Ibanez was at the forefront of 7-string guitar development when they launched the Universe more than 20 years ago, and they’ve continued to innovate in extended-range instruments at all price points, from inexpensive GIO 7-strings to J.Custom 8-strings. The Iron Label series of 6, 7 and 8-string guitars includes RG and S models all of which are designed specifically for metal players, yet the styling is clean and neat enough to appeal to, if not every player, then certainly a wide cross-section of the guitar community.
On paper, the RGIR28FE 8-string (I bought mine from Ibanez Guitar Centre) reads pretty similarly to much of the RG line: super-thin neck (in this case a five-piece Maple, Walnut Nitro Wizard-8 profile), Basswood body, Maple neck, Rosewood fretboard and Jumbo frets. Continue reading
Seven and eight string guitars aren’t going anywhere, by the looks of things. Sure, there’s a bit of resistance from the traditionalists (and here’s how to respond to people who say ‘Seven strings? I have enough trouble with six!) but guitarists have been tuning down for decades now and I like the idea of music dictating the development of the instrument, rather than being restrained by it. So while there’ll always be a place in my heart and guitar rack for six-stringers, I’m glad that companies like Jackson are as serious about their extended-range offerings as the players are who are using them. Jackson is releasing three new models for the summer season, and all of them have an upped string count. Here’s the press release: Continue reading
It’s about time we seven and eight stringers had some more passive humbuckers designed just for us! There are relatively few ‘extra string’ pickups out there that aren’t based on existing models, but that’s starting to change now that the guitar world really seems to be accepting 7 and 8-strings as part of the musical landscape. Seymour Duncan has launched three 7/8 pickups this year, the Nazgul, the Pegasus and the Sentient. You can hear the Sentient (along with the Nazgul) in this video featuring Keith Merrow and Ola Englund: Continue reading
It’s here! My new Ibanez RGIR28FE! I purchased it from Ibanez Guitar Centre after a few months of research into which model was right for me. So why 8-string? Well, I’ve been playing 7-string for about 10 years now and sometimes it just feels like my music wants to go lower than the 7 is capable of. I like to play basslines and melodies at the same time, and it’s a real bummer when you just can’t reach all the notes you hear in your head. The Iron Label series is designed specifically with metal in mind, with aggressive styling and active EMG pickups on most models (some have DiMarzios), but to be honest I’m probably not going to be playing a huge amount of death metal on mine. The eighth string seems to lend itself to lots of stoner rock and goth ideas, and the occasional Geezer Butler-style bassline, so I can imagine playing a lot of really earthy sounding stuff on this as I become more and more familiar with it. Continue reading
As you probably know if you follow me on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook, I work for Seymour Duncan in social media. It’s a really fun job and everyone at Seymour Duncan is just so friendly, knowledgable and downright cool. Something I’m super-excited about on a personal level – since I’m way into my extended range guitars – is the new selection of pickups designed specifically for 7 and 8-string players: the Pegasus, the Sentient and the Nazgûl. The Nazgûl is a passive humbucker specifically created for extreme metal styles, and it sounds brutal. In the best possible way, of course. Here’s the press release:
I’m really jonesing bad for an Ibanez 8-string right now. I just feel like there are notes I want to incorporate in my music that aren’t on my fretboard, even on my seven-string. I want to be able to play lower walking basslines for fingerpicked blues. I want to have an extra-beefy G Major chord. I want to be able to extend scales even further for dramatic effect, and mess around with otherwise unreachable chord inversions. In short, I want the damn thing to make music. We’re looking at a few Ibanez 8-strings on the I Heart Guitar Facebook page right now. If you’re on Facebook, come over and join in! Continue reading
Dammit Jackson, I’m trying to not buy any new guitars this year.
JACKSON® INTRODUCES NEW SEVEN AND EIGHT-STRING USA SELECT MODELS
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (March 7, 2013) – Jackson is proud to announce the release of eight new seven and eight-string USA Select models.
The USA Select B7, USA Select B7 Deluxe, USA Select B8 and USA Select B8 Deluxe feature a beveled alder body, bolt-on quartersawn maple neck (neck-through on deluxe models) with graphite reinforcement and oil finish, compound-radius ebony fingerboard with 24 jumbo frets and side-dot position markers, 27” scale length, dual direct-mount DiMarzio® D Activator 7™pickups (D Activator 8™pickups on eight-string models), Jackson direct-mount HT-7 hard-tail string-through bridge (HT-8 on eight-string models), Jackson-branded Gotoh® tuners and Dunlop® locking strap pins. Deluxe models include black fingerboard and headstock binding. All models available in Satin Grey, Walnut Stain, Au Natural and Satin Black.
