7 Best Baritone Guitars (For Metal & Heavy Genres)

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Baritone guitars for metal offer all that low range that you need, can go where the regular guitar can’t, and provide sounds that are up to a full fifth lower than standard 6-strings.

These instruments are not only great for a wider range of expression, but they are also fantastic for songwriters looking to expand their sonic palette. Thanks to their longer scale, baritone guitars let you play much lower and deeper while preserving intonation and tuning.

In this article, we’re going to list the best 7 baritone guitars for metal for all budgets and playing styles.

(If you’re also in the market for a new amp, we’ve got you covered with our roundup of the 7 Best Combo Amps For Metal!)

What Are The 7 Best Baritone Guitars For Metal?

The PRS SE 277 is our pick for the best baritone guitar for metal. It offers an ideal combination of features and price, with Paul Reed Smith quality at a reduced cost since these instruments are made in Asia.

For those strapped for cash, the Danelectro Baritone is a good choice, with its vintage looks and inexpensive price tag.

If you are a consummate player that needs the best, it is hard to top the ESP E-II M-II 7B, as it is the ultimate baritone guitar for metal and our premium choice. Finally, if you’re looking for something unique with high quality construction, check out the Reverend Descent HC90.

Overall, these are our candidates for 7 Best baritone guitars for metal:

  1. PRS SE 277 (Our Pick)
  2. Danelectro Baritone (Best Value)
  3. ESP E-II M-II 7B (Premium Option)
  4. ESP LTD BB-600
  5. Ibanez Iron Label RGIB21
  6. Gretsch G5260T Electromatic Jet
  7. Reverend Descent HC90 (Most Unique)

1. PRS SE 277 (Our Pick)

OUR PICK
PRS SE 277 Baritone Electric Guitar

The Paul Reed Smith SE 277 Baritone is a powerful sonic tool for guitarists who love down-tuned riffing and for players who need a vast array of new low-end colors for recording and performing.

Why We Love It:
  • Great quality at a low cost
  • Gorgeous Charcoal burst finish
  • 2 powerful 85/15 S humbucking pickups
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PRS Guitars has built a stellar reputation in the guitar market. Their SE line features affordable instruments built overseas under Paul Reed Smith’s direction, with great quality at a lower cost with the use of inexpensive materials and labor.

The PRS SE 277 is a favorite among many metal players that want all the great features that a baritone guitar offers and at a great price point, making it our pick for this list.

Features

  • 27.7″ baritone scale length, ideal for B-B tuning
  • Two 85/15 S humbucking pickups
  • Coil split available for single-coil tones
  • Beveled maple top and classic PRS bird inlays
  • PRS plate-style bridge and wide-fat neck profile

Review

The Paul Reed Smith SE 277 Baritone features a 27.7″ scale to help provide the aggressive lows of heavy metal. This fantastic baritone guitar also features two humbucking pickups that are Paul Reed Smith-designed and labeled 85/15 S’s.

These pickups are an update on PRS’s original humbuckers. The 85/15 S is designed to sound terrific whether used in humbucking or single-coil mode and offers plenty of output for driving your amp hard while sounding clear and detailed when you want.

SE humbuckers closely resemble the tones of the US-made versions found in the solid-body electric guitars crafted at PRS’s Maryland factory.

The SE 277 Baritone guitar features characteristics that immediately identify the guitar as a Paul Reed Smith.

The beveled flame maple veneer top maintains a classy look and feel to the instrument while a PRS-designed plate-style hardtail bridge delivers solid tuning stability in a low-profile design that feels comfortable.

The traditional birds-in-flight fretboard inlay is further proof of the quality of craftsmanship you can expect from PRS.

Finally, this baritone electric guitar features a gorgeous Charcoal burst finish that looks the part. Overall, this is one of the best electric baritone guitars in the market today at this price point.

2. Danelectro Baritone (Best Value)

BEST VALUE
Danelectro Baritone Electric Guitar

Whether you're a down-tuned country picker, a drop-tuned hard rocker, or an accompanist/recording artist on the prowl for alternate open-chord voicings, the Danelectro Baritone is built to take your music in exciting new directions.

