#1
I'm currently saving for this Ibanez Universe (linked below) and it looks pretty sweet. But just today I heard someone say that you want to avoid buying a 7 string that doesn't have a 26.5" scale length. Are they correct?

The guitar I'm buying has a 25.5" scale length, would this not work well for tuning to drop A or A standard? I plan on stringing this up with Ernie Ball skinny top heavy bottom strings, so in the case of a 7 string it would be 10-62. Would this still be too loose to down tune? I of course wouldn't be changing tuning too often, due to the fact that this comes with a floating trem, and I've never used one. To be honest I'm already dreading going to heavier strings.

I'd really appreciate any thoughts or opinions you guys might have on this.

Thanks in advance.

The Ibanez Universe: http://www.musiciansfriend.com/guitars/ibanez-premium-steve-vai-universe-7-string-electric-guitar
#2
Should be fine. I'm running 13-62 on a 6 string Les Paul which is a shorter scale than that. 24.75 I believe. Basically same string gauge minus the high e. My only issue is the 62 is a little light for drop A, so I'm going to be trying a 70 soon.

My other guitars are the same scale length as that 7 and handle the 62 fine.

If you want to tune lower than drop A that is where it gets tricky. A proper set up and intonation will go a long way. That is where a longer scale works best. Keeps a higher string tension and intonates better.
Last edited by Liaztraht at Jun 21, 2016,
#3
You don't haaaaaaave to, but you really should know before you go ahead with the purchase the compromise you're making. The lower the note, the longer the scale length should be in order to do 2 things: Keep enough string tension, and keep the physical movement of the string to a minimum. Think about a skipping rope being held by 1 person on each end; the further away they are the narrower the "swing" (think of this as string wobble), the closer they are the more exaggerated the circumference of that swing will be. Same principle applies, if you have a shorter scale length for a low note like an A, the string will have less horizontal movement (along the string) and more vertical movement (when the string wobbles back and forth), meaning that you run the risk of fret buzz, low overtones creating by wobbling strings, and inaccurate intonation. And don't forget that thicker gauge strings take and produce more physical energy, meaning the problem won't be solved just by upping the gauge.

It depends on you at the end of the day, if you're not going to be hitting the strings too hard or you don't plan on drop tuning lower, you could get away with it no problem. For me personally, I'd want something at least 26", take PRSs 7 string for example, that thing only has a 25" scale, and while I love PRS, the low B on that thing is just too muddy. But listen to some demos, and see if you can try one out at a store, universes are fairly common, if it sounds fine to you then that's really all that matters.
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Last edited by Jimjambanx at Jun 21, 2016,
#4
A lot of people are more then happy with regular scale sevens
That being said up until a few years ago extended scale sevens were not very widely available.
Now that you can get almost any guitar in at least 26.5? I would never buy a regular scale seven.

Imo the nicest seven that ibanez makes right now is the jbm 7 string. It has a slightly extended scale
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Last edited by AcousticMirror at Jun 22, 2016,
#5
I'd go with a longer scale if possible, but it's not a deal breaker. On my 7, I play in drop G# and A standard and the tension is fine with 11-66. Going lower than that is basically using telephone cables for strings. My guitar is a bit muddy, but I'm fairly sure that's due to the sub par pups in my RG. I've never had any problems playing it though.

That said, I'm looking at getting an 8 string in a couple of months anyway with a longer scale.
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#6
I got a 26.5" 7string. I have to say i have mixed feelings about it. It sounds great, and riffing is great, but lead playing is just... weird man. Im using 10s and the high strings are still very tight and not that nice to play, and the aditional lenght makes me miss frets sometimes. So i guess thats the other side of the extended scale coin. I think a fanned fret 7string would be the best of two worlds, especially since they have become pretty common and affordable.
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#7
Fanned fret sevens are affordable now if you are in the states.
That premium the op linked is 1500 from musicians friend.

Bolt on fanned 7 at kiesel starts at 1250.

http://www.kieselguitars.com/catalog/guitars/am7

neck through starts at 1299.

http://www.kieselguitars.com/catalog/guitars/dcm7
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#8
as with everything, it depends what you are going to do with it.

if you are going to tune it to drop z for djent and chugga, you would probably want a longer scale.

if you are doing lots of lead work, but want to have the extra sting (B in this case), so you can go low, a 25.5 is fine.
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#9
Quote by Cheeseshark
I'm currently saving for this Ibanez Universe (linked below) and it looks pretty sweet. But just today I heard someone say that you want to avoid buying a 7 string that doesn't have a 26.5" scale length. Are they correct?

The guitar I'm buying has a 25.5" scale length, would this not work well for tuning to drop A or A standard? I plan on stringing this up with Ernie Ball skinny top heavy bottom strings, so in the case of a 7 string it would be 10-62. Would this still be too loose to down tune? I of course wouldn't be changing tuning too often, due to the fact that this comes with a floating trem, and I've never used one. To be honest I'm already dreading going to heavier strings.

I'd really appreciate any thoughts or opinions you guys might have on this.

Thanks in advance.

The Ibanez Universe: http://www.musiciansfriend.com/guitars/ibanez-premium-steve-vai-universe-7-string-electric-guitar

That Korean-made model is very nice; but, you might feel that the stock Blaze PUs are meh.

