31 Multiscale Guitars (Fanned Frets) – And My Favorites

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Enjoy dropping into lower tuning? Love great ergonomics for your fret hand? Unique looks are perfect for you? It sounds like you have a Multiscale guitar deficiency…

Look, while the symptoms might be severe, there is a cure. Heavy-Multiscale-injection. And this article is exactly that.

Note! The intro wast just a parody. There are no such things as “Multiscale guitar deficiency” or “Heavy-Multiscale-injection”.

But now, let’s get serious.  This article gathers together the cream of the crop multiscale guitars. I also reveal my 3 favorites. And we’ll look closer at what multiscale guitars are, what is their purpose, and if they are even worth it. If you have any questions, check the FAQ section of this article or leave a comment.

Multiscale guitars are also called “fanfret guitars” or “guitars with fanned frets”. They all mean the same thing.

photo reveals owner of guitaristnextdoor.com

Author: Teemu Suomala

I first grabbed the guitar in 2009. I started this website in January 2020 because I couldn’t do window installation anymore due to my health problems. I also noticed that most guitar websites don’t do a really good job, so I decided to just go for it! I got lucky and managed to get awesome people to help me with my website. I also got lucky because I have you visiting my website right now. Thank you. I do all this for you guys. If you have any recommendations, tips, or feedback, just leave a comment, I would love to chat with you. I have been fortunate to produce content for several large guitar websites, such as Songsterr, Musicnotes, GuitarGuitar, and Ultimate Guitar. I spend my spare time exercising and hanging out with my wife and crazy dog(I guess that went the right way…).


31 Multiscale Guitars (Fanned Frets)

Jackson Dinky Arch Top DKAF7 MS is one great multiscale guitar option for budget-minded players. It’s got a Thin U-neck and 12″-16″ compound fretboard radius. These make this axe smooth to shred, and its Jackson Uncovered 7-string blade humbuckers offer mean tones that fits metal well.

Price Range Icon Meanings:

$= $185-499

$$= $500-899

$$$= $900-1199

$$$$= $1200-1799

$$$$$= $1800

*Consider all links in this post to be affiliate links. If you purchase, at no additional cost to you, we may earn a small commission. It helps us to keep the lights on, thanks! 🙂

