best baritone guitar for metal

An In-depth Guide to Find the Perfect Instrument for Your Heavy Sound

Hey, metalheads! Are you ready to unleash your inner beast and create bone-crushing riffs that will shake the very foundations of the earth? If so, you’re in the right place. In this article, we’ll explore the world of baritone guitars and help you find the best one for your metal needs.

Whether you’re a beginner looking to dive into the world of heavy music or a seasoned guitarist searching for a new weapon to add to your arsenal, finding the perfect baritone guitar can be a game-changer. These guitars are specifically designed to produce the heavy, low-end tones that are the hallmark of the metal genre.

In this journey, we will dissect and evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of the best baritone guitars for metal, helping you make an informed decision. So, grab your leather jacket, plug in your amp, and let’s dive into the depths of the metal abyss!


When it comes to metal, the right gear is crucial. The guitar you choose can significantly impact your sound, and that’s where baritone guitars come in. These specialized instruments are designed with extended scale lengths and heavier strings, allowing you to achieve the deep, powerful sound that characterizes metal music.

In this introduction, we will explore seven baritone guitars that are widely regarded as the best choices for metal enthusiasts. So, without further ado, let’s jump into our quest for the ultimate metal machine!

1. Schecter Hellraiser C-7 FR Sustainiac

🔥 Perfect for Shredding with Sustained Fury

The Schecter Hellraiser C-7 FR Sustainiac is a beast of a guitar that offers unparalleled sustain and technical capabilities. With its solid mahogany body, active EMG pickups, and Sustainiac system, this guitar delivers crushing low-end tones and scorching solos that will make your audience’s jaws drop.

However, its high price tag and complex setup might not suit everyone. Additionally, the weight of this guitar can be a burden during long gigs. Nevertheless, if you’re after an instrument that can handle the most demanding metal styles, the Hellraiser C-7 FR Sustainiac is an excellent choice.

2. ESP LTD SC-607B Stephen Carpenter Signature

🌟 Unleash the Power of Djent

Designed in collaboration with Deftones’ guitarist Stephen Carpenter, the ESP LTD SC-607B is a seven-string monster that brings the world of djent to your fingertips. Its extended scale length and active pickups allow for down-tuned chugs that will rattle your ribcage. With its sleek, blacked-out design, this guitar also looks as menacing as it sounds.

However, the high action and thick neck might not be suitable for players with smaller hands. Additionally, the extra string can take some time to get used to. If you’re a fan of djent or want to explore new sonic territories, the ESP LTD SC-607B is an excellent choice.

3. Ibanez RGDIX7MPB Iron Label

🔍 Precision and Clarity for Brutal Riffs

The Ibanez RGDIX7MPB Iron Label is a precision tool that offers exceptional playability and tone. With its mix of superstrat design, ash body, and DiMarzio Fusion Edge pickups, this guitar delivers articulate and clear notes even in the lowest registers. Its stunning poplar burl top is also a feast for the eyes.

However, the passive pickups might not provide enough output for players seeking extreme levels of gain. Additionally, the lack of a tremolo system might disappoint those who love to dive bomb and squeal. If you prioritize accuracy and clarity above all else, the Ibanez RGDIX7MPB Iron Label is worth considering.

4. Jackson Pro Series Soloist SL7P

🎸 Elevate Your Shredding Skills

Designed for speed and precision, the Jackson Pro Series Soloist SL7P is a guitar that will help you unleash your shredding potential. Its sleek neck-through-body design, quilt maple top, and active Seymour Duncan pickups combine to create a versatile instrument suitable for a wide range of metal styles.

However, the Floyd Rose tremolo system can be a bit tricky to set up and maintain. Additionally, the bright tonal character might not be to everyone’s taste, especially if you prefer a darker, more aggressive sound. If you’re looking for a guitar that allows for effortless playing and blistering solos, the Jackson Pro Series Soloist SL7P is an excellent choice.


