Who are Strictly 7?
Strictly 7 guitars are produced in the USA by luthiers who were so pleased with the work that they decided to continue building these instruments even after Jim Lewis moved on to other premises.
Their guitars are praised for the sound they produce. Their particularity lies not only in their original design but also in their special build that makes it easy to play even while sitting down or while standing up. For these terms and conditions, we'll refer to them as "ergonomic" from now on.
These guitars can be an excellent choice for beginners or advanced players because of their great quality/price ratio. They can also be a good alternative for more expensive ones thanks to the features below: light-weightedness, ease of playing, and non-boredom.
The founder Jim Lewis says that he is really honored to have guitarists like Mark Knopfler, Chet Atkins, or LeRoy Mack approving his creation.
Besides the classic model "6", which features 6 steel strings, Strictly 7 also offers 5-strings acoustic models (the "5") and an 8-strings electric/acoustic model ("8"). The only difference lies within their materials but these 3 models are all ergonomic and mainly made of light woods such as cedar or spruce.
There are different styles offered by Strictly 7 guitars: Cobra, BOA, Viper, Warhammer, Raven, Mamba, and Rattler.
These guitars have their own shape and material. Cobra models are made with a solid cedar top and their back and sides are built of mahogany. The neck is made out of maple. In terms of sound, it resembles the musicality of a classical guitar while being clear, deep, and thick at the same time.
The BOA model features a rounded shape. It costs more than the Cobra models because its body is crafted from spruce while still having mahogany on its back and sides. Amongst other things, this model was designed to be played while standing up or sitting down without feeling any stiffness in your hand or wrist due to its ergonomics that work even better when playing standing up compared to some specific ergonomic standards such as Ovation Guitars.
The Viper is an electric guitar that was designed for both left-handed and right-handed players. It has a mahogany neck with an ebony fretboard, maple body and cedar top. It has two humbuckers (which are also visible at the same time) as well as one single coil to produce various sounds. I
ts ergonomic design makes it comfortable to play even while seated. Strictly 7 guitars Viper can be seen in "Everybody Hurts" by REM (take a look at the video below) where Michael Stipe plays it.
This style is inspired by Gibson's Explorer model but features Strictly 7's own ergonomics which make it easier to play even seated or standing up. The neck is made of rosewood with 22 frets. It has two humbuckers, one single-coil and it costs less than $1,100.
This model is inspired by Ibanez Iceman but has Strictly 7's own ergonomics to make playing easier both while standing up and sitting down. Its price tag lies between $700-$900 depending on the chosen style (turquoise, black or blue).
The Mamba was designed according to recommendations coming from musicians who praised Strictly 7 guitars for their quality/price ratio as well as for their lightness compared to similar models. Its body is crafted out of mahogany with an alpine spruce top.
The neck is built out of mahogany as well while the fingerboard is made of rosewood. It has two humbuckers and one single-coil to produce different sounds depending on what you're playing. Like for the Cobra-style, this model was designed to be played seated or standing up without feeling any discomfort in your hand or wrist (which will make you play better).
The Rattler aims at metal players because of its sharp shape which increases sustain and tonal quality similar to Ovation guitars. Its body is crafted out of ash then covered with a maple top. It has one humbucker for distortion effects than an alnico 5 single-coil for clean sounds. On top of that, its price is close to the one of the Mamba model.
What about basses?
Strictly 7 guitars have also a wide variety of basses and their styles are named after poisonous snakes for a good reason: they're designed to strike you.
This model was created to be simple, high quality, and versatile for heavy metal, pop, or funk. It features a short-scale neck made of maple with a rosewood fingerboard. The body is crafted out of basswood covered by a flame maple top. It has one humbucker with a chrome cover at the bridge and two Alnico 5 single-coil pickups (neck and middle).
Another bass in their venomous snake-named series, the Sidewinder offers an almighty rough sound. Its style was inspired by Gibson Thunderbird which gives it its power and aggressiveness combined with Strictly 7's own ergonomic design that will make you feel like having an extra hand when playing seated or standing up (no matter how tall you are).
This 'snaky' bass will surely hypnotize you with a perfect blend of sustain and tone. It has an alpine spruce top with mahogany back and sides as well as a neck made of maple with an ebony fingerboard. Its pickups are from chrome to nickel.
Strictly 7 guitars make all their instruments unique and unforgivable. Chic and extravagant design is one of the features that makes Strictly 7 Cobra guitar special. But it's not about appearance only; each instrument has its own peculiarities (like the top five-star rating for Viper, Bronze snake-named series instruments).
Warhammer series instruments are made for heavy metal players (Copperhead, Mamba) and also have unusual designs. These guitars mean business; they can compete with other Strictly 7 models in terms of aggressiveness just because of the design.
