How Hard Can It Be: the Best 8 String Guitars

Stepping out of your comfort zone is necessary in life. You gain new knowledge, experiences, feelings that might never be forgotten. However, making that one step, escaping from your bubble is extremely hard. You need to challenge yourself to do it. Do not worry, we are here to help. We have researched best 8 string guitars for you and created a list of the most popular products, together with some tips and information. We know you are used to 6-string guitars, and you must be playing it pretty well as you are already here, but something is missing, right? You feel that there is more to explore. Here we present the list that will help you take that important step.

Top 8 Best 8 String Electric Guitars

ImageGuitar Model
Rating
Check Price
Schecter 1925 Hellraiser Hybrid C-84.9 out of 5 stars (4.9 / 5)Check on Amazon
ESP LTD SC-608 Baritone Signature Series Stephen Carpenter4.9 out of 5 stars (4.9 / 5)Check on Amazon
Schecter BANSHEE ELITE-84.8 out of 5 stars (4.8 / 5)Check on Amazon
Washburn PXM18EB Parallaxe PXM Series4.8 out of 5 stars (4.8 / 5)Check on Amazon
ESP Artist Series Javier Reyes Signature4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)Check on Amazon
Jackson JS32-8Q Dinky4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)Check on Amazon
Schecter OMEN‌-84.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)Check on Amazon
Jackson X Series Dinky Arch Top DKAF8 Multiscale4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)Check on Amazon

Schecter 1925 Hellraiser Hybrid C-8

Build Quality:4.9 out of 5 stars
Hardware:4.9 out of 5 stars
Electronics:4.9 out of 5 stars
Sound:4.8 out of 5 stars
Value:4.9 out of 5 stars
Average:4.9 out of 5 stars

Check on Amazon

Full Review

Schecter 1925 Hellraiser Hybrid C-8

Schecter 1925 Hellraiser Hybrid C-8 is an excellent representative of HELLRAISER HYBRID COLLECTION- meaning that it has taken the best qualities of infamous HELLRAISER and SLS models. It has Quilted maple sculptured arc top, Ultra Access set neck, with Compound radius ebony fretboard.  This beast looking instrument comes in two different colors – black (TBB) and blue (UV). The neck has Mother-Of-Pearl offset/reverse dots with a Gothic Cross at the 12th Fret. This instrument is equipped with EMG”s 57/66 Active humbuckers. It feels very easy to play as weight is not a problem. A good sustain is provided by Hipshot hardtail bridge and string-through-body configuration. Overall this guitar has very high quality and delivers a good tone.

Pros:

  • Amazing Sound
  • Great Lifespan
  • Awesome Look
  • Great Output

Cons:

  • Expensive

ESP LTD SC-608 Baritone Signature Series Stephen Carpenter

Build Quality:4.9 out of 5 stars
Hardware:4.9 out of 5 stars
Electronics:4.9 out of 5 stars
Sound:4.9 out of 5 stars
Value:4.9 out of 5 stars
Average:4.9 out of 5 stars

Check on Amazon


What could be a better tool for achieving those lower notes if not an 8-string electric guitar? Especially if we’re talking about the one designed in collaboration with Stephen Carpenter. This model showcases his devotion to music and the development of new metal genres, which is probably why it looks so fascinating. The updated version we’re talking about comes in red sparkle finish, which is even more mesmerizing than the previous black one. ESP LTD SC-608B is equally impressive in terms of other features and sounds. This bad boy has a mahogany body, 3pc maple neck and Macassar Ebony fingerboard. Neck-thru construction guarantees maximum durability, since those 8 strings need some foundation to hold on to. The baritone scale runs at 27”. The pickups are ethereal: we have Fishman Fluence SRC Signature pickups on the bridge and middle positions. This beautiful package is topped with a push-pull feature on the volume knob, which enables you to select the desired voicing. What could be better than SC-608B? I’ll leave that answer to you.

Pros:

  • Stunning design
  • Great build quality
  • High quality pickups

Cons:

  • Doesn’t have neck pickup

Schecter BANSHEE ELITE-8

Build Quality:4.9 out of 5 stars
Hardware:4.8 out of 5 stars
Electronics:4.8 out of 5 stars
Sound:4.8 out of 5 stars
Value:4.9 out of 5 stars
Average:4.8 out of 5 stars

Check on Amazon


Speaking of the guitars that blow our minds – another model worth checking out is definitely Schecter Banshee Elite-8. The brand has already earned itself a good name not only with 6-string electric guitars, but also with extended range. The guitar we’re talking about is a wonderful example of that. This puppy comes in two shades: Cat’s Eye Pearl (CEP) and Gloss Natural (GNAT). Though both of them look really appealing, I’ll tell you a secret, my personal favorite is the first one. There’s something about its finish that I’m drawn to. Enough about the looks – Banshee Elite-8 has a lot more to brag about. The body material is Swamp Ash, the neck is built with maple and walnut multi-ply and is reinforced with carbon fiber rods, while the fretboard is made from ebony. Apart from being extremely durable, the neck is also ultra-thin, which makes it really easy to play regardless of your level of playing. Once you hold it, this guitar will make you feel as if it was built specifically for you – that’s how comfortable it is. Its double cutaway is a simple addition that makes the whole experience that much more enjoyable. Sounds intriguing, doesn’t it?

