Wednesday Question: Best Metal Guitars?

Which axe is best at chugging out stone-cold riffs and wailing solos? Take part in the ultimate debate right here.

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There is no guitar that covers every musical base in the world, but there are plenty of guitars that try to perfect just one.

Perhaps the most hotly contested guitar category is in the metal genre. Metal guitars don't just have to sound f**king huge - they have to look so bada-s that you could chop a tree down with it.

We're turning to the ever-resourceful UG readership to answer this week's question:

What is the best metal guitar of all time?

Feel free to focus on the sound quality or appearance in any measure you like. Just make sure that it's generally considered to be suitable for metal.

For some ideas to get the ball rolling, think of what the big metal stars use themselves. James Hetfiled rocks an "EET FUK" Explorer, while Tony Iommi tends to use a more traditional Gibson SG. Or you could look to something more iconic like Randy Rhoads' Polka Dot V or Dimebag Darrell's Washburn 333. Take your pick if other readers agree, they'll vote for it.

Post your nominations in the comments, and remember to upvote any you agree with. We'll stack up the results and post them in a horn-slinging top 10 this Friday.

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324 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Horndawgb17
    Dean Dave Mustaine VMNT with any of those sweet graphics. Also gotta include Dave's Zero, the Angel of Deth II or the In Deth we Trust. While we're at it, Dave's Diadems double-neck. All really good looking metal guitars.
    Raadt
    DBZ Bird Of Prey just has to be one of the most metal looking guitars ever made
    PuckMugger
    Dave Murray's Black Strat Adrian Smith's Red Ibanez Destroyer These guitars are pure evil and undoubtedly...metal.
    SkyValley
    Vigier Marilyn has always been one of my favorite metal guitars. Part BC Rich Stealth and part Gibson Corvus. You can only get it in Europe and it costs a boatload.
    crazyjay14
    lets all take a moment to remember that the bass is aslo a guitar, with that said all i have to say is The Aria Pro II Cliff Burton Signature Bass Black n Gold I bass. RIP Muther F$%!ah
    victim42
    Oh, and some Guerilla guitars! Theyre awesome, handmade, brutal and cheap. Check out Guerilla M-SR7 FR.
    poobraincow
    I'm using a Schecter C1 (no FR) for jam purposes at the moment, beautiful guitar - using my Schecter Custom-FR (pretty damn pricey but worth it!)for my live gigs, combined with an MT-2, TS9DX Turboscreamer and my beautiful orange amp (and my .70 down guage strings) It is literally about as METAL(core - haha) as it gets!
    kiba56
    Dave mustaine signature guitars or dime bag signature guitars
    plbrynt
    Metal guitars must be pointy and say Jackson, ESP, Dean, or BC Rich on the headstock..
    sgfaded36
    I love the SG, I think it's the most iconic metal guitar. If it's not an SG, I love the look of a well used black Gibson Flying V... *drools*
    lihill91
    A lot of guitars are similar in that mahoganies, maples, and rosewoods are commonly used whether it's a Gibson, Ibanez, Fender, what have you. It's the little nuances such as Gibson's signature specifically angled headstock. Let's not forget that this topic is strictly subjective as what sounds "more metal" to one person may not sound the same to another. I think people are skewing the question into asking what their favorite guitar is which is fine. My point being let's not be critical of other peoples' opinions as anyone could easily take, for instance, a Daisy Rock guitar, swap out the pups for Duncans or something of the sort, fine tune the tuners, and work on the neck a bit. All this aside, I think it's awesome that there continues to be so many fans, followers, pioneers, etc. who appreciate this genre. It's definitely being overshadowed by this awful pop music that pollutes the music industry. Oh! And to participate in this discussion obviously my opinion is biased but I am absolutely in love with my Gibson Les Paul Classic Custom with Blackouts and a slim tapered neck! She has one heck of a bite and is oh so smooth.
    Guitarus Rex
    For me: It's gotta be the one that turned me away from radio and on to metal vinyl: Randy Rhoads white with black pinstripe Jackson "Concorde" offset Flying V...fresh update on a classic design. Cliff Claven notes: Iommi used to play a Strat, but when one of the pickups died, he ended up with the SG. Which was originally called Les Paul, but Les didn't like it and asked for his name to be taken off of the headstock. Iommi gets mad respect for starting it all, but Randy's V will always be 1st in my mind when it comes to "the definitive metal guitar." If you saw only a black silhouette of any guitar on this expanding list, which would make you say, "METAL!" would have to be either the Jackson V or Gibson Explorer. I'd lean more toward the V, because there might be an 80s Def Leppard fan out there saying, "Dude! Phil Collen!" Or a stoner saying, "Dude! Phil Collins!"
    BradIon1995
    Dave Murray's Strat, and James Hetfield's EET FUK Explorer For the ultimate metal guitar that anybody can pick up off the shelf, for me it's the Gibson Flying V. ANVIL!
    smittyanthrax
    Hetfields black esp explorer [i also like eet fuk but i love the all black model].A close 2nd is scott ians black jackson with NOT on the fretboard.Just my 2 cents.
    Phoenix V
    Gibson Flying V. All black body, silver hardware, white pickguard. Metal, right there.
    megaluisdeth
    Muhammed Suicmez's Ibanez Xiphos with the beautiful Necrophagist fret inlay across the fret board.
    Bocob
    Van Halens Frankenstrat. Not sure if it's just me but I'm surprised to not see that on here.
    CapnKickass
    That weird looking one from the Painkiller music vid. Hamer Custom GT. Also Steffen from Obscura's Ran guitar.
    MoshGrizzly
    Matt Pike's Les Paul... listen to anything by Sleep or High on Fire and tell me that isn't a metal guitar
    rattfink777
    My dream guitar has always been the dean razorback 255 and now that I recently was able to get my hands on one I instantly fell in love. Everything about it screams metal
    thingstodo
    I know this one probably won't get a lot of praise, but for me It's Mark Morton's Jackson Dominion. The shape is just slightly off, but not over the top contorted, and watching him play it live, as well as the tone he gets, is just pure, no bullshit metal IMO. It's not flashy like the polka-dot V, but to me it just looks like a ****ing riff machine.
    fiesarmaniac
    What about the Ibanez RG? I don't care who plays it, that thing always looks and sounds BEAST!!!!