Full Halo BH-7 review inside

Discussion in 'Sevenstring Guitars' started by Digital Black, Dec 9, 2004.

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  1. Digital Black

    Digital Black SS.org Regular

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    This review was copied from the one i submitted to the Harmony Central review database. Is should go up there very soon also.

    Features:
    2004 Korean Import 7 string neck through, two humbuckers, Duel cutaway, Floyd Rose copy with locking nut. Five peice maple and Bubunga neck. Body wings are Mahogany( Halo website [ www.haloguitars.com ] does not specify exact woods, I'm just using an eduacated guess) with a transparent black finish. The five peice neck is completely visible all the way through the body. Lower body horn is longer than the top horn giving a very assymetrical shape. Headstock has four tuners on top and three on bottom; it also has a slight assymetrical shape. Black hardware, 3 way pickup selection, 1 volume and 1 tone knob. Body has slightly beveled edges but no extended bevel when your picking arm rests. Fretboard is rosewood with sharktooth inlays. The whole fretboard is bound in a off white binding. Frets are medium with a narrow but high crown. 24 frets total. Floyd rose trem is liscenced and the older high profile type. Trem bar is screw in type but has a plastic grommet inside the screw cover. Pretty impressive for this guitars price.
     
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  2. Digital Black

    Digital Black SS.org Regular

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    Sound:

    I play progressive metal which demands a axe that can fit styles with huge distortion, sparkleing cleans, and solo's with musical depth. I use a rack setup consisting of a Rocktron preamp, Lexicon MPX effects processor and a ART tube Preamp into the computer for recording. Live I use a Peavey XXL and Marshall 4x12. This will eventually change to a total rack system for live and home recording. The body vibrates with much mojo ( you can feel it ). The neckthrough design really puts sustain and tone on the high side. Pickups are no name imports but are relitively hot. The bridge has great harmonic overtones and pinch harmonics are a breeze and sustain well. With thicker strings ( I use EB .010's with a .058 for the low B) the bridge and neck get muddy and the lower strings and notes. It is not unusual these days to swap stock pickups out anyways.
     
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  3. Digital Black

    Digital Black SS.org Regular

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    Action , Fit, and finish:

    **I belive my guitar to be a floor-room demo due to a few flaws I've found plus there are a few manufacture oversights**
    Out of the box i was shipped, the guitar was in perfect shape finish wise. Some scratched paint was found on the locking nut and and the hold down nuts for the tuners. Setup was decent and it was strung with a 7 string set of .009's. Intonation was close but not spot on. Strings were not streched out enough and had gone slack enough for me to have to unlock the top nut and start over. Included was 3 wrenches and a cheap guitar cable. Why not include a spare trem bar instead of another useless cable? It's a nice thought, but nobody is going to go shopping for a neckthrough and end up using cheap cables. Fret edges have a longer bevel but no sharp prongs could be felt running my hand up and down the neck. 1st reason I think it was a store demo. Fretboard was a little dried out and needed some lemon oil. Fretboard area is relivly flat. Frets 24, 23, 22 had some topside damage ( slight dents ) below the B, E and A low strings. 2nd reason for store demo. Tuners are import Ibanez style. Tuners for low E and High G have internal damage and do not turn smoothly. They will eventually go bad enough to have to replace. I've experienced this before on other guitars. Some chipped paint on locking nut. 3rd and 4th reason.
    Now for manufacturing oversights.
    The maple neck has a few dark spots on the front of the headstock and backside of the neck joint. This is only visible within a foot of viewing buts ruins an otherwise perfect and pretty headstock. The body is pretty thick and really needs a Beveled edge where your picking hand rests. Pickups: these are mounted via pickup rings and that is fine ( a 3000 dollar Les Paul neckthrough will get you the same). But , due to the low level of the frettboard and trem and the hight of the pickup rings themselves, it does not leave to much room to work with. I had to adjust my pickup so they are actually below the rings. For a Shredhead who would want a real low action, it would not be attainable on the setup. The strings will come in contact with the pickup or the rings. The bridge ring is very high, moreso than the neck. I would take advantage of the guitars tone design and mount these to the body and do away with the rings. Or, find lower pickup rings. These are cheap import rings and will be replaced or modified on my guitar very quickly. Wiring was relitivle clean but the neck pickups wire attached to the 3 way switch came off due to barely any solder and myself wrangleing the resetting the height on the pickups.
    Neck pocket and joint is beautiful and smooth. The lower horn makes playing on the top 5 frets a little tight for me and will hinder players with big hands. Finish is flawless and very glossy. All grains of the woods show through nicely up close. Some dust was found in the trem cavity and wire cavity. Trem backplate sits above the body and ruins the flow of the body. Also, it has holes for a neckthrough setup. Since this has a Floyd, I would like to see a recessed plate and holes for adjusting the claw screws. The plate for the wiring is recessed in the body and is perfectly cut. The wire cavity has no noise reducing sheilding. Though, this guitar exibits no tendency to pick up on anything more than any other guitar. Trem cavity has grey padding ( use Black!! ) and is perfecty routed. Neck is a little on the thick side but has a comfortable, slightly flattened "C" shape. It easy to transition to this neck even after playing my RG7620.
    Despite these problems and some of the damage my axe exibits, I still keep in mind I paid $400 ( now selling for just above 500 normally-5th reason i think it's a demo) for a new 7 string neckthrough with a floyd Rose. Not to mention this is a new guitar comapany. These issues can be worked out and the guitar looks great, is completely usable, and has killer sound out of the box. Setup took hour for my new strings and personally preference adjustments. It play greats and is easy to do chords or rip a killer solo.
     
