Best 8 String Electric Guitars

best-8-string-guitarsBuying the best 8 string guitar isn’t always easy because there are a bunch of different options out there to choose from. In this review, we compare all of the Ibanez, Schecter, Jackson, ESP, and Dean 8-string guitars, so you can figure out which one is right for you.

Before we get into the reviews, a few specs that you might want to consider is fan fret or multi-scale length models and bridge design. Multi-scale guitars will most likely stay in tune better and have better intonation. Likewise, a good bridge design will help you keep the guitar in tune as well.

Let’s review some guitars!


List of Best 8-String Electric Guitars

Contents

Here is a list of the best 8-string guitars for metal guitarists who want that heavy, djent sound.


Ibanez RGMS8

best-ibanez-8-string-guitarSpecs, features, and benefits

After Ibanez blazed the trail in the mass production of 7-string guitars, the demand for more eventually led to the emergence of the 8-string guitar. Jumping right into the fray, Ibanez came up with a number of top quality and also affordable 8-string electric guitars.

The RGMS8 is one of the affordable 8-string electric guitars offered by Ibanez. This guitar features a solid mahogany body, a 5-piece maple/walnut neck and a jatoba fretboard. To deliver a solid tone, Ibanez added two humbucking pickups.

To help you sculpt the exact tone you want, it features a 5-way switch with three positions for the humbuckers. You can choose the neck, neck plus bridge of the bridge positions. In each case, you get a clear and well defined tone.

Overall, the guitar is very playable and its multi-scale design ensures it stays perfectly in tune at all point across the fretboard.

Pros and Highlights

  • Multi-scale design – This ensures both high and low strings stay in tune across the fretboard.
  • Playability – The neck design as well as the mono-rail bridge enhance playability.
  • Tone – It has a clear and precise tone, with good controls too.

Cons and Potential Flaws

  • Hum – You may experience some humming which may be as a result of some grounding issues.

Bottom Line

This is a great guitar for anyone who wants to take on the 8-string for the first time. A combination of its playability and affordability makes it an ideal first time 8-string guitar.

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Schecter OMEN-8 8-String Electric Guitar

schecter-8-string-guitar-reviewSpecs, features, and benefits

Anyone who knows Schecter knows that the brand prides itself in the production of custom, handmade guitars. Guitars from Schecter are designed to be special, top quality and to offer the best of value.

A look at the Omen-8 8-string electric guitar shows some of the value that this brand offers. This is easily the cheapest price you are likely to find such a specialist guitar from this brand.

The first thing you notice is the serious look that the contoured basswood body with its lovely black finish gives off. The maple neck and fretboard made of rosewood all add to this lovely serious look.

Other than the looks, you will also find it nicely playable. The only issue some players may have is the width of the fingerboard.

Considering that this was meant to be an affordable guitar, the pickup quality is a bit lacking. You may however not notice this when jamming with a distortion effect.

Once again, this is probably the most affordable decent 8-string electric guitar you may come across.

Pros and Highlights

  • Lovely look – The body is well made and well finished, giving it a lovely serious look.
  • Playability – The neck is very playable.
  • Affordable – It’s very affordable.

Cons and Potential Flaws

  • Pickups – You may require a pickup upgrade for a better tonal quality.

Bottom Line

If you’re looking for an affordable 8-string guitar with which to begin your journey in the world of 8-string guitars, then this is a good place to start.

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Ibanez RG8 – 8-String

cheap-ibanez-8-string-guitarSpecs, features, and benefits

If you wished the Ibanez RGMS8 cost less, then your wish may have just been granted by Ibanez. Though the Ibanez RGMS8 was already touted as a very affordable guitar, the brand has gone ahead to offer something even more affordable.

The Ibanez RG8 is a lovely 8-string guitar designed for those with a very tight budget. The one major difference between the RGMS8 and the RG8 is the absence of the multi-scale in the later. Aside from this, the RG8 also features a mahogany solid body, a 5-piece walnut and maple neck with a Jatoba fretboard.

It also features two humbucking pickups that are surprisingly good sounding. You also have the tone knob and 3-way selector to help you further refine your tone to taste.

This guitar offers an overall playability that is beyond its price point. Even the tuners (which are not locking tuners) hold their tune. There’s no doubt that this is the ideal guitar for anyone who wants an 8-string guitar at the lowest possible price.

Pros and Highlights

  • Balanced sound – The tone wood and electronics combine to deliver a tone that is quite balanced.
  • Good build – The hardware and general build of the guitar are quite good for the price.
  • Affordable – It’s very affordable.

Cons and Potential Flaws

  • Setup – You may need to adjust the action.

Bottom Line

It doesn’t get any more affordable than this. The quality you will get for this price is sure to amaze you as it has others who purchased it.

