Co-designed by the guitarist and mastermind behind the Devin Townsend Project and Strapping Young Lad, Peavey’s new PXD Vicious 7 String Baritone is a welcome new entry to the 7-string scene. This big V-shaped ax with its gunmetal paint, black hardware, and insectclaw headstock looks sinister just sitting on a stand, and its complement of active EMG pickups (which get their juice from a 9-volt battery housed the control cavity) promise plenty of sonic savagery when you plug it in.
Things that make the Vicious 7 String Baritone hip include its broad “C” neck and polished jumbo frets, the solidity of its neck-through design with through-body stringing, and the tuneful intonation. Fit and finish on this guitar is impressive, and the pearl inlay at the 12th position and the abalone-topped Volume knob are welcome cosmetic touches on what is otherwise a pretty mean-ass looking guitar.
Tuned to the factory spec of E to low B, the PXD Vicious 7 String Baritone sounds much like a standard 7-string guitar, but delivers tighter lows courtesy of the extra string tension that’s created by the 28" scale. Plugged into an appropriate amplifier— we deployed a Mesa/Boogie Dual Rectifier half stack for this test—the clear-sounding EMG neck pickup lays on a muscular twang when riffing on the low strings, while the bridge humbucker’s louder, punchier attack makes lead lines bore though like a rock drill. The dual-pickup setting is great for rhythm work, and chords sound big, clear, and well detailed when played through a cleaner amp channel. The PXD’s lack of a Tone control is a little disconcerting, but the well balanced EMGs require little knob futzing once you get things dialed at the amp end. This guitar could be a real earth shaker if you choose to tune it down further (which would require heavier strings), but as it stands, the PXD Vicious 7 String Baritone is definitely something to try if you’re looking to live large in your band’s sound.
CONTACT Peavey, (601) 483-5365; peavey.com
Devin Townsend Signature PXD Vicious 7 String Baritone
PRICE $1,799 retail/$1,399 street, Coffin case included
NUT WIDTH 1 7/8” Tusq
NECK Rock maple, thru-body
FRETBOARD Ebony, 28” scale
FRETS 24 Jumbo
TUNERS Custom designed locking
BODY Mahogany w/ maple cap
BRIDGE 7-string Tune-o-matic style w/ thrubody stringing
PICKUPS EMG 81-7 humbucker (bridge), EMG SA-7 single-coil (neck)
CONTROLS Volume, 3-way pickup selector
FACTORY STRINGS D’Addario 7-String nickel wound, .010-.060
WEIGHT 9.24 lbs
KUDOS Well made. Delivers tight low-string tones.
CONCERNS No Tone control. Screwdriver required to change the battery.