The USA Select B7MG, USA Select B7MG Deluxe, USA Select B8MG and USA Select B8MG Deluxe feature a beveled alder body, bolt-on quartersawn maple neck (neck-through on deluxe models) with graphite reinforcement and oil finish, compound-radius ebony fingerboard with 24 jumbo frets and side-dot position markers, 27” scale length, dual direct-mount EMG® 707 neck (808 on eight-string models) and 81-7 bridge pickups (808 on eight-string models), Jackson direct-mount HT-7 hard-tail string-through bridge (HT-8 on eight-string models), Jackson-branded Gotoh® tuners and Dunlop® locking strap pins. Deluxe models include black fingerboard and headstock binding. All models available in Satin Grey, Walnut Stain, Au Natural and Satin Black.
For more information, visit www.jacksonguitars.com
Remember the Ibanez JCRG813 Limited Edition 8-String announced at NAMM? The model available in Brown Garnet Shadow or Black Opal finish? Well you can already get your hands on one! Here are some shopping links for ya, courtesy of Musician’s Friend. I’ll note that if you buy anything from Musician’s Friend after clicking on one of these links, I Heart Guitar gets a small commission which helps with site costs like web hosting and beer.
I like these guitars a lot, even though I’m not a huge EMG or flamed maple guy. There’s just something about them, that indefinable mojo. So I’m adding them to my wish list of 2013 Ibanezes I’d Buy The Hell Out Of. That list so far includes the RGIR28FE Iron Label 8-string, RGIR27E Iron Label 7-string, the 30-fret RG550XH, the UV70P Premium Universe, the JS2410 Joe Satriani model with new DiMarzio Satch Track neck pickup, the AT10P Premium Andy Timmons model and the ATK805E bass.
Here’s the press release about the JCRG813:
For the most demanding guitar connoisseurs, sometimes, even Ibanez’s top of the line Prestige series isn’t good enough. These players demand custom-shop instruments hand crafted by the top luthiers, and for them, Ibanez proudly offers the limited-availability j. custom instruments. Continue reading
This was definitely the Year Of The Seven And Eight String at NAMM. It seemed that almost everyone had a seven and/or eight string on display (and of course Ibanez had that nine-string beast, the RG9). Jackson stepped up with quite a few models, including the limited edition Pro DKA Dinky. It’s available in seven-string and eight-string models, and it has an arch-top alder body, bolt-on flat-sawn maple neck with graphite reinforcement, 16”-radius maple fingerboard with 24 jumbo frets and offset position markers (12th-fret shark fin inlay on eight-string model), fingerboard and headstock binding, 26.5” scale length, dual direct-mount DiMarzio D Activator pickups with five-way switching, single volume and tone controls, momentary kill switch for stutter effects, recessed Jackson HT-7 seven-string hard-tail string-through bridge (HT-8 in eight-string model), Planet Waves locking tuners and Dunlop locking strap pins. The Pro DKA7 is available in Satin White and the Pro DKA8 is in Metallic Black. Continue reading
For me, one of the most surprising Ibanez offerings of 2013 is the Iron Label series. These guitars seem to fall somewhere between the RG Tremolo/Fixed series and the Premium series in terms of pricing and attention to detail. And that 8-string is definitely calling my name. I played it for a while at NAMM today and it instantly felt like ‘my’ guitar… which is a problem, since I can’t AFFORD a new guitar at the moment. But I’d love to get one of these, and swap out those EMGs for some new active-sized passive Seymour Duncans. (Speaking of Seymour Duncan, the Custom Shop has built me my own pickup to my specs, called the Magnetar, and you’ll get to hear it soon. An 8-string Magnetar set would be killer in one of these!).
The Iron Label series includes various 6, 7 and 8-string RG and S models, including some with and some without tremolos (the 8-string is fixed-bridge only, which frankly makes sense), and they feel great. The fretwork isn’t as finessed as the Premium line but otherwise they seemed to be very well constructed and well balanced. They feature active EMG humbuckers, basswood bodies and binding in contrasting colours (black binding on white models, white binding on black ones). Very classy and understated, and they feel a lot like the pre-Prestige Fujigen-made Ibanii of yore.