As a metal music enthusiast, you know there is more to crafting the perfect metal guitar sound than merely picking up any old guitar and letting it rip.
More than a simple mutation of classic rock, metal requires certain precision tools, specifically chosen to deliver that raw, powerful sound you crave.
To guide you in the quest for your signature tone, I’ve compiled this 24 best metal guitars guide to amps, strings, & pickups.
Navigating through endless brands and models of guitars, amps, strings, and pickups can feel like an overwhelming task when all you want is to churn out some intense heavy metal riffs.
The journey doesn’t need to be a daunting one- I aim to simplify this task with a comprehensive rundown of what works best in crafting that quintessential indelible metal sound.
24 Best Metal Guitars Guide To Amps, Strings, & Pickups
When it comes to playing metal, having the right gear can make all the difference in achieving that powerful, heavy sound.
In this guide, we will explore some of the best metal guitars on the market and discuss the essential elements of amps, strings, and pickups that contribute to your ultimate shredding experience.
Charvel Pro-Mod DK24
The Charvel Pro-Mod DK24 is a high-performance metal guitar that offers players a perfect blend of classic style and modern design.
With its sleek body shape, smooth playability, and powerful sound, this guitar is a force to be reckoned with in the metal world.
- Body: The Charvel Pro-Mod DK24 features an alder body with a quilted maple top for added visual appeal. The body shape is ergonomic, allowing for comfortable playing even during long sessions.
- Neck: This guitar boasts a bolt-on maple neck with graphite reinforcement rods, ensuring stability and durability. The satin finish on the back of the neck allows for smooth hand movements and increased speed.
- Fingerboard: With a 24-fret caramelized maple fingerboard, players have plenty of room to explore different scales and techniques. The compound radius (12″-16″) ensures easy string bending in lower positions and comfortable chording in upper positions.
- Pickups: Equipped with direct mount Seymour Duncan humbuckers, the Charvel Pro-Mod DK24 delivers powerful tones perfect for metal. The bridge pickup provides tight and aggressive tones, while the neck pickup offers warm and rich sounds.
- Bridge: This guitar features a Gotoh Custom 510 tremolo bridge which allows for smooth whammy bar action while maintaining tuning stability.
Ernie Ball Music Man John Petrucci Majesty 6
The Ernie Ball Music Man John Petrucci Majesty 6 is a beautifully crafted metal guitar designed in collaboration with virtuoso guitarist John Petrucci.
Known for its innovative features and exceptional playability, this guitar is well-regarded among metal players worldwide.
- Body: Made from mahogany with a maple top, the Majesty 6 has great resonance and sustain. Its unique ergonomic design contours to your body for maximum comfort during long gigs.
- Neck: The neck is made from roasted maple, enhancing stability and adding a distinct warmth to the tone. It has a slim profile and a satin finish on the back, allowing for fast and effortless playability.
- Fingerboard: The ebony fingerboard with a 17″ radius ensures smooth note transitions and easy string bending. The stainless steel frets increase durability and prevent fret wear.
- Pickups: Equipped with DiMarzio Illuminator pickups, the Majesty 6 produces a tight low-end response, clear mids, and soaring highs. These pickups are specifically designed to deliver dynamic tones suited for heavy riffing or intricate lead work.
- Bridge: The Majesty 6 features a Music Man Modern tremolo bridge with a floating design that enhances sustain and tuning stability while providing expressive whammy bar control.
ESP LTD James Hetfield Signature Iron Cross
If you’re seeking that iconic Metallica sound, the ESP LTD James Hetfield Signature Iron Cross guitar is your ticket.
This guitar embodies both James Hetfield’s playing style and his unique artistic expression.
- Body: The James Hetfield Signature Iron Cross features an alder body with a striking Snow White finish adorned with graphic artwork inspired by Hetfield’s iconic Iron Cross design.
- Neck: Crafted from mahogany in a thin U-shaped profile, the neck provides excellent stability and comfortable playability. It is set through the body for increased sustain.
