Sire Guitars L7 Review: The Astounding Alternative To Epiphone!

Sire Guitars L7
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The Sire Guitars L7 is a brand I had never heard of, and I am floored by the quality! Before you decide on buying an Epiphone, you need to see this first! Today we check out Sire Guitars for the first time.

Sire Guitars L7: Where Did These Come From?

The people that started the Sire guitar brand all grew up together and played in bands with each other, as well as church recitals. They were three friends that would play music just about anywhere. They started their own bass guitar company first, and then moved on to guitars just recently.

The difference being the guys from Sire played in a band, and made their own instruments. But they seemingly came out of nowhere, and the Sire Guitars L7 just seemed to “show up” in several big retail stores in 2020. Not only did they show up, they started to sell out fast!

But the truth is, the guys at Sire guitars have been working on this for quite a while, since 1995 in fact. Kyle, the owner of Sire guitars could have done what everyone usually does when it comes to making guitars overseas. He could have outsourced the work to a major factory. Most brands build the guitars in say…the Cort factory in Indonesia right?

Well, if Cort cannot keep up with the numbers, then the brand goes to another factory, and another… until the numbers/orders are fulfilled. This is why sometimes you see inconsistencies in cheaper guitars. The more cooks in the kitchen… well you know the saying. The quality goes down, and you get some really inconsistent quality guitars.

Other brands like Schecter only use two factories to get the job done. Schecter uses one Indonesian factory, and then the famous World Music Factory in South Korea (for the higher end products). This is why Schecter has consistent quality, especially with the Korean line of instruments. But there are limitations to what can be done with these factories, and you have to order huge numbers for these factories to even consider your brand.

Sire Guitars did not want to go this route, so Kyle set up his own factory and took building from his home shop, to mass production. He did this to ensure the quality stayed top level in every aspect. The current factory makes Sire Guitars and it’s hardware/pickups, and that is all the factory makes. It is a small operation, but the quality stays top notch and everything is done in-house.

Now, the problem with only working with one small factory is that it takes a long time to get going. So Sire Guitars were selling out left and right, and Kyle was having a hard time keeping them in the stores, as the factory couldn’t keep up with demand.

But Kyle stuck to his guns, and just told everyone they would have to wait. But in the end, the wait was worth it, because now Sire Guitars are carried by Guitar Center and Anderton’s. The Sire brand can be found at many smaller retailers too. Kyle refused to outsource the guitars, so the quality would remain the same.

I really respect this decision, as Sire Guitars could have easily moved to another operation to keep the numbers pumping out. But Sire Guitars didn’t do that, and I think that speaks volumes about the company. Kyle and his crew put quality over quantity, and that makes a huge difference in any business. But the thing is… these are budget guitars that are under $600.

Today we are going to take a look at the Sire Guitars L7 model that has been getting some impressive reviews from YouTube guitarists. I know that some YouTube reviewers often get paid for the review, so it can be hard to believe everything these people say. Sire Guitars didn’t pay me a dime to write this, I was just… intrigued.

But there has to be a reason why these are always out of stock, right? I got to spend two days with this guitar, and I have a lot to say. Let’s take a look at the Sire Guitars L7!

Sire L7

The Larry Carlton L7 from Sire is a modern take on the traditional Les Paul guitar design with a dual humbucker pickup configuration. Designed for comfortable playability as well as clear, warm tone, the Sire L7 also features an ebony fingerboard with rolled edges. This is one of the best LP style guitars on the market, and gives every brand a run for their money!

Sire Guitars L7: Features And Specs

Sire Guitars L7
Sire Guitars L7 In Sunburst

Sire Guitars have always had a famous name attached to it’s different models. When the company only made basses, it had Marcus Miller as the endorser. Just like Paul Reed Smith did with Santana, Sire has Marcus Miller promote the basses. It worked out great, since Sire constantly sells out of every model with the Marcus Miller name attached to it. These are some great bass guitars, that just happen to have a popular name attached to them.

When it comes to electric guitars, Sire took the same approach. This time, Sire employed Larry Carlton to endorse the new electric guitar range. Now, I know we are all metalheads here at Electrikjam, but that doesn’t mean we can’t appreciate other players and genres. I personally LOVE Larry Carlton. If you have never heard him play, he might be the most melodic guitar player of all time. Seriously, pull him up on YouTube and watch how fluid he is with his phrasing and melody choices and have your mind blown.