  4. Digital Black

    Digital Black SS.org Regular

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    Reliability/durability:


    This guitar is very solid and resonates nicly unplugged. All joints where the woods meet are flawless and smooth. Neck pocket and backside is perfect and feels great. This guitar isn't too heavy, but I use a wide strap to spread out the weight. Strap buttons were solid and very usable. Knob for tone and volume are pretty easy to reach. 3 way switch is next to the trem and is easy to use. Finish is extremely smooth and glassy. But I belive it would chip easily due to the nature of transparent finishes.
    Aside from the damage to the tuners I recieved on mine and paint chipping , I belive this deservs a a rating of 10 if this condidtion did not exist.
     
  5. Digital Black

    Digital Black SS.org Regular

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    Over all and customer support:


    One of the co-owners/developers for Halo post over at www.sevenstring.org . He has offered some insight to his company.
    I have not had to deal with them yet, but he feeling Iget is they would not hesitate to help out. No warrenty papers, I assume some kind of warrenty is implied with any new Guitar. Ebay seller mentioned one but did not offer any paperwork nor mention once auction was over.


    I've been playing since 1992 and have completely converted over to 7 strings. I've spend more money than I'd like to remember on all kinds of gear. My best axe is still my RG7620 7 string that i will be buried with.
    Bottom line: How often can any guitarist claim that he/she owns a 7 string neckthrough with a floyd Rose that has a killer shape, flawless finish and tone mojo for under 600 dollars new? I can think of no other guitar to compare in terms of cost to features. Even at 520$ this is an incredible looking and sounding axe right out of the box. After a few tweaks you have something worthy of holding onto. it's nice to see a new guitar company creating something new and just not churning out carbon copy garbage.
     
  6. Digital Black

    Digital Black SS.org Regular

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    How I rated it on the HC review. ( from 1 to 10)
    Features : 9
    Sound : 8
    Action, fit , and finish : 8
    Reliablity : 9
    Customer support : 9
    Overall : 10
     
  7. Digital Black

    Digital Black SS.org Regular

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    I tried to get a pic of the fretwire damage but is so subtle and its hard to get the Digital camera to resolve the reflection from the metal I gave up.

    W4D, I'd like to hear your feedback on my feedback if you feel so inclined.
    Email me : Requiem-x@sbcglobal.net
     
  8. Metal Ken

    Metal Ken Hates the Air Contributor

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    Definately sounds like a quality axe.
    when you gonna record us a sample? ;p
     
  9. Digital Black

    Digital Black SS.org Regular

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    Once i get this compter woking right. I havn't been able to record anything for 2 months now... some kind of hardware conflict..
     
  10. Metal Ken

    Metal Ken Hates the Air Contributor

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    Aw, that sucks.

    BTW,i wish all the HC Reviews were this good.
    Not the usual "THIS GUITAR SUX)RS!!!!" or "Tom DElonge is tehBest gitarist evar!!A" any crap like that.
     
  11. WayneCustom7

    WayneCustom7 Paolo Contributor

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    Man what an exhaustive review bro...I almost want to send my 7's your way and have you review them for me...I remember seeing this ax on Ebay and inquiring about it, but I was hesitant. I am really glad you are happy with it, but on the same note, I am glad for people like me who are looking for more 7's...like I said earlier, I may have to sell off my flock of 6's and convert to all 7's. Thanks and good job! :)
     
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  12. Metal Ken

    Metal Ken Hates the Air Contributor

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    Thats what i did. Couldnt be happier.
     
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  13. Toshiro

    Toshiro .... Contributor

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    Nice review. :)

    The indentions, if they're what I think they are, would be caused by the guitar being dropped into a hard object, or having something hard hit at that specific point. Either way, it takes some serious force to cause dents in fretwire.
     
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  14. WayneCustom7

    WayneCustom7 Paolo Contributor

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    Its funny too cause tonight I worked on a new tune, with a jazzy drum beat and a clean, vibrato-like sound...simple yet soulful...not heavy, but the range on a seven just makes me not want to play six strings again...at first I figured I would work on heavy stuff with my seven, then go to my sixes for bluesy, and lighter tunes...but that doesn't seem the case...
     