Strictly 7 Rattler guitar is another good example that shows how their instruments look different from others. Its neck, which has a small headstock, makes it much easier to play standing up. This model also doesn't need an amplifier because its pickups are very powerful.
Mamba guitars look like a piece of art! The shapes on the body resemble a cobra biting its own tail. This is another perfect example of how Strictly 7 makes original and unusual instruments that don't look like anything else in the world!
Strictly 7 Cobra guitar, Mamba, or Warhammer series instrument will be a great choice for all metal players out there; if you play some other type of music - don't mind these models (Boa, Sidewinder, and Python are very good for any style).
Sidewinder bass guitar is truly unique because it uses electronics based on coil-splitting technology. This means you don't need to use any effects or pedals with this instrument. You can switch between two different sounds simply by pushing a button – one sound will have a strong and full tone while the second will be bright and clean. It's perfect for recording or playing live shows.
Copperhead looks similar to Sidewinder, though its design is more complicated. The manufacturer used different materials (alder wood, maple, mahogany) to make this unusual guitar.
What materials do Strictly 7 use for their guitars?
Strictly 7 guitars don't use synthetic materials for their instruments. They're crafted out of real wood, metal, or plastic which makes them sound better than cheaper models but also more expensive ones (the company claims that it's due to its own innovative technology).
Strictly 7 manufacturer says that their guitars sound better than any other guitar within the same price range. The reason for this is that they use real wood, not plywood, for their instruments (maple, mahogany or spruce).
Then they add to that an innovative technology designed by them: 'Intellitouch'. This helped Strictly 7 to make their instruments lighter, which is perfect for playing standing up as well as sitting down.
What about the sound?
All the guitars from S7G are marked 'professional' which means they're made for advanced players. But you can also use them to play in your bedroom or living room because of their high quality, beautiful sounds, and ergonomics (you won't even need an amp with some). You can play all types of music on them (rock, classical...) without any problem.
Thus, the Cobra model will sound more aggressive while Rattler will be more versatile with its two humbuckers and alnico 5 single coil. Python is probably the most balanced of all Strictly 7 guitars with one humbucker, two Alnico 5 pickups, and a maple neck. Boa guitar will be playing a little bit lower than the Cobra model with its three pickups. Raven and Mamba guitars are the ones with the most power because of their pickups, especially Mamba (the snake behind Ovation guitars).
This is why Strictly 7 snake-named series basses and guitars were made. If you're into heavy metal then Rattler or Cobra will be perfect for you; if not, Python would do better for all types of music (and players). Boa and Sidewinder are more like rock and blues because of their extra humbucker at the bridge.
For bass guitars, Sidewinder is powerful, cordial, and roaring while Copperhead has a high sustain.
Strings and hardware
Strictly 7 guitars make their musical instruments using materials of high quality. It's also worth mentioning that they use strap buttons of advanced technology (they don't unscrew by themselves).
Strictly 7 guitars are fit with Ernie Ball strings which is the third-largest string company in the world, after D'Addario and DR Strings.
There are two reasons for this choice: first, because Ernie Balls are made out used over 200 tons-steel every day to make their guitar strings; second, because when you're looking for something metal-related then you can only think about one name: U.S. Steel Corporation. After all, they make it possible to make thousands of products in the metal industry, including steel guitar strings used by Strictly 7 guitars!
The strings are made of nickel-plated steel and this means they'll last longer. They're also much easier to play than nylon ones (if you remember, classical guitarists used nylon strings).
Strictly 7 manufacturer has its own metal production company in Pforzheim, Germany where they cast strings for their musical instruments.
Frets and neck from Strictly 7 guitars
The manufacturer offers three neck shapes: V, U, and A. Neck of the Cobra guitar is ergonomic which means it's perfect for playing standing up or sitting down. The neck can be described as 'thin and warmed', same like Ibanez XPT707 and LTD EC-10 (necks from ESP LTD Viper series are even thinner).
This company also makes three different fretboard types: rosewood, maple, and ebony. Rosette of Python model would perfectly fit for this type of neck made out of one piece without any joint (same like XPT707).
Maple and walnut necks are very durable and strong because they're made out of one piece (they're used by Schecter guitars).
Why are Strictly 7 guitars so special?
You can always find something special in a musical instrument that is handmade. You can't make a great product if you don't love it. Jim Lewis and his team make musical instruments because they love them, not for money or fame.
And when you see how fast the guys from Strictly 7 make their guitars, you'll understand what I mean. They make about 120 electric and 34 acoustic guitars every day (10 000 per year). Making such a number of instruments requires a lot of hard work but also lots of passion and ideas. That's why nobody can beat them on the price/quality ratio of their products.
They use only the best materials to create their special perfect sound which is something that ordinary manufacturers ignore: they just care about profit margins while S7G cares more about making good quality instruments at affordable prices so everybody could play genuine music without worrying too much about instrument breaking down after some time.