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Jackson DKAF8 8-String Electric Guitar

top-jackson-8-string-electric-guitarSpecs, features, and benefits

Jackson Guitars, a company owned by Fender Musical Instruments Corporation is known for the design and manufacture of guitars that are unique both in design and quality. As part of its contribution to the 8-string guitar world, it offers the DKAF8.

The Jackson DKAF8 8-String Electric Guitar is a lovely piece of work. It features a 26 -28 multiple-scale length design and staggered individual bridge saddles that allow for an improvement in the tension and intonation of the strings – low and high – while also improving playability.

It has a mahogany body, a bolt-on maple neck and rosewood fretboards that further increases playability. These combined with the two humbucking pickups deliver a powerful tone that can be fine-tuned to taste with the tone knob and 3-way switching control.

There’s no doubt that this guitar offers a good balance between cost and value.

Pros and Highlights

  • Multi-scale design – Improves intonation and string tension across all the strings and frets.
  • Playability – The neck, fret and low action all aid playability.
  • Solid build and look – It is well put together and well finished.

Cons and Potential Flaws

  • Pickups – If there is one thing that will make this guitar better, it will be a pickup upgrade.

Bottom Line

This guitar has great intonation and is very comfortable to play. If these features are very important to you, then consider this guitar.

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Schecter Damien Platinum 8

schecter-hellraiser-8-string-guitar-reviewSpecs, features, and benefits

In keeping with its tradition of offering guitars that are innovative in design, guitars that inspire the player to do more, Schecter offers the Damien Platinum 8. This is an 8-string electric guitar designed to offer great value on all fronts.

It is carefully put together with a mahogany body with twin cutaways. It features a 3-piece neck further reinforced with double carbon fiber rods for unparalleled stability while the rosewood fretboard offers a smooth and inviting playing surface.

A look at the hardware used further emphasizes the quality at play. It comes with Grover tuning machines with a 18:1 gear ratio for increased tuning precision while the tune-o-matic bridge from TonePros offer good sustain and tuning stability.

This guitar is powered by two EMG Active 808 pickups for a sound that’s both responsive and precise. You can also fine-tune your sound with the tone knob as well as the 3-way switch.

There’s no doubt that Schecter put a lot of thought into every aspect of this guitar. You’re sure to love it.

Pros and Highlights

  • Great hardware – The tuning machines and bridge are top quality.
  • Pickups – It comes with high quality EMG pickups that deliver great tonal quality.
  • Playability – It’s very comfortable to play.

Cons and Potential Flaws

  • Strings – Some buyers opted to change the strings.

Bottom Line

This guitar offers great value. The build is top quality as are the hardware and electronics. You’ll need to shell out a lot of cash to do better than this.

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ESP LTD EC-258 8-String Electric Guitar

esp-ltd-8-string-djent-guitarSpecs, features, and benefits

When you refer to yourself as one of the world’s leading producers of top quality guitars people are always on the lookout for your products. ESP Guitars prides itself in the quality of its guitars so it is consistently ensuring the highest standards of quality are maintained all through its production process.

With the EC-258 8-String Electric Guitar, ESP set out to achieve an amazing blend of value, quality and performance. The guitar spots a mahogany body that is designed for player comfort, a 3-piece mahogany neck that provides solid stability and a roasted jatoba fingerboard that enhances playability.

Visually, you will find this guitar very appealing. The black satin finish coupled with the black hardware and lovely fingerboard inlays give it a simultaneously serious and classy look. At the heart of its tone generation are two ESP Designed passive humbucking pickups. You can control these with the tone knob and 3-way toggle switch, fine-tuning the sound to your taste.

Pros and Highlights

  • Comfortable – This guitar is comfortable and very playable.
  • Looks lovely – The all black satin finish blends well with the black hardware to give it a lovely serious look.
  • Sound – The pickups (with the body) deliver a lovely sound.

Cons and Potential Flaws

  • Tuning – You may have a little issue achieving 100% tuning across the entire fretboard.

Bottom Line

This is a guitar that is great for anyone who is transitioning from a 6-string guitar. The comfort level it offers makes the transition easier.

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Schecter 1925 Hellraiser Hybrid C-8 TBB Electric Guitar

best-metal-8-string-guitarSpecs, features, and benefits

We have previously looked at two Schecter 8-string guitars designed to be quite affordable. This time, Schecter has decided to let it all rip! It understands that for some, it’s all about the best or nothing. For this special class of guitarists, it now offers this beast of a guitar.

The 1925 Hellraiser Hybrid C-8 TBB Electric Guitar combines the best of its two popular models – the Hellraiser and SLS. This hybrid features the figured quilted Maple top which is a standard feature of the Hellraiser. It however adds a twist to it by adding a more sculpted top to it, while also setting it into a mahogany body with a more pronounced cutaway. It combines this with an extremely slim neck which is a signature feature in the SLS model. This entire setup provides a more comfortable play while increasing speed and playability across the fretboard.