- Fingerboard: With an ebony fingerboard featuring custom inlays of Hetfield’s unique design, this guitar offers smooth playability across its 22 extra-jumbo frets.
- Pickups: Equipped with active EMG JH “Het Set” pickups designed by Hetfield himself, this guitar delivers a tight and aggressive tone perfect for metal riffing. These pickups provide excellent articulation and clarity even under high-gain settings.
- Bridge: The TonePros locking TOM bridge and tailpiece ensure precise intonation and tuning stability, making it ideal for aggressive playing styles.
EVH Striped Series Frankie
Made to pay homage to the legendary Eddie Van Halen’s iconic “Frankenstrat” guitar, the EVH Striped Series Frankie is a delight for metal enthusiasts looking to capture that classic Van Halen sound.
- Body: The Striped Series Frankie features a basswood body finished in Eddie Van Halen’s famous red, white, and black striped design. This gives it an instantly recognizable appearance that stands out on any stage.
- Neck: The maple neck with a graphite-reinforced scarf joint provides excellent stability and sustain. It features a hand-rubbed urethane finish for smooth playability.
- Fingerboard: With a 12″ – 16″ compound radius maple fingerboard, this guitar allows for effortless bending in lower positions while providing comfortable chording higher up the neck.
- Pickups: Equipped with EVH Wolfgang humbucking pickups, the Striped Series Frankie delivers that distinctive Van Halen tone. These pickups offer plenty of output and superb articulation for both rhythm and lead playing.
- Bridge: The EVH-branded Floyd Rose locking tremolo bridge ensures reliable tuning stability even during intense dive bombs and heavy tremolo use.
Gibson ’80s Flying V
The Gibson ’80s Flying V is a metal guitar that embodies the spirit of rock ‘n’ roll from its striking design to its powerful sound.
Perfectly suited for players looking to make a bold statement on stage, this guitar commands attention and delivers incredible tone.
- Body: Crafted from solid mahogany with Gibson’s classic Flying V shape, this guitar exudes attitude. Finished in Alpine White with black pickguard and gold hardware, it has an unmistakable ’80s aesthetic.
- Neck: The set-in mahogany neck with a slim taper profile offers easy access to all 22 frets and excellent playability. It has a rosewood fretboard for warm tonal resonance.
- Pickups: Equipped with two high-output Dirty Fingers+ humbuckers, the ’80s Flying V delivers tones that are hot and aggressive, perfect for heavy riffs and soaring solos. These pickups can push your amp into overdrive territory with ease.
- Bridge: The locking Grover Rotomatic tuners ensure maximum tuning stability while the Tune-O-Matic bridge allows for precise intonation adjustments.
Continuing on our journey to explore some of the best metal guitars in the market, let’s dive into the Gibson Tony Iommi SG Special, the Ibanez JEMJR Steve Vai Signature JEM, the Ibanez Nita Strauss JIVA10 Signature, the Ibanez RG6003FM, and the Ibanez TOD10 Tim Henson Signature.
Gibson Tony Iommi SG Special
The Gibson Tony Iommi SG Special is a tribute to the legendary Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi. This guitar is built to capture his iconic heaviness and distinctive tone.
- Body: The Tony Iommi SG Special features a mahogany body with a double cutaway design for easy access to higher frets. The glossy ebony finish adds a touch of elegance to its classic appearance.
- Neck: The mahogany neck has a slim taper profile that allows for fast and comfortable playability. With 22 medium jumbo frets and acrylic dot inlays, this guitar offers excellent intonation and easy navigation.
- Fingerboard: Made from rosewood, the fingerboard provides warm tones and smooth playability. Its 12″ radius offers easy string bending and comfortable chording.
- Pickups: Equipped with Gibson P-90 pickups, this guitar delivers powerful midrange tones that are perfect for heavy riffing. These pickups are known for their clarity and sustainability.
