Looking into a Strandberg 7

Discussion in 'Sevenstring Guitars' started by Caleb Pels, Sep 20, 2018.

  1. Caleb Pels

    Caleb Pels Death Metal Guitarist

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    Hey all, first post so i'm still figuring stuff out.
    I've been playing an Ibanez RGDIX6PBSKB Iron Label sixer for a while now, and after spending significant time with a friend's 7 string, i think it's time to get on of my own.
    Strandberg appeals to me because:
    A. I have lower back problems and nerve damage in my left hand (Particularly my thumb), so the overall light weight and endurneck looks like a good fit.
    B: I heard that the tremolo system is great
    C: I like to travel, and the smaller size looks ideal for it.
    D: I am a sucker for a minimalist, modern design, and love the look.
    E: I played on a friend's boden 6 a while back, and loved it, although had a small amout of time to actually mess around with it, and it was before my accident.
    For reference: I play in a dissonant-style death metal band, not far from the sound of Portal, Mitochondrion, or Abyssal.
    I am willing to shell out a fair amount of cash for this. it's killing me that i can't play for more than 90 minutes at a time.
    Thanks!
     
  2. pott

    pott SS.org Regular

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    For your criteria, I'd say it could help, though ultimately one's problems are their own and it still may not be the best fit, but it's certainly worth a try!

    I would say this about the guitars and brand: buyers, beware. I've had a US Strandberg (Washburn-made) and a Korean Strandberg Metal 7, and both were disappointing for the price. See http://sevenstring.org/threads/ngd-strandberg-boden-metal-7.328289/ for the 7-string review. I returned it and did NOT replace it with another Strandberg.

    If you have the possibility to try a few, I strongly suggest you do and chose from there.
    If you order online, be braced for the possibility that it won't be perfect, or that it won't be up to the standard of the price.
     
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  3. Caleb Pels

    Caleb Pels Death Metal Guitarist

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    I assume the USA custom shop guitars mama through the configurator would be of higher quality, although that's more than likely out of my price range.
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2018
  4. Frey

    Frey SS.org Regular

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    I purchased a MII Boden Original 7 recently and was not very impressed. I'm not a big fan of active pups in general but I thought it sounded very weak compared to my SH7 with Fishmans. I think it had to do with the body mass/chambering but many would say otherwise. The side dots on mine were laughably bad and the tuners, while not as bad as I've read, are quite difficult to make small adjustments with. Besides the dots the fit and finish on mine was very good though. Had a great looking flame.

    If you can tolerate the wait and don't mind supporting them as a company, I'd probably suggest a Kiesel headless. Some pop up in their "In Stock" section of course too.

    My experience/opinion regarding your points:

    A - The light weight was very cool and pleasant but I did not like the Endurneck. I managed to get used to it but it was leading to left hand fatigue fairly quickly for me.
    B - I didn't get one with a tremolo
    C - The small size as very cool. Other headless options will have the same benefit though of course.
    D - I loved the design too minus the input jack location. It really doesn't work for classical position which is absurd considering how it's marketed to be perfectly comfortable in any position.
    E - If you've played on one and loved it that should honestly be the biggest decision maker for you. Therefore making the rest of my reply pointless :lol:
     
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  5. vortex_infinium

    vortex_infinium SS.org Regular

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    For the value and quality control I'd consider going the used route. You'll have a better idea of the specific instrument you're dealing with and from a reputable seller get great value and no (negative) surprises. I have similar heath issues and love Strandbergs but not for the traditional reasons most people do.

    The weight is a godsend on the right models. However, I like to play in the classical position which you can't traditionally do with Strandbergs. You can sit like that but the body is going to dig into your thigh, don't mind the tuners though. The intended Strandberg equivalent position that I find comfortable to play in (maybe a little fatiguing for riffing though) is if you rest the lower body curve on your thigh, the way Ola advertises the 'classical' position. You will need a strap to keep the guitar stable while playing (or at least I did). Using a strap even in that manner will lead to fatigue, obviously not as much as standing, but eventually it gets noticeable given the nature of straps and the demand to keep the guitar in that position. You might be set up right with the strap just keeping your guitar upright but then a small body movement and now the entire weight of the guitar is on the strap, etc.