The sound engine of this guitar is powered by the EMG 57-8H and EMG 66-8H pickups – two heavyweight humbuckers. These pickups deliver high output and a well-defined sound across the frequency spectrum.

This guitar not only looks good, it also plays and sounds great.

Pros and Highlights

  • Nice build – The guitar is well built and looks it.
  • Great sound – The two humbuckers deliver top quality sound.
  • Playability – It’s comfortable and very playable.

Cons and Potential Flaws

  • Cost – It’s quite expensive

Bottom Line

This guitar is for those who want nothing but the very best quality and can afford to pay for it.

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Jackson SLAT8FF X Series Soloist

best-8-string-fan-fret-guitarSpecs, features, and benefits

Jackson steps up its offering in the SLAT8FF from the DKAF8 8-String Electric Guitar that we looked at earlier. Both feature multi-scale designs which is great. However, the SLAT8FF features a longer scale length by about an inch.

Aside from its longer scale length, it also has a neck-through construction which many top guitarists prefer to the bolt-on design. This 1-piece neck is reinforced with graphite and has a rosewood fretboard. These all fit nicely in a basswood body with an arched top.

At the heart of its tonal engine are two EMG 909 passive humbucking pickups. These babies deliver a very balanced sound that can be further refined with the tone knob and the 3-way pickup selector. The quality of hardware used here is also good. You have the staggered saddles which work with the multi-scale design and sealed Jackson die-cast tuners which keep the strings in tune with ease.

Looking at the high-gloss black finish of this guitar, you immediately see a touch of class.

Pros and Highlights

  • Multi-scale design – This improves both play and tuning precision.
  • Hardware – The hardware used are of good quality.
  • Sound – The pickups, body and neck design all contribute to the delivery of a well-balanced sound.

Cons and Potential Flaws

  • Setup – It may require some tweaking to get it fully set for play.

Bottom Line

For the guitarist who wants to get good value, quality and performance without having to go for very high-end guitars, this is a good place to start.

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Dean Rusty Cooley 8-String Solid-Body Electric Guitar

rusty-cooley-8-string-guitar-reviewSpecs, features, and benefits

The goal of Dean Guitars is the production of top quality guitars for all ages and stages. It believes that everyone needs to be able to have a guitar of good quality regardless of their level of proficiency. In keeping with this vision and mission, Dean Guitars now offers the Rusty Cooley 8-String Solid-Body Electric Guitar.

The whole essence of this guitar is the reproduction of the exact specs demanded by Rusty Cooley himself. The guitar has an alder solid body and top and a maple bolt-on neck designed to Cooley’s exact specifications. The ebony fretboard enhances play while the pearl dot inlays add a simple but cool aesthetic value.

For its tone, it comes with double EMG 808 active humbucking pickups – one for the neck and another for the bridge. These can be controlled using the 3-way switch while the only knob is strictly for volume control.

For its hardware, it comes with Grover tuners which are known for holding tune well and a Floyd Rose bridge which provides good stability for this high performing guitar.

Pros and Highlights

  • Appearance – Its black finish and black hardware look great.
  • Hardware – It comes with good quality hardware.
  • Case – It comes with a case.

Cons and Potential Flaws

  • Controls – It does not offer extensive tonal control.

Bottom Line

If you love the Rusty Cooley sound, then this is a very affordable way of achieving it, playing an 8-string guitar designed according to his exact specs.

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Schecter C-8 Deluxe Satin Black 8-String Electric Guitar

best-cheap-8-string-guitarSpecs, features, and benefits

If your mind is set on having a Schecter 8-string guitar but none of the ones we have looked at so far falls within you budget, your luck may just be about to change. Schecter offers this ultra-affordable 8-string guitar for those on a very tight budget.

This guitar has a basswood body, a bolt-on maple neck solidly reinforced with carbon fiber rods and a rosewood fingerboard that makes playing a breeze. It also has chrome hardware which include a fixed Tune-o-matic bridge with string thru body tailpiece and Schecter tuning machine.

For its tone, it features two Schecter Diamond Plus pickups, a 3-way pickup selector switch and a tone knob. These give you the ability to shape the guitar’s tone to some degree.

This is really a low budget 8-string guitar that has brought 8-strings within the reach everyone.

Pros and Highlights

  • Price – It is very affordable.
  • Extended scale length – At 28 inches, the scale length offers more versatility.
  • Playability – It offers an appreciable level of playability.

Cons and Potential Flaws

  • Strings – You may want to change the strings it comes with.

Bottom Line

This guitar is great for anyone who just wants to explore the world of 8-string guitars without spending too much.

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What We Recommend and Why

The battle here was between the Schecter 1925 Hellraiser Hybrid C-8 and the Jackson SLAT8FF X Series Soloist. Given the price difference between these two, we believe the Jackson SLAT8FF X Series Soloist offers a better balance of cost, performance and quality. While you can go for the Schecter if money is not an issue, you will get good value with the Jackson.

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