🌑 Explore the Depths of Low-End

With its clean aesthetics and powerful tone, the PRS SE SVN is a versatile seven-string guitar that can handle both heavy riffing and melodic passages with ease. Its mahogany body, maple top, and PRS-designed pickups deliver a balanced and expressive sound that will satisfy any metalhead.

However, the non-locking tuners might require frequent adjustments, especially when using heavier gauge strings. Additionally, some players might find the neck finish a bit sticky, hindering fast playing. If you’re looking for a guitar that blends precision, versatility, and aesthetics, the PRS SE SVN is worth considering.

6. Gibson Les Paul Baritone

🔊 Classic Rock Meets Modern Metal

Combining the iconic design of the Les Paul with the power of a baritone guitar, the Gibson Les Paul Baritone is a true force to be reckoned with. Its mahogany body, maple top, and Burstbucker pickups deliver the classic Les Paul sound, but with a low-end growl that will satisfy any metal purist.

However, its high price might put it out of reach for many players. Additionally, the weight and size of this guitar can be a challenge for some, especially during long practice sessions. If you’re a fan of the Les Paul design and want a guitar that can handle both classic rock and modern metal, the Gibson Les Paul Baritone is a solid choice.

7. Chapman ML3 Pro Modern Baritone

🚀 Your Gateway to the Modern Metal Soundscape

The Chapman ML3 Pro Modern Baritone is a guitar designed for those who crave the modern metal sound. With its chambered swamp ash body, flamed maple top, and versatile Chapman pickups, this instrument offers a wide range of tones that will satisfy any metal aficionado.

However, the setup might require some tweaking out of the box, and the fret ends could be smoother. Additionally, the lack of a hardshell case might be disappointing for players who travel frequently. If you’re looking for an instrument that combines modern design, versatile tones, and affordability, the Chapman ML3 Pro Modern Baritone is an excellent choice.

Complete Information Table

Guitar Model Price Body Material Pickups Special Features
Schecter Hellraiser C-7 FR Sustainiac $1,299 Mahogany EMG Active Sustainiac System
ESP LTD SC-607B Stephen Carpenter Signature $1,199 Alder ESP Active Extended Scale Length
Ibanez RGDIX7MPB Iron Label $899 Ash DiMarzio Fusion Edge Poplar Burl Top
Jackson Pro Series Soloist SL7P $1,299 Maple Seymour Duncan Active Neck-Through-Body Design
PRS SE SVN $899 Mahogany PRS-Designed Veneer Maple Top
Gibson Les Paul Baritone $2,399 Mahogany Burstbucker Pro Classic Les Paul Design
Chapman ML3 Pro Modern Baritone $1,099 Swamp Ash Chapman Flamed Maple Top

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can I use a baritone guitar for genres other than metal?

Yes, you can! While baritone guitars are primarily associated with metal, they can also be used in other genres such as rock, blues, and even jazz. The extended scale length and low-end capabilities of these instruments can add a unique flavor to any style of music.

2. Are baritone guitars harder to play than regular guitars?

Baritone guitars can feel slightly different to play compared to regular guitars due to their longer scale length and heavier strings. However, with some practice and adjustments to your technique, you’ll adapt quickly and enjoy the extended range and sonic possibilities that a baritone guitar provides.

3. Can I tune a regular guitar to baritone tuning?

While it is possible to tune a regular guitar to baritone tuning, it’s not recommended. Regular guitars are not designed to handle the increased tension and lower frequencies of baritone tuning, which can cause issues with intonation, playability, and string breakage. It’s best to invest in a dedicated baritone guitar for optimal results.

4. What is the ideal string gauge for a baritone guitar?

The ideal string gauge for a baritone guitar depends on your playing style and preferences. However, most players find that a set of strings with a gauge range of .013-.062 provides a good balance between tension, playability, and tone. Experimenting with different gauges can help you find the perfect setup for your needs.

5. Can I use standard guitar pickups on a baritone guitar?

While it is possible to use standard guitar pickups on a baritone guitar, specialized pickups designed for extended range instruments will deliver the best results. These pickups are optimized to capture the full frequency range of a baritone guitar and provide the clarity and punch required for heavy music.