Why We Love It:
  • Iconic look
  • Cheap
  • Pau ferro fingerboard offers great playability
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The Danelectro Baritone is one of the most recognized baritone guitars on the market. It offers great features at a low cost along with iconic looks and feel.

Naturally, this baritone guitar also delivers in the sound department. It can go low to a B to B tuning so you have all the depth and low-end power of a great baritone guitar.

Features

  • Comfortable 29.75″-scale maple neck — an easy transition between guitar and bass
  • Lightweight hardboard/plywood body
  • Pau Ferro fingerboard
  • High-output lipstick single-coils
  • 3-way pickup selector with master volume and master tone

Review

This classic Danelectro Baritone guitar is a reissue from the 2019 collection and features a B to B tuning that’s a perfect fourth below standard E to E tuning. This baritone guitar also features a hybrid 29.75″-scale-length and a maple neck.

Both of these traits provide a comfortable transition for bass players and guitarists, making this Danelectro one of the go-to baritone guitars for many types of musicians.

For the electronic side, the Danelectro features two high-output lipstick single-coil pickups driven by a simple 3-way selector for quick access to that desired Danelectro Baritones tone, along with a sweet, throaty breakup.

Naturally, this instrument also has that iconic Danelectro look with its Art Deco single-cut body style and traditional Dolphin headstock.

Finally, in addition to its smooth, responsive, bolt-on maple neck and Pau Ferro fingerboard, the Danelectro Baritone features an adjustable saddle bridge, so you can easily set the intonation to your preference.

3. ESP E-II M-II 7B (Premium Option)

PREMIUM OPTION
ESP E-II M-II 7B Baritone Electric Guitar

Introducing the ESP E-II M-II 7B Baritone EverTune Electric Guitar, a monstrous 7-string axe with plenty of fire-breathing power and incredible stability.

Why We Love It:
  • Perfect for low tunings
  • Features plenty of stellar characteristics
  • Comfortbale playability
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The ESP E-II M-II 7B is a metal shredder’s dream. This 7 string baritone electric guitar features stellar characteristics with superior build quality, tone, and playability.

The ESP E-II M-II 7B is one of the best baritone guitars on the market today and is especially great for metal music. This instrument is our premium pick for the discerning guitarists who need the best to perform.

Features

  • 7-string baritone guitar perfect for low tunings
  • 27-inch scale length
  • Lightning-fast Thin “U” maple neck with ebony fingerboard
  • 2 Fishman Fluence Modern active humbuckers
  • EverTune bridge for consistent tension and optimum tuning stability and intonation

Review

The ESP E-II M-II 7B Baritone EverTune Electric Guitar features a 27-inch scale length that increases string tension and makes it easy to achieve clear and articulate drop-tuned playing without muddiness.

The E-II M-II 7B Baritone features two Fishman Fluence Modern humbuckers. These fantastic pickups offer a wide tonal range and zero-noise operation.

The Fluence Modern ceramic humbucker in the bridge goes from crispy crunch to screaming heat with ease; it’s perfectly complemented by the Fluence Modern Alnico humbucker in the neck, which yields a warm and beefy sound ideal for chords, solos, and single-note leads.

Additionally, this baritone 7 string guitar features an EverTune bridge for superior tuning stability and intonation across all seven strings.

ESP went the extra mile with this baritone guitar and built it with a thin “U”-shaped 3-piece maple neck and double-cut design, that gives you access to all 24 frets. The comfort of the neck and design of this instrument help playability immensely and make it a great guitar for shredders that play fast or just want the best overall.

Overall, this is a superior baritone guitar that is hard to beat in the current market.

4. ESP LTD BB-600

ESP LTD BB-600

With its single-cutaway Eclipse body, 27" scale length for painless down tuning, and neck-thru Thin U 3-piece maple neck, the ESP BB-600 Baritone is a super-playable modern instrument that also has distinctive signature markings.

Why We Love It:
  • Great build quality
  • Fantastic deep baritone tones
  • Nice playability
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The ESP LTD BB- 600 is a shredders dream. Great build quality, fantastic deep baritone tones, and nice playability.

