NGD. Halo custom guitars Merus 7. (Pics inside)

Discussion in 'Sevenstring Guitars' started by Konstantine, Dec 7, 2017 at 10:22 AM.

  1. Konstantine

    Konstantine SS.org Regular

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    Let me start by saying that I think a good number of us here have heard and witnessed the halo debacle that happened a few year ago now. After my bad experience with another brand that I will not mention, I was approached by Bruce, one of the new key people at Halo custom guitars about offering to make me a guitar with the color stained burl I had been chasing after for a while now. If the stain was off or if I just wasn't happy with the job they did or anything with the instrument period, they said they would take the guitar back and give a full refund with no questions asked. I decided to let them take a swing at it, knowing full well what others had said in the past. As someone who is exceedingly OCD and a perfectionist, I felt this review could benefit others as well as show what the outfit at Halo is putting out now.

    Jeff Lee, one of the main sales associates at Halo, handled my custom order and communicated with me throughout the process from start to finish. I made it very clear that I was after a certain look and sent photos to match. Lee sent me pictures of different blocks of burled maple they had and I got to choose. The communication throughout the order and after receiving the guitar was timely and detailed and the build was finished timely as well, approx. 7 months from receiving after first placing my order. If I had not been so picky about the burl top, I am sure it would have been sooner.

    The instrument was spec'd out as a 7 string super strat style guitar with a carved burl top, mahogany body with a ebony fb, topped off with a set of bk jugs.

    Initial thoughts: I've owned this guitar for quite some time now but here are my initial thoughts when I first received it.

    Fit and finish: Probably the aspect of the instrument most in question by you folks here. I am happy to report that I was pleased to find no serious flaws with the guitar upon first inspection. I looked over the paint finish carefully and could find no odd defects or mistakes. The fretboard plays excellent, fret ends do not poke out and the action is nice and low with zero fret buzz. I did not order any elaborate custom inlays on the fretboard so I cannot comment on how they would have done with that. One area of complaint I had was that the inside of the control cavity was a bit on the rough side. The solder and wires looked rather messy and the wood was rough in there. For the price of the guitar, I feel like this is an area they could improve in. I did have no electrical issues and you don't typically see this area of the instrument anyway I suppose. Now for the moment of truth, for me anyways... I am very satisfied with the photo match they did. The stain turned out very nice and has some very interesting interactions with different sources of light. Indoor lighting gives it the light teal center and blue burst edges that I wanted. Outdoor direct sunlight turns the center a bright gold translucent and reveals the full figuring of the burl. Very nice.

    Hardware: Overall I was very pleased with the guitars hardware but I did have a small complaint in this area. At the time this order was placed, and I am not sure if it is still true, but they only offered their house brand of tuners for their instruments. I went with the locking set of course and it has been fine but compared to something like hipshot tuners, they felt lacking. Loose and just a little cheap to the touch. They do get the job done, however. Everything else has been rock solid after 10 months of playing. I now see that you can simply special request your tuner hardware of choice if you do not want to go with their house brand ones.

    Sound: This guitar sounds huge. The juggernauts in the mahogany body with the neck-thru body makes for a very warm full sound which is what I was after. The mids are strong and articulate, the bass response focused and punchy. No shrillness whatsoever and no sterile tone. I did have to EQ out some bass just a bit as the bass was so much more than my other guitars but an easy fix. Leads are super smooth and cleans are nice as well. Love the juggernauts in mahogany. Cuts through the mix very well.

    Final thoughts: I have to say I was definitely anxious waiting to receive this guitar. The thought of going two for two on getting screwed was not something I was wanting to go through but I took Bruce's word and I am more than happy with how the instrument turned out.
    I have had the guitar for about a year now and have had no issues besides switching out tuners and it remains one of my go to axes for jamming.

    Now time for some pics!

    Here is the top I went with: [​IMG]

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  2. Mattykoda

    Mattykoda SS.org Regular

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    Oh man. So glad to finally see this ngd and a lot of good come out of it a shitty situation. Happy ngd konstantine!
     
  3. dr_game0ver

    dr_game0ver SS.org Regular

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    pics don't work.
     
  4. KnightBrolaire

    KnightBrolaire 8 string hoarder

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    damn, halo stepped up their game. nice of them to rectify the issues you had with kiesel.
     
  5. Konstantine

    Konstantine SS.org Regular

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    The pics should be showing? unless photobucket is blocked on here now. Anyone else having issues seeing them?
     
  6. KnightBrolaire

    KnightBrolaire 8 string hoarder

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    I can see em fine
     
  7. Zhysick

    Zhysick Sick of all

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    Photobucket is not working for most of the people here (me included)... and I want to see that burl top!!!
     
  8. Konstantine

    Konstantine SS.org Regular

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    What image host should I use. I think imgur was blocked off this site.
     
  9. technomancer

    technomancer Gearus Pimptasticus Super Moderator

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    Pics look fine to me...
     
  10. KnightBrolaire

    KnightBrolaire 8 string hoarder

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    ... and now the pics are dead for me.
    try mixtape.moe as an image host
     
  11. cwhitey2

    cwhitey2 BlackendCrust Metal™

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    No pics! I want to see this beast!
     
  12. Konstantine

    Konstantine SS.org Regular

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    working on it. photobucket decided to suck it. Trying to resize the images to just upload direct on here with the thread img uploader

    https://my.mixtape.moe/gjkkyt.jpg
     
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  13. Konstantine

    Konstantine SS.org Regular

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    low res pic quality now but better than nothing.

    top I picked out: burl top1.png

    20170112_141158.jpg

    20170112_141245.jpg

    20170112_141326.jpg

    20170112_141615.jpg
     
  14. Konstantine

    Konstantine SS.org Regular

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  15. cwhitey2

    cwhitey2 BlackendCrust Metal™

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    I love it, congrats!
     
  16. Konstantine

    Konstantine SS.org Regular

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    Thanks! I got an insane skervesen 7 raptor ill be dropping a ngd on too. Been an extremely busy year for me so haven't had time to come on here.
     
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  17. Zhysick

    Zhysick Sick of all

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    Nice top!! Yeah!
     
  18. FitRocker33

    FitRocker33 My tone is tighter than my hamstrings

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    Is there foam in the nut slots for the top 3 strings??

    Also I see either missing stain or excess glue at the top of the nut by the bottom strings too.

    Aside from that it’s pretty dang nice
     
  19. cwhitey2

    cwhitey2 BlackendCrust Metal™

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    I didn't notice it the first time, but it does look odd... Might be the angle and camera, same for the glue spot.

    Either way, it looks good and I would like to play a new one to see if they have improved :coffee:
     
  20. Soya

    Soya Not a musician Contributor

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    Also appears to be a chunk missing out the corner of the fretboard by the high E 24th fret.
     

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