halo bh-vii review against the test of time

Discussion in 'Gear Reviews' started by thepunisher, Dec 7, 2005.

  1. thepunisher

    thepunisher just another hairy viking

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    after a year of owning my halo, here is what i have to say about its overall effect.
    first of all, i want to point out that this is a mid level guitar. personally, i have been very impressed about almost all features of the guitar.
    upon ordering it(yes, before i did so i had my doubts) i felt like i had done the right thing. their customer service is top notch, and they really back their product. it is beyond comparison, as they bring custom shop attention when you order a basic instrument, and describe near perfectly what you are actually buying from them.
    when it arrived and i ripped into the packaging to pull out the guitar, the first thought going through my mind is, i cant wait to plug this fucker in. but when i opened the case, i just sat there staring at it for the first five minutes. the finish allowed the grain of the wood to show through. i picked it up and turned it around in my hands and oogled.
    it has had the same affect on all the people who ive shown it to, no remorse in the looks department.

    now for the important part, the sound. it hits the gain and overdrive settings with the sort of enthusiasm most would want. on a higher gain, it delievers enough for most death metal tones, but can easily do sabbath with a twist of the volume knob. add a little overdrive to the clean setting if you dont have an overdrive channel and you will get anywhere from a slight dirty sound to a stevie ray sound.
    the tone knob cuts the treble nicly, however, i prefere to leave it around 3/4 up.

    the down here is that the clean sucks. pretty much, it is always a bit dirty, which was a major disappointment. also there was a slight pickup hiss, which might be the greatest reason for the next suggestion.
    IF YOU PLAN ON BUYING THIS GUITAR, CHANGE THE PUPS TOO.
    the guitar is listed, or at least at the time i got it, for 700$.
    mine was recieved for 400$. if you get it at 600$ or less, this will definatly be a wonderful investment once the old pups are gone.

    i am finally getting around to replacing them now, and will post what i change to, as well as the effect it has on the tone.

    the biggest issue with this guitar is the electronics. the wiring is horrendous, and sickned me when i opened the cavity of the guitar. another problem was consistant, at least from what ive heard from other people, dust in the cavity. i did a bit of patching up the wiring, which eleminated the hiss of the pickups, but not the dirt.
    this would be the major short coming. :noway:

    wood- maple neck, rosewood frets with sharkfin inlays, 24, alder body pieces
    controls 3 way blade switch, 1 tone, 1 volume.

    options- some extra amount gets you a coffin case, my guitar came with a crappy cable as an extra i guess?

    other features i have to mention are the neck through: how many guitars have you seen for 700 with a neck through?
    this feature more than makes up for the sad wiring job
    after playing on this guitar, with the neck through, whenever i go back to set or bolt they just seems inferior. the feel of the guitar, the tone of it, the sustain, all will make you think, fuck leo fender and his bolt ons.
    while talking about the neck, lets talk about the lower horn. it seems the opinion is that the lower horn will hinder movement. this is a gross misconception. unless you have gigantic hands, there is no interference with your playing.

    the floyd rose. to be honest, im not exactly sold on the whole floyd rose thing anyway, regradless of guitar. perhaps i got decided it was a good idea because of dimes death when i was ordering last year, as it was an intergral part of his soloing style.(tomorrow,R.I.P.) however, the floyd has seemed to have a mind of its own. i finally added another spring in order to get it to sit right with my dr.10-.46, d'addrio .56 for b(tuned standard.)
    it seems to take awhile for the strings to get in tune, but once they do, there is little tuning youll need to do until you change sets. so far, only one string broken with it to date.
    change of hardware number two: i am adding a tremol-no when i can, as i would much rather have a stable bridge than the floyd curently.

    changing tunings also is a problem presented by the floyd.
    if you need to change tunings 50 times during a set, any guitar with a floyd isnt for you.

    some minor issues to take note. the first was that the screws dont seem to be standard size for the straps, so when i went to instal a dimarzio strap lock, the screw holes where too small. solution, bought some cheap plastic dunlop things for 3$ and used them instead.
    tone knob cap fell off. big deal, it will happen to all guitars eventually.

    people this guitar is for: unless you are a vintage snob, i would say it's for you. price range is excellent, especially if you get it to below 500$.
    for anyone just wanting a seven, this is for you.

    why i chose this over say an ibanez?
    at the time, i couldnt find an ibanez in my price range that i liked(i still cant find a decent seven string ibanez for less than the halo at list). when the add for this came, i jumped on it, as i wanted a new guitar. fortunatly it turned out well.

    rankings-
    overall, id say it deserves about a 9. there were a few issues, such as the wiring, that made me sad.
    the quality of the body, anything wood, and looks-10, not a single flaw with my guitars body, perfect finish. i really dig the natural coupled with the tranparent black, and the through neck is heavenly.
    pickup wise- if ya never want a clean, id give it a 9. if you are like me and do, id say a 7.5
    floyd rose setup-(animosity towards certain common floyd rose tendancys prevents me from feeling competent to rank here)

    tone wise, distortion, 9.5 clean n.a. od- 9.5

    harmonics- hell yea, crystal clear through any level of distorion, includoing clear on the clean.10

    coolness factor- unique look, classic yet undeniably ready for any sort of headbashing noise, 9.7

    durability/consistancy- has never let me down,10
     
  2. Digital Black

    Digital Black SS.org Regular

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    I loved mine, sound ,features, look... But the feel of it was wrong for me. I'm just too spoiled by ibanez necks. For a 7 string, accuracy is important and I found that a constant struggle for me. Which I why I sold it after 10 months.
    If they ever changed the neck profile to a slimmer style, I would not hesitate to buy a BH-7 again..
     
