Top 10 Metal Guitars – Reviews of The Six-String Monsters

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Last Updated: Mar-29-2017.

The music style we define as “guitar-driven music” is a very broad term covering a vast array of sonic ground.

Therefore, even neophytes know that singling out the best electric guitar is mission impossible without at least some sort of stylistic guidelines.

With that stance, we decided to sift today’s market in an attempt to find the best six-strings for a variety of music genres. In this article, we will focus on metal and the best guitars for metal.

10 Best Guitars For Metal:

ImageElectric Guitar / RatingSummaryCheck Price
+ - Schecter Hellraiser C-1 Schecter Hellraiser C-1

Total of 4.74/5   4.74 Stars

Bonafide pro-level heavy metal sound.

+ - Ibanez S Prestige Series S5570Q Ibanez S Prestige Series S5570Q

Total of 4.98/5   4.98 Stars

High-end department. A guitar we recommend.

+ - Ibanez GRGM21BKN Ibanez GRGM21BKN

Total of 4.74/5   4.74 Stars

Good for metal players with small hands.

+ - Gibson SG 2016 Gibson SG 2016

Total of 4.76/5   4.76 Stars

Raw, organic and rooted in traditional values.

+ - ESP LTD MH-417 ESP LTD MH-417

Total of 4.92/5   4.92 Stars

ESP and metal go hand by hand.

+ - Jackson JS22 Dinky Jackson JS22 Dinky

Total of 4.56/5   4.56 Stars

Packs everything a good beginner guitar should have.

+ - B.C. Rich Warlock B.C. Rich Warlock

Total of 4.44/5   4.44 Stars

The classic B.C. Rich can't be ignored.

+ - Jackson JS32 Rhoads Jackson JS32 Rhoads

Total of 4.76/5   4.76 Stars

Cool sound and an affordable price tag.

+ - ESP Kirk Hammett Signature KH-2 Black ESP Kirk Hammett Signature KH-2 Black

Total of 4.90/5   4.90 Stars

The vibrant alder proved to be the winning factor.

+ - Schecter Omen Extreme 6 Schecter Omen Extreme 6

Total of 4.64/5   4.64 Stars

Distinctive punchy sound and fair pricing.

We have singled out a set of 10 champions worthy of the flattering title, as well as a few general guidelines on what to look out for. The goods await below!

Schecter Hellraiser C-1

Schecter Hellraiser C-1

Body And Neck:4.8 Stars
Hardware:4.6 Stars
Electronics:4.9 Stars
Sound:4.6 Stars
Value:4.8 Stars

Pinking things up a notch, the Hellraiser C-1 from Schecter is one of the cheapest options if you want a bonafide pro-level heavy metal sound.

Apart from the classy finish, one of the things that instantly stand out about this guitar is a top-level pair of 81TW/89 pickups from EMG. Additionally, the fact that the manufacturer threw in high-end mahogany and neck into the mix and spiced it up with top-level electronics is nothing short of amazing for this price tag.

Like we said, if this was a Gibson, the price would be $2,000!

Needless to say, everything about the instrument screams metal, and not just in the aesthetic department. The pickups are a great mixture of gain-fueled fuzz and naturally heavy sound without artificial components, while the mahogany’s organic sound – which is full, deep, with strong low ends, but enough mellow end to secure audio dynamics – fits the bill perfectly.

Ibanez S Prestige Series S5570Q

Ibanez S Prestige Series S5570Q

Body And Neck:5 Stars
Hardware:4.9 Stars
Electronics:5 Stars
Sound:5 Stars
Value:5 Stars

In the high-end department, a guitar we thoroughly recommend to every metal player is the S5570Q axe from the S Prestige Series. Sexy looks are included in the mix, of course, but the factor that stands out from the very get-go is the amazing configuration of pickups on this thing.

We are looking at a pickup configuration of Hot Grinder 1, a single-coil Short Tracer 2, and a high-output Hot Grinder 2. Each of the pieces presents an entirely different audio story, ranging from crystal clear cleans to crunch-packed overdrive tones.

Expanding those sonic horizons, the manufacturer threw in a 5-way switch. Without a single pedal, this puppy is already equipped for tackling any style you can imagine. However, metal music is where this Ibanez feels like home, so if you like the idea of spicing your metal up with other styles, this is your winning ticket!

Ibanez GRGM21BKN

Ibanez GRGM21BKN

Body And Neck:4.5 Stars
Hardware:4.7 Stars
Electronics:4.9 Stars
Sound:4.7 Stars
Value:4.9 Stars

Actually, a more appropriate description would be best metal guitar for kids or any player with smaller hands at beginner level. This is a cheap option, and a great product for aspiring young shredders.

