Okay so I think I am finally ready to seriously consider making the move to 8-strings...I want that Low F#, but I also just want the extended range for reaching other notes lower than B since I tune standard, or being able to grab a C on the 6th fret of the 8th string if I'm playing, say, in the 6th position instead of having to jump all the way down to the first fret on the B string, etc. There are a few things I want to address and consider though before making a decision:
1. Scale length. Since I play rhythm AND lead, I want as long a scale length as I can tolerate for the F#, while still having a fast/playable neck and having the guitar feel like a GUITAR - not like a short scale bass (that means no 28 5/8" Agiles)!
2. Body wood. No basswood, kthx. Mahogany preferred.
3. Bridge. I'm not a trem or Kahler guy, I liked my fixed bridges. The only problem I have with Strat-style fixed bridges is trying to match the saddles' radius to that of the fretboard (I am super anal and OCD about that type of stuff), so I generally would prefer something with the saddle radius "fixed" at the bridge, like the Edge III FX (design wise, not sure of the actual quality of the bridge).
4. Pickups/Electronics. For the most part getting an 8-string means active pickups, and I want something that sounds awesome without necessarily having to swap out for new pickups. Also, I really only need 1 volume knob and a pickup selector for the bridge/neck, so the less cluttered the electronics the better.
5. Fret access. Fret access on the Schecter 8's actually looks a bit better for the 23rd/24th region than on the Ibanez 8's.
6. Fretboard inlays. I tend to prefer some kind of inlays on the fretboard, otherwise I'm afraid of getting "lost".
7. Non-satin finish. I sweat a lot on stage, and that started to gloss up the satin finish on my old Schecter Loomis...no bueno.
8. Price. I'm not looking for an RG2228 here. We're talking Schecter Hellraiser/Ibanez RGA8 territory here.
Given I know that doesn't leave a lot of choices out there...from what I could gather, basically either a Schecter C8, or Ibanez RGA8. But I wanted to see what YOU guys think, if you have experience with both or have any recommendations.
I would strongly suggest you find a way to spend at least a few hours with one, ideally a weekend if someone you know has one. I loved the RG2228 I had for a while but quickly grew bored of it. The only thing I took from it was that I needed a 27" scale guitar in my life for those piano-like clean tones, but I got very bored of the low F#.