Larry makes guitar playing look effortless, and that is a very hard thing to do. He has played as a session guitarist on thousands of records like Steely Dan and Joni Mitchell, and you have probably heard him on the radio and you didn’t even know it! So for someone like Larry to put his name on a guitar, it probably needs to be outstanding.

Now Larry usually plays a semi-hollow guitar, but he also plays a variety of Start style, and Les Paul style guitars when it comes to detailed studio work. The Sire Guitars L7 has all of the features that Larry asked for, and it is a guitar that punches well above it’s price tag. The features you get are insane for the price:

  • Mahogany Body
  • Mahogany Neck
  • Maple Top
  • Ebony Fretboard
  • Set-in mahogany neck with C-shape
  • Ebony fingerboard with 22 medium-jumbo frets
  • 24.75 Scale
  • 12” Radius
  • Dual Sire Designed humbucker pickups
  • Locking Tuners
  • Bone Nut
  • Rolled Fret Ends/Neck
  • Pearloid Inlays
  • Aluminum Tailpiece
  • Modern Neck Heel
  • Satin Finished Neck
  • Flame Maple Veneer
  • Triple Binding On The Whole Guitar

Where do I start with the Sire Guitars L7? I suppose I could start with the construction, because this thing is solid as hell! The body is 4 pieces of Mahogany, just like Epiphone Les Paul guitars and other budget brands. This makes the guitar pretty heavy, and it weighs about 8.5lbs. I certainly did not expect this to be a one piece body like a high end Gibson, so I was not surprised.

The modern heel joint allows you to reach all of the top frets, and unlike most budget guitars, the Sire has a nice satin neck. The back of the Sire Guitars L7 is all gloss, but the neck is sanded down to satin so your hand doesn’t stick when you sweat. The fretboard is a beautiful ebony wood that is nice and dark with some grain that really pops and it is not dyed black.

The C shaped neck is somewhere between a 60’s model “Slim Taper” neck, and the thicker 50’s style neck that I personally love. My favorite neck is the Les Paul 59 and it is hard to find that proper neck on most guitar models. But the Sire Guitars L7 is definitely in between, making it very comfortable. I call these “Goldilocks Necks” for this reason!

The satin neck finish just adds to the overall feel. This feels more like a Gibson Les Paul that I used to own, and loved. You can see that guitar in my picture at the bottom of the article. Note: This neck is two pieces, and has a scarf joint like PRS, making it highly stable. But Some people dislike a scarf joint, and prefer a one piece neck.

I could not find a single finish flaw in the paint or the binding which is rare for a budget guitar. The Sire Guitars L7 comes with rolled edges on the fretboard, which makes the guitar feel “worn in” and it plays like butter. There were no high frets or sharp frets, and the guitar was set up perfectly. I would probably lower the strings a little for personal preference, but it was playable out of the box. The rolled edges are something you usually never get on a budget guitar.

We should also note that this has a proper maple cap for the top, but it is not a Flame Maple top. The Flame effect is added by using a thin Veneer, as you would expect for a budget guitar. But the veneer looks to be about 2mm thick, so it looks great and has a 3D effect to it. Personally, I don’t care about having a AAA Flame top, as it does not add to tone at all. The real maple cap however, definitely changes the tone and sucks ups some of those low frequencies.

Sire Guitars L7 Review: The Astounding Alternative To Epiphone!

All of the hardware is proprietary, but having an aluminum bridge at this price point is bonkers. This is a huge upgrade, and it definitely changes the way the guitar resonates. The locking tuners are Sire designed, but they work great and combined with the bone/TUSQ nut you will have no problem staying in tune. The bridge is a standard Tune O Matic style, without any crazy additions. Note: This bridge is wider than an Epiphone, so if you want to replace this bridge you will need to use a larger Gibson/American Nashville style.

The headstock is something you will either love or hate. I love the understated look, and the logo is very subtle. Now an important feature of the neck is that it doesn not have that “Gibson Tilt Back” that cause the headstock to break so often on Gibson Les Pauls. This is because the tuners are properly staggered, so there is no need for tilt.