- Bridge: The Gibson Lightning Bar wraparound bridge provides solid tuning stability and enhances sustain by transferring vibrations effectively.
Ibanez JEMJR Steve Vai Signature JEM:
Designed in collaboration with legendary guitarist Steve Vai, the Ibanez JEMJR is an affordable option that does not compromise on quality or playability.
- Body: The JEMJR features a basswood body with Steve Vai’s signature “monkey grip” handle for added flair. It comes in various eye-catching finishes including white, black, and yellow.
- Neck: The maple neck has a Wizard III profile that allows for fast and effortless playing. Its 24-fret rosewood fingerboard with Tree of Life inlays offers a sleek and stylish look.
- Pickups: Equipped with Ibanez Quantum pickups, this guitar provides a versatile range of tones suitable for a variety of metal styles. The HSH pickup configuration offers flexibility in tone shaping.
- Bridge: The double-locking tremolo bridge allows for wild dive bombs and expressive whammy bar techniques while maintaining tuning stability.
Ibanez Nita Strauss JIVA10 Signature
Designed in collaboration with Nita Strauss, one of the leading female guitarists in the metal scene, the Ibanez Nita Strauss JIVA10 Signature is a guitar built for speed and precision.
- Body: The JIVA10 features an alder body with a stunning Deep Space Blonde finish that showcases its unique beauty. The body shape is ergonomically designed for maximum comfort during long playing sessions.
- Neck: The three-piece maple/purpleheart neck provides stability and contributes to the guitar’s resonant tone. It has a slim Wizard profile for fast playing and is adorned with beautiful Abalone dots.
- Fingerboard: Made from maple, the fingerboard offers bright tones and remarkable clarity. Its jumbo frets provide easy note bends and smooth legato playing.
- Pickups: Equipped with DiMarzio Pandemonium pickups, this guitar delivers high-output tones ideal for modern metal playing. These pickups offer excellent sustain and dynamic response.
- Bridge: The Edge Zero II tremolo bridge with ZPS3Fe technology allows for precise tuning stability and effortless tremolo use.
The Ibanez RG6003FM is an affordable option that combines playability, aesthetics, and powerful tones.
- Body: The RG6003FM features a mahogany body with a flamed maple top, giving it an eye-catching appearance. It comes in various vibrant finishes such as Blue Lagoon Burst and Sapphire Blue Flat.
- Neck: The maple neck has a Wizard III profile that allows for fast and comfortable playing. With 24 jumbo frets and white dot inlays, this guitar offers excellent playability and navigation.
- Fingerboard: Made from rosewood, the fingerboard provides warm tones and smooth playability. Its 15.74″ radius offers easy string bending and comfortable chording.
- Pickups: Equipped with Ibanez Quantum pickups, this guitar delivers a wide range of tones suitable for different metal genres. The HSH pickup configuration offers versatility in sound options.
- Bridge: The fixed bridge design ensures solid tuning stability and enhances sustain.
Ibanez TOD10 Tim Henson Signature:
Part of the Ibanez Signature Series, the TOD10 Tim Henson Signature guitar is designed to meet the demands of modern metal guitarists.
- Body: The TOD10 features a dramatic ergonomic design with beveled edges for exceptional playing comfort. It is constructed using mahogany with a stunning translucent white finish.
- Neck: The roasted maple neck has an AZ Oval C profile that fits comfortably in your hand. The roasted treatment adds stability, increased resonance, and a distinct look to the guitar.
- Fingerboard: Made from roasted maple, the fingerboard provides bright tones and smooth playability. Its 12″ radius allows for effortless string bending and comfortable chording.
- Pickups: Equipped with Fishman Fluence pickups specifically designed for this model, the TOD10 delivers tight low-end response, pristine clarity, and remarkable dynamic range.
- Bridge: The Gotoh T1802 tremolo bridge allows for expressive whammy bar techniques while maintaining rock-solid tuning stability.
