Best Budget 8 String Guitar

An 8 string guitar is a guitar that comes with eight strings in place of the six strings. These eight string guitar are less common than the six string one but are great to play classical, jazz as well as metal. It expands the range of the guitar with its added two strings. The two additional strings are actually open strings to be played. The variation of this musical instrument can be found in nylon string instruments.

Musicians are always looking for ways to produce more sounds with their instruments and this is in part why the 8 string guitar has become quite popular. Since the 19th century there has been a 7 seven string guitar that originated in Russia but it wasn’t until recently that the 8 string guitar really kicked off. The patent for the 8 string instrument was claimed in 1966 by Roy Conners of The Highwaymen. Since he started using the guitar on their shows the additional two strings had made their way into popular use and now there are so many 8 string guitar brands to choose from.

If you are looking for the best 8 string electric guitar then you will need to consider what you are looking for exactly. Here is a look at some of the most important elements you need to look into when making a decision when shopping for 8 string guitar sale. Your first experience with a guitar bearing more than six strings can live or die depending on your first try.

Elements of a Good Eight String Guitar

The length of the scale – this is where you will want to look first. The longer the scale the more versatility you will have when playing. Longer scales allow you to play more notes, play more sounds, and give you the space for more experimentation. In this aspect the Ibanez and Agile 8 string guitar become the best choice thus far, unless if you go for a custom-made guitar.

The thickness of the neck – many people forget to look into this when choosing the best guitar. With two additional strings one could easily lose his or her control of the guitar. Thicker necks will be a little bit better for the newbie players since they will be able to get used to hitting the extra strings but it won’t be as versatile or as flexible to use for the expert player.

Tuning – most 8 string guitars are tuned up to be the same way as regular six string guitars but some are different, especially on acoustic or acoustic-electric (hollow body) guitars. The usual set-up of E-A-D-G-B-E is for a six string guitar. Most eight string guitars will add two extra bass strings (F# and B) while others will only add one bass and then one treble string. The tuning will greatly affect how you hold and use the guitar.

The First Brands to Make These Guitars

Oni, BlackMachine, and others began allowing their buyers to request for custom-made eight string guitars but as mentioned these can cost a tad too much for the average person. The real first mass produced eight string guitar, with standardized 8 string guitar parts, came from Ibanez back in 2007 and they made a more affordable version in 2010. Since then several other companies began mass-producing their own eight string models.

A Classical Brand

The Schecter 8 string guitar easily took the spotlight as one of the highest quality guitars in this niche. All of their guitars with eight strings feature a 26.5-inch scale and all fall under the limited release lineup. A good example is the C-8 Hellraiser guitar which saw a limited release of only one hundred guitars. They have not yet indicated whether the limited release of these guitars will resurge again and be mass-produced. They do have several other eight string guitars available.

A Common Brand For Everybody

Then there are the ESP guitars. ESP is one of the more affordable eight string guitar manufacturers in the market today. They generally do not live up to the quality of an Agile or Ibanez guitar but this is already pretty much accepted. The good thing though with these guitars is that they are designed to be easier to hold, easier to tune, and easier to adjust to. This is because the scale size is not too short or too long and fret spacing is not given too wide a berth. The body shape is comfortable and ESP 8 string guitars usually follow standard 8 string guitar tuning. This is where the guitar either adds two additional bass strings (an F# and a B) or they could add one bass and then an additional treble string below the usual #1 (lower E) string.

Summing Up the Guitar Brands

There are many other 8 string guitar brands but the aforementioned Ibanez, Agile, ESP, Schecter, and BlackMachine are the real game changers. These are the brands that you will really want to look out for when it comes to mass-produced eight string guitars. Just like other manufacturers they also offer custom jobs if you can afford it. Whether you want a custom guitar or a mass produced 8 String Guitar, these are the brands that you want to try out first.

Picking the Best 8 String Guitar

So what is the best 8 string guitar? It really depends on your playing style and how you use a guitar. If you are really skilled and you are confident in the way you play music then Ibanez, Schecter, ESP, Agile, and Dean are some of the best in the market. They all have guitars that are easy to hold, standard tune, and easy to play with. Comfort and standard playability is a key element when choosing the best 8 String Guitar and these manufacturers have mastered that through the years.

Where should you buy your guitar….