To top it off, this baritone guitar also features killer looks. In other words, the ESP LTD BB-600 offers you a true metal tone for your deepest and darkest riffs, is a breeze to play, and looks great. What’s not to like?

Features

  • Mahogany body and quilted maple top
  • Seymour Duncan and JB pickups
  • Piezo pickup that is integrated into the tailpiece and bridge
  • Two different output jacks
  • Black Sunburst Satin gloss on the mahogany body and quilted maple

Review

The ESP LTD BB-600B features a mahogany body and quilted maple top and is one of the most sought-after models produced by ESP.

This fantastic baritone electric guitar also features high quality pickups: Seymour Duncan at the bridge and JB for the neck position. Additionally, there is a piezo pickup that is integrated into the tailpiece and bridge for a wider sound variety.

The BB-600B features two different output jacks, allowing players to route the pickups to two different amplifiers when needed. This in turn gives you variety when playing in the studio or live on-stage.

In addition to superior sound quality and versatility, the ESP LTD BB-600B also excels in the looks department with a Black Sunburst Satin gloss on the mahogany body and quilted maple for a distinctive look.

Additionally, red pickup covers, red inlays on the fingerboard, and the famous Breaking Benjamin symbol make the BB-600B a slick-looking baritone guitar.

As far as playability, this ESP features a slim three-piece maple neck that is designed as a u-shape for great playing comfort.

5. Ibanez RGIB21

Ibanez Iron Label RGIB21 Baritone Electric Guitar
$799.99

 When you're looking for pure tonal hostility, pick up the Ibanez Iron Label RGIB21 baritone electric guitar. Its 28" scale length serves up incredibly powerful fundamental tones, and it's equipped with a pair of EMG active humbuckers to hit your amplifier with plenty of bite too.

Why We Love It:
  • Offers distinct metal flavor
  • Precise tone
  • Impressive sustain
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10/23/2021 05:20 pm GMT

The Ibanez Iron Label RGIB21 baritone electric guitar came as the replacement for the popular but discontinued Ibanez RGIB6. It features a 28″ scale length for powerful fundamental tones, and it’s equipped with a pair of EMG active humbuckers to hit your amplifier with plenty of bite.

This baritone guitar brings out the best of your metal riffs and chord chunking. The RGIB21 is a fantastic instrument from one of the most respected manufacturers on the planet.

Features

  • Comfortable, resonant basswood RG body
  • Fast and smooth Nitro Baritone neck with luminescent side dot inlays
  • EMG active humbucking pickups
  • Gibraltar Standard II fixed bridge
  • Tuned B to B from the factory

Review

The Ibanez Iron Label RGIB21 baritone electric guitar is tuned from B to B, with the longer scale 28″ length making it able to handle even lower tunings.

This baritone guitar features a fantastic Nitro Baritone neck that feels great at every register. It’s a slim and super-comfortable neck that will let you play fast passages and solos with ease, but still gives you the substance you need for fretting chords.

The Iron Label RGIB21 features a Gibraltar Standard II fixed bridge with an ultra-low profile to give you the comfort of a traditional RG floating tremolo, but with the stability and reliability you can only get from a fixed bridge.

(If you’re unsure what makes a floating tremolo unique, you can learn more in Floating Tremolo Vs Non Floating (Differences Explained))

On the electronic side, this baritone guitar is fitted with a pair of hot active humbuckers: an EMG 60 in the neck position and an EMG 81 at the bridge, for maximum shredding metal tone.

Overall, the Ibanez Iron Label RBIB21 baritone guitar offers distinct metal flavor and low tones, with a fantastic neck that is a pleasure to play even for very fast runs. It comes backed up by the Ibanez tradition, and all of this at a relatively affordable price. This is easily one of the better baritone guitars in the market today.

6. Gretsch G5260T Electromatic Jet

Gretsch G5260T Electromatic Jet Baritone Electric Guitar
$699.99

The Gretsch G5260T Electromatic Jet Baritone solid-body electric guitar adds an exuberant, versatile voice to your sonic palette that’s also delightfully accessible.

