I used to have 3 different 5 strings for low F#BEADG, standard BEADG, and EADGC, got rid of them and after getting a 7 string. All the range in one instrument. Took some time to get used to but its nice. For me the pros outweigh the cons when it comes to additional strings to a certain extent. I only have to carry one bass to a gig, i only have to buy and change 7 strings instead of 15. The 7 is heavier than any 5 i owned but at the same time the weight is nice because it doesn't flop around when I'm playing standing up. It's a little more difficult to play the low f# and b strings but i don't really do anything fancy with them anyways. Most of the more technical stuff i play or at least try to play is on the e,a,d,g,and c strings and in their case it's the exact same reach as a 5 tuned eadgc. The reach isn't really an issue if you have the bass in a good playing position. Obviously if the bass is down at your knees it'll be harder to play a wider neck but i have average size hands and judging by how far I can reach past the low f# string i could probably handle a 9 string bass. Don't have any plans on going that far though. The high f string gets lost in the mix of the band so I'm sure a high Bb would be worse, an low f# is already pushing the limit of my rig and the PA so low c# isn't for me.