The first step you have to take is where you are going to buy the eight string guitar. You have 3 sources, an internet store, a pawn shop/craigslist, or from a walk in store.

Buying a Guitar Through an Internet Store

  • Pros
  • You have the greatest selection of guitars
  • You have the ability to compare prices
  • Cons
  • Shipping a guitar can cost over $50
  • You can’t test drive the guitar before you buy

Buying a Guitar From a Pawn Shop/Craigslist.org

  • Pros
  • The cheapest option
  • You can test the guitar before you buy
  • Cons
  • The guitar may have blemishes, such as chips, scratches, and electronic problems
  • If you decide you do not want the guitar after a few weeks of playing, you will get less money back than you paid from the pawn shop

Buying a Guitar From a Walk In Store

  • Pros
  • You can get advice and answers from employees or other experienced guitar players.
  • You can test the guitar before you buy, with different guitar amplifiers
  • Cons
  • Environment of popular guitar stores is often chaotic, noisy, and distracting.
  • They are located in larger cities usually, making them hard to find depending on where you live.

Each one of those options works best, depending on what situation you are in. I usually surf the internet for different guitars that interest me then I go to the store to try them out.

Buying a guitar to fit your budget….

Your budget is a huge deciding factor for what guitar you want to buy. Most beginning guitarists don’t want to spend more than $300 dollars on a guitar, but you’ll find the cheaper your guitar is, the easier it is to break and the harder it is to play. It may be tempting to jump on those “great deals,” but in the long run you’ll have to pay for more repairs and maintenance. The price of spending the $500 more for a guitar is well worth it in most cases.

Buying a guitar based on the brand name is another issue you should consider for your budgeting. Will it help you sleep easier at night knowing that you spent the extra hundred dollars on a name brand guitar? If not, you should think about the company you’re buying from. Will they be there to mail me a new guitar when yours breaks under warranty or will they send you parts and make you fix it yourself? Is this company financially stable? What would happen if the company went bankrupt and your stuck with a guitar that no one wants to buy?

All the details and specifications….

It is important to look at all the parts of the guitar before you actually go out and buy it. Things like pickups, what wood the guitar and neck are made of, what all the switches, knobs, and buttons do, the list goes on and on. Pickups are not a huge deal breaker because you can always change them out for better pickups or to get a different tone. Most eight string guitars are made with basswood, maple, or another heavy wood. I’m not going to dive into the details about the wood of a guitar and how it affects the tone, but maybe I’ll write an article about that later. Usually guitars will have 3 or more switches or knobs, controlling volume of each pickup and the different tones the guitar gives you.


You’re pretty informed now about a lot of the details in buying an 8 string guitar, but I have a few more tips for you. When you shop in the larger retail/chain guitar stores, many employees are paid with commission, meaning the more they sell, the more they make. This causes many employees to just try and get you out that door with an expensive guitar because they could care less if you get a great guitar that suits you as long as their pay check grows. The bottom line is don’t always trust a salesman at a guitar shop.

A couple more tips….

If you’ve found a guitar you want on the internet, but can’t go to a store to try it, use a video site like Youtube to find demos and recordings of other people playing the guitar. Keep in mind that many sites decrease the visual and sound quality of  the original video. Then you can send a message (on most sites) or comment asking the owner what he/she thinks about the guitar. Bonus tip: post a thread in a guitar forum asking people what they think of their 8 string guitars.

There are many types of guitars used by different artists. But recently 8 string guitar has gained popularity among the jazz, classical and other guitarists. Some of the artists make use of this guitar in their live shows. There are many advantages of using this guitar. With this guitar you can play 10-string range of Mertz or you can play 7- string Coste range. This guitar also provides a facility to play Baroque transcriptions at its real pitch. An additional bass and treble string variation can also be made. In 1840, Reis gave a balanced shape to this guitar. For multi-bass guitars, it was the tough surviving example. After a very well known Viennese builder Anton Stauffer, this guitar was designed and many other also copied the same design. During 2007, lbanez started producing this type of guitars. Now some other well known companies are also launching this guitar for example Novax guitar by Ralph Novak and another example is Conklin guitars.

A new addition has been made in the 8 string guitar and that is a new instrument called Octo. This instrument is based on an Albanian composer’s idea. The range of its tone is from low E of standard bass guitar to highest D of a standard guitar. This instrument is expected to further add value to the existing uses of the magnificent eight string guitars.

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