Jackson American Series Soloist SL3
The Jackson American Series Soloist SL3 is a high-end metal guitar designed for players who demand the utmost quality and performance.
Crafted in the USA, this guitar has been built to deliver unparalleled tone, playability, and stability.
- Body: The Soloist SL3 features a lightweight and resonant alder body with a sleek double-cutaway design. The arched top adds visual appeal to the guitar while enhancing comfort during long playing sessions.
- Neck: The neck is crafted from quartersawn maple for added stability and durability. It features a smooth hand-rubbed satin finish on the back, allowing for fast and effortless playability. The scarf joint construction ensures strength and reliability.
- Fingerboard: With a compound radius (12″-16″), the ebony fingerboard offers comfortable chording in lower positions and effortless string bending higher up the neck. The 24 jumbo frets provide ample room for shredding solos and intricate lead work.
- Pickups: Equipped with versatile Seymour Duncan humbuckers, the Soloist SL3 delivers a wide range of tones suited for metal. The Hot Rails single-coil-sized humbucker in the neck position offers warm and thick tones, while the Custom Flat Strat single-coil in the middle position provides added versatility. The JB TB-4 humbucker in the bridge position delivers a high-output sound with a tight bass response.
- Bridge: This guitar features a Floyd Rose Original double-locking tremolo bridge which allows for expressive whammy bar techniques while maintaining accurate tuning stability.
Jackson JS34Q Dinky DKAM
The Jackson JS34Q Dinky DKAM is a more affordable option without compromising on quality or performance.
Designed for players seeking great tone and excellent playability, this guitar provides incredible value for money.
- Body: The Dinky DKAM features an elegant quilt maple top on a poplar body, combining visual appeal with a balanced tone. The double-cutaway design allows for easy access to the higher frets, perfect for shredding solos.
- Neck: Crafted from maple, the bolt-on neck ensures stability and durability. It features a satin finish on the back for smooth and comfortable playing.
- Fingerboard: The amaranth fingerboard offers a smooth playing surface with excellent note articulation. The 12″ radius allows for comfortable chording and easy bending.
- Pickups: Equipped with high-output Jackson humbuckers, the Dinky DKAM delivers powerful and aggressive tones ideal for metal. These pickups provide excellent clarity and sustain while handling high-gain settings with ease.
- Bridge: With its Jackson-branded Floyd Rose double-locking tremolo system, this guitar offers reliable tuning stability and allows players to perform dive bombs and other whammy bar techniques.
Jackson Pro Series Misha Mansoor Juggernaut HT7FM 7-String
The Jackson Pro Series Misha Mansoor Juggernaut HT7FM is a 7-string beast designed in collaboration with Periphery guitarist Misha Mansoor.
This guitar is built to meet the demands of modern metal players who require extended range and versatility.
- Body: The Juggernaut HT7FM features an alder body topped with a beautiful flame maple veneer, adding aesthetic appeal to its aggressive design. The sleek contours allow for comfortable playability during long sessions.
- Neck: Crafted from quartersawn maple, the neck offers superior stability and durability. Its graphite reinforcement rods provide additional strength against climate change. The hand-rubbed urethane finish on the back enhances playability.
- Fingerboard: With a compound radius (16″-20″), the ebony fingerboard provides effortless string bending and precise note articulation across all seven strings. The luminary side dots offer visibility on dark stages.
- Pickups: Equipped with Bare Knuckle Ragnarok humbuckers, the Juggernaut HT7FM delivers massive and articulate tones. These pickups are specially designed to capture the full range of the extended 7-string spectrum, offering tight lows and crisp highs.
- Bridge: The Hipshot fixed bridge provides excellent stability and sustainability. It also allows for precise intonation adjustments to ensure accurate tuning across all seven strings.
Jackson X Series Rhoads RRX24
The Jackson X Series Rhoads RRX24 is a metal guitar inspired by the legendary Randy Rhoads. Combining classic design elements with modern features, this guitar stands out both visually and sonically.
