A casual swipe through Instagram is all the proof you need that fanned-fret and extended-range guitars are much more mainstream these days, and it’s a fact that clearly hasn’t escaped Cort. The Asian mega-manufacturer has overhauled its first seven-string, multi-scale behemoth, revamping and renaming it for 2021. The KX500MS is dead, long live the KX507 Multi Scale.
Multi-scale guitars may be more visible today but their benefits are commonly misunderstood. On heavily downtuned or seven- or eight-string guitars with a standard scale length, in order to obviate unpleasant fluctuations in pitch caused by excessive string vibration, either a lighter touch or the employment of heavier strings is required. Sadly, there comes a point when ever-thicker strings become subject to the law of diminishing returns. You experience loss of sustain or, worst of all, the string simply becomes too large for the tuning post.
A longer scale length will increase tension, narrow string oscillation, and ultimately provide more stable tuning; but the downside is that the additional tautness of the treble strings makes expressive lead work difficult. These issues gave birth to the multi-scale concept, whereby lower strings have a progressively longer scale length than their higher-tuned counterparts.
The KX507’s stylings scream teenage angst but the ornamental poplar burl top adds a touch of class to the mahogany body. The neck is a D shape but, as is commonplace on seven- and eight-string guitars, the back is quite flat, though by no means thin. Cort has placed the neutral fret – the only fret that is straight and not angled – at the eight fret which they claim better sympathises with your natural hand position at both extremities.
Despite the accessible price, Cort has continued its commendable habit of appointing name-brand electronics, and here you’ll find Fishman Fluence Modern humbucking pickups, which are fast becoming the go-to choice for contemporary high-gain players.
It never fails to surprise us how little mental acclimatisation is required when switching to a multi-scale guitar and, despite our review model suffering from a slight neck dive when strapped on, we have no issues traversing the entire neck at speed without distraction from unorthodox fret angles. The action is comfortably low and free from fretbuzz so lead passages are a cinch, with the neck carve providing consistent palm-filling support whatever our thumb position.
Each humbucker has two distinct modes, with the second ‘voice’ being activated by the push/pull volume knob – coil splits are also available via the push/pull tone control. Both humbuckers shine in their default positions with the low end judiciously reined in but delivering suitable punch for probing metal riffing. Fidelity and string separation is exemplary, making harmonically dense chordal work possible on even the highest of gain settings, and the aeons-long sustain on offer is sensational, even without huge helpings of amp saturation.
On both pickups, we find the voice two a little uninspiring and rather watered down compared to the richness of voice one, but otherwise there’s very little to fault here. Will this instrument appeal to anyone other than shredders and purveyors of down-tuned metal? Unlikely, but any guitarist wishing to explore the low-end while retaining sonic clarity for expansive rhythm playing will be served very well indeed by the KX507.
- PRICE £839
- DESCRIPTION 7-string multi-scale electric guitar, made in Indonesia
- BUILD Poplar burl top, mahogany body, bolt-on five-piece maple and purple heart neck with 15.75″/400mm radius macassar ebony fingerboard and 24 frets
- HARDWARE Staggered locking tuners tuners, individual hardtail bridge with through-body stringing
- ELECTRONICS 2x Fishman Fluence Modern humbuckers, 3-way toggle pickup selector, volume (push/pull to activate voice one or two) and tone (push/pull to activate coil split)
- SCALE LENGTH 25.5″/648mm to 27″/689mm
- NECK WIDTH 47.4mm at nut, 60.6mm at 12th fret
- NECK DEPTH 20.4mm at 1st fret, 22.6mm at 12th fret
- STRING SPACING 63.9mm at bridge, 40.3mm at nut
- WEIGHT 3.2kg/7.05lb
- LEFT-HANDERS No
- FINISHES Star Dust Green (as reviewed), Star Dust Black
- CONTACT cortguitars.com