Once of the crucial major events in history of heavy metal guitar and the development of what we call modern metal guitar is the introduction of seven-strings guitar.
The heavy chug of the low B string changed quite a lot and introduced the players with new sonic grounds. Therefore, while discussing best guitars for metal, we found it of utmost importance to name one of the best 7-string metal guitars – the ESP LTD MH-417. We took this puppy out for a test run, make sure to check out our conclusions in the full review below.
Body & Neck
This instrument features a highly resonant body made from mahogany, spiced up with an elegant and slim maple neck and a standard rosewood fretboard. We are dealing with a 25.5” scale length mixed up with a pack of 24 frets, giving you full two octaves per string. Other notable features include the so-called neck-thru design and a thin-U neck contour.
In the hardware department, this seven is equipped with top-of-the-line TOM bridge that firmly locks in the strings and produces zero buzz and fuzz. Speaking of which, the guitar features an exceptional fret job and we couldn’t’ find even a single weak spot. Additionally, a set of Grover tuners does a fine job in maintaining the proper string tension and intonation. Note that a hard-shell case crafted specifically for this instrument is available, but sold separately.
When it comes to electronics, the manufacturer opted for a powerful combination of two humbucker pickups from EMG – the EMG 81-7 model in the bridge position and the EMG 707 pickup in the neck position. For adjusting the sound, the player is presented with basic, yet highly efficient controls – a Tone knob, a Volume knob, and a three-way toggle switch.
As for the sonic attack, the best way to describe it is as a super organic crunch! We are dealing with plenty of crush, power, crush, and attack, but still more than enough clarity and zero gain overload or saturation.
Many axes aimed towards the metal genre present the crunch at the expense of clarity, which is really bad when the whole band is included in the mix. This fella, however, was clearly crafted both for band and live environment, and does a stellar job in maintaining the best of both worlds. One of the best guitar sounds for metal music, that’s for sure!
The price tag is definitely fair and reasonable in our book. If this was a Gibson or a Fender, you’d have to cough up at least $1,500, hence the fact that this puppy is located in the under $1,000 league is nothing short of awesome.
Don’t be hesitant about diving into the world of seven strings, but don’t be hasty about it either. Feel free to inspect this fella a bit more thoroughly and see if you’re looking at a perfect match for your needs. Good stuff, highly recommended!