This guitar has a 3/4-size mahogany body mixed up with a 22”-scale maple neck with classic rosewood fingerboard, a set of 24 frets and signature sharp Ibanez inlays.

And speaking of signature Ibanez features, the guitar of course utilizes the company’s distinctive super slim and playable neck. That combined with a double humbucker duo and extended 24 frets make this fella perfect for shred solos and metal music in general.

The mahogany body reels in a rather rich sound driven by a prominent low end with dose of punchy middles and clear and bright trebles to round up the sonic output. Further on up the road, that humbucker combo offers a beefy and loud sound similar to the aforementioned Dinky guitar. We’re looking at everything a beginner metal guitarist needs, only in a smaller package. Good stuff!

Gibson SG 2016

Gibson SG 2016

Body And Neck:4.9 Stars
Hardware:4.8 Stars
Electronics:4.6 Stars
Sound:5 Stars
Value:4.5 Stars

We’ll round things up with a bonafide classic – the mighty Gibson SG! This is the guitar that helped shape metal music as we know it in the hands of Tony Iommi and still does a fine job in delivering the sludge.

The company is doing a fine job in retaining the distinctive classic sound and we thoroughly recommend checking out the newer models. If you like your sound crushing, but still raw, organic and more rooted in traditional values, this is your pick.

The guitar utilizes a mahogany body, mahogany neck, rosewood fingerboard, and a set of classic SG humbuckers. You just can’t go wrong with this stuff!

ESP LTD MH-417

ESP LTD MH-417

Body And Neck:4.8 Stars
Hardware:4.9 Stars
Electronics:4.9 Stars
Sound:5 Stars
Value:5 Stars

Extended range has secured its spot as a great metal asset many years ago, and 7-string models almost became the genre’s staple mark. Having a low B string is a top-notch advantage and something that can significantly expand your musical expression, and in our humble opinion, the MH-417 model from ESP is a great choice.

This guitar utilizes a resonant all-mahogany body with a slim maple neck and a classic rosewood fingerboard. We are looking at a 25.5-inch scale length combined with a set of 24 frets and standard Volume and Tone controls with a three-way toggle.

As for the sound, we are looking at a super organic crunch! There’s power, crush, gain and attack, but also a major load of clarity. Many guitars deliver the fuzz at the expense of having a clear sound and sonic punch – which has bad effects in band environment – but not this bad boy!

Jackson JS22 Dinky

Jackson JS22 Dinky

Body And Neck:4.5 Stars
Hardware:4.3 Stars
Electronics:4.6 Stars
Sound:4.5 Stars
Value:4.9 Stars

If you want to get the best deal at a good budget, go with Jackson’s Dinky. This fella packs everything a good beginner guitar should have, plus some nice optimization for metal music from one of the genre’s leading manufacturers.

The instrument utilizes a sturdy basswood body and maple neck crafted for comfort, speed, and elegance. With a cheap price, the instrument delivers everything a metal player needs – two humbucker pickups, a slim neck, gain-driven electronics, and some sharp looks.

The two pickups have plenty of sustain, and gain is something this guitar is no stranger to. Other notable metal features include a classic tremolo tailpiece and sturdy tuning pegs to keep the six-string in proper shape at all times.

When it comes to sound, this is more of a shred machine than a chug-fueled axe for modern metal. Therefore, we recommend it primarily to players striving for classic shredders in the ilk of Yngwie Malmsteen or classic metal acts such as Metallica and Megadeth.

B.C. Rich Warlock

B.C. Rich Warlock

Body And Neck:4.5 Stars
Hardware:4.5 Stars
Electronics:4.2 Stars
Sound:4.2 Stars
Value:4.8 Stars

Alright, so the options so far were a bit tame when compared to this beast – the mighty Warlock from BC Rich! While some of the cheaper Warlock models are a bit frowned upon by guitar experts as being too gimmicky, this fella – the WGCXBPRD model – lives and breathes metal.

Unlike those low-budget boys, this guitar delivers an astonishing roar through the company’s high-level pair of Fat Pole Extra Hot Humbucker pickups. The sound they provide is ideal for more extreme genres of metal, starting with thrash metal and going all the way to the realm of death metal.

The guitar features a mahogany body, which secures top-notch resonance, combined with a standard rosewood fingerboard with 24 frets, and a deluxe R-Lock Floyd Rose bridge to rock those dive bombs in style.