    (Highly subjective) IMO the Endurneck is the weakest feature of the brand. I find it to be a one trick pony and if you do not adjust your playstyle to the neck you will cause more problems than it's meant to solve. There are just as many scenarios where I like the Endurneck over a traditional shape vs vice versa.
     
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  6. A-Branger

    A-Branger SS.org Regular

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    the shape of the neck seems to be a "love it" or "hate it" scenario for folks, no middle ground. If you already tried one and felt fine, then go for it. I couldnt gell with them when I tried both guitar and bass at NAMM
     
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  7. Randy

    Randy Sous Chef Super Moderator

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    If thou looks long into the Strandberg 7, the Strandberg 7 will also look into thee.
     
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  8. Caleb Pels

    Caleb Pels Death Metal Guitarist

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    Don't mind supporting them as a company? Please elaborate.
     
  9. HungryGuitarStudent

    HungryGuitarStudent SS.org Regular

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    I own a Boden Metal 7 and I also own a Kiesel Vader 7 with tremolo (V7X). My Boden is hollow body while my V7X is not, therefore they are hard to compare weight-wise (the V7X is obviously heavier). The Boden has an EndureNeck, which I love, while the V7X has a C shaped neck which is very easy to get used to. You can choose a thin neck option on the V7X, which may be relevant with your hand problems. For Strandberg, having a thinner neck probably requires you to get a custom model (as opposed to a production model).

    For seated play, I find the Boden to be way more ergonomic in terms of the way it rests on your knees. For Kiesel Vaders, there are two strap pins, one of which may jam into your right leg if you rest your guitar on your left knee. Playing seated with a high strap will negate that problem (lifting the guitar above your knees) but if that's not to your taste then it's something to consider before buying.

    In terms of pickups, the Fishman Fluence in the Boden Metal 7 are great. The stock active pickups on the V7X are also good - Paul Wardingham actually recorded a whole album with a V7X using stock pickups.

    Anyhow, I hope this helps :)
     
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  10. Randy

    Randy Sous Chef Super Moderator

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    A million pages about it on here but the cliff notes are that a few members had negative experiences with them and while in a minority overall, the customer care in those particular care was so poor that the reputation took a disproportionately large hit. I'm sure someone will link the thread but I think I saved you two hours of reading.

    I'm not a fan of the ownership and some of the management but it's still best bang for the buck on anything resembling a custom headless 7 string and the vast majority of purchases go off without a hitch. Resale prices are shit so either expect to sell at a loss, keep it or just buy used.
     
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  11. C_Henderson

    C_Henderson SS.org Regular

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    I'd say try to find the 7 you want and give it a long try if you can. They feel a bit different than the 6's (of which I own one).

    My experience with them has always been top notch, and I find them to be by far the most comfortable guitars I've ever laid hands on (heaps better than the Vader at all levels except high register access IMO), but as it's been said; some people love them and some people hate them. Quality-wise I haven't had an issue with all the ones I've played, but it's true that it's possible to find some flawed models. Buying online shouldn't be much of an issue since their return policy and customer care are as good as it gets, but just in case I'd recommend to buy them in person if you can.
     
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  12. Jonathan20022

    Jonathan20022 Engineer

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    It's worth picking up a Strandberg Classic and just feeling it up if you have the loose change to put towards one. Strandberg has that handy two week return policy with no hassle so that's one of the easier ways to try a Berg without fully committing to one. Wether or not it'll help your condition is very dependent on your needs, the weight relief will absolutely help but the endurneck is another matter one you simply have to play and see if it helps your thumb. The neck has 3 flat planes and I've seen a lot of people interpret it differently but my finger mostly fell on the center and right planes while playing and moving from lower frets to higher ones respectively. It is a thick neck at the tallest point, but feels much thinner since the distance from your thumb to your fretting fingers decreases as you move from plane to plane.

    The only guitars from the newer line I have experience with are NAMM examples of the custom shop line, and 2 Boden Metal series I purchased and returned for several reasons. My Boden Metals had small issues, and Strandberg worked closely with me to get one with no problems at all but due to a longer wait for the next batch I simply ended up returning the 2nd Metal Series. That's generally what you get with the imports, you can get a perfect one but it's also possible to get a guitar with imperfections but like I said they're great about getting a replacement and Ed Yoon is very personable and can go further in depth if need be. The Custom Shop guitars I've had hands on time with are killer although pretty pricey.