6. Do I need a specific amplifier for a baritone guitar?

While a specific amplifier designed for extended range instruments is not mandatory, using an amplifier with enough headroom and low-frequency response will help you fully unleash the potential of your baritone guitar. Look for amps with extended low-end capabilities and EQ controls tailored for heavy music.

7. Can I use baritone guitar strings on a regular guitar?

Baritone guitar strings are longer and heavier than regular guitar strings, so they are not suitable for use on a regular guitar. They may not fit properly on the shorter scale length and can cause issues with intonation and playability. Stick to regular guitar strings for standard tuning and use baritone strings for your baritone guitar.

8. Can I down-tune a baritone guitar even lower than standard baritone tuning?

Yes, one of the advantages of a baritone guitar is its ability to handle lower tunings with ease. You can experiment with various tunings, such as drop A or even lower, to achieve the crushing low-end that metal music demands. Just remember to adjust your string gauge and setup accordingly to maintain optimal playability.

9. Are there any downsides to using a baritone guitar?

While baritone guitars offer many benefits for metal musicians, there are a few downsides to consider. The extended scale length and heavier strings can take some time to get used to, especially if you’re transitioning from a regular guitar. Additionally, the larger size and weight of baritone guitars can be a challenge for players with smaller frames.

10. Can I use standard guitar effects pedals with a baritone guitar?

Yes, you can use standard guitar effects pedals with a baritone guitar. Effects pedals are not influenced by the scale length or tuning of your guitar. However, it’s important to note that certain effects might respond differently due to the extended range and lower frequencies of a baritone guitar. Experimentation is key to finding the perfect combination.

11. Can I play leads and solos on a baritone guitar?

Absolutely! Baritone guitars are not limited to rhythm playing only. In fact, the extended scale length and thicker strings can enhance your lead playing by providing additional sustain and a unique tonal character. Whether you’re shredding fast solos or crafting melodic lines, a baritone guitar can be a powerful tool in your hands.

12. How do baritone guitars compare to bass guitars?

While both baritone guitars and bass guitars produce low-end frequencies, they serve different roles in a band setting. Baritone guitars are primarily used for rhythm and lead playing, providing a heavier and distorted tone that blends with the other instruments. Bass guitars, on the other hand, focus on the fundamental frequencies, adding depth and supporting the rhythm section.

13. Are baritone guitars suitable for live performances?

Yes, baritone guitars are suitable for live performances. In fact, many metal guitarists rely on baritone guitars to achieve their signature sound on stage. With their extended range and powerful tone, baritone guitars can cut through the mix and deliver the low-end punch that is essential in a live metal performance.


Now that we have explored the world of baritone guitars for metal, it’s time for you to make a choice. Each of the guitars mentioned in this article offers unique features and tonal characteristics, allowing you to find the perfect match for your playing style and sonic preferences. Remember to consider factors such as price, playability, tonal versatility, and aesthetics when making your decision.

So, whether you’re a beginner looking to crush the world with your first baritone guitar or a seasoned musician searching for a new weapon to dominate the stage, the right instrument is waiting for you. Embrace the low-end power, unleash your creativity, and let the walls of your practice space tremble with the might of your riffs!

Now, go forth and conquer the metal world with your new baritone guitar!

Closing Statement

Thank you for joining us on this journey through the world of baritone guitars for metal. We hope this article has provided you with valuable insights and guidance in your quest for the perfect instrument. Remember, choosing the right baritone guitar is a personal decision, and what works for one player may not work for another.

Before making a purchase, we encourage you to visit local music stores and try out different models. Get a feel for the instrument, play some riffs, and see how it resonates with you. Consider your budget, playing style, and the unique sound you want to create.

Finally, always remember that your guitar is just one piece of the puzzle. To truly excel in the world of metal, practice, experiment, and let your passion guide your journey. With dedication and the right tools, you’ll forge your path and make your mark in the annals of metal history.

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