ModelPickupHow Many Strings?Scale-lengthPrice RangeCheck Current Price (affiliate links)
Harley Benton R-457BK Fanfret – Cheapest2 x Passive Hi-Gain humbuckers725.5″ – 27″$Thomann*
Harley Benton R-458MN WH Fanfret – Cheapest 8 String2 x Hi-Gain humbuckers825.5″ – 27.2″$Thomann
Cort KX307MS Open Pore Mahagony2 x Power Bar humbuckers725.5″ – 27″$Thomann
Ibanez RGMS7-BK Multiscale – Best Budget2 x Array-7 MS humbuckers725.5″-27″$$SweetwaterThomann
Jackson Dinky Arch Top DKAF7 MS2 x Jackson Uncovered 7-string Blade Humbucker725.5″-27″$$Sweetwater
Legator N7FS2 x Legator humbuckers725.5″-27″$$Thomann
Schecter Guitar Research Omen Elite-7 MS2 x Proprietary Humbucker725.5″ – 27″$$Guitar Center
Ibanez RGMS8-BK Multiscale2 x Array-8 MS humbuckers825.5″-27.2″$$SweetwaterThomann
Cort KX507MS2 x Fishman Fluence Modern humbuckers725.5″-27″$$$Guitar CenterThomann
Cort KX508MS II2 x Fishman Fluence Modern humbuckers826.5″-28″$$$Guitar CenterThomann
Jackson Soloist SLAT7PEMG 808 Bass
& EMG 808 Treble humbuckers
725.5″-27″$$$Sweetwater
Jackson X Series Soloist Arch Top SLAT8 2 x EMG 909 humbuckers826″-28″$$$SweetwaterThomann
Schecter Reaper-7 Multiscale – Best Overall2 x Diamond Decimator Humbucker725.5″-27″$$$SweetwaterThomann
Legator N7FP Iris Fade2 x Legator Hive II Humbucker725.5″-27″$$$Thomann
Legator N6FP Iris Fade2 x Legator Hive II humbuckers625.50″ – 26.50″$$$Thomann
Solar Guitars A1.6DBOP-FF2 x Solar FF humbuckers624.75″ – 26″$$$Thomann
Legator G8FP Iris Fadet – Cheapest Without Headstock2 x Legator Hive II humbuckers826,50″ – 28,00″$$$$Thomann
Schecter C-7 Multi Silver Mountain2x Schecter USA Sonic Seducer humbuckers725.5″-27″$$$$SweetwaterThomann
Legator G7FOD Jupiter Burst2 x Fishman Fluence modern humbuckers725.5″-27″$$$$Thomann
Schecter C-8 MS Silver Mountain2 x Schecter USA Sonic Seducer humbuckers825.5″-27″$$$$SweetwaterThomann
ESP LTD M-1008 Multi-ScaleSeymour Duncan Nazgul & Seymour Duncan Sentient humbuckers825.5″-27″$$$$SweetwaterThomann
Legator N9 Iris Fade – 9 String2 x Fishman Fluence modern humbuckers928″ – 30″$$$$Thomann
Strandberg Boden Standard NX 6 – Best Premium2 x .strandberg* OEM 6 humbuckers625″-25.5$$$$SweetwaterThomann
Strandberg Boden Standard NX 72 x .strandberg OEM 7 Soapbar Humbucker725.5″-26.25″$$$$$SweetwaterThomann
Jackson Pro Series Dinky DK Modern HT7 MS2 x Fishman Fluence Modern PRF-MH8 humbuckers725.5″- 27″$$$$$SweetwaterThomann
Legator G7FX-GLX Galaxy2 x Fishman Fluence Modern humbuckers725.5″ – 27″$$$$$Thomann
Strandberg Boden Metal NX 62 x Suhr Aldrich humbuckers625″-25.5″$$$$$SweetwaterThomann
Legator G8FX-GLX Galaxy2 x Fishman Fluence Modern humbuckers726.5″ – 28″$$$$$Thomann
Strandberg Boden Prog NX 6Suhr SSV Humbucker
& Suhr SSV+ Humbucker
625″-25.5″$$$$$SweetwaterThomann
Strandberg Boden Original NX 8Fishman Fluence Modern 8 Alnico Humbucker
& Fishman Fluence Modern 8 Ceramic Humbucker
826.5″-28″$$$$$SweetwaterThomann
Strandberg Boden Prog NX 7 Fishman Fluence Modern 7 Alnico Humbucker
& Fishman Fluence Modern 7 Ceramic Humbucker
725.5″-26.25″$$$$$SweetwaterThomann

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Why?

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3 Best Multiscale Guitars (Fanned Frets) – My Favorites

Best Budget – Ibanez RGMS7-BK Multiscale

What I like

  • Array 7 MS Humbuckers offer the best budget Multiscale guitar tones to me
  • Wizard III-7 is thin and comfortable to play even with the wider nut width
  • Surprisingly versatile
  • 24 Jumbo frets are overall effortless to hit

What I don’t like

  • The finish is not always flawless
  • The upper fret access is not perfect

Who is it for?

If you are after a budget-friendly multiscale guitar, Ibanez RGMS7-BK is my favorite option. It’s got the best sounding pickups to me from all the budget multiscale axes. It’s got a Wizard III neck shape, effortless playability, and mean & versatile tones. As with any budget guitar, the out-of-the-box finish is not always perfect, but for this price, this is acceptable.

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Best Overall – Schecter Reaper-7 Multiscale 

What I like

  • Ultra Thin C is extremely slim and slick
  • Graph Tech Tusq XL nut for improved sustain
  • Leftie model available
  • Narrow Extra Jumbo frets don’t require much force in order to you to fret a note
  • Stunning looks
  • Hot & heavy distortion and glassy & gentle cleans
  • Contours are extremely comfortable
  • Coil-split adds a ton of versatility

What I don’t like

  • None really

Who is it for?

If you are after an extremely fast-playing multiscale guitar with comfortable contours, a slim neck, and versatility (coil-split), it’s hard to go wrong with Schecter Reaper-7 Multiscale. For this price, I can’t really complain about anything…this guitar’s premium qualities (Graph Tech Tusq XL, etc.) and stunning looks just take my breath away.