  3. thepunisher

    thepunisher just another hairy viking

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    i guess its time for an update. after putting the new pickups into the guitar, i would like to explain some new findings. first off, the rings are slightly larger than the standard size, so dont plan on using a different size. the pickup cavities are also shallow, so i got lucky as far as depth with seymours, but it was a close call.

    extracting the pickups ws a pinch. two wires from each, connected to the back of the volume pots and to their place on the switch. red=neck; black=bridge. after heating the iron up and getting the wires disconnected, i could unscrew them. there was dust in both cavities, which i cleaned up using some rags and a small vacuum.

    the duncans had come with pickup rings and screws. it is important to note that i used neither. due to the large width of the holes, the rings would not work. it was also to shallow for the screws. i used the old ones, no problem there.

    after getting the pickups in place, i flipped the guitar over, and following the schematics for 2 pups, 1 vol, 1 tone 3 way, it was about a five minute soldering job. remember the placement of the orginals on the switch.

    What i put in?

    one seymour duncan jazz for the neck, one seymour duncan jb for the bridge.

    the major differences-all of a sudden the guitar was clear. the sound had been a little muddy before. no more. the cleans actual shone through, something the old guitar had but not very nicly. harmonics could pour out, and the low B sounded strong and dominant. the jazz is the best clean sound i have ever played on, hands down. i almost cried because of the beauty of the notes pouring out of the amps. chords were defined, and it was balanced to near perfection. the jb was trebly(clean panteraish, think this lovecemetary gates, hollow), but had a nice twang to it.
    adding a bit of overdrive produced smooth, creamy blues tones to ac/dc from the jazz, and snarling solos from the jb.
    mid distortion. the jazz excelled in all areas, from tool to coc to maiden to korn. i could dial in these using just the volume and tone knobs on the guitar. talk about diversity. while the possiblities were nearly endless with the jazz, it was time for the jb. i could get a wonderful solo sound out of it, along with several rhytm tones(seven dust, megadeth, deftones.).(at first i was having buyers remorse with the jb, but the next section will explain why i no longer feel that way.)

    heavy distortion-the jazz began to lack here. while it could hit dream theatre and tool at points, that is where it began to stop. the rhytm tone was only good up to a point, and really lacked the sort of crunch sound. while still sounding nice at this level, it was obvious it was better suited for milder climates. poof. the jb came in at the rght time. where the jazz lacked, the jb excelled. think thrash, think the vai type solo sound, all of these shone with the jb in my guitar. it even pulled off dime's tone. syl was possible, although not dead on, close as i have ever gotten with my set up. it provided the chrunch when palm muting that the other lacked, pulled off some nasty pinch harmonchs, and then ran off some speed licks, with flawless articulation of each note. and the solo sound is riht on the money. bends, and ever nuiance of my playing where noticed at high gain on this puppy.

    and not to understate, both pickups get a nice funk sound too.

    this was a great improvement to the guitar, and made it sound so much better.
     
  4. nitelightboy

    nitelightboy I poop in shoes. Contributor

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    I've been considering getting one of the V's from the custom shop with a fixed trem and an Air Norton7 and Blaze custom with a 5-way....but I haven't heard much about their quality. Do you think that it'd be a good buy?? I'm used to Ibanez's. mainly 7321's.
     
  5. thepunisher

    thepunisher just another hairy viking

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    a halo v?

    personally, i would say they make good instruments from the money, and most people are really impressed with mine. then they hear the price and shit themselves before asking, where do i get one?

    however, try to get a quote from em before you decide. depending on the price it may be smarter to go to a different shop(say upwards of 1,300$us) or just buy a different guitar.

    i will tell you that unless you are set on the fixed bridge, it would be smarter to buy the generic v and up the pups, depending on the price of the custom. now, before i get ya excited, i got to tear you down a bit. the generic v that halo makes is rumored to be removed very soon from production as it isnt selling well and they want to make room for the new models that will appear at namm(in a few weeks, make the call to em fast if you really want it). meaning check it out, and maybe there will be a clearance deal. of course, they could all be gone, and you just luck out.

    i would say if you have any interest in through necks, definatly consider the v highly.
    the v wasnt my style, as i enjoy my balls too much for them to be dealing with vs sitting down, so that is why i went for the bh-7. i was taking a gamble getting it, and a gamble not getting it. i wasnt sure it would be any good, and if i didnt get it, i might not get one later if they went under. so i took the chance and got one. 400$ us. you can probably get him to drop at least 150 off the generic guitars, if not more. just talk to him. in the end i knew i had made the right choice, and with my new pickups, i know i will never part with that guitar. EVER.


    if you have any specfic questions for me regarding my guitar, please feel free to private message me and i will gadly answer them in depth for you. i can also try to get you some more info, i know several people with their vs, who could definatly help you out. however, this thread is a review, and i would prefere to continue this discussion with you outside of it if you dont mind.
     

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