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  15. No Soul

    No Soul bringer of mosh

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    holy shiznit, I just realized that Halo Guitars is located only 40 miles from where I live
     
  16. darren

    darren Decibel Guitars Forum MVP

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    Good review... much more thorough than the typical Harmony Central user review, but i do have a few nits to pick.

    When talking about the trem backplate, what do you mean by, "Also, it has holes for a neckthrough setup"? I don't know what you're referring to here.

    You also make a couple of references to the "neck pocket" but neck-thru guitars don't have a neck pocket. Are you referring to the transition from the neck to the body? The cutaways?

    From what you've written, i wouldn't rate the guitar as highly as you have. Sloppy wiring, no shielding, a non-recessed trem cover plate, dust inside the cavities and pickup rings that interfere with your action would knock down the "fit and finish" rating in my estimation. The pickup ring issue alone indicates that the guitar wasn't tested out by people who actually play. There's also no good reason why they couldn't put a forearm cut on that guitar, and you mention a couple of times that it's a bit of an ergonomic issue. Harmony Central should make "fit and finish" and "playability" separate categories, in my opinion.

    From an aesthetic point of view, i also think that the headstock and the body styles totally don't match, and they're clearly using a shark fin inlay template that's sized for a six-string neck. The huge gaps of rosewood above and below the fins looks really awful, in my opinion.

    If you've only had the guitar a couple of days, i don't know how you can possibly rate the reliability and durability as a 9. You simply do not know at this point how the guitar will hold up in the long term. Your neck could twist in 3 months. Or your trem knife edges could be dull in 3 weeks. It's too early to tell, and giving it a rating of 9 based on insufficient information is misleading.

    Clear finishes are no more or less prone to chipping than solid-colour finishes. What you stated was, in my opinion, an incorrect assumption about the potential durability of the finish. You also don't make any mention of the tuning stability of the trem. This would be a pretty major observation for people who are interested in a trem-equipped guitar. Also, the "internal damage" on some of the tuners could be a factory flaw as well, either faulty parts or damage that occurred during assembly or shipping. I wouldn't assume that this was damage that happened while on a showroom floor in a store.

    I have similar comments about the "customer support" rating. I think it's unfair to give them a rating at all until you've had to actually deal with the company on a support issue. You have no idea of whether they actually stand behind their products or not, or how quickly issues might be resolved (or not).

    In closing, i'm puzzled as to how can you give the guitar a "10" rating overall, when it didn't even rate a "10" in any one category. Based on your numbers alone, the average for the overall rating would be about 8.6.

    It may be a great guitar for the money, but that doesn't make it a great guitar overall, especially with the flaws you described.
     
  17. Metal Ken

    Metal Ken Hates the Air Contributor

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    wow you really got it out for that guitar dont ya? lol

    YEah. I mean, i dont jazzy stuff but i like using it for fingerstyle stuff as well. i want to get a 7 string acoustic nylon string eventually. That'll rule.
     
  18. Vince

    Vince Contributor

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    Alot of people really like Halo, but I think Half Life 2 is twice the game Halo or Halo 2 is.


    Oh, this was about a guitar? sorry :)
     
  19. Digital Black

    Digital Black SS.org Regular

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    Your more than welcome to critisize Halo, this guitar or anything else. I wouldn't expect everybody to like the same things I like. But please don't ever question my integrity within my hobby. You've basically said " Seph doesn't know what he's talking about." Aside for grammaticall errers and terminology that I just cleared up, it still comes off as confrontational. I'm surprized you didn't grade my spelling-which does suck. I'm not getting anything from Halo nor anybody. I'm certainly not putting my balls in anyone's face. People asked for a review I gave one as honestly and objectively as I could. Part of this objectivity come from the fact that Halo is also something new to the music world. I'm not looking to go around slamming new builders for superfical preferences, especially when they offer a good price. If everybody did that we'd have nothing new.
    If this BH-7 pisses you off for whatever reason-fine, it's free country and I won't lose any sleep. But don't take it out on me.
    Feel free to come up to cleveland anytime, I'll put a kickass setup on any guitar you chose, I have everything here on my workbench.
     
  20. WayneCustom7

    WayneCustom7 Paolo Contributor

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    Wow, I have to aggree with Seph though, we all asked and prompted him for a review on a guitar that a few of us were really interested in purchasing, but didn't have the cahoonieis like Seph had, to go out and buy it. He could have been alot more brief, telling us the guitar is perfect, just so that he would shine, but he didn't, he was honest, and for this, his integrity cannot be questioned. I for one am grateful that Seph told it like it was, holding nothing back, he did this for everyones sake. Fine, if someone doesn't agree with his rating, but stomping on it is unacceptable. Sometimes, our family members have character flaws, or even disabilities, we make note of them but we still rate them all 10's. Sometimes its not what we say its how we say it that hurts...maybe Darren was sincere in his approach, however it still was ineffective. I believe Darren should apologize, and then lets move on!
     
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