Let’s face it. Any eight-stringed instrument is intimidating for any beginner. In fact, these instruments are intimidating that some seasoned players might find it weird to play any instrument (whether guitar or bass) that has more than six strings.
But the truth is that eight-string guitars are beneficial to different genres. For instance, rock players, especially solo guitarists, need a lot of room to solo. And guess what? That is precisely what the eight-string offers.
Another benefit of this eight-string guitar is that it brings in brighter tones. With the two extra strings added for the low strings, you will achieve the more vivid tones that the six-string would fail to make sometimes. And for the bassists, they will now find it easier to follow through your progressions as you play.
One common struggle among most people who are moving from the six-string guitar to an eight-string guitar is that finding one is a bit difficult. This becomes the case because, truthfully speaking, eight-string guitars require the player to start thinking differently in terms of the scale length, string gauge, tuning, the budget, and the tones they want to achieve.
And with all these things to consider, it would be cumbersome to settle for any eight-string guitar.
Therefore, in the efforts to helping guitar players who are looking for a cool eight-string guitar, we are going to review ten of the best eight-string guitars in the market. In combining the list, we made sure that we included something for everyone.
Top 10 Best 8 String Guitars 2020
1. Schecter OMEN-8 Electric Guitar
Beginners who are moving to an eight-string guitar should try the Schecter OMEN-8 electric guitar. Everything on this guitar works in unison to provide superior sound during songwriting, practice, and live performance.
The reason why this eight-string guitar lies on the top spot on this list is that it comes with an exiting built that will inspire to play it every day.
Its basswood body consists of diamond plus pickups, volume and tonal controls, the bridge and the saddle. Players who are mindful of colours, you can go for black or a white body depending on what you prefer.
The neck comprises of maple and has uniform grain throughout the neck. If you do not like necks that stick, then maple facilitates this. Also, the fingerboard is rosewood and contains semi Goth inlays for metal rock players.
Some guitars tend to go out of tune. Instances like these can be quite frustrating during performances. But for the Schecter OMEN-8, this is not the case. It stays in tune for long, and another good thing is that you can tune it using different eight-string standard tunings.
The OMEN-8 is suitable for rock players who prefer a guitar with balanced tones. You can be sure that the sound relayed by the pickups is tremendous and your amplifier sounds great whether on distortion or clean sound effects.
Also, this guitar fulfils your dream of having a low-action guitar on the low F-sharp string, no buzz, or noises.
2. Ibanez RG8 Electric Guitar
Second on our list is the Ibanez RG8, which is a member of the RG series. There is a lot to say about this eight-string guitar because it comes with exceptional qualities for all types of players.
When you start playing the eight-string guitar, you have to learn how to stretch. The case is the same with this one. However, the manufacturer ensured that they made the maple neck a bit slimmer to make stretching easier.
The body comes with a variety of colours, and consists of a mahogany body, and two bridge and neck pickups. Meaning, you have one humbucking pickup close to the bridge, and the other is close to the neck.
The RG8 comes with the ability to tune in different tuning standards. Its factory tuning is D#, A#, F#, C#, G#, D#, A#, and F. Nonetheless, if you feel that it does suit your playing style, then you can tune it to your preference.
Another factor that facilitates this ability is the string gauge. The RG8 uses the string gauge of 9-65. Hence, the strings create a suitable tension without losing tonality.
Most reviewers critic this eight guitar because it looks like a cheap guitar. Nevertheless, everything added to it is durable and has a purpose. Apart from that, the sound this guitar produces, whether on clean or distortion, is unique and straightforward. It does not fail, and you will gladly use this guitar with your rig or amplifier.
Also, the strings are close to another, but that should not be a problem. The tonality is excellent, and with the string gauge, you can be sure that it provides superior low frequencies on the lower strings.
3. Schecter C-8 DELUXE Electric Guitar
Eight-string guitarists want to sound good. But you cannot achieve that unless you have a guitar that can provide that. The Schecter C-8 is not a disappointment in that case. It presents an electric eight-string guitar with the ability to convert your rig and amplifier into a beast.
The overall construction of this guitar might bring a lot of stick from different eight-string fans. However, everything included in this instrument has a purpose.
