A seven string guitar does not need to be in any way gimmicky to be attractive or good. The seventh string added to the collection is already enough to make you want one. Though extreme humbleness and simplicity in design might actually be a drawback rather than an advantage for a guitar. Which is why a good balance between the two is extremely important. Let us take a look at the Sterling by Musicman JP157 John Petrucci Signature guitar and see how the guitar strikes this balance.
The body of the guitar is designed in a way to be both understated and incredibly handsome at the same time. The body is designed to remind the onlookers of the very famous and very loved stratocaster design. This means a beautiful double cutaway, with a slightly thicker body to accommodate the thicker neck. It also means a rather solid, sophisticated look. My favorite part of the guitar is definitely the color pattern revealing the flamed top of the guitar. It adds character and a little bit of fierceness to the entire design.
The body of the guitar is made out of African Mahogany. Mahogany is known for a lot of positive things, and African mahogany is no less good at doing its job than the mahogany most people are used to.The hardwood is incredibly durable, which is a great thing especially for the 7 string guitars. Less danger of warping, as well as less danger of denting or scratching. The tonewood also provides great tonal benefits, making the deepest tones of the guitar feel slightly thicker and warmer. The only drawback is the heavier weight of the tonewood, which is further worsened by the fact that the guitar is already expected to be heavy because of the accommodations for the seventh string.
The neck of the guitar is made of maple, which provides the instrument with further sturdiness and resilience. The guitar is less likely to warp or break anytime in the foreseeable future, after you buy it. The neck of the guitar is bolt onto the the body of the guitar. For a seven string guitar this might cause stability problems, but so far there doesn’t seem any evidence for that, thanks to the sturdy material combination. The fretboard of the guitar is made of maple, an unorthodox choice but one that doesn’t let us down.
The guitar comes with a full float modern tremolo/vibrato bridge. This means some really nice action that you will be getting out of your strings, though string stability could use some improvement. The availability of a tremolo bar is a great benefit for your string bending sprees.
The nut of the guitar is made of a plasticate material. This material does not do a too good job at limiting the substantial string buzz that a 7 string guitar gets.
The tuning machine of the guitar is viable and does not have stability issues that would make you go insane. While excessive use of the trem bar might cause the guitar to go out of tune, you at least will not be spending too much time retuning your guitar.
The guitar comes with a set of two humbuckers. The two music man designed humbuckers, located at the neck and the bridge of the guitar, are actually rather interesting. While they are not top notch pickups, they are still some of the better choices available among the stock pickups. They do a good job of filtering hum and string buzz while also providing a powerful output and some really nice sustain.
The controls on the guitar are simplistic, with two knobs, one for volume and the other for tone, and a lever to change the pickup configuration.
The guitar sounds so much better than you would expect out of an affordable seven string guitar like this. Fortunate for all of you beginner 7 stringers looking for a nice sound. The sound is detailed and powerful, allowing you to play at any speed or force level you wish. The sustain on the guitar is definitely enjoyable, with a powerful lower tone support by the mahogany. Finally, the expanded string count is well picked up by the humbuckers on the guitar, meaning a detailed, lovely sound.
Overall this makes a great 7 string guitar, whether you are a beginner or an intermediate player. The lifespan of the guitar might be a little more limited than I like, but I do recommend it for most player expecting to pick up a new 7 string guitar in the future.
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