Meshuggah invented djent. Meshuggah pioneered the use of 8-string guitars in metal. Meshuggah are LEGENDS. But what guitars do Meshuggah use?
What Guitars Do Meshuggah Use?
- Ibanez M8M
- Ibanez Stoneman (AKA Ibanez FTM33)
This is the exact model used by Meshuggah. Built to the band’s exact specifications, the Ibanez M80M 8-String is one of the most well-known 8-string guitars on the planet. Rocking a single Lundgren Model M8P bridge pickup, this guitar is designed for djent. But you can also rip up some amazing-sounding jazz on it too.
Meshuggah pioneered the use of extended-range guitars in metal.
They don’t use traditional 6-string guitars anymore. And while there are plenty of great 6-string guitar options for metal (and also specific guitar models for doom), Meshuggah is 100% 8-string these days.
And that means lots of crazy chord extensions and voicing.
The band was one of the first well-known metal bands to leverage 8-string guitars, starting on the album NOTHING but it wasn’t until the release of OBZEN that the band really hit its stride.
Getting started with 8-string guitars wasn’t easy. Back in 2002, 8-string guitars were not available anywhere. If you wanted one, it had to be custom.
Meshuggah initially opted for some custom models from Nevborn for the NOTHING record.
But these guitars were too faulty to use, so, after trying things with detuned 7-string guitars, Meshuggah partnered-up with Ibanez, as it was the only guitar company that could build a functional 8-string guitar at the time.
Meshuggah used 8-string Ibanez guitars ever since. But it wasn’t until they began pre-production on OBZEN that things started to get a little more custom and a little more interesting…
Prior to the recording of OBZEN, Meshuggah collaborated with Ibanez to create an 8-string concept guitar for use on the record.
Enter The Ibanez M80M
Hagstrom and Thordendal, Meshuggah’s guitarists, needed a guitar that was not only suitable for recording. But also for touring. They needed something durable, reliable, and something that sounded great – live and in the studio.
And the Ibanez M80M was born. Meshuggah used the M8oM while recording the OBZEN record, as well as while touring in support of its release during 2019 and 2020, before the apocalypse happened.
The M80M then evolved into the now-classic Ibanez M8M which can now be bought by mere mortals like you and me – although to buy one you’ll have to cough up the best part of £10,000.
And that’s a pretty sizeable chunk of change.
But the Ibanez M8M does look the business. It also packs in a ton of killer specs, as you can see below.
Ibanez M80M Specs:
- Top/back/body: Alder wing body
- Fretboard: Rosewood fretboard
- Fret: Jumbo fretsPrestige fret edge treatment
- Number of frets: 24
- Bridge: FX Edge III-8 bridge
- String space: 10.8mm
- Bridge pickup: Lundgren Model M8 (H) bridge pickupPassive/Ceramic
- Factory tuning: 1D#,2A#,3F#,4C#,5G#,6D#,7A#,8F
- Strings: Dunlop
- String gauge: .009/.011/.016/.026/.036/.046/.052/.070
- Hardware color: Black
Thankfully, Ibanez now offers an entire range of cheaper (but still very, very good) 8-string guitars. My personal favorite? This one…
Ibanez is famous for making brilliant, affordable guitars. The Ibanez RG8 8-String is no exception. This massively affordable 8-string runs IBZ-8 humbucker pickups in the neck and bridge and looks and plays like a dream. If you’re on a budget, this is exactly what you’ve been searching for…
What something even better? Go with the Schecter Demon-8 ($539) – it is essentially one of the best entry-level 8-string guitars money can buy right now.
If you want a reliable, affordable, quality guitar, you really cannot go wrong with Schecter. And the Schecter Demon-8 is by far and away one of the best 8-string guitars we have ever used – at any price point. This thing is beautifully made and its Schecter Diamond Active HB-1055 humbuckers ensure it sounds as good as it looks. Incredible stuff.
Other Guitars Used By Meshuggah
The M8M isn’t the only custom 8-string you’ll see Meshuggah playing if you watch them live or on YouTube. Thordendal also has another 8-string custom model called the Ibanez Stoneman (AKA Ibanez FTM33).
The 27in Ibanez Stoneman is based on Thordendal’s love for guitars like the Fireman, Firebrand, and Explorer. The Stoneman pulls in influence from all of these iconic designs, only on this axe you have 8-strings to play with.
Specs-wise, the Ibanez Stoneman features the same knob placement as a Flying V, two Lundgren M8 pickups in the bridge and neck position, jumbo frets, and an FX EDGE lll-8 double-locking fixed bridge.
It is totally badass. I actually prefer the look of the Stoneman to the M8M. But then again, I’m a massive sucker for Firebirds and Explorers.