This 26.5" scale MIJ is also very nice http://www.musiciansfriend.com/guitars/ibanez-prestige-rgd2127fx-7-string-electric-guitar; but the PUs are kinda meh. I installed Nazgûl and Sentient and it slays.
#10
The seven was originally used to allow arpeggio extension without the need to move to a different position on the keyboard, and to allow some extension on difficult jazz chords (see George Van Eps, others). Steve Vai wanted the extended range it provided.

But if you're going to downtune the things, you'll probably want to go with a longer-than-25.5" scale. I'd suggest 27" (or thereabouts) as a good starting point. There are some very inexpensive longer scale instruments (including fan-fret multiscale instruments) available from Agile (rondomusic.com) here in the US. Kurt Zentmaier has pioneered the building of quality production 7, 8, 9 and even 10-string guitars in scales up to 30" and multi-scale instruments (even some with trems!) for really reasonable prices. While Ibanez may have built the first production 7-string solid body, the larger companies are still moving fairly slow catching up to extended range guitars. Gibson and Fender are noticeably absent.
#11
Jimjambanx: I don't think I hit the strings too hard, but then again I've never really sat and analyzed that.

AcousticMirror: That thing does seem pretty nice, as well as having very similar specs to the Universe. Thanks, I'll definitely consider that.

Gorkyporky: That's exactly why I'm hesitant to get an extended range guitar, it just seems like it would be uncomfortable.

Trashedlostfdup: Pretty much the latter, I'm most interested in lead playing. But I do want to use it to play all of those low tuned death metal songs that have so far been out of my reach. Does this warrant an extended scale?

Ippon: That thing looks sweet. I had a lot of issues finding an RGD for under 2000$ a while back, so this one is super tempting. The lack of a trem might be a deal breaker though, and I'm still undecided on whether I actually want the extended scale or not. But the RGD, in my opinion, is the best looking shape ever. That and the Prestige label are making me consider just getting this thing despite the lack of a trem and extended scale

dspellman: To be honest man, there is very little that could ever make me consider buying an Agile guitar. I just don't like the idea of taking a chance on a cheap guitar like that. Thanks though.
#12
I'd say that Agiles fall in the category of "inexpensive, but not cheap." They are very well put together. I can understand some hesitation, and they definitely aren't the end-all be-all for extended scale/range guitars, but they are an absolutely stellar guitar for the price. I would an Agile new over an Ibanez any day of the week. Used is a different story, but you get a guitar of a much higher quality than what you pay for, IMO.
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#13
Well I just got my first 26.5 scale 7 a few days ago and it feels like a 7 should feel, at least to me. I only play in 7 string standard (what is the point of down tuning a 7, just play a god damn bass) and use 10's.

I also own a 25.5 7 string and while it is definitely playable, the low b can get a little loose and flubby if you are trying to play fast and precise on it.

Of course it is mostly due to personal preference, try both and see what you like.

I also love Les Pauls, which are 24.75, so maybe scale length is just a non issue for me.
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#14
I tune my 7 down to A, man. I tune it to open A and play slide on it. My bass player uses a 5 string B string tuned to A instead of an e string (so aadg). So we both go down.
I'm using a 26.5" Schecter.

And anyway, what's wrong with drop A?
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Last edited by Cathbard at Jun 29, 2016,
#15
Quote by Cheeseshark

dspellman: To be honest man, there is very little that could ever make me consider buying an Agile guitar. I just don't like the idea of taking a chance on a cheap guitar like that. Thanks though.


I hear you. I felt the same way: why bother with cheap crap when you can afford good stuff? Then I kept running across the LP versions (the 3000 series) that people had picked up, and my reaction was, "You paid HOW much for this?"

I got hired for a project that stipulated the use of a "Gibson-logoed Les Paul. None of that cheap offshore crap" and it had to have a lot of modifications (Sustainers, sweepable mids boost, etc.). So I ordered up a Gibson Axcess Custom. About $4K (with $1500 worth of mods to be done after it arrived). I wanted a backup and a trial horse for the mods, so I'd planned on a Carvin CS6 (about $2K with a fancy top). At the last minute, I found that Agile had a "custom shop" available, so I ordered up. It turned out spectacularly well.

I guess the point of a cheap guitar is that because it's cheap you CAN take a chance on it. But more importantly, Agile has proven itself to be not only inexpensive, but surprisingly high quality for the money, thanks in no small part to the marketing model (no brick and mortars adding 50% of the sell price to cover profit, employees, rent, advertising, pilferage and damage, etc.).

And more than any other manufacturer, Rondo (Kurt) has been religious about haunting extended range forums like sevenstring.org and producing the kinds of guitars they wanted to work with, well before the big manufacturers. Ibanez may have done one of the first solid-body 7-strings, but that was largely to appease Steve Vai. Since then, they haven't been leading the field. And I don't think they produce guitars that are *better* than what else you can find, unless you leave outside the US and have a severely limited set of choices.
#17
Maybe one day I'll consider trying an Agile. This may sound silly but one of the issues is that when I see that guitar or the name nothing at all in me goes"Wow, I need to play that!" y'know? Thanks though, maybe one day if I've got 400$ to blow I can give one of these a go.

On another note, can some people that own extended scale guitars talk about how it feels to play leads with that scale length? Are bends and what not that much more difficult? If playing leads isn't made THAT much more difficult, than I've definitely discovered the perfect guitar for my needs.

Behold:http://www.musiciansfriend.com/guitars/ibanez-rgd2127z-prestige-7-string-electric-guitar

Basically what Ippon posted earlier, but with a floating trem.