6 years ago, I bought a Stephen Carpenter LTD 8 string. To me the tone sounded like a string bolted to a piece of driftwood: Muffled, with no clarity. Clean or distorted, this thing sounded like someone was playing a graham cracker. I didn't enjoy the weight of it, the scale length or the tone so I wound up getting rid of it after 2 or 3 years. After that, I haven't picked up another extended range guitar because I haven't found any locally that I'd like to buy. I've been playing an LTD EC-1000 since then. But then just a few weeks ago I got my hands on a custom shop Strat. The frets on the Strat are butter, and the tone of the guitar (even unplugged!!) is pristine with lots of body, and the frets themselves are very comfortable to play. I'm looking for a high end 7 or 8 string guitar that plays like (not sounds like) this Stratocaster. Many of the extended guitars I have played are very "TOOTHY", meaning the frets are large or sharp sliding up the neck. I want a guitar that is "fast", with no "tooth" to the frets, that has a really juicy natural tone from the wood of the guitar, like the strat does, but doesn't sound "like a strat". Here's the rub, I'm having trouble finding places to test drive any of the guitars I'm interested in. So I'd like to get some opinions from people who already own guitars. If you have played any of the following, I would love to hear your detailed experience with these brands and models. I can listen to them on youtube, no problem, but everything I'd like to hear about the construction, how it feels, the texture of the guitar, the frets, and anything else you can think of is all advertising. That isn't useful for making a $2-3k purchase. I want to hear about the spongebob zoom-in, without makeup, ugly and honest truth about 8 strings you've played to help me in my search and selection. I'm also open to recommendations. Thanks! Guitars I'm interested in (that I know of): Music Man Majesty 7 Abasi Larada Keisel Crescent Carved Top PRS SE SVN .Strandberg Boden Brands I'm personally not interested in for various reasons: LTD/ESP Schecter Jackson Requirements: Ergonomic in scale, weight, and shape when seated between the legs Non "toothy" frets. Smooth frets that don't grate against your fingers No mods, for $2-3k, I refuse to replace the pickups or other hardware. The guitar should be good out of the box. 24 frets (min) 7-8 strings, haven't picked Either multi-scale frets (if 8 string) or 25-1/2-26", some scale close to that of regular 6-string guitars. No tiny scale, or massive scale lengths. Scale should be ergonomic. Variable tone, I don't want to have to wash the guitar through a tangle of pedals or post processing to dial in a tone. I don't want the guitar to sound "like a strat", but like my strat, I want the guitar to have a natural tone before its plugged in.