The neck is sleek and just a tad chunky, but still highly playable, giving the player a strong feel of a sturdy axe to produce those metal chops.

It is worthy to point out that unlike some of the previously listed models, this really is a guitar for metal and nothing else, so if you want to mix it up and have a guitar that is good for blues as well, you are looking at the wrong pick.

Jackson JS32 Rhoads

Jackson JS32 Rhoads

Body And Neck:4.8 Stars
Hardware:4.5 Stars
Electronics:4.7 Stars
Sound:5 Stars
Value:4.8 Stars

If you’re into the vibe of classic Metallica stuff or Children of Bodom, a Randy Rhoads model from Jackson is the thing for you! The specific axe we have in mind, which offers both a cool sound and an affordable price tag – is the JS32 model.

The guitar is oriented towards the staple brand of heavy metal, meaning a more balanced sound, less chug and more crunch. The tone is best described as syrupy, as it flows very well into any sonic mix, especially when playing lead guitar lines and licks.

The guitar utilizes a basswood body, which is a low-cost option that was combined with a set of humbucker Jackson high output pickups with ceramic magnets. This mix genuinely surprised us and we couldn’t be more satisfied with the tone, especially for the listed price!

Other notable features include a bolt-on maple neck adapted for fast playing, a rosewood fingerboard with 24 frets and col shark fin inlays, a three-way toggle switch, elegant black hardware, as well as the company’s signature double locking tremolo bridge.

The spikey looks, of course, are classic Jackson!

ESP Kirk Hammett Signature KH-2 Black

ESP Kirk Hammett Signature KH-2 Black

Body And Neck:4.8 Stars
Hardware:4.9 Stars
Electronics:5 Stars
Sound:5 Stars
Value:4.8 Stars

Signature guitars from renowned guitarists are a bit of an iffy ground for most musicians. On one hand, they absolutely deliver the sound of the given musician, but on the other hand, the question arises of how good will they serve you and how good they will match your style.

And in our humble opinion, ESP’s signature model from Metallica guitar titan Kirk Hammett is a great choice and an option you can’t go wrong with.
Yes, it will cost you a pretty penny, but it will deliver an amazing sonic crunch you can adapt to your personal needs while always retaining a top-notch sonic foundation. It may have Kirk’s name on it, but this thing can tackle any style of metal any day.

We are looking at a combination of a high-end alder body and maple neck with rosewood fingerboard. The body is very resonant and the vibrant alder proved to be one of the winning factors for this instrument.

Other notable features include a 25.5-inch scale, a set of 24 frets, active EMG pickups, and an included case.

Schecter Omen Extreme 6

Schecter Omen Extreme 6

Body And Neck:4.5 Stars
Hardware:4.6 Stars
Electronics:4.7 Stars
Sound:4.6 Stars
Value:4.8 Stars

Caught somewhere between traditional values and new style of crush and punch, the Omen Extreme-6 from Schecter found its way to the heats of metal fans through a clever mixture of a distinctive punchy sound and fair pricing.

This guitar delivers a strong low-end chug combined with punch and clarity of the higher registry. The solid-wood body is combined with super hot pickups that deliver an astonishing load of power, but still remain reigned in and fully under the player’s command.

What Makes A Guitar Good For Metal

Let’s just dive head-on into this. These are the important things to consider when buying a metal guitar:

  • Pickups: You’ll want humbuckers thick, beefy, and articulate sound. If you’re into high gain, go with active pickups; if a wider tonal range is your things, go with passive models.
  • Tonewood: Go with mahogany, it’s strong, deep, resonant, and rich. For cheaper options, go with basswood, it’s punchy, powerful, yet well balanced.
  • Scale Length: For easier playability, go with 24.75-inch; for a tight response, go with 25.5-inch. Of course, extended-range instruments have higher scale length values.
  • You’ll want a slim and thing neck. Playability is key for shredding.
  • Electronics: Always go with extra control. Things like phase switching, EQ adjustments, kill switches, and coil tapping are always welcome.
  • Bridge: Go with a fixed bridge for extra tuning stability and less confusion. Choose tremolo bridges for more sonic freedom (and trickier use).
  • Extended range: Do consider 7-strings, some folks say it can be eye-opening.
  • Looks: Just make it metal!
  • Conclusion

    And that wraps up our little journey, folks. We hope you enjoyed the ride and found your best guitar for metal. Feel free to browse some more and treat yourself with a killer axe as early as today. To stay up to date with the best guitar deals online, make sure to keep track of the site and subscribe to our newsletter. Cheers!


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