It comes with a basswood body, which features a hardtail bridge, Diamond Plus- pickups, volume and tone controls, and a switch.
The 28-inch neck is maple and is super friendly to your fingers. It also features a 24- fret, dot inlays, and a rosewood fingerboard for optimum tonality.
The Schecter is an excellent instrument for musicians who would love to apply a variety of techniques in their songwriting. For instance, if you like to slap the lower strings, then this is possible. Also, the neck is thin to ensure that you can reach the last fret.
Additionally, the string thru body is also an excellent addition to this guitar. It helps in sustaining the sound; hence, your strings have a better vibration when you play.
The tune is excellent, and since you have the Diamond plus-8 pickups, you can be sure that you will hear all the frequencies articulately.
4. ESP LTD EC-258 Electric Guitar
For guitar players who are looking for an affordable eight-string guitar to add on to their rig, then this is what you should purchase.
Some manufacturers usually compromise on the build to compensate for the price. But for this one, this is not the case. It comes with unique body features, and I am sure that this rig is going to impress you all the way.
Primarily, the body consists of mahogany. It is also a string thru body with bridge and neck ESP pickups, and three tonal control knobs.
The neck comprises a three-piece mahogany neck with a satin fish. It is also slim so that people with smaller hands can reach the entire fretboard easily. Note that the fretboard has 22 jumbo frets. Hence, you will not run into the wrong notes or strings while playing.
The ESP LTD EC-258 sounds just professional. It has passive electronic pickups that capture all tones perfectly. Some users note that the strings have a buzz. But that should not worry you because you can deal with that using a fret wrap.
In our opinion, the ESP LTD EC-258 is perfect for people who are moving to an eight-string guitar. Additionally, seasoned players will have an easy time playing this guitar. It is important to note that the lower string is a 74-string gauge. Thus, you are sure that you will achieve great sounds.
5. ESP LTD SC-608 Baritone Signature Series Stephen Carpenter Electric Guitar
The ESP LTD SC-608 is a high-end guitar for metal guitarists. It brings the musician an uncompromised body structure and sound qualities.
The ESP LTD SC-608 comes with a mahogany body with a red sparkle. We believe the red sparkle makes it appealing and great to look at during performances. Its neck consists of 3-piece maple, a Macassar Ebony fingerboard, which is also 350 mm.
Also, the neck has a scale length of 27 inches. It provides the baritone sound qualities that you will hear while playing this guitar.
On the body, you will also find a string thru bridge, whose purpose is to ensure that your strings have the proper tension during performances.
The mahogany body features two active pickups with a glow in the dark stripe on the pickup. You will love this feature, especially when playing in a room with dim lighting. The pickup’s excellent design ensures that it picks each note with extreme precision and quality.
With an excellent structure and sound quality, players can be sure that this guitar is easy to play. The guitar stays in tune since it comes with LTD locking tuners. Such tuners are quite easy to tune and useful when restringing your guitar since you do not have to keep wrapping the string over the tuning peg.
The S-608 is an eight-string instrument for beginners and seasoned players alike.
6. Schecter Damien Platinum 8 Electric Guitar
We can agree on one thing here. Shreds sound amazing. But they cannot, especially if you do not have a good guitar with you. Therefore, if you are looking for an ultimate shredding partner, then the Schecter Damien Platinum 8 is the thing.
The eight-string provides the player with a robust body that enhances playability and durability. With this instrument, you will get a mahogany body, a 3-piece maple neck, Grover tuners, a rosewood fingerboard with lightning dot inlays, and bridge and neck EMG 808 pickups.
Apart from the excellent Grover tunings, this guitar offers the player multiple tunings for different genres. Yes, the guitar appears to have the metal guitarist in mind, but with the numerous tuning abilities, you can use it for any style.
The guitar also stays in tune for long. Hence, during a performance, you can play for a long time without having to stop to tune it.
The answer is yes. Most guitarists who are moving into eight-string guitars already have the basics. The guitar is easy to play, tune, and you can customize the pickups to capture the sounds that you love. It is also an appealing guitar, which fits into any setting.
7. Schecter 1925 Hellraiser Hybrid C-8 TBB Electric Guitars
Imagine a situation where you have to choose between two guitars. Both are excellent, but making a choice seems to be complicated. What you do is go for a hybrid. The Schecter 1925 C-8 is a hybrid between two sought after eight-string guitars: The SLS and the Hellraiser.
