Should I Get An 8 or Downtune a 7?

Discussion in 'Extended Range Guitars' started by ghostOG, Dec 3, 2019.

  1. ghostOG

    ghostOG SS.org Regular

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    I'm considering getting another guitar, but not sure what to get. Currently I play a 25.5" 6 string downtuned to drop A, but I think I would like a longer scale length, and an extra low E for occasionally going below the A root.

    I am debating between an 8 string multiscale, or 7 string tuned EAEADGB. My only real requirements are I do not like headless stocks, and I prefer active pups. My preferred budget is less than $1k, but could go a little higher if I have to buy new. It seems like there are a lot more 7 string multiscale than there are 8, and I don't really play solos.

    The 8 string Cort KX508MS is the only thing really catching my attention, and maybe a Legator Ninja.

    Would you stick with 8 string, or consider a 7 down tuned? Do you have any suggestions on guitars I should consider? I don't have the luxury of actually playing these guitars, and will be buying blind off the internet based on specs reviews and demos.
     

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  2. cardinal

    cardinal F# Dive Bomber

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    Well, I like having as many strings as possible to preserve the typical open cords, but adding more strings does add headaches: it's harder to mute all those strings and the hardware and pickup choices only get more difficult and narrow.

    So in most cases it's probably best to stick with the fewest strings that you'd actually use.
     
  3. ghostOG

    ghostOG SS.org Regular

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    Thanks for the reply, it just seems like there is more variety in 7 string, like you said... I do like that Cort 8 though. I am just considering all possibilities, because I do not miss the "high" E with my 6 string tuned to drop A. So I do not think I would miss it if I down tuned a 7 to E.

    I've also been seeing the Harley Benton 8 string multi scale all over youtube.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2019
  4. Winspear

    Winspear Tom Winspear

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    One swaying factor for me would be scale length. I do not accept 8s under 28" personally, especially for drop E. There's not really any commercial baritone 7 strings in that length, so that would be a problem for me.
    Agile do make them, however - 728 models (7 string 28.6 length).
    But that's just me - if you're happy with 26.5 or 27 length, there are much more 7 string options.

    I eventually decided on a baritone 7 (it's 28.3" custom) and don't regret it at all. You can also play with lots of different tunings to make barre/open chords finger like a downtuned 6, 7 etc rather than the bottom of an 8 string.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2019
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  5. FILTHnFEAR

    FILTHnFEAR Dread it, run from it....

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    I'd just go for a baritone 7 if you don't really need/want the extra string, and to avoid the headaches of dealing with one.
     
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  6. KnightBrolaire

    KnightBrolaire Pointy Gang™

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    mo strings, mo problems ime.
    Less pickup options, tension issues are more prevalent, finding decent strings gets a bit harder (buy singles of the 8th string and then add in your preferred 7 string set), slightly harder to mute, worse resale value due to being more niche.
    Scale lengths under 27" suck for lower than Drop E ime.
    I recommend trying as many 8 strings in person as possible before buying anything. Cheaper guitars are generally hit or miss regardless of brand. That being said, Agile has a great return policy, so you really can't go wrong there.
     
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  7. cip 123

    cip 123 SS.org Regular

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    I jumped from 6 to 8 my first time jumping in to extended range.

    My approach is I don't like having to relearn everything when I downtune. For example on my 7 whcih I'm no very comfy on, my singer sometimes asks, can we go down to G? I really can't be bothered tuning down, much less thinking about everything I know a step down. So if I was going to G I'd just get an 8 string. Then everything is in standard tuning and I'm on a low F# anyway so it's plenty low.

    If you're happy just playing riffs and you don't think about theory or have any issue transposing when you tune down go with a 7 if you're like me and don't want transposing hassle go with an 8. You could also tune your 8 up, I fooled around with low A, C#, E A D G B E. So like drop A on a 7 with a C# in between.

    Whatever you go for you'll want to wait. NAMM is right round the corner which means a few things. Companies might come out with something you like, AND people will start off loading gear to get that fancy new 2020 Ibanez.

    And final word of advice, don't buy a Legator.
     