    About Kiesel, I'd personally avoid them. We have a lengthy thread here with plenty of situations and unsatisfied people, but if you do order a Kiesel all you really need to keep in mind if you're okay with taking a risk on a custom guitar is that you should avoid any option 50's so you still retain your 10 day trial period. There are options that void this and as we've seen time and time again, if something does go downhill it's a pretty rough time when you have a non-refundable instrument through them. Call in and talk to Chris Hong and make sure nothing you want spec wise is an option 50 and you should be golden, when Kiesel gets it right they are amazing instruments. But if you end up reading that thread you'll find that Jeff and other people on the Customer Service side of things leave a lot to be desired unfortunately.
     
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  13. MaxOfMetal

    MaxOfMetal Likes trem wankery. Super Moderator

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    Everyone likes comparing the Kiesel headless models to Strandberg and really, besides being headless, they're very different in overall feel.

    Kiesels feel more like any other guitar, they just happen to be headless, while Strandbergs feel "different" not in an objectively good or bad way, but if you want a Strandberg a Kiesel won't cut it. But if you want a guitar that is headless, and nothing else, the Kiesel will be a great option (minus the issues folks have had, see above).

    I've played over a dozen variations on Strandberg and nearly as many Kiesels so I feel confident in my assessment.
     
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  14. Avedas

    Avedas SS.org Regular

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    My Korean Prog 6 has been the most perfect guitar ever for me. The Endurneck goes hand in hand with my playing style and nothing about the guitar fatigues me. The way the body is cut fits me in the most comfortable way possible. The trem flutters and I've had no tuning stability issues. You can also adjust how sensitive the trem is which is pretty cool. Suhr pups also sound great for my styles which is nice because pickups in Japan are pretty much double the price of the US. The guitar was also nearly flawless out of the box (very minor cosmetic flaws that really don't matter), but I definitely got a bit lucky in that sense.

    That said, I don't really jive with the 7 or 8 string models where the Endurneck doesn't feel comfortable at all to me. On top of that, the current purchasing options are pretty lackluster. Most Classics on the market will still be ones made in China and the rest of production models are basically all from Indonesia right now. Personally I would be very wary of buying a $2000 guitar from Indonesia, but YMMV. Also the USA custom shop has some seriously limited options for the price tag.
     
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  15. Dayn

    Dayn silly person

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    I have a Boden Prog 7. I can give my experiences regarding your points.

    A: It's so light and so small that it feels like a toy. Weight and size won't be a problem. Regarding the neck, I find it very comfortable. I'm used to thin Ibanez necks - I like 'em thin and flat so they don't get in my way. Although I have good technique, my hand was still following the Endurneck. I found myself gripping its different surfaces when needed. It's a very comfortable neck - I was pretty surprised at how well it works.

    B: The tremolo system is very good. It doesn't have a backplate that covers the strings though. Although it works very well for dives, pulling up seems limited to a semitone, depending on the note you're using. So it's not capable of the extreme upwards abuse like Steve Vai would do. However, once the strings are properly stretched, it rarely falls out of tune, and when it does, it's miniscule. The tuners are very stiff and not prone to slipping.

    C: As said, it's tiny. I've shown it to people who didn't believe a guitar would actually fit in the bag. It's a little over half the weight of my RG2228 and much shorter.

    D: The look is a big reason I got mine. I knew it ticked pretty much every box I was after.

    E: If you enjoyed it, then there's not much else to say. I never tried one out before getting mine. First time I played it was when it arrived a week after buying it.

    I think mine is actually an Indonesian model. Quality is on par with an Ibanez Prestige. At least, mine was - I can't speak for the average quality control for the model. I fell in love with it instantly. Haven't had any issues at all. I sometimes forget that it's not an 8-string, so that's the only downside. It's the perfect instrument for expression, for me.

    I hope that was enough enabling.
     
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  16. RiksRiks

    RiksRiks ERG Player Wannabe

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    I own a Strandberg and a Kiesel 8 (not headless) and I really prefer the Strandberg feel to the Kiesel's. That being said, i don't think Kiesels are bad guitars. Ultimately the Endurneck won't assure that your problem is solved so don't look at it as if it was a medical improvement or anything, I'd say it's just another shape.

    Wether you go used or new, you should try them before you buy them. I personally love my Strandberg but totally understand other people who don't like it.
     
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