With all of the heavy and progressive music out there, 7-string guitars continue to be extremely popular, and it’s no wonder many people are always looking to get one for themselves. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced guitarist, having that low-B string can come in handy and open up a lot of possibilities in your playing. In this article, I will show you some of the best 7-string guitars that you can check out if you’re on a budget, many of which you can find for under $500 – you’ll definitely enjoy chugging some riffs on these axes!
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Jackson Dinky JS22-7
I love Jackson Dinkies, and in 7-string form, I think they still look fantastic and play extremely well. In the past, I’ve praised the 6-string JS22 Dinkies for being extremely affordable while keeping it true to the Jackson name, which is a reliable and fast-playing guitar. The 7-string JS22 Dinky also holds up to this.
This is one of the cheapest 7-string guitars you’ll find from any major brand out there, and like the 6-string JS22 models, this one is essentially the same in that it has a poplar body, a 24-fret compound radius amaranth fingerboard, a hardtail bridge, and stock Jackson humbuckers. Going for around $200, I highly recommend this for beginners interested in trying out extended-range guitars for the first time. You can also look into the JS32, but when it comes to the 7-stringers, it’s basically just a cosmetic upgrade. They use the same specs, so many people won’t find this the best value.
ESP LTD MH-17
The whole purpose of ESP creating the LTD line of guitars was to provide more affordable versions of their guitars to the masses, and that’s precisely what this guitar is all about. Not only is this a budget version of the popular MH design, it’s also a very cheap 7-string guitar and a fantastic choice for beginners.
The LTD MH-17 is an entry-level instrument that consists of a basswood body, an engineered hardwood fretboard with 24-frets, a Tune-O-Matic bridge, and stock ESP pickups, and at around a couple hundred bucks, this guitar is nice and sleek and very comfortable to play. However, if you want something that has similar features, but is a noticeable improvement, the next instrument in this list is a mid-tier one that’s ideal for intermediates.
Schecter C-7 Deluxe
The Schecter C-7 Deluxe is a guitar that’s great for those who are looking to get into playing 7-string guitars. It has an affordable price tag, and it’s one of the best 7-string guitars you can find for under $500.
The C-7 Deluxe is made of a basswood body, has a 24-fret rosewood fretboard, a Tune-O-Matic bridge, a string-thru-body design, and stock Schecter Diamond series pickups. I find that a lot of Schecter guitars at this price point are super reliable, and this one is no exception, so be sure to give it a closer look if you like the design of this one.
Schecter Omen Elite 7
If you like Schecter guitars but felt like maybe the previous one was a little too plain for your tastes and you’re willing to pay a bit more for something fancier, I recommend the Omen Elite 7, which typically goes for under $600, and this price increase is justified – trust me!
Made from a mahogany body with a poplar top, the Schecter Omen Elite 7 features guitar models with amazing-looking paint jobs that can grab anyone’s attention. It also includes a fixed bridge, which I also think looks classier than the Tune-O-Matic on the C-7, and it has better pickups in the stock Schecter Heretics. So, the price difference isn’t just for aesthetics; this guitar is simply a better instrument and one you should consider if you’re willing to shell out a little more for your future 7-string guitar.
In my opinion, Ibanez is the king of extended-range guitars; it’s incredibly easy to find seven and 8-string guitars that are suitable for just about any budget. I like Ibanez for making them accessible, which is why I’ll provide you with multiple choices from this brand. Let’s start with the GRG7221.
The GRG7221 is an entry-level 7-string guitar in their Gio line that you can typically find for under $300. All GRG 7-strings have a poplar body, a hardtail bridge, and stock Ibanez pickups; however, the type of fingerboard wood varies between models. Nonetheless, the neck is thin and built for speed in true Ibanez fashion. I highly recommend this 7-string guitar for beginners who feel inspired by their favorite players who used these instruments. Overall, it’s a pretty straightforward guitar that will get you shredding in no time.
While the previous Ibanez is a great value 7-string guitar, if you want something that’s budget-friendly but is an upgrade over an entry-level instrument, the Ibanez RG7421 is a step-up that’s suitable for intermediate and even advanced players who simply want to have a 7-string that won’t break the bank.
This Ibanez is built from a mahogany body, has a jatoba fretboard with 24 frets, and has better hardware than the GRG7221; the pickups and bridge, while pretty good, are even improved upon in this model. I’m always open to a better bridge because that means enhanced tuning stability, and that’s also why these guitars use fixed bridges, like the hardtails. Of course, I can’t forget to mention that the Wizard-II neck is super fast and comfortable to play, and I wouldn’t expect anything less out of an Ibanez.
The last 7-string guitar I would like to share with you is actually one that stands out from all of the rest. This isn’t just a 7-stringer; it’s a multiscale guitar as well, and if you’d like to learn more about their benefits, be sure to read about multiscale guitars here. That aside, let’s talk about what this beast is made of.
The RGMS7 is built from a Nato body, a 24-fret jatoba fingerboard, a maple/walnut Wizard-III neck, an Ibanez Mono-rail fixed bridge, and Ibanez Array humbuckers in the neck and bridge positions. Understandably, because of the multiscale design, this guitar is a little more expensive (around $600) than the regular ones in this article. However, when it comes to multiscale 7-string guitars, the RGMS7 is one of the most affordable ones out there. So, be sure to keep that in mind if you’ve been interested in a multiscale guitar because it’s the best budget one out there.
There you have it! These are some of the best affordable 7-string guitars you can find on the market. As mentioned before, the majority of these you can get for under $500, but there are a couple I felt earned a spot in this list that was over that value you may find worthwhile. To give you a quick overview, the best 7-string guitars you can get if you’re on a budget are:
- Jackson Dinky JS22-7
- ESP LTD MH-17
- Schecter C-7 Deluxe
- Schecter Omen Elite 7
- Ibanez GRG7221
- Ibanez RG7421
- Ibanez RGMS7
With those laid out for you, I hope this article was helpful in your search for the perfect 7-string guitar and will lead you to create some of your heaviest riffs!
Also, don’t hesitate to make some upgrades if you need to. It’s very common for people to swap out stock pickups out of their guitars and replace them with ones that suit their fancy. If you have plans to do any upgrades in the future, I suggest checking out my guide to the best 7-string guitar pickups for metal. Whether you’re into nu-metal, progressive metal, and djent, you’re bound to find the right one for you here.