Why We Love It:
  • Unique sound
  • Fantastic range
  • Adjusto-Matic bridge
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10/23/2021 10:00 am GMT

The Gretsch G5260T Electromatic Jet is for those players that need a baritone with a bit of vintage flair and feel.

This instrument offers fantastic range, intonation, and features, with that very unique sound and look that Gretsch is known for.

Features

  • Mahogany body, bolt-on maple neck
  • Laurel fingerboard with 22 frets
  • 2 Gretsch mini humbucking pickups
  • Adjusto-Matic bridge
  • Bigsby-licensed vibrato tailpiece

Review

The G5260T Electromatic Jet Baritone features a 29.75″ scale length, is tuned from B to B and its range sits right between your bass and guitar/keyboard parts. In addition, the Electromatic Jet Baritone features a mahogany body, and a pair of Gretsch mini humbucking pickups.

These humbuckers give you traditional Gretsch growl and grit, as well as a natural clean tone when needed. The master volume and tone controls provide exceptional tonal range and control, letting you dial in your sound in no time.

The G5260T Electromatic Jet Baritone features a maple neck cut to a thin “U” profile that provides players with great comfort and great response.

This baritone guitar also features 22 medium-jumbo frets that are perfect for single-note lines as well as playing chords up and down the neck. The laurel fingerboard sports iconic Pearloid Neo-Classic thumbnail inlays with that vintage Gretsch vibe.

For a special treat, Gretsch fitted the G5260T with an Adjusto-Matic bridge and Bigsby-licensed vibrato tailpiece, for that old-school vibe and feel.

7. Reverend Descent HC90 (Most Unique)

MOST UNIQUE
Reverend Descent HC90 Baritone

Featuring a silky smooth roasted maple neck, excellent finish, and top quality hardware make, this baritone hard to ignore, especially when you consider the price.

Why We Love It:
  • Unique
  • Great sound and playability
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Reverend is a relatively new company that started operating in 1997 and has since made a name for itself by producing excellent guitars.

Some of its endorsers include Reeves Gabrels (The Cure, David Bowie), Greg Koch, Robin Finck (Nine Inch Nails), and Billy Corgan (Smashing Pumpkins).

If you want a fantastic baritone guitar made by a smaller and rising company, look no further than the Revered Descent HC90.

Features

  • Gloss-finish solid Korina body
  • 26.75″ scale bolt-on roasted maple baritone neck with 22-fret, 12″-radius roasted maple fretboard
  • Dual Railhammer Humcutter pickups, bass contour knob, 3-way pickup select
  • Wilkinson WV550 IIK with Vari-claw tremolo claw, Reverend Pin-Lock tuners
  • Dual-action truss rod

Review

The Reverend Descent HC90 electric baritone guitar features a Wilkinson vibrato, pin-locking tuners, and Railhammer Humcutter passive pickups in both the neck and bridge position.

These pickups are wired with your usual volume and tone knobs, with a bass contour control for dialing in your low end. This baritone features solid Korina wood with a gloss finish in its double-cutaway shape.

This baritone electric guitar features a scale of 26.75″, which is just over an inch of a regular Fender length. Reverend built this baritone with a roasted maple neck that is carved into an oval C-profile that makes playing comfortable and lets you execute fast runs, riffs, and more at blazing speeds.

Additionally, the Reverend Descent HC90 electric baritone guitar features a bolt-on 6-bolt neckplate, with the two extra bolts increasing mounting pressure of the neck by fifty percent for a stronger neck connection. This  improves sustain, tuning stability, and neck alignment.

Last but not least, this Reverend baritone electric guitar features 22 medium jumbo frets and dot inlays and its signature Vari-Claw tremolo claw.

This claw gives you the option of 3 springs in the middle for a firm tremolo feel, or 2 springs on the outside for a softer feel. The offset hook design lets you switch between 3 or 2 springs, with little or no cumbersome adjustment of the claw needed.

Overall, this is one of the best baritone electric guitars in the market today, especially if you’re looking for something off the beaten path but with great sound, playability, and features.