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  8. Politics of Ecstasy

    Politics of Ecstasy OG Shredder

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    Downtune a 7
     
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  9. Vyn

    Vyn Not a Sparkly Vampire

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    Downtuned 7. 27-27.5" on the bass side is good enough for F Standard, plenty of manufacturers putting out 27inch 7s with a variety of specs. With increased scale all of a sudden the high strings become a problem so if you downtune a 7 you won't have as many high-end issues that 8 string players get. Selecting your tuning is important as well - if you go say Drop F, you haven't actually lost that much range overall on the high side of things.

    Also something worth noting is if you're a trem guy, you're going to have much more luck finding a 7 than an 8 outside of a custom build. Below custom your only options really are the C8-FR from Schecter and BC Rich have a new 8 coming out (although that's only 26.5" scale) .
     
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  10. ghostOG

    ghostOG SS.org Regular

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    Good to know...

    I do like tremolo and was about to pull the trigger on a C-7 FR, but I'm really considering a multi scale so I can get a clear tone in drop E, and still have the playability on the higher strings. Also that one is 26.5" which I think might be a little short.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2019
  11. Go To Bed Jessica

    Go To Bed Jessica SS.org Regular

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    Maybe look at an Ormsby GTR 7 string?

    I think the low string on those is ~28", which is as short as I'd go for drop E.

    Don't buy a Legator - waaaaay too many horror stories about them.

    Ormsby seem to not be well liked around here, but tbh they are pretty good production guitars with a nice feature set and a very comfy neck.

    The only reason I sold my Ormsby 7 was that I am apparently either a 6 or 8 string player and just couldn't get used to a 7 string. It was a really nice guitar though.
     
  12. noise in my mind

    noise in my mind SS.org Regular

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    I'd get a used rg2228 or rg852.
     
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  13. akinari

    akinari SS.org Regular

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    https://www.rondomusic.com/product8954.html

    I think this guitar would be perfect for something like EAEADGB. I would start with the 7, and if you decide that you need more range down the line, sell it and get an 8. It'll be much easier to sell a baritone 7 than a multiscale 8, and the less strings you have to work with to make the music you want, the better imo.
     
  14. Winspear

    Winspear Tom Winspear

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    Good shout :)
    Another good thing about 7 instead of 8 at long scale is that without a high E, there is no chance of not being able to decrease the treble gauge enough for it to be nice and bendy on the long scale (e.g. you could just use a 12 or 11 high B instead of a 13). Reaching the thickest string across 6 others rather than 7 others, also makes a long scale much more manageable.
    +1 for staying away from Legator
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2019
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  15. jephjacques

    jephjacques BUTTS LOL

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    Sounds like you'd be happier with a baritone 7 than an 8.
     
  16. nightlight

    nightlight SS.org Regular

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    I think downtuning a 7 to F# is a ridiculous idea. You'd get better results if you buy an eight string set, keep aside the highest string and just use the lowest seven strings.

    Also, an eight and a seven are just different guitars and lend themselves to different styles. You really want to think about what kind of music you're going to be playing rather than worrying about how many strings imho.

    As @noise in my mind suggested, I would look at a used RG2228. Superb guitars, though they're not multiscale. You should be able to find/haggle for one within your budget.
     
  17. Winspear

    Winspear Tom Winspear

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    I don't think anyone was under the impression this would be done without a change of strings :lol:
     
  18. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    Neither is a wrong answer.

    I love my 8 string, but, IME, tuning to drop E, scale length becomes the primary issue. Not that electronics and such are less important. If the raw sound of the string is gongy or flubby, the pickups can only send a gongy or flubby signal to the amp, no matter how good they are.

    So, if you find something 28" or longer, you'd be at a good place to start, IMO. Personally, tuning that low, I'd prefer at least 29".

    As others pointed out, there are more 7 string pickup (and bridge) options than 8 string, so that's an advantage. But if you find an 8 that already has the sound you want, why does it matter?
     
  19. nightlight

    nightlight SS.org Regular

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    True. Just making the point that even with a change to a heavier gauge, as you would tuning from Standard E to Drop C on a 6, tuning to drop E on a standard seven string set would be lunacy. You'd have floppy strings with no attack and horrible tuning stability and intonation issues.

    Honestly, if you want eight string tunings, OP, get an eight string, you'll be happier. That extra string may seem daunting at first, but once you figure out how it's related to the string above it, it'll be smooth sailing.
     
  20. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    I think I have to disagree with your reasoning. But maybe I misunderstood.
     

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