7 string noob – go 26.5 KM7 or play it safe with a 25.5 Ibby?

Discussion in 'Beginners/FAQ' started by McDuffed, Aug 25, 2017.

  1. McDuffed

    McDuffed SS.org Regular

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    Hi Folks,

    Relatively straight forward noob question I think. I’m looking at making the jump into the 7 string domain. I’ve found a few relevant threads but nothing that is entirely on point.

    I’ve been playing for over 20 years, including gigging for a while many moons ago. I know my gear pretty well. I’ve owed lots of guitars and currently have 9 – all 6 strings – and have a pretty solid idea of what I like in a guitar at this point. It’s fair to say that I’ve been pretty timid on the down tuning front and have tended not to venture below dropped D; though I recently took one of my guitars and set it up for C standard (on a 25.5 scale) with some pretty heavy strings (12-56 with a wound G string because it wouldn’t work with a plain one). In short: I’ve been digging it quite a bit and think it’s time to make the jump to seven.

    As I’m testing the water here, I’m not looking to throw a ton of money at this; but I do want a reasonably good guitar. Could go up to $1,000, and the used market seems the way to go. Having done a bit of research the Schecter KM7 looks like a really good option and checks all the boxes that I like (hard tail, ebony board, stainless frets, locking tuners etc.) . With that said, though I was initially fine with the idea of a 26.5 scale, once I took a look on reverb.com, I couldn’t help but notice that there is an unusually large amount of KM7s on there. This got me a little paranoid and thinking that these must all be people who tried the 7 string thing, got themselves a KM7, and promptly gave up on it. I’ve seen a bunch of reviews and owned a couple of guitars out of World Instruments and don’t think it’s a crap quality guitar (by all means correct me if I’m wrong).

    So here’s the thing: is this a bargain and should I jump on the opportunity to get a used KM7 at a good price ($800 buck or so), or should I play it safe and get a 25.5 scale (probably an Ibanez – suggestions welcome)? I’m not looking to go nuts on dropped tunings so maybe I don’t even need a 26.5 scale. I probably wouldn’t go further than dropped A and am in fact more interested in a B standard tuning set up: B-E-A-D-Gb-B-(E).

    TLDR, are people new to 7 strings buying and then dropping the KM7s because they can’t come to grips with the 26.5 scale and should I get a 25.5 Ibby instead?

    Appreciate your thoughts, cheers!
     
  2. diagrammatiks

    diagrammatiks SS.org Regular

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  3. MistaSnowman

    MistaSnowman Play It LOUD!!!

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    A lot of the Reverb ads are a blend of new, B-stock and used...so take it with a grain of salt. One person was selling theirs because they wanted a fund a custom build.

    Because you aren't looking to tune down, you don't have to have a scale length longer than 25.5. However, I think the KM7 is a solid guitar and if you can get a good deal on one...all the better!
     
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  4. Wolfos

    Wolfos SS.org Regular

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    I would personally get the 26.5 scale. I did the same thing a while back thinking I'd never tune down and I regreted it later. A 25.5 does standard stuff well, a 26.5 does both well.
     
  5. CrazyDean

    CrazyDean SS.org Regular

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    Unless you are small in statue, you probably won't be affected by an extra inch on the scale. While it is noticeable, so is the difference between a Strat in 25.5" and a LP in 24.75". If you find a problem between these two, stay away from the 26.5". If not, I'm sure you will adjust quickly.
     
  6. Anquished

    Anquished hhnice!

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    I'd say go for the 26.5. It's not that much of a difference and it will give you more flexibility if you do eventually decide to tune lower.

    Plus the KM7 is a solid guitar.
     
  7. odibrom

    odibrom .

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    ... just to remember that Ibbys RGDs are 26.5...
     
  8. Dineley

    Dineley SS.org Regular

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    agree with what everyone else has said, plus KM7 is pretty sweet, especially if you find a good deal on it.
     
  9. McDuffed

    McDuffed SS.org Regular

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    Pretty strong consensus here on going 26.5. I have a couple of 24-3/4 / 25 / 25.5 guitars and regularly hop between them with no issues. I typically run a set of 10s in standard tuning. I take it if I went to 26.5 I could just drop to 9s and then get something on the heavier side for the low A and still be in familiar territory from a tension standpoint. I agree that the KM7 is solid and checks all the boxes. Not finding as many interesting deals on 7 string Ibbys at the moment. The 2017 models are looking pretty nice (RGAIX7) and the like but it will be a while before I find some good deals on used versions. Cheers.
     
  10. GuitarBizarre

    GuitarBizarre Listen to physics.

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    You won't even notice the difference except tonally.

    26.5" all the way.

    I play a 28.625" scale steinberger and don't even really notice. It comes down to ergonomics elsewhere really - my 27 27/32" scale alvarez acoustic baritone feels colossal in terms of stretch - it turns out it's all in the positioning of the bridge.
     
  11. Stijnson

    Stijnson SS.org Regular

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    I'd go for the 26.5 too, 25.5 works for drop A, but I still feel it could, and kind of needs, more tension, without getting massively thick strings.
     
  12. Surveyor 777

    Surveyor 777 I measure things

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    If you can get a good deal on the KM, go for it. I have both 25.5 and 26.5. I only stay in standard tuning. There is a slight difference in feel between the two (as far as the extra inch) but you get used to it very quickly.

    What is noticeable to me is the extra string tension on the 26.5. I actually prefer that to the 25.5, especially when playing the wound strings. Nice, crisp attack and feel.
     
  13. McDuffed

    McDuffed SS.org Regular

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    Yeah, longer scale length might help a lot with dropped tunings using an unwound 4th string (G in standard tuning). I had to change that to a 24 gauge wound string when dropping the note to a D# on a 25.5. Otherwise, the string would just not intonate.
     
  14. McDuffed

    McDuffed SS.org Regular

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    Went with the 26.5 in the end. KM-7 MkI landed earlier today. Got a good deal: $637 for a Music 123 return with free shipping. Guitar is in perfect condition. I'll admit I'm a little thrown by the 7th string (had actually never played one before!) but really no issues at all with the scale length - far less of a concern than I thought it would be; though my left hand fingers feel like they've just come out of a yoga session after about an hour of jamming around. First impression is that this is a good, solid guitar. Plays in tune all down the neck and solid pickups with more tonal flexibility than I expected. Thanks for everyone's input. I think I made the right decision here.
     

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