Review: RAN Crusher 7

Review: RAN Crusher 7

Today I’m going to present you my latest acquisition: a RAN Crusher 7-string. I purchased this guitar just a couple of weeks ago from a private seller within the EU, so it is a used instrument and I’m the third owner. Unlike in my review of my custom Carvin, I can’t tell you what the order procedure and customer service at RAN Guitars is like. What I can say though is that I was lucky to encounter such a friendly seller, with whom it was very easy to make a deal. This was the first time ever that I bought something secondhand via Internet and I’m glad that there wasn’t any bad surprise. He actually packed an wrapped the guitar better than Carvin did to ship my DC700 from the United States to Europe.

Before I talk about that gorgeous instrument, let’s take a look at the specifications:

  • Model: Crusher 7
  • Construction method: bolt-on neck
  • Scale length: 25,5”
  • Body: mahagony
  • Neck: 3-piece ovangkol
  • Top: walnut
  • Finish: clear satin finish
  • Fingerboard: macassar ebony
  • Inlays: offset dots, progressively changing side
  • Side dots: green Luminlays
  • Bridge: Hipshot
  • Tuners: Schaller M6 Locking
  • Strap buttons: Schaller straplocks
  • Frets: 24 stainless steel frets
  • Pickups: Seymour Duncan Nazgûl (bridge) + Sentient (neck)
  • Routing: 1 Volume, 1 Tone, 3-way switch
  • String set: D’Addario NYXL 011-064

Feel:

I must admit, I bought this guitar not because I was really in need of a second 7-string but because I saw the pictures and thought it was an absolutely killer deal for such a badass guitar. The woods just look amazing in person, and the bevels and that pointy headstock (which has no single dent!!) make the guitar look super sharp and aggressive. It isn’t a super light-weight guitar, but since I’m accustomed to play an Ibanez RGA8 live, I have no problem at all. The guitar feels very expensive and smooth. I’ve never seen such a perfect neck joint before, this is really high-range-custom level. The guitar looks pretty massive and the headstock pretty huge on pictures but in fact it is really compact. It has a 25,5” scale – I think that with the right string set, it handles Drop A just fine. The perfect scale would be 26,5” for me but that is very rare and I don’t like 27” too much. The 3-piece ovangkol neck is very smooth, pretty thin and comfortable. The guitar was set up perfectly when I got it, I honestly never experienced such a well playing guitar before. Everyone I gave it to said the same words: “it plays itself!

I now have a slightly thicker set of strings on it, so I had to set it up properly again. It isn’t quite as mindblowing as with the thinner strings, but still impressively good to play with more tension on the strings.

Sound:

After I had my Carvin DC700 for almost a year, I thought nothing could really compete with it soundwise. I was wrong. The RAN’s high gain sound has a massive and tight lowend and a biting crunch in the highend to it. I already heard the Seymour Duncan Nazgul and Sentient combo in a 7-string PRS SE where I liked its crunch, but here they really make this RAN a serious weapon. It used to have Bare Knuckle Aftermaths in it, the previous owner actually made a video comparing them to the Seymour Duncans:

I really prefer the high gain lead sounds of the RAN over the Carvin’s. The sound is nicely saturated, powerful and less splanky. The new string set, the D’Addario NYXL, make it sound a bit more dry, but not less aggressive. The clean sound is alright, the middle position sounds pretty sweet, but I miss a coil split function on this guitar. For me, it really is a must.

Verdict:

I’m pretty sure I made the deal of the year with this RAN. I spent exactly 1270,-€ on a sick looking and sounding guitar which can definitely keep up with the +2k Skervesens I get to play regularly, both soundwise and qualitywise. The guitar was 1600,-€ when it was new. So I can’t say anything about the brand and their service unfortunately, but I think if you find a used RAN for a decent price, I bet it will be just as killer as mine.