schecter and Agile is the neck-thru, and stock EMG 707s as opposed to the RG's stock Ibanez pups (which in my opinion are the worst thing about the RG7321 - the neck pup is insanely harsh). That being said, you can still replace the pups for 150ish for a new set and still be under $600.
Last edited by Zelos45 at Nov 30, 2011,
Agile is great, I highly suggest looking at their 7 strings.. just bought one from them last week, there is NOTHING I dislike about them.
I'll go ahead and throw in another +1 for Agiles: for that price range they're a fantastic option.