The nut is a bone material, once again made in house by Sire Guitars. Look guys, this nut was cut perfectly. Even when you get TUSQ nuts on budget guitars, you rarely see one that is cut perfectly. This is insane at this price range, and I am totally impressed with the overall construction. But the electronics are what I find to be really impressive…

Sire Guitars L7: Pickups And Electronics.

Sire Guitars L7 Review: The Astounding Alternative To Epiphone!

I feel like the pickups needed their own section for a bunch of reasons. I usually would never do this with a cheaper guitar, because most stock pickups on budget friendly guitars are just “OK” at best. This is not the case with the Sire Guitars L7, so I wanted to really talk about the Sire Pickups. These are not your usual Les Paul style pickups that you get with Les Paul style instruments.

Both pickups sit in the 7k ohm range, with the bridge being just slightly higher at 7.6k when measured. So these are not “hot” pickups like you would get with some Seymour Duncan sets. These pickups also don’t do the PAF style sound either. Construction-wise, these sit somewhere in the middle of all of these popular pickups. I have no idea what kind of magnets are being used, but they sound like Alnico.

With all of the science stuff out of the way, we can get down to the sound. These pickups are bright, much brighter than you usually find on a vintage style guitar. This means that there is a lot of clarity to be had. If you use a tube amp, this will be noticeable right out the gate. But even using amp sims, you could tell this guitar has a brighter quality to it. I noticed that the volume knob on the guitar has more control than usual, and that can only be due to one factor…

What I found most interesting, was the treble bleed circuit when I opened the back panel. Now some guitars come with this, like Reverend, but most times this is an upgrade you do yourself. If you wonder what this does, it makes the volume control actually work. The circuit allows you to dial down the volume control on the guitar without losing any high end, or sounding muffled. This is a feature that most pros have on their guitars, and I couldn’t believe this was on a budget guitar.

There was one letdown, and I was kind of sad about this. The tone controls work fine, but not like a usual LP style guitar. I usually turn the tone knob down a bit for the neck pickups to get that smooth, creamy Slash tone. This is also called the Eric Clapton “Woman” tone. I could not get this to work with the Sire Guitars L7, and I think it’s due to the pot’s quality, and the fact that these are very bright pickups. This is an easy fix, and I could just replace the potentiometer with something higher quality.

Overall, the Sire Guitars L7 has all of the best features you would find in a modern guitar, as well as a vintage vibe blended in. This is what stands out the most to me, and the electronics are all top notch. Sire really takes pride in doing electronics in house and it shows. These pickups could do just about any style you can imagine.

You can definitely get a metal tone with these pickups, and it will chug with the best of them. But it really shines when you add copious amounts of fuzz. Usually a fuzz pedal will dull the sound of any guitar, but with the Sire Guitars L7 it has so much top end in the bridge that you get clarity even when playing Doom style fuzz tones.

Sire Guitars L7 Review: The Astounding Alternative To Epiphone!
Goldtop Version of The Sire Guitars L7

Sire Guitars L7: The Verdict

I am rarely impressed with a budget guitar the way that I am with the Sire Guitars L7. I almost never get blown away by cheaper guitars. I can see how some of the cheaper guitars are great for the money, and I enjoy them for what they are. But this guitar is a totally different animal.

I will be reviewing all of the Sire guitars as I can get my hands on them. But if the rest of the line are even close to the L7 in quality, I might be adding some of these to my collection. These come in tons of colors, but I am leaning towards the Goldtop for myself!

If you want a Sire Guitars L7, they are currently out of stock in America BUT there are more on the way as we speak! You should reserve yours today by clicking here. These sell out quick once they get in stock, so go ahead and reserve yours NOW if you want one.

These are an absolute steal for the price, and I fully plan on buying one when they get in stock again. I will do a video review as soon as these hit the stores, just to show that I am not kidding at all when it comes to the sheer quality and craftsmanship and tone of the Sire Guitars L7.

Does The Sire Guitars L7 Come With A Case?

No, but these fit most generic Les Paul cases, as the body dimensions are very much the same.

Where Are Sire Guitars Made?

These are made in Indonesia in the Sire Factory. All parts are made there, including the electronics. Sire makes everything “in house”. This includes the special pickups designed in conjunction with Larry Carlton.

Is The Sire Guitars L7 Available In The USA?

Yes! These are available worldwide, but they do sell out quite fast in the USA market. Sire Guitars can be bought worldwide through many different dealers.


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