- Body: The Rhoads RRX24 features a sleek mahogany body in the iconic Rhoads V shape, exuding a timeless rock ‘n’ roll aesthetic. The aggressive beveled edges add to its distinct appearance while allowing for comfortable playability.
- Neck: Crafted from maple with a scarf joint construction, the neck provides excellent stability and reliability. Its satin finish on the back allows for smooth hand movements up and down the neck.
- Fingerboard: With a compound radius (12″-16″), the bound maple fingerboard offers effortless string bending and comfortable chording across all 22 jumbo frets.
- Pickups: Equipped with high-output Seymour Duncan Blackout pickups, the Rhoads RRX24 delivers crushing metal tones with plenty of aggression and articulation. These active pickups provide exceptional clarity even under heavy distortion.
- Bridge: This guitar features a Floyd Rose Special double-locking tremolo bridge that allows for expressive whammy bar techniques while maintaining reliable tuning stability.
Schecter Guitar Research C-1 Platinum
The Schecter Guitar Research C-1 Platinum is an elegant yet powerful metal guitar with striking aesthetics and top-notch playability.
Designed with high-quality components, this guitar is built to handle intense metal performances while delivering exceptional tone.
- Body: The C-1 Platinum features a mahogany body with a stunning quilted maple top that enhances its visual appeal. The double-cutaway design allows for easy access to the upper frets and added comfort during long playing sessions.
- Neck: Crafted from maple with an ultra-thin “C” shape, the neck provides fast and effortless playability. Its satin finish ensures smooth hand movements up and down the neck while adding to the guitar’s sleek appearance.
- Fingerboard: With a 14″ radius, the rosewood fingerboard offers a comfortable playing surface for both chording and soloing. The pearloid offset/reverse dot inlays add a touch of elegance to the overall aesthetic.
- Pickups: Equipped with high-output active EMG pickups, the C-1 Platinum delivers powerful tones perfect for metal. The EMG 81 in the bridge position offers tight and aggressive tones, while the EMG 85 in the neck position produces warm and smooth sounds.
- Bridge: This guitar features a TonePros TOM bridge with string-through-body construction, providing excellent sustain and intonation while ensuring optimal tuning stability.
Schecter Guitar Research Hellraiser C-1 FR
The Schecter Guitar Research Hellraiser C-1 FR is a powerful and versatile metal guitar that offers an array of features tailored for hard-hitting, aggressive playing styles.
- Body: The Hellraiser C-1 FR features a mahogany body with ultra-access cutaways, allowing for effortless upper-fret access. The carved top and abalone binding add an attractive touch to the guitar’s aesthetic.
- Neck: With a set-neck construction and a three-piece mahogany neck, this guitar provides excellent sustain and stability. The thin “C” shape profile allows for comfortable playability and fast fretting.
- Fingerboard: The rosewood fingerboard features 24 extra-jumbo frets and gothic cross inlays for a dark, menacing look. Its 14″ radius ensures easy string bending and smooth note transitions.
- Pickups: Equipped with active EMG 81TW/89R humbuckers, the Hellraiser C-1 FR offers a wide range of tones. The EMG 81TW bridge pickup delivers high-output aggression, while the EMG 89R neck pickup provides versatility with its split-coil capability.
- Bridge: Featuring a Floyd Rose Special double-locking tremolo system, this guitar allows for extreme dive bombs while maintaining tuning stability. The locking nut ensures precise intonation even during aggressive playing sessions.
Epiphone Prophecy Flying V
The Epiphone Prophecy Flying V is a metal machine that combines classic design with modern features.
With its aggressive styling and powerful pickups, this guitar is ready to shred at any given moment.
- Body: Crafted from solid mahogany, the Prophecy Flying V has the iconic Flying V shape that screams rock ‘n’ roll. Its striking red finish gives it a bold appearance on stage.