Primarily, the guitar comes with a mahogany body, which features quilted maple on its top. On it, you will also find a hipshort hardtail bridge with a string through body, a neck and bridge active humbucker pickups, and volume, tone, and three-way switch controls.
The neck is another masterpiece, which features a three-piece maple neck with carbon reinforcement rods and an ebony fretboard with a 20-inch radius. Also, the neck’s shape is thin for people with small hands.
When we say that the Schecter C-8 is a hybrid, we also mean that the sound quality is excellent. It is so easy to tune this guitar since it comes with locking tuners. Also, it has no tuning problems.
The sound quality from the active pickups ensures that it pronounces each note with accuracy and excellence. Even though it’s an excellent shredding instrument, it will suit other playing styles as well.
The Schecter C-8 is a great instrument to start with if you are moving to eight string guitars. Elite plays can as well enjoy this guitar since it provides an extended range jumbo scale, and it is an excellent addition for your amplifier.
8. Schecter BANSHEE ELITE-8 Electric Guitar
If you are a player that relishes style when playing the guitar, then the Schecter BANSHEE ELITE 8 is the guitar to look out for the next time you are shopping. The guitar offers excellent features and sound qualities for players of all genres.
The eight-string guitar comes with a swamp ash body, which gives it a vintage but a modern look. It also comes with Supercharge Mach -8 pickup set neck and bridge pickups, volume and tonal controls, and a three-way switch.
Its neck has a neck-thru construction, which makes it the core of this guitar. Besides that, the neck comprises of maple and comes with carbon fiber reinforcement to provide that hard look and lock the headstock to it.
Another notable feature is its black chrome hardware for durability.
If you want a proper sounding eight-instrument, then receive the BANSHEE ELITE-8 as a gift.
The guitar produces perfect sounds, and with it, you can try out different styles. If you are using a loop pedal, the stringed instrument provides excellent tones on the low for bass and the high for the lower strings.
Because of the excellent sound, you can be sure that this guitar is suitable for both beginners and elite players.
9. Jackson X Series Dinky DKAF8 8-String Electric Guitar
If you are looking for a multiscale guitar, then you just found one. The Jackson X Series DKAF8 electric guitar offers unique qualities that other eight-string guitars might fail to provide.
When looking for eight-stringed instruments, experts recommend that you seek a multi-scaled guitar. The reason for this is that the different scaling brings in comfort and excellent intonation to the string.
For this guitar, you have a 28-inch and a 26- inch scale length on the neck. It also has a staggered bridge to create the extra tension that you will need on the strings.
The mahogany body features two humbucking neck and bridge pickups, volume and tone controls, three-toggle switch, and the staggering bridge. At the back, you will find the bolt-on joint. With this joint, you will find it easy to play the notes at the high end.
For an eight-string of its price range, this guitar does not disappoint. It gives you what you need for your practice sessions, solos, shreds, and excellent intonations when moving up and down the scale.
You will also notice that the string gauge on this guitar is commendable. If you wish to change, that is up to you. But, in our opinion, the guitar is ready to play once you unbox it.
If you want to start playing the eight-string guitar, then the Jackson X Series is a good guitar, to begin with. Nonetheless, you need to know your fretboard in and out, which is something you should have figured out by now with a lower- stringed instrument.
10. Ibanez RGMS8 Electric Guitar
The Ibanez RGMS8 is another multiscale electric guitar with a difference. First, it comes from a recommendable brand, and two, you are going to experience a difference when it comes to comfort and the quality of sound.
Most users complain that most multiscale guitars are heavyweights. But for this guitar, things seem to be different. You can, therefore, practice for long, and play it on stage while standing.
Factors that facilitate this include a mahogany body with two humbucking pickups, volume and tone controls, and a three toggle switch. The body also has a monorail bridge, which ensures that there is enough space between each string.
It also features a five-piece maple neck and a jatoba fretboard.
Musicians who love to shred on any eight-string guitar will relish this instrument. It provides warm sound qualities, with the right kind of punch you need when playing different styles.
