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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys,

So a little brief introduction on my situation here. I work in the music industry, running a recording studio, doing live sound etc. I enjoy playing and listening to ALL styles of music. When I was younger I was into a lot of metal, and played in a few experimental type metal/rock bands that sounded along the same lines as Tool etc

Nowadays, I play every weekend with a successful blues band - we do festivals and clubs etc with a busy schedule. Because I am so busy with this, I invested a lot of time and money into a good gigging rig for this. I have a 25TH Anniversary Swamp Ash Special PRS with narrowfield pickups, and an Orange Dual Terror amplifier with a custom built cab. My pedal board is mostly all my own hand built pedals which I do as a little side business.

I spent a lot of money on that guitar, its my main axe. For noodling around the house I use a little Ibanez JS100 that I put my own pickups in.

But I really, REALLY miss playing heavier stuff. I am really interested in low tuned stuff, and I really would love to have a guitar that would allow me to start playing around with real low tunings. I enjoy anything from Meshuggah, Deftones, hell I even enjoy stuff that is often considered by many musicians to be less credible - Korn etc! I just love that low sound in general.

I'd like you guys to give me a little advice:

Firstly, 7 or 8 string? Since I am used to 6 string guitars, the jump up to 8 seems like it would feel a little uncomfortable for me. Am I correct in saying that I can still play along to most tunes recorded with 8 strings, using a 7 string guitar with the low strings tuned the same (Meshuggah stuff etc)? I'm not a shredder by any means, so I am guessing I'd just be messing around with low note rhythmic stuff.

Also - what guitar brands and models would you guys recommend? This is just for my own enjoyment at home and I've already spent a fortune on my PRS so I want something decent but fairly cheap. If I got really into it, I'd like something that was still half decent in the event I ever was to play it live. Even if it means buying something that requires a change of pickups. I really don't have much knowledge on the reputable models when it comes to 7 or 8 stringed guitars. For example, I am also considering buying a Fender Strat for my blues stuff as a backup, but I know a Mexican Standard would be more than enough for me.

Hope I am making sense here. Just need to know if I can make do with 7 rather than 8 strings, and if there are certain models out there recognised as very reasonably priced 'industry standards'.

Thanks guys!
 

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Firstly, 7 or 8 string? Since I am used to 6 string guitars, the jump up to 8 seems like it would feel a little uncomfortable for me. Am I correct in saying that I can still play along to most tunes recorded with 8 strings, using a 7 string guitar with the low strings tuned the same (Meshuggah stuff etc)? I'm not a shredder by any means, so I am guessing I'd just be messing around with low note rhythmic stuff.
You could do this, but if you're playing a seven string with a floating trem, it's more trouble than it's worth and string gauges get a little tricky - you'd either need to throw heavier striings on whenever you wanted to tune down to F# (and, realistically, reintonate), or just make do with fairly loose strings for lower tuned stuff.

I can't speak to 8s, but an Ibanez 7620 or 1527 would be a pretty good starting point. If you DO want to be able to retune like that, then a 7621 or 7421 would be the fixed income version. One of those with a better set of pickups would be a pretty killer player 7.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
You could do this, but if you're playing a seven string with a floating trem, it's more trouble than it's worth and string gauges get a little tricky - you'd either need to throw heavier striings on whenever you wanted to tune down to F# (and, realistically, reintonate), or just make do with fairly loose strings for lower tuned stuff.

I can't speak to 8s, but an Ibanez 7620 or 1527 would be a pretty good starting point. If you DO want to be able to retune like that, then a 7621 or 7421 would be the fixed income version. One of those with a better set of pickups would be a pretty killer player 7.
Thanks Drew - very informative. I'm starting to lean towards something like a 7 string with a fixed bridge and longer neck scale. The Ibanez 7421 seems pretty solid for sure.

It's just a lot to take in all at once! I'm a bit swamped with my research so I'm trying to take it all in. Thanks for the help :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
That 7421 is nice.

I really like the Apex20 too actually. Not sure what the general consensus is on them, but they seem good (it doesn't bother me who its a signature of, that's irrelevant to me). 25.5" scale though. Thought maybe something longer might be nice for when I am using lower tunings?
 

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This one?

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/APEX20

I love the Blaze bridge and while the Blaze single isn't my favorite, it probably sounds rather nice in the neck. Hate that bridge, personally. However, at that price it's almost certainly made in Indonesia or China. A 7621 or 7421 (both made in Japan) will have overall better fit and finish and, especially, fretwork, and will only be slightly more expensive used.