Pros:

  • Premium quality instrument
  • Really easy to play even for beginners
  • Tailored to the guitarist

Cons:

  • You might need to change the pickups depending on your musical preferences
  • Might be too pricey for novices

Washburn PXM18EB Parallaxe PXM Series

Build Quality:4.8 out of 5 stars
Hardware:4.8 out of 5 stars
Electronics:4.8 out of 5 stars
Sound:4.8 out of 5 stars
Value:4.8 out of 5 stars
Average:4.8 out of 5 stars

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Washburn is a brand which has been around for more than a century. They have created numerous guitars, banjos and mandolins and have always managed to maintain a high bar when it comes to the quality. Recently, they came out with the Parallaxe series, which is their attempt to revive metal/rock guitars. This line is perfect for anyone who loves heavier genres and is in need of a badass model. Their PXM18EB will convince you that there’s nothing complicated about 8-string guitars – that’s how easy it is to play. Its 5pc mahogany/maple neck and ebony fingerboard will prove to be comfortable to perform with. After all, we all want a guitar that makes our job a bit less painful, right? The body is made out of alder and the top is covered with a minimalistic finish. What I mean is that you won’t see any nonsensical decorations here – everything is very simplistic and tasteful at the same time. PXM18EB has two EMG 808 pickups that make up its sound. Buzz Feiten tuning system makes sure this fella stays in tune for as long as possible. In short, this one is a real rockstar!

Pros:

  • Rather easy to play (for an 8-string guitar)
  • Comfortable to perform or practice with
  • Wonderful tuning stability

Cons:

  • Tuning and finding intonation might be a bit difficult due to the scale length

ESP Artist Series Javier Reyes Signature

Build Quality:4.7 out of 5 stars
Hardware:4.7 out of 5 stars
Electronics:4.8 out of 5 stars
Sound:4.8 out of 5 stars
Value:4.7 out of 5 stars
Average:4.7 out of 5 stars

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There was a time when I couldn’t have imagined that an 8-string guitar could be called affordable. But times have changed and brands, such as ESP, have made it possible to enjoy wonderful 8-sting monsters at a budget-friendly price tag. While reading the word “signature” in the name, you might have gotten the idea that this is some fancy model that only few people can afford. Luckily, that’s not the case with this puppy. Javier Reyes Signature model, JR-208 is definitely one of the best options in its price range. Even though it does have some flaws (which are expected with affordable guitars), its virtues will turn it into a permanent member of your collection. This beautiful guitar has a maple neck, which is extremely durable and can withstand the tension perfectly. The fingerboard makes it possible to perform various techniques with ease. This is the guitar which will be a real asset for any player – be it a novice in the world of extended range guitars or a skilled and matured professional. JR-208 is perfect for anyone who has a limited budget.

Pros:

  • Perfect balance between highs and lows
  • Versatile sound
  • Decent pickups

Cons:

  • Frets have rough edges
  • Tuning keys are cheap

Jackson JS32-8Q Dinky – Transparent Black

Build Quality:4.7 out of 5 stars
Hardware:4.6 out of 5 stars
Electronics:4.6 out of 5 stars
Sound:4.7 out of 5 stars
Value:4.8 out of 5 stars
Average:4.7 out of 5 stars

Check on Amazon

Full Review

Jackson JS32-8Q Dinky

Do not let the funny part of the name “Dinky” give you the wrong idea about this instrument. This guitar is a beast. It has a really heavy sound and will let you rock all night long. It has a Basswood body with Quilt Maple Top and 3-Piece Bolt-On Maple Jackson carve neck with a straight-string-pull headstock and Rosewood Fingerboard and 24 jumbo frets. Dinky is not too heavy but not light as well. It is perfect for fast playing because of its amazing and comfortable neck. Jackson JS32-8Q Dinky – Transparent Black is equipped with Dual high-output Jackson pickups that will make your amp scream. The instrument allows you to experience the best of 8-string guitars and explore the unknown.

