It’s always happening around Christmas time. Increasing amount of works undone, the need to visit family, to go back to my roots, to take a break, and eventually, GAS.
I hate myself for being so capricious in matter of gear. It would be so much easier to focus on vintage things only for example.
Anyways, I was into relic Fender-ish stuffs until I realized my gear lacked of something different, say 80’s-90’s pointy flashy shred thang.
This is completely out of fashion so I could fullfill my sudden hunger for little amount of cash.
It started with one of the most hated guitar by vintage happy few collectors, the Ibanez 540PSH, also known as Alex Skolnick Ibanez 90s catalog photo shoot accessory.
Then I dug further and found a large amount of Ibanez shred guitars for less the 400€ - which is basically the price of present lower end guitars. So I just kept going and found me a black Ibanez RG750.
I couldn’t be happier, but there was a category I was yet to explore:
(GUGGA-GUGGA-GUGGA) 7 string guitars!!! (GUGGA-GUGGA-GUGGA)
(re)Introduced by Steve Vai during 1989 year, these are mostly associated with Heavy Metal music or late Nü Metal thing that happenened during the electric guitar sells rebirth in the 2000s.
80s-90s: Hair Metal - sorry but this really happened
90s: Kurt Cobain officially killed shred.
2000s: Korn learned to play guitar and in the same time brought a whole new world of angry kids ready to krank up their amps.
I always wanted to try a 7 string but always ended up with another 6. But that was the right time, and I found myself a mint Ibanez RG7620 at a great price.
(guitar) Life changing experience! If you know how cool it feels to just strum an E major plugged in a half crunchy amp - almost like a first gulp of beer - then you should definitely try it with a B (+ low B string) - a first gulp of an amber beer.
You don’t even have to wear black, grow your hair - or shave your head - and play metal licks only! You can just keep doing your usual stuff + low B.
After all, one of the first 7 string electric guitar user was a Jazz player! (1968 - Van Eps on a Gretcsh!)
Anyway, I was hungry for my favorite sounds on a 7 string guitar: think Les Paul and Telecaster. But I was soon to realize what niche the 7 string market was.
While you can find almost anything you want to enhance, retrofit, or even build your dream in 6 string, you’re stuck with a tiny choice when it comes to 7.
The current 7 string guitars available are almost exclusively metal oriented (black, edgy, too much output pickups or emg equipped) - and so the parts - it kinda killed my blooming projects of some 7 string twanger.
Until recently I’ve been avoiding ESP/LTD brand as it always seemed to be metal-oriented but well, they produce some fine instruments and their 7 string Viper and Eclipse models are what looks and plays the most like what I like - minor the EMGs.
I’m also waiting for a 7 string LP like Ibanez ARZ307 with passive pickups. It’s still far from what I’m aiming for, but well, wait and see.
Guitar, parts builders, Warmoth, Stewmac, Boutique pickups makers, will probably keep producing stuff for 6 string guitars and little gear for 7.
But I believe there is a market for retro 7 string stuff.