The seven-string electric has become quite commonplace in heavier styles of music, with the extended range typically adding extra low-end girth. While it can be used in many contexts, the humble seven-string is often synonymous with more shred-style players. Jackson have long catered for many rock/metal shredders, so it makes sense that they have a player such as Chris Broderick in their enclave and offer a number of seven-string guitars right across their range.
Falling under the ‘Pro’ series banner, the Brockderick HT7 features a mahogany body, one-piece maple neck, and a rosewood fingerboard. Jackson have used their own design for a single-string guitar bridge (a hardtail design) and their own branded locking tuners. In the pickup department you’ll find a pair of DiMarzio CB7 humbuckers with master volume and tone controls. The three-way toggle switch offers standard pickup settings, with the added ability of single coil tones thanks to the push/pull volume pot (which adds coil splitting). Last but not least, there is a ‘kill’ switch at the bottom of the control set. I really like the body shape of this Soloist, with a flowing asymmetrical design that looks sleek and modern without being overly spiky and aggressive.
The up-facing recessed input jack (which seems to the be the rage with many brands/models these days) keeps your lead out of the way, the double cutaways are smooth, and the one-piece neck-through design feels and looks great. No huge heel, easy access right up to the 24th fret, and a thin, slightly D-shaped neck means you’ll have no worries whipping around this guitar (even as a seven-string). The absence of fretboard markers adds to the stealthy look, and the black metallic finish on this particular model looks great – something you’d typically see on more expensive guitars. A metallic blue finish is also an option if that’s more your thing.
Plugged in, the CB HT7 provides a range of sounds from pristine, chirpy and modern clean tones through to more aggressive punch when played with distortion. The ability to split coils allows for modulated bright clean tones and focused dirty sounds if needed. Broderick obviously likes the pickup selector close, which allows for quick changes when playing. I like the neck profile being wide enough to accommodate the seven strings without feeling like hard work, and the slender profile has enough shoulders to still give it some body. It’s great for quick lines up the neck or syncopated low-end chords and riffs. Jackson have managed to keep the price down somewhat on the Pro Series yet still offer playability, tone and many of the features of the fully fledged models. A cool guitar if you’re looking for a hardtail seven-string that won’t break the bank.
Hits and Misses
Neck feels great
Kill switch might not be useful for some