- Neck: This guitar features a mahogany slim-taper neck with a satin finish, allowing for quick and effortless movements across the fretboard. The neck joint is set in for added stability and sustain.
- Fingerboard: With a richlite fingerboard and 24 jumbo frets, the Prophecy Flying V offers smooth playability and excellent note articulation. The sharp block inlays add a touch of classic elegance to its visual appeal.
- Pickups: Equipped with Epiphone’s custom Fishman Fluence Modern humbuckers, this guitar delivers high-output tones with pristine clarity. These pickups offer multiple voicings that cater to various playing styles, from crushing metal riffs to soaring lead solos.
- Bridge: The LockTone Tune-o-Matic bridge and stop bar tailpiece provide solid tuning stability and easy string changes. With this bridge setup, you can achieve optimal intonation for precise playing.
Fender Jim Root Jazzmaster V4
The Fender Jim Root Jazzmaster V4 is a unique take on the classic Jazzmaster design, tailored specifically for heavy metal tones.
Designed in collaboration with Slipknot guitarist Jim Root, this guitar provides an aggressive edge while retaining the elegance of a Jazzmaster.
- Body: The Jim Root Jazzmaster features an alder body with a sleek satin finish for a no-frills aesthetic. Its single-cutaway body shape offers comfortable access to all 22 frets.
- Neck: This guitar boasts a modern “C” profile maple neck with a satin urethane finish, providing smooth playability and a comfortable grip. It also has graphite reinforcement rods for added stability.
- Fingerboard: With its ebony fingerboard and 12″ radius, the Jim Root Jazzmaster delivers tight string bends and effortless playability. The no-nonsense dot inlays keep the focus on your playing.
- Pickups: Equipped with EMG active humbuckers (EMG 60 neck pickup and EMG 81 bridge pickup), this guitar offers high-output tones with excellent articulation and clarity. The absence of a tone knob allows for a straightforward control layout.
- Bridge: The hardtail six-saddle bridge ensures optimal intonation and stability. With this fixed-bridge setup, you can achieve precise tuning and string action for solid palm-muted riffing.
Harley Benton EX-84 Modern EMG
The Harley Benton EX-84 Modern EMG is an affordable metal guitar that offers exceptional performance and aggressive tones.
Designed for players who crave a high-quality instrument without breaking the bank, this guitar delivers both aesthetics and sound.
- Body: The EX-84 Modern EMG features a solid mahogany body with sharp edges and an eye-catching matte black finish. Its Explorer-style design exudes attitude and is perfect for metal players who want to make an impact on stage.
- Neck: This guitar has a set-in mahogany neck with a slim “C” profile, providing comfortable playability for fast fretting. The satin finish on the back allows for smooth hand movements up and down the neck.
- Fingerboard: With a roasted jatoba fingerboard and 24 jumbo frets, the EX-84 Modern EMG offers excellent note clarity and easy string bending. The pearloid block inlays add a touch of elegance to its overall look.
- Pickups: Equipped with active EMG humbuckers (EMG 81 bridge pickup and EMG 60 neck pickup), this guitar delivers powerful tones with ample sustain. These pickups are renowned for their high output and tight response, making them ideal for heavy riffing and shredding solos.
- Bridge: The Tune-o-Matic bridge with a stop bar tailpiece ensures solid intonation and tuning stability. You can confidently dive bomb or perform aggressive tremolo techniques without worrying about losing tuning accuracy.
Jackson Pro Series Dinky DK2 Ash
The Jackson Pro Series Dinky DK2 Ash is a sleek and versatile metal guitar that offers modern features and outstanding playability.
Built for speed and precision, this guitar can handle even the most demanding metal genres with ease.
- Body: The Dinky DK2 Ash features an ash body with a beautiful natural finish that showcases the wood grain. This tonewood choice provides excellent resonance and brightness, making it suitable for fast and articulate playing styles.
