Hey guys,

Two main things:
1) I'm looking for a ballpark appraisal of my Schecter C1 Plus with upgraded EMG 81/85 pickups
2) Recommendations for a first 8 string. I know there are tons of threads on this, and I am reading them as well.

I have a red Schecter C1 Plus. The previous owner upgraded the pickups to a set of EMG 81/85. The guitar is in great shape, 8/10. First, I want to figure out what this thing is worth. I have a number in my mind, but I'll keep it to myself for the moment. The price of a normal C1 Plus seems pretty easy to figure out, but I'm not sure how much more value the pickups might add. I can't find another one with EMGs. Here is an interesting link for one with other upgraded pickups: https://reverb.com/item/1536059-schecter-c1-plus-modified?_aid=pla&pla=1&gclid=CJL8j76T280CFQmRaQodj5IM4w

I want to get an 8 string guitar, but I don't have much money to spend. I'm perfectly happy trading/selling my Schecter to get the 8 string. I'd say my budget is hard capped at about $500, less whatever I might get for my Schecter. (Schecter sale + my cash = 500 for new guitar). I could maybe squeeze a few more dollars if a certain model would really be worth it, and if I get more for my guitar than I'm thinking.

I'm just a hobbyist player. I enjoy playing, but I don't perform or record or anything like that, so I don't necessarily need a top line guitar, but I also don't want a lemon. An important note is that I'm going to be playing mostly through a Roland mobile cube http://www.samash.com/roland-mobile-cube-battery-powered-stereo-amp-rmobilecu]practice amp, so I don't require upgraded pickups (but I would take them if I can). The style of music I'm looking to play is mostly death / progressive metal. Some examples of bands (and importantly tunings) I want to play are Animals As Leaders (Djent/Prog/Jazz/Metal, 8-String Drop E), Fallujah (Progressive Deathcore, Standard 7-String), and Between the Buried and Me (Prog Metal, 6-String C# standard). I would like guitar and string recommendations that could handle these styles and tunings. I understand there might be certain compromises to achieve this.

Right now I have D'Addario J21 (12-52) set in my Schecter, tuned down to B standard (ie bottom 6 of a 7 string). My 1-4th strings feel OK to me, but my 2 heavy strings are wayyyy too floppy. My lowest is a 52 right now... if I were only going to play in only B with my shecter right now, I would probably put in at least 56. I definitely prefer heavier gauges over lighter. I like 12s even for standard tuning, 13s are a bit much for me.

My local (Albany NY) Guitar center has the Ibanez RG8 and ESP H208 in stock, but I've heard mixed reviews about these. I'm also considering the Agile Septor 827, or possibly one of the Schecter 8 strings. I'm open to really any model, as long as I can play the music I want. I've read that I probably want a 27" scale length for Drop E (and i guess higher tension overall, which I think I would like), but I'm a total noob when it comes to that stuff so I'm all ears.

Sorry if that was a lot, please ask for any clarification. Thanks in advance.