There's also a 7421XL and 7621XL with a 27" scale you could try to hunt down.
 

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Rich's suggestion is quite good. It's very simple and straightforward with an amazing neck, at least with the Prestige models I've played. Swapping out Ibanez pickups is kind of a tradition but that is up to you.

I have an 8 string, a 7 string, and a 6 string that I love for various reasons. A couple of truths about them though: on a 6 string you can play an Em power chord and it will sound great. On a 7 string you can play a Bm power chord and it will sound great (on a decent guitar.) On an 8 string guitar you can play an F#m power chord and it will sound like two bass guitars got in fight. Eventually you will learn the nuances of an 8 string but I think a 7 string would be more enjoyable to start.

Other guitars to look into would be all Ibanez Prestige 7 strings, Ibanez RG7620/7621, EBMM JP7's (on the used market especially). Jackson USA makes some great instruments but they are owned by Fender Musical Instruments Corporation which is a problem for me. It does not bother most people. :wink:
 

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If you want an extended scale the RGD's cover your bases.
Forgot all about those... 26.5, right? Maybe a little short for F#, but totally workable.

The Schecters are pretty solid too, and the Banshee will feel the most comfortable to you of their line if you're used to an Ibanez JS, but a lot of their line has thicker necks than you're probably used to. The Banshee and the fixed bridge Loomis might be options though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
If you want an extended scale the RGD's cover your bases.
Been looking these up. Definite new point of interest.

Also been looking up the 7621 and 7421's. I know it really shouldn't matter, but they don't really do anything for me aesthetically. I'm still very tempted regardless - especially if I could track down an XL with the extended neck - but they are quite hard to track down out there it seems!

Thanks for the suggestions guys. Slowly getting my head around this all! You've all been brilliant help!
 

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Yeah, the XLs don't come up much. There's also a 1077XL, but 1) it has a trem, and 2) they tend to be pretty expensive, since it was a higher end RG to begin with and they're no less scarce than the 7X21s.

Also, shameless plug - when you do finally grab a seven, I shot a youtube video with a bunch of pointers on getting started that a bunch of people found helpful:

 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Yeah, the XLs don't come up much. There's also a 1077XL, but 1) it has a trem, and 2) they tend to be pretty expensive, since it was a higher end RG to begin with and they're no less scarce than the 7X21s.

Also, shameless plug - when you do finally grab a seven, I shot a youtube video with a bunch of pointers on getting started that a bunch of people found helpful:
Drew, that is not a shameless plug at all - that is just a really useful guide. I've bookmarked it and put it into my youtube favourites folder. It'll come in real handy getting my head around the transition from 6 to 7+ strings.

Big thanks for taking the time out to make that guide. Very informative.

Nice little home studio set up you got there by the way - you might be interested in the studio I run over at outlandstudios.co.uk - you can find it on Facebook etc too. That IS a shameless plug lol

Thanks man. I'm starting to hone in on particular models a little better now.

:)
 

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That's actually my old place, where all my studio gear was set up in my bedroom. I bought a 2br condo about a year ago, so I now have a dedicated "studio" room. Still haven't done any treatment, still need to buy a couch or a loveseat (I want something that pulls out so it CAN be used as a guest room in an emergency), and currently it's taken over with my road bike ona trainer (since it's winter here in Boston) and two bxes of my album (shameless plug round 2 - how long can we keep this going? ;)), but it's a huge upgrade, having seperate bedrooms and studio rooms. My next place will probably NOt be immediately in the city (as I imagine I'll stay here until I have to settle down and start thinking about a family, and move off to the suburbs to die ;)), but one of my priorities will be either having a "shed" sized structure in the backyard or free reign to finish the basement and turn it into a proper studio with a decent live room.

Your place looks great - love the live room, and the shot of the vocal booth isn't half bad either. ;)
 

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I think it's interesting no one has mentioned the Ibanez Iron Label 7 strings. I picked one up last year and they're about as plug-and-play as you can get with some great woods and pickups.
 

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I think it's interesting no one has mentioned the Ibanez Iron Label 7 strings. I picked one up last year and they're about as plug-and-play as you can get with some great woods and pickups.
I agree, good call, they are definitely worth a look, tho you might want to change pups to SD blackouts
 
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