Since it comes with a multiscale neck, you can be sure that the intonation is perfect. Also, the tension and sustain on the strings are fantastic.
The Ibanez RGMS8 should work flawlessly with the pedal, whether digital or analog. Whether you are a beginner or elite player, you will definitely enjoy the sounds coming from this guitar.
Best 8 String Guitars Buying Guide
When the time comes, and you feel that your six-string guitar doesn’t quite offer the right kind of range you need for solos, you’ll start thinking about buying a guitar with more strings.
Fortunately, manufacturers know what musicians need; hence, you can get a 7, 8, or 12 string guitar.
Today our focus is on the 8-string guitar.
Buying this type of electric guitar is not the same as purchasing a six-string one. It’s a new world of music, so you have to think differently if you want to take the right guitar home.
What, then, are some of the things you need to consider when shopping for the best 8-string guitar? That’s what we’ll be tackling in this article.
The budget debate
You should have a bit of experience by the time you’re transitioning to the world of eight-string guitars since you’ve dealt with the conventional six-string electric guitar.
Eight string guitars cost differently, and if you are wise, the budget shouldn’t be the first thing you should have in mind.
Let me tell you why.
Sometimes, thinking about budget ties your hands. And if you are not careful, you can end up missing a good deal.
Therefore, you have to keep your eyes open. Check out different guitars, then consider the price after you discover what you need.
Just like the six-string guitar, eight-string guitars have a similar look. The guitar has pickups, a bridge, headstock, a body, and everything else you’ll find on a guitar with fewer strings.
The difference, however, is that there are two added strings. Manufacturers usually add two strings on the lower end. Hence, you have two extra-thick strings to give that extra bass.
When buying an eight-string guitar, go for one that has a durable and robust design. By the way, they can be a bit heavier than the six-string, so have that in mind.
For the scale length
Many eight-string beginners get confused about this. So allow us to explain how important this is for your guitar.
These guitars come in different sizes. You can choose the shorter scale length or, the wider one. However, the problem you’ll encounter with most eight string guitars is getting consistent intonation and tuning problems.
So, when you’re buying, many experts advocate players to go for a multi-scale length eight-string guitar. It solves that problem at an instant.
How do you know a guitar has a multi-scale length? It’s straightforward. If the neck looks a bit bent, then that’s a multi-scale length guitar.
The guitar should adapt to different tunings
The main advantage of using eight-string guitars is that it provides that extended range that a guitar with fewer strings lacks. You don’t have to keep roaming around the fretboard when soloing; you can do it within a small range.
Nevertheless, if this is the case, your guitar should be able to adapt to different tunings. A guitar that can adapt to this provides the right string tension regardless of the tuning you use.
In connection to this, the tuning heads also should adapt to different tunings. If they can’t, you may need to change them or drill the holes so that the tension on the strings remains consistent. On that note, experts also recommend guitarists to go for electric guitars with locking tuners.
String gauge: Should you upgrade or not
The string gauge has to do with the thickness of the strings. Typically, the low F# string (which is the eighth string in this case) is the thickest. Manufacturers provide different string thicknesses to provide diverse tonal and tuning variations.
You may need to upgrade the strings if the ones the manufacturer provides fails to adapt to the tuning you desire.
Concluding it –
Be sure to consider the things we’ve highlighted in this article when looking for the best eight-string electric guitar. Having them in mind will determine whether you’ll take a durable instrument home or not.
And contrary to popular opinion, eight-string guitars are not just for rock players. Of course, you’ll see these guitars being used in many rock bands most of the time. But anybody can use an eight-string guitar, even jazz guitarists. You just have to look for one that adapts to your style of play.
All the eight-string options provided in this article are suitable in different contexts. Remember, even though two guitars come from the same brand, they will operate differently. They will also come in handy, depending on your situation and need.
Therefore, it is best to try out a guitar before you order it. Get to know what qualities you will get and if it will fit your playing style. Some guitar shops allow buyers to connect their rig with the guitar at the shop. It gives them a feel of what to expect from the instrument when they purchase it.
From this article, we highlighted the ten best eight-string guitars. On the other hand, our top pick remains to be Schecter OMEN-8 Electric Guitar. You will get excellent sound qualities from this guitar, and it suits diverse playing styles, which is the dream of any guitarist.