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Best Premium – Strandberg Boden Standard NX 6 

What I like

  • Eye-catching & stunning
  • Lightweight
  • Quartersawn Maple neck feels incredible
  • Really ergonomic design
  • Comes with a Gig Bag
  • Handles everything from country to metal

What I don’t like

  • Plastic nut feels cheap for this price
  • Body shape can require some time to get used to

Who is it for?

I know, I have called other guitars my dream guitar before. But right now, at the time of writing, 10th of July 2022, this flipping Strandberg Boden Standard NX 6 is my dream guitar. The only real con is the plastic nut. It feels cheap for this price. But otherwise, everything from stunning looks to smooth playability to super versatile tones, it’s an awesome premium-level multiscale guitar. I love it.

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FAQ

What Are Fanned Frets and Multiscale Guitars?

displays a guitar with fanned frets
Multiscale guitars have fanned frets. This means that most frets are angled.

Multiscale guitars have fanned frets. This means that most frets are on an angle on purpose to give a different scale length to different strings.

Why Some Guitar Have Fanned Frets?

Fanned frets enable each string to have a different scale length. Heavier strings have longer scale length and this enables the use of drop tuning without heavy strings becoming too loose and causing fret buzz.

Lighter strings have a shorter scale, and this prevents them from sounding too tinny, being too dense, and feeling hard to bend.

Pros and Cons of Multiscale & Fanned Fret Guitars

Have a look at the Pros and Cons and decide if multiscale guitars are worth it for you!

Pros

  • Fanned/angled fret can offer better ergonomics and prevent wrist pain
  • Helps to get rid of too loose & buzzing strings when using drop tunings
  • Thicker strings feel firm to play & sound good and lighter(high pitch) strings feel smooth to bend and don’t sound tinny
  • Multiscale guitars in general look awesome

Cons

  • Multiscale guitars are usually more expensive
  • Angled frets might require some time getting used to
  • A multiscale guitar doesn’t necessarily fix all the string problems when using drop tuning. You might still need to get string sets made for drop tunings.
  • Since saddles are not even close to a straight line, you need to get used to changing the positioning of your picking hand when palm muting different strings (some multiscale guitars do have a more regular type of bridge tho)

This video does a great job explaining more about multiscale guitars:

YouTube video

Are Fanned Fret & Multiscale Guitars Good?

They can be a really good option for players wanting to achieve a smoother tone and a better feel when using drop tunings. They also offer a more ergonomic design for your fret hand. It’s up to you to decide if these qualities make multiscale guitars good instruments.

Personally, I love multiscale guitars and they are definitely worth it for me and some players. They bring great qualities (aka. Pros) to the table and are unique instruments. I love all that.

Are Fanned Frets Easier to Play?

At first, fanned frets might feel alien if you are used to vertical & straight frets (aka. normal guitars). But fanned frets in general are considered to be more ergonomic for your fret hand.

What Does it Mean When A Guitar is Multiscale?

With multiscale guitars, the frets are aligned in a way that each string has a different scale length.

Do Multiscale Guitars Have Better Intonation?

The intonation of low-tuned thick strings does improve with the longer scale length of a multiscale guitar.


Conclusion on Multiscale Guitars (Fanned Frets)

Dunno about you, but it seems like reading, writing, and watching videos about multiscale guitars are not enough for me anymore. I need to get one. They just look awesome. And while I don’t drop to C or A or even D tuning that often, I’m sure that my wrist would thank me in the long run if they can benefit from the great ergonomics of a multiscale guitar.

I hope this article helped you out, and maybe you even decided to get one of the guitars featured. If you have any questions, leave a comment, I and the GND team are here for you.

Now go, my son, and Rock!

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Mike Fauth

    Hey Teemu! Love the site! I’m an old guy…been playing ALOT of years…started on violin at 5. I play many instruments (all strings). I have a Schwab mandocaster (serial# 20) and have made a few also. I have always had a problem with the low C strings on the 5 string electric mandos. Now I know why! It’s like violin and viola scale in one. Do you think the fret calculator would work or be accurate on such a small neck? Thanks, brother!! Mike

    1. Teemu Suomala

      Hi Mike!
      Awesome that you like the site, thank you for visiting. You could try a fret calculator, StewMac has one that seems ok. But that kind of a small instrument is a tricky one, I’m unfortunately not quite sure about it. Thanks for commenting and take care!

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