Pros:

  • Great Value
  • Awesome Pickups
  • Beautiful, thick sound

Cons:

  • Derivative Design
  • Watch for dents and scratches

Schecter OMEN‌-8

Build Quality:4.7 out of 5 stars
Hardware:4.7 out of 5 stars
Electronics:4.7 out of 5 stars
Sound:4.7 out of 5 stars
Value:4.7 out of 5 stars
Average:4.7 out of 5 stars

Check on Amazon

Full Review

Schecter OMEN‌-8

Schecter OMEN‌-8 surely delivers that vintage vibes. It is available in three different colors Vintage White, Black and Walnut Satin. It has a maple neck and basswood body that delivers the combination of warm and bright tones, together with strength and stability. Rosewood fretboard with Pearloid Semi Goth Inlays gives the instrument cool look as well as a perfect playability. The fretboard is not too wide so it is pretty comfortable. This guitar is equipped with Schecter Diamond Plus pickups which makes aggressive and heavy tones and gives you playground for drop tunings. Schecter OMEN‌-8 is not really light instrument. In a nutshell this guitar will make a perfect partner for you. It is undoubtedly a great deal for the price.

Pros:

  • Adequate Overall
  • Relatively Affordable
  • Good Sound

Cons:

  • Soft wood body
  • Less defined high tones
  • Passive Humbuckers

Jackson X Series Dinky Arch Top DKAF8 Multiscale

Build Quality:4.7 out of 5 stars
Hardware:4.6 out of 5 stars
Electronics:4.6 out of 5 stars
Sound:4.7 out of 5 stars
Value:4.7 out of 5 stars
Average:4.7 out of 5 stars

Check on Amazon


Well, multiscale guitars have the character of their own, especially if such a design makes its way to 8-string models. Jackson somehow managed to deliver all the perks of such configuration in an affordable package. Their X Series Dinky Arch Top DKAF8 MS is a fantastic value for the money. It features 26”-28” multi-scale length, which is made possible with the help of fan-frets. The higher strings have shorter scale, while the lower ones have longer scale. Such a design improves intonation and makes sure the playing process is a child’s game for you. This multiscale guitar will make many different techniques easily accessible for you. The maple neck with graphite reinforcement is a real treat, but you should keep in mind that it’s bolt-on design might interfere with your playing. DKAF8 doesn’t have the best pickups, but considering how amazing it is, I don’t think swapping them for better ones will be any trouble to you. The body is built with mahogany and features satin finish. If playability is your priority, then this is the perfect one for you!

Pros:

  • Multi-scale with fan-fret design
  • The neck is a real pleasure to play
  • Extremely affordable for what it is

Cons:

  • Not the best pickups

Sometimes you just feel that conventional, usual things are boring for you. You want to change something, step into the unknown, do something extraordinary. In this case, you should be up for the challenges. When it comes to music, it is never enough, there is always something beyond – so we understand what you feel very well. You cannot stop thinking about getting more, getting most of it. We are saying that you are not alone on this journey. It might be difficult and scary at the beginning but you need to work hard and get better day by day.

8-string EXPLAINED

In 8 string guitar we have 2 more strings added to the usual 6 string guitar. They are not very common and the first time were used just recently in 19th century. What makes it priceless is that, it delivers more tonal choices and wider range of sound.

Tuning The standard 8 string guitar is using F#, B, E, A, D, G, B, E. tuning (from low to high). The tuning can be changed according to your personal preference. The rest of the construction can be identically similar to the 6 and 7 string guitars.

6 string vs 8 strings

You might have some questions – what will happen if you remove 2 strings from the 8-string guitar? How will it sound? Will it be different than usual 6-string guitar?  If you detach those 2 strings you will get just usual 6-string guitar with some wider frets. In order to use the instrument this way, you need to tune it in a correct way – like the usual guitar. You can also turn it into 7 -string guitar if you wish so. What can be played on 8-string guitar? Usually this instrument is used in jazz and heavy metal. But at the end it is up to you, you can perfectly play whatever you want.

Tips for beginners – One thing that we would like you to keep in mind is that 8-string guitar is not cooler than a 6-string, it will not make you a badass player. A lot of people think so, but it is completely wrong. 8-string guitar has extra range to expand chord voicings. It is different but that difference, giving you more opportunities is useless if you do not have appropriate skills. The next thing that we want you to be ready for is the difficulty. It is tough to exchange something that you were used to for so long and turn everything upside down. Do not expect that the minute you hold it, you will be ready to rock. It does not happen that way. You need a bit of patience and work. Highly important fact is keeping motivation to learn and develop. You might want to quit after a day, or an hour, especially if you are a beginner. However, we promise you that practice is the key. Nobody is good at anything right way, you need to educate yourself and work every day.

Conclusion

All in all, everything comes down to your personal preferences. Do what feels right for you and what makes you feel better. After reading this article about best 8-string guitars some of you might decide to purchase it and some maybe have their changed minds. That is perfectly fine, because you need to know the reason for everything – what is this guitar for?  How should you play it? What genre can you use it for? To understand if you need to buy it at the moment, or if you should stick with the good old 6-string. But if you are saying NO to renovation because of fear, you should overcome it, and hopefully this article will help you with it, as you already have an informational background on what to expect. We wish you best of luck!

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