- Neck: This guitar boasts a bolt-on maple neck with graphite reinforcement for enhanced stability. The smooth satin finish on the neck allows for effortless hand movements, perfect for lightning-fast solos.
- Fingerboard: With a 12″-16″ compound radius maple fingerboard, the Dinky DK2 Ash offers comfortable chording in lower positions and effortless string bending in higher positions. The sharkfin inlays add a touch of classic Jackson style.
- Pickups: Equipped with Seymour Duncan JB TB-4 bridge pickup and Seymour Duncan ’59 SH-1N neck pickup, this guitar delivers a versatile range of tones. The JB TB-4 provides high-output aggression and articulation, while the ’59 SH-1N offers warm, smooth tones perfect for clean passages or searing leads.
- Bridge: The Floyd Rose 1000 Series double-locking tremolo system allows for expressive tremolo techniques while maintaining tuning stability. With this bridge setup, you can dive bomb to your heart’s content without worrying about going out of tune.
Ibanez Standard RGA42FM
The Ibanez Standard RGA42FM is a versatile and affordable metal guitar that offers incredible playability and a powerful tone. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced player, this guitar is sure to impress.
- Body: The RGA42FM features a flamed maple top on a mahogany body, providing a beautiful aesthetic appeal. The sleek double-cutaway design allows for easy access to the higher frets, making it ideal for lead guitarists.
- Neck: With its thin-profile Wizard III neck made from maple, this guitar offers fast and comfortable playability. The satin finish on the back of the neck ensures smooth movement up and down the fretboard.
- Fingerboard: The rosewood fingerboard with 24 jumbo frets provides excellent note articulation and effortless string bending. The fret edges are smooth and rounded for enhanced comfort.
- Pickups: Equipped with two Quantum humbucking pickups, the RGA42FM delivers a wide range of tones suitable for various metal genres. These pickups offer superb clarity and great dynamic response.
- Bridge: Featuring a fixed bridge design, this guitar offers excellent tuning stability and sustain. It also allows you to change strings quickly and easily.
Chapman ML1 Baritone
The Chapman ML1 Baritone is specifically designed for players who prefer lower tunings with heavier gauge strings.
This guitar is perfect for achieving those crushing low-end tones that are characteristic of modern metal music.
- Body: Built with an Indonesian mahogany body, the ML1 Baritone provides a warm and resonant tone with plenty of sustain. The unique contours of the body offer comfort during long practice sessions or performances.
- Neck: The maple neck has a C-shaped profile that fits comfortably in your hand while allowing for precise fretting. Its satin finish promotes quick hand movement up and down the neck.
- Fingerboard: With an ebony fingerboard and 24 jumbo frets, the ML1 Baritone offers excellent playability and note clarity. The 26.5″ scale length provides better string tension for lower tunings without sacrificing intonation.
- Pickups: Equipped with a pair of Chapman-designed Sonorous Zero humbucking pickups, this guitar delivers massive, articulate tones. The pickups offer a balanced response across the frequency range, ensuring that every note is heard clearly.
- Bridge: The ML1 Baritone features a hardtail bridge with string-through-body construction for improved sustain and stability. The bridge allows for easy intonation adjustments and ensures solid tuning reliability.
Jackson X Series Soloist Arch Top SLAT8 Multi-Scale
For those who want to explore the world of extended-range guitars, the Jackson X Series Soloist Arch Top SLAT8 Multi-Scale is an exceptional choice.
With its unique multi-scale design and high-quality features, this guitar provides excellent playability and powerful tones.
- Body: Constructed with a basswood body and an arched maple top, the X Series Soloist SLAT8 Multi-Scale offers a balanced tone with plenty of resonance. The arched top adds to its visual appeal.
- Neck: The ultra-fast maple neck with graphite reinforcement rods provides superb stability and durability. The multi-scale design allows for optimal string tension and improved intonation across all eight strings.
- Fingerboard: With a bound rosewood fingerboard featuring 24 jumbo frets, this guitar offers comfortable playability and excellent note articulation. The compound radius (12″-16″) ensures smooth string bending in lower positions and effortless chording higher up the neck.
