Even though most seven-string guitar models basically just add an extra string to the traditional six-string format, many guitarists find the seven-string as foreign and awkward as a nuclear-powered Mongolian yak bazooka.
Ergonomics is a key factor of any good seven-string guitar design, particularly for more technical players seeking an instrument that can expand their performance capabilities.
Oddly enough, more traditional seven-string designs can actually feel more clunky and awkward than instruments that look more radical, like the Jackson Pro Series Dinky DK Modern HT7 MS. With its ultra-slim, multi-scale length neck featuring slanted frets, this model is impressively comfortable to play, making it surprisingly easy to play chords and solos across the entire range of the fretboard.
The lightweight basswood body of the Dinky DK Modern HT7 MS features the same compact dimensions as Jackson’s standard six-string Dinky models, so right off the bat it feels familiar.
Although the 47.6mm (1.875-inch) nut width is about 5mm wider than an average six-string neck, the slim, flat profile helps make the extra width less unwieldy. The multi-scale length design translates to a 25.5-inch scale length for the high E string and a 27-inch scale length for the lowest string (B, A or whatever tuning you prefer), with each string in between of varying scale lengths that increase as the pitch goes down.
A 12- to 16-inch compound radius also enhances playability up and down the neck. The three-piece maple/wenge/maple neck is bolted to the body and features an ebony fingerboard, 24 jumbo frets, satin finish, white binding with Luminlay side dots and offset pearloid dot fretboard inlays.
The pickups are a pair of Fishman Fluence Modern PRF-MH8 ceramic bridge and alnico neck humbuckers that each provide active and passive voices engaged with the master tone knob’s push/pull switch.
Other controls include master volume and a three-position blade pickup selector with standard bridge/both/neck settings. Hardware consists of a Hipshot 7 slanted fixed bridge, Gotoh locking tuners, Dunlop Dual-Locking strap buttons and metal dome-style knobs, all with a satin black finish.
The Jackson Pro Series Dinky DK Modern HT7 MS is by far the most comfortable seven-string solidbody model I’ve ever played. Whereas some slanted fret necks can take a bit of adjustment, this neck feels natural, with fretting fingers falling right into place perhaps even more instinctively than they do on a standard neck.
The weight is comparable to a six-string solidbody, but even with the added mass of a seven-string neck the guitar stays perfectly balanced with the neck remaining in an ideal playing position when the player is standing. The body contours enhance comfort in standing or seated positions, and the deep cutaways and rounded heel provide unrestricted access to the uppermost frets.
The Fishman Fluence Modern PRF-MH8 pickups are a perfect match for this guitar’s extended range, providing crisp, articulate attack even on the lowest notes. The active setting provides outstanding clarity, retaining impressive note-to-note definition when using an amp dialed to extremely saturated distortion.
The passive setting sounds great too, with clean tones, providing enhanced warmth and body across the entire tonal range and powerful punch on the lower register. The tone control provides useful tones across its entire sweep, producing sweet, singing voice-like midrange when dialed all the way back.
Ultimately, whereas many 7-string models are little more than 6-strings designs with an added string, the Dinky DK Modern HT7 MS was carefully refined to perform at its very best as a 7-string first and foremost.
- PRICE: $1,799 / £1,549
- ORIGIN: Indonesia
- TYPE: 24-fret multi-scale seven-string electric guitar
- BODY: Basswood
- NECK: Three-piece maple/wenge/maple (bolt-on)
- SCALE LENGTH: 27-25.5”
- FRETBOARD: Ebony, 12”-16” compound radius
- FRETS: 24, jumbo
- NUT: 42.86mm, black plastic
- PICKUPS: Fishman Fluence Modern PRF-MH8 ceramic bridge and alnico neck humbuckers
- CONTROLS: 1 x volume and 1 x tone with push-pull function, 3-way blade selector switch
- HARDWARE: Hipshot bridge, Gotoh locking tuners,
- FINISH: Eureka Mist [as reviewed], Black Stain
- CONTACT: Jackson