- Pickups: Equipped with a pair of high-output EMG 808 active humbucking pickups, the X Series Soloist SLAT8 Multi-Scale delivers massive metal tones with plenty of clarity and definition. These pickups can handle heavy riffing as well as intricate lead playing.
- Bridge: The Jackson multi-scale bridge provides accurate intonation and precise string alignment across the multi-scale fretboard. Its fixed design ensures maximum tuning stability, even with the added tension of eight strings.
PRS SE Mark Holcomb SVN
The PRS SE Mark Holcomb SVN is a signature model guitar designed in collaboration with Mark Holcomb of Periphery.
This guitar is built for modern metal players who demand versatility, precision, and exceptional playability.
- Body: Crafted with a mahogany body and a beveled maple top, the SE Mark Holcomb SVN offers a rich and balanced tone with enhanced sustain. The stylish satin finish adds to its aesthetic appeal.
- Neck: The maple neck features a wide thin profile that allows for effortless playability and fast fret transitions. The 26.5″ scale length ensures optimal tension and intonation on all seven strings.
- Fingerboard: With a rosewood fingerboard adorned with iconic PRS Birds inlays, this guitar offers excellent playability and a touch of elegance. The 24 jumbo frets provide plenty of room for complex chord voicings and blistering solos.
- Pickups: Equipped with Mark Holcomb’s signature Seymour Duncan Alpha and Omega humbucking pickups, this guitar delivers exceptional clarity, tight low-end response, powerful midrange, and soaring highs. These pickups are specially voiced to handle everything from heavy riffing to intricate lead work.
- Bridge: The PRS-designed plate-style bridge provides precise intonation adjustments and ensures stable tuning even during aggressive playing. Its solid construction contributes to the guitar’s overall sustain while maintaining excellent resonance.
FAQs About Metal Guitars
What kind of amplifier should I use for a metal guitar?
When it comes to amplifiers for metal guitars, high-gain tube amps are often the go-to choice. Brands like Mesa/Boogie, Peavey, and Marshall offer great options that can deliver the aggressive and heavy tones required for metal.
What type of strings are best for metal guitar playing?
For metal guitar playing, heavier gauge strings are generally preferred. Gauge sizes between .010 and .052 are common, providing a balance between playability and heavy tone. Brands like Ernie Ball, D’Addario, and DR Strings offer quality options specifically designed for metal.
What pickups should I choose for my metal guitar?
The ideal pickups for metal guitars depend on your preferred tone. High-output humbuckers are commonly used to achieve heavy and aggressive sounds. Popular choices include Seymour Duncan Nazgul/Sentient, EMG 81/85, or DiMarzio Titans.
Is a floating tremolo bridge necessary for playing metal?
While not necessary, a floating tremolo bridge (also known as a Floyd Rose bridge) can add versatility to your playing by allowing dive bombs and extreme whammy bar effects. However, it requires additional setup and maintenance compared to fixed bridges.
Can I use a traditional single-coil pickup for metal?
While traditional single-coil pickups may not be as common in the metal genre due to their lower output and susceptibility to noise, they can still be used effectively, depending on your desired tone. Players like Yngwie Malmsteen have utilized single coils in their metal playing style.
Finding the right gear for your metal guitar is essential for achieving that perfect heavy sound. The amps, strings, and pickups you choose can greatly impact your tone and playability.
From the thunderous sound of the Charvel Pro-Mod DK24 to the iconic design of the Gibson ’80s Flying V, there are plenty of options available for metal enthusiasts.
So whether you prefer a high-performance guitar like the Ernie Ball Music Man John Petrucci Majesty 6 or a signature model like the ESP LTD James Hetfield Signature Iron Cross, make sure to consider your playing style and desired sound when making your selection.
With the right combination of gear, you’ll be well on your way to unleashing your inner metal god!